Solar Panels Will Soon Make Utilities Obsolete

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In a report released last January, the Edison Electric Institute heralds in relatively blatant terms a great success in renewable energy – and the impending death of utility companies. The news comes as utilities face the risk of losing customers to renewables due to rate reductions and technological innovation. Utilities have remained predominantly unchanged for the better part of a century, with no real competition. As such, the growing prosperity of renewable sources may find them ill-equipped to concoct a plan for battling their losses. Instead, it appears they’ll dedicate time to preserving the ‘integrity’ of their image and product…. read more

Lightbulbs For A Lifetime

Lightbulbs for a Lifetime

Interested in a lightbulb that will probably last longer than your tenure at your current residence? 3M thought you might be, which is why their LED Advanced Light bulb is the best and longest-lasting bulb on the market. By 2014, the Energy Independence and Security Act will ban incandescent bulbs in favor of LED’s and fluorescents. The Advanced Light Bulb is getting a headstart on the market, and it’s your best option right now. LED’s have the efficiency of fluorescent bulbs, but without the harsh light emission. For $25, you can own 3M’s light bulb that is estimated to last… read more

Shrink Your Footprint

Shrink Your Footprint

There is endless discussion in the media about the need to change our  existing habits in the developed world in order to lower carbon emissions and save the planet. Many of us feel powerless to effect real change, but there are small ways we can all make a difference. Work at home With modern networking devices and technologies such as VPN more of us are working from home, if not fulltime, then certainly as a partime  option during our working week. This not only saves time and energy in transportation, but also often allows families to achieve more quality time together. e-reading… read more

Harnessing Waste to Generate Renewables

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Despite the widespread notion that we have inadequate means to support our energy consumption, the US actually has enough from wind, solar, and tidal & wave to produce a total of approximately 6,987 terawatts of power per year. That’s far beyond the 3.9 terawatts the country currently uses. However, much of this prospective energy goes unharvested. Still, we are coming closer to attaining free energy, and the move to renewable energy has opened up a lot of room for experimentation and discovery. Beyond utilizing sources that harbor seemingly infinite promise, we are finding ways to deplete existing waste by converting… read more

An E-Ink Screen Cover For Your Phone

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Protecting your iPhone from damage is every owner’s prime directive. You paid way too much money for that kind of nonsense, so you decide to buy a screen protector from the store. The only problem is, you don’t know which one you like the best. My question to you is, why compromise? This E-Ink cover by Popslate allows you to change the back of your cover any time you want using the kind of E-Ink technology found in Amazon’s Kindle e-readers. Check out this video demo: E-Ink is an important new technology we’ll soon be seeing an influx of, with… read more

How To Fix Your Screen’s Stuck Pixels

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Have you ever had a spot on your computer screen that only appeared when the screen was on, and wouldn’t go away? Chances are, your screen has a stuck pixel. Not to worry, however, as this is something of a normal occurrence, and is also 100% fixable. No more throwing your monitor in the trash, or selling your computer for super cheap on Craigslist (hurray!) Step 1: Turn On The Screen If the problem pixel is on your desktop’s monitor or your laptop, turn the screen on. Step 2: Display The Pixel  Navigate to a 100% black image. It can’t… read more

A Window That Filters Heat And Light

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Sometimes, researchers create products we didn’t even know we wanted, and when that moment happens, we think to ourselves, “how have we been living without it?”. This is one of those products. Lab techs at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developed a smart window that filters both heat and light into the home, creating a perfect balance of temperature and sun exposure during the warm seasons (summer, I’m looking at you). Homeowners can choose to filter out heat, filter out light, or filter out both (don’t you just love having options?). Take your hand off the thermostat, because your window’s… read more

PhotoFlow Harvests Solar Energy and Rainwater

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Two of the most important needs in developing country are a reliable source of off-grid power and a source for potable drinking water, and one design firm, NOS, thinks they might have the answer to both of those needs, in one integrated package. The “PhotoFlow” uses eight triangular solar modules to harvest the sun’s energy, which are mounted together in an octagonal structure on the top of a water tank. The system can catch and channel rainwater hitting the panels into a central filter and then into the water tank for storage. “Each module is equipped with first-generation monocrystalline silicon… read more

App Saves 27% on Home Heating Costs

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We may think that the smart home of the future will eventually spring into existence, fully finished and integrated and built from the ground up to be wired and optimized, but the reality is that it will probably happen bit by bit, as the technology and hardware get cheaper and easier to install. And in that case, the smart home is getting closer and closer every day, with more new interconnected gadgets and appliances hitting the market, and more home automation solutions, such as this one, which is billed as an “intelligent heating app”. tado° is not just an app,… read more

Its Electric, Now It’s Not With Rubbee For Bikes

Its Electric, Now It’s Not With Rubbee For Bikes

Bicyclists beware. There’s a cool conversion just around the corner you may want to keep your eyes on. The Rubbee Drive is a rechargeable system that easily converts standard bicycles to electric ones, then back to basic wheelers. An alternative to e-bikes, the Rubbee’s friction drive component can be attached onto the seat of most conventional bikes and electrical currents give the rider a push with an energy transfer rate of 96%. Designed to be uncomplicated, after an initial installation the transformation can happen in well under a minute. The equipment can be effortlessly mounted or taken off and powered up or… read more