Friday, August 29, 2008

Unusual Solar Photos pt. 2

Here we have: A solar DJ booth.

The bottom line is...

What would you do if you were the DJ at an indoor concert?

Global Warming

We'll take a break from all the solar facts and information to give you some startling statistics regarding global warming.
  • Worldwide, 1995 was the warmest year since global temperatures were first kept in 1856. This supports the near consensus among climatologists that emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases are causing global warming. (Chivilan and Epstein, Boston Globe)
  • The United States is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for 23 percent of energy-related carbon emissions worldwide. (U.S. Department of Energy)
  • An average of 23,000 pounds of carbon dioxide are emitted annually in each American home. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Carbon emissions in North America reached 1,760 million metric tons in 1998, a 38 percent increase since 1970. They are expected to grow another 31 percent, to 2,314 million metric tons, by the year 2020. (U.S. Department of Energy)
  • On average, 16 million tons of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere every 24 hours by human use worldwide. (U.S. Department of Energy)

The bottom line is...

We Americans need to do a better job.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Unusual Solar Photos pt. 1

Gizmodo is officially a friend of us at Solar Arcadia. As I was browsing their site, I found the photo you see above. It was designed by Vivien Muller, and looks to be a device for charging gadgets.

The bottom line is...

More and more cool things can be done.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Breaking Solar Records

I just found a cool article on Gizmodo. Apparently, the apparatus pictured above, known as the Zephyr Glider, just broke a world record. Jack Loftus reports:
Last we heard from the U.K.'s high altitude Zephyr glider, it was unofficially breaking the record for longest unmanned flight. That was back in 2007, when the record was a paltry 30 hours, and the Zephyr was able to manage a 54 hour flight, thanks to its solar powered batteries. On Friday, the Zephyr flew that and then some when it completed an 84-hour flight without issue.

The bottom line is...

It was all made possible by the power of the sun.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

iPhone Battery Life

I've heard different things about opinions about the battery life of Apple's 3G iPhone. If you're one of those people who's having trouble keeping your iPhone charged during the day, you might find this video helpful:

The bottom line is...

He forgot to mention our Solar iPhone chargers, which will help as well.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Solar Products

Going solar is usually a great thing... Just look at our website! People come up with creative products that are also environmentally friendly. Sometimes these products are useful, and sometimes they're not.

Take these two products, for example. First up, we have a solar air conditioner.

For the most part, air conditioners use too much energy to be powered by solar panels; however, a company known as Greencore has found the perfect solution...
"The company's 10200 model uses a single 170-watt solar panel during the day and electricity from the power grid during the night to charge its batteries, leading to massive energy savings even if the solution isn't 100% solar." - Elaine Chow of Gizmoda via Treehugger
Sound awesome, right? It's very practical. We could definitely use something like this in my household. The second product, on the other hand, might not be as helpful. It's a solar neck tie.

Created by a group of geniuses at North Carolina State, the invention uses a great deal of complex technology:
"The designs use a process called digital textile printing to leverage the blocky solar panels into neck ties and jackets. In the case of the tie there's even a hidden pocket to hold your device as it charges. Convenient. A five-day test found the clothing posed no significant health risk..." - Jack Loftus of Gizmodo
As cool as it might be, I don't think I'd use a solar necktie to charge my gadgets. Hopefully they can use they're creative energy and smarts to come up with something a little more useful. Or maybe it will catch on... Who knows?

The bottom line is...

Keep the solar powered products coming.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Solar Energy in Beijing

If you're like me, you're watching the 2008 Summer Olympics Games from home. So far, I've seen some rowboating, gymnastics, and a little boxing. I've also seen Michael Phelps swim his way to several gold medals and the USA Basketball Team destroy the competition.

But if we were actually in Beijing, we'd get to witness some of the other beautiful sights. Take the Zero Energy Media Wall in Beijing, for example. It's the world's largest LED display, and it is powered by solar energy.

