Energy From Waste Heat: Via Sound!

by Justin Thomas •

University of Utah physicists developed small devices that turn heat into sound and then into electricity. The technology holds promise for changing waste heat into electricity, harnessing solar energy and cooling computers. “We are converting waste heat to electricity in an efficient, simple way by using sound,” says Orest Symko, a University of Utah physics professor who leads the effort. …

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Micro-Wind Turbines: Update

by Justin Thomas •

I first wrote about these wind micro-wind turbines for TreeHugger in March. Since then the microturbines have become available for sale through the Motorwave website (here’s a direct link to the store). Right now, shipping costs from Hong Kong are about $300, but Lucien Gambarota, the inventor says he hopes to offer the turbines for sale in the U.S. soon. …

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Electric Bikes For Commuters

by Justin Thomas •

2011 Kona Electric Ute Cargo Bike

The New York Times recently featured an article about people using electric bikes for commuting to work. They recommend spending about $2000 for a good electric bike. You’ll get a range of 20-50 miles with these bikes, and this can obviously be extended with pedal power. Some notable electric bikes shops are Electric Bikes Northwest and NYCEWheels. The bike pictured …

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Amazing Green Building: The ACROS Fukuoka

by Justin Thomas •

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In Fukuoka City in Japan, they have an amazing building called “ACROS Fukuoka” with two very distinct sides: one side looks like a conventional office building with glass walls, but on the other side there is a huge terraced roof that merges with a park. The garden terraces, which reach up to about 60 meters above the ground, contain some …

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Australian Island Using Flow Batteries To Store Wind Power

by Justin Thomas •

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 …

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Danish Island Is Energy Self-Sufficient

by Justin Thomas •

The goal of the Danish island of Samso, home to about 4000 people, is to power their island with completely green power. They heat their homes with grass burned in a central heating system. Their electric come from the wind, and they power their vehicles on biofuel which they also grow. Since 1998, Samso began converting its energy into renewable …

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The Best Studio Headphones: The Sennheiser HD-580

by Justin Thomas •

Update: This headphone is no longer being manufactured but the Sennheiser HD-555 is a comparable headphone for under $100. Ah, the Sennheiser HD-580 — this is one of the best rated headphones of the last 10 years. The Sennheiser HD-580 has been lauded by stereophile magazines for it stellar sound quality and durability. It’s a comfortable set of ‘phones with …

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Peelu: Natural Dental Fibers: Less Abrasive Than Toothpaste

by Justin Thomas •

The Peelu Tree has been used for centuries by people in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to clean their teeth. A frayed branch of the tree is traditionally used. Now the Peelu USA company has incorporated Peelu fibers into a range of dental products, including toothpaste, toothpowder and a dental gum. Peelu is said to be less abrasive than …

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Solar Water Heating: Book Review

by Justin Thomas •

Solar Water Heating is the first book I’ve seen that focuses solely on solar water heating. It’s a technique that’s been practiced since ancient times, but until now there’s been strangely few resources on the topic for a North American audience. The author, Bob Ramlow, examines state-of-the-art solar heating systems. He covers not only solar water heaters, but also solar …

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Organic Pet Food

by Justin Thomas •

Is organic pet food efficient? It is indeed — just like people, animals need high quality food to remain healthy. The major problem with the content of conventional pet foods is the use of “animal byproducts” which are low-grade wastes from the beef and poultry industry. Natural pet foods are minimally processed and are preserved with natural substances, such as …