Guest blog by Cara Miale

In the movie The Social Network, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want ads on an early version of his social network; he understands that first and foremost, his site has to be cool. And ads, he says, aren’t cool.

Unlike Zuckerberg (well, at least in the beginning), the energy efficiency industry hasn’t quite grasped the value of being cool. It’s an industry that hopes to be popular because it’s right, and it uses less-than-sexy language like “demand-side management” and “load following device” to describe itself. Sure, being “green” seems to have taken off, but when it comes to efficiency, well, it’s hard to build a cool brand around an industry that so loves its technical jargon.

Luckily, the industry is beginning to wake up. This week and next we’ll take a look at how the energy efficiency industry is working on its cool factor. No pun intended.

Gadgets like portable music devices, smart phones and cameras have long been must-haves for the “it” crowd. And next, charging them in unique and efficient ways will be the rage.

Enter the itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie, photovoltaic bikini – proof that form-meets-function stands a chance beyond the energy nerd. We’ve seen the solar-charger backpacks, laptop cases and other wearables like military uniforms – but nothing says sexy like a chick in a bikini.

That may be why designer Andrew Schneider came up with this hot little number: a custom-made solar bikini retrofitted with 40 1×4” PowerFilm Solar photovoltaic film strips that are sewn together with conductive thread and end in a USB port.

That’s right – even beach babes care about energy efficiency. A gal in a solar bikini can generate enough energy to charge her iPhone with an output similar to that of a laptop’s USB port – and look good while doing it. Since no energy is actually stored in the bikini, wearers can still take an “unplugged” dip and return to charging when the suit is completely dry.

Ok, so perhaps solar panels need some time before they’re sexy enough for the runway. But the intention behind the swimsuit suggests we’re headed in the right direction: there are easy, fun and energy efficient ways to support that hip lifestyle of yours.

And speaking of, if you’re looking for something form-meets function but with a little more coverage, stay tuned for iDrink – men’s solar swim trunks with enough surface area to keep your drinks cold.

Final note: A very limited number of suits are available from Solar Coterie, although you might have to skip the snow cones if you want one. The cost of the solar bikini will range from $500-$1,500 and up, depending on the design.

Cara Miale is a freelance writer in Denver, Colorado and a frequent contributor to Energy Efficiency Markets.

Views: 387

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by David Eggleton on September 24, 2011 at 7:30pm
She is electric, can I be electric too?
Comment by David Eggleton on September 21, 2011 at 9:24am
You light up my days and fill my nights with song.
Comment by David Eggleton on September 19, 2011 at 3:38pm
You've got the power.
Comment by Mark Richardson on September 19, 2011 at 7:10am
Classic!
Comment by Elisa Wood on September 3, 2011 at 7:33pm
Very clever, David!
Comment by David Eggleton on September 2, 2011 at 9:11pm
Take a load off, Annie.

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

w d posted a discussion

AERC testing and Solar Grates update

AERC of WCMA has been created to test the effectiveness of window attachments and to design an…See More
4 hours ago
Profile IconRob Pender, Sheldon White and jerrycarter joined Home Energy Pros
5 hours ago
Morgan M Audetat commented on Tom White's blog post Embodied Energy: Minimizing Waste with Off-Site Construction
"What is new…"
5 hours ago
Mark posted events
8 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan's video was featured

GoGreen Portland 2014: The Myth of Apathy - Renee Lertzman, Ph.D

http://portland.gogreenconference.net Renee Lertzman, PhD is the Director of Insight for Brand Cool, a marketing agency supporting a sustainable world. An internationally recognized researcher, speaker, author, instructor and thought leader in…
8 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan posted a video

GoGreen Portland 2014: The Myth of Apathy - Renee Lertzman, Ph.D

http://portland.gogreenconference.net Renee Lertzman, PhD is the Director of Insight for Brand Cool, a marketing agency supporting a sustainable world. An internationally recognized researcher, speaker, author, instructor and thought leader in…
8 hours ago
Stacy Hunt posted blog posts
9 hours ago
Colin Genge posted an event

Air Leakage Testing for Home Inspectors at Online

July 7, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
• What sort of effect will IECC adoption have on the building industry? Home owners? Inspectors? •…See More
11 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service