Friday, June 1, 2007

Eco Geek: technology for the environment & home


It's Friday again and my showcase blog is "Eco Geek: technology for the environment--home". Eco Geek monitors the current explosion in technology designed to mitigate our impact on the environment. They report on clean technology, and provide good analysis and criticism, which I appreciate. Topics include robotic farms, organic LEDs, hybrid cars, "clean coal" (an oxymoron I particularly enjoyed reading about), tidal power and their latest post being affordable solar power. Here's a little of what they say (you should check the blog for more):

"Silicon is pretty expensive these days, and traditional solar panels need a lot of it to convert light to energy. But two of the great opportunities for expansion in solar is using less silicon, by concentrating light on smaller panels, and increasing efficiency by tilting panels to follow the sun...roof-mounted units called the 'heliotube' concentrates the sun's rays onto a very thin strip of silicon solar panels at the base of the tube...These panels use 88% less photovoltaic material, but are almost as efficient per square foot as traditional solar panels." Eco Geek discusses some of the flaws and solutions in the works.
As a home owner thinking of converting our house into solar power, I was particularly interested in this post. We'll be doing a lot of research before we make our final decisions but that's where it starts.

9 comments:

Hank said...

Thanks for featuring EcoGeek! We always enjoy reading about ourselves. Fun blog you've got, I enjoyed looking around.

- Hank, from EcoGeek.org

josh said...

Here's a dose of governmental stupidity: In Saudi Arabia, photovoltaics and other forms of renewable energy are considered "against the national interest"; the national interest being oil, of course. Considering the enormous tracts of empty desert that could be filled with solar panels; the flat-roof architecture prevalent throughout the country where solar panels could be easily mounted; their latest obsession for glass-paneled buildings that could be covered with solar panel cladding more cheaply than sheet glass cladding; and the glaringly obvious finite quantity of oil remaining, it is a terribly wasted opportunity. Hm. Maybe this rant of mine warrants a reply posting, else it'll get too long for a comment box. :)

sfgirl said...

HA! Yeah, Josh! It sure smells of oil, don't it? Did you see the movie, "Syriana" with George Clooney? Speaks to what you've mentioned. Rather sad, too, for the Saudi people: their future wealth is being bled from them by multi-national corporation leeches, condoned by myopic government officials.

Nessa said...

Wow! You write terribly good SFgirl!! Mine's nothing compared to yours:(. I'm afraid I need my dictionary to understand some words... heheehe

Jean-Luc Picard said...

This is a super post, and your blog is fab!

My 100th TWQ is curerently on my Journal. You are invited to list your dinner party guests.

josh said...

No, I didn't see Syriana. It's another one that I have bought on recommendation but not watched.

I tend to hoard books and movies, at least that way when the mood hits you, you always have something new to watch or read.

'Somerset' Bob Kingsley said...

What Josh said about the Saudi situation - it's just appalling, isn't it? I got a nice warm glow when reading your post, Nina, because I truly want all of us, as custodians of the planet, to do all we can to save it. Then comes the harsh reality (not your fault, Josh! I'm not shooting the messenger) where we get a classic example of how oil still holds so many of us in thrall, and the clouds close in again.

But I'm hopeful - I really am - that by acting locally we can have an impact globally.

I haven't got solar panels, but by writing about them you've got me considering them as a possible addition to the roof of my little house Nina, and that can only be A Good Thing. I must look into UK government grants for them.

sfgirl said...

You might like to check out the Solar Guide, Bob. It's at http://www.solar-guide.com/solar_energy. I do firmly hold that our local actions will have global implications, if only by showing our community another way...And what better way than with solar panels!

Somerset Bob said...

Will do, Nina. Thanks for the advice :)