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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 [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Mera Gao Micro Grid Power. Solar-powered network systems for rural off-grid villages.

July 6, 2012 in Appropriate Technology, Distributed Power, Solar

The world’s off-grid population – who are also the world’s poorest – not only rely on dirty and unsafe sources for their energy needs (kerosene for lighting, charcoal for cooking), but they are also paying a much higher price for energy needs than their grid-connected counterparts. We’ve seen a number of off-grid projects respond to [...]

Eight19. Transforming lives with flexible solar technology.

June 14, 2012 in Appropriate Technology, Solar

Cambridge, UK-based Eight19 combines an innovative technology (organic solar PV) and an innovative business model (pay-as-you-go solar electricity system) to provide a low-cost solution for clean energy access to rural off-grid communities. Eight19 is a technology company.  They develop and manufacture a novel printed plastic solar cell technology based on organic semiconductor materials.  As compared to the [...]

Solar Impulse. The revenge of Icarus.

May 17, 2012 in Solar, Transportation

I was inspired to approach the topic of low-carbon travel, after reading Sustainable Energy – without the hot air and realizing that no matter how much effort you make in your daily life to reduce your carbon emissions and live efficiently – take shorter showers, turn down the heat, avoid using a car, eat less meat – as [...]

BrightSource Energy. A future for CSP?

May 4, 2012 in Solar

When you hear solar power, you’re probably thinking photovoltatics (PV) .  In fact, all but one* solar projects documented on Watt Now have been PV technologies.  And solar PV has dominated the media lately due to significant cost reductions in PV manufacturing and concern about China’s control over the PV supply chain. But there’s another [very significant] solar player [...]

SolarCity. Make the switch to better energy.

April 27, 2012 in Solar

Founded in 2006 in San Mateo, California, the rockstar company SolarCity provides (among many offerings) the opportunity for homeowners to switch to solar  –  wait for it – for free. Even with generous incentives (subsidies, feed-in tariffs, rebates, SRECs), homeowners often shy away from investing in solar energy due to the high initial investment cost (~$10,000-$20,000 before [...]

3-D Solar. Up to 20x more power than flat panels.

April 8, 2012 in Solar

Numerous companies – 1366, Bandgap, Twin Creeks, and more – are striving to optimize solar cell efficiency or manufacturing to bring down solar costs. Regardless of the innovative process, the end-result is generally the same: a flat panel that is fixed on a rooftop or other surface. A team of researchers at MIT is considering [...]

SolarFuel. Smart Energy Conversion.

March 23, 2012 in Energy Storage, Solar, Transportation, Wind

SolarFuel, a Stuttgart, Germany-based startup, is developing a Power-to-Gas (P2G) technology which converts wind and solar-generated electricity  into “storable” synthetic CO2-neutral natural gas. The key challenge facing the successful integration of renewable sources (re. solar, wind) into grid infrastructure is intermittency. Renewable electricity is generated irregularly – when the sun is shining or the wind is [...]