Monday, June 30, 2008

Solar Gas Station

I never thought the "green" concept could be applied to a gas station. Gas stations embody everything that is NOT green.

However, a cool company known as BP is trying to change this idea. They've created the very unique Helios gas station, which can be found on the corner of Olympic and Robertson in Los Angeles.

If you pay them a visit, you'll notice that everything is constructed with recyclable/ recycled/ non-toxic materials, they use far less water than most stations,
and they use less energy because of their sophisticated lighting system.

At Solar Arcadia, we are most impressed by the solor panel system that the gas station uses to power everything.

The bottom line is...

Even gas stations are going solar.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

WALL-E Goes Solar

Last night, I saw Disney Pixar's new animated movie, WALL-E. To my surprise, the little robot was being powered by solar energy.

Every morning, he'd stand under the sun, pull out his solar panels, and begin charging up. If you look at the photo above, you'll see a yellow meter on his chest. This gauge lets him know when he's fully charged.

Pretty cool, right?

The bottom line is...

Be more like WALL-E.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Solar Charger in Action

Some people may be a little skeptical when it comes to solar cell phone chargers. There shouldn't be any doubts, since these chargers have been proven to work well.

But if you're still not convinced, check out this short video of a smartphone being charged with the Universal Solar Charger:

The bottom line is...

It works!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Solar Collectors and Space Heating

Heating with solar energy is not as easy as you might think. Capturing sunlight and putting it to work is difficult because the solar energy that reaches the earth is spread out over a large area. The sun does not deliver that much energy to any one place at any one time. The amount of energy a place receives depends on several conditions. These include the time of day, the season of the year, the latitude of the area, and the clearness or cloudiness of the sky.

A solar collector is one way to collect heat from the sun. A closed car on a sunny day is like a solar collector. As sunlight passes through the car's glass windows, it is absorbed by the seat covers, walls, and floor of the car. The light that is absorbed changes into heat. The car's glass windows let light in, but don't let all the heat out. (This is also why greenhouses work so well and stay warm year-round.)

So, a solar collector does three things:
  1. Allows sunlight inside the glass (or plastic);
  2. Absorbs the sunlight and changes it into heat;
  3. Traps most of the heat inside.

Solar Space Heating

Space heating means heating the space inside a building. Today many homes use solar energy for space heating. There are two general types of solar space heating systems: passive and active. A "hybrid" system is a mixture of the passive and active systems.

Passive Solar Homes

In a passive solar home, the whole house operates as a solar collector. A passive house does not use any special mechanical equipment such as pipes, ducts, fans, or pumps to transfer the heat that the house collects on sunny days. Instead, a passive solar home relies on properly oriented windows. Since the sun shines from the south in North America, passive solar homes are built so that most of the windows face south. They have very few or no windows on the north side.

A passive solar home converts solar energy into heat just as a closed car does. Sunlight passes through a home's windows and is absorbed in the walls and floors.

To control the amount of heat in a passive solar house, the doors and windows are closed or opened to keep heated air in or to let it out. At night, special heavy curtains or shades are pulled over the windows to keep the daytime beat inside the house. In the summer, awnings or roof overhangs help to cool the house by shading the windows from the high summer sun.

Heating a house by warming the walls or floors is more comfortable than heating the air inside a house. It is not so drafty. And passive buildings are quiet, peaceful places to live. A passive solar home can get 50 to 80 percent of the heat it needs from the sun.

Many homeowners install equipment (such as fans to help circulate air) to get more out of their passive solar homes. When special equipment is added to a passive solar home, the result is called a hybrid system.

Active Solar Homes

Unlike a passive solar home, an active solar home uses mechanical equipment, such as pumps and blowers, and an outside source of energy to help heat the house when solar energy is not enough.

Active systems use special solar collectors that look like boxes covered with glass. Dark-colored metal plates inside the boxes absorb the sunlight and change it into heat. (Black absorbs sunlight more than any other color.)

Air or a liquid flows through the collectors and is warmed by this heat. The warmed air or liquid is then distributed to the rest of the house just as it would be with an ordinary furnace system.

