Guest Contributor

is many, many people. We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people. :D

How Much Will Switching Light Bulbs Save You?

Thomas Edison, the man largely credited for inventing the modern incandescent light bulb as we know it, once said that “we will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles”. While I appreciate the philanthropic nature of his comment, something tells me he never would have predicted just how much it costs to power the light bulbs that illuminate our homes more than a century later. According to the US Energy Information Administration the national average per kWh is…

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Building a Tiny House With Straw Bales

According to Click Green, hay bales can make an affordable, energy efficient, and sustainable tiny house that can keep you and yours safe and warm far off the grid. The bales have 75% more insulating power than a traditional stud wall filled with fiberglass insulation, and are non-combustible because they have little to no oxygen inside. To begin, frame the dwelling as you would a “conventional” tiny house‘s post and beam structure, then fill in the openings with the hay…

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High-tech Fiberboard Made from Waste Fiber

There’s a new green building material on the market that is light, strong, and flexible, and can be made into just about any shape, including complex molded shapes, without the need for any glues, harmful chemicals, or toxic ingredients. This material, called ECOR, is a high-strength fiberboard made using only water, heat, fiber, and pressure, and takes a low-value product (waste fiber) and turns it into a high-value green building material. At its most basic, ECOR, from Noble Environmental, is…

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Links Leading to Today’s Solar Revolution

This miniseries on the solar revolution is based on John Perlin’s Book, Let It Shine: The Story 6000-Year of Solar Energy. We commence with the discovery of photosensitivity. Read this , then read his excellent book. Part 1 – The Discovery of the Photosensitivity of Selenium When my book, Let It Shine: The Story 6000-Year of Solar Energy, first came out several experts criticized me for not recognizing Edmund Becquerel as the direct link to the solar cells in use today. When…

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John Perlin Series: Five Major Breakthroughs in Solar Energy – Part II

I am pleased to post this second in a series of solar energy articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. Perlin discusses the major breakthroughs in solar energy over the millennia. Second Major Breakthrough – Solar Architecture and Solar Cities The second major breakthrough in solar occurred when the Chinese began to apply their knowledge of the changing position of the sun during the year, as discussed in the…

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The Dark Side of Solar Energy: Solar Weaponry

John Perlin’s book, “Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy,” tells of a scheming thirteenth century priest/scientist who tries to convince the Pope to start a solar weapons’ race by showing him a treatise written by an early Muslim geometrician regarding solar burning mirrors. Had solar energy lived up to its threat as the ultimate weapon, it might have taken center stage much earlier as the power source of the world. The military today revisits this thirteenth-century vision…

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Solar Saga Continues: The Koch Brothers Weren’t the First to Try Stopping Solar

Special thanks to author John Perlin for this solar history contribution about others who long ago tried to end one solar entrepreneur’s life. The material comes from Perlin’s recently published book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. He will be a featured speaker at Intersolar. At this event, he will sign copies of his book. The Atacama Desert in northern Chile well deserves its reputation as the American Sahara. But when, in 1870, news spread of a “mountain…

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