Nanoleaf and biomimicry

Posted in Alternative Energy, Solar Times by admin on January 21, 2010.

Biomimicry is the study of creating technology that takes on the natural flow of nature. The path of least resistance: Which is the path that the water takes on each time we drain the tub. It is a spiral. This biomimicry is the art of mimicking natures efficiency, and joining it to our purpose. And for the purpose of collecting energy from the sun via heat & light as well as the four cornered wind more efficiently; scientific developers are using the natural spirals inherent in the universe: Spirals that are the shape of things from subplank-length, and beyond the spiral path of the solar system running around the sun as it glides in southward motion throughout the cosmos. The spiral is found in all things in nature, including trees. This is the rational behind the nanoleaf as the portal for piezovoltaic, nanophotovoltaic, nanothermalvoltaic energies, as well as facilitated transport cleaning the air.

nanoleafThe companies like Solar Botanic are making great headway by combining piezovoltaic, nanophotovoltaic,and nanothermovoltaic receptors in the leaves of artificial trees that catch, heat, light, and wind to create electricity for communities in the United States and the world.

Stated simply: Rather than creating solar panels that are flat, only taking in light from one direction; developers feel that trees with leaves take in more light because trees have a spiral design aimed in more directions. Tree leaves are exposed to more light on every angle. The hard math supports this concept.

Trees also are more vulnerable to wind pressures due to there smallish size. The spiral shape of the tree follows the path of least resistance. The tree can take a glancing blow, rather than a direct blow. Just like a boxer rolling with a punch, just enough and not too much.

The shape of trees seems to be able to absorb more of the winds force than previous human models of wind turbines.

The motion of the trees petiole, twigs, and branches being moved about creates energy.

For the space taken up by current human design models for solar panels, and wind mills; biomimicry of trees can collect three sources of energy, much more efficiently in any of the categories in the same space than current human designs can alone.

We will get into Facilitated Transport a little further on. Briefly: It is an amazing aspect of biomimicry that is part of the nanoleaf synergistic model. Facilitated Transport does not produce electricity, it produces and puts out clean air; and removes carbon dioxide from the air.

Looking at the technology behind green energy biomimicry:

Clear of the inherent recurring theme of spirals in every aspect of nature; one fractal course of practical logic leads us to, for the sake of explanation of the next process in how this biomimicry is put to everyday use, is the ways in which nanoleaves acting together as a whole, true to shape energy tree, captures power.

The nanoleaf works with three types of energy conversion: Thermal, wind, and solar: Then air purification.

  • Nanophotovoltaic: The only spectrumof light that is not absorbed according to the developers is the reflected green spectrum.

Absolutely every other spectrum, both visible and invisible is absorbed by the nanophotovoltaic receptors of the nanoleaf. Yes this means infrared radiation is completely converted.

  • Nanothermovoltaic: Converting this warm radiation is where the nanothermalvoltaic receptors in the nanoleaf/ nanoleaves are the function of this technology. This infrared radiation permeates the air, warming it.

Hours after the sun has set, the nanothermovoltaic component of each nanoleaf is still absorbing radiation (heat) in the infrared spectrum. The rest of the radiating spectrum, not just this side shy of the duo tone can be plausibly utilized in the design of the tree.

Longwave radiation and shortwave radiation are also absorbed.

  • Piezovoltaic: When hundreds or thousands of nanoleaves are blow by the wind. This moves piezo-electric elements built into the petioles that connect leaves to twigs and branches. In affect acting as a windfarm as the leaves flutter back and forth.

The developers of this concept say, on their website,that in the average biomimiced tree branch, piezo-electric system produces millions upon millions of Pico watts; when thousands of nanoleaves flutter blown in a small wind.

The amazing effects of stronger winds generating wattage (from greater flap frequency) in this system are exponentially quantifiable and accounted for.

  • Facilitated Transport: This system uses a fixed agent that bonds with CO2. This keeps CO2 from being breathed back out of the leaves.

This process was created by creating a tangent process from a technology process developed and discovered originally by a Norwegian team of researchers.

The original Norwegian discovery modeled the breathing process after the human lung.

The model has room in the concept design for absorbing heat from evaporation and advection from the ground.

It is reasonable to picture how geothermal radiation reception can be added to absorb efficiently through a spiraling root system.

The current is transmitted from the petiole down to the base.

The base of the tree sends out all the DC current that had been created in different ways by converters located in the branches of the tree.

These trees are designed to beautify the landscape of Americas here and there: Through biomimicry by means of the nanoleaf, on through the piezovoltaic conversion of solar light, solar thermal, and wind energy. All this,while clearing the air of CO2; sending electricity to our homes, businesses, and community resources both near and far.

Build your own solar panel audio book

Posted in Books, Solar Times by admin on January 19, 2010.

Solar Panels: How To Build Your Own is a solar panel audio book.

This audio book is great for the do it yourselfer who needs to learn on the run; or those of us who are sight impaired, and prefer to listen to books at our own leisure.

The book covers the basics of what anyone needs to know to put together a solar system for there home.

From beginning to the end of the audio tape, the auditory listener will find this lecture series helpful on completing a project they have set out to install as a functioning part of there home.

Solar Panels: How to Build Your Own audio book is making photovoltaic information accessible to people on a tight schedule, those who drive for a living, those who can speak English but cannot read it yet, or otherwise cannot stop working to read, people who already have a host of other books on their reading lists, and the visually impaired Do It Yourselfers across this great country.

Photovoltaics design installation manual

Posted in Books, Solar Times by admin on January 19, 2010.

Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual is a paperback written by Solar Energy International: The renewable energy education nonprofit.

The Photovoltaics Design and Installation how to manual for do-it-yourselfers puts the information in the hands of everyday people.

Photovoltaics Design and Installation Manual teaches the reader how to design, install and maintain a solar powered electrical energy producing PV system.

This manual goes into detail about controllers, converters, inverters, and of course PV modules.

The National Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) recognizes the certification of SEI. This industry recognition of the authoring authority of Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual sees SEI as devoted autonomous source of PV training.

The programs provided by SEI (the abbreviation for Solar Energy International in this case) may be used toward attaining PV certification with NABCEP.

This book Photovoltaics Design and Installation Manual written by the Solar EnergyInternational accredited PV training institution brings to the written page the same high quality of information for the do-it-yourself community that this institution has become recognized for providing in the class room context.

This book covers the basics of solar electricity. This is why the Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual is a great read for people who are wanting to make a solar installation project quick, easy, and simple.

Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual also covers:

  • System Components
  • PV Applications
  • Mounting
  • Site Analysis
  • PV Generator System Sizing
  • Stand Alone Sizing
  • Systems That Interact Between PV and Utilities
  • Budgeting
  • Case Studies
  • Safety Issues

Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual is a practical how to publication. It has been produced by one of the most respected community advisory think tanks in the grass roots organization of transitioning every home: In order to make the best of some form of solar power usage in America.

Solar Christmas Lights

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on November 19, 2008.

Solar Christmas lights are bringing grid free holiday cheer.

A great present to give your pocket book this coming Christmas is the gift of not running up a high electric bill.

This holiday outdoor lighting set up runs on the light of the sun.

Instead of dirty energy, which is like giving a kid a lump of cool for Christmas, nearly clean photovoltaic PV solar panel runs this string of lights.

Although it sounds counter intuitive, here is how the lights work.

In the day light the panel collects the power from the sun, stores it: At sundown the lights turn on.

There is no need for another power source.

If you are looking to save money this season, then Solar Christmas lights will help you accomplish this goal.

These lights are helping Americans have a less grid dependent Christmas this coming season.

How about a solar powered wreath? 🙂

Solar Windows

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on October 29, 2008.

MIT engineers have invented what they call a solar concentrator; solar windows for the home.

Solar concentrators contain special dyes that help the windows absorb light differently.

The edges of the windows have energy cells that collect energy from light.

Solar concentrators to be used in solar windows:

The beauty of the above concentrator technology is that it does not need to move the track the sun, it can exist in a window and still harness sunlight efficiently.

According to Discovery and Science Magazine, project leader Marc Baldo, claims the solar windows can obtain energy from 40% of the sunlight.

Dr. Baldo also claims that the concentrator can increase the ability of standard photovoltaic (PV) panels by 50%. This is huge, allowing photovoltaics to absorb 80% of the light energy that hits them.

According to MITs website, these windows or the dyes, will be available to the public within the next three years.

Dr. Baldos research team, includes EECS graduate students Michael Currie, Jon Mapel, and Timothy Heidel, and postdoctoral associate Shalom Goffri from the Research Lab of Electronics. They reported their discoveries in the magazine Science in June of 2008.

Thanks to the MIT Solar Concentrator invented by Dr. Baldo and his team, solar powered windows will be even cheaper and will be able to sell back more energy to the grid within the next three year.

Albedo Loss

Posted in Solar Times by admin on October 8, 2008.

Albedo Loss: Rooftop Reflection Reversal

The loss of Albedo (reflection) has caused less sunlight to be reflected away from the Earth. Now more sunlight is being absorbed worldwide. This makes everything hotter. Can rooftop reflection increase a reversal in the loss of reflection know as the albedo effect? One young Scientist thinks that it can.

According to Ryan (an under aged writer) for the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), citing the scientist Wei-Chyung Wang, Albedo is defined as incident radiation divided by reflected radiation. Wang calls this the feedback effect.

Green house gases have caused the polar ice and snow to melt away itself, rather than refract light away.

As this feedback effect diminishes, more albedo is lost, even more ice and snow melts away, into a cascading environmental catastrophic disaster.

NASA Video: Loss of the sea ice

According to Ryan’s young naturalist report to AMNH the EPA says that he temperature in urban areas is 2-6o C hotter than in non-urban areas.

Deflecting some of the daylight away by 0.08% in L.A. could reduce this temperature by 1.5o C, according to Ryans research for the AMNH.

Ryan points out with annotation that research has shown that a building with a white roof top deflects 22% of the suns ill effect.

Ryan continues to point out the US Environmental Protection Agency wants to see a switch to higher albedo producing rooftops as people re-roof their homes, after the old roof needs to be replaced.

The albedo of an object like snow absorbs 90% where a surface like a forest canopy that is dark is very low. That is on a scale set from 0% to 100% absorbency. This is according to Lawrence Livermore/Carnegie Institution study on weather agriculture has increase the albedo in some regions through the clear cutting of forests.

The Lawrence Livermore/Carnegie Institution study found that forest are 1.3% more efficient at cooling the entire Earth that the more light absorbent surfaces below them. This due to the process by which leaves convert, inhale and exhale gas from pours on the underside of leaves called stomata. This water producing process is called transpiration. It accounts for 10% of the Earths water according to the report.

So what about Ryans point that the EPA suggests we make a switch to albedo producing surfaces. Would solar panels remove the radiant heat and deflect? Or what effect would roves made of solar windows; that is roves made mostly of glass treated with light absorbing dye? What about the proportion of moisture produced if tax credit and carbon stock is issues for converting to ecoroves?

Ryans study applied to asphalt shingles painted with a highly reflective coating; silver corrugated tin; black asphalt shingles; tin painted with a highly reflective coating. Ryans study is valid. People are not yet ready to all convert to eco-rooftops.

However the among the list of roof types the study did need to include solar paneling. Adding an eco-roof that provides a statistical basis for large-scale urbanized eco roofing would be an interesting study for Ryan to as a follow-up to his first study. Building an ecoroof is much more time consuming. It also requires a heavier investment, just like solar panels or dyed solar absorbent glass.

Ryans study on the albedo increase from the various surfaces he did have proved that white shingles worked best at keeping the dog house cooler.

His research into rooftop reflection albedo reversal is being recognized nationally as a possible solution to ambient city heat.

Solar Water Pump

Posted in DIY Solar by admin on October 8, 2008.

The solar water pump is advertised as an alternative to windmill and grid power. The solar water pump itself, apart from advertiser politics, is a great product for off the grid power for pulling water from the water table in a well.

Solar power (in this case for well water pumps) are a better alternative than grid power. But solar is on a level playing field in the market with wind power as long as the generator doesn’t stall from wind speeds that are faster than the motor can handle.

A few advertisers advertise solar water pumps as a better alternative to wind power, only to contradict themselves deeper in their web page where they say that wind turbines are a good alternative for cloudy days.

The solar water pump is a very good way to pull water from a well without the use of grid electricity.

The look of the solar water pumps set of photovoltaic PV cells come with a variety of equipment that are designed to fit in well with the surrounding rustic environment of rural living.

The panels are rectangular and they accent the landscape, rather than overpower it. This adds a sense of well being to old rural farms, both in the winter and in the summer. These cells look great with the water pump year round, from region to region.


The key is that the look of the cells used to run the solar water pump sit low to the ground. Lower than the well itself, or say a nearby corral fence.

There are attachments like the solar pump track that help panel track the sun as it crosses the sky.

The solar water pump is ideal for any home that gets water directly from a well and then pumps that water to a tank, or irrigation system for a farm.

There are submersible pumps and surface pumps.

Surface pumps can pull the water twenty feet via suction, and push or lift the water nine hundred feet.

Submersible pumps are for deep well water pumping, or long distance irrigation.

Solar water pumps are a great transitional technology for powering the well pump until less expensive installation and production ways of gaining free electricity reach the mainstream do it yourselfer, and are then followed up by commercial enterprise.

Since negligent commercialism lead to the environmental and energy crisis, gig advertising in any industry should not affect the integrity of the product.

Do it yourselfers know that a water pump, is a water pump. Hook it up to a wind mill on cloudy rainy days, a solar panel on sunny days, or home made radio circuit array on any day.

However, if your busy, and can afford it a solar powered well water pump kit; it is an easy time saver, as long as the company comes out to install the panel or the field fan. If your in a remote area that the company does not service, its still a time consuming DIY project that is going to need your attention.

Build your own solar-powered water pumping station – By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM

Solar Patio Covers

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on October 4, 2008.

There is art in utility. Solar patio covers are not just trendy. From a second story view the seamless integration of the panel is appealing to look at.

From below the solar patio cover is unnoticeable. A patio cover is a great place to install solar paneling. The location is unassuming. The renewable energy resource is not a statement visually at all.

It is there. But it is not loud. This understated power source is proof that solar power is coming into its time.

Video of a homeowner’s solar patio cover project

This is the beginning of an era where not having a solar energy source on a property is arcane. The solar patio cover is artistic proof that we are entering a time where the use of solar power is so mainstream that the argument for renewable solar power will soon be passé.

Solar Patio Covers provide shade, for outdoor social areas, carports, garden gazebos and other similar structures. The patio cover produces 200-300 kwh of electricity that is ecofriendly, and can be sold back to the grid.

Most installations take up at 250-450 sq ft area. When planning to install it is important to keep this in the back of your mind.

In many places in the American U.S. the government will pay $20,000.00 in rebates for installing a medium size solar panel.

Solar Patio Covers are art in utility.

Recycling Photovoltaic Solar Cells

Posted in Solar Times by admin on October 4, 2008.

The American solar power industry self-regulates itself by recycling photovoltaic solar cells in order to maintain an image of staying green.

Some of the materials used in manufacturing solar panels are dangerous. Imagine the political ramifications if a single solar panel manufacturer caused environmental contamination of any sort; it would taint the green image a bit.

recycling solar cellsFirst Solar has a solar cell recycling program, where new cells can be made from old cells.

There are instructions on how to do this kind of project all over the web. But for those who don’t want to do this, throwing away the broken panel parts is not good for the environment.

The CdTe cells have materials so bad for the environment that the manufacturer will take them back at their own expense for recycling. Its a win-win situation for everyone.

One of the manufacturers incentives to recycle is that by taking in old solar panels, the market for homemade solar cells would drop, as the potential market to give the consumer base creative ideas would then be less, as their needs are taken care of.

The company that recycles also saves money not having to create new cells.

The cost of purchasing old/broken/used panels from the recycling consumer is less than the cost of manufacturing new cells.

Recycling solar panels is also much less than the cost of dump sight clean up decades or centuries down the road.

Recycling keeps both consumers and recyclers happy and anyone recycling their old solar panels is still a potential consumer of the products these cells go into.

That is the bright side to buying American made photovoltaic equipment.

According to an article in Solid State magazine and the Washington Post, a photovoltaic cell manufacturing company in China was caught dumping tetrachloride in a field adjacent to the factory.

Dumping, is not the kind of behavior that does the solar industrys image any good.

Recycling old, used and broken solar panels however, IS.

In the United States manufacturers are self-regulating to keep the solar power industrys green image intact. Recycling photovoltaic solar cells through manufacturers that are staying green is key to the immerging industrys continued support from public opinion.

Solar Power Grants

Posted in Solar Times by admin on September 30, 2008.

Offsetting Initial Cost of Solar Power through Grants

Solar power grants are money given to an individual, company, or nonprofit group, be it from the government, a company, an individual, or a philanthropic non-profit organization; with the specific intension of promoting the use of solar power by offsetting the cost of installation or research with a monetary incentive (a grant).

As an incentive solar power grants can be in the form of currency, or the shape of a tax break. Either one helps everybody change from one energy infrastructure to the next.

An infrastructure like oil-based electricity is the most common system being abandoned, while some places are changing from having no power, to being able to have power through solar power grants.

Disconnecting from electrical and oil dependence can be expensive. Solar power grants bring money into play that is given, as a grant, because the needs of this energy use change, will benefit society as a whole.

The Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 offers tax credits for solar power systems and solar thermal (hot water) systems.

Home owners, commercial business buildings, municipality facilities, schools, religious institutional facilities all need to shift from standard wire and coal based electrical systems to renewable energy systems such as solar photovoltaic electricity, wind generated electricity, radio scopic electricity and others.

The grants help homeowners increase the value of their home, and cut utility bills by fifty percent.

This money cuts down the cost of redesigning and refitting the buildings infrastructure.

Changing heating, cooling, and electrical sources, modes of distribution in the home or facility, foundational support for the new equipment, converting it to fit the current of machines and appliances that are not going to be replaced requires skilled professionals.

While people to handle skilled and tedious or time consuming labor, licensing, building inspection for fire-flood-earth quake and health are all important projects that need workers and skilled workers who deserve to make a comfortable living doing their job.

Solar grant money makes these necessary steps accessible and keeps the journeymen involved paid.

Solar power grants help everyone live in a greener society. They make sure that the worker on the front line of transitioning our nation and world, into a greener ecofriendly producer, still gets paid.

The solar power grant makes sure that the people changing their building or structure into a green structure is not only motivated to do so, but also avoid any crushing financial burdens that were unexpected during the process of transitioning from an oil based electrical system to a photovoltaic system.

For those looking for a grant: Determine what kind of solar power one will be working with. For example, heating and cooling with solar power is much different from photovoltaic PV solar power; photovoltaic PV is the type that generates electricity while passive thermal solar will heat and cool water and environments.

Finding government and political support is different now than it once was in the past; the idea of individuals getting free electricity in the past was not thought well of in the capitalist society of the past.

JP Morgan said that he would not sponsor the Tesla coil because it would not make him money, for example, however JP Morgan obviously could not see how a greener planet might benefit him and his descendants.

Rather than corporate greed, and governments turning a blind eye: Both government and private institutions are now pouring money into saving the planet and our own economy as well as our own environment through solar power grants.

The paradigm shift between the thought processes of JP Morgans day, and that of today are overt.

Now both governments and corporations are putting a large amount of time and resources into helping people achieve free power for their homes.

Google is putting up ten million in grants to support renewable energy research. The U.S. Federal Government is offering up to twenty thousand dollars in rebates to homeowners choose to benefit themselves and the country by switching to solar power.

Due to the rise in heating prices this year has been record year for people in Maryland taking advantage of state grants aimed at helping them install solar and geothermal heating systems in their homes.

Last year the grants were so low that it made no sense for people to take advantage of them. This year the price of nonrenewable energy rose. The state government raised the grant amount as well. People flocked to benefit from the grant process. In less that two months into the summer, the $500K plus allotted for solar and thermal grants had been exhausted.

We are facing a global environmental crisis at present and it is good that there are rebates from our tax dollars that are helping us absorb more of the initial costs.

Solar Power Grants cut down on carbon oil output from grid-derived electricity; making money by selling the excess back to the grid company, saving on electrical costs, on the monthly bill and conversion construction costs.

Solar power grants can be very helpful in offsetting the initial cost of implementing renewable energy projects that help our society make the transition to a more sustainable energy producing culture free of oil-based energy generation.

Advantages and disadvantages of solar power

Posted in DIY Solar by admin on September 17, 2008.

One of the first disadvantages to solar power is the need for many solar panels to cover a large area of land. This can be taken care of simple by aiming solar panel reflectors from several buildings on to on absorption tower. The advantages of solar power is that is comes from the sun continually is constantly replenishing itself.

The light nature of this energy source dictates that a lot of light has to pass by to get a certain amount of energy. This is becoming less and less of a hurdle to get over since new technologies are coming out all the time to improve the percentage of light that can be turned into electrical energy in this manner.

Another advantage is that this light works in combination with other kinds of renewable energy. Light can heat at home or building, and natural wind and water can cool it. This is without the use of anything butlight, wind (breeze), water, and water pressure.

In the areas of the Earth that are missed by the sun from several days to six months at a time, solar power will only work in combination with another renewable energy source: Or a very well developed energy storage.

A plan to store the energy would have to involve stockpiling converted solar energy. At the current capacity it would take years to support an infrastructure of a region over a six-month period.

Still being able to sustain a good part of the daylight year free from coal and oil is a wonderful step in the right direction. It is also a viable place to reinforce the use of renewable sources such as solar power with carbon credits. This would make the switch from oil to something renewable well worth the effort. It would also help thwart any unforeseen budget deficits that could come up with an ecoconversion on that large of a scale.

The nonrenewable resources that are alternate to solar power have an even bleaker horizon just around the corner. Ethanol growth redistributes farming land, and bioplastic do this as well. If we same the farm land for bio plastics and food. We would be left with solar arrays, and reflectors on our buildings as garden art in our turn towards roof gardening in the common culture.

With the newest addition of the dye that makes windows absorb more light energy and turn it into electricity; we can place windows horizontally over our garden and farming areas. If they focused to much light onto the plants below the window/panel could be turn upright. Or aimed at an angle refracting light during the hotter parts of the day at something that itcan not burn., or even toward another solar panel.

The move to global solar power rest on the how hard the global community comes together, or put strong effort into taking care of there own people. Currently the cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels is not as low as the price needs to be. At the last pricing they coast around $20,000.00 each.

The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of solar power. With a little creativity, and patience our dependence on a central company to dole out electricity expensively will greatly diminish. And our personal need for self-sustenance with increase in a very time from now.

The Solar Battery

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on September 11, 2008.

A solar powered battery is essential to harnessing the power of the sun. The solar battery chargers that hold solar energy work well for 12V, 24V and 48V DC battery systems. These batteries have been used to power camping appliances and today can be and are a main source of power in “offgrid” homes.

Image of solar batteriesSolar powered batteries can power small lawn mowers, ATVs, motorcycles, cars, medium size trucks, field tractors, boats, and large RVs as well.

These batteries are used by people who want to save the electrical power generated for another time, location, or device. Some devices cant handle the direct charge from the solar panel, so batteries are used as the solar panels storage box.

If you want to use a solar battery to charge your car, place it on the dashboard: Take the cord and plug the attachment into your cigarette lighter.

Most chargers that are manufactured have an indicator light. This will let you know that youre charging what ever the battery is plugged into.

Most manufacturers use WATTS and AMPS to measure the devices output, or and receiving devices intake.

The place to start from is 15 watts. It will produce 1 amp an hour, if the panel is placed directly in the sun. That is also the base rate of reception for a battery. The higher the wattage the greater amp out put.

Batteries store the energy that is collected and act as a filter to protect other parts of equipment what could get damages with direct exposure.

In order to determine how many amps per hour you can get, you have to determine the size and strength to receive watts you will need. This is where determining what size your panel should be is important.

The amount of amps it puts out should not be above 20% of the light the panel is exposed to. With the new photovoltaic dye this percentage can get as high as 70%. However this dye is new and as of the posting of this article has not be sent to market yet.

Inverters take up a lot of energy. If you can avoid it do so. 12volts DC is inverted in to 110 DAC. We will get into solar inverters in another article.

Charge controllers are recommended for almost all solar power batteries. The controller can keep the battery from getting overcharged or overcharging something else. They can improve charge quality. If the light outside get too dim the controller can keep the battery from giving off change rather than taking it in.

Depending on the model solar panels come with diodes designed to block off discharge in less than ideal light. If your solar panel is 6 watts or higher its best to have a charge controller.

When you are thinking about how long it will take to charge each battery take into the account the power of the panel, the daylight availability, the time of year and how long the day will be.

A good rule to adhere to is if you need seventy-five amp hours of power from the solar powered battery, charge for double that. If you change for one hundred fifty amp hours you stand less chance of running into power trouble.

Often certain items can be directly attached to the solar panel. But if they can not handle fluctuations in current than its not something that should be done. Risking the lost of good equipment is wasteful. Using a solar powered battery, and if necessary a converted is the best way to insure the safety of your gear.

The modern electrical power experience has change from that of the sixties, seventies, and eighties. Batteries used to have a limited life, or special rechargeable batteries could be purchased. But still for the most part anyone living off electrical power had to connect to the utility grid, or by a special battery that eventually would need to be replaced.

This is no longer the case, rechargeable batteries have become common, in the same way that we now use wav mp3 and others have replaced as 808, record and tape as well as the compact disk. Now if we can get them more into the home of mainstream America we will be on our way!

Solar powered batteries have changed how electrical power is generated then distributed. For example the centers of rural Masai civilization have electric power in some places to solar power, and the exponent of being able to hook solar powered batteries to the solar panel like drawing water from a well.

Solar Roof Tile

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on August 26, 2008.

Solar roof tile is the fusion of the visual vocabulary that is essential to a beautiful seamless roof, and the syntax of energy efficiency.

Solar roof tile is much less bulky than traditional solar panels for roofs, it is very streamline, and very non-intrusive, while protecting a home from the elements, creating revenue, and simultaneously providing free electricity.

Solar roof tileA sleeker look than the bulky solar panels of the past that one thinks of when the image of such a solar panel comes to mind. The image of what looks like an energy wing of a satellite, only resting on roof tops is a thing of the past. Solar roof tiles are a look refined several sections down the dialect train from the antiquated image of our scientific past.

The general design of the solar panel needed an overhaul, a make over, a redo worthy of the reality shows on cable televisions educational channels. The original design was in 1954, so its visual over haul is past due, and has finally arrived in a big way.

This sleek look is the key to many families deciding to finally make the neighbors envious and switch to hipper, safer and rebate friendly solar roof tiles.

The panels sit on rooftops sowed in above and under the shingles with a tinted bluefish window color, and a dark transparent version of the shingle below it.

The panels are transparent blue in color as a stand-alone product, before roofing them. They weigh about two and a half pounds per square foot. The color visually blends very well with the surrounding rooftop.

The solar roof tiles design is streamlined to interlock with most cement tiles for a sleeker look.

Each panel is a whole unto itself. That means that each row is one whole piece. There are smaller cells that are set in two rows per long panel.

In the states where the consumer is allowed to sell power back to the grid, these non-intrusive roof tile solar panels are able to cut the monthly electric bill down to nearly five dollars a month. In many cases the bill is reversed, and the people get money back from the company running the grid for the energy they have produced.

The growth potential is massive. According to Wired Magazine some experts believe that so many people are buying solar roof tiles that the revenue potential is great enough to have Persian Gulf potential.

There are other applications for this idea, awnings, and other household surfaces that are hit by sunlight are a huge potential resource to manufacturing companies who are looking for new an undiscovered customer base.

Before this change, installing solar panels meant puncturing the roof and bolting the bulky mass to the frame of the house. This voided most roof warranties.

The three main companies that are commercially producing these roof tile panels at present are Sharp, Konarka Technologies and United Solar Ovonic.

Sharp is a major player in the world of solar power. They have made more solar panels than any other company. They started by pwering a light house in 1966. They have the most experience in the industry. They are an indicator company that shows that roof tile solar panels are coming of age in a big way.

This new solar roof tile method is not a warranty violation. The sleeker looking panels are selling like hot cakes. It is a sleek, hip way to earn money and save the environment without destroying the roof, or having an intrusive icon bursting off the top of the house.

Solar roof tile a subtle, ecofriendly, domestic, revolution of the future.

Contributed by David Allison

Solar BikeRayce

Posted in DIY Solar by admin on July 15, 2008.

The Solar BikeRayce USA is a yearly held international solar bike race, where creativity is more valuable than winning, with the main objective being to stimulate the interest in the sciences and technology, while raising awareness on alternative energy sources.

The raycers (a pun off of sun rays and racers); pedaled and non-pedaled solar-electric-assist vehicles known as solar bikes come in all shapes, sizes and have no one way to be built (from two, three or even four wheels), giving freedom to the creative mind and harnessing the knowledge of human collective in a way that only the passion and inspiration of art truly can.

Get pumped/motivated watching The University of Iowa, College of Engineering, Solar Bike Team Raycer 2007

Since 1999, Topeka Kansas has held this closed course Solar BikeRayce, and since 2000 it has annually been at Heartland Park, racing men, women and mixed competitions just for the fun of learning about the differences in design.

Formula Sun Education Foundation organizes this event and sponsors include; Kansas Corporation Commission, New Resources Group, and the Mid-America Renewable Energy Technology (MARET) Center at Crowder College in Neosho Missouri.

The fastest averages of solar bikes in 2001 were between 19 and 25 miles per hour along a 1.8-mile track.

On the average one might say, somewhere out there in the middle of all those designs, lurks a model of solar raycer that has yet to be built, but it is that singular model or perhaps even those singularly unique modelsthat could revolutionize the way we see private urban transportation, today.

So what physically consists of a solar raycer? Aside from all the custom components needed to build the bicycle aspect of the vehicle, these beasts of urban speed usually come equipped with such gadgets as electric motors, motor controllers, solar panels and rechargeable batteries.

Competing in an open fashion, is the only real way to reach the pinnacle of human potential, and Solar BikeRayce USA is honing human technology and creative seeds into a physical form that our generation desperately needs to free ourselves from the shackles of an oppressively over-industrialized western nation-speak that thrives on the precious and limited black blood of Earths bosom.


Posted in Solar Times by admin on May 21, 2008.

SolarSwim pool heating systems is a natural way to heat swimming pools, creating a centerpiece for family entertainment, living the American dream, in an outdoor space and improving the quality of life.

Using only the filter pump that already exists in the pool, the pool itself as the energy storage unit and thermoplastic pool heating panels, Solar Swim has been specialized in swimming pool heating and comfort in since 1990; serving New York, New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.

SolarSwim pool heating systems are low maintenance, come with responsible advantages that are good for the environment, economically sound and make for an intelligent choice in states where its unacceptably cold to swim outdoors for anywhere between 7-11 months out of the year.

SolarSwim uses free and renewable energy from the sun for a more self-reliant and sustainable living style.


Posted in Solar Times by admin on May 21, 2008.

SolaDesign offers daylight harvesting and lighting control systems, improving the quality of indoor space lighting, be it morning, noon, afternoon or twilight.

Serving DC, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, SolaDesign will help your home, school or business recieve awards, partner with other green providers, recieve payback on initial investment, increase productivity, evaluate a buildings systems for more efficient control and reduce overall energy costs.

SolaDesign comes with a proven track record for success, easy low-cost installation, optimal flexibility for your lighting system, highest quality of florescent lighting, significant reduction to your utility bill and automatic adjusting electronic ballast with daylight harvesting.

SolaDesign is an owner operated company with a multidisciplinary team of installation, supply and design experts in daylight harvesting lighting control systems that bring daylight indoors in a more sustainable way that improves quality of life for everyone, be they residents, employees or customers.

Sea Bright Solar

Posted in Solar Times by admin on May 21, 2008.

Sea Bright Solar is a solar powered energy contracting firm with location in New York, Califórnia and New Jersey; providing a turnkey system for homes and businesses.

Required rebates, processing, paperwork, inspection, incentive, permits, installation and all the ins and outs of solar energy generation, in an affordable manner; Sea Bright Solar helps you choose the best solar-powered system for your situation,design it and install it.

Sea Bright Solar is dedicated to helping the home or business owners break free of monthly electric bills from the grid, with turnkey sustainable solar energy, enabling clean, safe and cost-effective, renewable power through exceptional design and installation services for both commercial and residential uses, in New Jersey, California or New York.

Citizenre REnU Solar Rental

Posted in Solar Times by admin on May 21, 2008.

Citizenre REnU is a solar panel rental company that does all the hard part of solar energy, while helping the homeowner off-set their own electricity bill; eliminating high-risk investment with a single fixed monthly rental fee that makes more sense than depending only on the grid.

Citizenre REnU will own, install, maintain, check-up and procure all the documentation that goes into having solar electricity in your home, charging nothing more than a monthly rental fee that comes out of what you would be saving on the current bill you get from the local power company.

The biggest benefit to Citizenre REnU is that the owner will no longer have to worry about sky-rocketing electricity bills over the next 25 years, nor the cost of replacement parts, maintenance fees or anything except the rental, which is fixed and well within their current budget.

Citizenre REnU Solar is solar power for those concerned about high-risk investment, skyrocketing energy bills from the grid and looking to add that feel of renewable energy to their own home, for a more sustainable quality of life, that makes sense.

Solar Racers

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on May 13, 2008.

The Sun Powered Micro Vehicles Outdoor Racing Set from Uncle Milton, is an educational toy set of two Solar RacersTMfrom their collectable edition of six, as a part of the Go Green line; manufactured with an eye on teaching our children about the technologies of tomorrow, through the universal language of fun.

Ever since the invention of the wooden toy horse, children have been fascinated with speed and being transported off to realms of infinite imagination, it was no different with the first electromagnetic toy race cars, and although solar toy race cars havent been so popular since the space race, when solar race cars were first sold in magazines like popular mechanics, they have finally made a come back

Solar energy, the power of the sun, that is what Go Green is about, and teaching our children with toys like Solar RacersTMis a dynamic way to begin the conversations about sustainability and self-reliance, taking care of the earth as our civilization was intended by Mother Nature.

We dont need to use batteries to power our toy cars, when we have the sun, and it need not be any more expensive than one of those old racers that would use four double A batteries to go in circles for no more than half an hour and then need replacing.

Solar electric vehicles will go and go and go in the sun, and some will even go fast, if it is going to take a childs imagination to the future; to thoughts of self-reliance, for a more sustainable way of life, then that toy has done the job most educators can only hope for.

