New Solar Energy Possibilities for Homes
Guest Contributor post by Matt J @ South Shore Roofing A renewable energy system can be used to supply some or all of your electricity needs, using new and eco-friendly technologies. There are many different systems and technologies for powering your house while being eco-friendly and saving energy. One of the most popular and efficient systems is solar electric system, which includes solar...
Full mAh capacity range of NiMH (the good chemistry) rechargeable batteries for Solar Lights are now available!
Solar lights for the home and garden come with pre-installed, pre-charged batteries from most (safe to say, all) manufacturers when you buy them online or directly at stores. What many people don't realize is that these rechargeable batteries will eventually run their course and lose all of their effective capacity after about 2 years of nightly use. These solar light batteries are almost always r...
CES 2016: Solar Powered Gadgets of the Future.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a prominent global electronics and technology focused trade show that takes place every year in Las Vegas. Held in January each year, it is known for introducing the latest technology trends and most innovative electronics. This year, solar energy was at the forefront with a huge variety of tech that uti...
Holiday Gift Guide: Solar Tech for your Home, Kids, and the Outdoors.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor The gift that keeps on giving has never been greener, and the time to buy one for your friend or loved one is quickly approaching. This year for the holidays, instead of giving some trite piece of clothing or kitchen appliance, try looking for the perfect gifts for those eco-friendly friends who wants to help benefit the environment, or perhaps for a family...
The Benefits of Floatovoltaics.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor Now that most governments, environmental organizations, scientists and even the Catholic Church have agreed on the need to combat climate change, innovative solutions are being sought in many quarters. The old ways of doing things simply won't cut it now that we're aware of the harmful effects of traditional means of power generation, such as the burning of...

World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. China’s modern green ambitions.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on March 25, 2010 in Solar News, World News - Comments: 5 Comments »

Lasting from May 1st to Oct 31st 2010, the Shanghai World Expo will be the biggest event in its history, with 192 countries and 50 International organizations having confirmed participation. 70 million visitors are expected from both inland and abroad to attend this world event. More than 20,000 cultural shows will be held during the Expo.
Themed Better City, Better Life, the 2010 World Expo Shanghai conveys a common wish of mankind for a better future and better city life.

World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. China Pavilion.
World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

A dream team of talented and renowned designers, architects, artists, environmental and technology professionals from near and far are coming together for the upcoming World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China.

With 12 pavilion groups covering 5.28 square-kilometers, the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion is bound to be one of the highlights of the Expo experience!

To say the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion is eco-friendly, is putting it mildly. The Shanghai Corporate Pavilion, designed by Atelier Feichang Jianzhu, embodies sophisticated elegance using environmental technologies both inside and out.

Often referred to as the Dream Cube, the pavilion’s exterior is constructed out of polycarbonate transparent tubes made out of recycled plastic. CD cases to be exact! Once the Expo is over, the tubes can be recycled. Those in attendance at the ground breaking ceremony in April, poured recyclable granules into the tubes which will be used on the building’s exterior.

World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. China Pavilion.
Shanghai Corporate Pavilion. The Dream Cube.

Multi-colored LED lights, controlled by a computer system, will transform the building’s exterior in an array of color.
The Pavilion also features a solar energy system. The “ultra-low temperature power generation technology,” will generate electricity using solar power. 1,600 square-meter solar heat-collecting tubes on the roof will produce hot water, generating energy for everyday use.
The rainwater will be stored and recycled. The filtered rainwater will be utilized for everyday use and for a special mist system. The mist will regulate the temperature in the building and purify the air.
The misters will also dazzle visitors entering the entrance hall in an array of patterns, creating special effects “mist shows.”
Construction of the pavilion, themed “My City, Our Dreams,” is expected to take about 10 months to complete.

World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. China Pavilion construction.
Construction of Shanghai Corporate Pavilion.

Looking forward for an exotic escape? The Swiss pavilion (check out video below) features a 4-minute chairlift ride above a rooftop alpine meadow.
The United Arab Emirates has a pavilion shaped like sand dunes, Israel’s mimics a sea shell (see video below), Romania’s a green apple, Macao’s a jade rabbit lantern.

Outside the Expo site, the city has built a new airport terminal, subway lines, expressways, tunnels and bridges to accommodate hundreds of thousands of extra visitors a day.
More than 70 million people are expected to visit the Shanghai World Expo 2010 which takes place from May 1st through October 31, 2010. Electric vehicles will be used during the event to transport those in attendance.
It brings great pleasure and new hope for a better future for humanity to witness an eco-friendly themed event of this scale.

