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Wilson Solar Grill Stores the Sun's Energy For Nighttime Grilling

Wilson Solar Grill Stores the Sun's Energy For Nighttime Grilling
Many of us will be firing up our grills this weekend for some well-deserved barbecue time. After all, barbecuing is one of America’s greatest pastimes, but it certainly isn’t one of our most environmentally friendly. Whether you prefer charcoal, wood chips or propane, grilling releases emissions and contributes to poor air quality. Up until now, solar powered grilling has required, as you might expect, the sun, which means traditional fuel-fired grills are required after sunset. But new solar technology developed by MIT professor David Wilson could bring a nighttime solar-powered grill to the market very soon; an invention also of great benefit to those in developing nations who rely on wood to cook all their food. Wilson’s technology harnesses the sun and stores latent heat to allow cooking times for up to an amazing twenty five hours at temperatures above 450 degrees Fahrenheit. A group of MIT students are working with the technology to develop a prototype solar grill. Via Treehugger

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Thermal Mass & Energy Efficient Design: How Much is Enough? by guest author, Ashley Lubyk Thermal Mass Defined When it comes to building an energy efficient home the discussion often rests on how much insulation should be in the walls, in the ceiling, under the slab, etc. But as I’ve written about before, energy efficiency is about more than just R-values. A house also benefits from having well placed windows balanced with a calculated amount of thermal mass to passively supply heating and cooling requirements.

Growing and Rediscovering Hedgerows By Carol Ekarius Hedgerows have long played an important role in agriculture. Since Bronze Age people first used them to divide fields, mark property boundaries and control livestock in Europe more than 5,000 years ago, farmers around the world have appreciated the benefits hedgerows provide. Unfortunately, many hedgerows (some of them centuries old) were destroyed over the last 50 years both abroad and in the United States as agriculture moved into the Industrial Age. But in the United States today, Eastern farmers who have historic hedgerows are becoming interested in revitalizing them, and farmers in the West, a place without a real hedgerow tradition, are leading the hedgerow renaissance with new plantings. Grower’s curiosity and willingness to invest in hedgerows is being spurred on by research and by on-farm examples that show the myriad benefits, ranging from acoustic buffering to wildlife corridors.

Energy Storage in Underwater Balloons Grid-level energy storage takes many forms, including flow batteries, Li-ion batteries, pumped hydro, compressed air in underground caverns, and even flywheels. Toronto’s Hydrostor just added another tool to the arsenal: underwater compressed air energy storage (UCAES). Hydrostor recently activated a pilot UCAES plant - the first of its kind - that will provide grid-level storage for the city of Toronto. In addition to supplying the city with cost-effective energy storage, the system will allow engineers to study its behavior and optimize the design. Can UCAES become a viable energy storage technology?

How to get rid of wasps naturally In my last post, I shared two reasons you may want to leave a wasp nest up in your yard or garden. However, there are a variety of reasons you may not want to do that, For us, our small backyard means that any wasp nest is easily disturbed — making for angry wasps, which can lead to stings. You should first figure out if you have honeybees, or a type of wasp or yellow jacket in your yard (you can use this helpful tutorial to figure out what you are dealing with). If you do find that you have honeybees, and they are not in a location that is safe for you (or them), you can try to call local beekeepers who may even remove them for free or for a small fee. Since our bee populations are in an alarming decline, doing what we can to protect them is a high priority. (Related post: 25,000 bees found dead in Oregon; pesticide suspected)

Problem loading page Canada’s Hydrostor has developed a creative energy storage solution that is half the cost of the best battery technology and lasts twice as long. The clean energy startup is storing energy as compressed air and then housing the air underwater inside giant balloons. Though it sounds ridiculous, the idea is efficient at energy storage, and an environmentally friendly, zero-emissions solution. Cleantech startup Hydrostor designed and is now partnering with Toronto Hydro to operate the world’s’ first underwater compressed air energy storage system in Toronto. Brilliant WarkaWater Towers Collect Drinking Water from Thin Air in Ethiopia Italian designer Arturo Vittori has unveiled the WarkaWater Tower, a revoluntionary new way to collect clean drinking water in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa. The artist was inspired by a recent trip to a remote village in northeastern Ethiopia where water collection is often a dangerous and incredibly time-consuming process. With just a little financial backing, Vittori hopes the innovative WarkaWater Towers, which take advantage of condensation, will provide a more reliable, efficient and sustainable method of water harvesting for local women and their families. Throughout many remote villages in Ethiopia, water gathering is quite an ardous and dangerous task. With the burden typically falling on matriarchs of the family, the trip to the nearest water source can take hours if not all day. More often than not, that water fetched on these long journeys is commonly contaminated with dangerous elements such as human and animal waste.

Solar-powered Fontus pulls water from the air while you ride your bike Kristof Retezár has designed a clever way for cyclists to stay hydrated while they ride. Thanks to Fontus, a new device that pulls water from the air, we may never have to worry about refills ever again. The solar-powered device harvests water using a Peltier Element – a two-chambered cooler designed to encourage condensation. As air moves through the upper chamber, it is slowed by several barriers. The decrease in airflow speed allows for the release of water molecules, which are pulled from the air and then stored in a bottle for the cyclist’s consumption. It is essential, for good times and good health, that cyclists stay hydrated while enjoying the mid-summer weather.

Preparing Your Homestead for Winter - From the Ground Up Blog Although it’s hard to believe right now, winter will be here before you know it. There’s a lot to do to prepare your homestead for winter, and you don’t want to be caught off-guard by a freak snowstorm or early frost. Stay organized with this helpful, month-by-month planner, and you can be sure that your livestock, harvest and machinery will be safe and snug for the winter.