Boeing is developing a solar-powered unmanned aircraft that can remain in the air for five years non-stop.
The airplane is named SolarEagle and is designed to fly in the upper atmosphere for long periods of time, providing surveillance and intelligence information to the ground.
Image from www.FoxNews.com.
The US military has given Boeing a $89 million contract to develop a SolarEagle demonstrator vehicle which will make its first flight in 2014.
During testing, the SolarEagle demonstrator will stay in the upper atmosphere for 30 days, collecting solar energy during the day that will be stored in fuel cells and used to provide power through the night.
The amazing solar-powered plane will have highly efficient electric motors and propellers. Its wings — spanning some 400 feet — will be covered with solar panels, which will power propellers and feed fuel cells during daylight hours.
“SolarEagle is a uniquely configured, large unmanned aircraft designed to eventually remain on station at stratospheric altitudes for at least five years,” said Pat O’Neil, Boeing Phantom Works program manager.
“That’s a daunting task, but Boeing has a highly reliable solar-electric design that will meet the challenge in order to perform persistent communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions from altitudes above 60,000 feet.”
The last solar-powered aircraft to break the record for an unmanned plane was the British-designed Zephyr in July. Designed by British defense firm QinetiQ, the Zephyr flew for two weeks non-stop above a U.S. Army range in Arizona before finally landing.
Zephyr by QinetiQ: Credit: QinetiQ.
Watch Zephyr by QinetiQ video.
Beyond SolarEagle, Phantom Works is developing several other unmanned prototypes, such as the Phantom Ray – a fighter-sized, advanced technology demonstration scheduled to make its first flight in early 2011.
Boeing’s Phantom Ray: The wing is the plane. Credit: Boeing.
Watch Boeing’s Phantom Ray video.
The Phantom Eye, a hydrogen-powered, high-altitude aircraft designed to stay in the air for up to four days, is another also scheduled to debut in 2011.
Boeing Phantom Eye: Credit: Boeing.
Watch Boeing Phantom Eye video.
The first rebates issued in San Diego from the new California Solar Initiative’s ( CSI) Thermal Program were awarded in July to three residents who purchased Solahart solar water heating systems installed by Solar Services of San Diego in Santee, Calif.
Solahart solar water heating systems. Image from www.carssaipan.com
According to Katrina Phruksukarn, CCSE’s manager for CSI-Thermal, the rebates varied from $814 to $928 based on the type of solar water heating system, location, shading and other design factors. All three homeowners have an electric water heater as a back up to the solar system to boost water temperatures on cold or cloudy days. The average rebate for electric-displacing systems is expected to be around $1,000, while a typical homeowner with a solar water heating system displacing a natural gas water heater can expect a rebate of about $1,500 at the initial incentive level. Incentives will decline over time as the program meets certain benchmarks, so customers are encouraged to apply for their rebate early, Phruksukarn said.
Incentive recipient Bob Stanberry of San Diego said the solar water heater installation went well, only taking about three to four hours, and that the system supplies more hot water than he and his wife need on a regular basis. Not only would he recommend solar water heating, he already has to several people including his brother who is considering it.
Cindy Becker of Fallbrook explained that there had been an old-style solar water heating system on their house when she and her husband Wayne moved in about tenyears ago, but it soon quit working correctly. She said Solar Services of San Diego did all of the paperwork for the CSI rebate and made it easy to lower the purchase price. The third recipient was Mavis Smith of San Diego.
In a recent development, the California Cash For Appliances Program has approved an additional rebate for qualifying systems that will continue until the money is used up. The program offers a rebate for solar water heating systems of $750. The program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Stimulus Fund and is administered by the California Energy Commission. Details about the program can be found online at: www.Cash4Appliances.org.
The best way to learn about solar water heating technology and rebates is to take a free workshop for homeowners at CCSE. For information on how you can take advantage of rebates for solar water heating, go to www.energycenter.org/swh or call (877) 333-SWHP. Enter to win a solar water heating system at Sustainable Energy Week!
Watch video demonstrating Solahart Solar Hot Water Heater below:
History and Tradition.
Hanging Lanterns. Image by Yoke Liang Tan from Fotolia.com
Lanterns have a long and fascinating history. At times when there wasn’t electricity yet, people needed a lantern whenever they went outside at night: it was so dark that they were unable to see anything in front of them. That is why the use of a lantern made of a thin bamboo stick and fine rice paper was widely spread.
The Senso-ji located in the heart of Asakusa district, is the oldest temple in all of the metropolitan Tokyo area. According to some accounts the origin of the temple can be traced back to the year 628 when two local fishermen from a nearby district enshrined a small statue of kannon, the goddess of mercy, caught in their fishing net. The Nakamise shopping street, lined with shops that have been in business from ancient times, leads from the “gate of thunder” – kaminari-mon / see also fujin – with its huge red paper lantern to the main hall.
