See-Through Solar Panels / Solar Windows From Sharp.

Sharp Solar Windows.  See-Through Solar Panels.Sharp Corporation is not the first to develop see-through solar panels but with their name recognition and ability to take advantage of economies of scale, hopefully they’ll be the most successful. Sharp’s semi-transparent solar panels are 4.5′ x 3.2′, 0.37-inches thin and have a solar efficiency of 6.8 percent. Their solar efficiency rating is low compared to standard opaque solar panels, that are in the 12-18% range, but these are windows and allow for solar power to be generated where rooftop solar may not be adequate or possible.

In addition to generating electricity, Sharp’s see-through solar panels will absorb a portion of the sunlight before it enters a room and in turn, reduce cooling costs. Now if Sharp can keep the price competitive, they may have a winner. [Crave]


The Solar-Powered SolarCross Turns The Electric Mountain Bike Idea To An “11”

SolarCross PV and Battery Powered Mountain BikeTerry Hope is the inventor and builder of the SolarCross solar-powered mountain bike and he did it for around $700 (Specialized FSR bike frame included). The SolarCross avoids fossil fuels altogether and can be powered by a pair of solar charged batteries or it can travel up to 2 mph using just the power generated by the front mounted solar panels.

You have to check out Mr. Hope’s website for more technical information on the SolarCross. It may not be where electric bikes are headed but the SolarCross mountain bike is definitely original. [Earthtechling]


Air Quality In Beijing Gets Translated Into English. How Do You Translate “Stop Dumping Solar Panels” Into Chinese?

The LA Times had an article this weekend, U.S. Embassy air quality data undercut China’s own assessments, about the difference in reporting Beijing’s air quality.

Beijing Air Quality
So we can’t agree on reporting air quality; now just imagine what it’s going to take to convince the Chinese government that they’re dumping solar panels in the US.

You can track the live results of the monitoring station on the US Embassy’s roof in Beijing via Twitter: #BeijingAir


Changers Starter Kit Is Better At Social Networking Than Jubbling

Changers Starter KitThe Changers Starter Kit solar panel and battery combo is good but encouraging owners of this product to use it makes it a little better. It’s a simple product – a solar panel paired with battery pack. The battery can be fully charged via the solar panel in about four hours and can re-charge any device with a USB connection.

What put the Change in the Changers is how it “Tweets” your recharging data for the Changers Community to see and encourages you to re-charge/reuse it by giving you credits towards goods and services. The Changers Starter Kit is priced at $150 and is available for pre-order. []