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Green tech finds (9/11/09)

treepowerTree-power and homemade submarines… all that and more in your green tech finds for the week.

  • Google… the solar company?: The company announced on Wednesday that it’s “working to develop its own new mirror technology that could reduce the cost of building solar thermal plants by a quarter or more.”

  • Wind power from the air conditioner: Renewable energy company EarthSure has announced its WindAir system, which is designed to “[transform] the exhausted air flow from central air conditioning units into a source of renewable, clean energy.”

  • Electricity from trees?: A little, anyway… University of Washington researchers have discovered there’s enough energy in a tree to run an electric circuit. (via MNN)

  • The 19-year light bulb: Panasonic has unveiled a new LED bulb in Japan that could last up to nineteen years. (via Crave)

  • A second revenue stream for stylists? A Nepali teenager claims he’s created a solar panel that replaces silicone with human hair. If true, this could cut costs significantly… but no independent verification yet. (via Cleantechnica)

  • The Smart Grid comes to Colorado: According to Xcel Energy, Boulder, Colorado, is now the world’s first “Smart Grid-enabled city.” (via Earth & Industry)

  • Whip-ping around town: A relatively small run (100 vehicles) of  the Wheego Whip, an “all-electric low-speed vehicle,” has headed to showrooms. You won’t want to take this out on the interstate, but it could be another great alternative for city driving. (via Greenbiz.com)

  • The $5000 submarine: Chinese inventor Tao Xiangli has upcycled used oil barrels into a working submarine… (via Treehugger)

What cool, intriguing, or just weird green tech stories did you see this week? Let us know…

Image credit: Dustin Schroeder, University of Washington