Vehicle-To-Grid

1. Problem: Unidirectional Grid-To-Vehicle Charging   

Fossil fuels from internal combustion engine vehicles as well as electricity generation from coal and natural gas emit greenhouse gases that cause global warming. To decarbonize transportation and electricity, renewable energy sources are needed. Since the sun and wind are not always present, energy must be used immediately or stored. Upgrading residential and commercial buildings with battery storage is expensive and time-consuming. The batteries inside electric vehicles (EVs) provide an opportunity for power without resorting to fossil fuel sources. However, traditional grid-to-vehicle (G2V) charging stations are unidirectional. 


2. Solution: Bidirectional Vehicle-To-Grid Charging

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology provides bidirectional charging for plug-in EVs, battery EVs, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cell EVs. V2G provides drivers demand response services with the ability to send electricity into an EV battery as well as sell this energy back to the grid. EV batteries are the most cost-efficient energy storage solution since no new hardware investment is needed. With broad deployment, V2G could improve grid stability and reduce stress to meet peak demand from renewable sources. This will ultimately reduce carbon emissions on the journey to net-zero. Key features include:

— V2G EV charging equipment enables the flexible two way flow of electricity. 
— EV drivers select charging or selling electricity to the grid with a mobile application. 
— Drivers set minimum charge levels, plus view charging updates and history. 
— The charge management system enables and monitors V2G charging features. 
— Drivers save money via credits to reduce the total cost of ownership in participating markets.
— Using EVs for grid storage may impact battery life based on a finite number of charges.

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) expands use cases to include vehicle-to-home (V2H), vehicle-to-building (V2B) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G). The V2X ecosystem at scale can reduce the need for new power plants by tapping into EV batteries as distributed energy sources.


3. Stakeholders

The stakeholders in the V2G ecosystem include: 

— Charging Station Hardware Manufacturers: Dcbel and Coritech Services manufacture and sell residential fast chargers with V2G features.
— Charging Software Integrators: Virta provides V2G charging integration services for businesses. The mobile app allows an EV battery to remain 70-90% charged. 
— Car Manufacturers: Nissan is the only major manufacturer making V2G compatible cars with the Leaf and e-NV200. Other manufacturers are conducting V2G research and development. 
— Consumers: Drivers must buy EVs with V2G charging capabilities and enable these features. 
— Real Estate: Public and private site owners must approve V2G charging deployment. 
— Utilities: EDF is a Britain utility company that provides V2G charging energy bill savings. Other utility companies globally must develop and implement V2G programs.
— Policymakers: V2G incentives must be developed to spur adoption by market participants. 


4. Implementation

Significant market development is required before V2G can be deployed at scale to meet peak energy demand. Key challenges for V2G include:

1. The adoption of V2G standards by the majority of car manufacturers for future car models.
2. Utility network upgrade costs and standards for widespread bidirectional energy distribution. 
3. Policies that incentivize V2G public private partnerships. 

For car and utility companies that are currently V2G ready, the implementation steps include: 

1. Residential or business customers confirm V2G site feasibility with the utility company. 
2. Customers complete any utility grid interconnection requirements. 
3. Once approved, customers purchase and install a V2G ready EV charging station.
4. Customers signup for a V2G digital service accessed by mobile app and dashboard. 
5. Customers receive credit for energy sold back to the grid. 

Sources:

— Virta, Vehilce-To-Grid: Everything You Need To Know: https://www.virta.global/vehicle-to-grid-v2g
— Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Explained: What It Is And How It Works: https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/electric-cars/vehicle-to-grid-technology.html
— Dcbel: https://www.dcbel.energy
— Coritech Services: https://coritech.com/ev-chargers
— Nuvve: https://nuvve.com
— Kaluza: https://www.kaluza.com
— Nissan: https://www.nissan-global.com/EN/ZEROEMISSION/APPROACH/COMPREHENSIVE/ECOSYSTEM/
— EDF: https://www.edfenergy.com

Electric Vehicle Wireless Charging

1. Problem: Electronic Vehicle Wired Charging   

The lack of public charging options creates range anxiety that prevents internal combustion engine car drivers from buying an electric car. Electric vehicle charging with a cable generates friction when outdoors in cold or wet weather. Although the J1772 electric vehicle charging standard is gaining widespread adoption, driver must still make sure each charging station works with their car. Public charging stations increase street furniture in communities. Traditional public charging stations deployment can create trip hazards for pedestrians. 

