A greenhouse that lets you produce crops and electricity simultaneously

  1. Sustainability Problem: Food production will continue to be an exigent issue tied with population growth. The development of greenhouses has been revolutionary, but they are expensive to install and operate. Soliculture provides a sustainable solution that creates clean energy and optimizes growing practices.
  2. The LUMO technology commercialized by Soliculture and Solaria Corporation utilizes the Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs) to enhance light quality by converting green light to red light. The optimized light spectrum enhances power production from the solar panels and facilitates plant growth. Other features are as follows:
    • Reduces capital cost of installation – from solar energy incentives and grants
    • Offsets electricity bill with sustainable solar energy production
    • No harm on plants and energy production – positive effects on plant growth
    • Land use efficiency – co-producing crops and electricity
    • Energy monitoring with user-friendly online software


Soliculture | Innovative Technology


This solar greenhouse could change the way we eat | UCSC NewsCenter


Solar greenhouses generate electricity and grow crops at the same time, UC Santa Cruz study reveals | UCSC NewsCenter


  1. Stakeholders:
    • Citizens around the world
    • Urban farms
    • Agriculture industry
    • Energy Markets
    • Energy Industry
    • Building contractors and architects
    • Groceries and supermarkets
  2. Next steps:
    • Do a feasibility study and engage with stakeholders to improve relations
    • Reach an agreement on costs and economic outlook
    • Initiate pilot-scale project through government funding


By: Timothy Wiranata

UNI: tw2618

Comment on Conserving water, one shower at a time.:

“This is an innovative technology that building contractors should really think about when equipping shower heads in accommodation units. The technology does not only saves water but also saves money through savings on water/utility bill. The website even has a feature to count your annual savings!”



Sustainability issue: Mass transportation and energy.

Mass transportation as we know it today is tedious and requires a lot of waiting and adjusting oneself to the transportation companies fixed schedules. The routes are not always ideal for the passenger and there could be a lot of transfers needed to get from point A to B. Furthermore, because of the high demands of mass transportation, the trains/buses are packed with people and is not a comfortable way to travel. Sometimes one even has to wait for the next train because the first one was full.


Technology: The Hyperloop One

  • Elon Musk from SpaceX has proposed a new technology that will be able to move people at great speeds for a low price.
  • The people will sit in a levitated pod that travels through a low-pressure tube at airplane speed using an electric motor. This will get you where you need to be, in a couple of blinks of the eye.
  • The full system testing is scheduled for 2017, and has a goal of moving passengers in 2021. Routes are currently under development in five countries.
  • The Hyperloop will operate on demand, which will reduce the wait times as it does not stick to a fixed schedule.
  • More cost- and energy efficient than trains, as it need little energy to function.

3)  Stakeholders

  • Engineers
  • Manufacturing companies
  • City infrastructure planners
  • Utility companies

4) Implementation

  1. Create and test the Hyperloop to make it safe
  2. Infrastructure planning, find out where to place the rails
  3. Market the technology to the population as a safe and fast option for mass transportation


Link to technology: Hyperloop explained, Hyperloop-one.com:  https://hyperloop-one.com/hyperloop-explained

Supporting article: Elon Musk’s Hyperloop pusher pod hit an impressive 220 mph in new test run, Mashable.com: http://mashable.com/2017/08/31/tesla-spacex-hyperloop-pod-sets-record-elon-musk/#zL0LPW.nVsqz

UNI: ms5584

My comment on another article: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/11/the-car-as-an-ambient-sensing-platform/#respond

“This technology could also be used in the future to make self-driving cars safer. They could do this by analyzing the other cars in the environment and then be able to brake in time if it senses danger. The cars will be able to forecast dangers and react faster than a human could, and will thus increase the general traffic safety.”

Let’s Cool Down to Power Up!

Sustainability Problem: Energy

According to the EIA, the world will see a 48% increase in energy consumption by 2040!  Our reliance on fossil fuels must be mitigated by introducing different and cleaner for of energy.  Even though, the growth rate is higher among renewables, most of the energy market share (3 quarters) is still compromised of dirty energy.  We must take advantage of all sound forms of renewable energy to reduce our GHG footprint and ensure a more promising & stable future.

Sustainability Technology: Be Cool Air-conditioning Unit That Generates Electricity

Be Power Tech, a start-up company in Florida, has developed a unique piece of technology which not only does the job of a traditional air-conditioner, but also doubles as an electricity generator.  It runs on natural gas which helps reduce reliance on the centralized power grid especially during peak usage.  And to boot, it can also be used as a heating unit eliminating the need for a boiler.

