Better than Jesus, this cute, solar-powered owl is twitching away on my dashboard.
I've always wanted to have a bobblehead on my dash, and I still don't! This owl comes close tho! He twitches his center section about once every second, when in moderate to direct sunlight. As my '87 Vanagon shakes so much, and the suspension is rather whimsical, Twitchy doesn't need the sun to move around.
The marketing says Twitchy is 'dancing' but he seems to just be really, really edgy.
Solar Power Motion Toy - Owl, Dancing via Amazon
Image via Amazon Read the rest
It's a political no-brainer for Trump, who gets to clobber the renewables market, rattle his saber at China, extend the viable economic life of climate-destroying hydrocarbon fuels (like coal) and rile up the libs. Read the rest
When the wind is blowing, the great plains could generate enough power to supply all of America, but storing and moving energy to supply those places where the wind isn't blowing, the sun isn't shining and the tide isn't coming in is a significant technological challenge that we're still figuring out. Read the rest
Florida Power and Light's grid did not fare well under Hurricane Irma, despite the company's assurances that it had spent billions hardening its systems after 90% of its customers lost power to 2005's Hurricane Wilma. Read the rest
...But California keeps green-lighting more natural gas plants, thanks to hydrocarbon industry pressure on state regulators, who operate at cross-purposes to the legislature and its targets for renewables. Read the rest
My latest Locus column is "Fill Your Boots," in which I talk about how scientists, sf writers, economists and environmental activists have wrestled with the question of abundance -- how the "green left" transformed left wing politics from the promise of every peasant living like a lord to the promise of every lord living like a peasant. Read the rest
I'm looking for feedback on this solar panel. I am looking to charge a 37 qt ARB portable fridge while rolling about Baja in my Vanagon. I believe this panel, with good sun, should out put more than enough power to run the fridge.
The Dometic fridge that has been in my VW for 29 years has sucked for 29 years. It barely gets cold enough for cans of soda.
Forums on line claim the fridge peaks around 1.5Ah use on hot days, and this panel should deliver (80w/18v) 4.4Amps. My smallish deep cycle battery is a 44Ah unit. I'm hoping that 6hrs of strong sun a day will get me to just around 24hrs of power.
Unless I get flagged off in the comments, I'm going to order one tomorrow or the next day, and run a test load on the system at my house this weekend. I can't be sure to have strong sun in the SF Bay Area, however.
The government of Hawke's Bay, New Zealand imposing an energy-company-backed tax on people who put solar panels on their homes. Greenpeace's petition in support of sustainable, renewable power was delivered with a catchy, angry song by Tiki Taane. Read the rest
For $20 I really like this new Matone dual USB battery pack! I haven't found anything better at this price.
At 10000 mAh advertised, I can get around 1 3/4ths full charges on my iPhone 6 with this battery. It seems a bit low, but is certainly enough juice for my needs. Keeping a cellphone running Waze going on an all day motorcycle trip. Charging with the solar panel is slow as there isn't a lot of surface area. I'd consider solar to be an emergency only kinda thing, and not to rely on it for regular charging.
This'll certainly be the battery I use for this Spring's road trips.
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was on track to deliver deploy 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 ("more than the current solar capacity of the world’s top five solar-producing countries combined") but because India specified that the solar panels for it were to be domestically sourced, the USA sued it in WTO trade court and killed it. Read the rest
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in orbit keeps a constant vigil on the Sun to help us understand how solar variations impact life on Earth. Launched in 2010, the SDO is part of NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) Program. NASA just released this magnificent 4K video shot by the SDO of our star's nuclear fire. It's titled "Thermonuclear Art."
IKEA has now started selling solar panels in the UK. According the Associated Press, "a standard, all-black 3.36 kilowatt system for a semi-detached home will cost 5,700 British pounds ($9,200) and will include an in-store consultation and design service as well as installation, maintenance and energy monitoring service." Feel free to suggest funny faux-Swedish product names in the comments. Read the rest
Redditor Tufflaw has been running a central air-conditioning system "24/7" during the New York heatwave. But the bills were offset by 26 home solar panels by Sharp that took three days to install and were subject to state and federal tax-credits, and will take 7-8 years to pay for themselves. Here is the most recent bill: $6.05. Tufflaw says that there are sometimes months that go by with no bill at all (and one year generated a $20 rebate from the power company!), and adds, "There's also an intangible benefit, feeling good about using a free renewable source of power."