Game Consoles Sucking Up $1 Billion in Energy Costs Per Year

via Gizmodo by Adam Frucci on 12/30/08

According to a study by the National Resources Defense Council, Americans use up about $1 billion worth of energy per year powering video game consoles, enough to power the entire city of San Diego.

It’s a pretty staggering figure, but I’m willing to bet that figures on the power consumption of things like refrigerators and washing machines are even worse. Any serious appliance is going to suck up a lot of juice, but that doesn’t mean we should throw them all out.

However, those folks who leave their consoles on all the time aren’t doing their energy bills any favors. With the Xbox 360 consuming 119 watts in active mode and the PS3 consuming 150 watts, turning these systems off when you aren’t playing is kind of an obvious move. But apparently a lot of people just leave them on all the time, leading to one very basic question: why? Both systems have features that’ll shut down automatically after a certain amount of idle time, seems like a no brainer to turn that on if you’re too damned lazy to turn them off yourself when done playing.

[NRDC via EcoGeek]

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Seat Brisa, the solar-powered love seat of the sports car world

via DVICE by Kevin Hall on 8/28/08

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he Seat Brisa is a sports car, but not the kind that’ll burn rubber down the road with a gas-guzzling roar. Instead, its hood is covered with photo-voltaic cells that power an electric engine tied to the rear motor. Designer Miguel Ángel Iranzo Sánchez of Spain remarked in his notes, “As sail boats are propelled by the wind, the Seat Brisa is propelled by the sun.”

It stays nice and light thanks to its trim, backless design and its aerodynamic shape should have your hair whipping back in no time. “I wanted it to look very Mediterranean,” Sánchez notes, “very flamenco!”

Check out the gallery below for more of the Seat Brisa.

Via Coroflot

MIT researchers develop window-tint solar concentrators

via Engadget by Nilay Patel on 7/16/08

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No, the blacked-out rear quarters of your ’90 CRX aren’t going to start powering your hooptywoofer anytime soon, but a new window treatment developed at MIT that functions as a solar concentrator promises to finally bring solar windows to the masses. Based on similar work done in the ’70s, the dye mixture pulls in light at a range of wavelengths and re-emits it to solar cells at the edges of the window at a different wavelength — a technique good for a 40x increase in each cell’s power output, or 10 times what current systems can provide. The team estimates that the panels could become widely commercial within three years — just in time for us to bolt ’em onto our new solar shoe Prius.

[Via Metaefficient and TechNewsWorld]

Fluxxlab Revolution revolving door generates electricity

via DVICE by Travis Hudson on 2/8/08

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The revolving door, now that is one heck of an invention! This door has been an active part of hotel and office life for decades and just now someone has though to turn it into a human hamster wheel. Fluxxlab’s Revolution Door takes the energy exerted by humans pushing a revolving door and turns it into energy that could be utilized anywhere. Although, it would be funny to see an energy-generating revolving door powering an automatic revolving door. Sustainability, what?

Fluxxlab has received a lot of backing for the project, so don’t be surprised if you will soon be generating electricity for hotels, office buildings and more. The turbine-like system can be installed into any revolving door. Regardless of how green a revolving door is, I will still despise these installations. Does anybody else feel overly uncomfortable and awkward trying to use a revolving door?

Al Gore friendly street lamps at Panasonic tech center harness both wind and solar power

via DVICE by Michael Trei on 2/2/08

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Spotted at Panasonic’s technology center in Tokyo, these street lamps combine solar power from a pair of panels on top that charge a battery during daylight hours, and a vertical wind turbine, to light up the area in an ultra eco-friendly way using no external power source. Dubbed Seagull Lights by the company, Panasonic claims that their cost is quickly paid back in lower electricity costs. They even look particularly cool as the turbine slowly spins around.

No word on whether the Seagull Light will become a commercial product, but this one seems like a no-brainer to me.

From Oh Gizmo!