Manufactured by Uncle Milton, this outdoor racing set comes with two solar racer trikes, a starting gate, 5of race track, intended for ages 6 and up, for outdoor use only, on smooth surfaces, under direct sunlight; while individual solar racers are sold separately and there are a total of six different collectables, each racer measures 2 ½ x 1 1/8x ¾ with adjustable solar panels on top, shipping at 8 ounces.

This sun powered micro vehicles outdoor racing set with two Solar RacersTM, was designed to teach children about solar energy in a fun and exciting way, through the Go Green toy line manufactured by Uncle Milton, a company that cares about the sustainability of tomorrow, beginning with our childrens education, today!

Passive solar building

Posted in Solar Times by admin on April 29, 2008.

This book on passive solar building design, is a scientific approach to calculating available solar energy and thermal storage for the sizing of auxiliary heating/cooling systems, but will take the professional step by step through the entire processof thermal analysis and design of passive solar buildings.

Not too many people understand the concept of entropy, but those of us who do, realize that we must conserve as much available energy as possible and condense the jobs done by each and ever last particle of thermal energy.

This is a book that takes that concept one beyond, into the realm of the designing of buildings to be thermally efficient, year round.

People know what it means to stay dry and warm all year round, just as much as they know what it means to burn up in the summer, which is why this concept must be taken farther than just providing a house full of skylights and sealing all windows and doors; the walls need to be taken into consideration and the materials they are made from.

When people finally realize the importance of conserving thermal energy in the home, and making the proper use of it, the right way, the market will flood with demand, will you be that professional who knows the answers to the markets demand?

This 296-page hardcover, written by A.K. Athienitis and Mat Santamouris, was published by Earthscan in November of 2002, measuring 9.3 x 6 x 0.8 and ships at 1.6 pounds.

For scientists, physicists, building engineers or the hardcore sustainable designer, this book takes you through each step of thermal analysis and design of passive solar buildings for a more comfortable quality of life that is ecologically correct as well as efficient.

This passive solar home video shows good basic design and low cost building:

Solar Today Magazine

Posted in Books by admin on April 29, 2008.

Solar Today Magazine is a ASES (American Solar Energy Society) publication, coming with the latest in solar and renewable energy technologies, from biomass, wind power, climate-responsive buildings to photovoltaics, with sections for all major interests.

Subjects range from business, calendar, current topics, news on policies, the latest at ASES, investing, editorial, new products, readers voice, resources, safety, worldview, teaching renewable energies, views from state to state, wind energy to professionals in the area.

For the latest up-to-date projects, news, investments and products in the worldwide solar market, Solar Today Magazine is a bimonthly publication that keeps you informed on a more self-reliant and sustainable today.

Sun, Wind and Light

Posted in Books by admin on April 14, 2008.

Bringing architectural design strategies to life with Sun, Wind and Light; practical tools, that use the latest in passive energy lighting research, organizing information in building groups, building parts and individual buildings, this book clarifies the relationship between form and energy, applying their tools for sustainability.

Comfort in the home, school or office of today, goes beyond the materials and building techniques of the industrial revolution, we are on the verge of total planetary meltdown, but by taking advantage of peoples deep down desires to become self-reliant, and some of the most insightful studies into architectural history, as well as the natural go-green-trends, we can achieve sustainability, one project at a time.

As thinkers, we know that the structures people live, work and play in, deeply affect their psychology, as well as their humor, and overall well-being.

If we have a building that is labeled as energy efficient, we know that those people using it, are going to think twice about the de mode artwork the interior decorator decided to place on the surface of a lobby wall, where we know from experience peoples attention is definitely going to fall most intently, because we understand exactly how the elements should play around each other.

In what way can we use natural sunlight and wind to keep a structure well lit, well ventilated, cool in the summer, warm in the winter and know exactly which option for what job is the best one, right now?

This 400-page paperback, written by G. Z. Brown and Mark DeKay, published by Wiley in the second edition as of October of 2004, with over 109 analysis/design techniques, over 750 illustrations, tables and sizing graphs inboth inch and metric, measuring 11 x 8.4 x 1.1 and shipping at 2.4 pounds.

Use nature to your advantage, with to-the-point knowledge for using onsite resources to their maximum efficiency for a more sustainable outlook on architectural design strategies that take the greatest advantages from sun, wind and light in the clearest detail for professionals who need answers right now.

Passive Solar House

Posted in Books by admin on April 14, 2008.

A particular form of passive solar design, The Passive Solar House explains in subtle detail, the science of heating and cooling through solar in your home.

When we think about the amount of energy a home uses to keep it warm in winter and cool in summer, we are staggered at what an incredible cost, and we may even ask if it is really necessary.

Are there ways to make our homes more sustainable in this sense? Yes, and The Passive Solar House is one of those ways that has been working for more than a decade now.

Once, James Kachadorian kept a patent on these techniques, when he was the president of Green Mountain Homes, but now it is open to the public at large and even comes with a computer program that will calculate all you need to know about your own project, along with any design modifications, and what kind of changes those modifications will actually create in the energy efficiency of your home.

It really is all about being energy efficient and more sustainable.

Passive solar homes take ancient knowledge from civilizations that were once great on this earth, and fuses that wisdom with building materials and concepts of today; into something far more sustainable and self-reliant, that will get the job done today, and in the long run, save energy for your pocket and the environment itself.

This 210-page paperback, written by James Kachadorian, published by Chelsea Green in June of 1997, measuring 10 x 8 x 0.6, ships at 1.4 pounds.

A home that will heat and cool itself, passively, no extra expenses, just the remodeling, original design, or maybe even renovation, James Kachadorian brings extraordinary techniques to life in this book, The Passive Solar House, using solar design to heat and cool your home.

Allsop Solar Art Lights

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on April 2, 2008.

Solar art lights by Allsop are hand-blown Firefly(tm) original globes and flowers made of glass that stay lit for eight hours after sunset, using the rays of the sun during the day as its only fuel source and harnessing renewable energy to create a meditative resonance of light ambience that promotes a more sustainable gardening concept. There is the Calla Lilly, Blue Poppy and a stunning, Red Crackle Glass Art GlobeChoose a Solar Art Light

This amber globe comes with a detachable stake section made of rust resistant stainless steel to achieve two different sizes, a photo sensor that slowly turns on at dusk and it harnesses the power of the sun through the internal solar panel that charges the internal batteries (included).

No wires, no electricity and no maintenance, these solar art lights are the perfect thing for supporting a plant or sapling, while continuously creating an abundant amount of light for eight hours after dusk for a more self-reliant and aesthetically pleasing result.

Allsop Home & Garden

Solar Powered Battery Chargers

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on March 27, 2008.

Solar powered battery chargers were designed to increase self-reliance and improve comfort off-the-grid for a more sustainable way of life that resists consumption and improves on what we already have available, making the best of energy production ourselves.

Developed to take care of all the small-scale electronic needs such as batteries for radios and flashlights, the average cell phone, the game boy or just a camping flashlight, if you are going out into the woods for a weekend, electronic equipment can make the difference between life or death in some cases, and as long as you have a powerplant on-sight, you can set up camp anywhere around the world.

This battery charger made by GoldMaster is solar powered, with a built in 7 volt panel, it comes with an adjustable stand and is made of weather resistant fiberglass.

It will charge up to four NIMH or NiCad batteries at one time be they size D, C, AA or AAA.

It will also charge any portable game systems, torch/lantern, toys, radio/cassette player or mobile phones (all cables and multi-plugs are included).

It will charge under overcast skies (but of course, the more sunlight the better), the whole item measures 7 x 2.5 x 7, weighs 2 pounds and ships at 4 pounds.

Other Solar Powered Battery Chargers:

If you are thinking about bugging out this summer, remember to take all the essentials of good living with you and the family; a solar powered battery charger being the cheapest, most lightweight and efficient product to keep you in contact with civilization all season long.

Physics of Solar Cells

Posted in Books by admin on March 21, 2008.

For those interested in understanding the basic physical principles of solar cells as well as new concepts in the area, Peter Würfel thoroughly explains the key knowledge in such a way, that with a high school understanding of physics, its all clear and concise.

Photovoltaic energy is one of the biggest, most booming trends in renewable energy at the moment, but also seems to be one of the most technologically complicated for the average consumer to understand in depth, and understanding the why or how something works, is just as much a part of self-reliance as the technology itself is.

Solar energy conversion relies basically on the same basic principles no matter what tech is in play, and usually those consist of some kind of absorber, embedded between layers, with a unique ability to transport electrons from semi permeable membranes on one end to holes on the other.

In more experimental technologies, such as photosynthetic solar panels for example, the absorption is performed, by simply baking one side of a pane of glass or plastic with a colored die, then smashing a protein chlorophyll-like substance between that plane and a clear one, sealing the ends with conductive materials.

In either case be they photovoltaics or photosynthetics, the solar panel will agitate electrons that consequently migrate to where there is a need for them, creating in this way, a current of energy.

This 198-page hardcover, written by Peter Würfel, first published by Wiley-VCH in March of 2005, measuring 9.6 x 6.8 x 0.6 and shipping at 1.2 pounds.

    What makes a solar cell work?
    What are the basic concepts like absorption and the transport properties of materials?

Physics of Solar Cells goes from principles to new concepts in an easy to grasp language that makes sense.

Online Media:
The Physics of Photovoltaic Cells – By Professor Robert H. B. Exell

Solar Ventilator Fan

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on March 12, 2008.

The Solar Ventilator from Hong Kong’s Goldmaster, a self-contained solar fan for producing cost-free air circulation throughout the home or office working off of only solar electricity.

The Chinese have always known the importance of conducting clean and refreshing soft breezes throughout the home; for aeons they have known this from the origins of Feng Shui, one of their most sacred cultural heritages, more than 30,000 years ago.

Bringing ancient knowledge in line with modern technology is part of creating a better way of life on the planet, and the many different cultures on earth all have something to teach one another, if only we keep our ears open and eyes peeled for insights.

Taking a small breeze in through the front window, and out through a back window, is exactly like sending Qi (Chi) throughout the structure, allowing one to revitalize and refresh ones own energies, constantly removing the polluted energies like a river filters polluted waters, making for a more appealing atmosphere that feels good, all the time, without using a single drop of electricity from the grid and completely offsetting the owners CO2 emissions.

This Solar Ventilator is black, easy to install, comes with reliable polycarbonate housing, has a current of 300mA, 2V output, 20mA to 100mA motor-current, 1V to 3V motor-voltage, two yards of cable wire from the solar panel to the fan body and a five inch fan; the body measures 140mm x 140mm x 75mm, while the panel measures 140mm x 67mm x 8mm and the whole thing ships at only 4 pounds.

Using the elements of nature to push and pull air around the home or office, this self-contained window fan, the Solar Ventilator, transforms your home into a self-reliant temple of peace and energy that reflects ancient thinking in modern technology.

Making Solar Cells

Posted in Books by admin on February 11, 2008.

This book takes us through the history of materials, making and manufacturing of solar cells, abstracting how this area is growing and changing the world where we live, into something far more self-reliant and sustainable than any of us couldhave imagined thirty years ago, when it all seemed too expensive.

This is an abstraction from the source-book, Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics, a book that explains the fundamentals and applications such as capture and use of photovoltaic systems; Solar Cells picks up where the first one leaves off, delving into the industry itself.

Throughout the last three decades, explaining advances in design and manufacturing that have allowed us to incorporate this energy into an emerging renewable sector that is changing the world around us, one solar investment after another, in search of self-reliance.

Solar Cells is more than a list of the materials used in production, it goes beyond this element, into design, functionality, testing, monitoring and calibration, giving us a thorough examination of current activities in this field.

This 556-page hardcover, was written by Tom Markvart and Luis Castaner, published by Elsevier Science, measuring 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 and shipping at 2.4 pounds.

Making Solar Cells understandable; the materials, manufacture and operation, including current activities in the industry, and the journey that it has gone through to get where we are today, are all covered in a no-nonsense language that makes sense for the average American looking to learn from the specialists about what is going on and what will happen with the evolving industry of the self-reliant energy of tomorrow.

Online Media:
Making Solar Cells from Household Materials – Cornell EDU (adobe reader file)

Toy Solar Kit

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on January 22, 2008.

This Toy Solar Kit is an educational solar kit for kids, especially those with scientific curiosity, teaching children about the potentials of solar energy through the fun of experimentation.

Science kits have always been great fun for children, helping them to explore the world of radio, electronics, chemistry, computers and now solar energy.

Learn how to build an electrical circuit, solar circuit, increase voltage, increase amperage, increase current, how to use solar energy to power small radios, battery chargers, cassette players and other small voltage devices that use batteries.

This toy solar kit comes with a booklet full of experiments that will help your child understand the fascinating realm of solar energy, one step at a time, on a bigger scale that looks beyond price tags and investmentsand directly into the practical use this technology offers.

In the past, we used to think of science kits as inspirational tools, for children looking to choose a profession, but there is much more to it than that, especially when we think about how important solar energy is for the future of our planet, as the main source of energy for all systems on earth, it is quickly earning its place in a market that is opening itself to sustainability.

This solar deluxe kit for kids is manufactured by Elenco, includes a 14-page instruction/experiment booklet, pre-wired 5 volt DC solar cells in sets of 3 fixed onto black plastic frames measuring 5 x 4 x 7/16, 5 volt DC motor, leads, mount, fan blade, four plastic discs from 5/8 2 diameter for the motor shaft, a 5 volt incandescent bulb (with leads), sound module (with leads), graphic cards for discs, the whole kit measuring 10 x 9.5 x 2, weighing 14.4 ounces and shipping at one pound.

This toy solar kit from Elenco is an educational science kit for kids, that shows how solar energy works, and more importantly, allows your child to use their creative imaginations in an investigative way, to learn about one of the most important technologies for tomorrows world of sustainability.

Elenco® Electronics Inc.
150 Carpenter Ave.
Wheeling, IL 60090

Hydrogen Toy Car

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on January 16, 2008.

H-2 Racer is a hydrogen toy car, complete with a hydrogen fueling station, intended as an educational toy that demonstrates how hydrogen cars work, complete with a solar panel, and adding the final touch to a sustainable alternative that makes sense for the future.

Alternative fuels need to come from renewable sources of energy and the H-2 Racer is a non-polluting toy muscle car that gets its energy from sunlight and water, both abundant sources of energy.

We love our racecars, but more importantly, we love the speed that a muscle car can dish out; that movement along the racetrack, like a lightning bolt or a particle of dynamic, spinning energy.

The solar panel powers the fueling station, in turn, transforming water into hydrogen and oxygen, storing the hydrogen in the fueling station, which then fuels the hydrogen fuel cell inside the H-2 Racer for a powerful burst of muscle-car engineering that makes sense.

Hydrogen Toy Car Video

The H-2 Racer has the smallest on-board hydrogen fuel cell yet commercially available, requires no batteries, takes about 20 minutes to assemble, comes with an instruction kit, solar panel, fueling station, does not perform like a remote control car, will operate for about 4 minutes (100 yards) on a full tank, and ships at only 3 pounds.

This is a hydrogen toy car that was developed for educational purposes, to show our children the sustainable possibilities of tomorrow, letting the imagination soar, through fun and excitement.

H2-Car Brochure (adode pdf file)


Posted in Solar Times by admin on December 5, 2007.

A team with passion for solving technical problems, eSolar Inc. is dedicated to renewable energy (RE) that is cost competitive with fossil fuels, driving their engineers to pioneer a shift in technical thinking on the concept of solar thermal technology for a turn-key utility solution.

The solar energy plants eSolar makes are based on 25 MW units, and can lay out to over 500 MW as necessary to meet electrical power generation needs.

eSolar Inc. can develop custom solutions that make sense with an edge on solar thermal technology that is reliable, durable, quickly installed, stable, low profile and most importantly; cost effective, due to the mass production of small heliostats (which work like mirrors).

The solar arrays designed by eSolar Inc. use a parabolic solution, directing the full spectrum of solar light onto a single collection point like a satellite dish, working as a passive tracker, able to harness the full potential of the suns rays in any given plot of land.

Multiple arrays allow for a morestable solution in the event that one plant goes off-line, the others continue functioning; this is the perfect thing for hippie communities looking to build an Oasis in the middle of the South Western Mexican-American desert regions, as well as industries and factories.

This is a great idea for utility companies looking to invest in solar power quickly and cheaply, or cities looking to reach emissions standards on time.

But what makes eSolar Inc. so special, is going against the traditional bigger is better idea of most energy generation facilities (including renewable energy), using an array of smaller heliostatsthat are mass produced and placed geometrically into a parabolic fashion, onsite.

These smaller heliostats make production, transportation, and onsite installation faster and far more energy efficient than any other form of solar thermal energy that has yet to appear, eSolar Inc. is producing the next revolution in solar thermal energy plants.

Investing in renewable energy that is cheaper than fossil fuels is more than an objective for eSolar, it is their passion, creating a revolution that will show the world what RE can really do for a cleaner and greener tomorrow, starting today.

eSolar Inc.
130 West Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91103
Phone: 626.585.6900

Solar Powered Velomobiles

Posted in Solar Times by admin on November 8, 2007.

Solar powered velomobiles are human-powered vehicles, protected either fully or partially from the elements, with an electric-assist motor powered from rechargeable batteries and an onboard (or even off board) solar array for battery charging.

