Green tech finds (5/12/11)
Car parts made from dandelions, “flying” trains, and power-producing toilets… this week’s green tech finds.
- A field guide for tree species… on your phone: The new Leafsnap app allows you to identify species of trees simply by taking a picture of a leaf. Users can also share images and locations, making for potentially useful data on tree species. (via Grist and The Guardian)
- Car parts made from dandelions: The “milky-white substance that seeps from dandelion roots” may work as a sustainable source of “rubber” for car parts such as cup holders and floor mats. Ford and The Ohio State University are experimenting…
- The Google bulb: Google thinks the Android platform could work for controlling devices in your home. One experimental example it’s unveiled: a LED light bulb created with Lighting Sciences Group that can “talk” to the mobile system. (via Greenwala and @ecosnobberysux)
- Chicago’s Willis Tower goes solar: Formerly known as the Sear’s Tower, one of the US’ tallest buildings will experiment with windows that collect solar power on its south-facing side. (via Care2 and @glueandglitter)
- Toys “R” Us bets big on solar: The giant toy retailer is partnering with Constellation Energy to install one of the largest rooftop solar systems in the US on its distribution center in Flanders, N.J. That’s it above…
- Finnish data center shares its heat: Cooling is one of the biggest energy requirements for data centers; Finnish company Tieto’s novel solution to this issue for its Espoo location involves pumping heat produced by servers into the city’s district heat network.
- The power-producing toilet: Designed for use in the developing world, the Loowatt collects human wastes for use in anaerobic digesters to produce methane gas. (via Crisp Green)
- The levitating train: The Aero Train is a concept produced by Japanese engineers that literally flies a few inches off the ground, and can be powered completely by solar and wind power. (via Inhabitat)
Found some good ones this week, but if you’ve got something even better, share it with us…
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- Need a cheap, reliable computer? Check out our guide to buying a used laptop (that works!)
- NRDC recognizes young St. Louis farmer with a Growing Green award.
Photo credit: Toys “R” Us