The Internet Could Heat Your Home

Problem: the need for connectivity and bigger servers is increasing, but they are hugely energy intensive.

Solution: Give the produced heat a purpose, to create energy savings somewhere else and prevent energy wastage.

  • Data centers require a large number of fans and cold water to keep them cool. The fans are really loud, and the heat produced is usually wasted.
  • Stockhold Data Parks runs in partnership with the city’s government, Fortum Värme (heating and cooling agency) to try to optimize the use of this heat.
  • Cold water feeds through pipes to the data centre, where it is heating through the data centre’s cooling process, and then runs back to Fortum’s plants where it is used for heating.
  • Stockholm Data Parks expects to generate enough heat to warm 2,500 residential apartments by 2018, but the long term goal is to meet 10% of the entire heating need of Stockholm by 2035.

Article: Link

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Stakeholders: 

  • Possible commercial customers (shopping malls etc)
  • Residential buildings – 10 MW of energy is needed to heat 20,000 modern residential apartments, whereas an average Facebook data centre uses 120 MW.
  • Companies with data centers
  • City governments and local utility providers

Deployment steps: 

  • List and contact stakeholders (listed above)
  • Model partnerships between heat producers and consumers which are geographically efficient.
  • Value the cost incentive – will it save money overall with the new infrastructure investment?

Comment on CyberRain:

This technology could have the potential to be expanded to cities that make use of rainwater for other uses, or monitor city-wide water management during unpredictable rainfall seasons and drought conditions. It could also be incorporated into water payment systems to create incentives for water savings on irrigation.

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Smart Transportation & Smart Waste Management.

Sustainable Issue: Waste Management
Technology: Smart Bin with IoT Sensors
Waste is collected on a regular schedule to ensure that the streets, neighbourhoods and businesses are clean, safe and able to be enjoyed by all. This has been achieved by scheduling regular or static collections by waste collection staff in trucks to empty our bins.
SmartBin’s Intelligent Monitoring solution enables waste management and recycling companies to optimize their collection operations and maximize the use of valuable resources. By deploying SmartBin wireless ultrasonic sensors to a wide range of containers, and using the data intelligence to drive operational efficiencies including optimized routes, asset tracking and cost analysis. SmartBin sensors leverage the latest in IoT and cellular network technologies.
Key Features
• Ultrasonic fill-level, geo-location & temperature
• Optimizes the dumper route to landfill.
• Zero maintenance with a non-corrosive protective shell
• Know the fill-level of your containers at all times.
• Send optimized routes directly to dumpers to schedule pickup.
• Cut your service costs by up to 50%.
• Provide a world class service.
• Reduce your company’s carbon footprint.

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Stake Holders:
• Manufacturing units
• Government
• Commercial building users
• Communities
• Waste Management Utilities
Deployment / Implementation:
• Work with the local government to implement in the city
• Educate local bodies for waste management about the technology; have three to four sessions.
• Awareness among the community
Source: https://blog.boltiot.com/smart-transportation-smart-waste-management-d35f1e141629

IceEnergy – Cool battery Storage

Issue

Energy: electricity from renewable energy is generated only when specific environmental conditions are met (e.g. the sun is out, the wind is blowing etc.). Nonetheless, the renewable energy generation profile does not reflect energy demand and as such there is a great need for energy storage. Current solutions are expansive and not viable at the scale needed to truly transform to a renewable, clean grid.

The solution

A novel battery storage solution using ice to store energy.

icestorage

  • Ice energy is a company based in Santa Barbara, California. The company uses off-peak electricity to create a thermal battery (i.e. cool water into ice). The battery connects to a facility’s HVAC system and helps it produce cool air for AC use. By lowering the temperature of input air, the battery reduces the system’s cooling needs – thus saving energy.
  • The technology is commercial, tested and reliable. The company has a verity of solutions including products for residential, commercial & industrial as well as for the grid.
  • Each unit “saves” (on average) 2,000 lbs of CO2 and reduces peak load by 95%.

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Stakeholders

Every facility that has an HVAC system, ideally in a warm climate where the need for cooling is large, including:

  • Warehouses
  • Manufacturing facilitates
  • Single and multi family homes

Implementation:

Step 1 – Further develop and optimize the product line.

Step 2 – Step up production to the point where economics of scale help reduce unit price substantially.

Step 3 – Open  sales offices in multiple cities in the US and evaluate the international market for a second manufacturing facility.

Link

Company website – https://www.ice-energy.com

By Omri Klagsbald (OK2213)

Comment on “Vertical Farm Acupuncture – made from recycled materials for Indonesia’s migrant farmers”: “This is a pretty cool idea. Another benefit of the vertical farm building, especially when it is implemented at scale, is a reduction in the urban heat island effect, which is in addition to the thermal insolation the vegetation will provide.”

