Solar Powered Trains

1) Sustainability problem: energy

2)

  • Indian Railways are installing solar panels on 250 local trains to reduce fuel costs and lower emissions. The energy will among other things be used to power lights and fans on the trains. The technology will help advance India’s renewable energy program, especially because the trains mainly will run in areas where there are no electrified tracks.
  • The Indian government has planned that 7000 railway stations will use solar power. By doing this, 25% of the Indian Railways can energy demands can potentially be covered by renewable energy sources by the year 2025.
  • Furthermore, India has stopped the construction of 14 new coal-fired power stations due to the favorable implementation of this technology. As India is such a large market, experts say that this can cause a large shift in the global energy markets.

3)

Stakeholders:

  • Railway companies
  • Solar panel companies
  • Energy companies

 

4)

Implementation:

  1. Incentivize railway companies to make this shift in energy policy
  2. Mount solar panels on train cars
  3. Provide proper maintenance of the solar panels so that they are always working optimally

 

Article reference: https://inhabitat.com/indian-railways-to-install-rooftop-solar-panels-on-250-trains/

5)

My comment on another article https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/30/cities-get-smart-by-prioritizing-mobility/comment-page-1/#comment-1348:

“This is a great start to making cities greener. As more and more people establish themselves in the larger cities there needs to be a shift in how people transport themselves from point A to B. Implementing bicycles as a preferred option in the city will also reap huge health benefits for the population as a whole. Health issues are increasing at almost the same pace that large cities are expanding, so this is a solution that can kill two birds with one stone, and help solve both issues at once.

 

UNI: ms5584

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Plastic Bottle Concrete

1) Sustainability problem: Pollution

2)

  • MIT students have discovered a way to produce concrete that is close to 20% stronger than traditional concrete by incorporating used plastic bottles. The bottles are pulverized and then added into the concrete.
  • Concrete is the most used material for construction and by incorporating bottles into them, waste going to landfills and the pollution that causes will decrease. Furthermore, buildings will become stronger and may last longer.
  • This technology also uses less cement to actually construct the concrete, which in turn leads to fewer carbon dioxide emissions.

3)

Stakeholders:

  • Concrete manufacturers
  • Building contractors
  • Landfills

4)

Implementation:

  1. Make concrete manufacturers gain access to plastic bottle pulverization machines.
  2. Educate the manufacturers on how to create this.
  3. Incentivize contractors to use this new concrete in their new building projects.

 

Article reference: https://inhabitat.com/mit-students-develop-method-to-reinforce-concrete-using-plastic-bottles/

5)

My comment on another article https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/11/02/virtual-reality-could-help-us-reduce-traveling-needs/:

“VR is an exciting and interesting new technology with a lot of potential. One great option is to use VR to host and attend business meetings around the world. This will actually also be an environmentally friendly way of doing so, as the people attending the meeting won’t be required to travel far to go to the meeting. A large portion of today’s airplane traffic is due to business travelers attending one or two meetings in another city or country. If these meetings could be taken from the office instead, a lot of carbon emissions will be spared. In addition, busy businessmen and -women wouldn’t need to leave their families for an extended period of time several times a month, they could just attend the meeting during a normal day at the office.”

UNI: ms5584

OLLI – the self-driving electric mini bus

1) Sustainability issue: Mass transportation and energy

Flexible solutions for mass transportation is not really an option in today’s society. One is always dependent on the transportation company’s schedule. Ubers are an alternative for transportation, but it does not cater to the masses and it is an expensive alternative for one person. But what if we could merge the bus and the Uber and make a flexible solution for mass transportation that is energy and cost efficient? That is what Olli is.

2) Olli – the electric mini bus

  • In Maryland in June 2016, the mini bus Olli started running. Olli is a driverless bus powered by IBM’s Watson technology. Olli is like Uber in the way that you order a ride with it and pay for it in the app. You don’t need a fixed bus stop, Olli will pick you up where you are.
  • It does not operate on a fixed schedule and is ideal for those short distances between your home and where you need to be. It fills in the gaps in public transportation and covers your entire travel route, without you having to walk an inch.
  • It is also a sustainable alternative to public transport as it is electrically run, and will not release toxic gases on its way. It will be both cost- and energy efficient.
  • It will also work as a smart assistant, and the passengers can ask it for restaurant recommendations or what the weather is like at the destination.

