Did you know a total solar eclipse occurs tomorrow? Unfortunately, unless you live around certain areas in Australia or find yourself floating in the South Pacific Ocean, you won't really see the full effect -- unless you observe the phenomenon online.
If you want to catch the rare moment where the moon passes between Earth and the sun, Space.com recommends tuning in to the Slooh space camera Web site or a live feed by Tourism Tropical North Queensland on UStream. … Read more
I can relate to the energy woes of folks in the Pacific island nation of Tokelau (technically a territory of New Zealand), and I'm a bit jealous of their solution.
Tokelau and the roughly 1,500 residents of the coral atolls about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand have become the world's first completely energy-independent territory/nation/whatever, thanks to a solar energy project that's just been completed with funding from the New Zealand government.
"Until now, Tokelau has been 100 percent dependent upon diesel for electricity generation, with heavy economic and environmental costs," New … Read more
There's something new(ish) under the sun in the rural South African village of Phomolong, where Samsung has built a gadget-laden solar-powered classroom -- in a renovated shipping container.
The Solar Powered Internet School -- a product of Samsung's corporate-social responsibility initiative -- has solar panels on the roof that can generate nine hours of electricity a day. That power's needed to juice the electronics inside -- a 50-inch electronic board, Samsung Internet-enabled solar-powered notebooks, Samsung Galaxy tablets, and Wi-Fi cameras.
Do you dream of traveling to the stars? Unless you've got $20 million and change for a ticket to orbit, Vito Technology's Solar Walk is about as close as you're going to get.
This jaw-dropping iOS app provides a wholly interactive 3D model of our solar system, one that's had me hooked for days. It's the kind of thing you can imagine a science teacher using in the classroom of the future -- except that we don't have to wait.
Solar Walk works like an outer-space edition of Google Earth, letting you rotate, zoom, … Read more
A see-through solar energy panel announced today by Sharp -- primarily designed for balcony railings and skyscraper windows -- offers an uncommon alternative energy solution and sense of privacy in a single package.
The semi-transparent black solar panel launches in Japan on October 1, and delivers a solar power conversion efficiency of about 6.8-percent with a maximum output of 95 watts. While the low conversion rate seems lackluster comparative to the 10- to 20-percent efficiency standard these days, few see-through solar panel options exist commercially. Overall panel size stands at 4.5-feet wide by 3.2-feet tall and sports … Read more
Ever wondered what Neptune tastes like? Vintage Confections on Etsy has the answer. It comes in your choice of either strawberry or cotton candy.
A complete set of solar system lollipops costs $17.50. You get the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Yea for including Pluto! Sorry, Moon, you don't rate high enough to get your own sucker.… Read more
Here's the problem with solar panels. Most of the time they're static and unable to rotate with the sun, which in the end means less electrical output. Menlo Park, Calif., based startup Qbotix has built a commercial prototype that offers an answer. It's called SolBot, and it's a set of mobile robots that quickly move around a railroadlike track and mechanically pivot the panel.
The engineers at Qbotix say their setup is different than conventional tracking systems, which require each photovoltaic panel to have a controller and motor. One mobile robot can manage up to 200 … Read more
Don Cayelli says one of his main motivations for developing his SunVolt Portable Solar Power Station was that he couldn't find a solar charger that worked well for charging his iPad on his boat.
He sails a lot and uses his iPad as a chart plotter and preferred to use the sun as a power source rather than rechargeable battery packs. Most solar chargers, he says, had internal batteries, and the standard approach was the solar panel would charge the internal battery and the battery would charge your device. That was because the panels were too small to charge … Read more
More than a billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water, and some 300 million of them are in Africa. Industrial design students Ryan Lynch and Marcus Triest have an interesting approach to tackling the problem in sub-Saharan African with his Solar Bag.
This design concept is both a shoulder bag-style container to transport water from a distant source, as well as a tool to purify it.
The container is made of polyethylene, which allows UV rays to pass through the clear outer layer and kill most of the bacteria in the water. It's similar to … Read more