Solar collectors are usually placed high on roofs where they can collect the most sunlight. They are also put on the south side of the roof where no tall trees or tall buildings will shade them.

Storing Solar Heat

The challenge confronting any solar heating system--whether passive, active, or hybrid--is heat storage. Solar heating systems must have some way to store the heat that is collected on sunny days to keep people warm at night or on cloudy days.

In passive solar homes, heat is stored by using dense interior materials that retain heat well--masonry, adobe, concrete, stone, or water. These materials absorb surplus heat and radiate it back into the room after dark. Some passive homes have walls up to one foot thick.

In active solar homes, heat may be stored in one of two ways--a large tank may store a hot liquid, or rock bins beneath a house may store hot air.

Houses with active or passive solar heating systems may also have furnaces, wood-burning stoves, or another heat source to provide heat in case there is a long period of cold or cloudy weather. This is called a backup system.

The bottom line is...

It may seem complicated, but it can definitely get the job done.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Solar T-Shirts

If you're really going to join the solar movement, you'll need a few T-shirts to show your enthusiasm. Solar Arcadia has a great selection of cool environmental T-shirts.

The shirt shown above is my favorite solar t-shirt. Click here to view the rest.

The bottom line is...

You'll love our Go Solar shirts.

We've Launched!

Hooooray. The Solar Arcadia site is finally up and running. Head there now to view and buy cool solar products. Here's a list of some things we have:
  1. 3G Apple iPhone accessories
  2. Blackberry Curve accessories
  3. LG phone accessories
  4. Samsung phone accessories
  5. Nokia phone accessories
  6. Sony Ericsson phone accessories
Our solar chargers are also compatible with digital cameras, handheld video gaming systems, iPods, and other gadgets. We also have a great selection of t-shirts.

The bottom line is...

You can finally begin your solar mission.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Solar Charger in the Wild

Our web guys are working around the clock to finish up the Solar Arcadia site. We want to make sure we have a great site and great products to help you "go solar".

The launch date is set for June 23rd. At that time, you'll be able to get the best solar cell phone accessories, solar backpacks, and much more. For now, check out the picture of the solar charger saving my Blackberry Curve.

The bottom line is...

It's almost time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Coming Out Party

Solar energy has come a long way.

This video was posted nearly a year ago. As time goes on, solar energy will become more mainstream and will be legitimate alternative for everyone.

The bottom line is...

Get familiar.

No Signs of Change

Total U.S. residential energy consumption is projected to increase 17 percent from 1995 - 2015. (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

World energy consumption is expected to increase 40% to 50% by the year 2010, and the global mix of fuels--renewables (18%), nuclear (4%), and fossil (78%)--is projected to remain substantially the same as today; thus global carbon dioxide emissions would also increase 50% to 60%.

The bottom line is...

It's getting worse.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Energy Consumption Facts

Americans tend to use far too much electricity.

"In 1997, U.S. residents consumed an average of 12,133 kilowatt-hours of electricity each, almost nine times greater than the average for the rest of the world." (Grist Magazine)

But here's something we should keep in mind:

"Worldwide, some 2 billion people are currently without electricity." (U.S. Department of Energy)

The bottom line is...

Don't waste it, and don't take it for granted.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

History of Solar Energy

As we continue to impart our viewers with knowledge, we will journey into the past.

2. History of Solar Energy

People have harnessed solar energy for centuries. As early as the 7th century B.C., people used simple magnifying glasses to concentrate the light of the sun into beams so hot they would cause wood to catch fire. Over 100 years ago in France, a scientist used heat from a solar collector to make steam to drive a steam engine.

In the beginning of this century, scientists and engineers began researching ways to use solar energy in earnest. One important development was a remarkably efficient solar boiler invented by Charles Greeley Abbott, an American astrophysicist, in 1936.

The solar water heater gained popularity at this time in Florida, California, and the Southwest. The industry started in the early 1920s and was in full swing just before World War 11. This growth lasted until the mid- 1950s when low-cost natural gas became the primary fuel for heating American homes. The public and world governments remained largely indifferent to the possibilities of solar energy until the oil shortages of the 1970s. Today people use solar energy to heat buildings and water and to generate electricity.