These can range from two wheels, three wheels or even four wheels if not more depending on their use (there are even velomobiles used as moving pubs!), but until now the most popular velomobiles have been three wheeled recumbents, while solar power continues to be only an option among those interested in electric assist, solar power has still been gainingrecognition outside the area of cycling.

The expectation among sustainable engineers in the area such as Frederik van de Walle (who wrote “The Velomobile as a Vehicle for more Sustainable Transportation“) is that by launching more efficient and cost-effective velomobiles with electric assist, targeting people going to and from school or work everyday in their cars that both public awareness on sustainability and public health will increase immensely.

By offering the single-seat recumbent tricycle style velomobile that works efficiently, with thin-film solar cells used as a skin over the existing body and an electric assist motor, with powerful lithium batteries at an affordable price, and in abundance to the general population for short commutes, a whole new world of sustainable transportation could open up that would greatly impact our worlds current CO2 footprint not to mention reduce traffic jams and cases of road rage.

Solar powered velomobiles are as of yet still only a design concept; those that possess them are usually slapping them together on their own, by simply equipping their existing velomobile with an onboard solar array, but as of yet, the cases of these are few and only for the more hardcore velomobilists.

What could change all of that and cause a real rift in the way we see cars and traffic would be if this stuff got out into the mainstream.

Today in the US, the two more recently commercially available thin-film solar cells and the more potent lithium batteries, are the technologies that make this kind of a change possible.

Without those, this technology would still be in the dark ages, but most importantly, the price needs to come down to something reasonably acceptable and affordable to those who commute everyday in the city.

It has even been suggested that the type of materials used in the frame also be made of renewable materials like wood instead of metal alloys that have been melded and shaped to an exhausting degree.

The short commute vehicle that uses self-reliant energy generation, develops the owners health, manages to reduce traffic jams and road rage and is readily available to everyone not so sports inclined both financially as well as athletically, will quickly dominate the scene across the cities of our great nation, only time and lack of awareness impede the market now.

With solar powered electric assist, tricycle recumbent design and protection from the elements, this is more than just a solar bike; a well-priced solar powered velomobile could be the wave of the future.

Solar Revolution

Posted in Books by admin on October 23, 2007.

Solar Revolution shows the path solar technology will take within the next couple of decades as the cheapest choice over all other electricity and energy applications; showing exactly how the transition to more sustainable energy practices will begin to occur.

According to Bradford, the global energy industry is one that needs to draw away from non-sustainable sources of energy and this book explains exactly why and how solar power will begin to supply both the economics and business of the industry with an alternative choice that works efficiently in a high-tech manner.

Passive solar and low-tech solutions like skylights, windows, cloths lines and water distillation technologies are NOT a part of this solar revolution however, as this book covers the movement towards solar energy as an economic transformation and the clear cut decisions of a capitalist system being forced into eco-friendly business ethics rather than a cultural revolution or trend.

This 254-page hardcover written by Travis Bradford, published by The MIT Press in September of 2006 measures 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 and ships at one Pound.

In the 1980s SWOTs made the difference, in the 1990s creative thinking, innovation and companies that were learning to learn found themselves marked by extreme budget cuts as the big difference, but now the trend has become emotional intelligence and eco-friendliness.

This sink or swim law of basic competition is what is forcing the global energy industry into following the Solar Revolution in an economic transformation andTravis Bradford tells the story that is already becoming a reality within our lifetime.

Solar Revolution shows us exactly how high-tech renewable sources of energy will soon be cheaper than all other conventional forms of electricity and exactly how you can take advantage of this today.

About Author:
Travis Bradford – Founder of The Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development.

Electric Assist Motors

Posted in Alternative Energy by admin on October 5, 2007.

An electric assist motor is simply a mechanism used to enhance the practicality of human powered transportation, usually such as bicycles, tricycles or even velomobiles, be they with traditional saddles or recumbent seats, using electromagnetic energy powered from onboard rechargeable batteries to assist the pilot in going farther faster, making for a more sustainable mode of transport than just electric or just mechanical pedaling.

Velomobile Electric Assist System – See it work.

Bicycles, even the recumbent tricycle (recumbents get the most efficiency out of our leg strokes), depend on the physical conditioning of the pilot to achieve maximum performance, be that performance speed, distance or both, making other modes of transportation more favorable for inner city transportation, such as the motorcycle or the car, especially when people enjoy doing as little as possible.

As an alternative, the electric assist motors available on the market today far outweigh anything that has been around before in terms of sustainable modes of transportation, but the biggest innovation has only come in recent years with more powerful and potent rechargeable battery packs, that are not only a reasonable weight, but also have versatile speed control options at the touch of a finger.

Electrical power to charge the batteries on electric assist motors can come from the grid or off the grid, models such as the Nano Motor or the Bionx Motor come with the electromagnetic motor placed inside a standard 26 inch rear wheel and pedaling or downhill will also further charge such systems manually.

Those with off the grid systems at home usually use either wind, solar or a combination of the two to provide a central powering station for such electric assist motors.

Practically speaking, any electric charging system can be used, but what gives this system an edge in sustainable practices is the self-sufficient autonomy of renewable energy sources.

In recent years, solar power has been pointed as one of the major determining factors in making the most out of electric assist motors, and getting them marketed on a larger scale, the keywords being self-reliance and sustainability.

An electric assist motor system with onboard power generation becomes analogous to the Viking sailing ships of old that could row when there was no wind, use the wind as an assist or just use the winditself when it was present; allowing more freedom of travel.

Who even needs to stay to the roads or near a gas station if the electric assist motor is on a mountain bike and carries its own solar panel?

Aesthetics however are a deep concern among enthusiasts, as solar panels have traditionally looked so big, bulky and rather non-curvature in nature, where sports cars look like bullets ready to fly, these have looked rather box or fish like.

In this interest, it has been suggested, especially for velomobiles (imagine these by thinking of the Flintstones family car), that by using thin-film solar technologies, the curves and the natural beauty of models such as Go-One3, can not only remain, but also provide the necessary power generation as they are flexible and even semi-transparent.

When such sustainable power generators as thin-films, are made with sustainable practices at the factory itself in order to reduce their CO2 footprint, solar electric assist becomes even more sustainable!

The electric assist motor is readily becoming a more efficient alternative to gas guzzling motorcycles and cars, even the electric car, as it uses less energy, and can be absolutely free when used together with sustainable technologies like onboard thin-film solar power generators.

The electric assist motor is a more sustainable alternative to the world we live in, reducing traffic jams by reducing the space we take up as single passengers in a four seater (for example going to and from work or school), allowing awareness about the alternatives grow towards a more productive and pollution free tomorrow.

Solar Bikes

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on September 29, 2007.

A little about solar bicycles and how they work

A solar bike is a solar powered electric bicycle, an initiative to promote solar powered vehicles on the road as well as a healthier lifestyle overall, by reducing pollution and increasing physical activity.

There are as many solar bike styles as there are bicycle designs. Basically, until in recent years, anyone looking to own a solar powered bicycle would have to build one on their own, but now they are available commercially such as E-V Sunny Bicycle and semi-commercially as well, such as with Sun-e-trike recumbent bicycle kits that you mount at home.

Solar Trike Video – To better understand the potential of solar powered light vehicles.

In order to make the wheels move, an electric motor is powered by rechargeable batteries (sometimes, inside the frame) that are in turn, harnessing the power of the sun with photovoltaic solar panels.

A solar bicycle will accept pedaling input and they have enough motorized speed to commute to and from work in the city for the average urban dweller.

With more and more talk of sustainability being the future, these are options that become more and more viable, yet, while people tend to shudder and cringeat all the physical strength required to ride a bicycle to work, the solar bike shines in more ways than one.

It actually moves on solar power alone if you dont want to pedal!

Of course, as any bicycle, the more of an athlete the rider is, the more efficiency a person can get out of them, but what sets these aside, is the motorized aspect.

A solar bike is not just mechanical energy, it is electric energy as well, harnessing the power of the sun to create speeds as fast as 32 miles an hour with pedaling and batteries together, or as slow as 8 miles an hour with nothing but solar power.

Some people cant even jog eight miles an hour, let alone run at 32 miles an hour. While it is possible to achieve higher speeds with an athletes bicycle, these solarelectric bicycles were designed for people who go and come back from work or school in traffic everyday alone in a car (sized for two to four, creating traffic jams) and never have to reach such high speeds as 55 miles an hour.

University of Iowa Solar Bike

Getting people to ride bicycles in the city to commute in places where they already have cars is like pulling teeth without painkiller. Nobody wants to do it.

But when people have the desire to hone their conscience with something more environmentally friendly that does the same job a car or motorcycle does, but better and in a self-reliant manner, things start to change.

Could the solar bike be that kind of change?

A solar bike offers a sustainable alternative to commuter cars in dense and overcrowded urban environments through clean and efficient solar electrical bicycles and tricycles that get the job done in a self-reliant fashion that cuts down on CO2 emissions and builds a better tomorrow, today.

Solar Power for your Home

Posted in Books by admin on August 27, 2007.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Solar Power for your Home, 2nd Edition is an excellent source of information on solar powered homes as well as other kinds of renewable energy sources; perfect for helping you make a decision for your own home.

Every conceivable topic revolving around solar powered homes, with updated information on state incentives and rebate programs, delving into the basics of solar how-to, as well as what other options exist and making a decision about what is best for your situation.

The authors, Dan Ramsey and David Hughes collaborate to provide all you need to know about home building, buying, construction, remodeling, general repair, design and renewable energy systems; all pertaining to the subject of solar homes to help you both understand what all the hype is about and make your own judgments about it, before making any long-term investments in the area.

It isnt hard to go solar, any average American who knows how to read and do simple calculations will be able to understand what makes this such an alluring field of renewable energy, providing the keystones to a more self-reliant tomorrow.

Solar power can be so techy that contractors and sales representatives can seem like they know everything; this is the book that gives you the right questions to ask them and at the same time, full understanding of they are trying to say, turning idiots into experts.

This 336-page 2nd edition paperback, was first published by Penguins Alpha Books in May of 2007, measures 8.26 x 5.23 x 0.9 and ships at 1.2 pounds.

This is the introduction of champions into the world of solar powered homes, so if you already know The Complete Idiots Guide series, Solar Power for your Home second edition could be just what you have been looking for while making the decision to invest in renewable energy.

Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook

Posted in Books by admin on August 18, 2007.

Solar Living Sourcebook from Gaiam Real Goods is a complete guide to renewable technologies and sustainable living. First written in 1982, this book is now on edition twelve with catalogues of information about how to live a solar lifestyle.

Over 150 pages of worksheets, solar sizing, charts, formulae, wiring diagrams and maps, this sourcebook can give you the edge on doing-it-yourself self-reliance in the age of sustainability.

No matter what your interest is on home improvement or just basically transforming your life style to completely cut your carbon footprints, this book covers all the latest trends, both historically and today.

From Solar Hot Water Systems, Grid-tied Photovoltaics, Sustainable Transportation, Biofuels,Passive Solar, Natural Building, Land & Shelter to Permaculture, Biodynamics, Natural Burial, Relocalization, Climate Change and Peak Oil, John Schaeffer and Douge Pratt are experts in what they call solar living,an American trend in the direction of self-sufficiency.

This 564-page paperback from New Society Publishers written by Real Goods founder John Schaeffer has been around since 1982 and was most recently edited for its 12th edition in March of 2005, measuring 10.9 x 8.4 x 1.2 and shipping at 2.6 pounds.

Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook is a complete guide to renewable technologies and sustainable living, written by a man who has been in the area since 1978 and helped build more than 60,000 solar homes throughout almost 30 years.

If you want to start Living a Solar lifestyle today, this is the sourcebook for you, from Gaiam Real Goods, for a more sustainable tomorrow.

Solar Water Heating Book

Posted in Books by admin on July 31, 2007.

Solar Water Heating is a guide to solar heating systems for water and spaces, focusing on the history of solar heating, how to finance it and how to do it yourself.

Presenting the basics and history of solar water and space heating as well as recent modern history.

Not too many books out there talk about the history of solar water heating, but this book does, making the subject not only appealing to the interested, but also informational for those who would rather not look at mathematical equations and technical drawing the whole time.

By dealing in the history of this subject, the authors manage to awaken the average readers joy for renewable technologies and the motivation to start doing-it-themselves.

Bob Ramlow takes advantage of his knowledge as an installer to explain exactly how you choose the appropriate system, sizing, choice of site, components, installation, operation, maintenance, advantages, disadvantages, pool heating, solar water and the different types of solar collectors.

Founder of MREA (Midwest Renewable Energy Association) and consultant for the Wisconsin Focus on Energy Program, Bob Ramlow has over thirty years of experience with solar systems. This is a man who puts his heart and soul into what he does.

This 239-page paperback written by Bob Ramlow and Benjamin Nusz, was released by New Society Publishers in June of 2006, measuring 8.9 x 7.4 x 0.7 and ships at 12.8 ounces.

This book also focuses on the financial aspect of solar water heating as well as the history and what to look for, when making it affordable for your situation today allowing your home, to be just that much more self-reliant and comfortable.

Solar Hot Water Heating in California

Transparent Solar Cells

Posted in Solar Times by admin on July 30, 2007.

40MWp thin-film transparent solar cells produced by CMC Magnetics Corp of Taiwan while Oerlikon Solar supplies environmentally friendly materials, production of transparent solar cells for the public at large should begin in 2008.

Transparent solar cells are the big secret these two eco-friendly global business partners are looking to get on the market by next year, through thin-film modules of silicon that conduct energy in an architecturally versatile way.

What makes these solar cells transparent is the use of TCO (Transparent Conductive Oxide) smashed between two panes of solid transparent materials used in construction and architecture, such as flexible plastic or rigid glass.

Thin-film solar cells can be semi-transparent to virtually black, because of the use of colored die that is usually baked onto the internal surface of one of the external transparent plates, thereby reaching into the visual light spectrum of conductivity.

A transparent solar cell works much like a leaf during photosynthesis in this respect, generating electricity in an astonishingly productive manner.

A serious, quality control, end-to-end, turnkey operation style plant, with experimental TCO technology that has as of yet, only been available to the academic community for more than 15 years; is now finally going to be available to the consumer.

The Oerlikon-CMC contract also includes upgrade production for the Oerlikon next-generation of Micromorph Tandem thin-films. Tandem Cells carry a higher bandgap, thus absorbing more of the visible spectrum from solar light and less of the infrared.

Oerlikon and CMC are working together to bring thin-film solar energy and transparent solar cell solutions to the global community at a price that is both reasonable and productive, launching a new era of architecture to those who enjoy the beauty thin-film technology.

Holographic Solar Technologies

Press Release:
Oerlikon Solar lands another major order

Got Sun? Go Solar

Posted in Books by admin on July 25, 2007.

Got Sun? Go Solar is a book that shows homeowners living on-the-grid (and suffering from blackouts or increasing energy bills), how to reduce or completely eliminate their energy bills by taking advantage of solar and aeolic energy generation that both works, and does good for the environment at the same time, bring our nation just that closer to sustainability.

If you want to reduce your utility bills and never go through a blackout again, Got Sun? Go Solar has all the information you need to know to do it right the first time and make the most of self-reliance from wherever you live in the states.

No matter where you live in the United States, from North Dakota, California or Florida, Got Sun? Go Solar is helping homeowners all across the continental US to learn more about alternative energy sources.

This book answers questions like: Why should our civilization invest in renewable sources of energy, is it legal, is it safe, how does solar electricity work exactly, do you need rechargeable batteries, what size does your system need to be, do you have wind, what does it cost, is there any financial help available, what kinds of permits and paperwork are necessary, what kind of hardware do you need and who does the installation?

This 159 page paperback was first published in June of 2005 by PixyJack Press, measuring 7.8 x 7.2 x 0.4 and shipping at 10.4 ounces.

Filled with web resources, lists of manufacturers, state energy offices, sizing worksheets and glossaries, Got Sun? Go Solar: Get Free Renewable Energy to Power Your Grid-Tied Home by Rex A. Ewing takes you step by step through this growing industry in a non-technical way.

For the average homeowner, looking to know exactly which renewable energy they should invest in, and how to invest wisely, Got Sun? Go Solar is the perfect start to finding all the answers yourself.

Passive Energy at George Bush’s Ranch to Al Gore’s Solar Roof

Posted in Solar Times by admin on June 14, 2007.

While George Bush already has a passive energy ranch in Texas, Al Gore just managed to get his solar roof on.

Between a ranch and a home there are a lot of special differences, as many as perhaps between George Bush and Al Gore on political beliefs, but the two seem to be really going passive on the issue of renewable energy, and in a proactive way.

Al Gores home in Belle Meade, Tennessee finally managed to thwart out of date building codes that didnt allow generators anywhere but on the ground, for fire hazard reasons.

As a solar panel is technically a generator, the zoning board in Gores neighborhood had to rule initially against it, until only recently this year the legislature was changed allowing solar panels on roofs as long as they dont get in the public eye.

Maybe because it was Al Gore, maybe it was the US department of Energys Mark Ginsberg, but whatever the reason, zero energy homes, buildings and commerce are now the latest Trend among Americans and Bush is in the lead.

While Al Gores home is still under renovation to install a geothermal system, upgrading windows, ductwork, energy-efficient light bulbs, rainwater collection systems for irrigation and water management as of the 12th of June 2007, Bushs ranch is already finished.

