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DIY solar power: Tech Culture

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Tech Culture: DIY solar power

2:36 /

The Zero Emissions Race takes off this week, Clarian develops a do-it-yourself solar panel kit, and the Fuel Cell Black Cab gets prepped for the London 2012 Olympics.

-Hey, I'm Mark Licea and this week, a lot of zero emission vehicles, and do-it-yourself solar power. The Green Show starts now. This may look like a London taxi but this British cabbie uses a fuel cell drive system and it's zero emission. Right now, a fifth of London's emissions are due to the 22,000 cabs driving around the city. The fuel cell black cab is made by Intelligent Energy. It emits only water vapor and it can go for around 160 miles on a single tank of hydrogen. It also uses a battery pack to help propel the cabbie. Right now, six of these are being planned for the 2012 Olympics. The zero emissions race begins this week in Geneva. Each contestant represents their country in a race around the world using their own zero emissions vehicle. South Korea, Australia, Spain, and China, the U.S., and Switzerland are competing. The trip will take about 80 days, leaving from Geneva and traveling around the world to countries like Brussels, Shanghai, Vancouver, and Cancun. -We want to show that we have solutions. There is climate change, the petrol is coming to an end, everybody knows, but we have the solutions like electric cars, renewable energy. We have the solar cells and the wind turbines back home, in the countries of the teams and there we feed electricity to the grid and we can charge that electricity back into our vehicles by accessing any power outlet here along the way. So we are compensating for what we are taking from the grid. -And if you think you can set up solar panels all by yourself, you can now. A Seattle startup, Clarion, is developing a kit called the Sunfish. It costs $800 and it's designed to streamline setups so that any homeowner can install up to three panels and get them working in about an hour. The company says the output of three panels will give you about 600 watts which is enough to power your washing machine. They say the kit should be available next spring. And researchers at Edinburgh Napier University are getting loaded with whiskey. Well, their cars are, at least. They discovered a way to use whiskey byproducts to form biofuel for cars. The fuel can reportedly be 25% more efficient than ethanol biofuel. It's made from byproducts of whiskey and not the actual good stuff, so rest assured that no alcohol is being wasted. That's the show for this week. I'm Mark Licea. Thanks for watching.

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