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Solar Power

The World's Largest Laundry is Powered by Sun

The World's Larges Laundromat contains 153 washers, 147 dryers, and 36 water-heating roof panels.  Tom Benson, owner, says he did it for purely financial reasons, but his customers thank him daily for helping the environment.

Heating water is cialis samples a wasteful business, and laundromats need a lot of hot water.  The solar system is a basic solar hot water heater, just a bunch of flat black panels with water running through them, no fancy photovoltaics needed.  Every year, Tom Benson's laundry saves about $25,000 in energy costs thanks to solar heating. 


Though the cost of the system will be generating excess cash in five years, and Benson's Chicago locale is by no means ideal for solar, very few laundromats have embraced solar water heating.  But as energy prices continue to climb, laundromat owners will likely follow Benson's example.

Via USA Today


Solar Power Tower

We've heard about this concept before, but it looks like an Australian group is going ahead with their plan to build a large-scale solar power tower capable of providing power to 100,000 homes.

The concept is to enclose the area around the base of the tower in a glass greenhouse that captures solar energy. The superheated air rises through a central chimney with turbines to generate electricity. Furthermore, by using heat retaining materials on levitra next day the viagra professional 100 mg ground which release heat during the night, the developers believe that they will be able to generate electricity 24 hours a day.

The company has a great animated diagram that illustrates how the system works. It requires a sizable area and consistent sunshine, which is why this first installation is being set in the Australian Outback.

If you're looking for something a bit more pretty, this 3D video of the the Solar Power Tower gives you a full on walkthrough of viagra for her the technological marvel, though I suggest turning the sound off to avoid the cheesy music.  The tower will be over 1000 feet tall and, according to the rendering, there will be an observation deck at the top of it.  Oh, and if you keep watching 'till the wow look it levitra in canada end, you'll see that the Australian outback may someday be dotted with these humongous installations.



The system has few of the drawbacks which some opponents of wind farms find objectionable. For example, there are no external blades which would pose a threat to birds. People may, however, consider them to be ugly. But I don't think it's uglier than a world of submerged coastal cities.

via Ecofriend


Solar Powered LED Bricks

bricklightsThe days of the lamp are coming to an end.  LEDs are beginning their march to turn regular things into sources of light.  And the next step in that march of lite up generally dark stuff is the brick!
Sun Bricks are the size of standard modular paver bricks, and can be placed in a walkway alongside ordinary pavers to provide walkway illumination. The brick includes a solar cell to charge two AAA batteries which then provide power to two LEDs for up to 8 hours of nighttime lighting. They are completely self-contained and best price levitra online need no external wiring, so it's a simple fix to add in some solar-powered lighting to any walkway.  Of course, at $59 a piece it's not as cheap a fix as we might hope for.    

Solar Ferry also a Power Plant

Solar BoatUSA Today has a short article this week about the Serpentine Solar Shuttle, an all-stainless-steel passenger ferry powered entirely by the sun.  The Shuttle is buy generic cialis online equipped with 27solar panels and two electrical engines allowing it to reach a maximum distance of 82 miles loaded with 42 passengers. 

It's not fast, but it is clean and, according to it's designer, Christoph Behling, it's the "most technologically advanced shuttle in the world."  The boat cost 20% more than a diesel boat of the same size and goes about 20% as fast, but it produces 100% less pollution.  Behling hopes that this boat will help spur development of further solar-powered transport.

The Shuttle is also designed to be plugged into Brittain's power grid when not in operation, turning the boat into a miniature power plant. 

The next step for Behling is a 300 passenger ferry designed to run on the Thames scheduled for launch in 2008.

Top 10 Solar Gadgets

sunflowerWe can't seem to get off this solar-power kick.  It's getting cheaper and (after thirty years of work) it's going mainstream.  TechEBlog recently chronicled a bit of best price viagra online this explosion of solar gadgetry with their "Top 10 Strangest Solar Gadgets."  Largely, these things are pretty useless, (a helicopter who's propellers spin slowly in the sun tops out the list.)  But the solar powered, hat-mounted, mini-fan looks like it could come in handy.  Also on the list: MP3 Player, rain gauge, and a gadget charging purse. 

Pictured to the right is the SunFlower Solar Power Station, probably the coolest thing on the list.  The rotatable solar panel catches light from the window during the day and uses it to power the on board music system and the three standard American electrical sockets in the base.  If not all of the energy is used, it can be stored in the internal rechargeable batteries.  Of course, this thing is a long way from your local Best Buy, probably close to 20 years away. 

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