Tag Archives: solar power

  • London Plugs into the Sun: the Blackfriars Solar Bridge


    For a city noted for its fog and drizzle, London’s newest distinction may seem like a bit of a head-scratcher. According to Smartplanet.com, the London is now home to the world’s largest solar bridge.

    The Blackfriars Railway Bridge is a Victorian era structure that lies somewhere between the Thames, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tate Modern. This bridge has undergone massive reconstruction that took five years of planning and construction and is part of a £6.5 million renovation. The Blackfriars re-opened this year with a new roof of over 4,000 solar panels.

    The panels will produce 900,000 kilowatt hours annually, which will cover half of the energy needs of the electric railway station housed under the bridge. This use of solar power will even make a neat little dent in the city’s fuel consumption. Sustainablebusiness.com describes the innovative (and quite dramatic) engineering that went into the project. They point out that “a city doesn’t have to be in the tropics to take advantage of solar energy.”

    You and I can harness the same power on a much smaller scale. As solar technology continues to develop, it becomes increasingly accessible. Our own site features solar powered products providing light and communication. And if the sun’s power can help run a city that rarely sees it, maybe it’s something we should be thinking more about.


    Photo Courtesy of SmartPlanet.com

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: solar power

  • Living Off the Grid —Could You Do It?

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    Roscoe Bartlett living off the grid

    If you live in the city, there are many luxuries to enjoy—power with the flick of a switch, grocery stores or shopping malls less than five minutes away, constant communication with everyone via cell phone, internet, or radio. So . . . could you ever find yourself living off the grid?

    After 20 years on Capitol Hill, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has taken himself completely off the grid, retreating to a secluded property in West Virginia. We came across Politico Magazine’s article via Instapundit and, whether or not you agree with Bartlett’s political views, we think there are some interesting things he’s done as a prepper that make this article worth reading.

    Bartlett lives without a phone, without a link to outside power, and without municipal plumbing. He has developed quite a few skills that will help him if he gets into an emergency.

    For the past few decades, Bartlett spent his free time up at this property, prepping it for the day he’d go off the grid. He built five cabins by himself, then wired solar panels and ran pipes from freshwater springs to each cabin.

    Living completely off the grid, he rises at dawn six days a week in order to maintain his power sources, food, and way of life. He spends about 10 hours a day cutting logs, gardening, and doing other tasks around the land.

    “People ask me ‘Why?’” Bartlett said in an interview with Politico Magazine. “I ask people why you climb Mount Everest. It’s a challenge, and it’s challenging to think what life would be like if there weren’t any grid and there weren’t any grocery stores. That’s what life was like for our forefathers.”

    Read more of Roscoe Bartlett’s experience living off the grid (and why he chose to do so) in the Politico article, “The Congressman Who Went off the Grid

    What changes would you have to make to your lifestyle if you went completely off the grid? Would you do it?

    Photo Courtesy of Politico Magazine

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: off the grid, emergency preparedness, Survival, skills, solar power, emergency power

  • Green Gadgets from 2013

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    Green Green Gadgets: The Goal Zero Yeti 150 can give you a quiet portable way to power your life

    It seems like advances in technology are coming along at a faster pace than ever before. According to The Next Web’s article 9 of the best green gadgets from 2013, there have been “. . . quite a few green gadgets that made waves in 2013, many making headway in terms of solar technology uses and energy conservation.”

    Featured among products like a bamboo keyboard and a Bluetooth Plant Monitor is the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Power Pack. This solar generator can power lights, phones, tablets, laptops … almost any device that’s USB powered. The Yeti 150 can charge in six hours from the wall, or in 15 hours using a Boulder 15 Solar Panel.

    Using solar power not only lets you collect power during a crisis, but helps save you from the bulk, noise, and toxic fumes that come from traditional generators. Power packs such as the Goal Zero Yeti 150, Goal Zero Yeti 400, and the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 give you a quiet, portable way to power your life whether you’re camping, living off the grid, or getting through an emergency. Don’t get caught off guard during a power outage.

    Learn more about solar power with our Insight article, “Solar Power: Clean, Quiet, and Safe” 

    To read more about the other green gadgets that came about in 2013, check out TNW’s article, 9 of the best green gadgets from 2013

    Has solar power ever helped you during an outdoor adventure or in an emergency?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Yeti Solar Generator, generator, green technology, Goal Zero, emergency preparedness, preparedness, solar power

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