Phazr – Compact solar energy storage pack.

1) Sustainability problem: Cost of installing battery storage for solar energy. Area: Energy. 

  • The cost of lithium ion batteries in recent years has fallen from $1000 per kWh to around $200 per kWh.
  • Despite this falling cost, installation of batteries can cost a lot. The industry average is around $150 per kilowatt-hour just for installation costs at large scale, which is almost reaching parity with the price of the battery itself.

2)  Technology

  • The Phazr is a thin rectangular battery, 20 inches by 10 inches, that clips directly onto the back of a solar module. Phazr takes a distributed approach to storage.This cuts out the heavy lifting and more nuanced electrical work required to install many batteries
  •  Currently, there are two models: one designed for 60-cell solar panels that provides 300 watts power and 650 watt-hours of energy, and one designed for 72-cell solar panels at 350 watts and 810 watt-hours.​ Which gives about 2.3 hours of backup duration. Phazr uses a lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry, which is known for improved safety in its materials and thermal behavior compared to typical lithium-ion chemistries.
  • The install cost for Phazr is approximately $500 per kilowatt-hour all in. That includes parts and labor. The batteries utilize the same inverter as the solar, so no additional inverter purchase is necessary.

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/jlm-energy-batteries-on-solar-modules-phazr-storage-product-enphase#gs.RVsj8jE

3) Stakeholders

  • Solar panel manufacturers.
  • Large private businesses switching to solar energy.
  • States with large solar projects in their RPS.

4) Deployment 

  • Partner with large solar manufacturers so that Phazr can be installed along with their panels on large projects.
  •  Record cost savings achieved by using Phazr batteries and use this data to bid ti large private customers
  • Partner with states like California with large solar portfolios that need battery storage to meet demand during peak hours.

JV2610  COMMENT TO ANOTHER BLOG POST (Until we are able to pollute less – Smog Filtering Towers can help clean the air)

https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/11/25/until-we-are-able-to-pollute-less-smog-filtering-towers-can-help-clean-the-air/comment-page-1/#comment-1503

“By charging the Smog Free Tower with a small positive current, an electrode will send positive ions into the air. These ions will attach themselves to fine dust particles. A negatively charged surface -the counter electrode- will then draw the positive ions in, together with the fine dust particles. The fine dust that would normally harm us, is collected together with the ions and stored inside of the tower. This technology manages to capture ultra-fine smog particles which regular filter systems fail to do.”

 UNI – jv2610

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PipeGuard: Water pipe leak detection robot.

1) Sustainability problem: Detecting leaks in the aging water infrastructure posses financial and infrastructure problems to the city. Area: Water

  • Most city’s water distribution systems lose an average of 20 percent of their supply because of leaks.
  • These leaks not only make shortages worse but also can cause serious structural damage to buildings and roads by undermining foundations.
  • Leak detection systems currently in use are expensive and slow to operate, and don’t work well in systems that use wood, clay, or plastic pipes, which account for the majority of systems in the developing world.

2)  Technology

  • The PipeGuard is a small, rubbery robotic device that looks something like an oversized badminton birdie. The device can be inserted into the water system through any fire hydrant.
  • It then moves passively with the flow, logging its position as it goes. It detects even small variations in pressure by sensing the pull at the edges of its soft rubber skirt, which fills the diameter of of the pipe.
  • The device is then retrieved using a net through another hydrant, and its data is uploaded. No digging is required, and there is no need for any interruption of the water service. In addition to the passive device that is pushed by the water flow, the team also produced an active version that can control its motion.

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Sources:

  1. http://news.mit.edu/2017/robot-finds-leaks-water-pipes-0718

3) Stakeholders

  • City and local governments
  • Department of Water
  • Private citizens and local businesses.

4) Deployment 

  • Research cities who’s water infrastructure sustains the most loses due to leaks.
  • Bid for contracts with the Department in charge of the water infrastructure and the local governments to use the PipeGuard system in those areas
  • Research the scalability of the robot to other city systems such as gas pipelines.

JV2610  COMMENT TO ANOTHER BLOG POST (NEWater is tackling Island Nation’s Primary Challenge) https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/11/16/newater-is-tackling-island-nations-primary-challenge/#comments

“The process starts with sewage water that is filtered to extract larger particles, bacteria and viruses. Then, through reverse osmosis, membranes refine the water again, sifting out further contaminants and getting rid of any disease-causing agents. Finally, ultraviolet disinfection is used to make sure the water is truly pure and ready to use. The final product even exceeds the FAO’s safety standards.”

 UNI – jv2610

Surtrac – AI enabled traffic signals

1) Sustainability problem: Vehicular idling and congestion in traffic stops. Area: Civic Engagement, Mobility. 

  • Idling in rush-hour traffic  costs the U.S. economy $121 billion a year, mostly due to lost productivity
  • It also produces about 25 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.
  •  In many urban areas, drivers spend 40 percent of their time idling in traffic.

2)  Technology

  • The Surtrac or Scalable Urban Traffic Control system relies on computerized traffic lights coordinating closely with each other. Radar sensors and cameras at each light detect traffic. Sophisticated AI algorithms use that data to build a timing plan that moves all the vehicles it knows about through the intersection in the most efficient way possible.
  • Each signal then sends the data to traffic intersections downstream so they can plan ahead and can avoid congestion.
  • Surtrac system is interoperable and can use DSRC technology for Vehicle to infrastructure communication, where street signals “talk” and rely data to smart vehicles in real time.

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Sources:

  1. https://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/robotics/artificial-intelligence/pittsburgh-smart-traffic-signals-will-make-driving-less-boring

3) Stakeholders

  • City and local governments
  • Department of Transportation
  • Road transport commuters.

