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Solar Powered

Last year, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow put forward the idea of using fleets of laser-toting satellites to deflect potentially dangerous objects away from Earth. Now, Dr. Richard Fork, principal investigator for the Laser Science and Engineering Laboratory at the University of Alabama and his team have refined the idea, saying that it’s not only feasible, but could handle anything up to the size of a comet. Read More

We typically see photovoltaic panels up on roofs, as they're broad, open surfaces that receive a lot of sunlight. You know what else spends a lot of time in the scorching sun, though? Sidewalks. With that in mind, a team at Washington DC's The George Washington University has created what is claimed to be "the first walkable solar-paneled pathway in the world." Read More

At the end of last month, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies began shipments of its latest hydrogen fuel cell-powered remote-control toy car, the i-H2GO. Like its predecessor, the H2GO, it runs on hydrogen obtained from user-supplied water. The main thing that's new about the i-H2GO, however, is the fact that it is now controlled using a free app on the user's existing smartphone. I got my hands on an early production model, mainly just so that I could truthfully say "I've driven a fuel cell car." Read More
There are already a number of solar-powered phone charger/LED light combos out there, but the ClicLite is a little different from the rest – “little” being the key word. At just 4 x 4 cm (1.6 x 1.6 in), it can be attached to a keyring, and easily stuffed into a purse or pocket. Additionally, if its one included mono-crystalline solar panel isn't powerful enough for you, you can add on some others. Read More
German domestic appliances manufacturer Miele has taken to IFA's stage and unveiled what the company cites as the "world's only" solar-powered tumble dryer, the T 8881 S EcoComfort. Read More
Conventional satellites may be decent at their jobs, but they do have some drawbacks – the spacecraft themselves are quite expensive, getting them into orbit is also a costly process, and they can’t be reclaimed once they’re in use. Titan Aerospace, however, is offering an alternative that should have none of those problems. The company’s Solara unmanned high-altitude aircraft is intended to serve as an “atmospheric satellite,” autonomously flying in the sky’s upper reaches for as long as five years continuously. Read More
If you wanted to charge an electric vehicle anywhere, without permits, digging holes, pouring concrete, or wiring up to the grid, Envision Solar's new portable solar-powered electric vehicle charger ticks all the boxes. Envision, known for turning parking lots into reasonably attractive vehicle-charging factories, has introduced a next step of clean electric vehicle charging, intended for businesses or cities who need a quick and easy way to offer this service to clients in the form of a single parking space. Read More
US architectural firm Studio RMA recently completed the Hi’ilani EcoHouse: a two-family, low-energy property located on an attractive plot on Hawaii's Big Island. The building draws much of its required energy from renewable sources, and Studio RMA strove to offset the CO2 produced during construction by planting extensive forestry. Read More

A solar-powered variant of AeroVironment’s hand-launched Puma AE small UAS has matched the continuous flight time of over nine hours attained by a hybrid fuel cell-powered model in 2008. Read More

There are those for whom ditching the modern comforts of home and roughing it is one of the main attractions of camping. For such people, the traditional tent will likely do. But there is another breed of campers that can’t stand to be separated from their technology, be it digital music, videos, tablet computers, drink blenders, etc. For them, there's a new generation of high-tech tents wired to power all the latest portable gadgetry. Read More