2. Solution: Electronic Vehicle Wireless Charging

Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Systems (WEVCS) reduce friction for drivers by preventing the need to plug in. Wireless charging also reduces street clutter and the hazard of tripping over cables. Once a driver parks above a charging pad, the car starts charging via resonant magnetic induction. Automakers and suppliers have agreed on a wireless power transfer (WPT) standard to charge electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. SAE International develops and promotes standards for the aerospace, commercial vehicle and automotive industries. In November 2020, the SAE J2954 inductive charging standard was accepted by car manufacturers. Key features include:

— Wireless signals sent between the car and charging system to initiate and stop charging.
— A charging pad that is about one square meter and receiving pad integrated under the car. 
— Enabling increased interoperability between hardware and software across manufacturers.
— Achieving 94% efficiency compared to wired connections ranging from 3.3 to 20 kilowatts.
— The potential to enable autonomous cars to charge themselves without human interaction.

Wireless Charging Companies:

— Witricity provides 3.6kW to 11kW wireless charging from in-ground placements in asphalt and cement with foreign object detection, live object detection, and position detection.
— Plugless Power provides 3.3kW and 7.2kW wireless EV charging stations. Purchase of the charger includes hardware and installation to upgrade an EV for wireless charging.
— Wave provides fast wireless EV charging for buses with deployments up to 250kW.  

Dynamic WEVCS is a potential future technology to charge electric vehicles while driving by embedding roads, such as highway sections, with charging transmitters.

3. Stakeholders

The stakeholders in the wireless charging ecosystem include: 

Wireless Charging Providers: Witricity, Plugless Power, Wave and other providers. 
Car Manufacturers: BMW, Honda, GM, and Nissan are all Witricity development partners.
Consumers: Drivers must buy future cars with EV wireless charging capabilities. 
Real Estate Owners: Public and private site owners must approve wireless charging sites. 
Utility Companies: Energy distributors must support standards and interconnection to the grid. 
Policymakers: Politicians must generate policy that allows wireless charging deployment. 

4. Implementation

It  remains questionable if wireless charging will be implemented and deployed at scale. Cost and deployment hurdles must be solved in order for wireless charging to gain traction. Wireless charging requires: 

1. Refinement of wireless charging systems to provide auto manufacturers confidence to deploy this technology. 
2. Wireless charging pilots with public and private partners to get support for widespread deployment. 
3. Assuming barriers are overcome, each site will require approval from public and private real estate owners. 
4. Once a site is confirmed, ground pads will require utility companies to confirm interconnection requirements. 
5. Upon gaining utility approval, ground pads will require permitting, leasing, provisioning, and construction. 
6. The wireless charging system can then be installed. 
7. Drivers can then gain the benefits of wireless charging. 
8. The wireless charging system will then require operating and maintenance by the provider. 


Sources:

— Wireless EV charging gets a boost: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1130055_wireless-ev-charging-gets-a-boost-single-standard-will-harmonize-systems-up-to-11-kw
— Wireless Charging Can Boost Acceptance of Electric Vehicles https://passive-components.eu/wireless-charging-can-boost-acceptance-of-electric-vehicles/
— Witricity https://witricity.com
— Plugless Power: https://www.pluglesspower.com
— Wave Bus Charging: https://waveipt.com

Hybrid Aircrafts

1) Sustainability Problem (Energy): According to the World Wildlife Organization, “aviation is one of the fastest-growing sources of the greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change.” It is also the largest individual contributor to the carbon footprint and is exponentially higher than any other source. Reducing consumption would be one of the quickest ways to reduce pollution caused by aviation; however, that is unlikely to be a viable solution that would be widely implemented. Companies are now looking at alternate sources of energy. Although there is a long way to go in this type of technology, there are some initial efforts that look bright.

