Floating Solar Power Plants

Solar panels have to endure a lot of temperature variations be it from bright sun to cloud to rain so the panels need to be rather durable. Some smart people have figured a way to keep the ambient temperature of the solar array low b placing the panels over water.

The floating solar power units, called Liquid Solar Arrays (LSA), use concentrated photovoltaic technology where a lenses direct the light onto solar cells and move throughout the day to follow the sun.

The company says the advantage to floating a solar power plant is that it erases the need for expensive structures to protect it from inclement weather and high winds — when rough weather comes along, the lenses just submerge. Floating on water, whether it be the ocean, a lake or a tiny pond, also keeps the solar cells cool, which increases their efficiency and lifespan

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India’s Tiger Population on the Rise

For the first time in many years India’s tiger population is increasing! This is great news for conservationists and people who champion the environment, and of course, it’s grrrreat news for tigers!

The tiger census found 1,706 of the animals in India last year, compared with 1,411 in 2006, officials in New Delhi announced — though they said much of the increase was due to more thorough counting.

“We have expanded the survey to cover the entirety of India now and our estimate is now more accurate,” said Rajesh Gopal of Project Tiger, the government’s tiger conservation body.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh welcomed the figures as “a very encouraging sign.”

Read the rest of the news here.

Done With Your Car? Donate it!

I got an email from this organization that looks to get old cards off the road and make the world better by donating the proceeds of the car to charity. This sounds like a good social enterprise that will make a difference. These guys are located in the UK but I’m sure similar services exist elsewhere.

Remember that cars aren’t required to live so once you get rid of your car – don’t replace it.

Giveacar.co.uk is a social enterprise that raises money for charities by accepting donations of unwanted cars. The service was developed to offer charities a new method of fundraising, and access a previously untapped source of donations. At the same time, Giveacar gives members of the public a cost-free way to donate their cars to charity, just as they might donate their clothes or furniture.

The service was launched in January 2010, and to date both the scrap metal industry and affiliated charities have met the scheme with overwhelming positivity. Giveacar has experienced rapid growth since it was founded and has enabled many happy customers to make a difference by donating their cars to a good cause.

Thanks Daniel!

This Spring You Should Start a Garden

Gardens are great and if you don’t know how to start making your first garden, or if you need some tips, check out this great post on gardening.

Let it grow.
A little overgrowth will provide cover for animals, giving them the ability to hide and feel more comfortable. The availability of brush, grass clippings and sticks provides the raw materials for birds to build nests.

Avoid chemicals.
Avoid using chemical fertilizers to beef up your garden. Instead, try to make the area as natural as possible by composting, letting wild grasses grow and removing invasive species.

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Clean Water from a “Hamster Ball”

Clean water is hard to access in a lot of places around the world. Sometimes water is accessible but not potable, this problem inspired a graduate student to create an easy to use way to purify water using something similar to a hamster ball.

Liow’s design was driven by a need to help the 900 million people around the world who lack access to safe drinking water. Over two million children die annually from preventable causes, triggered largely by contaminated water. It is an increasing problem in developing nations due to rapid urbanisation and population growth.

‘After visiting Cambodia in 2008, and seeing the immense lack of everyday products we take for granted, I was inspired to use my design skills to help others,’ Mr Liow said.

Mr Liow’s simple but effective design is user-friendly and durable, with a weather-resistant construction, making it well suited to people in hot, wet, tropical climates with limited access to resources.

Read the rest of the press release.

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