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: 378

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.

Latest Activity

Profile IconWes Anderson, Jean-Paul and Bryan joined Home Energy Pros
yesterday
Dennis Heidner commented on Dale Stephens's blog post LED Lighting 24-month update 18,240 hours & counting
"Dale, good write up. For the landscaping bulbs,  if they had been T3 12V wedge bulbs,  I…"
yesterday
Brett Little commented on Tom White's video
Thumbnail

The Future of Housing - And How Airtightness Can Help

"It's very true! So many people and contractors have tons of insulated attics but no air seal…"
yesterday
Chris Leach replied to Richard Beyer's discussion "The Dangers of Using Spray Foam Insulation"
"The problems will surface soon enough . Why don't we take a second look at this over rated…"
yesterday
Don Fitchett commented on Tom White's video
yesterday
tedkidd replied to Bob Blanchette's discussion How does Cycles Per Hour affect real world AFUE?
"Want to spot a simpleton? It's a guy who thinks EE and comfort are disconnected.  Want…"
Thursday
tedkidd commented on Tom White's blog post Clean Energy Works Oregon: Total Home Performance
"Nice post Tom! I really like how he puts that. Leveraging interests so they can optimize…"
Thursday
Kent Mitchell commented on Tom White's blog post Clean Energy Works Oregon: Total Home Performance
"As a contractor in the region - we frequently wonder how/why you can be a non-profit?  Oregon…"
Thursday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service