Ford with SunPower. Let the sun in.

January 8, 2014 in Solar, Transportation

Did you hear? Ford revealed its new Ford C-Max Solar Energi concept car at CES 2014 ; a car equipped with 300W of semi-flexible rooftop solar (Sunpower) that can run quasi-entirely on solar charging without need to draw energy from the electric grid. The innovation in the system lies not only in the high-efficiency solar [...]

Pedaling my way to the Velorution Bike Workshop.

April 28, 2013 in Transportation

The Velorution Bike Workshop is run and operated by volunteers to help people fix up their bicycles. In Paris, the workshop is open Tuesdays and Thursday from 16h-21h, and Sundays from 14h-19h. This place is just. awesome. I recently bought a bike off Craigslist for an upcoming bike trip in the Netherlands. It was a great [...]

ATDynamics. Making trucks more fuel-efficient.

January 1, 2013 in Efficiency, Transportation

Are you worried about your car having a low gas mileage?  Now think about a freight truck – which weighs about 10x a normal car, hovers at about 4-7 mpg and clocks in 80,000-100,000 miles.  Per year.  That truck’s fuel budget is about $58k per year, and its carbon footprint is 148 metric tons of [...]

Loochi – more than a smart lamp!

December 5, 2012 in Efficiency, Random Cool

Loochi, brought to you by TBIdeas based in Santa Cruz, CA, is the first Bluetooth4 smart lamp that allows the user to control and animate lighting wirelessly from a smartphone.  Moreover, Loochi is open-source for hardware, software, AND design, allowing for endless lighting creativity to evolve.  Did someone say Loochi-based building-size Tetris? While the LeWeb [...]

SunFunder. Invest in Solar Energy. Light up the World.

November 2, 2012 in Appropriate Technology, Solar

SunFunder, based in San Francisco, is  a social enterprise building a crowdfunding platform for individual investors to finance solar projects around the world. To put it briefly, over 1.5 billion people (over 20% of the world’s population!) do not have access to electricity.  In many cases, these same people live in sun-abundant regions where as SunFunder [...]

Highview Power Storage. Energy storage through cryogenic fluids.

October 5, 2012 in Energy Storage

Highview Power Storage is a London-based startup developing a frozen air (or “liquid air”) technology for grid-scale storage applications. Many interesting grid-scale storage technologies have cropped up in recent years including liquid batteries, compressed air storage, storage through electric vehicles, lithion ion - and the need is clear: if we want successful integration of intermittent renewables (ie. solar, [...]

Canopea at the Solar Decathlon 2012

September 20, 2012 in Efficiency, Solar

I will be at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 tomorrow, supporting the Canopea project which has integrated DualSun’s hybrid solar panels onto their “nanotowers”. The Solar Decathlon is an international competition among universities from around the world to promote research in the development of efficient houses with a specific focus on the use of solar energy. [...]

Boosted Boards. The World’s Lightest Electric Vehicle.

September 14, 2012 in Transportation

Boosted Boards, based in Palo Alto, CA, has designed an electric-powered longboard with 2.6 horsepower and regenerative breaking, and the technology is positioned not only as an improved skateboard, but as the world’s lightest electric vehicle.   The Boosted Board is a technical wonder: it has a top speed of 20 mph (kind of like a [...]

Peppermint’s Forty2. The solar microgrid – made portable and accessible.

September 6, 2012 in Distributed Power, Solar

Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Peppermint Clean Energy is a cleantech startup developing the Forty2, an integrated solar “Utility in a Box” – powerful enough to run an emergency disaster-relief medical facility, compact enough to be carried by a child. The Forty2, with a name that pays homage to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s Answer of the [...]

EcoXPower. Ride your bike, charge your iPhone.

August 27, 2012 in Transportation

Bike lovers, listen up. San Diego-based Grace Digital is an audio electronics company that recently changed gears (pun intended) to develop the EcoXPower, a generator kit that easily attaches to the hub of the front wheel of a bicycle, designed to power both LED bicycle lights and a smartphone or GPS system.   A “hub dynamo” is [...]

The Solar Pocket Factory. Micro-solar manufacturing that is better, cheaper, and local.

August 21, 2012 in Solar

From some of the same guys that brought Humdinger (micro-wind) and B-Squares (portable solar), comes the Solar Pocket Factory, a mini ‘solar factory’ for fabricating and assembling micro-solar products better and cheaper – and can be located anywhere.   Micro-solar refers to solar cells for low-power applications like phone-charging and LED lighting – applications which are useful for [...]

Pavegen. Renewable energy from footsteps.

August 6, 2012 in Distributed Power, Efficiency, Energy Storage, Random Cool

London-based Pavegen builds energy-harvesting tiles based on a hybrid piezoelectric technology that transform footsteps into electricity. The technology is featured at the London Olympics, where 12 tiles have been installed at the West Ham tube station connecting to the Olympic Park.  These tiles generate and store electricity (each has a small battery) in order to power [...]