This week at Treehugger: Hyper-powerful and inexpensive solar power by Pyron, the video-blog adventures of a tiny Indian-made all-electric car in London, an electronic gadget that tells you which bird you are listening to, the Song Sleuth Birdsong Detective, and much more (see the last paragraph below).
A company in California, Pyron Solar, is making the bold claim that its solar power system can compete head-to-head with conventional power plants. Their system concentrates sunlight to photovoltaic cells. The company says these cells produce 800 times more electricity than conventional non-concentrating cells of the same size. The system has a cost of less than $3 per watt, compared the the average solar system cost of $5 per watt, which translates to a 40% decrease in the cost of solar power.
Danny Fleet is a video-blogger who's sharing his electric car ownership experience with the world on his v-blog. He drives an Indian-made REVA, an all-electric city car with a range of 50 miles at an estimated recharge cost of less than 1 cent per mile. The REVA is the cheapest commercially produced electric car in the world, if you can find one (not exported to the US yet, but it is available in the UK).
A directional mic, an audio signal processing program, and a wave form matching database seem to be the major components of this Birdsong Detective gadget. If Grandpa never taught you to pick out the Bluejay screech from the din of suburban traffic noise, there could be some beginner birding fun here. But the nearly $400 "starting" price will make an average TreeHugger hoot like a spotted owl. Interesting gizmo, though obviously not for everyone.
This week Gizmodo has covered many things from Treehugger. We won't repeat in detail what has already been posted, but in case you missed it: New Interactive LED Bulbs by Philips, the Wearable Garden Stool, NatureMill's Indoor Composter, the cool Rika Pellet Stoves, a do-it-yourself hard-drive belt and Lightcap's Illuminated Bottle.
Treehugger s EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.