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Solar Powered

While it might not be the world’s largest solar boat or the fastest, this modest home-built solar-powered boat does the job and comfortably accommodates six passengers. Dubbed “Firefly,” it was built by Canadian eco-enthusiast Dan Baker for an impressive CA$2,900 (US$2,845). Read More
To really get the most out of the summer you have to head out of the city and into the country. Whether it be for a camping trip or a festival outing, the great outdoors is the best venue for sunnier days. Unfortunately rain can ruin a great day, as can a lack of mobile reception and the inability the charge your mobile phone. Vodafone thinks it has the answer to all three of these problems with the Booster Brolly, a humble umbrella turned all-in-one tool. Read More
Streetlamps burn all night long, 365 nights a year, yet they also spend all day soaking up the Sun’s rays. This combination of regular usage alternating with sunlight exposure would seem to make them ideal candidates for the solar-power treatment. Indeed, companies such as Sharp and several others currently offer solar-powered streetlamps. Spain’s University of Seville, however, has developed a streetlamp that harnesses the power not only of sunlight, but also of wind. Read More

Although we featured the world's first exclusively solar-powered computer mouse as long ago as 2007, I think it's fair to say that such solutions haven't exactly taken off. One reason could be a fear of being left unable to click and scroll if there's not enough light to juice up the I/O peripheral. Bondidea's N91 wireless optical mouse gets round any potential power fail anxiety by running from either battery or the built-in PV panel. Read More

Sun Flare Systems is a Canadian company that has developed a solar-powered backup generator. Designed to provide power in cases of outage and disaster, the patent-pending SOS in a Box kit is basically a small, portable power plant that includes a backup generator, flexible high-efficiency solar panels, and a charge controller. Sun Flare says its solar generation package is the first FAA and Airline Approved generator of its kind. Read More
At approximately 11:30 this Tuesday night, the Solar Impulse solar-powered aircraft completed its first-ever transcontinental flight, arriving at Morocco’s Rabat-Salé international airport 19 hours and 8 minutes after taking off from a scheduled stop-over in Madrid. Prior to that, on the first leg of its 2012 Crossing Frontiers mission, it took 17 hours, 30 minutes and 50 seconds to fly to Madrid from its starting point at the Payerne aerodrome in Switzerland. Read More
Italian industrial designer Michele Puzzolante has come up with a conceptual floating luxury hotel suite he claims could be entirely self-powering thanks to the dye-sensitized solar cells which would be integrated into the vessel's walls. Puzzolante suggests his "Solar Floating Resort" could be navigated along exotic coast lines, while its six resident passengers observe marine wildlife thanks to its underwater "observation bulb." Read More
Following five years of research and development, California start-up and provider of disaster relief technology Green Horizon has begun shipping its modestly-named Central Service Unit (CSU). Combined with its QuickHab and SFH40 rapid-assembly prefabricated homes, Green Horizon has come up with a trio of rapid-response technologies that the company hopes will transform our responses to natural disasters by providing, essentially, rapid-assembly solar powered villages. Read More
While sailing can be an activity that is easy to learn, it is difficult to master. Sailing boats need to be constantly tended to quickly respond to changing conditions and for both the novice and the expert, this continual need for adjustments makes sailing a demanding task. That's why the ASV Roboat is an impressive piece of engineering. Packing an array of sensors, communications hardware and solar panels, the ASV Roboat is a fully autonomous, unmanned sailing boat that has its sights set on the current robotic world sailing record. Read More
Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, whose body of work is mostly based on light installations, last week presented a small solar powered light during the World Economic Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Olafur collaborated with engineer Frederik Ottesen to create Little Sun, which they hope can help bring indoor lighting to those people who lack access in developing countries. Read More
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