One Day, We Hope Everything Will Be Covered With Solar Panels Like The Blackfriars Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge Solar Panels - Solar CenturyThe Blackfriars Bridge in London is getting a makeover and part of that process is covering it with 6,000 sq. meters of photovoltaic panels from Solar Century. When it’s completed in 2012, the Blackfriars Bridge will be the largest solar array in London and the largest solar covered bridge in the world. The PV panels will provide 1/2 of the power needed to run the new Blackfriars railway station.

Solar panels are already being designed as roofing tiles, embedded in windows and replacing the normal aluminum covering used on parking structures. Applying solar as shade or covering could be the norm and projects like the Blackfriars Bridge is just another example. Here’s one more…

[youtube width=”325″ height=”244″][/youtube]Dog with solar panel: Dog gets a walk, owner charges cellphone. Recombu


Putting the Sun To Work For Minnesota Video

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Interesting video created for Environment Minnesota’s solar power video competition. A little known fact put forth by this video is that solar panels are more efficient absorbing sunlight in lower temperatures. Proof of this can be seen by the success of solar power in Germany. [Boing Boing]


Double Shot Of Jubbling: Solar Costs Fall in 2010 And More Wind Power Options

Rooftop Solar Panels and Xzeres Wind Turvine
For all of the outlying ideas for generating electricity, we keep coming back to solar and wind power based solutions and now they’re looking even more attractive. It’s all thanks to the economies of scale and these old school technologies are only going to get more affordable, efficient and creatively packaged.

Cost Of Solar Falls Again In 2010 – A study out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that the cost per kilowatt of solar has fallen again in 2010 thanks to improved manufacturing and product efficiency. California and New Jersey, which account for 87% of all solar installations, saw the largest gains as the price for solar dropped by 14 and 16% respectively. In 1998, the price per kilowatt for solar panels was $10.80 and in the first 10 months of 2010, the price per kilowatt has dropped to $6. Leasing options from companies like SolarCity and Sungevity have also made it more attractive for people looking to move toward solar. Gone are the days when installing solar meant you had to take out a second mortgage and shell out $25-40,000. CNET

Wind Turbine For Your Home? – If you’ve ever driven through Palm Desert CA, you probably have seen the huge collection of massive wind turbines. It’s unreal and distracting because it looks like a scene out of a Godzilla movie. A company out of Oregon wants to change our impression of wind power by manufacturing and maintaining more affordable and possibly residential friendly wind turbines. The company is Xzeres and their wind towers stand 60-100 feet with a rotor that is 24 feet in diameter. The size of Xzeres’s towers are in contrast to the 300 ft tall, 250 ft diameter wind turbines we’re used to seeing. Xzeres latest offering is similar to “lease to own” options found in the solar industry – they’ll install their wind turbine, you pay Xzeres’s for your electricity as if they were your utility company and then you own the turbine in 8 – 10 years. It’s a lease to own where the byproduct is electricity you would’ve paid for anyway. Now, if they could only make them look like pine trees….NY Times


Jubwinked? New Energy Technologies Inc.’s SolarWindow Uses Spray-On Solar Cells

New Energy Technologies SolarWindowOnce again, I hope New Energy Technologies is legit but I can’t help feeling Jubwinked again by a company with a technology that promises too much. New Energy Technologies just issued a press release about their spray-on-window solar cells that can outperform rooftop solar panels by 300%. When applied, the see-through SolarWindow technology will absorb sunlight entering the building as well as internal office lighting. According to New Energy Technologies, the SolarWindow “is made possible by spraying an electricity-generating coating on to glass at room temperature.” Conventional solar panel manufacturing requires high-heat in order to apply the the solar cells onto a opaque substrate and can not be transparent.

New Energy Technologies other product is MotionPower. MotionPower is basically a “speed bump” that generates electricity from the excess energy produced by moving cars and trucks passing over them. Here is a video that describes how the idea works:

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In related news, Pat Mehiney is taking his wool socks public after demonstrating to 3 or 4 people his amazing ability to generate electricity*.

*The static variety