Al Gore has been trying to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council, and just got his solar roof approved by city council, while Bush has already been done for some time now.

Architect David Heymann of UTA designed the Bush Prairie Chapel Ranch to be a passive 4,000 square foot honeys colored native limestone single story four-bedroom home with a ten-foot limestone porch.

Maximize the Energy Value of Your Homes – by Mark Ginsberg (adobe PDF file)

Solar Hot Water Heating in California

Posted in Solar Times by admin on May 4, 2007.

By using solar water heating in California to replace the current dependence on imported natural gas, Environment California predicts that their state can spearhead the trend to move away from fossil fuel use (yet once again), in their April report of 2007:

Through independent research and tough-minded advocacy, Environment California is winning concrete results for clean air, clean water and open spaces that rebuke even the most powerful interests that stand in the way of environmental progress.

By focusing on solar thermal, the group believes that California could save up to 1.2 billion therms of natural gas a year. That is 24% of all the natural gas used in Californian homes at present.

Historically, California has used solar water heating since as early as the 1800’s and as a reliable and renewable fountain of free water heating, solar thermal energy really is the best alternative available in California even today.

If this really gets off the ground in California, the chances are, passive water heating will also catch on throughout the continental US, Hawaii and even Alaska! Perhaps even the world…

From California, to all of America, solar water heating becomes a streamline idea for the nation and world we have come to love know; solar water heating could cut natural gas use everywhere.

Environment California’s April 2007 report on solar hot water heating could spearhead a movement the world over.

Solar Water Heating: How California Can Reduce Its Dependence on Natural Gas:
Environment California’s April 2007 report

SunCity Co-Op with Mountain View California

Posted in Solar Times by admin on April 17, 2007.

SolarCity CA is a Green Company working in the Bay Area, with residential co-ops for whole communities interested in reducing their energy bill in 95% or in some cases, 100% through buy-now rebates and buy-back programs like those offered by PGE, such as is the case with Mountain View, California.

While the rebates on the buy-back program go down more and more every year, the race is on to make this technology as affordable as possible, as fast as possible, and SolarCity has come up with a Co-Op program for the Bay Area that makes solar an immediate and available alternative for everybody, right now.

By calculating all the factors in a systems potential performance (sun hours, tilt and shading), SunCity can provide the exact cost of investment to each private owner, but it doesnt stop there.

SunCity has contacts with GreenBanks that will finance (100%) solar energy for residential spaces with nothing but fax information within 24hrs.

SunCity will float rebates from companies such as PGE immediately (while PGE will take four months to pay SunCity back).

In the end; you will pay monthly, not a penny more than what you are paying right now for energy from your current electric company in the Bay Area, but instead of paying PGE, you pay the GreenBank back for as little as 8 years.

After that, its free for as long as the solar panels last (given the life expectancy of the most reliable solar panels; 20-30yrs).

At the moment, SolarCity is aiming for at least 175kW of residential power to more than fifty homes in all of Mountain View, Los Altos, Menlo Park and Woodside communities at once, because the economy and efficiency comes from doing installations all at once.

An army of electricians with discipline and skill, all coordinated in a clock-work fashion to install these highly efficient residential solar panelswith precision and technique at one single moment will ensure everyone in the neighborhood gets the best service/price possible; by simply using the collective-buy to SolarCity advantage.

Google Tech Talks has a one hour seminar on exactly all the highlights and financial details for those people living in the Mountain View Area, but even if your address isnt Mountain View, as long as you are within SolarCity reach (Bay Area), they are sure to give you the BEST price available on the market to day!

While The SunCity Co-Op with Mountain View California is to be the largest residential solar purchase of its kind to date (April 2007), it is also one of the most honest and accessible so far!

Solar City trusts in you for a better tomorrow, starting today.

Watch via Google Video:
SolarCity and the Mountain View Solar CO-OP

SolarMission Technologies

Posted in Solar Times by admin on March 20, 2007.

SolarMission Technologies Inc. owns an exclusive license to Solar Tower technology, used to generate large-scale amounts of clean, safe, renewable and environmentally friendly 200MW of electricity 24hrs a day.

SolarMission Technologies Inc. is dedicated to finding places in desert regions the world over to implement this revolutionary technology, that costs only 800U$ million dollars each.

One such effort was the licensing of EnvironMission Ltd. in Australia to publicly trade shares of this new tech, for the very first large-scale plant.

SolarMission Technologies Inc owns 35% of EnviroMission stock and uses EM achievements to help show the world how really incredible this new technology can be and not just for generating electricity, but also as a new wonder of the world, taking us further and further towards becoming a solar village.

SolarMission is currently working on disseminating the idea of this technology in the continental united states, such as the South West desert regions that suffer from ongoing power shortagesand with the growing population in that region of our country, a Solar Tower power generation plant just might make a difference.

SolarMission Technologies Inc. bases the whole solar tower concept on what used to be referred to in academic circles as a solar chimney, such as the pilot project in Spain just outside of Madrid where Dom Quixote first set out on his quest.

Traditional chimneys usually burn some kind of natural resource such as wood, coal or oil and therein release CO2, a gas that is highly enjoyed by greenhouse plants, which is what makes this Solar Chimney so fantastic for environmentalists, it consumes CO2 and generates energy!

This Solar Tower technology is taking us ever closer to a cleaner world, the pilot project in Spain for example actually produces a green house of native plants underneath its solar catchment plastic.

Solar Tower technology was not designed to be a green house, it was designed to be an efficiently clean and renewable source of sustainable energy generation, but the larger the radius of the transparent plastic material (only one millimeter thick) and the taller the chimney, the more energy this technology can potentially produce.

Infrared gets through the plastic, but not ultraviolet, and plants just love the moist conditions that occur at night, thriving to create in this manner an O2 producer, CO2 consumer
SolarMission Technologies Inc. does not propose a solution to recovering our atmosphere, but it does show our global community the founding principles of sustainable energy consumption practices here on earth.

Solar Mission Technologies would hope that one day, we could reclaim the earth of 150 years ago, with knowledge that takes us one step closer to a sustainable solar village.

Solar Laundry

Posted in Solar Times by admin on March 17, 2007.

Solar Laundry is the optimization of a Laundry dry cleaning company through the use of solar water heating and air-cooling systems.

Solar Laundry is an important concept for the future of Laundromats because of the incredible amounts of energy used to produce hot water and air conditioning; with prices just going up every year.

Hot water uses on the average something like 70% of all the energy consumed in a residential home, including the laundry, and if we use solar water heating instead of oil electric or natural gas, we would be using a clean, renewable and self-reliant system that makes a difference both for the environment as well as the people that live on this planet.

Dry cleaners and Laundromats the nation-over are beginning to feel the impact of a growing electron slinging consumer population by losing money every month with skyrocketing energy prices, that just seem to go up.

The more the talk of being self-reliant and sustainability start getting into the media, the more expressions like solar laundry turn into common household words.

By changing over to solar heated water systems and thermal air-cooling, a solar laundry will pay a fixed (reasonable) price every year, between 4-6 years for a system that is expected to last for at least 20 years.

Solar Laundry is a self-sustainable system that needs no maintenance or looking after as the electronics of the system monitor temperatures and solar levels 24 hours a day to optimize and regulate activity without human intervention.

So why more laundries going solar? Because the small business man who knows that within three years or so he will be selling this enterprise to take on another, is never interested in making a deal for the long-term.

And that is what a solar laundry really is for the businessperson, a long-term investment for at least 6 to 20 years.

Long-term investments are the ones that last, the ones that show commitment and the ones that are most interested in solar laundry, thus since 1977, only dry cleaners with progressive thinking have invested in this.

Once paid for, the system is absolutely free! And its the same in anyplace that one might be interested in opting for solar water heating; the initial cost may take a few years to pay, but those increasing energy bills will be a thing of the past!

Solar Laundry is the next stage in dry cleaning evolution and thanks to companies such as Solar Service Inc. that implement even enormous investments such as the 150,000 U$ system at the Worlds Largest Laundromat which saved the owner from going out of business.

Solar Laundry is a way to make do-it-yourself dry cleaners and Laundromats self-reliant within just 6 years, after that, its yours

Solar Laundry (Adobe PDF)
Video Example

Photovoltaic Laminates

Posted in Solar Times by admin on March 15, 2007.

Photovoltaic Laminates as solar shingles are an intriguingly lightweight and flexible form of PV technology, with durable encapsulation in UV stabilized polymers.

Usually used in conjunction with structures already linked to the grid, PVL technology is an easy way to make efficient use of any roofing or walled surface, such as a house, barn or skyscraper.

Much like shingles, photovoltaic laminates will hold up for years against the wear and tear of wind, rain, sleet and snow, while harnessing the fabulous energies of our sun on a daily basis.

Between 64W and 136W, this is a virtually unbreakable material that you can easily peel and stick upon metal plating, such as a metal plated roof.

Schools, municipalities, institutions, renovation and new constructions can all find money savings in this versatile technology that has been around for years, but rarely as widespread as now.

The idea that we live in a global community is now spreading widely, and the concepts of sustainability divulged with priority among nation-states; photovoltaic laminates are one more step in that direction, making capturing and harvesting the suns energy an easy and efficient step to be done locally.

Photovoltaic Laminates are taking our communities ever closer to the sustainable concept of solar villages, one sheet at a time.

Uni-solar Interior
Laminate Installation Video

Solar Tower

Posted in Solar Times by admin on March 11, 2007.

Solar Tower is an environmentally safe and clean 200MW generating electric power plant that can provide enough electricity to power around 200,000 homes 24hrs a day by harnessing the heat of our sun.

A single isolated kilometer high cement tower (3281 feet) filled with 32 power-generating turbines of 6.25MW each with a transparent green house glass in a radius of equal distance around the towers base intensifyingly heating the air to a point of 70 degrees Celsius, the hot air is forced to rise, and at 15km/s (49sq.ft./s) the excess heat is stored in the ground, being released only at night, providing a full 24hr service.

Once known in academic circles as a solar chimney, the market frowns upon the usage of the term chimneyas it conjures up evil connotations that remind people of pollution and nothing could be farther from the truth with a solar chimney (now known as a solar tower) as they are 100% environmentally friendly.

The first solar tower to be built was the prototype in Manzanares Spain, a small-scale project that operated between 1982 and 1989 (50kW), proving the system worked.

Now the first large-scale Solar Tower to be built is budgeted to cost 800U$ million dollars in the Buronga district of the Wentworth Shire in New South Whales, 25km north east of Mildura in Victoria.

The rights to build solar tower technology in Australia are owned by EnviroMission Ltd, who plans to build the first of five of these 1000-meter high towers by 2008, legislature and financial incentives should make this possible.

The Solar Tower was first put into field tests, largely by the passion of German structural engineer Professor Jörg Schlaich.

Professor Jörg Schlaich is one of the founding partners of the structural engineering firm Schlaich Bergermann and Partner.

In the US, Solar Mission Inc. is the company developing this ideal energy generating technology for the south-western regions, to sustain our ongoing energy needs.

Together, in a solar village we call the earth, the world is becoming ever more conscious of what cleaner, healthier lifestyles truly mean and the consequences of our current behaviors; this is what will disseminate Solar Tower technology.

Solar Tower high-tech large-scale power generation is the future of our planet, hopefully providing a healthier solar village by 2010.

Hybrid Solar Lighting

Posted in Solar Times by admin on February 24, 2007.

Hybrid solar lighting by Sunlight Direct is a bridge between conventional artificial lighting and fiber optics to achieve a healthier indoor environment and greater energy savings, possibly even making our nation up to 30% more self-reliant in electrical energy expenditures alone.

By a bridge, this means that the two systems are fully integrated in a technologically friendly way that has very little initial cost to the consumer or any major modifications to their already existing networks, has very important health advantages and are highly economic with incredible money and energy savings.

With hybrid solar lighting, the light of the sun hits down on a 48 inch parabolic mirror, focuses that light against a mirror that filters UV and IR light and is concentrated through over a 120 fiber optic cables that finally spit through a single spread-light fixture integrated directly into the traditional light fixture (florescent or incandescent) as an additional light (bulb).

Both incandescent lights and fluorescent light fixtures can be modified to usehybrid solar lighting technology. But in either case, the additional fiber optic luminescent is aesthetically pleasing and virtually unnoticeable to the human eye, unless inspected up close.

But the real advantages are in how the two systems play off ofone another; if it is just dawn for example, that reddish hue from the first rays of morning light will penetrate the parabolic system and this will illuminate the fiber optic cables with those exact same hues, color-code per color-code, everything except the UV and IR spectrums (which can be harmful to humans).

During the first morning hours, when the lights are turned on, the electrical lighting system will remain turned up to a low enough level that this natural lighting from the earths sun, can do its job with our biological clocks and wake us up as the saying goes, but still provide ample indoor lighting.

When the sun begins to rise during the day the levels of electrical light being consumed gradually go down, and from the zenith on toward dawn the electrical grid begins to pick up once again, without ever compromising those natural hues that are so essential to our human health.

By the end of the day, those hues of sunset remind those working inside what time it is, and that bedtime is close at hand, thereby creating a more humancycle biologically that is far closer to what Mother Nature originally intended for our species millions of years ago.

This conservation of electrical energy, through hybrid solar lighting would be fascinatingly important for retail stores, as tests have shown that this system can improve sales to up to 40%, while businesses that installed the system noted a 20% increase in employee productivity.

Overall, the United States would find that if everyone switched over to a hybrid solar lighting system, the consumption of electricity could be virtually reduced by 30%!

By the end of 2007, Sunlight Direct expects to have a working consumer model of this elite technology available to the public at large for a reasonable price and guaranteed for at least twenty years.

Hybrid Solar Lighting is making the future of our world a whole lot healthier and bringing the open sky back into our human lives.

Rent Solar Panels

Posted in Solar Times by admin on January 30, 2007.

The RenU program at Citizenré Company allows the homeowner to rent solar panels for the same price or less, than they are paying right now for a maximum of twenty-five years.

RenU program allows homeowners tired of rising prices to rent solar panels to generate a more sustainable energy source, rather than pay the rising metering prices on the grid; paying only for what they consume.

For you, the solution just might be to rent solar panels instead of buying your own, because Citizenré Company does all the legwork for you; buying the solar panels, installations, repairs, operations and maintenance.

The company owns the solar panels and the homeowner just rents them out for as long as needed for no more than the price of your current electric bill.

By 2007, almost two thirds of the continental US states had net metering, and a little less than half of those states had net metering everywhere in the state; while the other half had metered locations in only certain areas, the last third still did not offer net metering.

In a little less than one third of the states in the continental US, net metering was still not available for the states of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and Alaska.

The US states that offered full net metering services included: Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, Virginia, Delaware, District of Colombia, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Hawaii.

All other states only offered net metering in certain areas; to see if you live in an area that the RenU program caters to, has full details, including a calculator and educational information for those interested in going solar.

Citizenré RenU program just might be what you were looking for, especially with rising electricity bills, energy is precious and sustainable practices are coming to the rescue.

To rent solar panels today, just might make our tomorrow that much more environmentally friendly.

Compact Fluorescent Lights

Posted in Alternative Energy by admin on January 22, 2007.

Compact fluorescent lights are a great way to help save the environment and take our country just that much closer to sustainability, economizing the monthly light bill.

The same amount of light intensity is available with compact fluorescent lights of 15 watts as with regular mercury bulbs of 60 watts and CFLs have a life expectancy of around 12,000 hours, 15-20 times longer than our traditional incandescent bulbs.

Traditional bulbs contain mercury and while they themselves do not emit carbon dioxide, the fossil fuel powered energy plants and hydroelectric dams that we currently use to produce power are not sustainable with current growth in energy use.

Our society ends up burning a lot of fossil fuel just to keep those traditional incandescent lights glowing, a lot more than we would like to imagine

With the example of the 15 watt CFL glowing 12,000 hours from above that comes to a total of 564kWh; one third of a ton of carbon emissions saved by one single compact florescent light bulb throughout its lifetime compared to if it were a traditional incandescent light bulb of 60 watts.

It would be impossible to simply tell American consumers that compact fluorescent lights are better for our ecosystem, but if everyone in the US just up and started using them, the current supply of grid power would (at current energy consumption growth rates) be enough for the next twenty years.

If American consumers decided that what would really be good for our country is self-reliance and being independent from other countries as a member of a responsible global community; the growing area of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and biofuels could potentially free us from the mangles of the current fossil fuel economy, within a few decades.

Using a compact fluorescent light today, for three hours a day throughout its life expectancy of eleven years, will save a total of 50U$ (4.63U$ yr).

The more electricity prices rise, the more will be saved and even though they have not been so trustworthy in the past, CFL technology improves every year and are already much better today.

Since compact fluorescent lights come with such a savings, its already a profitable idea to start replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs!

In some compact fluorescent lights, it is possible to release as much as 2mg of mercury into the atmosphere the minute they break in the trash, so recycling them is considered an ecologically responsible action, even though not yet law.

Compact Fluorescent Lights without mercury do exist and still offer the same savings on electricity.

A non-governmental organization called The Forest Foundation for example sells mercury-free compact fluorescent lights as a fund-raiser (15 and 25 watts) and they are just as good as incandescent bulbs of 60 and 100 watts.

Compact fluorescent lights are one more example of options that could lead our country to a more sustainable world, if only we choose to make the effort to change.

