Green tech finds (3/31/11)

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Plastic made from meat wastes, and “self-charging” cell phones… these and more in this week’s green tech finds.

  • Floating solar panels: “Offshore renewables” has generally meant wind or wave power, but an Australian company has developed a prototype for floating solar panels… and Indian company Tata Power is going to give the concept a go. Check out the Liquid Solar Array in action above. (via Calfinder’s Residential Solar blog)

  • Plastic bottle schools: Plastic bottles get recycled into all sorts of consumer products… but the Bottle Schools Project is turning them into literal building blocks for schools in the developing world. (via Springwise and @COSEnergy)

  • Meat plastic: Researchers at Clemson University think its possible to make plastics from meat and bone meal wastes from the livestock industry. The materials are biodegradable, and require petrochemical inputs. (via @derekmarkham)

  • Lower your travel impact with your smartphone: Treehugger’s Blythe Copeland runs down seven smartphone apps that will help you keep it green while you travel.

  • Purify water in a party ball: Not really, but the Solarball, a creation of Monash University graduate Jonathan Liow, purifies water using sunlight in a device that looks an awful lot like the old Coors portable keg. (via Earth Techling)

  • Is Better Place for real? Many have asked that question about the battery-swapping station concept. A new video from the company shows its Israeli facility in action…

  • Solar screens for your portable devices: Never have to plug in your phone, tablet or e-reader? That’s the idea behind Wysips solar screen technology, which turns these devices into solar collectors… for only about $1 extra. (via Cleantechnica)

  • Electric vehicles win on carbon emissions: That’s what a new study has found… though the results are considerably more complex, as energy mixes involving nuclear power and natural gas certainly have other environmental challenges. (via Triplepundit)

Find something else in the green tech space that you’d like to share? Do it… let us know about it in the comments.