solar energy

  • Auriga Leader: Japan launches first solar cargo ship

    The world’s first large ship to partly use solar energy to help power engine-related devices took to the seas on Friday in Kobe, central Japan. The Auriga Leader, a car freighter jointly developed by Nippon Yusen (Japan’s largest shipping company) and Nippon Oil, has 328 solar panels on board, that produce 40 kilowatts of power. This is enough to generate about 0.3% of the… Read More

  • New wind turbine for residential use to come soon

    Japan-based housing and environmental equipment maker Nikko [JP] today said it plans to mass-produce a tiny wind turbine for home use by October next year. Nikko claims their new wind turbine unit will cost somewhere between $5,600 and $6,700 and is just 2 meters in diameter. The company currently has a small wind turbine in its line-up that costs $11,000, which seems to be too much to enter… Read More

  • "Green" Japan's newest products

    Japan is turning greener and greener by the week, it seems. This weekend, during the Eco Products 2008 exhibition in Tokyo, a total of 750 companies showcased a few hundred new environmentally friendly products and services. Four noteworthy examples are shown in the video above [JP]. The first segment is about a water heating boiler that is powered by bricks made of dried newspapers, with the… Read More

  • Japanese company sells iPhone battery with built-in solar panel

    Tokyo-based electronics company OTAS is selling a lithium-ion battery for the iPhone 3G that comes with an integrated mini solar panel [JP]. The so-called LC-1500 is housed in a leather case. OTAS says one charge with solar energy takes 13 hours whereas charging the battery via mini USB takes 3 hours. The device measures 125x64x25mm and weighs 100 grams. OTAS is selling it in Japan only… Read More

  • Seiko develops world's most solar-efficient clock

    Seiko yesterday announced it has developed the world’s most solar-efficient clock [JP]. The HS533W will go on sale in Japan at the beginning of next month (price: $310). Seiko hasn’t said yet if the device will ever find its way outside Nippon. The clock, which is just 8.5mm thick, comes equipped with a CR2032 battery as a backup power supply. Seiko says in dark places, the clock… Read More

  • iCharge eco: A green energy source for mobile gadgets (but it's Japan-only)

    Tokyo-based electronics company Links International today unveiled the iCharge Eco [JP], a solar charger for multiple mobile devices that goes on sale in Japan November 29. The iCharge measures just 107.5×51.5×15.3mm and weighs 80 grams. It delivers a current of  DC5.0 to 5.5V at 600mA and comes with a lithium polymer battery (power: 1,350mAh). Users need 15 hours to charge the… Read More

  • Mitsubishi sets new record for solar cell efficiency

    Mitsubishi Electric today said it has produced a polycrystalline-silicon solar cell that converts light energy to electrical energy with an efficiency of 18.6%. According to the company, the previous record stood at 18.3%. The protoype is sized at 150x150mm and has a thickness of 180 microns. Mitsubishi structured the surface like a honeycomb in order to reduce reflections of sunrays. In… Read More

  • Sanyo invests $80 million in new solar plant in Oregon

    Today Sanyo announced in Tokyo that it will more than triple its solar cell production in the US by investing $80 million in a new plant in Salem, Oregon. The plant will begin operations in October 2009 and is scheduled to be at full capacity by April 2010. Sanyo said maximum annual production is set to hit about 70 MW of solar ingots and wafers. This means the company’s total solar… Read More

  • Sanyo presents 4 new, partly "green" Eneloop products

    Sanyo Japan [JP] today unveiled a number of new Eneloop products that will go on sale in Japan on October 10th (no word on availability outside this country yet). The Eneloop Solar Light [JP] (pictured above) is equipped with Sanyo’s self-developed “HIT solar cell” and ready for use in areas without power supply or during emergency situations. The device, which can be used… Read More

  • Research firm: Global solar cell market to explode by 2012, America will gain influence

    Market research company Fuji Keizai is predicting the global market for solar cells will grow 27% annually until 2012, when it supposedly will reach a size of $42.5 billion. In 2007, the market was worth $10.9 billion. Fuji Keizai calculated that polycrystalline silicon solar cells accounted for 90% of the market in 2007 but says the importance of silicon in the use of solar cells will… Read More