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For The Irie Driver: Electric Car With Hemp Seats

electric_hemp_car.jpgDoing drugs bad, since it directly ruins your health and indirectly theenvironment and shortens the life line of both. Well, cannabis usuallyends up being smoked around the world. Some folks use it to make carsinstead. Amazing, isn’t it? Read on. The Kestrel, a car that will showup at the EV 2010 VE Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver, wasproduced by Motive, a company that uses advanced materials in carmanufacturing. The four seats of the car had their bodies made of impact resistant bio composite material produced from fibers of the cannabisor hemp plant. This tactic sure helps decrease the weight of the car,hence increasing its efficiency by substantial amounts.

Instead of the usual fibers used in composites, hemp worksout much better, taken that it’s light weight and easier to find anduse. Plus, it keeps all those drug markets sell their wares for a better good!

[TheGreenCarWebsite]

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Solar iPhone Charger by Dexim

Dexim_solar_iPhone_charger.jpgIrritated that your Apple iPhone keeps running out of charge every nowand then? Need to keep yourself in touch and entertained all the time?Well, you could opt for a solar charger to keep it juiced all the time,if the sun shines in your favor that is. Dexim HQ came up with the solar powered P-Flip charger that soaks in the sun and can power up youriPhone and have you talking for a whole 8 hours! You wouldn’t want aconversation that long, but think of the possibilities! Theentertainment! All that charge and there’s just no running out of it!Dexim claims that the charger will take around 10-12 hours of exposureto charge up the battery fully. LED indicators inform on how much charge is left. That’s not all. For the space conscious, this one folds andcan be neatly tucked into your bag.

Looks like the iPhone sure isn’t going to have a Low Batterysign flashing anytime soon! All thanks to the sun and Dexim of course.

[Reuters]

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Retired Jews in Florida Get Solar Golf Cart

solar-power-golf-cart.jpgThe horse carriage rides in the Cocoa Village will now seem somewhat old and boring, probably because they’ll need to face the heat of the solar powered golf carts that will soon rumble down the streets of theshopping district. Let those horses retire in green pastures, while youtread around the village in these eco-friendly carts. Known as the Solar Ride, these six-seat, refurbished golf carts will shuttle shoppers from parking areas to shops and other spots of interest in the village. Also they use no sort of fossil fuel whatsoever, meaning no smelly carbonsfrom tail pipes. Instead they soak in the sun and power up using solarpanels. Using recycled materials of steel, vinyl, plywood and foam, this cart can travel up to 35 mph and was earlier rotting away at the CapeCanaveral Hospital, until it was given a $14,000 makeover by ExtremeCustom Carts.

Just incase the sun doesn’t shine, and during the night time, the cart can be plugged in to charge up for the next day. We’d love tosee some of these at golf courses and shopping complexes too!

[FloridaToday]

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The Solar Transit Shelter Bus Stop

4.jpgRemember the darkened out bus stop we usually catch in thriller movies, with ahapless victim waiting for the storm to pass while a predator droolsnearby? Well, it probably wont be so dark out there anymore, ifHollywood decides to use the Transit Shelter that is. Arato Designs hascreated this innovative design, a bus stop powered by solar energy. Thebus stop has a extra high ceiling with a wide entry and a 360° view ofthe surroundings. The steel structure wrapped in plastic keeps awayelectric storms too. By adding 5’ x 5’ modules, the length can easily be increased and decreased too. The solar panels power up the interior and overhead information panels by soaking in the sun, with enough space on the exterior for advertising.

This sure is one hell of a bus stop to wait at, for storms to pass, for a hungry predator, or just the bus!

[thedesignblog]

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Sanyo Completes Battery Factory

Sanyo-lithium-ion.jpgEco-friendly vehicles of the future will now have something more to make them closer to reality. Out go the days of gasoline guzzling carbonemitting cars that we’ve been using for decades. The world is nowrolling out a red carpet for these clean green cars that are receivingtechnology boosts day by day. Sanyo now has a sparkling new factory that will chisel out lithium-ion batteries for EVs at the Kansai Plant. Theplant, spanning an area of 42,831m2 will produce an astounding number of 1 million cells a month in the beginning. To construct this plant,Sanyo spent a whopping 13 Billion yens.

Currently, Sanyo supplies Ford, Honda and Volkswagen withnickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries for their hybrid electricvehicles. The company also plans a tie up with Volkswagen to developlithium-ion batteries for hybrids.