2) Technology Summary: The Cassio

With an 800-Mile Range, This New Hybrid Electric Aircraft Will Soon Anchor a US-Based Charter Network

  • VoltAero is developing a series aircrafts known as The Cassio; the plane is a hybrid electric aircraft that can fly for 800 miles that fits 4-10 seats. They have concluded over 40 hours within 70+ flights with the demonstrator as they continue to test out the hybrid-electric Cassio.
  • The CEO stated that he is looking to develop a plan that uses a hybrid configuration which differentiates from current all electric technology in development. This would allow to use existing hardware.
  • A hybrid model would provide a second layer of security allowing for a second source of energy to always be available; a purely electric component would require a lot of battery and would potentially limit the distance the aircraft could go.
  • VoltAero has signed a deal with KinectAir which would have VoltAero developing the technology while KinectAir would develop the necessary uses and infrastructure to implement the new technology. These types of partnership will become more popular as development of hybrid and electric airplanes grow.

3) Stakeholders: Stakeholders involved would be manufacturers (ex. VoltAero), distributers, charter companies (KinectAir), and eventually flight customers.

4) Implementation

  • Testing, testing, testing – continue to test the plane for efficiency and safety
  • Research the market for these planes and what potential further partnerships are available
  • Modify existing blueprints and project growth of the aircraft

5) https://makeasmartcity.com/2021/05/27/nexii-popeyes-sustainable-restaurants/comment-page-1/#comment-4671

Returning “Oil” to the Earth

Charm Industrial’s “bio-oil” — a carbon-rich oil made from almond shells and other types of biomass

Peter Schott // pcs2144
(1) Sustainability Problem: Waste // Carbon
In order to curb the effects of climate change, it is essential to phase out fossil fuel use and decarbonize the economy more broadly. Carbon removal is one solution.

(2) Charm Industrial represents a significant change to reduce the cost from $600 to $50/ton CO2e while elimination 10%+ of global CO2e in the process.

  • Charm partners with farmers (who grow a lot of crops) that generate biomass waste, converting the left over biomass into “bio-oil”, drilling a well, and pumping the bio-oil underground; this achieves the removal of carbon from the atmosphere “permanently, reliably and potentially on a grand scale”
  • This is achieved through a process called “pyrolysis,” (read: organic chemistry) producing hydrogen (that can be used in refineries or to make fertilizer/power vehicles) and “bio-oil”
  • The modular Pyrolyzer can be put on the edge of the farm, reducing the need to transport the biomass outside of a local area; this technology has gained attention from Stripe and Microsoft

Source: Meet the startup producing oil to fight climate change, Grist

(3) Stakeholders

  • Fortune 500 companies and beyond: who are seeking to reduce their environmental impacts as they attempt to offset their corporate emissions through carbon removal opportunities. Stripe and Microsoft to name a few.
  • Nonprofits and academic institutions: to provide a third party assessment of the carbon removal projects (e.g, Carbonplan) and potential analysis around the broader carbon removal market.
  • Lobbyists/Government: to ensure that Charm Industrial can receive federal tax credits, as only CO2 gas is recognized as a CO2e carbon removal technique.

(4) Design/Implementation/Next Steps:

  • Raise capital from existing investors to scale manufacturing capabilities of the Pyrolyzer machine
  • Manufacture one machine and dedicate it to launching a pilot on a large-scale farm to collect data and conduct research; use biomass to create bio-oil and measure components on transporation, equipment cost, potential revenue, etc. to forecast the scale-up of the business
  • Meet with scientists and clients to share results of the pilot program to collect feedback, with the goal of creating a pitchbook for future investors

Discovering the Ocean Sustainably

  1. Sustainability Problem (Water/Waste):  Scientists, researchers, and policymakers around the world are eager to learn more about our oceans. They want to know what’s living in the vastness of the deep waters, but also learn to understand and predict climate change effects, pollution levels, and more. In order to study the ocean, there are currently these ‘profiling floats’ spread around the ocean which are “unmanned, robotic data gathering devices that monitor the sea’s physical, chemical and geological characteristics.” In theory, these are great for information gathering, but there structure is lithium powered and are polluting the ocean further. It is estimated that up to a thousand floats have expired and dropped to the ocean floor along with their lithium powered batteries.

