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Wind Turbines On Galapagos Islands Reduce Diesel By 50%

by Justin Thomas •

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 …

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Solar Balloons Get $21 Million In Funding

by Justin Thomas •

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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 …

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How To Filter Your Drinking Water Very Efficiently

by Justin Thomas •

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.

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New World Record Set For Solar Efficiency: 31.25%

by Justin Thomas •

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 …

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Infinia’s Modular Solar Dish Gets Funding

by Justin Thomas •

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 …

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Windspire: Propeller-Free Household Turbine Gets Approval

by Justin Thomas •

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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, …

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Largest Modular Green Roof Installed: 2.3 Acres

by Justin Thomas •

The largest modular green roo, has been installed on top of the new “Court at Upper Providence” shopping center in Pennsylvania. The 2.3 acres green roof was constructed with GreenGrid modules. These modules are made with recycled plastic, and they contain small but hardly plants like sedums.

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New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbine (7+ Megawatts)

by Justin Thomas •

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The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor diameter of 126 meters (413 feet). The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will most likely produce 7+ megawatts (or …

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The Best LED Desk Lamps

by Justin Thomas •

Update: We’ve posted a new review of the best LED Desk Lamps for 2009. LEDs really shine as reading lights and desk lamps. LEDs have a directed beam, so they do not disturb others when used as reading lights (in bed for example). LEDs also do not get hot to the touch, so there’s no risk of burns, or excess …

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Solar and Wind Powered StreetLights In Tokyo

by Justin Thomas •

We just wrote about the new LED streelights in Ann Arbor. Now we find these self-contained streetlights that generate 100% of their power from the sun and the wind. During the day, solar power is stored in a battery at the base of the light pole. At night, they illuminate while continuing to generate power via a small vertical-axis wind …