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The World’s Smallest Lightbulb

As LED lights and fluorescent bulbs become increasingly mainstream, scientists at UCLA’s Department of Physics and Astronomy have developed a groundbreaking new variation of Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb. But don’t expect to find this bulb in your local hardware store anytime soon – unless you normally bring an electron microscope along to do your shopping.

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Efficient Organic LEDs Demonstrated

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are a new type of LED where a thin film of organic compounds is used to produce electroluminescence.

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Update: Bank Of America Tower, Greenest Skyscraper In The U.S.

A while back, MetaEfficient profiled what could be the greenest skyscraper in America, the Bank of America Tower in New York City. Located in midtown Manhattan at One Bryant Park, the 945-foot tall, 55-story structure is scheduled to open later this year. Here’s a closer look at some of the groundbreaking features that should help the building earn a coveted …

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Irish Firm Claims World’s Most Efficient Solar Heater

An Irish company, Surface Power, has launched what could be the most efficient solar hot water panel ever produced. The company says it plans to distribute its product internationally. The new solar panel was independently certified by TUV Rhineland. Their tests verified that when compared to other solar panels, Surface Power’s solar panel was in one case as much as …

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Green LA Girl Joins MetaEfficient

We are happy to announce that Siel Ju, noted green writer, will be joining MetaEfficient. Siel runs her own site Green LA Girl, and she has also written for Treehugger, Lime and Worldchanging.

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Solar Water Heaters Now Mandatory In Hawaii

Hawaii has become the first state to require solar water heaters in new homes. The bill was signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican. It requires the energy-saving systems in homes starting in 2010. It prohibits issuing building permits for single-family homes that do not have solar water heaters. Hawaii relies on imported fossil fuels more than any …

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Notes From The MetaEfficient Labs

Ozone Systems Won’t Directly Affect Pool PH Levels

I’ve been doing a lot of work in the MetaEfficient lab. I thought I would post an update on my experiments and research:

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World’s Largest Tidal Turbine Successfully Installed

The world’s largest tidal turbine, weighing 1000 tonnes, has been installed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough. The tidal turbine is rated at 1.2 megawatts, which is enough to power a thousand local homes. It was built by Marine Current Turbines, and it will be the first commercial tidal turbine to produce energy, when it begins operation later this year.

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$3 Billion Solar Power Deal Signed By California Utility

Pacific Gas & Electric today will announce a deal to buy as much as 900 megawatts of electricity. It will be enough to power 540,000 California homes each year, and involve the construction of five solar power plants during the next decade. The company to build the solar-thermal power plants in the Mojave Desert is BrightSource Energy.

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German Parliment To Use 100% Renewable Power

The German Reichstag is expected to become the greenest parliament building in the world, thanks to a decision to rely solely on renewable energy. From late summer the building is due to swap to green power sources such as water, wind and solar energy, replacing the conventional power that it has largely relied upon until now.

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New Record: Wind Powers 40% Of Spain

Wind power is breaking new records in Spain, accounting for just over 40 percent of all electricity consumed during a brief period last weekend. As heavy winds lashed Spain on Saturday evening wind parks generated 9,862 megawatts of power which translated to 40.8 percent of total consumption. Between Friday and Sunday wind power accounted for an average of 28 percent …

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OLEDs Printed Like Newspaper: World’s First Demonstration

OLEDs are thin, organic materials sandwiched between two electrodes, which illuminate when an electrical charge is applied. They’re so thin, that they could be applied to rooms as a type of wall paper to glow at the touch of a finger or when someone enters the room. Like LEDs they produce light very efficiently. But OLEDs also have to potential …

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Fuel Cells Being Used To Power Japanese Homes

Masanori Naruse jogs every day, collects miniature cars and feeds birds in his backyard, but he’s proudest of the way his home and 2200 others in Japan get electricity and heat water – with power generated by a hydrogen fuel cell. The technology – which draws energy from the chemical reaction when hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water. Developers …

11

Solar Balloons Get $21 Million In Funding

They look like foil party balloons, but they are actually very efficient solar concentrators. These solar “balloons” were developed by a company called Cool Earth, based in California, and it has just received $21 million dollars in investor funding. The company is now planning to build a 10-megawatt plant of solar balloons in the next couple years. This power plant …

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New World Record Set For Solar Efficiency: 31.25%

On a perfect New Mexico winter day — with the sky almost 10 percent brighter than usual — Sandia National Laboratories and Stirling Energy Systems (SES) set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record by achieving a 31.25 percent net efficiency rate. The old 1984 record of 29.4 percent was toppled Jan. 31 on SES’s “Serial #3” solar dish Stirling …

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New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbine (7+ Megawatts)

The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor diameter of 126 meters (413 feet). The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will most likely produce 7+ megawatts (or …

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First U.S City To Be Lit With 100% LEDs: Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is on its way to being the first U.S. city to light up its downtown with 100% LED-based streetlights. The city expects to install more than 1,000 LED streetlights beginning next month. The city anticipates a 3.8-year payback on its initial investment.

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The Tallest Wind Turbines In The U.S. Installed In Texas

The tallest wind turbines in the U.S. have been installed in Texas — the Vestas V90 turbines are 345 feet high, and are rated at 3 megawatts each. They are part of the 63 megawatt Snyder Wind Project, a wind farm that’s just been installed in western Texas.

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3 Megawatts Of Mirrored Solar In Spain

A company called SolFocus (which was spun out of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in 2006) has started installation of a 3-megawatt solar power plant in southern Spain. SolFocus makes solar cells that use much less silicon than regular panels because they use lenses and mirrors to concentrate sunlight. The solar concentrators magnify sunlight 500 times, which according to the …

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Solar Trees May Light Up Europe

This is a great innovation — the streets of Europe could soon be lit by "solar trees". These self-contained streetlights could save cities energy and money too. Unlike regular streetlights, they do not require costly underground wiring to install, and they are immune to blackouts. Designed by Ross Lovegrove, the lights have 10 solar panels arrayed at the top of …