 

3) Stakeholders

  • Engineers
  • Manufacturing companies
  • City transportation planners
  • Utility companies

4) Implementation

  1. Create more of the Olli and test it in other cities
  2. Make the routes it can take as efficient as possible
  3. Market it to the population

 

References:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3645805/Olli-3D-printed-self-driving-minibus-hit-road-US.html

https://localmotors.com/meet-olli/

My comment on another article: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/11/will-drones-end-societys-range-anxiety/#respond

“This will be helpful for so many EV drivers as they will be able to get their charge practically anywhere. In the distant future, this technology could maybe also be expanded to other areas, like electric ships or even just to charge the phone of a poor soul lost in the woods. It could potentially save lives, both in traffic and other places.”

UNI: ms5584

 

CO2 Inhaling Plants

Area of sustainability: Pollution and health

Sustainability issue:

Pollution from cars, trucks, ships et.c. is an ever-increasing problem, and heavily localized pollution is a health hazard for the population.

Technology:

  • A number of startup companies has designed a solution that will help with this issue. It is based on building plants that will suck in the polluted air, and convert the CO2 to usable products, such as diesel fuel. This way, the pollution will be recycled and reused instead of being released into the atmosphere where it can harm the environment.
  • This will also be beneficial in big cities like Shanghai where air pollution is a huge health hazard, and people are advised to stay indoors when it is at peak levels. This should not be necessary, and this technology can help aid this.
  • This technology will reduce the effect of CO2 emissions from cars, ships, plants, farm equipment et.c. and in turn roll back the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by directly capturing CO2 from the air.

Stakeholders:

  • Government
  • Plant facility management
  • Construction companies
  • Engineers
  • Maintenance companies

 

Implementation:

  1. Find the areas in a city where a plant like this would have the greatest effect
  2. Get permission from the government to build one of these plants near the city
  3. Make sure all procedures in the plant are well thought out, and that the processes will go safely

 

Main article: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jul/14/carbon-direct-air-capture-startups-tech-climate

Other sources: http://www.healthandsafetyinshanghai.com/shanghai-air-quality.html

UNI: ms5584

My comment on another article:

https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/12/using-drones-to-monitor-air-pollution/#respond

“This will enable testing the air quality in areas that are not usually easily accessible. It is also a cost efficient way to analyze the air quality, so that more of the available funds can be spent on the research and development of solutions which will help improve the air and thus also the health of the population.”

THE HYPERLOOP ONE

1)

Sustainability issue: Mass transportation and energy.

Mass transportation as we know it today is tedious and requires a lot of waiting and adjusting oneself to the transportation companies fixed schedules. The routes are not always ideal for the passenger and there could be a lot of transfers needed to get from point A to B. Furthermore, because of the high demands of mass transportation, the trains/buses are packed with people and is not a comfortable way to travel. Sometimes one even has to wait for the next train because the first one was full.

2)

Technology: The Hyperloop One

  • Elon Musk from SpaceX has proposed a new technology that will be able to move people at great speeds for a low price.
  • The people will sit in a levitated pod that travels through a low-pressure tube at airplane speed using an electric motor. This will get you where you need to be, in a couple of blinks of the eye.
  • The full system testing is scheduled for 2017, and has a goal of moving passengers in 2021. Routes are currently under development in five countries.
  • The Hyperloop will operate on demand, which will reduce the wait times as it does not stick to a fixed schedule.
  • More cost- and energy efficient than trains, as it need little energy to function.

3)  Stakeholders

  • Engineers
  • Manufacturing companies
  • City infrastructure planners
  • Utility companies

4) Implementation

  1. Create and test the Hyperloop to make it safe
  2. Infrastructure planning, find out where to place the rails
  3. Market the technology to the population as a safe and fast option for mass transportation

 

Link to technology: Hyperloop explained, Hyperloop-one.com:  https://hyperloop-one.com/hyperloop-explained

Supporting article: Elon Musk’s Hyperloop pusher pod hit an impressive 220 mph in new test run, Mashable.com: http://mashable.com/2017/08/31/tesla-spacex-hyperloop-pod-sets-record-elon-musk/#zL0LPW.nVsqz

UNI: ms5584

My comment on another article: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/11/the-car-as-an-ambient-sensing-platform/#respond

“This technology could also be used in the future to make self-driving cars safer. They could do this by analyzing the other cars in the environment and then be able to brake in time if it senses danger. The cars will be able to forecast dangers and react faster than a human could, and will thus increase the general traffic safety.”