[Akihabaranews]

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TSMC Starts Construction on New Eco-friendly Wafer Plant

TSMC.jpgTaiwanese chip maker TSMC has recentlystarted up on its newest project, a green one that too, with theconstruction of its third 300mm wafer plant. Now we aren’t talking about those oily potato chips and wafers, we’re going on about those greenchips you usually find in gadgets. Located in Taichung’s Central TaiwanScience Park, the new Fab 15 plant will have a capacity of over 100,000wafers per month. Besides wafers, the plant will also generate jobs,with 8,000 new skilled jobs to crop up once construction is complete and the doors are flung open. TSMC has promised to clean up its act withthis new foundry, reducing energy usage and greenhouse gas emission. The company has poured out as much as $10 billion on this one.

Using 40nm and 28nm production facilities, semiconductorswill be given a cutting edge a modern feel too. So, we’re in forTaiwanese green chips made in a truly green environment.

[engadget]

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Spain Now World’s Largest Producer of Solar Thermal

G.jpgSpain has something more to celebratebesides winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The country has become theworld’s largest producer of solar thermal energy, thanks to the LaFlorida solar farm in Alvarado. The country also proudly plays home tothe world’s biggest solar power plant. Using a thermal system withmolten salt batteries and a parabolic trough technology, this 50 MWsolar farm covers an area of a massive 550,000 m2 that holds 11 plantsin operation and 20 under construction. This one sure juices the sunwith all it’s got to power up Spanish homes. Currently, Spain alreadyhas 432 MW of installed solar thermal power, while the U.S. producesjust 422 MW. In a year, Spain will have added 600MW of capacity and by2013, around 2500MW of solar thermal power.

Currently, investments top EUR 2.5 billion and will soaracross EUR 15 billion by 2013, having 60 solar thermal power plantsoperating in Spain. The country is going greener by the day, with allthat renewable energy use!

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Solar Gadget Chargers Continue to Hit the Market

Portable-solar-charger-1.jpgIf you are a travel-freak who loves keeping electronic gadgets close athand and working, here’s something just for you, a portable solarcharger. Now going out needs a whole lot of planning, and if yourdestination is he center of a forest or atop a mountain, you certainlywon’t find a charging port to juice up your devices. So, these two newportable solar chargers come to the rescue. We’ve seen quite a few ofthe type before, including the one by Kiwi Choice and the Sundrive solar charger. Well, the Chinese have come up with two more, thePortable Solar Charger I2911 and the Power Pack N2682 Black 12000 mAh.The former, by Aigo, is a universal charger, juicing your devices with a mini-USB with a capacity of 200 mAh and weighing around 2.2 pounds.

The latter uses alternating current to store energy withinand is compatible with USB devices too, though the solar panels seemhidden and un-noticeable. You can pick up the Portable Solar ChargerI2911 for around $123, while the Power Pack N2682 Black 12000 mAh, costs around $137.

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[EarthTechling]

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Times Square’s First 100% Solar Billboard by Ricoh

Times Square, the iconic, brightly lit part of New York, will now have a dash of green to it. And no, we aren’t talking about a huge billboardwith bright green lights. We’re talking about the first 100% solarpowered billboard that has recently been completed by Ricoh at TimesSquare, New York. A leading provider of digital office equipment,advanced document management solutions and services, the Ricoh AmericasCorporation have completed an electronic billboard for Times Square,completely powered by solar energy.

The billboard, located at 3 Times Square at the corner of 7th Avenueand 42nd Street, lovingly christened the Ricoh Eco Board, is 47 feethigh by 126 feet long and is the first of its kind in Times Square.Using 62 solar panels and 24 thin-film PV solar modules, 16 LEDfloodlights illuminate the Eco Board. And when the sun decides to hideaway, the Eco Board will darken out and not use energy from the grid.Maybe the rest of Times Square needs some green changes too!

[Multivu]

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The T3 solar powered robot for green playtime

T3-Solar-Robots.jpgSolar power is slowly but surely invading our lives, for a betterfuture. It’s now toys that go solar powered, instead of drainingbatteries. The sun is ever generous and has been shining down on us foras long as humankind can remember. It was until a few decades ago thatwe learnt the use of solar power. And it’s time that we use it to powerup our lives. Your kid will grow up to be a solar powered genius usingtoys like the T3 robot at a tender age. Get a hold of this. This solarrobot is super cool and is something no kid, no matter how demanding,would ever get bored of. The robot can transform into two more shapes, a tank and a scorpion, and then back on its two feet.

Also, to put it together, no glue is required, keepingsticking problems at bay. And just incase the sun doesn’t show, you cansimply expose it to a 50 halogen bulb to power up. Your child can learnthe green way for just £13 ($18.6).

