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Low-Cost Solar Thermal by Sunnovations

Sunnovations, a Virginia-based start-up, is seeing more and more interest in its unique solar thermal technology and just closed a Series A round of financing led by Two Seven Ventures.  That technology is explained in the attached images, and it may just make solar water heating a no-brainer for every home in the country.   The system is relatively affordable, easy to install, and simple to maintain, according to the company.

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LSG Seeks Top Prize with New LED Bulb

Today Lighting Science Group unveiled a new 60-watt replacement LED bulb that “meets or exceeds all of the criteria for the L Prize,” according to CTO Fred Maxik.  If you’re not familiar with the competition, in order to win, the lamp must run better than 90 watts per lumen, produce more than 900 lumens, use less than 10 watts, last more than 25,000 hours, have more than a 90 color rendering index, and have a color between 2700-3000 K.

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Low Profile Tubular Skylight by Velux

Velux makes some great products for drawing natural light indoors.  The company recently introduced a new, low-profile, flat-glass Sun Tunnel skylight at IBS 2011, and it will be available later this year.  Already in use in Europe, the new skylight trades the bulbous, dome-style, roof model for a sleek, more modern, less noticeable look.

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Recycle Your Rain with RainPerfect

If you’re thinking about collecting rain at home, there’s a chance this product — the RainPerfect solar-powered pump system — could come in handy.  Once you have rainwater in the barrel, you’ll want to get it out and that can be done with the help of solar energy, a pump, and a garden hose.

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How to Give Up Incandescent Light Bulbs

Some folks are stockpiling light bulbs in anticipation of the future phase-out of standard incandescents, according to USA Today.  It seems hoarders are doing it for one or two reasons: cost and/or lighting concerns.  But these shouldn’t be concerns.  With a little bit of math (initial cost + operating cost) and an understanding of basic lighting terms (lumen, watt, color accuracy, color temperature), I think the switch is a no-brainer.  So here’s a five-step program for the hoarder:

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How to Find the Most Efficient Appliances

In my experience, it seems most people compare appliance models based on cost, appearance, and brand.  Some individuals consult the yellow-and-black EnergyGuide label for estimated operating cost and energy use information.  Others research models online through the Energy Star products database.

But there’s a new resource for locating the most energy efficient products on the market: Top Ten USA.

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