July 23, 2010
Sun recharges your favorite e-gadgets
by Sarah (Steve) Mosko
- E-Magazine Blog as “Camping with Gadgets,” 13 Aug 2012
- Vall-E-Vents Sierra Club Newsletter, June 2011
- Fullerton Observer, Aug 2010, p. 10
- Surf City Voice, 21 July 2010
Recharge solar lanterns and small electronics with solar rechargers
Does the prospect of spending a weekend away from your favorite e-gadgets (cell phone, laptop, iPod or PDA) stir up separation anxiety? Around our house we’ve dubbed this e-angst, and it can kill enthusiasm for an otherwise welcome family camping vacation.
For teens or adults similarly infected with e-angst, a diversity of devices are on the market which let you bring your e-gadgets along with you camping and also trim your carbon footprint because they utilize only sunshine for power.
An assortment of portable solar-powered chargers is available that adapt to virtually any handheld electronic appliance including digital cameras and GPS units. Most rely on photovoltaic silicon cell technology akin to what is used on rooftop solar panels. Many are small enough to fit in a back pocket or certainly a glove box so can travel with you virtually anywhere. The cost is as little as $15 on up to $150 depending on the capacity. Because rechargeable batteries are incorporated, gadgets can be recharged even after the sun goes down. Small electronics generally charge in 2-4 hours.
Read the rest of this entry »
June 1, 2009
Fullerton Observer, June 2009, page 9
Orange Coast Voice, July 2007, page 9
San Fernando Valley Sierra Club newsletter, May 2007
What My Solor Roof Taught Me: Knowledge Really Does = Power
by Sarah S. Mosko, Ph.D.
My solar roof cost $15,000 to install after rebates and tax breaks, but the value of the house increased by $20,000 and the power bills decreased to $0.
I was pretty clueless when I recently installed photovoltaic (solar) panels on the roof of my house. All I knew was that all forms of energy consumption contribute to global warming (not just driving) and that I wanted to be part of the solution. I was nothing short of giddy when the “consumption wheel” on my electricity meter started turning backwards for the first time, veritable proof that I was generating more electricity than I was using. Energy was flowing from my rooftop right onto the grid.
Elation soon gave way to curiosity, however, just like after I had purchased a hybrid Prius and could not help but experiment with ways to maximize my gas mileage. My new passion centered on how to insure an energy surplus on my next electric bill. Switching out the incandescent light bulbs in my house for energy saving compact fluorescent ones was a no brainer. But I also had to get acquainted with my household appliances along a totally new dimension: I needed to know how much energy a given appliance consumes when in use so I could make more informed decisions when contemplating turning it on. Here is what I found out. Read the rest of this entry »
September 1, 2007
- Appeared in Orange Coast Voice as Solar Energy Made Simple: How technology uses the sun’s power, September 2007, page 10.
Grabbing Some Rays or Solar Made Simple
by Sarah S. Mosko, Ph.D.
Installing solar panels on a little less than 30 million homes and businesses could power the entire nation.
There is a wellspring of hope that 2007 is the tipping point in the fight against global warming.
This is the year that the hundreds of experts on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded, with near certainty, that global warming is for real. It is the year Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth turned “greenhouse gases” into an everyday household expression.
With the finger of blame pointing squarely at the reckless burning of fossil fuels, renewable energy has become the hottest of topics. Whereas renewables of every ilk will most likely fill important energy niches, solar energy dwarfs all others in ultimate potential because of the sheer abundance of sunlight.
Global energy consumption in the year 2004 averaged about 15 trillion watts (terawatts, TW), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface (120,000 TW) literally exceeds this global demand thousands of times over. In fact, Read the rest of this entry »
April 1, 2007
Driving on Sunshine
Ethanol: Starve While You Drive
Sarah S. Mosko, Ph.D.
From President Bush on down, it seems everyone is talking up “biofuels”, especially corn-grain ethanol and soy-diesel, as the panacea to the country’s energy woes . . . global warming, air pollution, increasing prices at the pump and dependence on foreign oil.
Automakers are promoting flex-fuel cars that run on either E85, a gasoline mixture that is 85% ethanol, or straight gasoline. Agribusiness giants like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland are trumpeting their ethanol, Read the rest of this entry »