This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
Tech Culture: The Green Show: Solar power 101
About Video Transcript

Tech Culture: The Green Show: Solar power 101

3:41 /

In this week's show, our green tech expert Martin LaMonica talks about solar power and we show a few devices powered by wind and water, as well as a cheap Netbook made from biodegradable materials.

>>[background music] Hey folks I'm Mark Licea and this week, solar, wind and water power plus a cheap Netbook made from biodegradable materials. The Green Show starts now. ^M00:00:11 [ Music ] ^M00:00:18 >>Mark: Going solar at home can cost a lot but it can also save you a lot in the long run. Here's our green tech expert, Martin Lamonica to explain. >>Martin: [background music] Hi Mark and welcome to my backyard. So when people think about green at home they say, oh I should really go solar. So what's the deal? You can get solar hot water systems or solar electric panels. Last year I had solar electric panels installed up there and my electricity bills have shrunk really small. So should you do it? First question is do you have good sun? Second question is can you afford it? A good installer is gonna give you a good idea of your sun resource and all the rebates and financing options available. How does it work? Sun hits the solar panels, makes electricity, goes down the wire to my basement where there's an inverter. The inverter's job is to convert the direct current coming down from the panels into the household alternating current. It also tells me how many watts we're producing, 991, which is not bad for a cloudy day and how much electricity it produced over the course of the day and how much money it saved. So how much money does it save me? Well last months electric bill was $1.28, which is not bad. The bad news with solar power is that it's expensive. You're gonna spend anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000 up front to get them installed. Now the good news is that you can get rebates, tax credits and increasingly leasing options which are very interesting. You can always start small. Right here I have a solar panel that's about $100. It's not big enough to charge your laptop but you can do your cell phone or your iPod very easily. I'm Martin Lamonica for CNET, thanks for watching. [noise] >>Mark: For more information on green tech from Martin, head over to CNET.com/greentech. [noise] There are a lot of portable chargers that you can use to power small gadgets. Here's one if you're an outdoorsy type. It's a compact hybrid wind and solar powered generated called the K3. >>[background noise] It generates from both wind and solar. If it's wind only it will take about 27 hours to charge a device if it's completely dead. Solar will take about 8 hours to charge. >>Mark: The company claims that fully charged the K3 can power a mobile phone more than five times and the device should be out in late June. [noise] The low cost, low power Netbook is getting solar powered. Spanish company IUNIKA plans to release the Netbook overseas for the starting price of about $176. The unit will run Lenox and weigh in at about 1 and a half pounds. The speed won't be great considering that it uses a 400 megahertz processor but the materials are comprised of bioplastics and they're biodegradable. Best of all, the $220 model has a solar panel on the back of the display. The Netbook should be out overseas sometime in July. [noise] And finally a new edition for your emergency kit. It's a mini flashlight powered by water. The NoPoPo mini lantern has a special battery that uses a combination of magnesium and carbon that can be mixed with a variety of fluids to create a charge. Water, soda and beer can charge the batteries. It can even use urine, talk about emergencies. They sell for $39 bucks but don't expect miracles from the battery. It's low power and it can only be recharged four times but the NoPoPo batteries are double AA size so you can just swap it out for something less green but more socially [background music] acceptable. [noise] And that's it for this week. Send your feedback in greenshow@cnet.com. I'm Mark Licea, thanks for watching. [ Music ]

New releases

The Armor A60 portable drive can...
2:10 October 24, 2014
CNET editor Dong Ngo did some blah blah talking and then a real-world drop test on the Silicon Power Armor...
Play video
Macan: Meet the very different...
21:47 October 24, 2014
Porsche Macan marks the beginning of several chapters for the carmaker, plus a new list of the safest cheap...
Play video
Help battling robots cause even...
6:03 October 24, 2014
This week on Crave, we take a closer look at the Hendo hoverboard, fly on a Virgin Galactic spaceship, and...
Play video
Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2: A...
2:00 October 24, 2014
The C5 Series 2 sounds better than the original and is one top in-ear headphones for less than $200.
Play video
Mr. Coffee gains some smart home...
2:27 October 24, 2014
The $150 Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Smart brews 10-cups at a time and can be controlled by the Wemo mobile a...
Play video
The Philips 100W Equivalent LED...
1:20 October 24, 2014
We tested this bulb to see if it's a better buy than GE or Cree
Play video
Breaking open iPads, Groupon's...
2:54 October 24, 2014
The iFixit team reveals the secrets inside the new iPads, Groupon mimics Yelp, and Microsoft kills the free...
Play video
Vizio P series: Good and cheap...
2:31 October 24, 2014
The highly anticipated Vizio P series is among the cheapest 4K TVs available and delivers a very good picture,...
Play video