Pythagoras Solar makes a revolutionary solar-powered window – literally an insulated window with integrated photovoltaics – that has the ability to turn buildings into massive power producers. The company has been testing a pilot project on the south-facing windows of the 56th floor of Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower. If the pilot goes well, Willis Tower could end up with a surface area of up to two megawatts of solar.
The U.S. market for small wind turbines — those rated 100 kilowatts or less — grew 15% in 2009 with the installation of about 10,000 new units, according to the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Global Market Study in 2010. In the same report, AWEA found that the largest manufacturer of these turbines in terms of kilowatts sold is Arizona-based Southwest Windpower. I had the opportunity to email with the company’s marketing director, Miriam Robbins, and she was kind enough to share what’s new with Southwest Windpower.
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.
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.
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.
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.