The bottom line is...

Imagine if this thing wasn't powered by solar energy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

All About Biodiesel

Using biodiesel in a conventional diesel engine substantially reduces emissions of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulfates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and particulate matter.

Facts relating to biodiesel:
  • Can be used at 100% levels or mixed in any proportion with No. 2 diesel or No. 1 diesel.
  • Contains no nitrogen or aromatics.
  • Typically contains less than 15 ppm sulfur - Does not contribute to sulfur dioxide emissions.
  • Has characteristically low carbon monoxide, particulate, soot and hydrocarbon emissions.
  • Contains 11% oxygen by weight.
  • Has the highest energy content (BTUs) of any alternative fuel and is comparable to No. 1 diesel.

The bottom line is...

The facts speak for themselves.

Solar T-Shirts

This is just a reminder that we have Solar T-Shirts available on our Solar Arcadia website.

The bottom line is...

Take a look at them.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Green Dictatorship

Volunteering to go green is one thing, but what if you were forced to go green? We all know that it's for a good cause, but does the government have to right to force its citizens to be environmentally friendly?

People in Germany are currently debating this question because in Marburg, the citizens are going to be forced to use solar panels on their homes. Here's an excerpt from the NY Times article:
"The town council took the significant step in June of moving from merely encouraging citizens to install solar panels to making them an obligation. The ordinance, the first of its kind in Germany, will require solar panels not only on new buildings, which fewer people oppose, but also on existing homes that undergo renovations or get new heating systems or roof repairs.

To give the regulation teeth, a fine of 1,000 euros, about $1,500, awaits those who do not comply.

Critics howled that the rule, which is to go into effect on Oct. 1, constituted an attack on the rights of property owners. The regional government in Giessen stepped in and warned that it would overturn the rule." - Nicholas Kulish

The bottom line is...

Eventually, everyone should move towards better energy sources, but it should definitely be on their own terms.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wind and Solar Team Up

I recently saw a Sharp commercial that showed off some of the company's new solar endeavors. I wanted to post it here, but I browsed YouTube for awhile and couldn't find it. I ended up discovering another cool video. It features a guy who drives a car powered by wind and solar energy.

Have a look:

The bottom line is...

Sometimes you have to sacrifice style for the good of the environment.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Nokia e71 Battery Life

If you're a gadget person, then you know all about the new Nokia e71. It's a Symbian-operated PDA phone that should get the Blackberry a run for its money.

It features all the standard stuff that you'd see on a phone released in 2008 (ie. bluetooth, gps, wi-fi, 3G, etc.). It's by far one of the sexiest phones to be released in awhile (with the exception of the iPhone, of course).

However, there is one small problem.

I just received mine in the mail over the weekend. I've had some time to play with it, and I must say that t
he battery life is horrible.

Yesterday, I sent a few text messages and emails, browsed the web and watched a couple YouTube videos, made some phone calls via my bluetooth, and instant messaged my friends. In no time flat, my battery had depleted.

My solution? A solar cell phone charger. My car charger isn't always available, so this is the best way to get the job done.

The bottom line is...

If you have a Nokia e71, you may want to think about how you'll keep it charged up.

Friday, August 1, 2008

These Facts Will Blow You Away

I guarantee you didn't know these facts about the greatness of wind:
  • Wind power is the fastest-growing energy source in the world. (Worldwatch Institute)
  • The wind in North Dakota alone could produce a third of America's electricity. (The Official Earth Day Guide to Planet Repair)
  • Wind power has the potential to supply a large fraction--probably at least 20%--of U.S. electricity demand at an economical price.
  • In 1990, California's wind power plants offset the emission of more than 2.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, and 15 million pounds of other pollutants that would have otherwise been produced.
  • Using 100 kWh of wind power each month is equivalent to planting ½ acre of trees and NOT driving 2,400 miles

The bottom line is...

We're all about solar, but wind is good too.