Sometimes by re-configuring dumb technology, a simple innovative solution could be attained that produces better results. The space needed to farm shrimp has been a constraint in the aquaculture industry for some time. Due to intense regulations concerning environmental factors, the most effective method to grow shrimp inland was in tubs operated with a flow systems. This system allows for the re-circulation of the limited water supply available and minimizes any effluent seepage, or soil contamination. The production capacity of the farm was limited to the space available because the tubs could only produce a limited amount of shrimp and thus made it cost prohibitive for American farmers to operate at a profitable level. This made importing shrimp a cheaper alternative and placed American farmers in a competitive disadvantage in the international market. In a NY Time article Dr. Addison L. Lawrence has figured out a simple solution to obtaining higher yields by re-configuring the same technology that was already available. Dr. Lawrence increased the volume of production by stacking the water tubs on top of each other and thus maximizing the use of the available space. This simple solution benefits all the industry’s stakeholders (American consumers, American farmers and the environment), by increasing the production level, lowering market prices and maintaining proper environmental stewardship.
I think that this water metering technology is a simple but innovative solution for better individual water management. The only drawback would be user incentive for those consumers in regions that are not currently affected by water stress. Those users tend to reside in more economically developed or affluent regions that could afford to buy the technology but are not motivated to do so due to plentiful clean water. On the other hand those that do need the technology are in less economically developed areas that can not afford the devices. In those situations I think that it would help the government by investing in the technology.
As is well understood, the greater the percentage of EV fuel derived from renewable sources, the greater the sustainability edge is to electrified transportation over fossil-fuel based transportation.
The need for separate electrical equipment to handle PV capture and EV charging is both a cost and a hassle barrier to adoption. Not all PV users drive EV’s, and not all EV drivers have roofs with PV panels but this is a population which will grow exponentially as both technologies improve and become ubiquitous.
The increased efficiency in EV charging by leveraging gathered solar energy at the point of collection is a material gain to the consumer/homeowner.
From the manufacturer:
The SolarEdge HD-Wave inverter with integrated EV charger offers homeowners the ability to charge electric vehicles up to six times faster than a standard Level 1 charger through an innovative solar boost mode that utilizes grid and PV charging simultaneously. This product is the first PV inverter-integrated EV charger.
The SolarEdge HD-Wave inverter-integrated EV charger reduces the hassle of installing a separate standalone EV charger and a PV inverter. Furthermore, it eliminates the need for additional wiring, conduit and a breaker installation. By installing an EV charger that is integrated with an inverter, no additional dedicated circuit breaker is needed, saving space and ruling out a potential upgrade to the main distribution panel.
2) Technology Summary:
Article: SolarEdge unveils inverter-integrated EV charger
Kuhn&Komatsu have developed a massive new all-electric mining vehicle known as the “E-Dumper”. I liked reading about this vehicle because it represents such a simple yet effective idea: heavy thing going downhill can store its energy through breaking (two birds one stone), and use that energy to put the now-lighter truck back up the hill (three birds one stone!).
-Mining trucks historically are absolute monsters of fossil fuel usage. They need immense power to remove tons and tons of material from mines.
-Much of the time a truck full of materials is going downhill to drop off its load, and then goes back uphill much lighter to be refilled. This downhill phase is very brake-intensive, and the uphill phase is a breeze comparatively.
-This new all electric engine contains a massive battery that charges when the truck moves downhill. Instead of conventional braking, the force of the braking is used to charge a battery.
-With this energy-producing framework, trucks with routes like this (heavy downhill light uphill) can actually generate clean energy that they store per day, effectively using none at all. Of course in actuality one should also expect cases where a heavy truck drives uphill and a light truck goes downhill, like when leaving a quarry, but this doesn’t change the fact that in some mining scenarios this truck consumes no energy and actually produces it.
Truck producers Kuhn & Komatsu
Electric utilities receiving excess electricity from trucks
1 – Assess feasibility of wide production of these huge batteries / their lifespans (is it worth it?)