This air-conditioning system eliminates the use of a conventional compressor and instead opts for an “innovative desiccant-enhanced evaporative cooler”.  Which means that the system uses water evaporation and not a refrigerant to achieve colder temperatures within buildings.  The hot dry air is cooled by the water and returned as cold and humid air.

Of course, since evaporative cooling requires that the outside air be hot and dry, areas with high humidity are effectively ruled out as potential markets.  To avoid this drawback, the system uses a desiccant (a substance that induces or sustains dryness) to suck water out of the air before it begins its cooling process.

Next step is removal of the water to dry out the desiccant. This is accomplished by taking the waste heat generated by a natural gas fuel cell which evaporates the water and in doing so it strips electrons from the hydrocarbon gas converting them into electricity.  What can’t be converted, is expelled as heat; however, the technology converts 50% of the incoming chemical energy into electricity which can be used to power the building.

Because this technology is easy to install, building owners are likely be more open to its adoption.  Less energy usage, lower costs for natural gas, and leveraging the electricity benefits from this technology are huge monetary and high efficiency initiatives for building owners.

“EIA projects 48% increase in world energy consumption by 2040.”. EIA – Today in Energy, 5/12/2016, https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26212
“The Air Conditioner That Makes Electricity”, Scientific American, 7/19/2016   https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/html/


  • Building Owners looking for cost-effective solutions as energy prices increase
  • Cities wanting to meet their low-energy goals
  • Individual consumers who are environmentally and financially conscious of their household energy consumption

Technology Implementation & Distribution:

Reach out to building owners to not only demonstrate the technology, but also provide an ROI which further depicts the cost benefit of installing and running this system versus the traditional one.

Engage with city officials to showcase the potential for this innovation on both an environmental and financial scale.  Additionally, seek their support to push out this product to building owners within the city boundaries.

Ensure that the company can meet implementation demands in a seamless fashion and keep up communication with clients.  Feedback communication is imperative especially when involving the implementation of electrical energy from a secondary source.

By: Bhoomi Shah, UNI: brs2147


Comment on “A Building Itself Can Be a Power Plant by Waste Generated Tech” by LY242

Exquisite idea, as I’m in love with any closed-loop system.  On a more practical viewpoint, a significant amount of energy, transportation, and costs are saved when waste is taken care of at site.  Cities like NY, which are looking to meet their 2030 green goals are likely to bite at this theoretically efficient technology.

Passive houses – Isolated and Energy Saving

Sustainability problem: Energy

Excessive energy consumption is an issue that needs to be sorted within the next decades. In our technology-driven society we use increasingly more electronic apparatuses in our daily life, and in addition our climate is getting more unstable. These things are making our demand for power grow. However, we do not have an unlimited energy source, and most people do not live in homes that makes this energy consumption efficient. Most buildings are not sufficiently isolated against the heat and cold, making electricity demand shoot through the roof on the hottest and coldest days. Power demanding AC-s or heaters are being turned on.

  • The article attached, explains the technology of one solution to this: the “passive houses”. These are isolated houses that are claimed to reduce energy consumption with 90%.
  • Among other things, the houses take advantage of the sunshine that comes in through your window and heats up the house, making heaters superfluous. It also has a ventilation system that makes sure the house has sufficient circulation of fresh air, which will be beneficial for the health of the residents. In colder climates, this fresh air can also be heated up first utilizing ground heat. It can then be dispersed through the house heating it up with fresh air.
  • It has both energy- and cost-saving long-term benefits, and will not be a very costly technology to implement in new homes.


  • Material manufacturers
  • Utility companies
  • Home owners
  • Architect companies
  • Carpenters and contractors


  1. Educate contractors about the passive house standard.
  2. Get governmental policy makers to work to make this housing technology the new standard.
  3. Educate architects and building designers to know how to design the house to best take advantage of the passive house principle.


