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  • Getting to Green

    An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

Watch more TV
March 11, 2011 - 4:00pm

Normally, I'm a devout TV-phobe, but this is just too cool not to like.

Samsung is showing off a 46-inch LCD TV that doesn't need to be plugged in. It draws all the power it needs from built-in solar panels that run off ambient lighting. So this is a TV that you could leave on all day (NOOOOO!!!), and not add a penny to your electric bill.

Plus, the display is transparent, so it could be used for other purposes. It could be a heads-up display on an auto windshield. Or a window that self-darkens based on lighting conditions and/or time of day.

A couple of basic sustainable design principles are at work:

Everybody says "think outside the box", but Samsung has actually done it. (Where is it written that electronic appliances have to draw electricity?)

Make it small. Not that 46" (diagonal measurement, your results may vary) is a small display, but the actual mechanism is tremendously thin. That's one of the characteristics that might make it suitable for other purposes than watching American Idol.


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