Introducing the Internet of Water

1) Sustainability Problem: Fresh water is an increasingly valuable resource. Despite utilities having extensive information about how water is sourced, purified and priced, there is no national database.

Category: Water

2) Technology:  Internet of Water

  • Water data would be shared and integrated in a standardized digital platform
  • Private citizens would be able to gauge the quality of local water
  • Public officials would be able to warn citizens of water-borne public health hazards
  • Disaster relief efforts would be able to locate the lowest-cost, fresh, drinking water after a natural disaster like a drought or a flood

3) Organizational Stakeholders:

  • Citizens
  • Government
  • Scientists
  • Utilities

4) Deployment:

  • Collect water utility data
  • Standardize data
  • Integrate data onto a common digital platform
  • Roll-out database for citizens, utilities, scientists and public officials to use

Source:

Coldewey, Devin. Researchers propose an open ‘internet of water’ tracking use, quality and costs. TechCrunch. October 13, 2017. https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/13/researchers-propose-an-open-internet-of-water-tracking-use-quality-and-costs/ Web. Accessed November 25, 2017.

Clean Meat and the Future of Food

1) Sustainability Problem: Livestock contribute greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere in the form of methane as a natural bi-product of digestion.

Category: Emissions

2) Technology:  Memphis Meats Lab Grown Meat

  • Memphis Meats has developed lab synthesized chicken, beef and duck as an alternative to meats butchered from livestock.
  • Cells are cultivated with a blend of sugar, amino acids, fats and water, using optimal cells selected by scientists.
  • Meats are grown over three to six week time frames, making the process much more efficient than raising livestock.
  • Lab synthesized meats bypass the slaughter house, making the process more palatable to consumers who are concerned with animal welfare.
  • “Clean Meat” create 96% less greenhouse gas emissions, require 45% less energy, utilize 99% less land and consume 96% less water use than conventional livestock.

3) Organizational Stakeholders:

  • Farmers
  • Butchers
  • Chefs
  • Restaunts
  • Grocery Stores
  • Consumers
  • Scientists

4) Deployment:

  • Select optimal cells for different types of meat
  • Select growth medium for each type of cell
  • Grow meats over three to six weeks
  • Educate consumers on the benefits of “clean meat” and develop marketing strategy
  • Roll out distribution of “clean meats” to stores and restautants

Source:

Shieber, Jonathan. Billionaires and big ag are joining venture investors to fund lab-grown meat. August 23, 2017. Tech Crunch. Web. Accessed November 9, 2017. https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/view-raises-200m-for-their-electrochromic-smart-glass/

Keeping Cool with Smart Glass

1) Sustainability Problem: Transparent windows allow heat transmission under sunny conditions. This making the use of air conditioning necessary to cool the indoor environment, which consumes electricity.

Category: Energy

2) Technology:  View Smart Glass

  • View has developed a Smart Glass that that can adjust transparency to allow more or less sunlight to penetrate.
  • View Smart Glass is connected to the internet and can be controlled via a smartphone app.
  • Smart Glass can respond to weather conditions automatically and limit transparency during peak sun.
  • Smart glass eliminates the need for blinds and reduces the electricity required for air conditioning on hot sunny days.

3) Organizational Stakeholders:

  • Residents
  • Businesses
  • Building owners
  • Building developers
  • Utility companies

4) Deployment:

  • Install Smart Glass in building.
  • Connect Smart Glass to internet.
  • Download smartphone app.
  • Set Smart Glass to desired transparency .
  • Save energy by reducing electricity required for indoor climate control.

Source:

Lucas Matney. View raises $200M for their electrochromic smart glass. June 27, 2017. Tech Crunch. Web. Accessed November 2, 2017. https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/view-raises-200m-for-their-electrochromic-smart-glass/

Improved Policing Through Cloud-Based Technology

New York Police Department officer1) Sustainability Problem: New York City residents do not have a forum to voice their interests in NYPD agenda.

Category: Civic Engagement

2) Technology

CompStat, brought to the NYPD in 1994, is a management system that combines administrative policy with technology to make crime matters more transparent and hold precinct commanders accountable in their areas. IdeaScale is a cloud-based innovation that has been merged with CompStat as an ideation platform to enhance civic engagement surrounding police work.

  • IdeaScale was merged with NYPD CompStat in 2014.
  • IdeaScale works by registering users to make comments and vote on suggestions for ways to improve organizations.
  • Ideas that receive the most votes through IdeaScale are elevated to the attention of management.
  • NYPD’s use of IdeaScale is the first time that a police department has used a digital platform to invite specific communities to nominate quality-of-life problems for the police to address.
  • The information and ideas submitted to IdeaScale constitute a crucial supplement to 911 data in determining an agenda for the NYPD.

3) Organizational Stakeholders:

  • NYC Government
  • NYC Residents
  • NYC Businesses
  • NYPD

4) Deployment:

  • Merge CompStat with IdeaScale so community and crime data can be shared across platforms within a police department.
  • Introduce community to IdeaScale and register users.
  • Enhance community engagement by collecting ideas, comments, and votes through IdeaScale.
  • Supplement 911 data with IdeaScale data to determine policing agenda.
  • Increase the willingness of citizens to report crime and improve accountability in police force.

