100% Renewable Power For Durango City, Colorado

by Justin Thomas •

The city of Durango will soon be powered by 100% renewable energy (we believe that wind power will be used). Green power currently constitutes about 10% of city power purchases. The extra the city pays for green energy will add about $120,000 a year to its electrical bill officials said. But the extra cost will be offset by an energy …

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Blueberries Used To Capture Solar Power

by Justin Thomas •

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We just reported on the breakthrough in solar dyes in New Zealand. Now, researchers in Italy have discovered that blueberries have natural pigments that absorb sunlight extremely well. Apparently, dark-colored berries outperform most other plant species when it comes to spectral absorption of sunlight. The blueberry pigment, called, anthocyanine, can be used to make dye-sensitized solar cells, which require no …

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Innovative Solar Dyes: Inexpensive Liquid Solar Power

by Justin Thomas •

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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 …

Model Fuel-Cell Car Uses Solar Power

by Justin Thomas •

Here is a model race car that runs on hydrogen produced by a small solar cell. The car uses a real fuel cell and its own on-board hydrogen storage system. To create free hydrogen fuel, you just add water to the stations tank. Fueling is animated by a special blue light display. The car will operate for about 4 minutes …

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Major Solar Power Plants Opens In Portugal

by Justin Thomas •

One of the world’s largest solar energy plants, covering the hills of a valley dotted with olive groves in southern Portugal, started delivering electricity to about 8,000 homes on Wednesday. The solar panels, which are raised around 2 meters off the ground, cover an area of 60 hectares (150 acres) and produce 11 megawatts of electricity in one of Europe’s …

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. …

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Efficient Power Adaptor: PowerSquid

by Justin Thomas •

This piece of electrical cordage is called a PowerSquid. It lets you connect multiple devices, even with big power converters, to a single outlet. It even has its own home page. They also have version that incorporate surge protection and other electrical interference. Available from Amazon for $11.99

Hand-Powered Night Vision Scope

by Justin Thomas •

This device is a night vision scope, but it doesn’t require any batteries. Instead, it’s has a lever-activated power supply, so you can generate your own power ad hoc. You’ll can see in the night without fear of an energy failture. It is priced around $200. See Camping Station or other vendors.

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Juice Bag: Flexible Solar Power

by Justin Thomas •

The “Juice Bag” is the first of its kind — a backpack with flexible solar panels built in. This means it’s lighter and less bulky that other solar backpacks. The pack has a capacity of 2500 Cubic inches, and weighs 2.5 pounds. It charges gadgets directly via a built-in female 12V car charger. The solar cells output 6.3 Watts. It’s …

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Using Natural Systems To Cool Down

by Justin Thomas •

The latest issue of Home Power has an article on how to cool your house down using natural systems (also known as passive cooling). This is a concept that is neglected in most modern house design — forcing home owners to use air conditioning throughout the summer. The article illustrates the basics of passive cooling quite well: how to choose …