Check out this video on Shanghai 2010 World Expo Official Preview.

For those of us who will not be able to personally visit and see this wonderful world event, have a guided tour through the world expo with this video:

Israel at World Expo 2010.

Swiss Pavilion – World Expo Shanghai 2010.

Strings of Solar Maple Leaf Lights. Smart alternative to decorate your space!

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on March 22, 2010 in Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

Maple Leaf Solar Lights String
Image by Your Solar Link.

Decorative solar rope lights can be a great alternative for your exterior lighting needs. Great thing about these solar lights is that they don’t have to be strictly holiday season decorative option.
Have a look at the Solar Maple Leaf Lights.

Maple Leaf Solar Lights String
Image by Your Solar Link.

They can be used to complement your entire garden and landscaping (blending in nicely with existing maple trees). Place them on the ground to give a fallen leaf effect or place them amongst the leaves of your trees to give them eco-friendly company.
They look fantastic across a patio/balcony railing, creating a cozy inviting setting, while lightening up your mood (see video below).
This low voltage outdoor lighting is fast and easy to install, and can quickly be moved with the changing of the seasons.

Maple Leaf Solar Lights String
Image by Your Solar Link.

So, what else is great about these Solar Maple Leaf Lights?
They are solar powered. Meaning free energy source!
There is no wiring; fast and easy way to install.
There is a setting that allows these lights to be turned on automatically when dark.
They are safe around your kids and pets.
They are water/corrosion resistant.
They will stay on all night long… And their tasteful contemporary design will look great in any setting!
Not convinced? Have a look at the video below and see how others create a unique and welcoming space using nature’s gift of solar power!

You can see these solar string lights HERE. They are sold at discounted price and will be shipped to your house for FREE!

We designed the house around what we had. On the path to greater self-sufficiency.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on March 9, 2010 in World News - Comments: No Comments »

In an area of Ngatimoti, four neighbours who share green values in their lifestyles are about to open their properties to the public.

green lifestyle
Labor of love: The Laufkotters’ home in Ngatimoti was constructed from 80 percent straw and 20 percent clay over a two-year period.

Sixteen years ago, Peter and Mechthild Laufkotter decided their seaside Motueka home was limiting their self-sufficiency, so they made a move that many people dream of.

The couple now live on a 25-hectare block in tranquil Ngatimoti, 20 kilometres from Motueka, with a charming light earth house that overlooks vegetable gardens, fruit trees and surrounding bush and forest.

There they take pleasure in the delights of eating home-grown produce, preserving it for storage in their cellar and for use throughout the year. On their path to greater self-sufficiency they’ve learned many new skills, and enjoy being independent.

“If you live in harmony with the land, it’s something that is deeply satisfying. You put your energy into all the food that you eat. It has a different value than just the nutrition,” says Mrs Laufkotter, a trained dietician who now works as a teacher aide at Ngatimoti School and as a yoga teacher.

The Laufkotters’ property is one of four organic Ngatimoti properties that will feature in the Green Lifestyles tour on Sunday, March 14.

Organised by the Motueka branch of the Green Party, its aim is to show how simple green concepts have been applied to create beautiful homes, gardens and lifestyles for the four host families, and how an eco-friendly life works for those looking for inspiration.

Motueka Greens treasurer Heather Spence says as well as the Laufkotter’s property, the tour will go to a commercial organic plum and apple orchard, a home-based flax-growing and craft business, and a home that features an outdoor bathroom and woodlots.

She says people on the tour – the first of its type held by Motueka Greens in part as a fund-raising event – will be able to talk to the hosts about such things as sustainable house design, different building materials and techniques, and how to achieve things like productive organic gardens, solar power, composting toilets and smart water use.

The tour is structured so people walk a 3km route in groups from one property to the next through fields, woodlots, orchards and gardens.

The Laufkotters, who have three grown sons, moved to the region from Germany in 1981 and lived for 14 years by the sea in Motueka. When they bought their Ngatimoti property about 16 years ago, they bought it with a friend to reduce the mortgage, but later bought his share.

The couple opted for a three-bedroom light earth house, which is of timber construction with walls made from a mixture of 80 percent straw and 20 percent clay. Lighter than mud-brick homes, the house, which is built on a hillside, also has great insulation, says Mr Laufkotter, who works from home as a sign writer.

They built the house over two years, and in a further bid to save money “and not end up with a huge mortgage”, they collected windows, doors and other features for the house during the years in advance of building. They managed to secure a whole house lot from Christchurch, with other parts coming from Nelson.

We designed the house around what we had,” Mrs Laufkotter says.

