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SolarMagic gives hope to homeowners with less-than-perfect roofs for solar panels, a sensor lets plants text farmers for water, pee-to-water converters are gaining popularity, and the GoBe solar charger is shown off at Maker Faire.

SolarMagic, a new way to maximize energy output for PV systems, helps homeowners with imperfect locations for their arrays gather more energy from the sun. It could help boost the number of homes that can utilize solar power, and make solar array set-ups more flexible.


Water conservation is necessary in agriculture, but farmers don't want their crops to wither. A sensor attached to plants could let the plants text farmers when they need water, so they get just the right amount and nothing more.

With all the news buzz of astronauts drinking their recycled pee in space, pee-to-water converters are starting to get more attention. The Aqua H20 is one design concept that is cool, gross, practical, and possibly in our future.


The GoBe Solar Charger was shown off at Maker Faire 09 as a handy way to get portable solar power for your laptop and other devices.

TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.