Solar Cells with a Difference

Plastic solar cells

The price of solar cells has consistently fallen as more and more people install them in their homes and businesses, but it still remains out of reach for many, who do want to make a sustainable choice regarding power generation. Government subsidies are still necessary because the manufacturing costs of solar cells are still prohibitively high. Anirudh Sharma, a PhD candidate at Flinders University has come up with an alternative, less expensive way of manufacturing solar cells. He says that in traditional manufacturing methods, various materials are sequentially deposited on top of each other forming a sandwich structure but as time passes the… read more

Smart Thermostat

Thermostat-Auto-Away

There are many thermostats in the market that concentrate on home energy management featuring programmable settings that allow the user to save maximum power by scheduling the thermostat. However there is a thermostat that programs itself based on weather forecasts that effectively saves power as well as keeps the home at a perfect temperature. This auto programming is done by some intelligent software named ‘e5’. E5 is a demand-response software developed by EnergyHub and Earth Networks,with the help of more than 9,000 weather observation stations around the country. Owned by earth Networks, e5 receives periodic updates on weather conditions and reports to the… read more

Sweden – Out of Garbage

Photo Credit: Fotopedia

Sweden is a Scandinavian county that has embraced recycling. So much so that a quarter of a million homes are powered by the incineration of waste. Last October they ran into a problem, this squeaky clean nation of 9.5 million had run out of garbage. The landfills have been tapped dry and Sweden has been forced to import trash from neighboring countries, such as Norway. Sweden is so trash-strapped that officials are shipping in 80,000 tons of refuse annually. Norway pays Sweden to take its excess waste, Sweden burns it for heat and electricity, and the ashes remaining from the incineration… read more

Portable Wind Turbine

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Wind turbines are generally static. Once they are assembled and in place they have to work in the varying conditions of that environment – high winds and often extreme temperatures. However, Uprise Energy, a California based startup has developed a wind turbine that is portable. The concept is cool and far easier to maintain as it works without the requirement of any ground digging and is easily transportable. The installation of a static wind turbine is a difficult process as each huge part arrives at the location separately and is assembled using large machines. They require a smooth and flat… read more

Hot Water Cooling

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You might have read my earlier post regarding handling IT temperature, well, in this post I am bringing some new cooling technologies that use minimal power by using hot water to cool the systems. The heading may look like an oxymoron, but read further about some projects which have successfully implemented this technology. IBM’s SuperMUC LRZ SuperMUC system was built with IBM System xiDataPlex Direct Water Cooled dx360 M4 servers. IBM’s new hot water cooling technology directly cools active components in the system with coolant temperatures that can reach as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. So how exactly are they… read more

The Earth At Night

NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC

The Earth’s artificial lights have been captured by NASA’s new Suomi NPP satellite. The main shot of the United States is a composite of high-resolution images taken in April and October 2012. It seems the East Coast needs to work on their energy saving habits. Many satellites are equipped to look at Earth during the day, when they can observe our planet fully illuminated by the sun. With a new sensor aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite launched last year, scientists now can observe Earth’s atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours. The new sensor, the day-night band of… read more

Internet Energy Use

Internet energy use

Most of us can’t imagine a modern world without the internet. However, we probably don’t think a whole lot about the amount of energy needed to power it up. The internet uses mass amounts of energy. This infographic from WirelessSatelliteInternet.org. lays out the rising energy consumption of the more than 2.4 billion internet users worldwide. The graphic highlights the fact that internet use takes up 1.5% of all global electricity, or the equivalent of the amount produced from 30 nuclear power plants. Also stated, the U.S. takes more electrical energy to power up data centers than the entire automobile industry,… read more

The Building Scraping the Sky

Dubai Tower landscape

Our population is growing at a rate of 77 million people per year, and shows no signs of slowing down. In countries like China and India,  their populated areas are full of dangerous and unsanitary housing, plumbing, rundown schools and major traffic snarls. It is clear that reformation is well overdue, and the solution may be found by reaching for the stars. The tallest building in the world right now is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. Formerly known as the Dubai Tower, the Khalifa is home to approximately 30,000 people, or the population of a small city. It cost… read more

Solar Powered Toys

Solar Powered Toys

There are many items that teach solar power along with promoting fun. Kids of all ages can learn about science, green energy and how solar power really works by seeing it firsthand. The following are a few ideas for play where solar power’s fun side definitely shows up. There are an ever increasing assortment of solar powered robots, remote control cars and even kits that allow you to build your own solar propelled designs. The OWI 6 In 1 Solar Kit from Edmund Scientifics is a miniature solar building set with interesting combinations. It can be turned into six different small-scale… read more

The Charge Cycle

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Modern Smartphones can do millions of operations per second but they drink power from a battery like a vampire and we are constantly searching for a power socket to keep them alive. Due to this fast power decay, many coffee shops and hotels have power outlets which allows the user to charge their device when required but David Krawczyk & Navjot Kaur of New York have come up with a concept of greener and far healthier ways to charge your phone. The technology they have devised is the same decade old “dynamo” concept but the project is spiced with extra… read more