Renewable energy from your sweat?

  1. Sustainability Issue: Energy

    Over 60 percent of our electricity comes from fossil fuels that generate greenhouse gases. It is now more important than ever to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that increase air pollution and the the effects of climate change. Renewable energy is one way to do that.

  2. Sustainability Technology: Wearable technology that produces power using sweat
  • Researchers at Tokyo University of Science tested a biofuel cell that uses lactate chemicals in sweat and a specific enzyme to create a chemical reaction and produce power.
  • This wearable tech is like a bandage that one can wear alongside an Apple Watch or a Fitbit and it uses the “capillary effect” method to transfer the sweat through the layers and create chemical reactions that transfers energy to the wearer’s wrist device (Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc).
  • Currently, the researchers have managed to power an activity meter for 1.5 hours using a drop of artificial sweat with their biofuel cells.
  • There is potential for this technology to work with not just smart watches, but other smart devices as well.
  • For more information, please see:

Video link for more information:

3. Stakeholders:

  • Researchers at Tokyo University of Science
  • Smart devices companies such as Apple and Fitbit and their designated team
  • Other investors of this technology
  • People wearing the technology

4. Steps in deploying the technology:

  • Procure more funding for continued research and testing
  • Team up with potential companies and test with upcoming product models
  • Gauge investors and create a marketing strategy

Uni: rm3851


Solar Lighting

  1. Area of Sustainability: Energy

    For most commercial buildings, lighting constitutes as the highest electricity user compared to other single uses. Additionally, many office buildings do not take advantage of daylighting, either because it is infeasible in some buildings or they don’t have the right design tools. Only employees sitting by the window receive natural sunlight. Studies show that daylight improves an occupant’s health and well being as well as productivity. An average person in the US spends over 90% indoors, without natural light.
  2. Technology Solution: Solar Lighting
  • Parans has developed a daylight system that uses fiber-optic cables that deliver natural light captured by solar roof collectors (pictured above). The sunlight collectors are designed track the sun’s movement and therefore capture maximum sunlight. The free and renewable resource that is sunlight, would therefore also lower a building’s total energy usage from lighting.
  • This technology can provide natural light to the interior of the building as well as the basement – the two areas that typically lack access natural light. This light can be distributed as Point Light, Ceiling Light and/or Wall Light.
  • Originally a Swedish company, the technology is being integrated in many parts of the world. Lumenomics has partnered with Parans and is now the US distributor of their daylight systems.
  • This system is being used in healthcare facilities like NICU at Denver’s Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center, at University of Arizona’s Innovative Health Sciences Building, and even in Rijnands Tunnel in Netherlands, where lighting is crucial to avoid accidents.
  • For more information, please see Paran’s website: and

3. Organizational Stakeholders:

  • Owners of buildings
  • Facilities Management Team
  • Occupants of the building
  • If its not a building, but an infrastructure project like the Rijnands Tunnel, then the local government and all contractors involved

4. First 3 steps in deploying this technology in a new building (since this technology already exists):

  • Setting up an initial meeting/call with Parans to gather more information
  • Assessment of the building
  • Installation of the lighting system according to preferred lighting spread (point, ceiling and/or wall)

Uni: rm3851

Is Green Hydrogen A Viable Energy Source?

Unlike fossil fuels which release CO2 to the atmosphere, the waste product of ‘burning’ hydrogen is water. However, making hydrogen takes energy. If that energy comes from renewable sources, for example through electrolysis of water using renewable electricity, then the hydrogen made is called green hydrogen, as very little CO2 is emitted in the process.

The efficiency of such ‘power-to-gas’ is 65-70% today. However, the efficiency of turning hydrogen to electricity or so called ‘gas-to-power’ is up to 50%. So the round-trip efficiency, electricity to hydrogen then back to electricity, is 30-35%. Transportation and liquefaction of hydrogen further require energy, making the overall efficiency even lower.1 However, considering fossil fuel to electricity efficiency is around 33-45%,2 and as technology improves, hydrogen has the potential to be an alternative to fossil fuels. There are many companies in this space, and in North America, Plug Power ( is adopting a vertically integrated business model, while Ballard Power Systems focuses on fuel cells for mid-to-heavy duty transportation sector (