The bottom line is...
It's been around for quite awhile, and now it's time to take it to the next level.

Monday, June 9, 2008


A random energy consumption fact:

Though accounting for only 5 percent of the world's population, Americans consume 26 percent of the world's energy. (American Almanac)

The bottom line is...
Americans waste an awful lot of energy.

What is Solar Energy?

To help educate our audience on everything Solar, we will be delivering some facts and information in the next few weeks. Let's start with the basics...

1. What Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is energy that comes from the sun. Every day the sun radiates, or sends out, an enormous amount of energy. The sun radiates more energy in one second than people have used since the beginning of time!

Where does all this energy come from? It comes from within the sun itself. Like other stars, the sun is a big gas ball made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. The sun generates energy in its core in a process called nuclear fusion. During nuclear fusion, the sun's extremely high pressure and hot temperature cause hydrogen atoms to come apart and their nuclei (the central cores of the atoms) to fuse or combine. Four hydrogen nuclei fuse to become one helium atom. But the helium atom weighs less than the four nuclei that combined to form it. Some matter is lost during nuclear fusion. The lost matter is emitted into space as radiant energy.

It takes millions of years for the energy in the sun's core to make its way to the solar surface, and then just a little over eight minutes to travel the 93 million miles to earth. The solar energy travels to the earth at a speed of 186,000 miles per second, the speed of light.

Only a small portion of the energy radiated by the sun into space strikes the earth, one part in two billion. Yet this amount of energy is enormous. Every day enough energy strikes the United States to supply the nation's energy needs for one and a half years!

Where does all this energy go? About 15 percent of the sun's energy that hits the earth is reflected back into space. Another 30 percent is used to evaporate water, which, lifted into the atmosphere, produce's rain-fall. Solar energy also is absorbed by plants, the land, and the oceans. The rest could be used to supply our energy needs.

The bottom line is...
It is a must that we begin to utilize solar energy. Solar Arcadia is just a small piece of the bigger picture.

Coming Soon

The launch of the Solar Arcadia site is just a week away.

The launch of the new Apple iPhone 3G, however, is a little more than a month away. After all the rumors, the official release date of the iPhone 3G is July 11th.

Steve Job's keynote speech at WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) revealed that the new iPhone's battery life specs are as follows:

10 hours 2G talk time
5 hours 3G talk time
5-6 hours of high-speed browsing
24 hours of audio playback

This is pretty good, but with a Solar Arcadia's solar charger, the iPhone will last even longer.

The bottom line is...
iPhones and solar chargers make a great team.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer's Great Phones

This summer will feature a host of new phones. All the tech-savvy people out there are going to have a difficult time choosing which one to purchase.

Some of the summer's most anticipated phones have already been released, some are coming soon, and others are just in the rumor stage. Nonetheless, here is a list of new phones to look out for:
  1. The Nokia e71
  2. BlackBerry 9000 Bold
  3. Apple iPhone 2 with 3G
  4. Sony Ericsson Xperia X1
  5. HTC Touch Diamond
  6. HTC Touch Pro (Raphael)
If you haven't heard of any of these phones, I suggest you head to the BoyGenius Report to get updated. We'll try to stay on top of the information and provide you with the latest news on each of these phones.

With all the great features, each of these phones could have problems with battery life. Solar Arcadia will have solar chargers available for just about every model.

The bottom line is...
No matter which phone you get, you'll need a solar charger.

The Solarize It! Mission

Welcome to the Solarize It! blog. We are a product of Solar Arcadia, the company that provides you with the greatest solar chargers.

Our goal is to find fun ways to educate you about the benefits of going solar.

On this blog, you'll find:

  • News about the solar industry.

  • News about the environment.

  • News about cell phones and other electronics.

  • Updates on new Solar Arcadia products.

  • Entertaining videos.

  • Tips for going solar.

Any questions can be directed to Thank you, and enjoy.

The bottom line is...
You're going to love us.