Fastcompany.com just reported on how Ikea is experimenting with the marriage of solar energy and blockchain technology through SolarVille project. This SolarVille project is constructed in a way in which each homeowner’s excess solar energy in the whole solar grid (each home is connected to the whole grid) can be accounted and released into the market for gains through blockchain technology. I think this is a very interesting project since it could help counter the argument that cryptocurrencies are wasting energy by having people using a lot of energy to mine the crypto coins.
If you have read my blog posts a lot, you know I’m not a big fan of Bitcoin and other crypto coins/currency since I know that the governments of the world won’t allow unsanctioned crypto coins to thrive. Furthermore, anyone could just create unsanctioned crypto coins to further dilute and confuse the whole crypto coin market. Nonetheless, I’m very interested in the blockchain technology itself.
In my opinion, even though I don’t like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for the various reasons I stated earlier and other reasons I haven’t stated in this blog post — I do think SolarVille project could shine some light on how people could create a similar project to gain excess energy from the sun so this energy could be used to mine for more cryptocurrencies. This way people cannot say that you waste energy to mine crypto currencies because the energy from the sun, theoretically, is endless. Technically though, you are still wasting energy to mine crypto coins, but at least you’re wasting energy in a very green manner.
What do I think about SolarVille project itself? I think it’s very cool! I mean if the whole city is being constructed into a solar farm grid like this, then families in this specific city will definitely spend less or actually gain monetary values through selling excess unused solar energy. This scenario could actually inject extra money into the whole economy out of nowhere and also create a new vein in the whole economy of a city.
Image via Wikipedia
Nothing makes my heart tingling more with joy than having electronic devices that aren’t so depending on the traditional power sources. For an instance, keyboard that is powered by solar cells would be something that I won’t hesitate in having to yearn for. Now, my heart just a tad happier than usual since there is now a Kindle cover which uses solar cells for powering the Kindle, and this solar-powered Kindle cover will make its appearance in CES 2012.
I’m a Kindle user, and my Kindle rocks in term of lasting for days if not a week before I even think about recharging it. Nonetheless, the idea of prolonging the Kindle’s battery life per charging cycle even much much more, to a point of forgetfulness is almost making my heart sings. Why almost? Unfortunately, this solar-powered Kindle cover will cost around $79.99. You can check out this solar-powered Kindle cover at solarmio.com/en/.
According to BusinessDailyAfrica.com, Samsung has targeted Kenya’s market for its newest product NC215 solar netbook. BusinessDailyAfrica reported that there are too many Kenyans who do not have access to electricity, because these Kenyans largely live in rural area and Kenya has a very large rural population in total. Samsung NC215 solar netbook can be charged by using the sunlight, and so it’s a perfect kind of computer for the Kenyans who do not have access to electricity.
Samsung NC215 solar netbook is probably the first ever solar computer, and the solar panel attaches to the front of the NC215 netbook’s lid. The solar panel is beautifully encapsulated inside the front of the NC215 netbook’s lid. Once the battery is charged with the solar panel lid, the NC215 netbook can stay on for 15 hours. It’s unclear if that amount of battery time will be the case when NC215 solar netbook is under intensive usage.
Besides having solar panel lid, NC215 netbook has 1.3 GHz Intel ATOM Processor N570, 2 processors in total, 802.11bg/n WiFI, 10/100 LAN, BT V3.0 High Speed, Windows 7 Starter, 1 GB of DDR3 RAM, 250 GB 5400 rpm HDD, 10.2 inches length, 7.07 inches width, 0.93 inches height, and 2.87 pounds weight. As you can see this netbook isn’t meant to be powerful, but it is definitely something one can use on a long travel trip that requires charging the netbook the traditional way less. Of course, it can also be charged the traditional way through a power outlet with a power adapter and cord.
Samsung NC215 netbook is currently listed for $396.29 on Amazon as I’m writing this piece. Perhaps when you read this, the price might be the same or lower. It’s unclear about the quality of NC215 netbook since I don’t have it on hand to test it. Nevertheless, the idea of having a solar netbook is very cool to me. Here I thought more brands should already have something like this on the market already, but I guess Samsung leads the way and others will follow. I certainly hope Apple will do the same since I’ve been using many Apple’s products.
I’ve found a video on YouTube that unbox Samsung NC215 solar netbook. Why don’t you take a peek at the video right after the break.
NPR has a piece on professor Yang Yang of UCLA, lead researcher in charging devices with LCD displays, and his team of researchers claim that they have discovered a way to allow LCD displays to recycle energy and recharge devices using solar power at the same time. Don’t underestimate this technology, because any device with LCD display can be recharged by using solar power. Furthermore, this same technology allows devices to use solar power and other energy means more effectively since the LCD screen features a function which devices can recycle energy effectively, consequently leading to using less energy than ever before even though technically the devices can demand the same or even more energy as usual. The challenges for profesor Yang Yang and his team of researchers are not to downgrade LCD image quality and how to bring their discovery to the market effectively so the mass can take advantages of this new discovery/technology. Check out the link below to play the audio or read more about professor Yang Yang’s project.
Homeowners who spend a load of electricity know the pain when the bills arrive. Modern technology tends to be greener somewhat, but the addiction of modern technology is something that cannot be tamed easily which contributes to evermore power consumption. On a cold winter day, if a house isn’t insulated enough, the heater, powering by electricity, has to run at length and shoots the bill skyward. Vice versa is true for a hot summer day.
We all know how expensive solar electricity is, because getting an adequate roof solar panels to be installed would cost somewhere around $15,000 to $30,000 or however more. Average homeowners definitely want to save themselves from huge electricity bills, but the upfront cost of solar electricity is a shocker. Even with homeowners who think they can stay within the same home for long term know they only begin to save real money with their expensive solar electricity setup after how many years long of which I cannot surmise, but the future is always full of uncertainties — how do one expects to be in the same home?
A Washington-based start-up company, Clarian Power, is looking to change the way people consume power. Clarian Power’s approach looks attractive. This company promotes SmartBox Plug-in Solar. The unit is portable, because homeowners can move the unit anywhere. The installation looks easy enough as it only requires you to plug the unit’s components into the outlets. Clarian Power claims that SmartBox Plug-in Solar has a built-in circuit protection so homeowners would be safe from operating their units. They also claim the units are almost maintenance free since there’s no moving part, and so each unit should last for decades. The cost of the unit is probably under $1000, but it’s unclear at the moment since the products aren’t yet made available; it seems SmartBox Plug-in Solar will be available in stores sometimes in 2011.
Clarian Power’s SmartBox Plug-in Solar does look attractive, but homeowners still have to do the math and experience the real thing themselves before they know how much money they can actually save on electricity bill every year. After all, what homeowners want is to save money. I don’t want to make the wrong assumption that SmartBox Plug-in Solar will save its user a load of money. I’ll leave the truth of that to SmartBox Plug-in Solar users who will be able to gauge the real cost or saving. I insist SmartBox Plug-in Solar’s portability is attractive. Nonetheless, if the cost of the unit itself is dampening the quick turnaround of saving money, I fear it will be just another solution of novelty.
Update: Unfortunately, the video for this particular product on YouTube was pulled or made into private viewing only by the video uploader! You won’t be able to view this video now!