Image from japan-photo.de
A “Bajo-Chochin”, an equestrian lantern, was mainly used by the Samurai. It had a quite elaborated mechanism up to every detail, such as a whale beard: due to its elasticity it could absorb the shock when the Samurai was riding a horse. When riding a horse, a ”Bajo-Chochin” was attached on a Samurai’s waist.
Image from pingmag.jp
In Asian cultures, large white or colored paper lanterns with candles were used to light up homes or outdoor spaces dating back as far as 300 AD. They take a special place in creating a unique atmosphere during outside festivities or for ceremonial gatherings and temples.
Watch a Japanese Fighting Lanterns Parade where parade floats charge and fight. Fueled by pride, participants destroy each other’s lantern floats along Fukuno’s narrow streets. Yoi-ya-sa!
In some places, floating lanterns are used in beautiful memorial ceremonies, where people let lanterns with a burning candle float down streams in memory of their loved ones and to guide the spirits of the ancestors back to paradise.
In 3rd century China, the first sky (flying) lanterns were used as signaling devices in the military battles during the Warring States Period. Soldiers would light them and send them drifting up into the sky, where they were visible to distant compatriots. This was a remarkable bit of ingenuity, especially when you consider that the idea was not duplicated in the Western world until the 17th century. Although originally intended for military use, sky lanterns became a revered part of festivals, prayers, and celebrations throughout Asia in peaceful times.
Thailand in particular uses lanterns in many rituals. For example, giving a sky lantern to a monk was believed to bring good luck because the lantern would light the path to wisdom and knowledge. They were also commonly thought to convey people’s hopes and dreams heavenward. The longer and higher a sky lantern floated, the better the luck the giver believed he would receive. Releasing a sky lantern was also credited with carrying away burdens into the hands of a god or gods.
Watch Sky Lanterns video below:
Today, flying lantern festivals are widely popular around the world. Together, people young and old, from different backgrounds, countries, and religions come together to light and release thousands illuminated sky lanterns into the night sky as a “symbol of peace, hope and prayer.” Today lanterns are an important part of any festive event in Asian culture. Weddings, celebrations and ceremonies are not complete without the beautiful tradition of using all kinds, shapes and colors of lanterns.
Soji (or Shoji) lanterns are fantastic creations among other lanterns. Shoji lanterns are reminiscent of lamps that have adorned many temples and palaces during the classical period of Imperial Japan.
Inuyama matsuri at Harizuna-jinja shrine in Inuyama City is the only one of Aichi Prefecture`s festivals to feature parade floats. There are 13 of these floats in the festival, all lavishly-decorated and dating from the 17th century. At night they will be decorated with over 300 paper lanterns (chochin).
Image from japan-photo.de
The lamp has undergone a number of revivals for modern usages. Soji lanterns today use a special Japanese rice paper that will not yellow or discolor over time. The lanterns are made using fine hand-polished cherry wood or walnut or bamboo. The word Soji itself means – wooden frame covered with rice paper.
Japanese Lantern. Image from pingmag.jp
Solar Lantern Shapes, Styles, and Colors.
Today’s Soji lanterns are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Shapes available include, but are not limited to, traditional hat-shaped designs, cylindrical lanterns, novelty shapes like footballs, hearts, or soccer balls, and cubes. Lanterns can also range in size from very small, to traditional (36in x 22in x 22in), to large and even jumbo-sized models. Lanterns also come in every color of the rainbow.
In recent years another fascinating feature of the modern Soji lantern is the use of solar energy instead of the traditional candle or electric bulb. And what could be better and best suited for this kind of outdoor or indoor lighting than a little piece of sun gleaming inside? They are safer than traditional lanterns, last longer (made out of durable material resembling traditional rice paper) and give you a free gift – the stored energy of sun. There is nothing better than to use these wonderful creations brought to us from the ancient times to lighten up outdoor gatherings or spaces.
Watch Lantern Festival video below:
Just bought the solar garden gnome, and I have only two words…. Love it! I was looking for a gnome for my garden, and saw that these guys have one that is solar. I wasn’t sure how he would look in the garden or how the solar would work, but I absolutely love my little gnome. The mushroom lights up at night, so I am able to see him when the sun goes down. I put him next to some succulent plants in my garden, and he fits right in.
Now he will need a friend, so it’s off to see what other gnomes they have in their store.
Thanks Your Solar Link for my new addition!
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 PATH 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.
Stone Solar Spot Lights (also known as Solar Rock Lights) completely camouflage with existing landscapes and look like any other rock in your garden.
SOLAR GARDEN FOUNTAINS.
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!
DECORATIVE SOLAR ACCENT LIGHTS.
Solar accent lights (Set of 2) create an enjoyable and inviting glow for your landscape.
They are designed to mark a place.
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 http://www.yoursolarlink.com/solar-spot-lights, where we have a great selection of solar spot lights to choose from.
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