3

Flexible Solar Cells: SolarRolls by Bruton

by Justin Thomas •

Brunton makes a range of flexible solar cells they call SolarRolls. These weather-proof solar cells can be rolled up quite tightly, and attached to a backpack. Seen here is a 14W model — it produces DC power even during low light conditions. SolarRolls come with a range of plugs, including a standard car lighter socket. They can also be attached …

1

$14 Million From DOE For Plug-In Hybrids

by Justin Thomas •

This week the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will provide up to $14 million in funding plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) battery development. This research aims to find solutions to improving battery performance so vehicles can deliver up to 40 miles of electric range without recharging. This would include most round-trip daily commutes. Plug-in hybrid electric car …

3

Plug-In Cars That Power Your Home

by Justin Thomas •

Soon, in California, you may be able to power your home with your car during a blackout, or even have the utility company pay you for the power that your car produces. San Jose Mercury News reports that PG&E, a Californian utility company will showcase a converted Toyota Prius in Sunnyvale, CA. (Update: See a video of the prototype cars …

1

Solar Powered 12 Volt Battery Charger

by Justin Thomas •

Solar powered 12 volt battery chargers are small solar panels that trickle charge your car’s battery while the sun is shining. Basically, the solar charger provides a small amount of power to the battery, so that if you leave your car’s door open you won’t be left with a dead battery. This reminds me: I’ve always wondered why cars don’t …

3

Carfree Cities: Where Are They?

by Justin Thomas •

Interested in knowing where you can find places free of cars? There’s an extensive list of carfree places around the world, available now on the Wikipedia. There’s also a book about Carfree Citites available. Here’s our review: Imagine life in a city free from the noise, stench, and danger of cars, trucks, and buses. Imagine that all basic needs, from …

Saab Unveils World’s First Biofuel Hybrid

by Justin Thomas •

Saab has unveiled its automotive vision for a greener future at the British International Motor Show. The Swedish subsidiary of the embattled American automotive giant General Motors has already made a name as a leading maker of biofuel cars, which can run on any mixture between ordinary gas and E85, a fuel blend that contains 85% bioethanol made from plants. …

6

Stirling Power Electric Cooler by Coleman

by Justin Thomas •

This is a very efficient electric cooler based on the free piston Stirling cycle that will maintain freezing temps even in a hot car. The power consumption is only 24 watts. It’s quiet, lightweight and works great. It’s more practical than the portable compressor or propane based freezers. According to Cool Tools, these coolers are quite reliable and last many …

1

Unfolding Prefab: Holl House by Andrew Maynard

by Justin Thomas •

Andrew Maynard‘s Holl House starts off as a vertical column, then unlocks into a horizontal network of hinged structures. “How can the housing industry make exciting, well designed and cheap housing?” Maynard asks. “Easy, mimic the car industry.” “The dimensions of the basic module are dictated by the maximum dimensions available to be transported legally on Australian roads without permits.” …

4

“Indestructible” MP3 Player: Monolith Premium MX7000

by Justin Thomas •

Yes — manufacturers — make more devices like this one. The Monolith MP3 player is fused into a solid 1.5mm aluminium casing — not stuck together with glue or screws. It’s a unique manufacturing process pioneered by the manufacturer, Estar Laboratories. Testers have run the player over with a car, shot the player with a BB gun, thrown the player …

2

Pachira Hemp Hiking Boot

by Justin Thomas •

This boot’s upper and laces are made of a blend of 50% hemp and 50% cotton for durability. The soles contain 40% recycled hospital gloves (or car tires in the black soled version) and the tongue padding and insole are recovered foam from upholstery manufacturing. The removable insole padding and tongue are 100% recycled foam (from seat cushion manufacturing).