Graphene battery storage:

Graphene structure photoGraphenano bike batteries image

Sustainability Problem: 

Currently used batteries such as lithium-ion and lead acid batteries take hours to charge and have short lifespan for charging and discharging. They can also be harmful to the environment.  Lithium-ion batteries are unstable and can explode and cause fire.

Technology:

Graphene battery storage is under production at Graphenano, a Spanish based company that develops diffierent technologies using graphene. Graphene is a monolayer carbon lattice that is harder than diamond. These new battery  offers much higher energy density than Lithium-ion (1000 Wh/kg vs. 200Wh/kg on a Tesla Model S), has no fire or explosion danger unlike Li-ion, and charges in minutes, lasts longer , and 3 to 5 times smaller than Li-ion battery.

These battery can be used for electric bikes, electric motorcycles, and to store solar energy. Grabat company shows advantages of graphene-based battery over other batteries:

Grabat say that their battery chemistry will drastically decrease charge times

Grabat suggest that the current energy density of their battery chemistry is far ahead of the competition

Sources:

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/graphene-battery-too-good-to-be-true

https://transportevolved.com/2016/05/05/tech-insight-are-graphene-batteries-just-around-the-corner-or-just-wishful-thinking/

Stakeholders:

  • Graphenano, Grabat, Chint companies
  • bicyclists, motorcycle drivers
  • residential solar system owners
  • researchers
  • government

Implementation: 

  1. More media exposure to encourage attractiveness  of graphene-based battery to the public.
  2. Full production of the battery will be underway by October.
  3. Continuous research to improve this battery to lower its cost.

Tesla’s CTO Just Backed A Startup That Makes An Ice Battery

Source: http://fortune.com/2016/08/03/tesla-cto-ice-battery/

Sustainability Problem

One of the biggest problem in electricity is the peak load. The grid has to meet all the demand every time and needs to be ready for that. So the difference between peak demand and normal time there are lots of power plants that are resting. Besides If  you shave even a small amount from peak demand and add it other times of the day it would same millions of dollars to government as the highest bidder who is helping to meeting highest demand on a certain time is the one who determines the cost of electricity to all of the power generators. This emphasizes the importance of storage.

Technology Article Summary

 

In this article a startup called Axiom Energy claims to find a solution for Supermarkets for the peak hour. Company sells technology that plugs into super market refrigeration units and uses tanks of frozen salt water as a way to store energy and lower supermarket energy bills.

During peak times this supermarkets shift to use this technology, frozen salt water tanks, to keep cool the refrigerators and at nigh when the demand and electricity prices are low they can freeze the tanks with electricity. They called it as Refrigeration Battery. It is basically using thermal energy.

Stakeholders

First supermarkets later it can be various places like data centers, cold storage units etc.

But on the big picture as it supports shaving on peak demand every tax payer would benefit.

Deployment

 

Right now although this is a new startup they are just getting their first commercial systems installed. (https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Axiom-Exergy-Raises-2.5M-For-Thermal-Energy-Storage). Besides they have got attention of celebrities of tech world thus i think the future is bright for them

 

Going back to your roots with Electricity-free Groundfridge

  1. Technology (http://inhabitat.com/groundfridge-lets-you-store-perishables-without-traditional-refrigeration/)

The Groundfridge created by Floris Schoonderbeek (the founder of Weltevree) is an innovative take on a traditional root cellar. The technology uses the insulating effect of soil and the cooling effect of groundwater. The temperature in the fridge remains stable year-round between 10 and 12° C (50 to 54° F). This is the ideal temperature for storing fruits, vegetables, wine and cheese. The unit has a storage capacity of 3,000 litres, which can hold the contents of 20 (European) refrigerators, that store 500 kg of food. This is equivalent to the harvest of a 250 m2 vegetable garden, which is enough to prepare 350 meals to feed a family of 5.

groundfridge-section-662x0_q70_crop-scale

  1. Sustainability Problem

With excess consumption and waste plaguing the food industry, this technology is part of a concept meant to encourage the modern homeowner to grow and store their own produce for a modern self-sufficient existence. It meets the requirements of people with their own vegetable garden, who choose to live in a modern and self-sustaining way.

Furthermore, the unit is electricity-free – another element of the Groundfridge which helps consumers reduce their impact on the environment. On average, 20 A grade EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Refrigerators combined, use 6,620 kWh annually. The Groundfridge performs the same feat completely without any electricity.

  1. Stakeholders
  • Urban farmers
  • Community garden owners
  • Consumers
  • Restaurant Industry
  1. Implementation Process

This product has a relatively exclusive reach due to its high cost (approximately $10, 000). It is currently being released to early-adopters in Belgium and the Netherlands and plan to go abroad by the end of 2016. I feel that the restaurant industry with larger budgets (especially the farm-to-table concept) may also be a viable avenue for the creators to explore, combining their sustainable approach to food storage with the idea of local sourcing and environmentally-conscious food consumption.

However the cost-savings associated with reduced electricity-use may eventually be able to offset the high upfront cost of the unit. The creators could also look into certain financing options which take into account the payback time.