[Red5]

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LA’s Solar Shadeport to Power Air Force Base

We’ve heard of airports like the Page Field General Aviation Airport in Southwest Florida and the Le Castellet International Airport in the South of France using solarpower to juice them up. It’s about time Air Force bases take the hintand start going solar too. And that’s exactly what the Los Angeles AirForce Base has done, by installing the city’s largest solar electricalshadeport. This system, producing 360kW will help save up on $70,000 onelectric bills yearly. This means, over 30 years, $12.5 million paid bytaxpayers will be saved.

The system was installed by Solar Electrical, a highlyexperienced solar design and installation firm from Southern California, and has 7 modules combined into one long panel. Shipping out the arrayon flat bed trucks after being panelized in the factory itself, helpedsave up on installation time, costs and labor too. With this, the AirForce goes closer to the sunshine.

[Digitaljournal]

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Solar XOF1 Drives Over Arctic Ocean

We’ve heard of the XOF1’s adventures before. Well, this solar powered flying-saucer-lookalike car has jumped yet another hurdle on its solar powered journey. Driver andproject leader, Marcelo da Luz, drove across the treacherously frozenArctic Ocean on a biting cold journey that lasted around 9.5 hours.

Travelling at 70kmph over smooth ice, the solar powered carhad to slow down to 30-40kmph though over the Arctic Ocean stretch, dueto terrible road conditions. A 1.5-2 meter ice layer was all thatseparated the XOF1 and Marcelo da Luz from the chilling Arctic Oceanbeneath. Powered by 900 solar cells, this 20 kilogram car has broken the record for the longest distance covered in a solar vehicle, bytravelling 15,000km in 140 days. Hopefully, the Arctic sun behaves likeit is expected to on the cars journey back to Inuvik from Tuktoyatuk.

[EnergyMatters]

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Wake Forest Granted Fiber Solar Cell Patent

Wake Forest University in North Carolina has been granted a patent fornewsolar-cell technology that it says can double the electricity outputcompared toflat solar cells on the market today.
  
The University received the patent for fiber-based solar cells from theEuropeanPatent Office and applications to the U.S. Patent Office are pending and thetechnology has been licensed to FiberCell Inc. to produce the firstlarge testcells. The new solar cells are constructed from millions of tiny plastic fibers thatoffer the ability to collect sunlight at oblique angles; even duringperiods ofthe day when the sun is rising and setting. 
  
Where a traditional flat cell loses energy when the sun’s rays deflectfromits shiny surface, the fiber-based design creates more surface area andconfinesthe sun’s rays to allow for more absorption; around twice as manykilowatt hoursper day as standard flat cells. 
 
The plastic fibers for the solar cells are assembled onto plasticsheets, usinga technology similar to that of creating the tops of soft-drink cups.Thepolymer or die absorber is simply sprayed on. Using plastic makes thecellslightweight and flexible. Whereas solarpanels are a bulky item to ship, these fiber solar cells could berolled upand shipped anywhere comparatively cheaply.
 
According to David Carroll, director of Wake Forest’s Center forNanotechnologyand Molecular Materials, builders would be able to integrate the cellsnearlyanywhere in a home’s design. Because fiber cells can collect light atvariousangles, they no longer have to stay on the roof to work
 
Mr. Carroll says the fiber solar cell could help bring clean power todevelopingcountries. The primary manufacturer would ship the lightweight, plasticfibercells and satellite plants in developing nations could spray them withphotovoltaicdye and prepare them for installation. He estimates it would cost aboutUSD $5million to set up a finishing plant; around USD $15 million less than it wouldcost to set up a similar plant for flat cells.

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CIGS-solar-cell.jpg After a lot of head-scratching and brain storming, the guys at the Research Center for Photovoltaics at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) came up with a record-breaking flexible solar submodule

CIGS-solar-cell.jpgAfter a lot of head-scratching and brain storming, the guys at theResearch Center for Photovoltaics at the National Institute of AdvancedIndustrial Science and Technology (AIST) came up with a record-breakingflexible solar submodule. Using a CIGS thin film, a solar cell material, this monolithically integrated flexible solar cell submodule has theworld’s highest photovoltaic energy conversion efficiency of 15.9%.

These types of solar modules are the heart-throb of solartechnology, since unlike their paneled up counterparts, they can beeasily fitted onto uneven surfaces. An energy conversion of more than10% for these flexible solar submodules has never been attained before,due to which efficiency suffered. However, with this breakthrough,lightweight and flexible solar cell technology will find more uses andwider applications in future.

CIGS-solar-cell1.jpg

[NanoWerk]

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