2) Technology Summary: Seatrec Floats

These sustainable floats gather vital data about the ocean – while using the water to recharge 

Technology Website

  • Seatrec designed a float that would be powered by the water’s thermal energy to recharged itself instead of lithium batteries making their device powered fully by renewable energy.
  • The floater will be around 1.5 meters and weigh 30kg and uses a wax (Phase Change Material – PCM) that becomes solid in cold temperature and turns into liquid as it gets warmer. The temperature changes from deeper to more shallow depths makes the PCM contract and expand; as it expands it will create pressure and the generator will convert it to electrical energy.
  • In order to manage the creation of energy, the floater will lower itself to deep water, cold temperature and then rise again to the surface where the temperature becomes warmer. The floater will have a flotation device that will inflate and deflate the floater so it sinks and rises accordingly.
  • The technology will not only be a sustainable waste alternative but it will also collect significant data. These floats will be able to monitor the climate, improve hurricane forecasts, and optimize shipping routes – along with helping us understand the ocean better.

3) Organization Stakeholders:

Stakeholders involved with the Seatrec float include research institutions, international government organizations, product manufacturers, and oceanographers/related careers.

4) Implementation

  • Create prototype to be deployed in a pilot case study
  • Vet and compare product manufacturers that will be able to produce in large quantities in a sustainable way maintain mission of technology
  • Partner with research institution and organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to implement Seatrec floats

5) https://makeasmartcity.com/2021/05/25/meal-kits-are-less-carbon-intensive-than-grocery-store-shopping/

Solar Panels Under Your Feet

  1. Problem 

Energy. Traditional photovoltaic energy is obtained from roof solar panels or standing solar panels. In some areas, these solar panels are difficult to install. 

“It is very interesting that in the USA, for example, there are some places in the southern states where due to tornado threat it is difficult to install a solar panel.” 

They also take up space, putting a limit on how much solar energy can be produced. 

2. Tech – Platio’s Solar-powered pavement. 

  • Platio places solar panels on a plastic brick using a special pressuring method
  • The brick under the solar panel is made from recycled plastic. 1 square meter of the solar pavement is equivalent of 400 recycled PET bottles.
  • 1 solar pavement unit provides about 20 W of energy, and 20 square meters is enough to power the yearly average electric need of a household
  • This technology allows solar energy to be harvested in locations where conventional solar technologies cannot be installed.

3. Stakeholders

  • Households: this can be implemented for residential homes
  • City planners: can be used in smart cities such as pedestrian walkways or parks
  • Sustainability division of companies: can be used in outdoor areas of office buildings

4. Steps

  • Determine the amount of space that can be dedicated to installing solar pavement
  • Estimate the total solar energy that can be produced by this determined space
  • Consider the downside of the technology such as aesthetics, difficulty of installation, before making final decision. 

https://www.euronews.com/green/2021/02/21/this-solar-powered-pavement-harvests-energy-from-under-your-feet

https://platiosolar.com

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

1. Problem: Outdated Metering Infrastructure 

The electricity sector is approximately 25% of U.S. annual greenhouse gas emissions. Outdated energy infrastructure generates damaging environmental impacts with higher energy costs. Residential and commercial customers lack visibility of their energy consumption. Antiquated systems provide inaccurate meter readings that impact billing and generate operational and energy inefficiencies. As electric vehicle adoption increases alongside distributed energy generation sources, new measurement infrastructure is needed to prevent the grid from being overloaded. Utilities play a critical role in decarbonization yet face many challenges. 


2. Solution: Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) 

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) enables utilities to gain visibility of energy usage to make more informed decisions and meet customer demand. AMI enables utilities to predict outage risk and respond faster. AMI also provides customers more control over electricity consumption with new tools and techniques. Features include:

— Near real-time smart grid predictive management of energy supply and demand. 
— Edge computing over 5G networks to provide scalable IoT cloud integration. 
— Advanced streaming analytics with AI that collects and reacts to energy data. 
— Energy insights surfaced on a dashboard to inform data-driven decisions. 
— Platform to trade electricity among customers and provide energy services.

Smart Meters 

Smart meters are electronic devices that measure energy use with data captured in 15-minute intervals. This data is securely sent to portals that can be accessed by customers and utilities. As smart meters are widely adopted, utilities can provide customers energy at the lowest cost and lowest environmental impact. ConEdison is installing 5 million smart meters over the next year. 

