It's a sad state of affairs: your lawn is better at converting the sun into energy than that $23k solar array your neighbors just threw on their roof. Sun Catalytix wants to show that grass what's what with a new process for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen -- artificial photosynthesis. In a presentation at the ARPA-E conference (the Advanced Research Projects Agency -- basically DARPA
minus the military bent) Sun Catalytix founder Dan Nocera indicates that the process his company is developing could, with a photovoltaic array, four hours of sunlight, and a bottle of water, generate 30 kilowatt-hours of electricity. That's enough to power an average home for a day -- though hardcore gamers will probably need a bit more. The hope is that this will ultimately lead to cheap power for self-sufficient homes in the not-too distant future, but we're still left wondering when that future's going to come.