UCLA creates transparent solar cell, dreams of current generating windows

solar panels

Transparent photovoltaics have yet to grace the face of your smartphone, but don’t give up hope — UCLA researchers are working on a new see-through solar cell that’s showing potential. Using a new type of polymer solar cell, the team has been able to build a device that converts infrared light into electrical current. Current prototypes boast 4 percent energy conversion efficiency at 66 percent transparency — not crystal clear, but certainly clean enough to peer through. According to a study in ACS Nano, the technology could be used in “building-integrated photovoltaics or integrated photovoltaic chargers for portable electronics.” Translation? It could one day be used to build solar windows or better sun collecting smartphones. Don’t get too excited though, the technology still has a ways to go before any of these dreams come to fruition. Still, feel free to head past the break for the team’s official press release, or skip to the source to take in the full academic study.

via UCLA creates transparent solar cell, dreams of current generating windows — Engadget.


WIRED HOME – all green and techy

Located in an exclusive, modernist home community of Los Angeles called Crestwood Hills, the large 4,057 sf WIRED LivingHome is set to be finished by Fall 2007. In anticipation of the final product, LivingHomes CEO and Founder Steve Glenn remarked, “We are honored to be working with WIRED on the next LivingHome…WIRED covers the future and the future of building is green. Their reputation for cutting-edge design and great editorial technology and innovation make them the perfect partner to demonstrate the balance of form, function and sustainability.”

Green Features:
The old structure on the lot is being deconstructed, rather than demolished, and a minimum of 75% of all materials will be reused and repurposed. While deconstruction is ongoing, the Ray Kappe-designed home will be manufactured in the factory, with installation to occur in August 2007. Here are some of the green products that will be part of the WIRED LivingHome: 4-kw SunPower solar power system; forced hot air radiant heating and cooling system; recycled glass countertops; Heath ceramic tile in the master bathroom; low-maintenance high-design ecological kitchen cabinetry by Valcucine; environmentally friendly washer/dryer system by Bosch; water-efficient fixtures by Toto; windows and doors constructed with recycled glass and aluminum by Fleetwood USA; reclaimed redwood by Pacific Heritage Wood; FSC-certified exterior siding; LED lighting (uses less energy than conventional lighting); tankless water heaters; and carbon offsets to cover the home’s first year of use. In the end, the WIRED LivingHome will be about 36% more efficient than a conventional residence of the same size.

See more at Wired Home.

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Amex Digital MPC-505 – with Blu-Ray

From Hong Kong based Amex Digital comes the MPC-505 which is the world
first Blu-Ray Home Theatre PC A/V Center computer. The MPC-505 is Intel
Viiv enabled which further enhances your multimedia experience. The
unit comes DVI and HDMI outputs which offer you a true HD experience
when you connect to a HD ready TV. The MPC-505 has a hybrid tuner which
allow you to watch both digital and analog transmissions. You will
never run of storage space even after recording all your favourite
shows as the unit comes with 1 TB of storage space. The MPC-505 comes
with a Blu-Ray drive which plays the next generation Blu-Ray discs as
well as DVD, Audio CD discs etc. A fully functional remote control is
provided so you can relax and take control over your entertainment

The Amex Digital MPC-505 is powered by Intel Pentium D 930 3.0 Ghz
64 bit processor, Intel 945 Express chipset and 2GB DDR2 RAM. It has
7.1 channel onboard audio with SPDIF optical out and Wi-Fi
connectivity. The MPC-505 runs on Windows Multimedia Centre Edition
2005. Pricing and availability of the Amex Digital MPC-505 is not known


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Double use of LCD TV


30" LCD mirror TV Miravison

At last! Philips came out with this brilliant idea of the possibility of using your expensive LCD TV even when it’s off. How? By using it as a mirror!

A very cool idea in my opinion, and will reduce ‘clutter’ from all over the walls…

I can imagine how the surprise on your friends’ face when you invite them over to watch a football match and you seat them in front of a mirror and at the push of a button – there comes the game!

Here’s the product page and here’s the Product Specification Sheet. [PDF]

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ASUS new computer concept

The above image is not a CD shelf; it’s ASUS’s Green PC concept. Yes that’s right, those thin boxes are the internal modules of the computer, i.e. the CPU, the graphics card, the sound card, the hard disk etc. No more worries of ‘trying’ to install a newly bought module in your computer, just place it on the ‘shelf’.

It’s that simple. The modules can be connected to the PC simply by being stacked on the shelf, where they get their power via induction and communicate with other modules wirelessly.

Currently it’s still a concept on the drawing board, but could be out very soon.

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200 Mbps Home Networking

Home Networking

Homeowners with the need to stream HD content from room-to-room will soon have a new option from Netgear and Design of Systems on Silicon to pipe data through a building’s existing electrical infrastructure. This new 200Mbps Powerline HD technology named TriplePlay uses DS2 chipsets to allow bandwith-hungry multimedia content to be streamed from a PC to products in any room with an electrical outlet, providing plug-and-play convenience at the expense of wireless freedom, as devices on the receiving end of the signal must remain tethered to the wall. The new Netgear/DS2 hardware will be on display next month at CeBIT, and should be available to consumers sometime in the second quarter of this year.

Here’s a link to their White Paper.

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Killer Kitchen Designs


French foodie Brillat-Savarin rather famously once wrote, "Dis moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es", and while we appreciate the sentiment, TreeHugger prefers this axiom in a slightly different form: "Tell me where you cook, and we’ll tell you what you are." Here are our favorite kitchen designs:

1) GE’s Kitchen of the Future; if only it were here today.
2) Architect Michael McDonough’s zero-emission kitchen features bamboo-covered radiant flooring and aerated concrete walls, for starters.
3) Both Peter Vivian and Henrybuilt showcase the beautiful juxtaposition of bamboo and stainless steel and help prove that eco-conscious kitchen design is not a contradiction in terms.
4) The concentric kitchen in the round, made from 100% recycled aluminum, will always be the center of attention.
5) Italian designer Valcucine produces kitchens with the lowest possible environmental impact without sacrificing functionality, safety or design.
6) No need to start from scratch; check out the real-life green kitchen renovation for ideas and tips about re-doing it green.

Via TreeHugger.


LG to Market ‘Unproven’ Anti-Bird Flu Aircons

A.I. AirCon

Now, that it might be coming to a hen, duck, pigeon or bird near you, LG Electronics – the world’s leading air conditioner maker, said on Thursday that it will start selling air conditioners that prevent avian influenza with a special filter coated with a substance extracted from a fermented kimchi. The new air conditioners target Southeast Asian countries affected by bird flu and will be marketed this year.

The new products, nicknamed “Anti-A.I. Aircon,” have a filter covered with an anti-bacterial substance extracted from kimchi, South Korea’s spicy fermented cabbage dish, the company said in a press conference.

“A special filter is coated with a substance called leuconostoc citreum, which is derived from kimchi. After tests, the filter was found to block viruses that causes bird flu,” said Seo Seok-jang, chief of the company’s air conditioner research lab, during the conference held at Grand Hyatt Hotel in central Seoul.

Read the full story at The Korea Times.

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