Given solar and wind power have an intermittency issue and nuclear power has a bad wrap, hydrogen and solar/wind are complementary to each other. The EU issued ‘Hydrogen Strategy for a Climate Neutral Europe’ in August 2020, positioning hydrogen to play a significant role in replacing fossil fuels.3

For hydrogen to do that, several things need to happen. First the technology needs further efficiency improvement. Second, needed accompanying infrastructure needs to be developed such as fueling stations for hydrogen vehicles. Scaling of businesses and their facilities need to happen. And all these require capital. There are signs that all these are beginning to happen. For example, Enegix, a global renewable energy developer, signed an MOU with a local government in Brazil to invest $5.4B to develop a hydrogen production facility using solar and wind energy – the largest of such projects. The project is tied to another project of electricity generation.


Offshore Wind Power

Sustainability Issues

The demand for global energy is projected to keep increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 21% per year until 2021. In this worldwide quest for more renewable energy, offshore wind power stands as the future of the sector by producing 40% higher output than its onshore counterpart due to the abundance of space and greater, consistent wind resources. As the pioneer in offshore wind power, the EU has experienced huge offshore wind power expansion in recent years. 3,230 turbines are now installed and grid-connected in 11 countries, for a cumulative total of 11,027 MW. Currently, the US came onboard with its first offshore wind farm off Rhode Island in 2016.

Technology: Offshore Wind Turbine

  • Offshore wind speeds tend to be faster than on land. Small increases in wind speed yield large increases in energy production: a turbine in a 15-mph wind can generate twice as much energy as a turbine in a 12-mph wind. Faster wind speeds offshore mean much more energy can be generated.
  • Many coastal areas have very high energy needs. 53% of the United States’ population lives in coastal areas, with concentrations in major coastal cities. Building offshore wind farms in these areas can help to meet those energy needs from nearby sources.
  • Offshore wind farms have significantly smaller negative impact on aesthetics of the landscape compared to wind farms on land because most offshore wind farms are not visible from shore.
  • However, offshore wind farm remains very expensive to construct, maintain, and deliver energy back onshore


  • Department of Energy
  • Regional Utility Companies
  • Local Government
  • Legislation


  • Conduct a comprehensive study of offshore wind energy, select offshore locations with greatest wind potential and lowest environmental impact possible
  • Review existing regulation with regard to offshore project
  • Planning and Design
  • Form public-private-partnership between utility company and the local government


UNI: MH3730

Creating an IoT Network of Distributed Loads through EV Charging Stations

1. Sustainability problem: the contribution of the electric sector to climate change

Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our time. The electric sector is a key culprit in driving this path as the economic sector contributing more to climate change than any other sector in the U.S. More specifically, the sector accounts for approximately 30% of the U.S. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Decarbonizing the electricity sector, while also making the aging power grid more modern, smart, and resilient is a prime challenge and opportunity.

Category: Energy


2. Technology: IoT network of distributed loads through EV charging stations

Source: “eMotorWerks Acquired By Enel”, Clean Technica (

  • This article discusses a growth company called eMotorWerks, which provides electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSEs) – a.k.a. charging stations — and aggregates these distributed loads into an IoT platform called JuiceNet
  • The technology not only allows for the chargers to be remotely controlled and charge EVs at the most cost effective times, but it also connects all of the EVSEs into a network of storage capacity that can respond to information from the grid and provide demand response services to utilities
  • For EV owners, using eMotorWerks’ solution can lower the cost of ownership as participation in demand response can provide them with additional revenue streams
  • This kind of demand response platform will be increasingly valuable in balancing the grid as more intermittent renewable energy enters the system
  • The platform also helps create a more resilient and distributed grid and system of resources

Tags: #energy #renewableenergy #ev #evse #demandresponse #smartgrid

3. Organizational stakeholders

This technology has a variety of different stakeholders. Residential EV owners can buy eMotorWerks’ EVSEs for their own homes. Commercial owners of EV fleets and/or charging infrastructure can also buy these EVSEs, use the software, and participate in the platform. Another key stakeholder is the utility, which can take advantage of the demand response services provided by the JuiceNet charging network. Last, other OEMs are stakeholders because eMotorWerks’ technology can be used in white-label deals.

