Water as a Refrigerant

R718 Turbo Chiller

Problem: Refrigerants can and do evaporate into the environment, causing greenhouse gas emissions.

Solution:

The R718 Turbo Water Chiller is the world’s most efficient chiller system that utilizes water as a refrigerant. With a cooling capacity of 10RT and a COP of 5.1, the system is both efficient and effective.

Because of the low cooling capacity for water compared to refrigerants, the flow must be much higher (about 200 times higher) than a R134a system to produce the same cooling.

Stakeholders:

Car companies

Real Estate companies

Homeowners

Refrigerant manufacturers

Legislators

Engineers

Deployment:

  • In 2000, the first chillers were proved in practice by car manufacturers Daimler Chrysler and VW
  • Technology will continue to go through trials and vetting
  • Adoption of technology in small scale projects
  • Wide-spread adoption of technology in larger scale real estate or automotive projects
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Algae as a Fuel Soure

Traditional fuel sources are one of the main components causing ozone and other emissions in this country. The extraction and transport of fuels also causes other hazards and risks and, in some cases, political instability.

Algae has been discovered as a viable source of biofuel. In fact, the Department of Energy has committed to $24 million in funding for research on the use of algae as a fuel source.

Algae has many benefits. Like other plants, algae absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It can be farmed and harvested in similar ways to other plants, but does not complete for land with agriculture. Algae also has a very high energy to acre ratio.

The process of extracting fuel from algae starts with extracting the oil from the algae. This can be done mechanically or chemically. Although chemical methods are typically more efficient, they can create carcinogens or other hazards. After the oil is extracted, called “green crude”, it then goes through a similar process of transesterification like other types of biodiesels.

There are many interested stakeholders in the process of extracting fuel from algae. I have listed some below:

Department of Energy

Research organizations

Auto industry

Landowners

Environmental groups

Car owners

Airline industry

Algae is already being used as a fuel source in some small groups. To move towards large scale use of this type of technology, a change would need to be made to the current car industry. Biodiesel fuels have still not caught on mainstream because many cars do not run on diesel, it is a difficult process to make biodiesel, and these types of fuels are not readily available to consumers. Private industry would need to adopt this technology and make biodiesels more accessible for this type of technology to catch on.

The Cozy – Radiator Labs

cozy-product-design2

Issue: Energy

Tenants lack control over temperature in their own space during heating season. This may lead to overheating of tenant-occupied spaces.

Technology Solution:

– The Cozy acts as a thermostat that can be controlled by the tenant. This will allow for tenants to use building heat only when it is needed.

– The Cozy system is controlled by an app that can allow all Cozy’s in a building to communicate with each other. This means that if one tenant unit is overheated and another tenant unit requires heat, the Cozy can redirect radiator heat as needed.

– Radiator Labs estimates that the Cozy can save an apartment building 30-40% of their heating energy consumption.

Stakeholders:

Tenant, building managers, utility

Next Steps:

– Prepare a back of the envelope payback calculation

– Ensure Cozy will work with your building’s system

– Install Cozy!

Tesla Powerwall

The Tesla Powerwall is a lithium ion battery storage solution designed for homes that will hold electricity produced by solar panels, allowing homeowners to potentially go off-grid. Each powerwall can hold up to 10kwh weekly and up to 9 Powerwalls can be used together for one home. The cost is $3,500 per unit.

As a step up from the Powerwall, Tesla has also created the Powerpack which is a scaleable solution for commercial or utility level applications.

http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall

Sustainability Issue:

Energy generated by solar PV cannot be used at all times. Therefore, homeowners who install solar are still reliant on grid energy.

Stakeholders:

Homeowners, utilities, developing countries, remote areas, commercial buildings, government, military

Process:

This solution is very implementable for homeowners and commercial buildings immediately who already utilize solar panels. The technology is designed to be easy to use and accessible to users. Users will need to have solar and an inverter system prepared.