2 – Market the truck to other mining outfits
3 – Develop a framework for mass production if one is not already in place.
1) Sustainability problem: Lack of access to clean drinking water. Area: Water
Billions of people around the world still lack access to clean drinking water around them.
Many have to travel for tens of kilometers just to access this resource.
Many of these areas are located in rural parts of the developing world which are also not connected to the grid (i.e, are un-electrified).
Arizona start-up called Zero Mass Water, has invented a solar-based system called Source, that absorbs moisture from the air and converts it into drinking water. It does not have to be hooked up to an electric grid or an existing water system.
It contains a solar panel that provides energy which drives air through a proprietary water-absorbing material and powers condensation of the extracted moisture into fluid.
The systems also contains a small lithium-ion battery to operate the device when the sun is not shining.
Windflock is a wind-energy system based on a modular structure with an open and flexible ‘add-on’ system made of mini windmills. The structure looks like a 3D crystal composition, and the assembly is described to be as easy as putting together LEGOs, and other mini windmills can be connected to each other, which makes the units widely accessible for buyers ranging from different skill levels. This Windflock may be located between buildings or atop them as part of the whole construction.
Main parts – rotor blades, engine/rotor, back wing
Turbines turn the kinetic wind energy into electric energy
Rotor blades spin and collect energy
Transfer it to the rotator
Transfer this natural energy into electrical energy
Department of Energy/Governments
Energy companies/Technology partners
Introduce this technology to governments, building owners, energy companies, and residents.
Establish a partnership with the governments/energy companies
Technologies: Offshore seaweed and microalgae farming, which has been around for many years, can lead to mass production of clean energy in the form of biofuels. Seaweed grows faster than land-based plants and sequesters large CO2 amounts as it does, decreasing carbon emissions in the air. Feeding cattle seaweed can reduce their methane emissions. Furthermore, these efforts could restore carbon-rich marine ecosystems.
US Department of Energy (who has already invested $1.5 million in this) & other governments
Farmers & wholesale buyers
Car companies & drivers
Disaster areas where energy is not available on land
Deployment first 3 steps:
Conduct further research to determine net benefits of seaweed, as well as effects on marine life.
Determine proper locations and times where seaweed can be harvested and create more commercialized farms with advanced components such as computer modeling and aquatic monitoring for better maintenance.
To begin using biofuels in cars however, more research must be done on improving the power density of this fuel source.
Comment on Dominic Bell’s “Fog Harvesting for Water Resources” Post:
I’ve seen this being used on the coastal areas of South America as well. This comes from a survival technique, similar to using a plastic bag to collect transpiration from nearby plants and trees or from rainwater. My only concern is how does this trapping of condensation, which acts as the main sink of atmospheric water, affect the water cycle and climate?
Over 30% of produce harvested is never consumed and every year, almost $30 billion worth, or 25 billion pounds, of fruits and vegetables are wasted. This happens even though there are about 42 million people who don’t have enough to eat in just the U.S. alone. Wasted produce also means that all the time, energy, money, and water put into cultivating it is also wasted. However, it is hard to avoid this problem because there are so many steps between the growth and consumption of produce.
Summary of Technology (Hazel Technologies):
FruitBrite and BerryBrite are essentially biodegradable and non-toxic packaging inserts that fit into fruit containers and emit ingredients to keep produce from spoiling without having to spray on any additional chemicals
The inserts allow the produce to last longer, which also means that the produce can have a greater range of area where they can be transported to and sold in before spoiling
FruitBrite is a time-release sachet that contains an ethylene blocker (ethylene is the gas given off by some fruits that speed up the ripening process)
FruitBrite can extend produce’s lifespan by 2-3 weeks and has been tested on various produces including apples, asparagus, broccoli, cherries, tomatoes, etc.
BerryBrite delivers controlled dose of a blend of natural essential oils that inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and molds in berries
BerryBrite extends the shelf life of berries by up to 3x, reduces disease and rot by up to 90%, and improves post-harvest firmness by up to 2x