iPhone, iPad & iPod Solar Chargers & Green Apps
In one hour, the earth receives more energy from the sun than the entire world uses during the course of a year, disproving the myth that solar energy is an inefficient incubator of power. While technology advances, new tools that advance our everyday lifestyles are emerging.
One company that is taking advantage of the sun’s power is Novothink, a company based out of California. Their mission is to create innovative solar powered chargers for mobile devices that encourage easy, accessible, and green alternatives for living a life more free from the grid.
Novothink’s Surge Products are the first Apple certified solar chargers for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The charger is smartly designed as it serves as a hard-shell case with solar panels built into the back. Reviews have given the chargers five-stars and the case has been described as a sleek, hybrid solar charger. For the iPhone 3G Surge, only two hours of sun exposure powers up to an hour of talk time and the Surge also features an LED battery-level indicator.
Currently, the Surge for the iPhone 4 is slightly delayed and will not be available until January of 2011, and the new Surge Solar charger for the iPad is currently in the works for a 2011 release date. However, the Surge for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are making a swift impact on the green gadget scene, showing promise for their release of future products. For businessmen and women on the go, this is a practical solution for the lack of outlets, lack of time, and a surplus of daylight.
As iPhone chargers become increasingly green, so does the smart phone, itself. iPhone’s now have Green Minded Smart Phone App’s that are useful for entrepreneurs and for cutting back expenses. New apps, such as Meter Read and Fuel Saver, track excessive spending through monitoring energy use and fuel consumption. This creates an awareness of superfluous actions, and resulting in reduced expenses.
Another App, GreenCard, allows you to create your own digital business card. Eliminating the hassle of designing, printing, and carrying around the standard paper card, that can be tossed or lost. The new green card is easy and ready to send by a simple touch on your phone, making you stand out above the rest crowd in competitive business market.
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly