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All posts for the month February, 2010

The sun is shining.Question: Is it possible to power a cell phone (specifically, my iPhone 3G) with just solar power without the need for huge, permanent solar panels?

 

Background Research: In order to determine if this was possible, I needed to do some research.  First, I tried to find out if anyone had attempted this before.  A quick web search told me that a few people had powered their cell phones while camping using some portable solar panels, but nobody had apparently attempted to do what I was hoping to do. Continue Reading

Temperature ImageUnless you have been living under a rock, you can’t help but notice that lately everyone seems to be eager to conserve or reduce their energy consumption and increase the efficiency of the items they purchase.  Not only is it the popular thing to do, most consumers expect substantial savings by spending less on the energy needed to power our lives.  I suspect, however, that very few people actually measure how much energy they are saving.

In fact, there is an effect called the Jevons Paradox that states that as consumers save energy, this naturally results in the cost of energy becoming cheaper.  This then causes economic growth and consumers use even more energy than before!  Still, the argument exists that you cannot understand or begin to control your energy consumption until you actually examine the data.  Knowing your usage will lead to, hopefully, more responsible choices going forward. Continue Reading