3. Stakeholders

Key constituents in the AMI and smart meter ecosystem include:

— Utilities: ConEdison in New York, PG&E in California, and Oncor in Texas are examples of utility companies that provide AMI solutions and smart meters to customers.  
— Technology Providers: Companies such as IBM provide AMI cloud services and Siemens develop smart meters used by utility companies. 
— Commercial and Complex Billing Customers: These customers gain insights on cost and usage trends. This includes tracking consumption to uncover energy efficiency opportunities. 
— Residential Customers: These customers track near real-time energy usage with comparison to similar homes and saving tips.
— Electric Vehicle Charging Companies: Charging stations integrate AMI and smart meters to collect and share energy consumption data with utilities.
— Policymakers: Federal and State politicians impact the financing of energy budgets and the rollout of programs that promote AMI and smart meters. 


4. Implementation

Once a residential, commercial, or complex billing customer decides to get a smart meter, the following steps are taken:

1. The customer contacts the utility company to request smart meter installation availability.  
2. Once eligibility is confirmed, an approved vendor completes the installation on location. 
3. Approximately 2 weeks after installation, customers access tools on their account dashboard. 
4. Near real-time usage, comparison, and analysis data surface energy efficiency opportunities. 


Sources 
— Enable an advanced metering infrastructure. IBM: https://www.ibm.com/industries/energy/solutions/smart-metering
— Smart Meter Features and Benefits. ConEdison: https://www.coned.com/en/our-energy-future/technology-innovation/smart-meters/how-will-a-smart-meter-help-me
— Sources of Greenhouse Gases. EPA: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

Low-Tech Solution for High-Profile SDG (Water Scarcity)

CloudFisher fog-harvesters on a mountain

Peter Schott // pcs2144

(1) Sustainability Problem: Water
Per the UN, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) remains one of the world’s most water-scare regions, with 17 countries considered below the water poverty line. Around 1.1M people lack reliable access to water and 2.7M live in regions where water scarcity exists for at least one month of the year.

(2) Water scarcity is an issue – analysts predict that water scarcity may contribute to future conflict in the region.

  • Agriculture comprises of 80% of the water usage in the MENA region; often the cultivation of crops, specifically citrus fruit in rural Morocco, has depleted the natural groundwater reserves and aquifers at a rate faster than replenishment
  • Seawater desalination and dams are the current tools used to address water scarcity in the region, however they come with several negative externalities
  • In Morocco specifically, the NGO Dar Si Hmad has partnered with German WaterFoundation to utilized their CloudFisher fog-harvesters, which use no energy, to collect up to 600L+ of drinking water per day per net*
  • The CloudFisher technology can withstand win speeds up to 120kph while catching water droplets in the air that (often) comply with WHO drinking water standards*

    Article: Can tech advances solve arid Middle East’s water scarcity problem?, Arab News

(3) Stakeholders:
Stakeholders include NGOs that provide local solutions to rural farmers and villages in the MENA region.
An example of this in Morocco is Dar Si Hmad for Development (NGO) connecting the CloudFisher fog-harvesters (local solution) to 16 villages in rural Morocco.
Additionally, Governments and Ministers are stakeholders as “water is the lifeblood of civilizations that shape economies, as said by Reem Al-Hasimy, UAW minister of state.

(4) Deployment/Adoption/Implementation:
Given that the focus of this is to drive end-user (customer) adoption, the below does not contain steps to fix the broader water scarcity problem across MENA; additionally, influencing government will delay broader adoption but is needed to create a robust market.

