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Fraunhofer has developed a solar-powered ski helmet-based communications system

It looks like the skiers’ communications systems from Buhel and Recon could soon be in for some solar-powered competition. Working with German tech company TEXSYS and the Technische Universität Berlin, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration have developed a communications module that can be integrated directly into a ski helmet. That module is powered by nothing but sunlight, and can be linked with the user’s mobile devices via a Bluetooth-enabled glove-based control unit.  Read More

Design By Many recently announced the winners of its Electric Vehicle Charging Station com...

Design By Many, a challenge-based design community, recently announced the winners of its Electric Vehicle Charging Station competition. First prize was awarded to the HMMY team for its Plug + Play concept. The smart-looking electric vehicle charging station attempts to stimulate awareness of the gap between production and consumption of energy. The design "generates a renewed consciousness of energy use in our modern lives," according to HMMY.  Read More

The Bauhaus Barge has 25 square meters of PV panels on its side and top which are said to ...

The soothing sound of canal water gently lapping against wood as you fall into peaceful slumber has got to be one of the best ways to end a relaxing day of leisurely cruising past sights that many Londoners rarely glimpse. Doing so on a vessel that gets the power for its motor, lighting and modern appliances from the Sun, features multi-layer insulation, underfloor heating and a charming wood-burning stove, and is surprisingly bright and roomy inside, seems too good to be true. Meet the Bauhaus Barge, a Dutch-style wide beam houseboat which is all of that and more.  Read More

The Sunflower is a heliostat designed for residential use

Some people have a cool, gloomy room in their house that receives little if any direct sunlight, even though it has a window. Should you be one of those people, and you want to save electricity, perhaps a home heliostat is what you need. Heliostats are motorized mirrored devices that move to compensate for the changing angle of the Sun as it moves across the sky, reflecting its rays onto a fixed target such as a window, photovoltaic panel, or solar oven. While almost all commercially-available heliostats are aimed at industrial users, Massachusetts-based company Wikoda is now offering what it claims is the world's only heliostat designed and priced for residential use.  Read More

Approximately 80 solar panels are incorporated into the 450-meter (492-yard) system

The tiny Swiss town of Tenna has put itself on the eco-map by building an innovative solar-powered ski lift. The solar lift is one of the world's first of its kind, and utilizes a "cable car system" where the solar panels are integrated directly into the lift. Approximately 80 solar panels are incorporated into a 450-meter (492-yard) system that is suspended above the ski lift, which has the capacity to pull 800 skiers up the mountain per hour. To avoid running out of energy during bad weather and snow storms, the ski lift is also connected to the local power supply, so skiers will not be left hanging on in the dark!  Read More

The AQUA TEK S case offers ruggedized protection and a solar panel for charging its own bu...

If you're hoping to attract investors to get yet another iPhone case to an already crowded market, it had better do more than just protect a phone from bumps and scrapes. Snow Lizard Products is giving itself the best possible chance of raising funds for its new AQUA TEK S case for iPhone 4 and 4S with an offering that not only boasts ruggedized protection, but also includes a solar panel, built in battery, and is waterproof up to 20 ft (6 m).  Read More

The SolarWorld GT solar-powered car is currently on a drive around the world, and embarks ...

Last October, the SolarWorld GT solar-powered car set out from Darwin, Australia on a drive around the world. It has since driven 3,001 kilometers (1,865 miles) across Australia, logged 1,947 km (1,210 miles) crossing New Zealand, and been shipped across the Pacific Ocean. This Friday, it will embark on the U.S. leg of its journey, as it sets out across America from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Read More

The modern Astonyshine design is focused around a freestone structure

Italy and France have joined forces to create the "Astonyshine" 100 percent solar home concept as part of the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe. The international competition is open to universities from around the globe and promotes research into the development of efficient housing. Astonyshine is a modern reinterpretation of the classic Mediterranean villa, and is the result of the combined efforts from Polytechnic of Bari (Italy), University of Ferrara (Italy), Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture Paris-Malaquais (France) and Ecole des Ponts ParisTech (France).  Read More

The Rukus Solar portable Bluetooth sound system's lithium ion battery can be charged by th...

While insufficient battery-life can be annoying in most mobile devices, getting cut off from the outside world because your radio has run out of juice can be much more serious. This is why Eton has been producing various devices powered by hand-turbines and solar panels for some time now. Today’s CES Unveiled saw Eton demonstrating its latest FRX line of self-powered radios that come in three flavors – the FRX 3 and FRX 2, which both sport a solar panel and hand turbine, and the FRX 1, which features just the hand-turbine. Also on show was Eton’s new Rukus portable Bluetooth sound system, which comes in battery- and solar-powered versions.  Read More

The SolarKindle Kindle case can provide you with three months of reading time, and over 50...

What if you could read on your Kindle for three months straight? SolarFocus will be showing off a Kindle case at CES this week designed to do just that. Called SolarKindle, the case has a solar panel built into its front that allows you to charge your Kindle poolside, or while you're involved in other outdoor activities, delivering three months of reading time and over 50 hours of reading lamp use on a single charge.  Read More

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