Tag Archives: solar panel

Solar Panels Charge Ford Car


Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, is showcasing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that uses solar panels in the roof to recharge itself.

The C-Max Solar Energi will be on display at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that begins Tuesday, the Dearborn, Mich.-based company said Thursday in a statement.

The vehicle can travel about 21 miles (34 kilometers) using only electric power and has a total range of about 620 miles. It has 300 to 350 watts of SunPower Corp. solar cells in the roof and may portend a future of mass-produced rechargeable cars that don’t need to be plugged in, said Mike Tinskey, director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure.

The concept includes a canopy-like parking structure that uses Fresnel lenses to focus sunlight on the car and boost efficiency of the solar cells. It was developed with the Georgia Institute of Technology and shifts the car’s position throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky.

“It’s a tracking concentrator without the costs of one,” said Tinskey. The car also has a standard port to connect to a charging station.

Ford estimates it sold more than 85,000 hybrids and electric vehicles in 2013.

Builders and Consumer Perceive Green Home as Affordable to Live in – Expensive to Build?


New Survey From Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity International Also Find Consumers Believe Savings may be Worth the Expense

Green homes offer a wide variety of benefits from reducing carbon footprints to saving money on utility bills to even improving the health of children. However, a recent Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity survey conducted by the NAHB Research Center (a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders), polled home builders, as well as consumers, and found many believe there’s a disconnect between living in a green home and purchasing one. Yet, the majority of respondents (64 percent) indicated that savings from green home features were sometimes worth the added costs and efforts. This finding was consistent across all income level groups for both renters and homeowners.

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It’s a particularly difficult position for the majority of homeowners in the United States. The consumer survey, fielded in August 2010 by the NAHB Research Center to gauge perceptions of affordable and green housing, found that the majority of High (67 percent), Upper Middle (65 percent), and Middle (59 percent) income respondents, as well as nearly half of low income respondents (48 percent), indicated they believe a completely green home would be affordable to live in or maintain. Yet only high-income respondents were more likely to indicate that a completely green home would be affordable to purchase (71percent).

“The health benefits, low utility costs and other factors make green homes ideal for all homeowners. However, it takes a united front of manufacturers, builders and organizations to help builders and consumers understand that building green can be affordable,” said Tom Halford, general manager, contract sales and marketing, Whirlpool Corporation. “There’s a need to bridge the perception gap between green-building and affordability, so that builders and families understand that options exist to improve their footprint in the long-term, while saving money and resources in the short-term.”

The builder survey, fielded July-August 2010 to members of the Research Center’s Online Builder Panel, found that 87 percent believe green homes are affordable for middle income families to live in, while 30 percent felt green homes were too expensive for the segment to purchase or build. For low-income families, 70 percent of home builders believe green homes are affordable to live in, and nearly 60 percent of builders thought green homes were too expensive for low-income families to purchase or build.

Read more at: http://oikos.com/news/2010/12.html#affordable

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only.

A Solar Panel Tupperware Party

Ever heard of Tupperware parties for solar energy? Neither had I—until last week, that is, when I received an invitation to attend one.

 For years, Lora Berg and her husband, Karim Chaibi, had been interested in the prospect of solar energy for her own house. But the upfront cost to install a system of panels on her roof, seemed prohibitive.

When the family returned to their Chevy Chase house last year after several overseas tours, they revisited the topic.

“It turned out we were lucky to come back at the perfect time to enter the market,” Berg said. “I had never thought I could actually do this.” After some research with the help of DC Sun, a coalition of solar neighborhood co-ops, she found several companies that offered lease-type arrangements in which no large investment from the homeowner is required—or even none at all. She invited two. Both provided her with proposals (see below) for monthly energy costs.

Read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/where-we-live/post/a-solar-panel-tupperware-party-too-good-to-be-true/2012/01/26/gIQAiJhITQ_blog.html

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only