4. Deployment

  1. Integrate eMotorWerks’ solution with Enel (utility that just acquired them) to maximize the value of the demand management services
  2. Continue forging relationships with OEMs to grow the size of the network
  3. Build stronger relationships with potential commercial customers to ensure wide public availability of charging infrastructure

5. Comment on other post

I commented on “Clean Meat and the Future of Food”

The clean meat industry has already received quite a bit of attention from established investors. Memphis Meat has raised $22 M from investors including Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Cargill (agriculture firm), DFJ (VC firm), and other VC firms and angel investors. These investments have been attracted by the potential that this technology has to disrupt the trillion-dollar meat industry which will only grow as emerging markets develop and consume more meat.

Dynamic Buildings for a Sustainable Future


  1. Sustainability Problem: Energy.

As the world’s population continues to become more and more urbanized, cities are bearing most of the global energy burden, with buildings often being one of main energy consumers. In New York City for example, buildings are responsible for approximately 75% of the city’s GHG emissions, mainly due to energy use.


Dynamic Architecture has developed a revolutionary building idea that can help make the built environment more modern and sustainable.

  • In Dynamic’s building, each floor can rotate separately (upon demand), adjusting to the sun and wind directions to allow for enhanced natural temperature control.
  • Except for a concrete core, the entire building is made of prefabricated units. This allows for shorter onsite construction time and lower labor costs.
  • There is a wind turbine between each rotating building floor and solar ink on the roof surfaces, allowing for the building to be energy self-sufficient and potentially generate enough energy to power five additional buildings (this calculation is based on a building site in Dubai, different locations may have different energy generation potential).
  1. Organizational Stakeholders:

Local Government building and energy departments, utility companies, local real estate developers and investors.

  1. To deploy this technology, the first step is to get political buy in from top city officials to help cut through red tape in building permit approvals. Next, dynamic architecture should develop a partnership with a local real estate developer to help design a Dynamic building that meets a specific city’s needs. Lastly, a site and financing need to be secured before starting construction.


  1. Comment on post by mk3263: Energy Generating Walkway: No Footstep Wasted.

According to the article, this smart flooring solution can leverage pedestrian steps to generate enough energy to power public lighting. This made me wonder if with additional R&D, these “smart tiles” can be used to pave roads, allowing for moving vehicles on roads to generate renewable energy in a similar way. If prioritized for use in high traffic areas, perhaps this can produce enough energy not only to power street lighting but even entire cities. This would be an interesting opportunity to look into, as so much of our surfaces are covered by asphalt roads that provide no additional benefits to society.

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.

1000x-1 (1)




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


Safer and Better Performing Energy Storage Technologies


  1. Sustainability Problem: Rising energy demand and the need for incorporating more renewable energy in the electric grid is increasing the need for higher performing and safer energy storage devices. Category: Energy, Safety and Health
  1. Spinning a lighter, safer electrode

  • A group of researchers from Drexel University have created new fabric-like material electrode, intended to help energy storage devices such as cell phone batteries have better performance and reduce their inherent health and safety risks associated with the toxic and flammable electrolyte fluid they contain.
  • To get rid of this dangerous liquid, the team designed an energy storage device that consists of a thick ion-rich gel electrolyte absorbed in a fabric-like material made of carbon nanofibers, thus eliminating the risk of the device exploding or catching fire (as was recently demonstrated in Samsung Galaxy Note devices).
  • The technology also allows for lighter, more durable, and better performing energy storage devices, due to the lack of binding agents needed and ability to operate safely at extremely high temperatures (up to 300 degrees Celsius).

Additional ways this technology can be utilized

  • Energy storage in the built environment is one the largest barriers to the proliferation of renewable energy due to the intrinsic intermittency of solar and wind power technologies. In NYC, fire safety codes have been a limiting factor for the deployment of lithium-ion batteries in buildings. (see:
  • If the energy storage device created by the scientist team from Drexel University can be proven effective on a larger scale, not just in mobile device batteries, it can potentially help solve the fire safety issues of battery storage in buildings and support proliferation of renewable energy in the built environment.
  1. Stakeholders: Renewable energy companies, local government bodies regulating energy and buildings (i.e. NYSERDA, NYC DOT, FDNY), Building owners.
  2. Next Steps:
  • Research applicability of large-scale of liquid-free energy storage technology and develop energy storage devices using the technology.
  • Update building and fire codes to allow for the deployment of these devices in the built environment.
  • Provide subsidies for large scale liquid-free batteries to building owners and builders.
  1. Comment on post by js5079 – How Internet-of-Things technology can assist with Urban Rainfall and Stormwater Management Systems:

The sensors can also trace chemicals present in stormwater, and help determine how well the existing green infrastructure is performing. For example, if rainwater is prevented from entering the sewer system, or which green infrastructure designs are more appropriate for which types of precipitation (heavy vs. light rain, etc.).


