solar

Green tech finds (9/9/10)

Green tech finds (9/9/10)

A bee beard for David Cameron, subway energy harvesting, and using search technology to identify endangered species… this week’s green tech finds.

The Wolverine solar cell: Researchers at MIT actually looked to plants, not the X-Men, when creating a solar cell that “heals” its own UV damage.
Tweet for the honey bees: British marketing firm LBi has created a “twittition” (Twitter petition) to support honey bee populations in the UK. Each tweet added to the petition adds a bee to a “bee beard” on a likeness of Prime Minister David Cameron (shown above).

Green tech finds (8/26/10)

Green tech finds (8/26/10)

Hemp cars, pedal-powered submarines, and lots of wave power… this week’s green tech finds.

Harnessing the surge: Finnish company AW-Energy is building a test plant in Portugal for its Waveroller concept, which “utilizes the so-called surge phenomenon found on ocean coasts.” (via Good News from Finland)
More wave power: Ocean Renewable Power Company is testing out the wave power potential for the US Coast Guard’s station in Eastbrook, Maine.

Green tech finds (8/19/10)

Green tech finds (8/19/10)

A zero-emissions race around the world, whiskey biofuel, and more… your green tech finds for the week.

Energy efficient motors mean green jobs in Arkansas: Electrocraft, Inc. has announced it will start producing energy efficient electric motors for heating and air conditioning units in its Searcy, Arkansas plant. This means 55 new green jobs for the small town.
Cell phone tech meets data centers: Data centers (aka server farms) suck up a lot of energy. Start-up Smooth-Stone thinks it can cut that power use by applying “low-power cell phone technology to servers…” A number of VCs think they can do it, and have provided $48 million in funding.

Green tech finds (8/12/10)

Green tech finds (8/12/10)

The greenest cell phone companies, solar Marines, and DIY LED Facebook notification… your green tech finds for the week.

Smart energy cities: The NRDC’s Smarter Cities project has published a list of 22 US cities taking the lead on more sustainable energy use and production. (via GreenTech Pastures)
LED Facebook notification: OK, this is only marginally green, but Instructables has a project up for a DIY Facebook notification device that uses LED lights.

Green tech finds (8/5/10)

Green tech finds (8/5/10)

NASCAR, bicycles, and recycled guns… your green tech finds for the week.

It all started with the bicycle: Trade pub Mechanical Engineering sings praises to the bicycle… not only as an engineering breakthrough for its time, but also as a “platform” for other transportation developments.
NASCAR goes solar: Well, sort of… the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania now operates the tenth-largest solar farm in the US (and the biggest of any sports arena in the world).

Green tech finds (7/29/10)

Green tech finds (7/29/10)

Lots of vehicle news this week… from greener AC to electric vehicles for rent. Here are your green tech finds.

A new model for solar cells — blowfly eyes: A team of researchers at Penn State thinks blowfly corneas could provide a viable model for solar cells (via Discovery News)
Climate-friendly air conditioning for your car: GM plans to roll out a new air conditioning refrigerant in 2013 which performs 99.7% better in terms of greenhouse gas impact than current HFCs. (via Green Tech Pastures)

Green tech finds (7/22/10)

Green tech finds (7/22/10)

Infrared photography, a green Motel 6, and solar in the South Pole… this week’s green tech finds.

Lower-carbon flying: Air travel is pretty energy and carbon-intensive, but GE’s trying to make flying a bit greener with “software that will help pilots choose the most environmentally efficient flight trajectories taking into account conditions on four dimensions – latitude, longitude, altitude and time.”
California’s the green energy leader… right? Maybe now, but according to Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic, Alaska and Hawaii may have some of the most innovative approaches out there for moving to low-carbon energy sources.

Green tech finds (7/15/10)

Green tech finds (7/15/10)

Fishy iPhone apps, soy car parts, and another solar Air Force base… this week’s green tech finds.

Sustainable seafood and wine? There’s an app for that… The Blue Ocean Institute and Brancott have launched the free Fishphone iPhone app, which not only provides sustainable seafood information on the go, but also suggest wine pairings.
The eco-travel planner: The Rainforest Alliance has beta launched its new sustainable travel guide and planner, SustainableTrip.org. Currently focused on south of the border destinations, the site features tour operators, hotels, restaurants and other amenities that have been certified by reputable NGOs.

Brownfield and landfill sites: Perfect for renewable energy development?

