Category — ENERGY

Water-cooled solar panel
by NICK ROSEN on OCTOBER 2, 2014 - 0 Comments in SOLAR

IBM technology for watercooling solar panel being used in new sun=tracker to deliver clean water

Bruno Michel at IBM made the breakthrough

A new solar harvester that can provide power and clean water is in the works. Its hardly suprising that panels can overheat in the very sun that powers them, and the innovation is a way of cooling the panels.

Its manufacturers claim that the Sunflower could soon become the first “drop-in” machine to provide renewable energy, water and heat to off-grid communities in remote regions. (more…)

The ultimate bachelor pad on wheels


Brett Sutherland built the ultimate bachelor pad on wheels to suit his need for a home, balancing cost with useability without sacrificing style, this is one of the best looking tiny homes on wheels I have seen. Brett didn’t care for the tiny homes he had seen before, he felt like they were too cramped for his liking, wanting lots of head room for air flow, especially in his bedroom loft area, the design he created looks great and is very functional, there is lots of air movement as well as light. (more…)

Retired Engineer pimps his RV
by TECHSTAR on SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 - 2 Comments in SOLAR

Winnebago adapted for solar power

93m miles to the Sun

Thomas “Tim” Lemieux lives in an unlikely showcase for green energy: a 1997 Winnebago recreational vehicle.

Scale a narrow ladder up the side of the motorhome, and a compact rooftop solar farm comes into view. Photovoltaic panels adorn the top, and even the front hood.

They are linked to a series of batteries that help distill and cool water for drinking. Excess water and power feed an evaporative “swamp” cooler that keeps the cabin comfy.

The battle for DC power starts in Pittsburgh
by TECHSTAR on SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 - 1 Comment in ENERGY

2014 OCT 4 Investment Weekly News — PITTSBURGH-

Is Pittsburgh to be home of a second War of the Currents?

In the late 1880s, Pittsburgh native son George Westinghouse (using the work and genius of Nikola Tesla) won the campaign to base the United States’ electric power grid on alternating current (AC). Thomas Edison, a proponent of direct current (DC), tried to paint AC as dangerous, but as things stood at the time, an AC grid was cheaper and more efficient, could carry electricity over longer distances, and was easier to build-so it prevailed.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Bopaya Bidanda, John Camillus, and Gregory Reed think that it might be time to redirect our attention to direct current. (more…)

“Clean Energy Conservatives” Meet in Austin


On Tuesday, President Barack Obama spoke at the Climate Summit in New York City. That evening, a group of conservatives met in Austin to discuss free-market approaches to clean energy. The panel included a mix of former Republican politicians and think-tank conservatives.

The panelists were defiantly not-in-favor of government subsidies for wind and solar, but did see the value of having a diversified approach to energy.

While he was a State Senator, Kip Averitt represented the GOP and District 22. He was born in Permian Basin town of Crane.

 “I used to say this on the campaign trail, but 30 years ago if you were concerned about the environment, you were a communist, and you could not get elected to public office. But I think times have changed today. If you’re not concerned about the environment, you’re a goober. And you cannot get elected to public office.”


How to keep solar generators running at night
by TECHSTAR on SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 - 0 Comments in SOLAR

* Promises more effective thermal heat storage than current methods

* Company expects quick market penetration

* Says can match fossil fuel-fired power plants on price

NEGEV DESERT, Israel, Sept 22 (Reuters) – An Israeli solar power company, Brenmiller Energy, says it has developed a new, more efficient way to store heat from the sun that could give a boost to the thermal solar power industry by enabling plants to run at full capacity night and day. (more…)

National Grid condemns NY families to cold winter
by SUPERJOE on SEPTEMBER 9, 2014 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

ShiveringThe effects of the polar vortex last winter are still lingering in Upstate New York, where 24,000 households had their power shut off in June and July due to unpaid bills, reports

The utility National Grid terminated “more accounts in both June and July than it has in any month for at least nine years,” reports The recent spike in terminations comes as more people are unable to pay for gas and electricity this year in the wake of one of the coldest winters in recent memory. The electrical grid and gas pipeline system in New York and New England was on the verge of failing last winter due to frigid temperatures and inadequate pipeline infrastructure. Natural gas prices skyrocketed as there wasn’t enough pipeline capacity to get to fuel in the region. reports that National Grid customers paid $316 million for power in March 2014, up from $203 million in Month 2013. (more…)

London party for Finding Infinity
by SPY_VONDEGA on SEPTEMBER 9, 2014 - 0 Comments in EVENTS, SOLAR

Vivienne-Westwood-UK-in-France-via-Flickr-260x173London, 4 September 2014 – Fashion Designer Vivienne Westwood held the first of a series of solar-powered parties to promote the use of renewable energy.

The designer teamed with Ross Harding of a social enterprise that promotes renewable energy, Finding Infinity, and a U.K. crowdfunding platform, Trillion Fund, for a party called Off the Grid, which took place in east London at Snap Studios. (more…)

Cheap portable solar power setup
by SHANNON on AUGUST 31, 2014 - 1 Comment in ENERGY, OFF-GRID 101

$700 energy gather and storage

Take your power anywhere

The chatter about solar power and energy storage over the last few years, might make you come to the wrong conclusion that such systems are neither portable nor affordable.

But testing out an off-road, off-grid solar power setup, we recently came to some interesting conclusions. Like many who read this, we like the outdoors but our kids tend to destroy the calm with their demands for the comforts of home. To tell you the truth, I believe that every single camping trip I’ve ever been on has been in the rain, so I can understand why bringing along some of the comforts of home can be attractive. Unfortunately, those “comforts” might include things like the laptop, a television, or a refrigerator. Going beyond this, what happens when the comforts of home are taken away by power outage, whether by storm or blackout?

This tends to happen regularly at my place in the highlands of Majorca’s Tramuntana mountains, such as last night when we lost power for a few hours. Candles only go so far, and do nothing for the refrigerator, laptops for work, cell phones for communication (the local cell tower has backup power) or the electric shower. A cheap Chinese 800W generator is a little over $150, not to mention fuel costs. On the other hand, depending on how much power you need, a small solar power system and energy storage could be all that is required. (more…)

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