Solar panel


NASA Astronaut Terry W. Virts aboard the ISS: “Our solar panels chase the sun as we paddle through the universe.” January 24th, 2015.

Source: Terry W. Virts/NASA

Jimmy Carter’s White House Solar Panels

On this day, June 20, 1979, President Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the West Wing.  There were 32 panels that were used to heat water for the White House.  

The solar panels were installed amid the oil crisis of the late 1970s as part of President Carter’s efforts to encourage alternative energy sources. 

After the Carter administration, the solar panels were taken down in 1986.  They eventually made their way to Unity College in Maine through the government surplus donations program.  The panels were use  to heat water for the student cafeteria. Upon the transfer in 1992, former President Carter sent a letter of congratulations to the school.

The panels were retired in 2004, twenty-five years after they were first used at the White House. 

You can still see one of the panels on display at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum.  The Smithsonian Institute, and Unity College of Maine also have single panels from the original White House system in their collections.

More – Jimmy Carter and the National Energy Act from the Presidential Timeline


Backpack Solar Charger Kit

I think this is so friggin cool. My co-worker just rigged a solar charger to his backpack to charge his mobile devices on the commute!

He got the kit and instructions here:

I got to make one. My understanding of solar energy and electronics is suuuuch weak.

Amazing New Tesla Invention Will Completely Eliminate Your Electricity Bill

Amazing New Tesla Invention Will Completely Eliminate Your Electricity Bill

Frankly, I have no idea how Elon Musk is still breathing. He’s been so disruptive to so many established industries that he HAS to have a number of powerful people who would very much like to see him go away forever. If he delivers on his promise of a battery that can run a house for a month or two, he will have effectively signed the death warrant of the power companies: 

Tesla is working on a…

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Solar Farm Rejected Amid Fears It Will 'Suck Up The Sun's Energy'
Residents were concerned it would stop plants from growing and cause cancer.

This is sad. 

A “former science teacher” told the rest of the community “the proposed solar ranch could hinder photosynthesis – the process of converting light energy from the sun into chemical energy for fuel – in the area and stop plants from growing.” and that “no one could tell her solar panels didn’t cause cancer.”

Now the town has not only declined the solar farm but put a moratorium on *all* future solar farms. I fear for whoever that person taught.


Levin Solpad – 3000mAh Travel Solar Charging Kit for iOS/Android

Rugged, Waterproof, Shockproof and a Huge panel to soak up all that free energy by that often overlooked thing called the Sun, this portable solar charger is a beast in the solar charging market!

Even though the title says that it’s for iOS and Android devices, it’s charging capability goes far beyond those devices alone. It’s (pretty impressive) built-in 3000mAh battery can store the juice needed for any 5v USB device. So, that means it’s good for things like: GPS’s, Cameras, Speakers… that sorta thing.

You can get the internal battery fully charged in about 5 hours of direct sunlight. So, leave the panel outside in the happy sunshine and when night falls, take it in and then plug your sad, juice-less device in to keep playing around with whatever it was you were playing around with that took all your juices! Oh, and it comes in Pink… if that matters to you.