Brownfield and landfill sites: Perfect for renewable energy development?

Yesterday’s Boston Globe took note of Canton, Massachusetts’ negotiation to use a capped landfill as an energy production site. While many localities have discovered landfill gas as an alternative energy source, Canton plans to use about half of the 41-acre site as a solar farm.

Green tech finds (7/8/10)

Green tech finds (7/8/10)


Industrial hemp… you can’t smoke it, but, apparently, you can run your car on it. That and more at this week’s green tech finds.

  • Recycle your iPod, buy an iPhone 4: Apparently, that’s what a lot of people are thinking. UK recyclables buyer MoPay has seen a 70% surge in iPod recycling since the release of the new iPhone. (via IT Pro Portal)

  • The solar smart phone: Puma’s new smart phone can run on solar power, and displays how much energy a user is saving when in sun power mode. Unfortunately, it’s only available in Europe right now… (via Springwise)

Green tech finds (7/2/10)

Green tech finds (7/2/10)

Summer’s here, it’s hot, and so, naturally, we’ve got lots of solar news in this week’s green tech finds…

Fuel-efficient driving on your iPhone: Consumer Reports’ new listing of smart phone apps for drivers includes Greenmeter, an iPhone app that “…monitors your driving and displays your car’s mpg, fuel cost, and carbon emissions.”
Is that a secret for more efficient solar cells in your pants…? No, not a really bad, geeky joke: researchers at Cornell have discovered a specific molecule “in blue jeans and some ink dyes” that could be used to build frameworks for cheaper solar cells. (via Treehugger)

Solar rights now the law in Louisiana

Solar rights now the law in Louisiana

The current oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico has further cemented Louisiana’s image as an “oil state” in the public mind… and as someone who grew up there, I can attest this isn’t a myth. Yet while arguments continue over the role offshore oil drilling should play in the state’s economy, Louisiana has also moved quietly, but decisively, into the solar age. The state features generous tax incentives for home solar installation, and, in 2009, became one of the first to establish a statewide property-assessed clean energy financing (PACE) program.

Green tech finds (6/24/10)

Green tech finds (6/24/10)

Can fish ‘n’ chips help with London’s drought? How much power can you get from a potato? These questions and more answered in this week’s green tech finds.

Keeping your gadgets charged in the great outdoors: Heather Clancy at GreenTech Pastures provides a run-down of her favorite solar-powered chargers.
Cheaper, greener biofuel: That’s the ultimate goal of Professor Scott Banta’s new project to genetically engineer a bacteria that will turn CO2 and ammonia from wastewater into butanol. (via Cleantechnica)

Green tech finds (6/17/10)

Green tech finds (6/17/10)

From low-tech lawn mowing to high-speed rail, we’ve got your run-down of some of the cool green tech stories from the week.

Industrial-strength rainwater harvesting: Seattle-area healthcare laundry service Sterile Surgical Systems has cut their massive water footprint significantly with a combination of rainwater harvesting and water treatment and recycling. (via Seattle Times)
Low-tech trike mower: PrintCollection uncovered a 1984 patent for a pedal-powered lawn mower… perhaps it’s time to bring this one into production (via Buck’s Weird News Blog)

Green tech finds

Green tech finds

Is the iPhone 4 green? That, and other questions answered, in this week’s green tech finds. Prize-winning biomimicry: Technology Academy Finland has awarded its biannual Millennium Technology Prize to Swiss scientist Michael Grätzel for his development of the dye sensitized solar cell, a cheaper alternative to photovoltaics that mimics photosynthesis. See the video above for details. (via…

Green tech finds (5/20/10)

Green tech finds (5/20/10)

Poop, planes, and bikes… it’s green tech finds time.

  • Poop-powered data centers: Want to run a data center more sustainably? Start shoveling! Scientists from HP’s sustainable IT ecosystem lab presented the idea of powering these energy hogs by farm wastes at the ASME International Conference on Energy Sustainability. (via GreenTech Pastures… how appropriate!)

  • The low-emission airplane? A research team at MIT has presented an airplane concept to NASA that “…is likely to use 70 percent less fuel than existing ones while slashing noise and emission of nitrogen oxides.”
New Jersey global warming skeptic loves his solar panels

New Jersey global warming skeptic loves his solar panels

Lifelong Jersey City resident Adam Szpala describes himself as a climate change skeptic. And cap-and-trade programs? He “thinks [they're] crazy when the economy is suffering as it has been,” according to The Jersey City Independent.

