News & Blog

Blog Post Friday 11 April 2014

By the Power of the Sun

Did you know that in one minute, the sun shines down enough energy to meet the earth’s power needs for a whole year, or, that space missions have been using solar energy to power spaceships since 1958? Were you aware that the total amount of fossil fuels we’ve used as humans since the very beginning of time is only the equivalent to roughly 30 days of sunlight?

If you did, go home my dear, you’re already fluent in solar-speak and unlikely to be enlightened by the following information. You’re already an eco-warrior, saving cash left, right and centre since installing those rooftop panels and outdoor solar lights. We applaud you!

BUT, if you were amazed and, possibly mind-blown, by the above facts then read on because today we are checking out ten solar powered gadgets making everyday living easier….and cheaper (sunlight is free, after all).

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Solar Backpack
Do you ever go hiking or bushwalking, only to have the length of your exploring limited to the battery life of your mobile phone? It’s responsible if you do, in case of emergencies and all. But wouldn’t it be awesome if you could wander to your heart’s content? Well, now you can. These solar powered backpacks are fitted with flexible panels that gather enough energy to charge all your hiking gadgets.

Planes
Yep, NASA have made solar flying a reality with their new lightweight, solar powered Pathfinder. It’s even remote controlled. What a world we live in!

Sun Table
Guys, you can now take your lappy outside and watch the whole season of True Detective without having to pause, go inside and find a power point. The table top is weather-proof solar panels with a plug on the side, so you never run out of juice.

E-Tomb
This one’s a little ridiculous, but we liked the ingenuity. The E-Tomb is a solar powered headstone which stores your “digital personality”, aka social media feeds, personal websites, photographs etc. Your gravesite guests can then visit, log on, and scroll through your life online – even leave little messages of their own. It’s a little macabre but it sure is innovative.

Solar Refrigerator
A twenty something inventor, Emily Cummins, made life that much easier for rural Africa after releasing her simple solar powered refrigerator. Comprised of two cylinders, the inner made of metal and the outer of wood or plastic. The layer between these two cylinders is then filled with wet sand. When in direct sunlight, the rays heat the sand, evaporating the water and in turn cooling down the contents in the centre cylinder. These bad boys keep cold goods at a chilly six degrees. Amazing.

Solar E-Reader
So e-readers are already super cool in that they detect the level of sunlight and adjust the screen so that you are able to re-read the 5th Harry Potter without squinting. Now they are about to become even more self-sufficient when they feature a solar panel and self-charge capabilities.

Solar Water Heater
This is probably the most useful of all the above appliances, and the most benefit to everyday households. Considering how expensive utilities can be, a solar powered water heater will cut costs and lower your carbon footprint. It’s definitely a cheap energy alternative.

There are more lavish gadgets we could have added to the list (solar powered cars, tents, toilets and sunglasses) and many more functional items too (watches, streetlights and road reflectors), but the gadgets above highlight how easily world technology innovators are finding the balance between being eco-conscious and functioning smoothly as a society.

Remember, solar power emits nothing and is reliant on a limitless fuel source. It’s like dark chocolate – basically guilt free.