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Heirloom: Custom Tiny Homes on Wheels

Heirloom is a recent Oregon based company that specializes in manufacturing custom luxury homes on wheels, allowing you to make home at any place you park it. Each house is custom built with high quality materials and fixtures, every detail is discussed, planned and implemented in accordance to the clients needs. The base model package starts at $65,000, and includes granite countertops, stained cabinets, real-wood flooring, heater, stainless steel appliances, washer/dryer combo unit, plus painted interior and exterior. The luxury home on wheels has the capability to be plugged in to an external power source or completely run on battery, wind or solar power.

Via: hiconsumption

Let’s talk about clean energy and steps we’re taking to combat climate change. We’re making the government’s largest-ever investment in renewable energy, an investment aimed at doubling the generating capacity from wind power, solar energy, and other renewable sources over the next three years.

Across America, entrepreneurs are building wind turbines and solar panels and batteries for hybrid cars with the help of loan guarantees and tax credits, projects that are creating new jobs and new industries. These investments are good for our economy, they’re good for the environment, and they’re an important piece of President Obama’s plan to act on climate change.

Oh, and they’re also good for the grandkids I hope to have someday! (Hint, hint to my daughters if they read this.)

Researchers convert sunlight to electricity with over 40 percent efficiency

UNSW Australia’s solar researchers have converted over 40% of the sunlight hitting a solar system into electricity, the highest efficiency ever reported.

The record efficiency was achieved in outdoor tests in Sydney, before being independently confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at their outdoor test facility in the United States.

The work was funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and supported by the Australia-US Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics (AUSIAPV).

"This is the highest efficiency ever reported for sunlight conversion into electricity," UNSW Scientia Professor and Director of the Advanced Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) Professor Martin Green said.

"We used commercial solar cells, but in a new way, so these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry," added Dr Mark Keevers, the UNSW solar scientist who managed the project.

The 40% efficiency milestone is the latest in a long line of achievements by UNSW solar researchers spanning four decades. These include the first photovoltaic system to convert sunlight to electricity with over 20% efficiency in 1989, with the new result doubling this performance.

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Researchers set new multi-junction solar cell efficiency world record at 46%

A new world record for the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity has been established. The multi-junction solar cell converts 46% of the solar light into electrical energy and was developed by Soitec and CEA-Leti, France, together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany. Multi-junction cells are used in concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems to produce low-cost electricity in photovoltaic power plants, in regions with a large amount of direct solar radiation. It is the cooperation’s second world record within one year, after the one previously announced in September 2013, and clearly demonstrates the strong competitiveness of the European photovoltaic research and industry.

Multi-junction solar cells are based on a selection of III-V compound semiconductor materials. The world record cell is a four-junction cell, and each of its sub-cells converts precisely one quarter of the incoming photons in the wavelength range between 300 and 1750 nm into electricity.  When applied in concentrator PV, a very small cell is used with a Fresnel lens, which concentrates the sunlight onto the cell. The new record efficiency was measured at a concentration of 508 suns and has been confirmed by the Japanese AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology), one of the leading centers for independent verification of solar cell performance results under standard testing conditions.

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Tommy Hilfiger Introduces Limited Edition Solar Panel Jackets

If there is one common issue across all of of our connected devices its battery life. With smartphones dying before we can make it home, smartwatches needing to be charged every night and smart glasses sometimes not making it past a couple hours, the need to access an outlet to charge your devices has never been more dire. Of course, finding a plug can be a challenge in itself. Tommy Hilfiger’s latest jacket aims to cure these woes by making the jacket a walking power source using solar power.

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IBM Teams With Swiss Startup For Solar ‘Sunflower’ | Forbes

When someone mentions solar technology, invariably we think of rows upon rows of rectangular panels. A system being developed by Switzerland’s Airlight Energy together with IBM IBM +0.1% Research rethinks the traditional shape, with intriguing environmental and efficiency implications.

Officially dubbed the High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (aka HCPVT) system, the technology is designed look like a 32-foot-high sunflower. The dish measures roughly 430 square feet, covered with 36 elliptic mirrors that concentrate sunlight into liquid-cooled receivers containing an array of PV chips. (It’s the same sort of cooling technology used in IBM supercomputers.) There’s an advanced tracking system that turns the dish throughout the day to optimize sunlight capture.