Compact Fluorescent Lights are a great way to meet the needs of our now while looking ahead 20 years in the future.

Other: Compact Fluorescent Lights FAQ.

Solar Integrated

Posted in Solar Times by admin on January 21, 2007.

Solar Integrated designs, manufactures, installs and maintains building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing systems for large-scale production of solar electric power. Solar Integrated uses a proprietary process to laminate photovoltaic cells to fabrics.

Solar Integrated also offers portable solar solutions.

Solar Integrated clients included Boeing, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, GE, ProLogis, US Air Force and Wal-Mart.

Solar Integrated
1837 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90058

Tel: +1.323.231.0411 (USA)
From outside the United States: 011.1.323.231.0411


Walmart Solar

Posted in Solar Times by admin on January 4, 2007.

The company put out a request for proposal aka RFP last month to solar electric suppliers for solar panels at Walmart.

Twenty First Century Leadership pdf
Wal-Mart’s Solar Energy Vision by Joe Makower

Walmart has a big opportunity here, let’s see how they do.

Tulsi Hybrid Solar Cooking Oven

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on November 9, 2006.

Tulsi Hybrid Solar Cooking Oven is both a solar oven and electric oven in one beautiful design.

Tulsi Solar Cooking Oven was developed in cooperation from Sun BD Corporation and Rohitas Electronics (of India) to develop a versatile solar cooker that could be just as environmentally friendly on cloudy days as it is on sunny days.

The incentive through building a hybrid solar/electric cooking oven should provide Americans with more freedom of choice when thinking about cooking wear that lasts.

Tulsi Hybrid Solar Cooking Oven allows for better tasting food than fire stoves, it avoids fire hazards, and conserves reserve fuel energies like wood, propane and charcoal.

Tulsi Hybrid Solar Cooking Oven even comes with a thirty-day trial all-money-back guaranteed if not fully satisfied.

One of the very few, Tulsi Hybrid Solar Cooking Oven was designed to make our nation a better place to live, with solar cooking and electrical cooking both available in one portable package that is beautiful as well as practical.

Google Solar

Posted in Solar Times by admin on October 19, 2006.

At the Mountain View campus Google will be installing a cool 16 megawatt array of photovoltaic solar panels, the largest of any corporate campus in the continental United States, perhaps even one of the largest in the world.

Covering a total of six roofs, four of which are main buildings of the Googleplex alone, and even a few solar panels on support structures among the parking lots.

Generating enough energy to power around 1,000 Californian homes, approximately thirty percent of the peak consumption in several Mountain View office facilities will be sustained on these arrays.

Clean, sustainable and renewable energy sources are part of a project to reduce the environmental impact Google has, as a company.

Improving environmental practices according to Google, is part of their corporate responsibility as corporate citizens, as well as healthy business planning and Google Solar is a practical beginning.

This project will be a large investment in renewable energies, one that Google expects to prove as profitable.

The Solar Electric Power Association has more information on the subject, but the Google Solar commitment to efficient and renewable power generation technologies is an investment in the future that promises bright results.

Solar Voltaic Pouch

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on October 11, 2006.

The Solar Voltaic PouchTM is the perfect attachment piece for those with 60lt, 90lt or bigger camping rucksacks, and looking to harvest a little electricity while being off the grid.

Fisherman and fishing-women, camping enthusiasts, girl scouts or even the Crocodile Dundee types, will all find the Solar Voltaic Pouch a useful and important tool for an assortment of small electronics, with one single exception, laptops.

The solar Voltaic Pouch is just the right size to carry a laptop, around 10 liters.

The solar panels and special ion batteries were designed to generate up to four watts of power with three possible voltage settings of 5 volts, 6 volts or 7.2 volts.

This incredible solar-charging Voltaic Pouch is fully padded to ensure that fragile objects such as laptops remain safe even in the most-outdoorsy conditions and still fitting up to a 15-inch screen inside.

The pockets, pouches, wires and channels were all specifically designed thinking about both those looking to take a long journey across the Mohave desert as much as those looking to get in a few weeks out in the middle of the Brazilian Rainforest, just meditating on the peace of fishing in tropical freshwater, yet at the same time, safely connected to the world.

Loops and fastek buckles that attach to other bags with ease, removable buckles that can even serve as an anchor point and even MOLLE compatible PALS for military style rucksacks.

The solar panels themselves on the front of the Voltaic Pouch are made from a special aluminum plastic alloy that can easily protect fragile items stored in the front pockets.

Holding a total of 600 cubic inches of space, the solar Voltaic Pouch made by Voltaic Systems can charge either DC or AC as required and comes standard with 11 adaptors, including USB adaptor.

The Solar Voltaic Pouch can always be used as a standard charging device as well as a generator when the ion batteries are full. The LED light on the Voltaic Systems logo is a charge indicator with style.

Lightweight, tough, rugged and perfect for those looking to spend long periods off the grid, this Solar Voltaic Pouch will make life a lot easier, allowing for even the simplest of creature comforts, out in the middle of nowhere, where a person can be themselves, one with nature, and yet, amazingly, human at the same time.

Solar Voltaic Daypack

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on October 11, 2006.

The Solar Voltaic DaypackTM will hold 25 liters of daytrip gear and is perfect for those hiking around the city or seeing the sights in distant far away lands.

Business folks, will enjoy the Solar Voltaic Daypack made by Voltaic Systems, as it is practical for in-the-field work and especially last minute flights where mobility and communication are a must.

The integrating solar panels are key to this design, as there is no need to unpack solar panels that take up extra space in your carryon.

All devices are securely held within the structure of the daypack itself, including the solar charger, ion batteries, wires and channels for all sorts of small gadgets except a laptop, although it will store one easily inside the main pouch.

Solar Voltaic Daypack was designed to provide not only for comfort, but also safe mobility, while still generating up to four watts of electricity, charging the typical cell phone in anywhere from four to six hours in direct sunlight.

Made from strong yet reliable lightweight aluminum plastic composite, the solar panels, withstand the elements, including heavy rain, sleet and hail, but provide an excellent protection for delicate electronics or other objects that might be held within their pouches.

The battery pack of the solar Voltaic Daypack will charge at 5, 6 or even 7.2 volts, comes with a built in LED torch and can be used as a generator when fully charged.

The charge indicator is elegantly a part of the stylish logo of Voltaic Systems, a company thinking ahead.

PDAs, MP3, cell phones, digital cameras, two way radios camcorders…etc. Solar Voltaic Daypack is perfect for small devices, is cool looking, sporty and best of all, perfect for those traveling around on or off the grid, but still in need of immediate electricity anywhere, anytime.

Solar Voltaic Daypack manufactured by Voltaic Systems is freedom of movement in a world that is learning, little by little, that the meaning of sustainable solar energy; belongs to everyone

Solar Voltaic Backpack

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on October 4, 2006.

The Solar Voltaic Backpack is perfect for those looking for a portable solar charger and a large backpack in one aesthetic design.

With silver, orange, green or charcol details on the solar panels optional, this is more than just a school bag, it is an on/off grid 30 liter backpack of the future.

The Voltaic Backpack is made by Voltaic Systems and is now commercially available to the consumer.

1,850 cubic inches of storage space blends with multiple pockets and wire channels for different electronic devices, including cell phone, MP3/MPEG/I-pod player, palmtop, digital camera or digital camcorder.

The shoulder straps are an interesting design that include high-density padding, adjustable phone/MP3 pouch and a channel tube to an optional bladder pouch.

The back panel also includes high-density padding with nylon mesh for better airflow. The fabric is 840D nylon that is UV resistant PU.

The solar panels on the front are strategically located to protect fragile objects inside the front pockets.

Weighting no more than 3.5 pounds when empty including the battery and solar panels, the solar Voltaic Backpack is 20 inches high, 10 to 15 inches wide and 7 to 10 inches deep, holding up to 30 liters.

The 2,200mAh Li-Ion battery pack is well built and can be set to three different voltages, generate up to four watts of power on three solar panels that are lightweight, waterproof and eliminate the need for a car charger or outlet for a diverse array of small electronics.

The Solar Voltaic Backpack can be AC or DC and comes with 11 standard adapters including universal sizes for cell phones.

Solar Voltaic Backpack made by Voltaic Systems is perfect for travelers going on or off the grid alike, and ensures sustainability for the long haul.

Solar Wireless Access Point

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on August 17, 2006.

iRData Corporation makes and sells a self contained solar wireless access point. The SWAP900 is an access point for WiFi prepared computers that is totally self-sustainable on solar power.

If you find yourself in an Internet hot spot or rural network, places like construction sites, agricultural communities, sports or recreational events, the SWAP900 is perfect for staying off the grid.

WiFi users are the upcoming trend in Internet, as there is a good part of our country still living too far away from the city to be on the grid, and in these cases, emergency networks or remote private storage networks can be interesting.

Security monitoring with these solar wireless access points are excellent because of the hardy construction and all purpose mounting.

For this reason, RV Parks, Boat Marinas, Telemetry and Research Networks can all benefit from the sustainable resources that SWAP900 provides, energy from sunlight.

A solar wireless access point with the SWAP900 means a self-contained, 2.4 gigs of WiFi speed, and adaptable to any mesh-network.

iRData Corporation
2973 Harbor Blvd.
Suite 630
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: (714) 434-9964

Build Solar Thermal Panel

Posted in DIY Solar by admin on August 14, 2006.

For those interested in doing it themselves by building a solar thermal panel, The Sietch has made two designs that can fit economical and consumption needs for off-the-grid living.

Getting totally off the grid without sacrificing any of the basic creature comforts means providing such things as sustainable hot water heating for the maximum of energy efficiency. So how do you build a solar thermal panel by yourself on a budget in just a few hours?

There are a few options presented on The Sietch; an online community, based on the fictitious underground sustainable cave community in Frank Herberts novel Dune.

One design focuses on building with wood, pond liner, plexiglass, some screws and duck tape, the other on getting materials from your local dump and improvising.

For those building their own solar thermal panels for the first time, the investment of some 50 dollars in new materials is a great way to learn the basic principles of thermodynamics behind them.

Those looking to go all out and do-it-themselves for as cheap as possible, will find that it takes a great deal of creativity and sempre-fi to work around materials found at the local junk yard for free, as well as a good day just scrounging.

In fact, building a solar thermal panel is very very inexpensive, can be fun, made from recycled materials or materials easily found for a small price at the local hardware store and provide an excellent source of hot water on sunny days.

As a family project, solar thermal panels made together with friends and loved ones can be an excellent activity.

The wooden solar thermal panel illustrated in detail, step by step on TheSietch.Org is an excellent example of one plan that works well. The first prototypes, might leak and need repair, but with a little evaluation and care, can be quickly fixed up.

The metal solar thermal panel illustrated in detail on TheSietch.Org is actually a refrigerator coolant system, rubber floor mat, the inner parts of a sofa, duck tape and some aquarium tubing.

Reading both carefully is a great way to start thinking about the design you want to make and which approach will be best suited for your needs.

Solar thermal panels are a cheap and innovative approach to heating water in American homes, where the price of water heating is absurdly produced with electricity.

Have fun with your own creativity and build a solar thermal panel for your house today.

Wave Power

Posted in Alternative Energy by admin on August 13, 2006.

When thinking about power, few ever imagine the reliable and constant supply of energy that can come from wave power.

Wave power is simply that; ocean wave motion transformed and harnessed into electrical current, providing power for off-shore platforms, and even near-shore cities with grids.

Living off the grid in the middle of the ocean on artificial islands or atols, military bases for test sites, research, oil drilling, anything that is in the middle of the ocean near constant wave motion.

Wave power beating offshore close to costal cities, offers around 15,000 tera-watts of extractable electricity every year, even more than the global demand.

The different methods of harnessing this clean energy from ocean waves can vary.

SyncWave Energy develops one of the simplest, most economic, robust wave energy conversion technologies in the world.

SyncWave Power Resonator for example transforms wave power into useful energy for the on going and growing market of off grid hybrid and continuous into-the-grid power alike.

Wave power could potentially solve our worlds energy crisis, and create dynamic solutions for a world that is overpopulating by the year.

Off-the-grid communities living on artificial islands just might be the future and are sure to use wave power as one of their main sources of energy.

Wave power is a clean and viable solution for the future.

SyncWave Energy Inc.
Box 459 1422 Collins Rd.
Pemberton, British Columbia
Canada V0N 2L0
Phone: 1-604-894-0116

Solar WiFi

Posted in Solar Gadgets by admin on August 10, 2006.

What is Solar WiFi? It is a wireless digital network broadcasting that uses solar energy for those totally off the grid in a low cost educational K-12 effort to break the digital barrier between those with electricity and those without.

Solar Wifi is a straight forward out of the packaging solar powered wireless fidelity digital network for intranet and Internet users alike.

Ever since 1928 when Herman Potoènik Noordung published his soul work, The Problem of Space Travel – The Rocket Motor, the idea of bringing the worlds information and communication systems into one beautiful invisible web was first set down and institutions like GreenWifi.Org are living his legacy today.

Since 1928, much has happened, technology has advanced, wars have been raged, lives lost and almost 80 years later, we are only now beginning to see the importance of a globalized networks of human communication, free of wires.

Solar WiFi technology is an entire network that can be placed freely, anywhere in any pattern, without power lines or wires.

GreenWifi.Org is dedicated to a new battle, The Battle of the Great Digital Divide. Hording information is like hording medication from the wounded.

Solar WiFi is a technology that can breach that enormous gap between people, languages, cultures, economies and heal the world with free communication systems for those in places without, especially children.

If our planet is to learn from historical errors, the greatest ever was the closing of all Greek and Roman schools that taught the Seven Liberal Arts in 529AD in Constanople. Humanity never again felt thesame level of scientific and cultural advances until the publication of Encyclopedia of Philosophy in 1751 in Paris. 1200 years of darkness due to the lack of a proper education; hording information is a moral crime against humanity.

The more people with access to information the higher quality of life we can guarantee for the future generations, it is not only logic, it repeats itself historically.

What could be more sustainable than solar wifi for the future of our world? Investing in education is investing in the future.

The greatest educational divide with the popularization of the Internet is the virtual reserve of collective human experience and knowledge being limited to only those with access to the digital world.

Solar WiFi comes out of the box ready to use, and easy to install, allowing those in impoverished and underdeveloped nations to have access to the realm of the high-speed flow of electrons, anywhere in the world.

It has come time for Noordungs vision of global communication with invisible wireless satellite broadcasting to come true, Solar WiFi is the technology and GreenWifi.Org is fighting the first battle.

More Solar WiFi:
Solar WiFi Grid Networks (Adobe pdf)

Global Photonic Energy Corporation

Posted in Solar Times by admin on August 7, 2006.

Global Photonic Energy Corporation GPEC has created OPV™ cells which are low cost, flexible, semi transparent and “roll to roll” so they can be applied to any surface.

Read More about GPEC technology.

Global Photonic Energy Corporation
Princeton Crossroads Corporate Center
375 Phillips Boulevard
Ewing, New Jersey 08618
Phone: 609-434-0002

Sterling Power Plant

Posted in Alternative Energy by admin on July 25, 2006.

The Sterling Power Plant is a revolutionary concept in renewable and sustainable energy sources that can generate electricity at low temperatures of 150 degrees and doubly serve as a refrigerating unit.

Steam energy has been used forhundreds of years, perhaps even thousands if Alexandria really did have a steam engine on one of the vault doors as legend has it. But the sterling power plant uses steam in a way that is compliant to the needs of the now and far different than anythingused previously because it works off of low temperatures.

Low temperature thermal energy generation with the Sterling Power Plant uses elements such as butane and pentane to boil furiously at a mere 150 degrees and eliminates the traditional feed pump fora system of valves that heat and cool all the related elements of the system at once.

The problem with a traditional steam generator is that once the vapor has passed through the electrical turbine, the vapor must be cooled down into liquid form and returned to the broiler unit without loosing pressure. The feed pump would have the role of keeping that pressure constantly, while still injecting small quantities of liquid at regular intervals.

The traditional feed pump has been replaced in the Sterling Power Plant, which uses a valve that heats the liquid back up to the same temperature as the broiler, while building up pressure and after releasing, cools the remaining vapor to the temperature of the receiving liquid, then repeating the cycle again.

The same conduits that heat the broiler at low temperatures and cool the escaping vapor from the turbine are the same used to heat and cool the transition compartment also known as the heat exchanger.

The Sterling Power Plant can use any heat source that is being wasted or constantly renewable, such as solar, geothermal, wood or industrial waste from factories and such.

One other use of this technology is to reduce the cost of OTEC generators.

OTEC is a geothermal technology for deep sea and ocean electricity generators, with the use of this system which optimizes the structure of steam energy thermal dynamics in a way never before patented, it could be feasible and reliable for the long term of sustainable communities living out in the great expansive sea on artificial seasteading islands way off the grid, such as the ones proposed by René Kardol in his thesis Proposed Inhabited Artificial Islands in International Waters.

With sustainable, it is all about spending less amounts of energy and the Sterling Power Plant is a whole new way to look at generating electricity from solar water heaters and other renewable sources of low temperature energy, that meets that demand.

Company Information:
Matteran Energy
9061 SW 156th St., Suite A122
Village of Palmetto Bay, Florida 33157
Contact: Jeff Sterling, manager
Phone: 786-797-7007

United Solar Ovonic

Posted in Solar Times by admin on July 25, 2006.

