DIY SOLAR PANELS

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Do It Yourself Solar Panels have become quite popular, especially if you or someone you know is handy. You can build them easily with a little patience and time. The savings is substantial, and from what I can tell the quality is as good as many prefabricated panels- if you’re using quality parts.

I’ve run across many DIY sites for solar panels, and I’m opting not to put in links- but rather have you do a search for ‘diy solar panels’ and see what looks good to you. You always want to do the research on any given company, or before buying a manual that promises to give you all the answers. There are so many options that you will be surprised.

You also want to do the research for your geographical area to determine how well solar panels will work for you.

Electric Volkswagen bus

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The Volkswagen Bus has been re-born as an electric vehicle that will run for about 186 miles on a single charge. It is supposed to fully charge in one hour at an electric charging station.

A top speed of 87 mph is electronically controlled.

It also boasts an iPad integration system that fastens to the dashboard of the car.

The ‘VW Bulli’ was introduced at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show.

      TopGear.com

VENT FREE FIREPLACES

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

“EcoSmart Fireplaces are environmentally friendly vent free open fireplaces that produce a wonderfully warm dancing flame.”

This line of fireplaces is visually creative and seems quite exciting.

They are clean burning, fuelled by liquid bio-ethanol which is renewable because it comes from sources such as: sugar cane, potato and corn.

Easy to use and maintain, they bring warmth and energy into a room. They do not produce ash or soot, so there’s no mess to clean up.

The fact that they do not require a flue or chimney means that they don’t really require installation (in some cases) and are easily moved. Apartment and Condo dwellers can add a fireplace, and take it with them when they move.

They manufacture a variety of fireplace grates, inserts and freestanding models as well as outdoor models.

Vent free ecosmartfire.com:

Bio ethanol fuel:

World’s Largest Solar Boat

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Weighing 60 tons, this 102 foot catamaran yacht has a 50’ beam. The top layer is covered with 5,300 square feet of solar panels, claiming a top speed of around 15 knots (they are still experimenting with speed. One journal lists 10 knots as the optimal speed for the conditions).

This boat left Monaco in late September 2010 and went to Miami in late November. From there it went to Cancun, Mexico- the site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

They are on the way to Cartagena, Columbia (about 500 miles from it as of 12-14-10)

Their purpose: “We wish for a quality expansion of sustainable energy technologies on the water and in other mobile applications”.

Link in French:

Link in English:

Coke Introduces Green Vending in Japan

Friday, December 10th, 2010

High tech 3D vending machines have been introduced in Japan by the Coca Cola Company in 2009. This eco friendly equipment uses mini solar panels along with energy-saving LED lighting. Instead of using Freon, non-CFC refrigerants are used as well as heat pumps. This sustainable refrigeration program is designed in partnership with BMW Group’s DesignworksUSA.

Coca Cola’s new climate protection initiative is likely to boost the Japanese green movement. The company has set a goal to improve the energy efficiency of cooling equipment by 40 to 50% by 2010. The company announced that it would install about 1,500 solar machines around the country in 2010, which are powered almost entirely by solar energy.

The new design cuts overhead costs, allowing the company to offer products at lower prices. Coca Cola will install 75,000 new machines in 2011. The company has plans to replace all existing Coca Cola vending machines in Japan with 3D units by 2020.

It has been said that carbon emission reduction will exceed 52.5 million metric tons over the life of the vending machine with the implementation of the program.

TriPot I is a Self Watering Planter

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

This is an interesting planter that is self watering as well as attractive. It is good for those of us that don’t have green thumbs!

The water reservoir can last up to 2 months.

It is ideal to monitor the planter to see how the water usage is for each plant in the beginning.

There is a visible indicator that shows where the water level is, so it is easy to monitor.

They come in 4 colors: Green, White, Light Blue and Light Grey.

They cost about $42 usd.

Link to manufacturer Greenamic:

Assembly Overview in Flash format:

WSU’s new ‘Super’ or ‘Ultra’ Battery

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Washington State University in Pullman Washington has been developing what they are calling a ‘Super or Ultra Battery’.

“The researchers created the material on the Pullman campus in a diamond anvil cell, a small, two-inch by three-inch-diameter device capable of producing extremely high pressures in a small space. The cell contained xenon difluoride (XeF2), a white crystal used to etch silicon conductors, squeezed between two small diamond anvils.”

Link to WSU

Solar Boats

Friday, June 18th, 2010
Solar Sailor

This solar powered boat operates in Sydney Australia as a passenger ferry. Pollution free boats- WOW!

Boats are among the biggest fuel guzzlers of all time… right up there with  Hummers and Tanks.

This is a passenger boat that is powered by wind and solar energy. It has movable wing- like solar panels that act as sails.

Since it is Hybrid, it can run on wind, sun, battery, diesel or any combination of these.

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This is The Solar Shuttle, designed by SolarLab founder Christoph Behling. It is the UK’s largest and most advanced solar boat. It carries 42 passengers in all daylight conditions, has reserve power for night-time running and even generates surplus energy that can be fed back into the national grid.

It operates on the ecologically-fragile Serpentine Lake in one of the oldest parks in the world, London’s Hyde Park.

Lake Source Cooling at Cornell University

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Cornell University has installed a very innovative, yet very basic concept for cooling Ithaca High School and Cornell University. It is a closed loop system that exchanges the cool water from the depths of nearby Cayuga Lake, and expels the warm water into the shallow waters of the same lake. The water is drawn through an intake that comes from water about 2 miles out in water that is 250 feet deep, and the intake sits about 10 feet from the bottom of the lake where the temperature is about 39ºF year round.

(more…)

Energy Facts #1

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

If every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of 1,000 sheet virgin fiber bathroom tissues with 100% recycled ones, we could save: 373,000 trees, 1.48 million cubic feet of landfill space, and 155 million gallons of water

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