The home features solar water heating and a composting toilet, which separates solids from liquids. The liquid gets fed to the citrus trees, which, like the nitrogen it contains, and the solids, are also spread around fruit trees.

They said they wanted a composting toilet because they don’t have a huge supply of water on the land.

“With every flush [from a conventional toilet], we might not have much to drink by the end of February,” Mr Laufkotter laughs. Over the years, they’ve established large organic vegetable gardens fed with lots of rich compost and organic manure, fruit and nut orchards and a 50-tree olive grove, and have regenerated bare paddocks by planting hundreds of native trees. They also keep some chickens and 14 Scottish highland cattle.

The cattle are kept mainly to control the pest plant old man’s beard on the property, but the Laufkotters also occasionally kill them for food to keep the numbers manageable. As the Laufkotters are not big meat eaters, one animal supplies them with meat for a year.

Their increasing self-sufficiency means they’re always trying new things and learning new skills. Mr Laufkotter learned butchering and makes his own salami and dried meats, which are stored in the cellar along with homemade juices, wines, beer and other preserves.

Hops that Mr Laufkotter found growing wild in the Graham Valley line the entrance to the cellar, which provides a cool sanctuary in the heat of summer.

“Every season is different and there’s always new things to be learned,” he says.

“Coming from Germany, chutneys didn’t exist. We have learned that [how to make them]. We make them here and never have to buy them,” Mrs Laufkotter says.

We’ve got everything we need here and we never go hungry at all,” Mr Laufkotter adds.

“I don’t have to spend eight hours in my workshop. I don’t have to chase the jobs.”

He also makes his own bread, which led him to last year grow a 20-square-meter patch of barley for a trial, because he wanted to know how to grow grains. The birds loved the experiment.

“I made about 2kg out of 20sqm. If I wanted to support my bread making with my own grain, I’d have to grow a paddock of it.”

Mrs Laufkotter, who makes her own herb teas, says being as self-sufficient as possible takes effort.

“People will come here and say `this is beautiful’, but wouldn’t really have a clue about what it means to sustain something like that.

“I try to be in the garden every day for at least an hour. There are some days on the weekends I would spend the whole day [outside on the property].

“Most evenings in summer, I’d be in the garden until it’s dark.

“When you’ve got a lot like this, that creates a huge workload, but if you know it’s for yourself, you don’t mind.”

One of the nicest aspects of where they live is that their neighbors share their green philosophy, they say.

In fact, once a year, the neighbors get together to maintain White Rock, a special area of quartz at the top of the Laufkotters’ property.

“The best thing about it is you never have an argument about things like spraying,” Mr Laufkotter says.

“They’re all on the same wavelength.”


Architecture Science. Turning windows into solar power generators.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on in Latest Technology, Solar News - Comments: 6 Comments »

Cityscapes of glass-clad buildings gleaming in the sun make Anna Dyson think about wasted energy. Dyson heads the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology, or CASE, a research consortium that wants to turn office windows into multifaceted solar power generators.

Researchers at the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology are testing a new

Image by William Conway/Progress Photography.

Researchers at the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology are testing a new “diamond” technology that would be installed on glazing to generate power.

Their “integrated concentrating dynamic solar facade” consists of grids of clear pyramids that help focus the sun’s rays to generate energy. It would essentially make buildings look as if they were draped in giant jeweled curtains.

RPI research assistants pose for a portrait with the Helioptix window units.

Image by Kevin Rivoli, AP.

RPI research assistants pose for a portrait with the Helioptix window units installed at the Syracuse Centre of Excellence in Environmental & Energy Systems building.

A prototype gets a real-world tryout after the opening this week of an eco-friendly research building in Syracuse. Researchers at CASE — a collaborative research group involving Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy and the international architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill — call it a step toward exploiting the huge but largely untapped “green” resource of building exteriors.

“The reason we’re interested in windows is because they have the largest surface areas, typically, in buildings, especially in tall, urban buildings,” said Dyson, a professor of architecture at RPI. “We have a lot of vertical surface area to work with to really generate a lot of power.”

RPI research assistants perform maintenance on the Helioptix window units installed in Syracuse, N.Y.

Image by Kevin Rivoli / AP.

RPI research assistants perform maintenance on the Helioptix window units installed in Syracuse, N.Y.

In contrast to typical flat solar panels, CASE’s system is designed to do several things.

Each clear pyramid, with facets less than a foot square, has a lens to focus sunlight onto a tiny solar cell. The concentrated cells are designed to be more efficient in generating energy than traditional cells. And the pyramid modules rotate to track the sun. Pumped water keeps the solar cells cool to maximize efficiency. The cooling water also “captures” that waste heat for other uses, such as hot water or radiant heat for the building.