United Solar Ovonic LLC or Uni-Solar is a world leader in thin film photovoltaic solar technologies that have an advantage over traditional PV cells, which is the unique design that favors the area of roofing products.

Wholly owned by Energy Conversion Devices (ECD Ovonics), Uni-Solar manufactures and markets peel-and-stick solar laminates that can be used on the sides of buildings as well as easily integrated with roofs as solar shingles, using new thin film technologies.

Any installation that uses Uni-Solar products can achieve between 60 to 80 percent of its energy needs, thereby reducing energy costs with an environmentally friendly technology that is now affordable for industries, commerce and homeowners alike.

Uni-Solar is a worldwide supplier, that produces annually some 25 Megawatts currently, enough solar modules for powering on the average around 10,000 homes per year.

Company Information:
United Solar Ovonic
3800 Lapeer Road
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Phone: (800) 843-3892

Atlantis Energy Systems

Posted in Solar Times by admin on July 25, 2006.

Atlantis Energy Systems Incorporated is a company founded on the premise that quality construction materials and principles should always follow a simple standard, AES solar shingles keep that tradition.

AES has two main BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaic) products, Sunslates (solar shingles), Custom PV Glazing.

AES also makes Solar Street Lamp Generators, that add dramatically to neighborhood, commercial or residential safety at night, without adding to the light bill.

Atlantis Energy Systems manufactures and installs professionally modern solar shingles called Sunslates which can easily produce up to 60 to 80 percent of a homes energy consumption.

Sunslates are both a durable and useful roofs that protects the home from the elements as well as performing reliably as an energy generation plant.

Custom PV Glazing is a more diverse service available to those who have more creative needs. System design, system integration, training and even project coordination are all included in Atlantis Energy Systems PhotoVoltaic Laminating service.

Atlantis Energy is working for the here and now of sustainable solutions for everyone, both in the United States and Europe.

Company Information:
Atlantis Energy Systems
9275 Beatty Dr. Suite B
Sacramento, CA 95820
Phone: 916-438-2930

Solar Shingles

Posted in Solar Times by admin on July 25, 2006.

With renewed interest in the solar market, this boom for consuming solar products has led to the manufacturing of commercial and residential solar shingles that can replace conventional shingles with the advantage of producing energy.

Producing energy with conventional photovoltaics means placing solar cells above the roof. In the case of solar shingles, the cells have been adapted to take on the function of conventional asphalt shingles as well as being efficient energy generators.

Atlantis Energy Systems offers a photovoltaic solar shingle that produces some 13 watts of electricity while United Solar-Ovonic (at shingles produce around 17 watts.

Both products withstand wind and rain of up to 80 mph and can be implemented either completely or partially on any conventional asphalt shingle roof.

PV shingles are made with a special thin film technology, making them far more durable than the conventional solar PV which would normally be protected with glass.

Solar technology is advancing and now the homeowner has access to a cleaner and more efficient way to power the home that formerly was reserved to only commercial and industrial buildings.

But at present the demand for these solar shingles is so high, and the supply so limited, that currently these solar shingles cost around U$ 12.00 per watt, making a full PV shingle roof a little too expensive for most US residents.

Technically these are just one more building material and legislation has not yet been modified to provide a wide spread national incentive in this area, so the homeowner or business owner are the ones who still have to put in the initial investment.

Solar shingles have the same warranties as other solar panel products which is five years and having an expected life span of at least 20 years.

However high cost aside, they may not take so long to pay for themselves at current US energy costs, which for the common household could be perhaps between five to seven years.

Every year, prices go up, and although a solar shingle roof, may not completely take a person off the citys electrical grid for 20 years, it will create a far more stable electricity bill by generating more energy than needed in the home during summer months, and all the energy needed during the daylight hours in winter months.

Any extra energy produced by a home with todays current legislature is most commonly redirected back to the grid and discounts are given for future usage later in that year, for both private and commercial buildings alike.


Posted in Alternative Energy by admin on July 18, 2006.

Also called a thermosyphon, the thermosiphon is used to passively pump liquids through a physical phenomenon known as convection.

A thermosiphon uses free convection, which means that the liquid being pumped suffers from an increase in temperature thereby becoming more buoyant rising upward.

As the temperature of the rising liquid begins to cool down, it gains density and will thus fall downward, influenced by gravity.

What is clear in this process is that a common thermosiphon does not push hot liquid up and cool liquid down, but rather the force of gravity pulls cool (or far denser) liquids down (toward the center of the earth).

While the consequent vacuum is what creates the siphon effect pulling hot liquids up (or in whatever direction the piping points, generally away from the center of the earth).

The upward movement of heated liquids such as water is one of the most common uses for a thermosiphon, usually in the design of a solar water heater box panel with the reservoir located directly above the solar collector.

Solartrope Supply Corporation makes an interesting passive design that fits the average home-owners needs, providing both hot water and water pressure.

But a thermosiphon can be used anywhere there is a lot of heat being generated, such as on the computer processor of a CPU, where the cold liquid is used as a coolant for the whole casing.

Anything called noiseless usually follows the thermosiphon profile and the simpler designs just cool the insides of any CPU, usually blowing a fan through a thermosiphon radiator.

Being creative with this process is a tradition in the field of thermosiphoning. One such variant on the thermosiphon design are the variothermal wall and floor heating/cooling modules.

As the world of sustainable and passive solar products start to get more and more recognition from the new world economy, thermosiphons get more and more credit from the investing community.

Thermosiphons create whole new realms of products and designs that make the future look ever brighter.

Themosiphon Systems Diagram

Alternative Energy Inverter

Posted in Alternative Energy by admin on June 29, 2006.

What is an Alternative Energy Inverter?

So you have decided to take the wise step and invest in Alternative Energy. We know we need a wind, water or solar energy source. For this example we will use solar the sun and our solar panels will supply the DC current. All of the alternative energy options need an Inverter.

We have the free renewable energy so how do we change it to alternating current that our house uses? That is where the inverter comes in.

There are three types of inverters.

Multi Function Inverter – With this inverter you will still be connected to the utility lines, a set of batteries and if desired a generator. If traditional power fails the batteries and generator kick in. The advantage of the multi function is that you can charge your batteries either via solar panel or the utility lines. Our goal is to live totally off the grid so we will pass on the multi function.

Synchronous Inverter – This is a great inverter for people who are connected to the grid and want to sell back excess electricity to the power company. Another interesting feature is you need no battery storage setup. For example in week one you produced fifty dollars in electricity but only used twenty-five worth. In this case you would have a twenty-five dollar credit towards power when the Solar panels were not producing enough DC current to power your house. There is a downside tothe Synchronous Inverter and that is a long payback period.

Standalone Inverter – With the standalone inverter you run the house off a battery pack. With recent major advancements in battery storage technology this is a very viable option. Basically you calculate the total wattage of all appliances in the house. This is an important step and must be done correctly. Look at each item run by electric, usually you can find the wattage listed near the plug. Add each wattage for a total wattage at peak usage figure. Your standalone inverter must have an output that exceeds this peak usage figure. For safety sake we suggest you get an inverter with at least a fifteen percent higher output then your peak wattage usage figure.

Recent increase in Inverter technology has raised the efficiency of Inverters to 97%. This will help spread the Alternative energy message to the masses. Are you ready to hear it?

A good basic example of an inverter

Solar Array

Posted in Solar Times by admin on June 24, 2006.

What is a Solar Array?

This term may confuse the novice in solar energy, but generally speaking a solar array is any order or group of solar panels that may be of one single or mixed types with the intent to capture and transform sunlight into some other form of energy. View a few systems here to visualize and get an idea what we are talking about.

The word array comes from the Old French word areer to put in order. Perhaps even further back, the meaning to ready is more appropriate as this is the task of any solar array, to put in order or to ready solar energy into something we humans can use directly or indirectly in order to be more sustainable.

The solar array chosen will depend on what the need is. Someone looking for enough electrical energy to power an entire house, strictly on solar energy, and that includes electrically heating their water, will need a totally different solar array than one that heats their water directly with solar energy.

There are two more traditional styles of solar energy panels used in residential, commercial and industrial areas today. The two most popular are photovoltaic energy and photothermal energy. Most solar arrays to date have been a mixture of these two viable systems.

Heating water can be pretty expensive for those who use electrical water heaters, either centralized or directly on the showerhead, such as in countries where the climate is usually very hot and people rarely need a hot bath.

In those places where taking a hot bath is more important year round, the house will usually be completely prepared for both hot and cold water on all spouts, but there is a central water heater that is once again either electric, gas, or even oil powered.

But for do-it-yourselfers that are trying to get partially off the grid, these seem to be the most cost effective approaches as they are relatively low-tech.

Most solar water heater arrays are nothing more than a folded tin box made in shop class with a hack saw and a vice, a piping of squiggling copper inside the box and a glass face, everything painted black.

In the northern hemisphere it can be propped up at a 45 degree angle on the roof and water going through the copper pipe comes out scalding steam on the other end.

For centrally planned water heating, solar water heaters are the best alternative in brighter months leaving something to be desired in darker months such as winter when most needed.

So different strategies are needed for different times of the year, different locations or different weather conditions all together. Mobile homes and sailboats must be the most versatile as they suffer the most inconsistencies with long-term climate predictions.

So what does one need to keep in mind when choosing their solar array?

  • Placement – The solar array must be placed at an angle that will best capture the most direct sunlight.
  • Direct Sunlight – Both active and passive solar trackers can help the solar array become more efficient for a longer period during the day.
  • System Needs – Every solar array needs to comply with the needs of the system and its consumers for worse case scenarios.
  • Shade – Any shade or light obstructions will inhibit the solar arrays effectiveness.
  • Technology – Possible solar arrays may include such diverse mixtures as photovoltaic, photothermal, photosynthetic, holographic photovoltaics, PV-TV or any single one alone depending on the systems needs.

Ultimately, water heating is the biggest concern for those who are thinking about a residential system and want to get away from the use of fossil fuels, natural gas, grid electricity or any-other resource that must be collected from outside the solar array alone.

Holographic photovoltaics are an interesting alternative for their low-cost, neat look and especially passive tracking optics system. Not to mention they use 85% less silicon than traditional photovoltaics and are much cooler panels with semi-transparent plating for additional indoor natural lighting as a skylight or window.

For the pure production of electricity the time proven alternative for solar arrays is definitely any of the different generations of traditional photovoltaic solar cells. Some are cheaper than others and some are more efficient than others.

There are so many that there isnt space to cover each one in this article, but they do the job and are consumer tested. They may take anywhere from 5 to 20 years to pay for themselves, making them a mid range consumer cost.

If money is no object and the design is everything, then photosynthetic mosaic canvases or even PV-TV arrays can be used as a skin for commercial buildings or residential mansions. These translucent windows can be flexible plastic or solid and unbreakable sleet proof glass; they are quiet powerful and cut electricity bills completely adding to the energy on the grid. Some used as two-way mirrors can be doubly used as low light billboards or theater screens. These are the solar arrays for serious big business consumers.

In the end, there are many ways to build or use a solar array, either commercially or buying the parts and doing it ones self. But what goes into a solar array is an orderly arrangement, to best ready the harnessing of sunlight for sustainable needs. A solar array is a way to catch a beam of light from the earths sun and transform that heavenly power into a useable fuel that is clean and renewing, for the further growth and well-being of human civilization.

Bob’s Homemade Solar Array

Magnetek Solar Inverter

Posted in Alternative Energy by admin on June 22, 2006.

Magnetek Inc. offers new highly efficient solar converters.

There have been dramatic increases in use of alternative energy such as solar, hydro and wind power. Between the years of 2004 and 2005 alone there was a fifty percent increase in alternative energy usage.

One of the key components in an alternative energy system is the inverter. Simply put the inverter turns the alternative energy solar for example from DC Direct Current to AC Alternating Current. Alternating Current is what we use in our homes. DC current can be gathered either directly from a solar panel of set of batteries.

In either situation you need an inverter. For the last decade the efficiency of inverters has been a major roadblock to wide scale adoption of alternative energy.

This roadblock has been busted and blown away by a company called Magnetek Inc. Magnetek Aurora™ has produced a non-transistor based inverter, which has an efficiency rating of 97%. This level of efficiency is an important breakthrough towards wide scale adoption because it lowers overall installation costs.

Magnetek developed the inverter called the Aurora, which has a very wide DC input range. This wide range allows DC input from ninety to six hundred volts. Along with this large range the Aurora can pull from multiple alternative energy sources.

Could this be the missing piece to the alternative energy puzzle? Initial indications and adoption growth rates say it might just be.

Magnetek Press
Google Finance Data

Company Info:
Magnetek, Inc.
8966 Mason Avenue
Chatsworth, CA 91311
818/727-2219 (fax)

Nanosolar Solar Cells

Posted in Solar Times by admin on June 22, 2006.

In a potentially world changing effort a Palo Alto company called Nanosolar has developed paper thin solar cells. Currently Nanosolar is looking at three potential California based locations to build a factory to produce these paper-thin solar cells.

Currently the total production of solar cells in the United States will only produce slightly over one hundred and fifty megawatts of power. In comparison the new Nanosolar plant alone will be able to produce close to three times that amount.

This is a huge leap forward for solar technology in a couple of important ways. The first is that the founders of Google funded Nanosolar. This type of availability of capital and worldwide exposure will greatly help Nanosolar gear up rapidly.

The second key factor is that Nanosolar solar cells are built differently then current solar cells. The majority of current solar cells contain silicon crystals. When sunlight hits the cells the electrons in the crystals are excited and energy is produced. This process is very expensive and the demand for the silicon crystals far exceeds the supply, which further increases prices. For example the growth rate of solar cell usage increased over fifty percent between 2004 and 2005. This expenditure on solar cells is predicted to increase to over fifty one billion dollars by the year 2015.

So how does Nanosolar solve this problem? By producing a solar cell based on a copper alloy versus silicon crystals. This copper alloy is one-fifth the price of silicon crystals. The flexibility of the alloy also allows for cells to be mass-produced in sheets. These paper-thin sheets can then be cut and used for individual applications. The U.S. Army is experimenting with this product to help power certain field equipment such as radios and field phone systems.

When the new plant is finished it will be the largest solar cell producing plant in the world. Both investors, and environmentalists are excited about the huge positive impact this technology could have on the world. In the not to distant future you will literally be able to wear your laptop power supply. Not only does this technology make sense from a financial standpoint but it can also be the catalyst, which will make solar power attractive and affordable for the masses.

Mercury News Article
Google Finance Data

Company Info:
Nanosolar, Inc.
2440 Embarcadero Way
Palo Alto, CA 94303-3313
650.565.8891 Phone
650.565.8894 Fax

Solar Israel

Posted in Solar Times by admin on June 14, 2006.

Solar Energy in Negev for Half of Israel

Israel’s big deserts such as the Mojave where solar energy plants have been built to harness the power of the sun will be used as models for the Negev in Israel. An amazing half of the countries needs within the next 15 years and they will still have power left over to help Jordan, coming to more than 80% of their needs in 30 years.

Small US based organizations began in recent years with low budgets to implement phase one and this year phase two is already under way. Government funding is used in small doses to produce sustainable villages such as the Bedouin village of Derijat.

Seeing how Derijat is not linked to the grid, their conventional lighting comes through portable fossil fuel generators, with new solar sustainability; Derijat becomes a valuable source of non-pollution as well as energy generation.

Many energy companies, even international ones are in on this project. The Solar Electric Generating System (or SEGS) in California is a Solel system:

The largest new project in which Solel may participate is the building of a new large-scale solar power plant in the Israeli Negev desert. Like the Mojave Desert, the Negev is a large area, mostly uninhabited and has ample sunlight all year round. –

With major political figures heading these projects such as Amos Yaron, engineer Dov Raviv (MST), Vice Premier Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Jordans King Abdullah, this project could potentially provide 80% of Jordans energy at the end of 30 years according to

Starting small with little villages such as Derijat in the initial wave the project will grow. After implementing and educating the population on maintenance and repair, the plan is to build larger solar plants that once built, will provide jobs for local residents and a source of power so intense, over half the power in Israel will come from the Negev region.

Image credit:

Solel Thermosolar Units

Posted in Solar Times by admin on June 13, 2006.

Solel Solar Systems Ltd. the maker of solar thermal systems annouced today that they have won a contract to upgrade (7) solar power stations in California that are owned an operated by FPL Energy.

Globes: Under the contract, Solel Solar Systems will be the sole technology contractor, supplying FPL Energy with 48,000 solar third-generation thermosolar collectors and heat transport units, which the company says convert solar energy 30% more efficiently than existing units. The company’s units generate non-polluting electricity for a greater number of residences at lower operating costs.

Solel Solar Systems CEO Avi Branmiller said, “The present contract strengthens our 10-year collaboration with FPL Energy. Our market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and Solel is well positioned to exploit new opportunities that arise.”

Since the beginning of 2006, Solel Solar System has announced contracts worth an aggregate $80 million to supply thermosolar units to power stations in the US and Spain. The company also announced the completion of development of its new “Solel 6” parabolic trough, with over 50% improved solar energy collection and power generation performance, compared with existing systems. The company will begin marking the Solel 6 during the second half of 2006.

Israel keeps a watchful eye on these events because of their interest in building the world’s largest solar energy plant in the Mojave desert.

Solar Contractor

Posted in Solar Times by admin on June 10, 2006.

