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But What About the Sunburn on My Ear?

November 13, 2007 8:50 am | Blogs | Comments

Productive Product: Not everyone can live in a solar-powered European city or build a solar-powered cubist house, but Iqua Ltd.'s solar Bluetooth headset will soon be available to all, the Register reports. Will it work when the skies are cloudy or dark? Will it have comparable sound quality and between-charges life to standard headsets? Will it cause any sunburn on your ear?

PV Start-up Shines in NREL's Eyes

November 12, 2007 7:14 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: More from the NREL: they announced that a photovoltaics start-up, Wakonda Technologies, is the winner of the Clean Energy Entrepreneur of the Year award. Wakona's name derives from a native American word regarding spirit and nature; they're working on thin films of gallium arsenide for solar cell substrates. Typically thin-film

An Efficient Hodgepodge of News

November 7, 2007 9:06 am | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed: Plenty of energy-efficiency news piled up while I was on vacation last week. Much of the time I was at the Mountain View, Calif. Computer History Museum, where they happen to be hosting a few Smart cars. That made me wonder what I was missing back home, so here are


US Energy Lab Gets High-Tech Home

October 29, 2007 11:32 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: Colorado didn't get a World Series victory, but here's something they can be charged up about: tomorrow the National Renewable Energy Lab will break ground on its new home there. From the press release, Secretary [Samuel] Bodman also is expected to announce two renewable power projects at NREL and

Germans Win Solar Decathlon

October 24, 2007 6:55 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: Congratulations to the students of Technishe Universität Darmstadt for winning the 2007 Solar Decathlon's top prize of US $100,000. The event involved students from 20 schools who all brought solar-powered homes to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. There are beautiful pictures and videos but here are some of mine from

Ann Arbor Trades Maize and Blue for Green

October 17, 2007 12:44 pm | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: City officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan announced a two year plan to convert all 1,046 of its 120W incandescent downtown streetlights to efficient 56W LEDs. They say the $630,000 installation project will save the city $100,000 per year and will reduce

Energi To Go or Not To Go?

October 15, 2007 12:08 pm | Blogs | Comments

Productive Product: No, that's not a misspelling: Energizer markets its lithium (not li-ion) backup system for portable gadgets with the "Energi To Go" moniker.  Basically this is a battery holder fitting one or two AA cells, a power charging and management chip from Techtium, and your connector

That's Teleconferencing: Chuck Peddle Video

October 10, 2007 6:14 am | Blogs | Comments

VIDEO | Op-Ed: Here's an example of energy savings at a technology conference. MOS 6502 and Commodore legend Chuck Peddle planned to fly to New Jersey to give a 90-minute computer history lecture. But he was stuck in Sri Lanka for his job, so he videoconferenced instead. The twist: instead of using an expensive, professional videoconferencing "solution", Chuck used ordinary Skype


More new links in our library

October 8, 2007 11:39 am | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed: Recently we added some new sites to our link library. The total is up to 49 but the three newest are off the beaten path: the Athena Institute, GreenDrinks, and WattWatt. (We truly hope to refer you to sites that are useful, not just a million and one blogs and such.

Clean Demand v. Clean Supply

October 4, 2007 7:35 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: America's demand for clean energy will beat supply by 37 percent in 2010, the National Renewable Energy Lab will report next week -- that's according to USA Today. They also explain how half of the states require certain percentages of their providers' power to come from clean energy

The Controversial Viability of Solar

October 1, 2007 12:21 pm | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: CNN posted a very solid overview story about the state of solar power. The technology, if we lived in a proverbial vacuum, can already provide all the world's energy needs by installing panels in a small corner of the Sahara. But in the real world, cost and security are

Big Blue: CIOs Lousy at Energy Monitoring

September 28, 2007 12:52 pm | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: More than a third of enterprise CIOs don't monitor their corporate energy use, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit report, commissioned by IBM. "Although concerns about energy efficiency and global warming are now high on the political agenda, the spotlight

IGBT Enhances Efficiency in Low-Frequency Industrial Applications

September 25, 2007 9:37 am | Fairchild Semiconductor | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Fairchild Semiconductor’s 600V/30A IGBT, the FGH30N60LSD, addresses the need for low conduction losses in low-frequency (50 Hz to 400 Hz) industrial applications such as solar inverters, welding machines and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). Featuring extremely low saturation voltage


Efficient, 2.5 MHz Synchronous Buck Regulator for Light Load Operation

September 24, 2007 12:52 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Micrel launched the MIC2238, a 2.5 MHz dual 800 mA synchronous buck (step-down) regulator housed in a 3 mm × 3 mm MLF package. Its unique switching architecture scheme, Trickle Mode, enables desirable light load efficiency for Li-Ion battery powered systems that require maximum efficiency in order to prolong use. The MIC2238 is appropriate for portable applications including cellular phones, portable media players, WiMax modules, GPS systems, digital still and video cameras.

