Santa Monica boasts a new solar ferris wheel

Santa Monica Ferris Wheel by tylerdurden

A brand new solar-operated ferris wheel was introduced tonight to the Santa Monica Pier. According to the news, there were hundreds of people lining up for a free ride until midnight. All those that stood in line, but didn’t get to experience the 130 ft above ocean view before closing, got a rain check. What happened to the old wheel? It was sold on Ebay over a month ago for roughly $50,000 (+ $135,000 for the base sold separately + shipping). LA Times revealed that the winning bidder is a real estate developer and the son of a former Oklahoma City mayor, Humphreys. The auction attracted close to 10,000 watchers and 400,000 pageviews. Half of the proceeds were donated to California’s Special Olympics.

May 28, 2008   3 Comments

Solar Apple

Solar Apple

Yes, even Apple is going green. Last month Apple filed a patent to integrate solar cells into their portable devices. The new solar technology will prolong battery life significantly. According to Forbes, “information regarding the performance of a device’s solar cells could be displayed on the main screen next to info for battery power, text message alerts and time of day. Or this information could also appear on top of the solar cells themselves, which are likely to display some version of the Apple logo.” Either way, say goodbye to dropped calls and “you are now running on reserve battery power” pop-ups. I wonder how this will hold up to heat exposure since rule number one with electronics is to leave them out of sun’s harmful rays. MacRumors raises the question of whether the design will suffer as a result of solar implementation, but knowing Apple’s genius designers, I highly doubt that it will. I can’t wait for green laptops, green iPods and green iPhones to finally grace retail shelves. Until then there is always a portable solar charger.

* graphic design by GV

May 28, 2008   No Comments

Solar water heater

Solar Water Heater

The Hot2O Solar Hot Water Heater Kit is an affordable (around $2,000) and very efficient solar product that retrofits your current gas hot water heater. There is a similar solar kit for electric hot water heaters. All retrofit kits include Solar Hot Water Collectors, Mounting Hardware, controller, drainback and more.


Absorptivity 0.96
Circulation Module Dimensions 11in x 11in x 9in
Drainback Tank Dimensions 33in x 18in x 5in
Eco-Friendly Yes
Emissivity 0.90
Rack Space Length Panel Length + 6in
Rack Space Width (number of panels x 27in) + 2in
Roof Mounting Length Panel Length + 24in
Roof Mounting Width (number of panels x 27in) + 24in
Series Hot2O
Tank Capacity 10 Gallons
Voltage 1.2 amps, 120 volts
Weight (empty) 22lbs or .49 lbs/ft2
Weight (full) 31 lbs or .85 lbs/ft2

May 23, 2008   No Comments

Portable solar charger

iSol Plus

iSol Plus is an ideal solar solution for all of your portable devices. Buy iSol Plus and say goodbye to dead cell phone, iPod, PDA or PSP batteries. You can charge your gadgets wherever you are under the sun (10-20 hours). And if it rains, you can charge it with your laptop via a USB cable (2-4 hours).

Source: Silicon Solar - iSol Plus - $ 43.95

- Solar Panel: 5.5V 100mA
- Rechargeable Lithium Battery: 3.7V
- Dimensions: 4.5 in x 2.5 in x .6 in
- USB charging cable: 5V 500mA
- DC Outputs: 5.5V 500mA / 7.5V 350mA / 9.5V 300mA

- Charge using the Sun or USB connector
- Major brand mobile phone adaptors
- Comes with suction cups
- Charging and discharging indicators:
Charging in the sun
Charging with USB cable
Charging portable device

May 20, 2008   1 Comment

Solar power to the people

I’d like to dedicate this week to solar solutions for your home. Did you know that enough sunlight falls on the earth’s surface each minute to meet world energy demand for an entire year ? I didn’t either, but it makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is that it’s not being used. The biggest obstacle is that solar power installation costs are not affordable by most. The other day I saw a white van parked on my street with a solar biz logo, so I went up to the driver and asked him how much it costs to solar power an apartment or a house. He quoted me a $30,000 starting price. Even with utility companies’ incentives and tax breaks, it’s still not a solution for everyone. In the meantime, there are some less expensive solar products for your home.

Steel Solar Light

Stainless Steel Solar Light - landscape light by Silicon Solar - $ 35
This is a great inexpensive outdoor light that will adorn and light your driveway, deck or garden. The light sensor triggers the three Super-Bright LEDs to illuminate automatically when it gets dark.

May 19, 2008   Comments Off