Main article about the technology:

https://passipedia.org/basics/what_is_a_passive_house , “What is a Passive House?”, Passipedia.org, Last modified: July 6th, 2017

Supporting articles:

http://www.greenhomeguide.com/know-how/article/the-passive-house-what-it-is-and-why-you-should-care, “The Passive House, What Is It and Why Should You Care?”, Greenhomeguide.com, August 10th, 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/garden/the-passive-house-sealed-for-freshness.html?mcubz=3, “The Passive Houses: Sealed for Freshness”, NYTimes.com, August 14th, 2013

Image sourcehttps://passipedia.org/basics/what_is_a_passive_house , “What is a Passive House?”, Passipedia.org, Last modified: July 6th, 2017

UNI: ms5584


My comment on this blogpost: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/09/28/smog-eating-skyscrapers/

“I think this is a great idea, and it is so easy to implement. Hopefully more skyscrapers will use this technology in the future. This will have the ability to somewhat limit the effect the fossil fueled cars and other machines have on the environment as a percentage of the CO2 will be absorbed by the skyscrapers.”

Lucid’s BuildingOS will reduce energy consumption in city-owned buildings

Sustainability Technology:

Lucid’s BuildingOS is a data and analytics program that helps optimize building performance by providing increased visibility and streamlining the data into one platform.

Sustainability Problem: Energy Consumption in Buildings

Buildings consume 40% of energy in the United States. This problem needs to be addressed in order for cities to become more sustainable. The smartest way to bring down energy consumption in buildings is to reduce use for heating, cooling, and lighting. BuildingOS’s secure platform uses real time data, analytics, and charts to enable building managers access to both present and historical data in order to benchmark progress. The program can be integrated with multiple utility bills, building systems, and sub-metering data to track both energy demand and consumption. Moreover, the building data can be normalized to varying weather conditions so the data can be compared over different time periods in a more exact way. The Lucid platform also provides financial analysis tools to show cost benefits to energy reduction over time and across building systems.


  • Commercial Building Owners
  • Management Companies
  • Commercial Tenants
  • City Utility Companies

Process of Implementation For New York City Owned Buildings in order to meet PLANYC 2030 goals:

  • Establish a public-private partnership between New York City, Con Edison and Lucid Energy Solutions in order to implement use of BuildingOS in city-owned buildings.
  • Identify several city-owned buildings for initial roll-out and testing with special attention paid to security of the platform, functionality with existing building systems, and usability by custodial and management staff.
  • After step 2 is implemented and tested for 6-12 months, if successful, initiate further rollout across the city, working one borough at a time. In order for this initiative to be effective, trainings and workshops will be held simultaneously to prepare building operators and managers on the use of the new platform.
  • Use BuildingOS in all city-owned buildings to manage and benchmark energy reduction progress and to help the city achieve the energy goals set out by PLANYC 2030.

Company Website: https://lucidconnects.com/

Organic mega flow battery

Sustainability Problem

Depleting fossil fuels and its consequent  environmental impacts on climate change means alternative sources of energy need to be found, and soon.


The organic mega flow battery is an economically feasible option for storing  energy. This is particularly useful for renewable technologies such as solar power and wind power which rely on sunlight and wind power. Essentially, the flow battery stores the excess energy generated from these technologies and is available when either sunlight or wind is unavailable. They are much more efficient than the traditional batteries used to store energy from wind and solar power.


  • Energy companies and consultants
  • Energy consumers
  • Investors
  • Government


  1. Conduct a pilot test and use it to complement one of the ongoing solar projects in a region- possibly Africa (Tanzania) which has abundant solar projects.
  2. Collect data analytics and present data in energy conferences to attract investors
  3. Collaborate with city governments and implement with an upcoming Smart City project.



Home battery for self consumption-sonnenBatterian

1. Sustainability Problem

Dependance on fossil fuel to generate electricity is a global issue that needs to be addressed, considering the high rate of depletion as well as the impact on climate change.

2. Technology

The German battery company Sonnet launched a home battery for self consumption at a 40% reduced cost. The battery is basically an “eco pack” that is designed to maximise on-site solar consumption in markets where net metering is being phased out. The sonnenBatterien can optimise the energy supply and demand to such a degree that an integration of 100% renewable energy within a community is possible – 24/7. This will reduce dependance on fossil fuels and improve air quality.

3. Stakeholders

  • Clean energy providers
  • Residents
  • Businesses
  • NGO
  • Government

4. Deployment

  • Extensive testing of the product in households. Additionally integrate into businesses to see how well it fits into large systems. Report on costs saved and amount of fossil fuel consumption reduction.
  • Once data on this has been publicised, continue increasing awareness of product by attending energy efficiency conferences.
  • Current pricing of installing is quite high, therefore partnering with another company  with similar interests may be in the best interest at the beginning phase of implementation. This will allow you to minimise risks as well as provide a temporary financial cushion when installation prices are reduced.




