A Japanese company has developed a highly portable backup generator which uses a flexible solar panel to fit 40W of power into a 3kg package. The OS GSR-110B combines a 24W internal rechargeable battery with a 16W solar panel that pulls 1.2m from the side of the unit.
The latest solar powered cell phone was just announced at Mobile World Congress in Spain, the Umeox Apollo. The phone runs on Android, and would take about 2.5 hours of sunlight for refilling the battery after daily use. This is great news if you want to go camping and not be without your smartphone. The phone is headed for production, but there is no word on when it will actually be available in the US.
The phone could also be great for travelling. But for daily use, leaving your phone out in the sun for 2.5 hours at a time probably isn't realistic. More likely, the phone would charge for 10-15 minutes throughout the day in between uses. In the event the phone goes completely dead, it would take up to 17 hours in the sun to charge it back.
$17 million for a self-sustainable super yacht may seem like a steal to some people. But, as many yachts have proven in the past, it's all about the features on board that make the price make more sense. For the Ocean Empire, being called the first-ever zero carbon life support vessel isn't good enough. No, the designers wanted to make sure that there's plenty of eco-friendly elements, along with plenty of room for people to live their day-to-day lives on board.
Integrating eco-friendly features into our every day things may be one of the best ways to actually implement the technology, along with the way of life, especially for those who haven't embraced the movement. For something like the Hydroleaf Shelter, it's a great and easy way to provide clean, drinkable water for those who might be waiting for a bus, or other forms of public transportation. Or simply just need a drink.
From New York artist Josh Hadar, this three-wheeled bike measures in at 8.4 feet in length, and features a carbon steel frame. While tricycles may not be the most attractive ways to move around your city, it would be hard for anyone to ignore this monster tricycle going down the street.
The promise of solar energy sounds great until you get down to the real world application and realize that you need a huge number of solar panels to be able to generate a reasonable amount of energy for a typical home or business. Solar power installations are becoming more common with the US government though as they look to save money on power and help the environment.
It looks like we're getting one step closer to having that future we've all imagined. You know, that future we all envisioned when we first played Sim City 2000. Or when we saw Blade Runner for the first time. We may not have flying, or even levitating, cars right now, but at least we're moving in the right direction. And thanks to prototypes like the Solar Powered Road, we can start to think that it may not be another 100 years before we get there.