New Gradation Blind Cuts 34 % of Energy

1)Sustainability Area: Energy

Problem: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Building Sector consumes nearly half (47.6%) of all energy produced in the United States. Seventy-five percent (74.9%) of all the electricity produced in the U.S. is used just to operate buildings. Globally, these percentages are even greater.

Accordingly, one key way to reduce GHG as a whole is to work for CO2 emissions produced by the building sector by transforming the way buildings are designed, built, and operated.

The United States Department of Energy announces the “Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative” to reduce the net energy usage of all newly-constructed business buildings by 2030 and all business buildings by 2050. It is expected that a large energy-saving market will be established in the future.

In this situation, Gradation Blind was developed by a Japanese manufacturer of curtain tracks, TOSO Co., Ltd., which reduces building lighting energy by 34%, taking natural day light efficiently into office buildings.

2) Technology/ Deployment


With Gradation Blind, natural daylight is drawn into the office interior optimally.
Reflecting light onto the ceiling ensures even distribution of natural daylight to areas far inside the room.


With normal blind, opening slats to let in natural daylight increases interior brightness, but causes glare from windows and computer screens. The environment is not optimal for office workers.


By making natural day light efficiently, you can realize 34% cost-cut for lightning energy.


The Gradation Blind was deployed as one of energy conservation building demonstration technologies at ZEN (Zero Energy Nanotechnology) building of SUNY Poly and started demonstration test for realizing Net Zero Energy Building in March, 2016.



3) Stakeholders:

  • Building owner (Both business/residential)
  • Real estate industry
  • Interior design industry
  • Office workers and resident as a product user

<Comment on Solar Powered Aircraft >

At this timing of second test, the solar plane reached a maximum altitude of 19,000 feet, but for future, longer flights, the plan is to reach up to 28,000 feet during the day, then descend to about 5,000 feet at night, converting altitude into distance until the sun comes back up to recharge the batteries.


Fall 2017 – Week 5



A sustainable future powered by sea

Sea Wave Power1) Sustainability Area: Energy

Problem: Alternative source for renewable energy.

2) Technology

  • The blades of this five-blade turbine are made of a soft material and they rotate on their axis when influenced by ocean waves
  • the diameter of the turbine is about 0.7 meters. The axis is attached to a permanent magnet electric generator, which is the part of the turbine that transforms the ocean wave energy into usable electricity.
  • The ceramic mechanical seal protects the electrical components inside of the body from any saltwater leakage.
  • This design allows the turbine to function for ten years before it need replacing.

3) Deployment

  • “Using just 1% of the seashore of mainland Japan to harness sea wave energy can [generate] about 10 gigawats [of energy], which is equivalent to 10 nuclear power plants,” Professor Shintake, who develops the turbine explains. “That’s huge.”
  • The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) researchers launched The Wave Energy Converter (WEC) project in 2013.
  • It involves placing turbines at key locations near the shoreline, such as nearby tetrapods or among coral reefs which are used as wave breaker, to generate energy.
  • Each location allows the turbines to be exposed to ideal wave conditions that allow them not only to generate clean and renewable energy, but also to help protect the coasts from erosion while being affordable for those with limited funding and infrastructure.
  • The turbines themselves are built to withstand the forces thrust upon them during harsh wave conditions as well as extreme weather, such as a typhoon.
  • The blade design and materials are inspired by dolphin fins — they are flexible, and thus able to release stress rather than remain rigid and risk breakage.
  • The supporting structure is also flexible, “like a flower,” Professor Shintake explains. “The stem of a flower bends back against the wind,” and so, too, do the turbines bend along their anchoring axes.
  • They are also built to be safe for surrounding marine life — the blades rotate at a carefully calculated speed that allows creatures caught among them to escape.
  • Now, Professor Shintake and the Unit researchers have completed the first steps of this project and are preparing to install the turbines — half-scale models, with 0.35-meter diameter turbines — for their first commercial experiment. T
  • The project includes installing two WEC turbines that will power LEDs for a demonstration.


4) Stakeholders:

  • Industry partners
  • Policy makers
  • Investors
  • Community around the seashore (including fishery, resort business around the sea area)

<Comment on Warka Tower >

Warka Tower can also generate electrical energy from sunlight. It be equipped with innovative solar panels produced by the Basilian company Sunew. The technology is based on Organic Photovoltaics, also known as OPV (Organic Photovoltaics) and the product is a thin film, light, flexible and transparent.


