Storing Solar Power In Molten Salt

by Justin Thomas •

Solar power is a truly efficient source of energy, but it tends to fluctuate, and, as you might know, it turns off at night. One clever way to alleviate this intermittence is to store solar energy in the form of heat using molten salt. An aerospace company, Hamilton Sundstra, has created a venture called SolarReserve, and it plans to have …


Electric Tankless Water Heaters

by Justin Thomas •

Note: This post has been expanded and updated for 2009! Tankless water heaters only heat water when it is needed. About 8% to 30% of the energy consumed by a standard water heater goes to keeping the water hot while it’s not being used. New tankless systems heat the water instantly when you turn on the faucet, rather than keeping …


Efficient Floor

by Justin Thomas •

Using stone to capture heat from the sun is metaefficient.

The Solar House: Free Heating

by Justin Thomas •

People often think of using solar energy for producing electricity, but it is actually easier to harness the power of the sun to heat your home. It’s free heat that has been utilized since ancient times but few modern architects or builders really understand the principles involved. The Solar House, by Dan Chiras, explains architectural techniques that can be incorporated …


Wolf Induction Cooktop

by Justin Thomas •

This new cooktop from Wolf uses induction to cook food efficiently, while the cooking surface stays cool to the touch. You must use a pan made of a magnetic material like stainless steel or cast iron. Induction stovetops are about 85-90% energy efficient, compared electric elements which are only 65-85% efficient. The manufacturer also claims that the rate of heat …


Soapstone: Highly Efficient For Cooking

by Justin Thomas •

Soapstone is a porous stone that retains heat efficiently and evenly. It’s an excellent material for cookware. Soapstone pans and pots are handmade in Brazil and are able to withstand temperatures twice as high as cast iron and other metal cookware. Soapstone develops a natural non-stick surface and lustrous black patina finish after curing. They can be put in the …