Dirty Clothes and No Grid Access? No Problem!

Sustainability Technology: Yirego Corporation has developed a quick way to do laundry without using electricity.  With a holding capacity of up to 2kg (4.4 pounds), the Drumi, can do a load of lightly soiled clothes within about 5 minutes.  Pedal operated, the Drumi can handle 5L of water for each load.

Sustainability Issue: An estimated 1.2 billion people or 16% of the global population do not have access to electricity and most of them live in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia meaning without a significant change in infrastructure, they are unlikely to get grid access any time soon.  Doing laundry in the developing world is very time consuming and takes a lot of physical energy as well.  The laundress (or launder) has to find a water source, soak then scrub the clothes, wring them dry, and carry the clothes back to be dried out in the sun.  On top of all this, the harsh scrubbing process can compromise the structural integrity of the clothes being washed.  The Drumi drastically cut down on the time and physical activity.  The water can be collected separately, which is probably already a daily task, and the cleaning can be done at home.  With just a 5 minute cycle, approximately 5-6 loads (including hanging) can be done in one hour. Admittedly, the Drumi, at $140 is probably too expensive for some households, and financing would most likely be necessary, but a cost benefit analysis would likely show that it is a useful investment.

Sustainability Stakeholders: 

  • Families with limited or No Access to the Grid
  • Launders/Laundresses in Developing countries
  • Developmental Organizations
  • Rural Communities
  • Avid Campers
  • Mobile Home Residents
  • Urban Residents without Washer/Dryer

Implementation Steps:

  • Research a community in sub-Saharan Africa with a need for a better laundry system.
  • Find funding through a development grant using the research as a basis for need.
  • Establish a public/private partnership with Yirego
  • Work with local community and establish a working partner in region who can train, maintain, and distribute Drumi systems to families in the region.
  • Offer a financing package through the grant and private partnership
  • If successful, create the same model with other developing communities.

Sources:
http://laundry.reviewed.com/features/drumi-tiny-washing-machine-needs-no-electricity
http://www.yirego.com/drumi
http://opensourceecology.org/w/images/d/dd/Laundry.pdf

Comment on Other Blog Post:
https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/12/all-electric-mining-truck-produces-more-energy-than-it-consumes-via-regenerative-breaking/comment-page-1/#comment-1190

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A Building itself can be a power plant by waste-generated tech

1: Sustainability Problem

Area of sustainability category: Waste

Wherever you find humans, you find waste. And humans never run out of waste.  In the future, the majority of humans will live in megacities if we do not take any effective action to deal with the waste. To solve this problem, we should try to answer these questions that could we find a better way to handle the waste? Can we make waste decentralized and have it back at the building level so that nothing’s moving off-site?

2: Technology

  • SEaB energy offers a closed-loop system that essentially turns a neighborhood or business into its own power plant
  • SEaB makes waste decentralized and have it back at the building level so that nothings moving off-site
  • SEaB energy provides solutions that can eliminate a large amount of what would otherwise be thrown or flushed away and instead use the decomposition process to produce biogas that is converted into electricity

3: Stakeholders

  • Housing development
  • commercial stores such as supermarkets, restaurants which promise to generate a certain huge amount of waste every day
  • Government which aims to build a green, smart and sustainable cities

4: Process of implementation

  • Improve the technology to reach 100% energy re-production
  • publish reports on environmental-consciousness media to show the efficiency of this technology and arise the professionals’ interests
  • Attend the real estate conference to promote this technology

Reference:

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/turning-waste-into-energy-biogas

Comment on “Smart Yarn”: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/09/smart-yarn/

In the article, it also mentioned that the yarn could also incorporate with a Bluetooth transmitter critical information and transmit the information to the headquarter instantly. With the development of technology, we may expect more advanced IoTs added into this smart fabric.

World’s First and Largest Vacuum Air Cleaner #BT2443

1. Air pollution is the primary source of thousands of diseases and damages of the spacious of the planet earth and the largest source of the current global warming issue.

2. The Technology:
-Smog Free tower world’s first and largest air purifier (smog vacuum cleaner) is not only solving the air pollution, safety, and healthcare issue but also building awareness within the society through their jewelry with the Smog Diamond.
-The Dutch artist and innovator, Daan Roosegaarde believing that his creation will solve the issue of the billions of people’s rights to clean breath air.
– By sharing a Smog Free Ring, you donate 1000 m3 of clean air to the city. In 2017, Roosegaarde presents a new addition to Smog Free Project: the Smog Free Bicycle.
-Already working with one of the most polluted cities like Beijing and Shanghai

3. Stakeholders:
– State Governments
– City Governers
– Financial Institutions
– Citizens of the polluted cities
– Private sectors

4. Deployment:

– Collaborate with the government organizations and establish a long-term contract for the clean air projects investment using the smog-free tower.
– Educate citizens towards air pollution and harms
– Promote brand and using their nitch solving a worldwide issue through art and technology

Sources:

1.https://www.google.com/search?q=smog+free+tower&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi8pvr39LbWAhWp54MKHQ3CB9k4ChD8BQgMKAM&biw=1280&bih=624&dpr=2#imgrc=t4XNoainG8DIQM:
2. http://smartcityhub.com/sustainability/multiple-smog-free-towers-developed-across-parks-china/
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_pollution
4. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/pollution/
5. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/02/the-best-and-worst-countries-for-air-pollution-and-electricity-use
6. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/daan-roosegaarde-smog-free-project
7. https://www.studioroosegaarde.net/project/smog-free-project/info/

 

HOT SOLAR CELLS

Sustainable Problem: Energy Efficiency

By converting heat to focused beams of light, a new solar device could create cheap and continuous power.

