Innovative Solar Dyes: Inexpensive Liquid Solar Power

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Researchers from the Nanomaterials Research Centre at Massey University in New Zealand have developed synthetic dyes that can be used to generate electricity at one tenth of the cost of current silicon-based solar panels. These photosynthesis-like compounds work in low-light conditions and can be cheaply incorporated into window-panes and building materials, thereby turning them into generators of electricity. Dr Wayne …

San Francisco To Ban Styrofoam

The city of San Francisco is planning on banning the use of Styrofoam, or more technically, polystyrene containers. The ban would take effect on June 1st, and would require city restaurants and government agencies to stop using polystyrene containers. See the details of the proposed law here. The new law was created because the manufacturing of the material involves polluting …

Australian Island Using Flow Batteries To Store Wind Power

King Island is a small island off the Australian coast, near Tasmania. King Island isn’t connected to the mainland power grid, and apart from its own small wind farm it relied for a long time on diesel generators for its electricity. That changed in 2003 when the local utility company installed a mammoth rechargeable battery which ensures that as little …

0 to 60 MPH in Under 1.5 Seconds, Electric KillaCycle Sets New World Speed Record

The KillaCycle, the world’s electric motorcycle, and the official world record holder in the ¼ mile drag, broke the world record again using its lithium-ion batteries. The official record for any electric vehicle worldwide in the ¼ mile is set now at an elapsed time of 8.16 seconds. Weighing just over 165 pounds, the A123Systems battery pack delivers over 350 …

Bottle Crusher For Bars and Restaurants

An Australian company, BottleCycler, has developed a machine that crushes glass bottles, reducing the volume taken up by the bottles by 80%. Bottles are fed into the BottleCycler through an opening in the top of the device, which then quietly slices the glass into recyclable pieces. The glass falls into a garbage bin, which is picked up and emptied by …

Sweet: Jeans Made Out of Sugar Cane

A Japanese company is making jeans out of a blend of sugar cane and selvage denim. The cane used is Sweet Sorghum, otherwise known as Sweet Millet. It’s a type of grass grown all over the world for making a molasses-like syrup and animal feed. The Sugarcane jeans that feature this fiber have a faint sweet smell and may have …

LED Wind Turbine Toy

The world’s smallest wind turbine. That’s what The Blow Light claims to be. You blow on the rotor to light up the blue and green LEDs. It’s more fun and educational than a comparable battery power toy. It’s available from Nigel’s Eco Store for £9.99.

IKEA’s Affordable Houses: Now Under Construction

BoKlok (pronounced “book look”, Swedish for “smart living”) is Ikea’s biggest idea yet. Having seized the market for affordable home furnishings in the past decade, the Swedish retail giant is now planning to provide the homes themselves. They’ve already built some 3,500 BoKlok dwellings across Scandinavia, now they building homes in the UK. Each apartment, with two or three bedrooms, …

11 MW Solar Tower Complex Opens in Spain

Europe’s first concentrated tower open recently near the sunny southern Spanish city of Seville. The 11 megawatt plant took four years to build — it was created by a Spanish energy company, Solucar. The tower project is called “PS10” and it uses 624 large movable mirrors called heliostats. Each of the mirrors has a surface measuring 1,290 square feet that …

California School Goes 60% Solar Powered

Wow, this school gets 60% of its power from solar energy. The Monterey Ridge Elementary school is the newest in a growing list of solar powered schools in San Diego Country. It has more than 20,000 square feet of solar panels blanketing the hillside behind the campus. Principal Rebecca Wardlow says the system is an essential teaching tool at the …