EV wireless charging during motion

1) Sustainability Problem:

EV adoption is a chicken and egg sort of problem. Both sides of the market, vehicle owners and charging infrastructure owners, have to feel secure there will be critical mass of the other side to comfortable deploy their capital. Range anxiety is one of the primary barriers to prospective vehicle owners. The fear that mobility and productivity will be limited by the abbreviated range offered by EV batteries coupled with the long duration of recharging reinforces that perception.
From the article:
[If a car was able to be charged while it was being driven, then this would solve the problem of limited range and enable vehicles to travel for potentially unlimited distances.]
The transportation sector was responsible for 27% of all U.S. GHG emissions in 2015, 2nd only to Electricity generation. [EPA.gov] The faster transportation is electrified, and the faster that electricity can be produced from renewable sources, the more likely we are to mitigate the worst consequences of global temperature rise.

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Category: Energy

2) Technology Summary:

Article: Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Breakthrough Achieved
Website: Clean Technica
Tags: #electric vehicle #wireless charging

3) Organizational stakeholders

  1. state transportation departments
  2. public service commission / regulators
  3. EV manufacturers
  4. utilities

4) Steps in deploying this technology

  1. Continue to expand the power capacity of wireless charging – currently beneath the required volume for vehicle operations
  2. Encourage vehicle manufacturers to adopt wireless charging technology
  3. Persuade state and federal transportation officials to set regulatory frameworks around safe in-lane charging equipment
  4. Evaluate revenue potential of time-of-use rates to incentivize congestion mitigation

Related Resources:

Technology Developments: 
Equipment providers: 
 wireless_power_system_-_inductive_coupling

Uni: jz2805

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

Source1: http://www.toso.com/news/2011/201109.html

Source2: http://architecture2030.org/buildings_problem_why/

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.

UNI:mt3170

Fall 2017 – Week 5

 

Data-Driven Reverse Logistics Can Save Waste and GHG Emissions

1. Sustainability Problem: Increasing amounts of retail good returned lead to high amounts of waste and GHG emissions

Category: Waste

With e-commerce on the rise, the number of goods that get returned by customers is an increasing problem — for e-commerce return rates are ~10-20%. The problem is not just that the retailers incur vast financial losses but also are responsible for substantial amounts of waste and a large carbon footprint from inefficient transportation with multiple touch points. The process of taking back returned products (a process called reverse logistics) has traditionally been unsophisticated and even today, the aggregate goods returned result in 4 B pounds of waste going to the landfill and 11 M metric tons of carbon emissions entering the atmosphere.

Source: http://www.optoro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Optoro-Whitepaper6-9-2016.pdf

2. Technology: Reverse Logistics Management System by Optoro

Article: “Optoro Is Building A Billion-Dollar Business Helping Companies Cope With A Glut Of Rejected Stuff”, Forbes (https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2017/09/26/optoro-is-building-a-billion-dollar-business-helping-companies-cope-with-a-glut-of-rejected-stuff/#2c799bc81a8c)

  • This article discusses a startup called Optoro, which provides a reverse logistics management system to retailers as a subscription service
  • The technology scans returned and overstock goods for the retailers and efficiently directs the goods to their most suitable path and optimizes the route for the products to reach their final destination
  • Optoro’s technology reduces waste created by up to 60% and carbon emissions resulting from fuel for transportation up to 31% according to a model built by the Environmental Capital Group
  • Instead of ending up in the landfill, Optoro redirects goods to retailer shelves, manufacturers, discount-goods websites for consumers, recycling centers, or charities

Other source: http://www.optoro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Optoro-Whitepaper6-9-2016.pdf

Tags: #waste #retail #logistics #reverselogistics #ecommerce #sustainability

3. Organizational stakeholders

On the one hand, the technology would be used by retailers. The logistics departments of retailers would have to adopt the reverse logistics management system so that returned and overstock goods go directly to Optoro’s warehouse.

On the other hand, end customers would also be stakeholders for the system because many of the goods end up being sold through discount-goods websites also run by Optoro. Making customers aware of these options will also be valuable to the success of the technology and company.

4. Deployment

The technology has already been deployed to a certain extent with Optoro having secured 30 clients so far. However, an issue in raising awareness regarding the success of the solution seems to be that clients don’t want to reveal that they’re using this solution, even though it has such significant financial AND environmental benefits. Therefore, to further scale the technology, I would focus on raising awareness with the following 3 steps:

  • Work with a consultant or provider of certifications to explore the possibility of creating a sustainability certification/stamp of approval for retailers using this solution openly
  • Conduct study with customers on their perception of retailers using this solutions and see if the data reveals that this is in fact seen as a positive aspect of a brand, rather than a negative aspect
  • Use data and certification/endorsement to talk to more retail clients and encourage them to disclose their use of Optoro technology

5. Comment on Another Post

I commented on “Highway of the Future”:

The sustainable highway is also supposed to improve the response to accidents using autonomous drones flying over the highways. I wonder at what scale and thus cost you’d have to deploy these drones for them to make responses to accidents quicker than they already are.