But this contractor and rental property owner loves him some solar panels… and plunked down $45,000 four years ago to install them on his own house as well as the building next door he rents out. His incentive: cost savings on energy. Because he lives in New Jersey, which has had some of the most generous rebate programs in the country (they’ve dried up some lately), he’ll likely recoup his initial investment in just a few more years. He saves about $200 a month on electricity, and also receives Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) payments to the tune of around $7000 a year.

Green tech finds (5/6/10)

Green tech finds (5/6/10)

Seed-laden packing boxes, energy capture from sewage, and the power of pokeberries (pictured above)… your green tech finds for the week.

Electricity to gas: German researchers are experimenting with converting excess power from renewable energy sources into methane. This creates a means for storing this energy in a manner that could be used with existing natural gas infrastructure.
Pokeberries to power: New solar cell technology under development by Wake Forest University’s Center for Nanotechnology and FiberCell, Inc. makes use of dye from pokeberries to increase the cells’ ability to absorb sunlight. (via Calfinder and Smartplanet)

Solar-powered Mormons

Solar-powered Mormons

No doubt, you’ve heard stories about the evangelical “creation care” movement, and perhaps even efforts by Jewish and Islamic groups to incorporate environmental practices and teachings into the practice of their faiths. But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka the Mormons)? Well, they do ride bicycles when knocking on doors…

Turns out the Mormons have been thinking green in terms of their meetinghouses and buildings for quite some time… and a new pilot project involves putting solar panels on churches.

Green tech finds (4/29/10)

Green tech finds (4/29/10)

White House solar panels, recycling your Xbox, and the top green cars… your green tech finds for the week.

Plug-and-play solar… we’re getting there: Start-up Armageddon Energy is scheduled to release its SolarClover system, which can be installed by non-specialists, later this year.
Finnish town joins the Concerto: The Concerto Initiative, that is. Lapua, in Western Finland, will participate in this EU-sponsored project to build local energy self-sufficiency and efficiency.
Cape Wind a go?: After years of wrangling, the Obama administration has given a green light to the Cape Wind project… but the opposition is already threatening a lawsuit, according to the Huffington Post.

Earth Day green tech finds (4/22/10)

Earth Day green tech finds (4/22/10)

Your Earth Week green tech finds…

  • Droid your dry cleaner: The National Organization for Women (NOW) has released an Android and web app (iPhone coming soon) for finding dry cleaners in your area that don’t use perchloroethylene (or “perc”).

  • Puma’s new bag-box: The shoe company teamed up with design firm Fuseproject to create a the new “clever little bag” that requires much less cardboard than a traditional shoe box, and creates a much smaller manufacturing footprint. Look for it in 2011; find out more about it in the video above. (via Fast Company)
Green tech finds (4/8/10)

Green tech finds (4/8/10)

Ink-saving fonts, energy-producing homes, and pedal-powered prison television… here are your green tech finds.

  • No package? No pick up…: Sounds like a lead-up to dating advice, but it’s actually the concept behind UPS’ new Smart Pickup service for small and medium-sized businesses. Customers use a tracking service so that drivers only stop to pick up packages when there are some… (via SmartPlanet)

  • The font’s the thing…: Want to save printer ink? Change your font.
What's powering your lawn care service?

What's powering your lawn care service?

Many environmentalists would argue (passionately) that “greening” your lawn means tearing it out, and replacing it with native plants or a vegetable garden. They’re generally right: by and large, lawns are water-hoggin’ monocultures that require relatively hefty amounts of energy to sustain.

If you’re not quite ready to dig up the grass, though, and you pay someone to maintain your lawn for you (or your landlord does), you can take a step towards a greener lawn by hiring a company that doesn’t use traditional gas-powered mowers.

Green tech finds (4/1/10)

Green tech finds (4/1/10)

No foolin’… here are this week’s green tech finds.

No foolin’… here are this week’s green tech finds.

Green tech finds (3/19/10)

Green tech finds (3/19/10)

Lots of solar and phone news this week in our green tech finds…

Solar for renters: Landlord won’t put up solar panels? No problem… the “solar garden” concept is catching on from Sacramento to St. George, Utah (as well as points East). (via HuffPo Green)
Green wireless systems: Feel kind of silly when your sprinkler system starts running during a rain storm? That just one wasteful scenario People Power believes its new wireless application development platform could be harnessed to address. (via Green Technology at TMCNet)