Fall 2017 – Week 4


Origami-inspired clothing range that grows with your child

Origami Cloth

1. Sustainability Area: Energy


Most children grow by seven sizes in their first two years, and parents spend an average of £2,000 on clothing before their child reaches the age of three. As well as the high cost and limited lifespan, mass production of garments places huge pressure on the environment through waste, water consumption and carbon emissions.

2. Technology/Deployment

  •  Ryan Yasin devised the material using scientific principles he studied for his aeronautical engineering degree.
  •  It is made from distinctive pleated lightweight fabric which is waterproof, machine washable and recyclable, with all garments fitting the three-month to three-year age group.
  • It works by employing the so-called negative Poisson’s ratio, which Yasin studied while at London’s Imperial College.
  • When stretched, materials that have this ratio – known as auxetics – become thicker and can expand in two directions at the same time. The phenomenon is already used in stents and biomedical implants.
  • The pleats move in both directions, either folding together or expanding, and allowing the garment to move with the child.
  • Heat treatment fixes these properties permanently in place, even through the wash cycle; the garments are designed to be long-lasting and can fold down small enough to tuck in your pocket.

Source: Origami-inspired clothing range that grows with your child wins Dyson award

3. Stakeholders:

  • Family who has infants/toddlers as consumer
  • Fashion industry (manufacturing company and retails)
  • Investors

<Comment on Solar Paint>

The technology is likely still a few years away from commercialization, since the harvested hydrogen gas would still need to be collected somehow and stored until put to use.

UNI: mt3170

Fall 2017 – Week 3

The Shoes with No (Carbon) Footprint

co2-shoes1) Sustainability Area: Energy/Waste Management

Problem: It is great to reduce GHG by any technology. But instead, how about making use of CO2 to manufacture products like shoes, which we can potentially turn into everything?

2) Technology

  •  By a collaboration between energy company NRG and product management firm 10xBeta, these sneakers are made mostly from recycled carbon dioxide emissions.
  • As a video about the shoes explains, carbon dioxide emitted by power plants was captured and turned into a special polymer which made up approximately 75 percent of the final product.
  • The rest of the sneakers’ materials were not composed of recycled CO2, but emissions released during their production could be captured via the same processes that collect the carbon dioxide used to make the shoe
  • Although these sneakers are not on sale at this stage, but if this technology can be commoditized, it can be applied to any products.

Source: Creating A Shoe Without A Footprint (including 2:18 sec YouTube video)

 3) Stakeholders:

  • Business with technology of carbon capture and utilizing it for manufacturing
  • Investors
  • Citizen to use products by these technologies

4) Deployment

  • Carbon dioxide emitted by power plants is captured
  • Make it turned into a special polymer to manufacture product



Fall 2017 – Week 2

The Ginza Honey Bee Project

187d1084039f74f61d7f4e8cc66e29bb6c57f5b61) Sustainability Area: Civic Engagement

Problem: The Japanese honey industry is declining due to deforestation and the increasing use of pesticides such as neonicotinoids in rice farming. While other countries are also experiencing colony collapse disorder*, Japan is particularly vulnerable to the advanced age of its farmers and a decline in beekeepers. As honey bee takes vital function of pollination in ecosystem, decline in honey bee population is a problem of whole nature in Japan.

* Colony collapse disorder (Wikipedia)

 2) Technology and Deployment

  • This is not a type of cutting edge technology, but rather, a creative idea and activity named “The Ginza Honey Bee Project” based on civic idea how to cope with ecological problem by applying existing expertise and civic engagement in the middle of city and also stimulate local economy.
  • A group of community members in Ginza, a world-famous district for its luxury shopping and dining in Tokyo, and volunteers set out to connect with nature by establishing a rooftop beehive under instruction of beekeeper experts
  • The rooftop honeybee travels as far as two kilometers to collect nectar taking advantage of the flowers in residential Gardens parks and along sidewalks
  • The produced honey is sold in retail stores in Ginza district with its own brand
  • Since its initial harvest of 150 kilograms in 2006, the project has expanded its operation and increased its honey output to over one metric ton

Source: The Ginza Honey Bee Project (YouTube, 4min 13sec)

3) Stakeholders:

  • City citizen/community
  • Local retail business
  • Professional honey beekeepers
  • Farmers in close neighborhood