World’s First Wave Powered Boat

Ken-ichi Horie, a 69 year old Japanese sailor, is planning a solo 4,350 mile trip from Hawaii to Japan using an innovative wave powered boat. If successful, the trip would earn him a Guinness record while simultaneously proving the viability of wave powered propulsion.

Nike’s “Trash Talk” Shoe Made With Manufacturing Waste

Steve Nash is the All-Star guard for the Phoenix Suns has forged a partnership with Nike to create the Nike Trash Talk, a basketball shoe made from manufacturing waste. The “waste” comes Nike’s own production facilities—scraps that would otherwise have been discarded. The Trash Talk is modeled after Steve Nash’s current shoe, the Nike Zoom BB II Low, and meets …

Road Runner Shower Head Has Unique “Pause” Feature

I’ve been testing the Road Runner low-flow showerhead, which is rated at 1.59 gallons per minute. Currently, it’s my favorite showerhead, beating out my previous favorites: the 2GPM Oxygenics showerhead, and the 1.75GPM Nigara Earth Massage showerhead. The Road Runner has a unique feature: it has a built-in sensor that detects when the water gets warm enough for showering (95° …

How To Filter Your Shower Water Very Efficiently

This post has been updated for 2011. I recently wrote about Filtering Your Drinking Water Very Efficiently, but let us turn now to your shower water. When we shower, we absorb the substances dissolved in water through our skin quite readily. For example, 60% of the chlorine absorbed daily comes from showering in chlorinated water. The chlorine is absorbed directly …

Wind Turbines On Galapagos Islands Reduce Diesel By 50%

Three huge wind turbines have been installed on the Galapagos Islands. They will generate a total of 2.4 megawatts for the 30,000 residents of the Galapagos archipelago’s five inhabited islands. The system will meet 60 to 80 percent of electrical demand during the windy months of October, November and December. The turbines will halve the island’s diesel fuel imports, and …

Solar Balloons Get $21 Million In Funding

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They look like foil party balloons, but they are actually very efficient solar concentrators. These solar “balloons” were developed by a company called Cool Earth, based in California, and it has just received $21 million dollars in investor funding. The company is now planning to build a 10-megawatt plant of solar balloons in the next couple years. This power plant …

How To Filter Your Drinking Water Very Efficiently

I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching how to filter drinking water effectively. Originally, I was interested in filtering the rainwater that falls on my roof. But I had to put that project on the back burner for now. During my research I noticed that there is little unbiased information available on water filters and filtration techniques.

New World Record Set For Solar Efficiency: 31.25%

On a perfect New Mexico winter day — with the sky almost 10 percent brighter than usual — Sandia National Laboratories and Stirling Energy Systems (SES) set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record by achieving a 31.25 percent net efficiency rate. The old 1984 record of 29.4 percent was toppled Jan. 31 on SES’s “Serial #3” solar dish Stirling …

Infinia’s Modular Solar Dish Gets Funding

Infinia is a company with a modular product: a mirrored solar dish that looks like a home satellite receiver, and produces 3.5 kilowatts of energy. Infinia announced Monday that it had received $50 million in investment. The dish focuses the sun’s rays on to a Stirling engine (a 17th century invention), this heats a gas inside that drives pistons to …

Windspire: Propeller-Free Household Turbine Gets Approval

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We just featured the largest wind turbine in the world, now here’s something at the opposite end of the spectrum: a household wind turbine. In the last few years, we’ve seen a lot of mini-wind turbines that haven’t turned out to be very useful. But the Windspire turbine from Mariah Power sounds interesting. The Windspire has a propeller-free vertical-axis design, …