The pattern of pyramids also would deflect and diffuse the sun’s rays, meaning office workers with eastern exposures could work in natural light all morning instead of drawing the blinds against the glare. Windows will still provide a view, albeit one obstructed a bit where the patterns of pyramids are placed.

The technology behind concentrating the sun’s energy through a lens is not new, nor is the concept of placing solar cells on the side of a building. But the integration of all these ideas to perform multiple tasks is novel.

Dyson notes that a building’s biggest energy suckers are usually cooling, heating and lighting. This system would tackle all three, whether it’s extracting maximum solar power in New York City or deflecting and diffusing sunlight in Phoenix. Jason Vollen, an RPI architecture professor at CASE, said their integrated system squeezes every bit of usability out of the system.

The system has already been tested on an RPI rooftop. Now, a prototype has been built into the facade of the Syracuse headquarters of the Center of Excellence in Environmental & Energy Systems, a public-private research partnership devoted to sustainability research.

The prototype, one of many green features of the state-of-the-art building, is an 8-by-8-foot panel and will become fully operational soon. A second, portable prototype will be generating energy earlier.

Syracuse, where the winters can be long, snowy and gray, might not seem the best place to try out a new system to generate solar power, but Vollen said it will be a good test in “less than optimal solar climates.”

Vollen believes the system can catch on in the fast-growing market for “green building” and energy efficiency systems. He said the system would be especially suitable for older buildings undergoing retrofits, which is expected to be a growth market.

The solar system is included in construction documents for a high-profile construction project being planned for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, according to Jonathan Maille, a director of HeliOptix, which is licensed to market the system.

Dyson did not provide a price, though the complex system will cost more than planting some photovoltaic cells on the roof. But she claims the payback time is sooner.

Still, one veteran solar energy consultant not involved in the project said that while he likes the concept, users should be ready for the potential for costs down the road. Peter Talmage, now a professor of renewable energy at Greenfield Community College in Massachusetts, said whatever the limits of traditional solar panels, they require only minimal maintenance needs.

He noted that this system is far more complicated.

“You have to throw in a good chunk for operation and maintenance costs,” Talmage said.



Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger.
This stylish, sleek and reliable pocket size Universal Battery Charger (Juicebar Solar Charger) is proven to be your best friend in a situation when conventional electric supply is not available or if you are trying to use eco-friendly renewable power supplies.
Great as a solar phone charger for any type of Mobile Phones, IPhones, PSA, PDA, Mp3 Players, Satellite Navigation, and much more.
Get it HERE.

Solar Lights Savings

Solar Garden Lights

Stainless Steel Conical Solar Path Light (Set of 2).
Path solar lights are an excellent choice for lighting your garden paths, walkways, driveway perimeters and other regions in your landscape. They are often used in multiples to guide the way along a set of stairs or a dark walk.
Featured Stainless Steel Solar Light set uses 2 ultra-bright LEDs for maximum light output and minimum battery usage.
The lights are safe around kids and pets and water and corrosion resistant.
Read more HERE


Stone Solar Spot Lights (also known as Solar Rock Lights) completely camouflage with existing landscapes and look like any other rock in your garden.

Green Gardener Corner

Solar Fountain Pump System

How to start using ecologically friendly energy to power up your garden fountains and other garden water features?
Why not go with a solar powered water pump?
To accommodate your needs the Solar Fountain Pump Systems we carry range from 2 to 8 Watt. Browse our collection of solar water pumps for your fish ponds and solar fountains.
Enjoy your garden water features and your energy savings at the same time. Make a note of the various power levels and the flow rate of the solar water pumps before your purchase.
Please write us your review after your purchase. Your opinion is important to us!


Stone Cylinder Solar Path Lights (Set of 2).
See how easy it is to install a solar light. No wiring required!
In this particular case a ground fastener and a stake are included for quick and easy installation. Read more HERE



Solar accent lights (Set of 2) create an enjoyable and inviting glow for your landscape.
They are designed to mark a place.

Super High Output Spot Light

Solar Spot Light - $26.99
Super High Output Spot Light (4 Super Bright LEDs). Free Shipping!

Solar spot lights like this one rely on energy from the sun to charge their batteries and provide light throughout the night.
This means that there is no need to tap into the electrical grid for these lights to operate.
The solar spot lights will work consistently, even if the whole neighborhood is dealing with a power outage.
Learn more about Solar Spot Lights at, where we have a great selection of solar spot lights to choose from.

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