Eurocard Rugged Plug-In Inverter

September 24, 2007 6:54 am | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Absopulse Electronics releases its CSI 100-EU series, a 100 VA sine wave inverter in Eurocard plug-in format, measuring 3U × 160 mm × 10 HP. This compact, lightweight design is suitable for modular rack-mount applications in industrial, utility, telecom, mobile and rugged environments. This inverter provides regulated sinusoidal output voltage

Quarter Brick Isolated DC/DC Converters

September 24, 2007 5:34 am | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Lambda introduces its iQE series of quarter brick 100W to 200W isolated DC DC converters that have high operating efficiencies over a wide range of load conditions. Typical efficiencies of the series are 90 percent over a wide load range

High-Density Flash Memory Board

September 21, 2007 9:39 am | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Aitech Defense Systems, Inc. upgrades the memory capacity of its C212 high-capacity, non-volatile memory VMEbus board that uses NAND Flash memory supported by software drivers to provide full hard-disk emulation for up to 256 GB

Salmon Sperm Lox in Brightness

September 20, 2007 11:36 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: DNA from salmon -- specifically, from the fish's sperm -- makes an excellent choice for building extra-bright, biodegradeable light-emitting diodes, researchers at the University of California / Riverside found. It sounds fishy but it's true. “DNA has certain optical

Evolving the BioSnake

September 19, 2007 6:04 am | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed: There's a blog post over at CNET about an E85 Dodge Viper which is breaking speed records. They wrote, "More than doubling the horsepower probably had a big effect on the performance of the car, but the extra octane can't hurt. Ethanol also cuts down on the greenhouse gases from the tailpipe."

Metrics Good, Volume Servers Bad

September 18, 2007 12:44 pm | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: Two interesting stories today from eWeek: first, the Green Grid member companies signed a Department of Energy agreement for data center metrics; second, coverage of Energy Star director Andrew Fanara's declaration that volume servers are so obviously bad for the green agenda.

Red Tape Trumps Recycling

September 17, 2007 12:18 pm | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed: The full story isn't clear here, but it looks like a government crackdown on the very popular Alameda County Computer Recycling Center. For readers not in the Silicon Valley area, I can personally attest that ACCRC is a well-run, well-supported organization which does a valuable community service. So why would an EPA inspector

HP, Lenovo, Dell Support Solar Power for PCs

September 14, 2007 10:12 am | by Evan Koblentz, online editor | Blogs | Comments

Productive Product: Let's start by clarifying a vital point: this story is about solar power adapters for conventional PCs, not about "solar-powered PCs" per se.  You don't actually get a solar panel slapped to the side of your tower case; you get 86 pounds of schleppability.  But you also get to help save the planet and circumvent your local

Paw-Lenty of Energy to Save

September 13, 2007 9:44 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: According to U.S. News & World Report, "Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the new chair of the National Governors Association, was in Washington this week to argue that state governments should be a driving force in reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and in fighting greenhouse

Investors Write Reality Check

September 12, 2007 11:03 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: There's a big dose of clean-energy straight talk over at from physicist and investor Mark Mills. He says there is plenty of room for smart investments into alternative energies, because there wasn't much of a bubble in the first place, nor was there a bubble 30 years ago when many of the same technologies were going to save us from

Still More Far-Fetched Start-Ups

September 12, 2007 10:32 am | Blogs | Comments

Productive Products: Human harvesting. Algae pools. Wave power. Artificial tornados. Super kites. Tesla coils. The list reads like a high-tech version of the plagues that freed Moses' people in Egypt, but will these alternative energy concepts succeed or have the proverbial sea crash down on them? "True, many of the kookier-sounding concepts are still in deep development within large corporations, universities, and

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