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Plug-In Hybrid Conversion Packs: 2008

by Justin Thomas •

A lithium-ion battery manufacturer, A123Systems, will begin marketing a kit in 2008 that will convert a regular hybrid car into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, as known as a PHEV. Currently priced at $10,000 (with a $3,500 tax credit), these modules are still expensive for the average car owner. For example, a commuter driving 11,000 miles per year with gas …

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New Rooftop Wind Turbine Tested: The Helyx

by Justin Thomas •

Recently, I wrote about the low-profile Aerotecture wind turbines, which are designed to be installed on the rooftops of city buildings. Now I’ve heard of another rooftop wind turbine under development. It’s called the Helyx Wind Generator, and it’s composed of two twisted wings of fiberglass that rotate around a vertical axis. The turbine is also colored bright green, which …

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German Town Will Soon Use 100% Renewable Power

by Justin Thomas •

There’s a small town in Germany called Dardesheim, that relies almost entirely on renewable sources for its energy needs. The town’s goal is to use 100% renewable power, and become known as German’s “Town of Renewable Energies”. Dardesheim already has some huge wind turbines in place, and many solar roofs installed. Last year they installed an amazing 62 megawatts of …

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The Solar Ark: A Unique Solar Building In Japan

by Justin Thomas •

In Gifu Prefecture, Japan, there is an unusual solar building called the Solar Ark, built by Sanyo. It’s one of the most impressive solar buildings in the world. Passengers on high-speed bullet trains can’t help but notice the edifice as they ride past on a nearby railway line. The building was built to symbolize the goal of becoming a “clean …

Ghostrider Bike + Xtracycle = Efficient

by Justin Thomas •

This bike is an Electra Ghostrider modified to add an Xtracycle FreeRadical on the back. We featured the Xtracycle previously here. Found via Bike Rubbish. Sweet ride.

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Solar Building Automatically Shades Itself From The Sun

by Justin Thomas •

The Devonshire Building is a solar building, that automatically opens and closes banks of shades on it’s south facing fa├žade. The intelligent system tracks the amount of sunlight entering the windows, and takes into account the time of day and season. The key architectural aim was to design a building that would incorporate as much natural daylight as physically possible. …

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High Speed Trains For The U.S.

by Justin Thomas •

We are exchanging post with the Ecotality blog today. This post looks at Europe’s expanding high speed rail systems: While America’s leaders fiddle around and our rail seems to go down in flames, Europe is strengthening its rail system. Two interrelated items to consider: High-Speed Trains are expanding in Europe and are cutting travel times, and European train systems are …

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WindSpire: An Attractive Wind Turbine For The Home

by Justin Thomas •

A Nevadan company, Mariah Power, has launched a unique wind turbine for the home, called the WindSpire. The turbine is rated at 1 kilowatt, and it has a thin design — it’s only two feet wide, but 20 feet tall (see a photo here). The color is also customizable — suggested colors are: Milky White, Forest Green, Sky Blue, Stop …

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The Largest Solar Roof In The World: Floriade Hall

by Justin Thomas •

The solar roof at the Floriade Exhibition Hall in the Netherlands still holds the record as the largest of its kind in the world. The roof is comprised of 20,000 semi-transparent solar modules, and it has a surface area of 28,000 square meters (almost 7 acres). It acts as one gigantic solar panel, and generating 2.3 megawatts of power. The …