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 …

Allison Rogers: Commuting Overnight By Train: Efficient

Train travel — it’s an efficient form of travel that really should revived in this country. Air travel, as we know it today, doesn’t make much sense, if closely examined (although I’d like to see zero-emission planes and airship-based travel). But I digress — Allison Rogers, an optimal living trailblazer, has been commuting up and down the East Coast by …

The Best Commuter Bikes Of 2010

Felt Cafe Deluxe 8 Commuter Bike

The sales of commuters bikes in the U.S. have grown quickly in the last couple years. Commuter bikes are those that include features useful for commuting to work or around town — like fenders, chain guards, storage racks, comfortable seats, lights and puncture-resistant tires. You may also be interested our reviews of folding bikes and electric commuter bikes and women’s …

Windspire: Propeller-Free Household Turbine Gets Approval

mariah-power-s-windspire-trade-wind-power-appliance-completes-successful-etl-certification

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, …