  • Educate communities and farmers about the importance of water, specifically the importance of protecting water supplies, to help introduce good conservation habits and available technologies
  • Pilot the CloudFisher technology in communities, collecting data around environmental conditions (weather, air temp, etc.), water collected, time spent by community to harvest, etc.; attempt to create a business case as to what the technology actually achieves (is it time saved, money saved, lives saved, etc.)
  • Explore conversations with government to discuss the importance of water scarcity in the MENA region, the success of the pilot program, the impact of international trade on water scarcity; propose a potential export tax through policy that could be used to provide solutions such as CloudFisher to farmer villages, in an effort to provide drinking water

Additional Sources:
*https://www.wasserstiftung.de/en/cloudfisher/

‘Recurate’ – Resell Platform for Fashion

  1. Sustainability problem (Waste/Energy/Water): The consumption of clothing in the world has increased tremendously in the last few decades. With fast fashion trending globally, clothing production relies heavily on non-renewable energy sources and water to keep up with consumer demand. Finding ways to reuse clothing is extremely important as we search ways to reduce the effects of consumerism on our planet.

2. Technology Summary: Recurate | Resell function for fashion brands

Arlington-Based Recurate Helps Fashion Brands Facilitate Secondhand Sales

https://www.recurate.com/features

  • Second hand shopping is a trending market with resell platforms such as Poshmark and ThredUp helping consumer resell their clothing to people through an app. It is expected that the value for second hand clothing will more than triple in the next decade.
  • Consumers are becoming more self-aware of the brands they are buying from and are looking for alternative ways of shopping their favorite brands.
  • Recurate looks to connect with fashion companies directly to resell their brands via their current websites. Individual sellers will use the companies website to resell the brand directly to consumers making it easier for the company, buyers, and sellers.
  • Recurate oversees the shipment and processing; then the fashion company will compensate the seller either with a store credit or cash.

3) Organizational Stakeholders

Stakeholders in Recurate include fashion brands, consumers, and sellers. Fashion brands will utilize the platform to manage the resell of their clothing by using Recurate. They will also be able to gather data on resell and learn more about their customers. Consumers will use Recurate to more easily shop the brands they like in the resell market; they’ll be able to shop more strategically and conscientiously. Sellers will be able to use Recurate to market their resell product directly through the brands site which will likely drive sales and make it much easier for the average person to resell their clothes.

4) Implementation

  1. Build partnerships with brands. The portfolio of brands available through Recurate needs to be wide and include all types of style, prices, and target audience.
  2. Trial the platform with resellers/buyers. There needs to be input by buyers to ensure that it is customer friendly and intuitive. In addition, you want to make sure that people will actually use this function and not just continue to use their individual resell platforms. Survey and focus groups are a good way to start building feedback to improve Recurate.
  3. Expand operations. If Recurate is looking to have a large brand base, it needs to have the capacity to deliver on its promises of customer service, delivery, and platform maintenance.

5) https://makeasmartcity.com/2021/05/13/imaging-technology-for-food-waste-reduction/comment-page-1/#comment-3706

Smart Waste Collection

  1. Problem: Waste Management. There is a lack of efficiency and transparency in waste management. Not knowing how full the bins are make it difficult to maximize efficiency. When the bins aren’t full when collected, it leads to additional emissions and extra trips. When the bins have been full before the scheduled pick up, it causes social problems such as overflow of waste on the streets.
  2. Summary:
    • Bratislava is implementing a large-scale smart waste digitalization program using Sensoneo. This will realize savings on waste collection related to truck mileage, emissions, and prevention of damages related to overfilled containers. 
    • Will be implemented in stages until April 2022
    • Project includes 
      1. digitalization of 85,000 containers and installation of 1,753 Sensoneo sensors to monitor all containers for glass waste and underground bins across the city
      2. Will also deploy 92 Sensoneo WatchDog devices on all waste collection vehicles to automatically digitalize the waste collection process and automatically verify pick-ups
      3. Flexible waste collection powered by Sensoneo’s Route Optimization and the testing of prototypes facilitating the introduction of “pay-as-you-sort“ models and recognizing fill-levels of containers during pick-up.
    • Glass waste is particularly troublesome due to its irregular filling cycle. Using Sensoneo’s technology, the city can avoid unnecessary pickups. 
  3.  Stakeholders
    • City’s waste management company
    • Waste collection fleet operator
    • Waste collection drivers
    • Waste dumpster location that receive the waste
  4. Steps
    • Digitalize the location of 85,000 containers on the software
    • Install the necessary sensors on the containers for glass
    • Install the Watchdog devices on the waste collection vehicles

https://www.smartcitiesworld.net/news/bratislava-launches-large-scale-smart-waste-programme-6420