Zero emissions Hydrogen-based liquid fuel

  1. Sustainability Problem: The energy mix is a significant problem that needs a quick resolution. The negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel have been scorned for the past decade. Many experts agree that the complete shift to renewable energy needs to be completed soon.
  2. HySiLabs has developed a technology that maintains the advantages of a liquid fuel, without generating emissions. It consists of a hydrogen-based liquid fuel system that releases hydrogen on-demand and consumes it directly for a wide range of applications. Due to its stable liquid and non-explosive nature, the HySiLabs fuel is easily transported and stored at standard conditions while employing well-known liquid-handling logistics and already-existing infrastructure. H2 fuel is a better liquid fuel alternative by adding the following aspects:
    • Zero emissions: the only non-emissions-generating liquid hydrogen source that requires no energy input to produce hydrogen.
    • Safety: avoiding the need to store explosive gas by producing it on demand and as needed
    • Transportable: similar to the liquid transportation and storing logistic
    • Easy to use: liquids can be stored at room temperature and atmospheric pressure



HySiLabs | InnoEnergy – pioneering change in sustainable energy

HySiLabs, the fuel of the future that comes from the South | ENGIE Innovation

  1. Stakeholders:
    • Energy players
    • Financial Industry
    • Technology Industry
    • Utility companies
    • Consumers all over the world
  2. Next steps:
    • Introduce this innovative technology to the market by establishing partnerships and investing in outreach
    • Quickly and efficiently scale up the solution to a mass market
    • Expand and strengthen the management team

By Timothy Wiranata

UNI: tw2618

Renewable Energy for Everyone

1. Sustainability Problem: Access to Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is a key piece of the puzzle to creating a low-carbon future. However, most people can’t personally support renewable energy for various reasons, including not being a homeowner or owning a home in a location that’s not suitable for renewable energy.

Category: Energy

2. Technology Summary

  • Technology company Arcadia Power has created an online platform that allows anyone living in the 50 states of the U.S. to support renewable energy projects when paying their utility bills (regardless of whether they buy or rent, where they live, their utility provides green energy options, etc.)
  • Customers pay their utility bills through Arcadia, who in turn pays the customer’s local utility for the energy the customer consumed. Meanwhile, Arcadia offsets (buys and retires) all of the consumed energy with certified RECs.
  • Navigating buying and retiring RECs is not something that individuals could easily do before this platform and participating in community solar projects is not available to anyone living anywhere in the U.S., as the projects tend to look for “local” subscribers.
  • Arcadia makes putting your weight behind renewable energy easy (you don’t have to switch your utility) at a reasonable cost (switching to 50% renewable energy is free, switching to 100% renewable energy costs 1.5c/kWh)
  • The customer also benefits from a streamlined analytics tool that shows how much energy the customer is using, environmental impact, and what projects the RECs are coming from.

Article: “Clean, Renewable Energy Has Never Been Easier”, San Diego Free Press (May 4, 2017):

I also used the company’s website to clarify aspects of the technology/business model:

Tags: #energy #renewableenergy #cleanenergy #RECs #technology #sustainability

3. Organizational Stakeholders That Will Need to Use the Technology

The company currently is targeting individuals (renters and homeowners). I could see this tool also being attractive to small- and medium-sized companies that can’t or don’t want to invest in solar panels on their roofs for similar reasons as individuals. Depending on the structure of the company, stakeholders to use the tool could be the facilities and/or finance departments.

4. Steps in Deploying This Technology

  1. Find project owners and developers to partner with to acquire their RECs
  2. Negotiate REC purchasing agreements with these partners
  3. Educate individuals and companies on renewable energy, RECs, and the platform to get them to try the free option first


Uni: gg2641