As far as the technology is concerned, the feasibility of operations should also be explored in other climates. This, as well as high costs are some of the barriers to implementation.

ground-fridge16

Sources:

Off Grid World, Electricity-free Groundfridge Lets You Store Produce Without Traditional Refrigeration: https://www.offgridworld.com/electricity-free-groundfridge-lets-you-store-produce-without-traditional-refrigeration/

Weltevree, Groundfridge: http://www.weltevree.nl/US/collectie/groundfridge

Treehugger, Get back to your roots with the Groundfridge prefab root cellar: http://www.treehugger.com/kitchen-design/get-back-your-roots-groundfridge-prefab-root-cellar.html

Osmotic Power: A new source of clean energy

Sustainability Problem

The impacts of climate change are clearly visible in this day and age. Rising temperatures as a result of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas will only add to this problem.

Sustainable Technology

Researchers have developed a system that generates electricity from osmosis with unparalleled efficiency using seawater, fresh water, and a new type of membrane just 3 atoms thick.  A 1 m² membrane with 30% of its surface covered by nanopores should be able to produce 1MW of electricity. This is enough to power 50,000 standard energy-saving light bulbs.

Stakeholders

  • Investors
  • NGO’s
  • Electricity generation companies
  • Government

Implementation

  1. The effectiveness of this clean energy method has only been implemented on a small scale. The next phase would be to identify potential investors by attending energy efficient conferences.
  2. Identify a electricity generation company that is transition towards the usage of clean energy. Conduct a 6 month trial period during which time staff go the electricity generation company are trained. Provide workshops to further educate the employees in the company.
  3. Once the effectiveness of osmotic power as a means of clean energy is more apparent to the general public, continue to seek out more investors to increase large-scale implementation.

Reference

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160713143004.htm

CampStove: Turn fire into electricity using wood

1. Sustainability Problem: Access to Electricity

2.3 billion people across the world have unreliable or no access to electricity. 550 million mobile phone users live off-grid and often travel long distances and pay high fees for charging.

 

2. Technology solution: The BioLite HomeStove

The BioLite CampStove generates usable electricity for charging LED lights, mobile phones, and other personal devices. Burning only wood, the CampStove creates a smokeless campfire that can cook meals and boil water in minutes. Setup is easy, fuel is free, and flames are hyperefficient with performance on par with white gas stoves.

 

The stakeholders

  • Users
  • The company
  • Retailers
  • Local governments / NGOs to foster usage of this product

 

Deployment

  • The Biolite CampStove can be bought online, but only in North America and Europe. Key places like Africa are still off the distribution network.
  • According to their website,  the company aims to create distribution networks comprised of local BioLite teams and trusted partners to reach households that traditional retail models don’t.
  • Support from NGOs, retailers and local governments is key to allow distribution of the CampStove in areas with no connectivity and/or electricity.

 

Links

New Green Roof Technology Provides Electricity

plant energy

Problem: Household Dependence on Non-Renewable Energy

The problem lies in the fact households rely so much on non-renewable energy for their electricity needs. Consequently, non-renewable energy has a number of impacts on both the environment and human health. It is also non-replenishable, which will have economic repercussions.

Technology: “Plant Power: The New Technology Turning Green Roofs into Living Power Plants” by Lucy Ingham

A new technology, created by the company, Plant-e, uses living plants in green roofs, parks and other green spaces, to generate energy. The technology works by converting waste electrons and protons generated by bacteria in the soil into usable electricity. This harnessed electricity can be used to charge phones, power lights and cut down a house’s reliance on external electricity sources.

Stakeholders:

Plant-e tech engineers/designers

Technological partners

Investors

Parks, buildings and green spaces

Consumers of the technology

Implementation:

In order to implement this technology on a large-scale, a number of investors need to be introduced

So far, this technology has only been launched in the Netherlands, more marketing and campaigning should be implemented to push its use in the U.S and other countries

Create educational opportunities for the public to learn about the technology and see how they can implement it in their own communities

 Sources:

http://factor-tech.com/connected-world/23293-violin-strung-with-spiders-silk-enables-customisable-acoustics/

http://www.plant-e.com/en/about-plant-e/

 

Hybrid-Flywheel Energy Storage Plant

1. Technology

The hybrid-flywheel energy storage is the first grid-connected flywheel project in Europe, with its first operation in Ireland. SchwungradEnergie Limited is behind the project.  It is a 100% clean power source and has no direct fuel use or related emissions. It absorbs power, stores it and releases energy according to any grid requirements to rapidly inject energy, making it a flexible approach. Unlike a power plant, it operates as a shock absorber and dynamic energy support system.

2. Sustainability Problem

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates on average 6% of the electricity  during  transmission and distribution is lost annually. In 2015, 67% of electricity generated was from fossil fuels. With the depletion of such non-renewable resources, energy efficiency is imperative in at least prolonging their longevity until an alternative approach is found. The hybrid-flywheel is essentially an energy storage system- which releases energy to the grid when required, thereby improving efficient in both distribution and transmission.

3. Stakeholders

-City government and energy department officials

-Private investors of clean energy

-Engineers, energy consultants

4. Implementation

  • Ireland can be thought of as the pilot testing site since it is the first of its kind. Collect data for a period of 6 months to 1 year and publish data, making it visible to foreign investors.
  • To further increase awareness of the product, attend regional and global energy efficiency fairs and events.
  • Develop partnership with government officials (PPP’s) of growing smart cities and provide incentives (free 1 year maintenance/ consulting/ installation) to integrate it into the smart city electricity grid.

5. Reference

First Hybrid-Flywheel Energy Storage Plant Announced For Europe