Technology:

  • A solar power device that could theoretically double the efficiency of conventional solar cells
  • The new design could lead to inexpensive solar power that keeps working after the sun sets
  • Availability:10 to 15 years
  • Standard silicon solar cells mainly capture the visual light from violet to red. That and other factors mean that they can never turn more than around 32 percent of the energy in sunlight into electricity. The MIT device is still a crude prototype, operating at just 6.8 percent efficiency—but with various enhancements it could be roughly twice as efficient as conventional photovoltaics

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Stakeholder:

  • David Bierman, Marin Soljacic, and Evelyn Wang, MIT
  • Vladimir Shalaev, Purdue University
  • Andrej Lenert, University of Michigan
  • Ivan Celanovic, MIT

Deployment/Implementation

  • Develop technology fully and attract investors
  • Make technology most efficient
  • Implement into society at different levels

Sources:
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603497/10-breakthrough-technologies-2017-hot-solar-cells/

Comments to Fully Circular Furniture by ETG2132:

Circularity is embedded into the design of each and every Pentatonic piece — product components aid in the construction of each piece, eliminating the need for complicated assembly processes and chemical-laden glues and resins, while also minimizing unnecessary waste. What’s more, post-consumer materials are matched to products based on their unique properties and application possibilities.

UNI: AV2698

Windows as Solar panels

Sustainability problem:

Large commercial estates consume a lot of energy and in order to make these buildings energy neutral through use of solar panels, there is either insufficient roof surface or the cost of installing solar panels is too high.

Area of Sustainability: Energy

Technology:

  • A tech startup ‘Physee’ has designed a transparent solar-powered double paned window product called PowerWindows that can convert light into electricity and can generate enough power to make buildings energy neutral. The windows have solar cells installed in the edges at a specific angle that allows the incoming solar light to be efficiently transformed into electricity.
  • The cost of the wiring that brings power from the grid to such windows is considerable in large commercial estates, and investing in power-generating windows would currently be more feasible for commercial use.
  • PowerWindows can be integrated with SmartWindows, which is another product that has integrated smart sensors in the window that sense the outside environment. SmartWindows control inside systems, such as air-conditioning and sunblinds, based on information about the outside conditions around the building.
  • Another product is being developed that would be coated with a special material that transforms incoming visible light into near-infrared light. This is then transported toward the solar cells in the edges of the windows. This second generation is expected to triple the energy efficiency. The coating is based on the rare-earth metal thulium that has the ability to transform a broad spectrum of light into near-infrared light.

Articles:

https://www.livescience.com/59683-windows-double-as-solar-panels.html

http://www.climate-kic.org/start-ups/powerwindow/

Organizational stakeholders:

Real Estate owners, Energy companies, Commercial and Government establishments, Utility companies, Window Glass manufacturers, Educational institution, Media

Next steps:

  • PowerWindows is patented. Activating a buildings’ facades with solar cells will significantly contribute to making any building energy neutral. The windows can provide 50W per square meter, which can compensate up to 75% of the energy consumption of buildings, unlike solar panels that have a limited surface area for buildings or alternative smart window solutions that have low conversion efficiencies. A user can charge a phone per every square meter [11 square feet] two times a day by plugging their smartphones into the windows using USB ports.
  • A luminescent thin-film coating to produce clear and colorless windows can be integrated in the design of any building without compromising the functionality or esthetics thereof, making it highly suitable for the built environment.

Thermal Energy Storage System

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 10.44.24 PM

Sustainability Issue 

Category: Energy

Providing stable and clean energy in urban environment has been a great challenge for energy experts. This issue amplified by magnitudes during hot summers and cold winters when cities demand energy the most for cooling and heating. Due to highly uniformed life pattern of urban populations, energy demand usually peaks during noon when electricity-depend devices at office space are fully operating. During peak hours, fully-loaded grid also works less efficiently in delivering electricity. In order to alleviate burden of the grid during peak hours, utility companies have been imposing a surcharge per kWh but the issue remains far from resolved.

Technology Solution

  • IceBank by CALMAC is a Thermal Energy Storage (TES) works as a rechargeable battery for a building’s air-conditioning system.
  • During night time and off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper and cleaner, water that contains 25% ethylene or propylene glycol is cooled by a chiller.
  • The chilled solution then circulates inside the tank, which is essentially a water tank. to freeze 95% of the water uniformly. Fully charge the tank takes from 6 to 12 hours, depending on the size.
  • During the day-time peak hours, the glycol solution circulates through the storage tank deliver energy to the building, augmenting or offsetting electric chiller cooling.
  • A fan blows air over the coils to deliver cooling or heating to the occupant spaces just like traditional air-conditioning but without consuming expansive peak-hour electricity from the grid.
  • A similar process would also be accomplished during winter to provide heating.
  • Other types of Thermal Energy Storage(TES) also exist in by using phase change materials (PCMs) or chemical reactions to store thermal energy while water being the cheapest option.

Stakeholders 

  • Architect
  • Engineer
  • Building Owner
  • Energy Manager
  • Utility Company

Deployment 

  1. Systematically access feasibility of installing thermal energy storage in different buildings by architects and engineers.
  2. Form partnership with utility companies to provide financial incentives for buildings that equip with thermal energy storage.
  3. Work with building owners to determine the best TES option and start installation.

Source

https://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/IRENA-ETSAP%20Tech%20Brief%20E17%20Thermal%20Energy%20Storage.pdf

http://www.calmac.com/icebank-energy-storage-benefits

UNI: MH3730

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.