The Reel Deal for These Three Mowers

If you have a lawn, you have several options to keep it neat this Spring, but the human-powered reel mower is probably one of more environmentally friendly ways to go about it.  These things have anywhere from 4-7 blades, 14-20-inch widths, and varying weights, depending on the build of the chosen model.  But what’s the best reel mower for your yard?  It depends on your situation, though Mowers Direct picked these models based on retail pricing, recent sales history, customer reviews, and company insight.


By |April 16th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Technology|8 Comments

Nest Thermostat Gets a Software Upgrade

The launch of the Nest Learning Thermostat back in October 2011 created a ton of interest in residential thermostats, and the gadget’s been installed in all sorts of green homes (including the C6 Prefab).  Today, Nest Labs announced improvements to the new display with an automatic software update that will be pushed to all thermostat owners.


By |April 5th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|1 Comment

SunPower Readies 24%-Efficient Solar Cell

San Jose-based SunPower Corp. has a great thing going on right now.  They’re constantly pushing the standard and recently announced the commercial production of the company’s third-generation Maxeon solar cell that delivers a sunlight to electricity conversion efficiency of up to 24%.


By |April 4th, 2012|News, Solar|0 Comments

Hybrid Solar Tube Panels by Naked Energy

A company called Solyndra pioneered the solar tube but this new invention by UK-based Naked Energy may just take cylindrical solar to a whole new level.  Called Virtu, the product includes an integrated photovoltaic cell in a vacuum tube to generate both electricity and warm water at the same time.  The setup keeps the PV cool to optimize energy production and maximizes space with a combined PVT solution.


By |March 29th, 2012|Solar|3 Comments

NZE Showhouse Finished in Edmonton

This is a net-zero energy showhouse in the Belgravia neighborhood of Edmonton.  The home, built by Effect Home Builders, has been open on Sundays and displays the solar-powered approach to reducing the use of fossil fuels.  A massive rooftop solar array feeds energy into the grid and produces as much energy as will be needed on an annual basis.  In addition, the home has several other green aspects.


By |March 26th, 2012|Modern architecture, Solar|1 Comment

Roof-Mounted Solar Tracker in Maryland

We’ve mentioned solar-tracking but the systems are usually pictured on a pole in a big grassy yard.  This is a Dual-Panel Tracker by Maryland-based Advanced Technology & Research Corp. (ATR) on the roof of a row house in Federal Hill in Baltimore.  The install consists of two panels, 235-watts each, on a sun tracking mount with a GPS-controlled drive unit that follows the sun to yield about 30% more than fixed panels.


By |March 23rd, 2012|Solar, Technology|7 Comments