4) Deployment 

  • Research cities with highest intersection traffic congestion
  • Partner with the DOT and local governments to install the SURTRAC system in those areas
  • Reach production at scale so as to being down cost of installation of each SURTRAC unit.

JV2610  COMMENT TO ANOTHER BLOG POST (Bacteriophages improve food safety and animal health issues) :

“Antibiotic resistance is one of the major challenges facing the global health community and better alternatives are needed in order to prevent mass causalities from anti-biotic resistant bacteria. The Bacteriophages used in BAFASAL are viruses that need a bacterial cell to replicate. Once they infect a bacterial cell, they quickly replicate using the host cells RNA and other vital proteins and then “lys” or kill the bacteria when the new phages emerge from it. Proteon’s phage technology doesn’t affect the animal’s immune system.”

 UNI – jv2610

Renewable Energy Storage system using molten salt.

1) Sustainability problem: Battery storage capacity. Area: Energy

  • Existing electrical grids struggle with renewable energy, a vexing problem that’s driving demand for new storage methods.
  • Solar panels and wind farms churn out energy around midday and at night when demand lulls.
  • This forces utilities to discard it in favor of more predictable oil and coal plants and more controllable natural gas “peaker” plants.

2)  Technology

  •  Alphabet Inc.’s project named Malta, is working on a molten salt storage system. The system consists of two tanks that are filled with salt, and two are filled with antifreeze or a hydrocarbon liquid. The system takes in energy in the form of electricity and turns it into separate streams of hot and cold air.
  • The hot air heats up the salt, while the cold air cools the antifreeze.  By the flip of a switch the process can be reversed and hot and cold air rush toward each other, creating powerful gusts that spin a turbine and spit out electricity when the grid needs it.
  • Salt maintains its temperature well, so the system can store energy for many hours, and even days, depending on how insulated the tanks are.

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Sources:

  1. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-31/alphabet-wants-to-fix-renewable-energy-s-storage-problem-with-salt

3) Stakeholders

  • Governments and electric utilities.
  • Renewable energy generators.
  • Corporations and other private entities with onsite power generation facilities.

4) Deployment 

  • Achieving proof of concept and demonstrating scalability.
  • Securing capital to build out infrastructure.
  • Partner with public and private institutions.

 UNI – jv2610

 

Off grid solar powered water device – Zero Mass Water.

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).

2)  Technology

  •  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.

 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/harvesting-clean-water-from-air/

3) Stakeholders

  • Populations in areas with lack of access to clean drinking water.
  • Governments and municipalities.
  • Non-profit and international organizations.

4) Deployment 

  • Marketing campaign to increase awareness of products to relevant stakeholders.
  • Partner with local governments and NGOs to secure distribution and supply chain to remote parts of the world affected by this problem.
  • Have enough manufacturing capacity to ensure demand is met.

 UNI – jv2610

 

Tailend device to capture particulate matter and turn it into ink – Kaalink

1) Sustainability problem: Air pollution from particulate matter emissions of automobiles  Area: Safety and Health, Waste

  • Particulate matter emissions from automobiles can cause adverse health and environmental effects
  • Fine particles (PM2.5) are the main cause of reduced visibility (haze) in many parts of the world. They can also cause acidification of lakes, depleting nutrients in soil, damaging sensitive forests and farm crops, affecting the diversity of ecosystems and contributing to acid rain effects.
  • Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function, increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.

2)  Technology

  •  A tail end attachment device developed by Graviky Labs, named Kaalink, which captures the soot being emitted from automobiles.
  • The proprietary electrostatic filter captures pollutants from vehicles, reportedly without impacting engine performance.
  • The captured soot is then processed to remove dangerous metals and carcinogens, leaving behind carbon pigment used to manufacture what they call Air-Ink.

Sources:

1) https://www.dezeen.com/2017/03/08/graviky-labs-captures-air-pollution-turns-into-ink-design-products/

 

3) Stakeholders

  • Local Governments
  • Automobile owners
  • Health and safety officials
  • Environmental policymakers

4) Deployment 

  • Launch a marketing campaign to increase awareness of the product
  • Partnerships with cities and other large organizations to equip fleets with the tail-end device
  • Pricing the product at a low price point to make sure its use is ubiquitous.

 

UNI- jv2610

Road-powered electric vehicles (RPEV)

1) Sustainability problem: Battery cost, weight, and range have hindered widespread adoption of the EV Area: Energy

  • EV batteries pose the biggest hurdle in widespread adoption of EVs
  • They are bulky and expensive and have limited range
  • EVs need to be charged for far longer periods compared to gasoline-powered cars
  • The supply chain is risky as some of the critical elements required for the battery such as Cobalt and Rare earth elements come from either war-torn countries (DRC) or from monopolies (China)

2)  Technology

  • The network consists of 24 kilometers of road in the city of Gumi, South Korea, and for now, only the Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) developed by South Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) can run on them.
  • Power delivered by cables that are 12 inches below the surface of the road, the power is transmitted via Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR) also developed by the institute.
  • The underside of the OLEV bus is equipped with a pick-up coil that’s tuned to pick up that frequency, and thus AC electricity is produced via magnetic resonance.

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Sources:

1) https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/163171-worlds-first-road-powered-electric-vehicle-network-switches-on-in-south-korea

 

3) Stakeholders

  • EV manufacturers
  • EV customers
  • Governments
  • Public Transit users

4) Deployment 

  • The technology will first have to be shown as viable in a commercial scale project.
  • Infrastructure policy needs to be developed in order for roads to be retrofitted with this technology
  • Bus and car manufacturers need to be mandated to use this technology.

 

UNI- jv2610