Smartflower POP Solar System

Sustainability Problems:

The use of fossil fuel for generating electricity contributes to climate change. Although many people can install solar panels on their rooftops, some cannot do it due to issues with roof structures or shading from nearby buildings. As well, rooftop PV usually have an efficiency of 25% or less.

flower POP

Image Source: smartflower POP

 Technology:  Portable Smatflower POP Solar System Produces 40% More Energy

The smartflower POP system automatically sprouts to open itself as an 18-square meter flower-like array as the sun rises. Every morning it also cleans itself. With a dual-axis tilting system it tracks and faces the sun throughout the day for maximum efficiency.

Being portable, it can be brought by the owners to their next home when they move.  It has batteries that collect excess energy during the day and so power can be available at night. Aside from these features, the owners can monitor their energy accumulation, usage and direct it to whatever use they want, whenever. They can charge their car at night and use it during the day.





  • Homeowners
  • Business-owners
  • Government offices
  • Researchers
  • Policymakers


Propose the first 3 steps in deploying this technology.

1) Although the costs for installing solar panels are plummeting, there is still a need to do more research on how to make this technology available to most people. Dual-axis tracking is expensive so research on how to make this technology less expensive should be done. Cost can also be reduced by using efficient but less expensive batteries. Further research on how to reduce battery cost and tracking system should be accelerated.

2) Research on designing similar portable solar system should also be taken in order to increase competition and reduce the price of this technology.

3) Government and policymakers can help homeowners and business-owners through incentives on the use of clean energy such as sales tax exemptions or rebates.



Clothing that wirelessly charges your phone

1.Sustainability Problem

Energy production through the usage of fossil fuels is an issue which needs to be addressed, especially with its remaining lifespan and consequent impacts on climate change. The clothing acts as a mobile charging station which is more energy efficient in terms of recharging a phone to full battery (takes on average 2 hours for full charge) and does not rely on fossil fuels.

2) The technology

The rechargeable clothing was founded by a startup in Seattle called Baubax. The clothing, which is machine washable, has copper wire built into it and a wireless charging pad that’s stitched inside a pocket. The power source is a battery bank, which is conveniently sized to fit in a wallet. Up to 3 charges can be made before the battery pack is to recharged. Additionally, once the phone has become fully charged, it will automatically stop distributing energy to the phone , ensuring energy efficiency. Additionally it can charge multiple electrical devices at the same time, including smartwatches.

3) Stakeholders

  • Customers
  • Investors
  • NGO’s
  • Businesses interested in energy efficiency

4) Implementation

  • Continue pilot testing of the product for 6-12 months. Garner support from health organisations showing there are no side effects to charging phones via this method.
  • Release data on energy saved annually through this method in relation to the customary plug-in to wall.
  • Partner with a leading clothing line interested in energy conservation. Provide discount incentives for installion of the product in the clothing for the first one year. If demand surpasses expectations, then create a contract whereby both parties benefit.
  • Attend energy conferences to increase awareness of the product and attract new potential investors.

5) Reference


Biomimetic Membrane will Lower Water Purification Costs

Sustainability Problem

  • Only 2.5% of the Earth’s water is fresh.
  • According to the United Nations’ Sustainability Goals, 1 in 10 (663 million people) lack improved drinking water. Approximately half of the world’s population may be at risk of a water crisis by 2025.

Summary of “Highly Efficient Nature-Inspired Membrane Could Potentially Lower Cost of Water Purification by 30%” published in Phys.org

  • Traditional methods to treat water through high-hydraulic or osmotic process incur huge energy costs. High water pressure is required to force water through filtering membranes. The additional energy generation increases air pollution.
  • A team led by Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering associate professor, Tong Yen Wah, constructed a new biomimetic membrane that copies the natural process performed by the roots of mangrove trees. Mangrove trees utilize aquaporin to filter between 90 and 95% of the salt at its roots.
  • The new membrane is embedded with nano-sized aquaporin-vesicles offering a stable and functional ultrafiltration substrate.
  • The aquaporin-incorporated biomimetic membrane enables the water to pass through more efficiently at lower pressures, which decreases the amount of energy required to purify (30% reduction). The membrane also decreases salt leakage.


  • Arid regions
  • Governmental bodies
  • Water service providers
  • Water reclamation site developers
  • Humanity, particularly the urban poor
  • The environment


  • The material can be used in industrial application for wastewater treatment and desalination and a full-scale pilot will be developed in partnership with a US-based company by 2018.