Filtering Contaminated Rivers Using Nanotechnology

Area of sustainability: Water

Issue:

Water contamination is a great issue in many industrialized cities. This is especially clear in many Asian countries where the rivers are polluted from their numerous electronic recycling factories.

Technology:

  • Perry Alagappan from Texas has designed a filter that will be able to filter 99% of heavy metals from water using graphene nanotubes. After use, the filter can be rinsed with a vinegar mix and the residue will be pure metal that can be used to produce products like cell phones etc.
  • Utilizing this technology in contaminated rivers and lakes in less developed countries could be very beneficial. It would help make the water cleaner, improving the overall health of the population.
  • Furthermore, this will provide a more sustainable way to produce new metal products. This could in turn make products like cell phones more affordable for the population.

Stakeholders:

  • Government
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Chemical engineers
  • Cell phone manufacturers
  • Wastewater workers
  • Maintenance workers

Implementation

  1. Provide proper education and detailed information about the product
  2. Convince the government to invest in the product
  3. Create efficient residue subtracting procedures

 

Main article: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/aug/27/texas-teenager-water-purifier-toxic-e-waste-pollution

Photo source: http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/general-view-of-the-river-bandi-where-pollution-with-heavy-news-photo/159334459#general-view-of-the-river-bandi-where-pollution-with-heavy-metal-picture-id159334459

UNI: ms5584

My comment on another article, https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/09/28/solar-paint/:

“This is an interesting idea in theory. It does raise a couple of questions about the implementation and practicalities, though. How will it harvest and store the energy, and how long will the charge last? Will they be able to make the paint 100% explosion safe? Because whenever hydrogen and oxygen directly interact there will be an explosion unless proper precautions are taken. I could not see anything about these issues in the article.
However, if these things are sorted and made fool-proof, this could be an amazing opportunity for houses to start creating their own fuel source. In turn, this paint could even be used on ships sailing long distances to make the journey more energy efficient, as ships are known to be a massively polluting.”

 

Passive houses – Isolated and Energy Saving

Sustainability problem: Energy

Excessive energy consumption is an issue that needs to be sorted within the next decades. In our technology-driven society we use increasingly more electronic apparatuses in our daily life, and in addition our climate is getting more unstable. These things are making our demand for power grow. However, we do not have an unlimited energy source, and most people do not live in homes that makes this energy consumption efficient. Most buildings are not sufficiently isolated against the heat and cold, making electricity demand shoot through the roof on the hottest and coldest days. Power demanding AC-s or heaters are being turned on.

  • The article attached, explains the technology of one solution to this: the “passive houses”. These are isolated houses that are claimed to reduce energy consumption with 90%.
  • Among other things, the houses take advantage of the sunshine that comes in through your window and heats up the house, making heaters superfluous. It also has a ventilation system that makes sure the house has sufficient circulation of fresh air, which will be beneficial for the health of the residents. In colder climates, this fresh air can also be heated up first utilizing ground heat. It can then be dispersed through the house heating it up with fresh air.
  • It has both energy- and cost-saving long-term benefits, and will not be a very costly technology to implement in new homes.

Stakeholders

  • Material manufacturers
  • Utility companies
  • Home owners
  • Architect companies
  • Carpenters and contractors

Deployment

  1. Educate contractors about the passive house standard.
  2. Get governmental policy makers to work to make this housing technology the new standard.
  3. Educate architects and building designers to know how to design the house to best take advantage of the passive house principle.

 

Main article about the technology:

https://passipedia.org/basics/what_is_a_passive_house , “What is a Passive House?”, Passipedia.org, Last modified: July 6th, 2017

Supporting articles:

http://www.greenhomeguide.com/know-how/article/the-passive-house-what-it-is-and-why-you-should-care, “The Passive House, What Is It and Why Should You Care?”, Greenhomeguide.com, August 10th, 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/garden/the-passive-house-sealed-for-freshness.html?mcubz=3, “The Passive Houses: Sealed for Freshness”, NYTimes.com, August 14th, 2013

Image sourcehttps://passipedia.org/basics/what_is_a_passive_house , “What is a Passive House?”, Passipedia.org, Last modified: July 6th, 2017

UNI: ms5584

 

My comment on this blogpost: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/09/28/smog-eating-skyscrapers/

“I think this is a great idea, and it is so easy to implement. Hopefully more skyscrapers will use this technology in the future. This will have the ability to somewhat limit the effect the fossil fueled cars and other machines have on the environment as a percentage of the CO2 will be absorbed by the skyscrapers.”