Source:

Stephen Goldsmith. Using Technology to Enhance Civic Engagement. Government Technology Magazine. March 9, 2016. Web. Accessed October 26, 2017. http://www.govtech.com/opinion/Using-Technology-to-Enhance-Civic-Engagement.html

Solar Powered Emergency Lights for Campus Safety

1) Sustainability Problem: Safety

Purdue University has taken an environmentally friendly approach to safety by making the “blue light” Emergency Telephone System (ETS) in the Waldron Street area of campus powered by the sun. Before the installation of this technology, the call boxes in the Waldron area were not illuminated. Most call boxes on campus draw power from neighboring buildings owned by the University. However, this was not an option along Waldron Street because the surrounding buildings are privately owned. This solar powered approach has been able to enhance the safety on campus while also utilizing alternative energy supply.

2) Summary

  • Tom Barbour, the Electronic Technician for Operations and Maintenance at Purdue University, believed it was important to find a way to equip all call boxes on campus with functional safety lights.
  • After trying a variety of methods to make the lights in the Walden area functional, solar power was determined to be a viable alternative.
  • Installing solar powered blue lights on the ETS phones in the Walden area is an effective emergency solution that helps to raise the level of safety on campus.
  • Solar powered blue lights are also cost effective, as the local police department previously saved energy costs by installing energy efficient lighting in the police dispatch center.

3) Stakeholders

  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Community Members
  • Facilities Management
  • Local Police
  • University Administrators

4) Deployment

  1. Identify ETS phones that are not currently illuminated, or otherwise costly to illuminate, on campus.
  2. Install solar panels on the under-illuminated ETS phones.
  3. Provide enhanced campus safety by providing illuminated spaces where emergency calls can be made while also reducing energy costs.

Reference:

Solar-powered emergency light provides sustainable safety. Purdue Today. Purdue University. September 26, 2011. Web Accessed October 19, 2017. http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/general/2011/110926_GW-energy.html

Bladeless Wind Turbines of the Future

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1. Sustainability Problem: Conventional wind turbines pose negative environmental impacts due to scale and cannot be used for distributed generation.

Category: Energy 

2. Technology: Vortex Bladeless Wind Turbines

Conventional wind turbines are up to 300 meters tall and weigh up to 400 tons. The material and space required for a conventional wind farm pose a negative environmental impact. The large blades have been known to harass local bird populations and make noise that is disruptive to surrounding communities. A Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless has developed a compact, bladeless wind turbine to solve these problems.

  • Vortex Bladeless turbines generate power through the centripetal vibrations of wind rather than the turning of blades.
  • Vortex Bladeless turbines require fewer materials to manufacture.
  • Vortex Bladeless turbines require no oil and less maintenance.
  • Vortext Bladeless turbines make no noise and are safe for birds.
  • Vortex Bladeless turbines are significantly smaller than conventional turbines and can be used for distributed generation as an alternative to solar panels.

3. Organizational Stakeholders:

  • Consumers of distributed generation
  • Communities with distributed generation
  • Electrical grids that permit distributed generation
  • Wind farms
  • Neighbors of wind farms

4. Deployment:

  • Distribute Vortex Bladeless wind turbines to households that have distributed generation to use in addition to, or in place of, solar panels
  • Supplement or replace commercial wind farms with Vortex Bladeless wind turbines
  • Supply electrical grids with low impact wind generation

Source:

Frangoul, Anmar. The Future of Wind Turbines Could be Bladeless. CNBC. September 29, 2017. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/29/the-future-of-wind-turbines-could-be-bladeless.html

Reducing GHG in NYC Through Organics Collection

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1) Sustainability Problem: Organic waste in NYC

Category: Waste

2) Technology

NYC produces 14 million tons of waste every year. The single largest segment of this waste is organic refuse which releases methane gas through decomposition. In response, the city has launched a multi million dollar campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and landfill reliance by turning food scraps and yard waste into compost. The upshot is that the methane released through decomposition can be harnessed and used for fuel through the same technology we currently use to treat wastewater.

  • In 2013, NYC began handing out brown counter top buckets and large outside bins to collect organic waste. This is expected to apply to all residents by the end of 2018.
  • Organics are collected via curbside pickup on a weekly basis and trucked to a waste transfer station where compostables are separated from contaminants.
  • Compostables are then transferred to a composting site or aerobic digestion facility.
  • The city is exploring ways to retrofit wastewater treatment plants to harness the methane gas (already a byproduct of wastewater treatment) released by food waste.
  • National Grid is planning a 30 million dollar system for the Newton Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility in Brooklyn to harness the methane and use it to heat NYC by the end of 2018.

3) Organizational Stakeholders:

  • NYC Government
  • NYC Residents
  • NYC Businesses
  • NYC Waste Management
  • Newton Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility
  • National Grid

4) Deployment:

  • NYC implements brown bin organic waste collection across all city residences and businesses on a compulsory basis.
  • NYC supplies trucks and personal to collect organic waste and truck it to partnering waste transfer stations and antibiotic digestion facilities.
  • National grid rolls out compost methane-capture systems in wastewater treatment plants around NYC.

Source:

Rueb, Emily. How New York is Turning Food Waste into Compost and Gas. New York Times. June 2, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/nyregion/compost-organic-recycling-new-york-city.html?mcubz=0&_r=0