We have decided to do our part to help the environment by purchasing a renewable energy system, how do we choose which one?

The first thing we have to do is determine if it is possible. Will our environment allow the use of solar, wind or hydropower? To check on suitability of solar power usage you can check out this solar estimator.

In most locations solar power is a viable option.

Lets try out the solar estimator. We will use Clifton Park NY zip 12065 as an example.

The first step is to select our state and then our county, which is Saratoga. We then select utility and the type of location, which is a business. Our type of solar system will be electric.

Lets see what we get. Ok great news, the location is suitable and we get a good solar rating of: 4.198 kWh/sq-m/day

Do not worry about all the numbers the estimator will do all the work.

In our next step we estimate our monthly usage, for simplicity I will use the monthly option and enter $100.00. This is a low number but a major part of the future process will be making sure we maximize electric and hot water usage.

Lets see what we get. First thing we do is change the percentage of use to 100% our goal is to live 100% of the grid.

Wow very detailed information, everything from cost to number of years to break even. One of the wonderful things about solar power is that you qualify for a large number of tax credits and rebates. The estimator even calculates in some of these into your total cost.

It estimates I need 700 square feet of solar panels, with a monthly payment of $137.00 if I financed it over 30 years.

But wait what about the property value appreciation? In fact it should take me less then two years to break even factoring in property value appreciation.

We now know it is financially feasible so lets find a qualified Solar Contractor. I click on “Find a Prescreened Solar Contractor” and am very pleased to see seven companies in the area.

There is company within ten miles of the local I entered, which has over ten years experience and two thousand commercial and residential installations.

Some keys to finding a good solar contractor are:

  1. References – Get references from past clients.
  2. Better Business Bureau – Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed.
  3. Local Government – Check with the local government to make sure they are licensed and or certified.
  4. Certification – Licensing is very important because in order to qualify for some tax incentives your solar contractor must be licensed by the state. Each state varies so do your research first.

Choose your solar contractor carefully. This is an investment that should last at least twenty-five years.

Finally, be prepared to jump through some hoops just like when you build any other structure. There will be questions about code and building permits and an experienced solar contractor will be able to answer these for you.

Microbial Fuel Cells

Posted in Alternative Energy by admin on June 7, 2006.

The other end of solar energy?

As the search for fuel cells goes on, many environmentalists give all their attention to solar energy, the possibilities involving photosynthesis and the microbial world. What about where there is no solar energy directly available, such as below the sea?

For more than 30 years, research has tried to develop a microbial fuel cell that digests wastes, instantly producing electricity. Just take a look at Dr. Emitt Browns Time Machine in Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox; just after he comes back from his trip 30 years into the future; he just drops a banana peel out of the garbage into the Delorians microbial fuel cell chamber, and voom… into the sky.

That is the kind of energy conversion researchers desire from microbial fuel cells, but it is still far away in the distant (evolutionary and genetic) future. At present this conversion takes about a week at its fastest rate.


Purdue Solar Racing

Posted in Solar Times by admin on May 19, 2006.

Follow the Purdue University Solar Racing Tour from their blog.

GE Finished Panels

Posted in Solar Times by admin on May 19, 2006.

GE is focusing on finished panels rather than producing the cells that go into them. They will be purchasing the solar cells that go into their panels from outside sources which will result in lay-offs.

Via DelwareOnline:

General Electric said Thursday it would lay off 85 workers from its Glasgow solar-cell factory by June 1, as the company cuts back on manufacturing its own electric-generating cells in favor of buying from outside vendors.

Prism Solar Technologies

Posted in Solar Times by admin on April 25, 2006.

Holographic Solar Technologies

Prism Solar Technologies is breaking former paradigms about solar technology, and best yet, Holographic photovoltaic solar works for the end user!

What is so special about this infant company that seems to have emerged over night from early 2005 till now? Low cost that end users will be able to afford and innovative solutions to earlier challenges for architects and do it yourself home remodelers.

When venture capitalists take the time to research an area or a field of investment, they always have their minds set on profit and a good sense of what will be a breakthrough in on the futures market. And Clean Energy Investment in the world of venture is no exception.

Prism Solar Technologies is a subdivision of Direct Global Power Inc., an investing group. PST has many other investors as well as internal employees that all come through contacts with clean energy investing and make this company soar to new heights.

What makes PSTs product so interesting is not just the fact that they managed to cut the cost on traditional photovoltaic solar cells by 85%, but also the fact that they managed to cut out some 85% of the traditional opac silicon cell area, leaving only 15% of the surface area striped with photovoltaic.

So what happens to the rest of the surfacearea? Transparent! You can see right through it. To some degree that is, as it is really a series of holographic optical redirections of light. The clear area is filled with special refractive elements smashed between two pieces of glass that redirect the most efficient rainbow spectrums directly into the photovoltaic cells increasing their efficiency immensely.

In easy to understand language, this means that the cells are far cooler than traditional models, more practical for use as say windows or skylights, more eye appealing and especially cheaper.

One fact that the world is facing is the every faster consumption of silicon, a product that gets more and more expensive by the year. While almost as abundant as oxygen, silicon is still far too costlyin solar energy cells for the end consumer to be able to buy.

PSTs solution is to simply cut down the use of silicon by 85%, thereby cutting costs to a revolutionary price range that becomes accessible to those who formerly could not afford solar panel technology and creates a competitive boom in the market, unlike anything seen before in the area.

Holographic photovoltaic solar energy is making a run through the market that is incredible. Every month a new investor appears, with something interesting to offer PST, and usually this happens at conventions where people in the know go to find the best of the very best.

These holographic photovoltaics do much more than simply redirect light coming from one single direction, as their nature makes them passive solar trackers. It doesnt matter from which direction the sun hits the plate; only the best colors get directed to the solar cells.

A new second-generation design is already underway with the development of a special bilateral solar cell, that can take light from both sides and direct it into (or even back into) electricity.

The people at PST are also worth mentioning, as some of them have been pioneering in this field of optics for more than twenty years. Specialists from the US government and evenGeneral Electric among others, are just some of the places these professionals have tried their ideas.

But now the world is ready to listen, the team is the best of the best and the product is promising in every way. Holographic photovoltaic solar energy cells are making a revolution.

Microsoft Solar

Posted in Solar Times by admin on April 24, 2006.

Microsoft took an earth friendly step by celebrating Earth Day with the installation of a new solar electrical system at the company’s Silicon Valley Campus. It is currently the largest of its kind in Silicon Valley. It will generate 480kW ( peak capacity ) and is composed of 2,288 tiles which could power up to 500 homes! Rolling blackouts are very common in Silicon Valley during the summer months and Microsoft’s system will kick in when the local energy grid is under it’s greatest strain.

“Microsoft is committed to being a responsible environmental citizen locally and globally,” said John Matheny, site manager for the SVC and general manager of Microsoft® TV Services at Microsoft. “Implementing the latest practices and technologies to protect the environment is good for the community and good for our business.”

This is a great step to build awareness, read more here.

Photovoltaic vs Photosynthetic

Posted in Solar Times by admin on April 13, 2006.

Photovoltaic vs. Photosynthetic Solar Energy

As of yet few quantum physicists have actually written philosophical papers on the political implications of photochemical solar cells. While they remain in the laboratories, predictions have been set that within three to five years, they will become a more aesthetic approach to solar energy generation with the same, if not better conductivity levels as current photovoltaics. Basically, its high-tech competition.

So what is a photosynthetic solar energy cell, how does it compete with the photovoltaic market and what kind of implications would that have on our society? Good question, but not so easy to answer. Photosynthesis is every outdoor school kids most important discovery, and as early as the sixth grade people get the idea about converting sunlight into sugars, but how can chlorophyll be synthesized and conductive to electrons, thereby creating a usable current? By using photosynthetic proteins to convert light into electricity.

Academic research in the US on this subject has been top secret for years including such names as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee. By taking spinach leaf molecules or photosynthetic bacteria to convert light into energy, a whole new kind of solar panel is now available to architects. Even better, it works and as Dr. Frankenstein once screamed in scientific delight, Its alive!

One of the most important researchers on this concept outside the U.S. wrote a paper called Supramolecular Photochemistry and Solar Cells which pretty much details all the legwork done so far on the subatomic level with microbiology and photochemistry. The world renown Chemistry professor and researcher at the University in SĂŁo Paulo, Brazil Dr. Neyde Yukie Murakami Iha shows how some of her teams most outstanding studies have been fairing over the last decade or so, and keep on going non-stop.

Although Neyde herself would not be interested in commercializing this stuff to all of us, some of her peers in Japan have already taken the commercial risks. The so called PV-TV used as a skyscraper skin developed in 2003 for commercial use by the Tokyo-based MSK Corporation together with Kaneka Chemicals and Taiyo Industries for architecture, is a transparent solar panel that works, is cost effective, pays for itself and just may create a revolution in the European market sometime soon.

These panels are 980mm long and 950 mm wide, with a standard depth of 10-13mm thick. Both flexible or strengthened-glass options are available making it a transparent skin of virtually any pain-glass color you might be looking for with certain scientific restrictions thus far. Which colors exactly are less efficient still remains unclear, but the ones sold so far can act as a three-in-one glazing element, solar energy panel and video display screen.

Taiyo Industries has already been putting this skyscraper skin on buildings in Japan and in London since July of 2004. While the languagebarrier may be a little restrictive, the product itself offers enough advantages for the buyer that it becomes more than worth it. At $45 a square foot, the skin actually pays for itself after some years of usage, and helps get zero energy buildings farther along in the realm of practical, no-nonsense business.

For urbanism and architecture students, this is a thing to be looking into very soon. Not only is this skin economical and multi-functional, but creativity is one of its biggest advantages. Want a skylight that will hold up to heavy rain, hail or even snow and still serve as a generator in the sunlight and impede ultraviolet rays? Sound good? What about a skin that can be both, a window and a outdoor bulletin board system at night, while still holding out the intense summer heat, illuminating the offices, hallways, meeting rooms and still acting as a mirror during the day?

So why worry about conventional roofing, when a photosynthetic solar panel can offer natural lighting, keep heat out in the summer and warm air in during the colder months while still acting as a natural form of skylight? Talk about sustainability! Just one thing is to be said, Its alive!

Dupont Solar

Posted in Solar Times by admin on April 12, 2006.

DuPont targets 10% more profit through Solar Energy by 2010

While looking for viable solutions to energy consumption and ongoing company costs, DuPont, one of the worlds leading companies in electronics and technology, has decided to look no further than its own products, enter Dupont Photovoltaics

Solar energy has been around for years, but recently, DuPont has made it a commercial goal by the year 2010 to satisfy at least 10% of the company’s ongoing electricity bills with renewable energy sources, among which solar energy is a big one.

Since March 2nd of 2006 the Chestnut Run DuPont facility in Delaware has been running roughly 10% of its own energy consumption off of a solar powered system that produces some 40 kilowatts of electricity alone.

Chestnut Run is one of DuPont’s R&D buildings, 178,000 square feet of office in Delaware using enough energy to power 80 homes. This would be a very large monthly expenditure for Delaware’s Energy Office.

The cost of the recently installed solar energy panels was $500,000 of which the DEO will grant DuPont with $250,000 to help cover about half the cost. In the end, the DEO saves money on expensive plants that they might have to build otherwise to cover the growing consumption in Delaware.

DuPont’s entrepreneurial spirit, to invest in renewable energy, is part of a corporate strategy to help make products like solar energy more commercially viable to the everyday consumer.

Of the annual $28.5 billion in revenue that DuPont makes currently, one third comes strictly from products less than five years old, their goal by 2010, however bold it may seem, is to make 35% of yearly revenue come from products less than four years old.

By capitalizing on such issues as “energy hikes” at strategic moments, like the one in Delaware, which will go from 8 cents per kilowatt-hour to 15 cents on May 1st, DuPont is able to make a statement in the market.

DuPont doesn’t just make an appearance in the commercial market with this, as both the industry and in the State Department’s Office begin to see the potential for renewable alternatives every time something like this happens.

Currently, DuPont worldwide gets 5% of its energy from renewable sources such as solar energy and has put down a budget of $100 million over the next two years to take that to 10% like the Chestnut Run office in Delaware. All willing, they will pave the way for common folks who have the will, but not the money for solar energy.

Zero Energy Homes

Posted in Solar Times by admin on April 10, 2006.

US Home Owners seem to have finally caught the idea about ZEH’s, the so called, Zero Energy Homes.” Since the 70’s energy efficiency has been a concern between architects and economists the world over, but in recent years a home that uses less energy than it actually produces has become reality. When businesses specialized in ZEHs start to pop-up as leaders in cutting the electricity bill by 70%, people start to listen.

Since the first oil embargo 30 years ago, Jim Sargent has been custom building homes to be consistently more efficient in terms of energy consumption with every new house he has built. When Sargent came together with Barley + Pfeiffer Architects from Austin to promote sustainable off the grid efficient homes in northern Texas, a whole new concept in Zero Energy Homes was just starting to become famous.

Energy efficiency in a home is not just making sure the house is built of all recyclable materials;it has to be efficient throughout its entire lifespan as well. And just as important as using as little energy as possible from the grid, the house has to be comfortable and have at least some level of reasonable interior design. That is what goes intoa Zero Energy Home; everything everyone else has in their new home, but without the costs of traditional energy bills that can sometimes even go over $200 dollars a month.

The secret to Zero Energy Homes is to cut the future home owners yearly costs during the construction phase.

In order to make a house produce more energy than it actually spends, means using special new solar technology that is getting cheaper and cheaper the more these houses are being produced and people see the practicality of it all. “Spectrally selective” windows for example block the overdose of sunlight in summer, while keeping the warmth inside the house during the cold months.

For indoor lighting, both natural and artificial are used, but artificial lights are fluorescent bulbs that use 70 percent less energy than the traditional incandescents do. Instead of installing a traditional water heater tank, the ZEH can use a suitcase-size gas powered heater that automatically heats water as it is consumed.

Who could imagine that a house actually produces energy? Some studies by the US department of Energy have estimated that on the average, American homes use some 1,400 US$ worth of energy throughout the year. ZEHs however consume on the average 70% less than that average and individuals who are firm believers in zero input from the grid actually produce enough energy, that they actually crank energy back out to the grid, like a generator.

Those people that produce more than they spend in their ZEH, dont pay a cent at the end of the month.

In California, those who live in zero energy homes, benefit from peak hours by not consuming the energy their neighbors consume and thus actually producing energy for the grid rather than consuming energy. Every house that is producing its own energy is another power plant that the state doesnt have to build. In the end, making a new home ZEH efficient, means adding some $25,000 dollars to the final price of the house. But it is more than worth the money, especially when money is short later on.

Premier Gardens in the California Sacramento area for example built all Zero Energy Homes, managing to pull that price down to as low as $18,000 per home. Some places like California, lower Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Florida and basically anywhere there is a lot of sunlight throughout the year, are places where the potential for a ZEH will pay for itself within 12 years time.

If the home owner is paying the grid for using electricity, they are just going to eventually see that money disappear, poof, like rent. But by buying and investing in Zero Energy Homes, those twelve years are a time of investment. Money the owner makes for themselves and the future generations that will live in the house.

There is enough energy coming from the sun for everyone, Zero Energy Homes just help the home owner, rather than work for the energy, they make that energy work for the home owner. Zero Energy Homes are the future.

More on ZEM’s here

Solar Pyramid

Posted in Solar Times by admin on April 3, 2006.

An Inspirational Solar Pyramid

solar pyramidArtists Richard Lester Swain and Adam Walkden along with a team of engineers, designers, astronomers and planners have combined art with technology to build the worlds largest solar pyramid. The giant sun dial is supposed to represent time, space and solar energy. The artists were inspired by a sundial set in the wall of the ancient St. Mary’s Church at the top of the 199 steps in Whitby. Here are a quote from the Whitby Gazette.

Mr Swain said: “I was inspired by a sundial set in the wall of St Mary’s Church at the top of the 199 steps in Whitby” and “On it is inscribed ‘Our lives pass like a shadow’. That gave me the idea of a timepiece worked by the sun that would be the world’s largest.”

XOF1 Solar Car

Posted in Solar Times by admin on March 16, 2006.

Please Host the SOF1 Solar Car

XOF1 Solar CarThe XOF1 Solar Car needs a country to register it so it can traverse the 10,000 mile “Sea to Sea to Sea” route from North America to Canada and back again. Marcelo da Luz was having trouble getting permission from the governments of Ontario and Newfoundland Canada but he discovered an international traffic treaty called the Multilateral Road Traffic Convention of 1949 which will allow his dreams to come true. XOF1 just needs a hosting nation to register his cold temperature cruising solar powered car. Learn how to build a mini solar car on the XOF1 website.

Solar Energy

Posted in Solar Times by admin on March 13, 2006.

Solar Energy

Solar energy is the popular term for now days, anything that is renewable energy. The concept of solar energy was but the spark that has since ignited a revolution. Solar revolves around getting the most out of thermal dynamics, by spending the least amount of energy possible. “Sol” is Latin for sun, and “solar” is that which is of the sun. From elementary school we learn the importance of the sun in our lives, and somewhere along the line everyone that stays in school ends up learning how valuable to every living organism on this planet the sun really is. Solar power, solar energy, solar panels, solar light, solar living, solar this, solar that… The list of terms and technologies that thrive in the scientific and yet not so scientific solar community are living examples of a revolutionary concept in how energy works and how it is used.