India Debuts its First Solar-Powered Train…

India-Railways-Solar
Anil Kumar Chhatri/Indian Railways

The Indian Railway (IR) system, the largest rail network in Asia and typically filled with diesel-powered trains, has just introduced its first solar-powered train, named the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU). The DEMU, which has solar panels placed on the roof of the unit, will operate in the city of New Delhi. It will be pulled by one of IR’s diesel-powered locomotives, with the solar panels powering only the passenger comfort systems (including lights, info displays, fans, etc.). According to IR, one train with six solar-panel equipped cars will save 21,000 liters (or 5,547 gallons) of diesel fuel every year, all while saving approximately Rs12 lakh (almost $20,000) in operating costs.

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You’ll Need to Head to Sweden to Ride the First Electric Highway…

Scania and the Swedish government have taken a huge step toward renewable energy with the opening of their first stretch of Electric-Highway, also known as the e-Highway.  After working for years on hybrid tractor-trailer trucks, Scania finally developed a WORKING system.  This was accomplished by attaching a pantograph on top of the trucks, allowing the trucks to be easily attached/detached to electricity lines running along one lane of the highway. Continue reading “You’ll Need to Head to Sweden to Ride the First Electric Highway…”

This Taiwan Tower is a MOST Surreal Building…

If you take a good look at that little strip of green on top of that building, you’ll see that it’s actually a forest, and it’s floating 1000 feet above Taiwan’s skyline.  This forest is actually sitting on a blue glow of anti-gravity beams (NAH, I’m just kidding). Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Taiwan Tower, a banyan tree-like structure designed by Tokyo-based architect Sou Fujimoto, a giant steel superstructure that may become the most surreal piece of engineering ever seen. It was selected as the first prize winner for the Taiwan Tower International Competition in 2011, and it reflects on Fujimoto’s philosophy of Primitive Future, as the “21st Century Oasis” that aspires to be a model of green architecture for the future generations of buildings. Continue reading “This Taiwan Tower is a MOST Surreal Building…”

Watch Old-School Camping Slowly Die/Get Awesomer with Solar Charging Tent

Remember when people went camping to get away from the cities, life’s hustle-and-bustle, and technology?  Well, with the a newer, smaller and mobile gadgets available and being used by campers is at least diminishing that latter claim, which is good for those of us live connected lives.  When camping, you’re of course out in the sun, and if you wish to make use of all that free solar energy, then the Power Katabatic tent by Eddie Bauer is right up your alley!
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Forget Solar Panels!! I Want this Awesome Solar Energy Generator!!

Solar panels are a great way to generate sustainable, renewable electricity; if only the image of an entire group of them together didnt; look uglier than sin.  Thanks to André Broessel, who designed the spherical-lens solar generator you see above (the thing you were asking yourself “what the HECK is that, a crystallized Death Star?”) that –unlike solar panels — is very stylish and sleek.   Continue reading “Forget Solar Panels!! I Want this Awesome Solar Energy Generator!!”

Charge you Cell Phone with FIRE (or candles) & SCIENCE!

For the second time in the last month, the transformer on my street went haywire and the power went out on our street for a few hours.  Fortunately, we had plenty of flashlights and candles (old school FTW) to keep the house well-lit enough; unfortunatley, my phone’s battery is about to die, and there was no available power. DIY weblog Tinkernut shows us how to power your phone with the heat of one of those candles, thanks to thermodynamics, thermoelectric effects, and a Peltier effect device.

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Cut Your Energy Bill By 1/3 with Modern Tech & Common Sense

This image from Lifehacker pretty much explains the post and linked article…

With the economy still slowly recovering and as people struggle with finances to pay their bills and their debts, many people are looking into and developing strategies on how to better save money.  For example, many people have been figuring out how to better budget their money for their utility bills (like water and power), because not too many things suck more than receiving that expensive utility bill seemingly out of nowhere. Continue reading “Cut Your Energy Bill By 1/3 with Modern Tech & Common Sense”