Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Environment

Australian Scientists developing spray on solar panels

Researchers in Australia have started a three-year project to develop a spray-on coating for solar panels and more efficient cells that are less costly than today's PV. Australian National University (ANU) is working with new Australian solar company Spark Solar and Finnish materials company Braggone Oy on the method, which could be commercially available by 2011.  Read More

Protect your iPhone with recycled Columbian truck tires

Better Energy Systems have added new smart phone protective cases - including one for the iPhone - to their eco-friendly range. Tread cases are manufactured from re-engineered Colombian truck tires and the resulting recycled material is heat resistant, can withstand temperatures of up to 110 degrees C (230 degrees F), is not weakened by UV light and can even survive acid being poured on it.  Read More

RITI printer design concept by Jeon Hwan Ju

The paperless office is a great notion, but in reality there are still many scenarios where the printer needs to be switched on and fed with environmentally unfriendly consumables - paper and ink. Recycling and re-using paper for print jobs has become well entrenched, but the expensive and often frustrating process of replenishing the ink remains an issue for many of us. Which brings us to one of the cleverest recycling ideas to emerge from this year's Greener Gadgets competition - the RITI printer. This design concept by Jeon Hwan Ju takes your coffee or tea dregs, plus a little elbow grease, and turns them into an eco-friendly alternative to conventional ink.  Read More

The 'holy grail' of lighting

Cambridge University researchers have developed cheap, light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs that produce brilliant light but use very little electricity. They will cost just GBP2 (USD2.80) and last up to 60 years. The gallium nitride based bulbs are 12 times more efficient than conventional tungsten incandescent bulbs and three times more efficient than compact fluorescent low-energy bulbs. As well as lasting 100,000 hours, ten times as long as today's eco-bulbs, the LED bulbs do not contain mercury, so disposal is less damaging to the environment, they do not flicker and fully illuminate instantly, unlike the current generation of eco-bulbs.  Read More

The Windspire

While wind turbines are a clean, green way to generate power, they can be a bit of an eyesore and require quite a bit of room meaning, more often than not, they need to be located in sparsely populated areas far from where the generated power is actually needed. We’ve looked at AeroVironment’s innovative urban solution as well as StatoilHydro’s HyWind. Now a look at another innovative product - Windspire. The Windspire, from Reno, Nevada based Mariah Power, combats the large footprint problem by employing a propeller-free design that makes it ideal for rural, suburban, and even some urban residential environments.  Read More

New world record solar cell (Image: Fraunhofer ISE)

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have set a new record for solar cell efficiency. Using concentrated sunlight on a specially constructed multi-junction solar cell, the research group lead by Frank Dimroth has achieved 41.1% efficiency for the conversion of sunlight into electricity.  Read More

Powerfilm's USB charger

PowerFilm demonstrated a very cool USB+2 AA battery flexible folding charger at CES 2009. We were lucky enough to snap a few pictures of the device and get a look at some samples of their amorphous silicon solar technology for printing cells onto fabric or other materials.  Read More

Kinesis' K2

Kinesis' K2 device combines a wind turbine, solar panel and internal 3800mAh battery to create a smart charger for all your handheld gadgets The device can be left in a sunny or windy place during the day and can be charge the internal battery 20 hours via wind alone or 8 hours via solar (in direct sunlight) or presumably less than 8 hours by both simultaneously.  Read More

nPower PEG

Battery running low on you're mobile phone? Sounds like it's time for a walk. That's the reality of the nPower PEG, a personal energy generator that, like battery-less flashlights which require shaking to produce energy, puts Faraday's Principle of Electromagnetic Induction to work to create a totally renewable energy source for charging your handheld electronic devices.  Read More

Rainbow Solar Inc. announces photovoltaic-glass window

Incorporating sustainable technologies like solar directly into building design is the logical next step in clean energy development and we can expect many more announcements like this one from Rainbow Solar Inc. (RSi) as the industry matures. The company has released details of its semi-transparent, photovoltaic-glass window, a next generation of BIPV (building integrated photovoltaic) which promises to generate up to 250 watts of electricity as well as providing a 100% reduction in Ultraviolet and Infrared radiation.  Read More

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