DIY Eco Gadgets

Homemade solar panels

Sometimes, in the name of eco-friendly living, we must go out of our way to find the best alternatives to traditional lifestyle habits and necessities. Every now and then, it makes logical sense to create our own solutions for affordability reasons. This is a list of resources, tools, and tutorials on how to transform your home into an example of a eco-friendly living. Some of the projects range from simple to medium difficulty, and others are for more seasoned engineers and designers. If you can’t do these projects yourself, perhaps you know of somebody who can help. The first is… read more

Teaching Kids About Energy

Tio Ghost Light

Energy conservation is a growing subject, and one that kids should be aware of. The younger children learn these habits, the longer they will practice them over their lifetime. We now know enough about the effects of energy consumption and over-consumption that we should be teaching today’s youngsters about the importance of saving energy. Tim Holley has designed a light switch to do just that. He calls it “Tio,” and it’s a ghost-shaped light switch that gives kids a visual reminder of how much energy they’ve used by leaving lights on. Tio starts out a green and smiling ghost. If… read more

Hot Water Cooling


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

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 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

TransCanada Restart

TransCanada Power - Creative Commons

After TransCanada restarted the pipeline they have confirmed that Bruce Power’s Unit 1 is now in commercial operations, the final milestone in the refurbishment of the Unit. A second significant milestone was achieved with the synchronization of Unit 2 to the Ontario power grid. “The commercial start of Unit 1 and synchronization of Unit 2 are exciting developments that are bringing to a close Bruce Power’s plans to see these refurbished reactors operate safely and reliably for decades to come,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer.  “We are pleased to have both units online and generating clean… read more

Hungry Electronics

Power consumption

Modern electronic gadgets have jaw-dropping functions making human life simpler in several ways. Their smartness can be seen in many ways such as speed, functionality, multitasking capabilities etc. but one main thing modern electronics manage well is power usage. Modern devices are not only highly functional but they are extremely power conscious. It has become mandatory for devices like tablets and notebooks to manage power cleverly, just like an electric car that goes to an idle state and consumes less power. Older gadgets lack this power-management capability as they only have two states – either On or Off. “Off is… 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

Wood Burning and Data

Wood burning

Given the rising costs in fossil fuels, and subsequent rising heating costs, many Americans are looking for alternatives to contemporary heating options. Among other means of heating, traditional wood-burning has surged, especially in areas which are anticipating cold and extreme winters like the northeast United States. Wood pellets are being used, instead of logs, due to the lessened impact on the environment, and also the reduction in toxic emissions. The wood pellets also burn better and stronger, resulting in stronger, longer fires, which also contributes to the efficiency. It has to be kept in mind though that while technically a… read more

The Charge Cycle


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

Underwater Sensors

Swimming with sensors

Scientific breakthroughs in nanotechnology have taken electronics to the next level by making the circuit smaller and smarter, but a professor at the University of California is proving that he can design circuits which can be pushed, pulled and even used under water. Thin film electrochemical sensors are directly printed on a flexible wetsuit by the team led by Joseph Wang paving the way for water resistive electronic sensors which has a potential application under water. With funding from the U.S. Navy and with the help of some members of his team who like to surf, Wang and team designed… read more