Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

1. Problem: Outdated Metering Infrastructure 

The electricity sector is approximately 25% of U.S. annual greenhouse gas emissions. Outdated energy infrastructure generates damaging environmental impacts with higher energy costs. Residential and commercial customers lack visibility of their energy consumption. Antiquated systems provide inaccurate meter readings that impact billing and generate operational and energy inefficiencies. As electric vehicle adoption increases alongside distributed energy generation sources, new measurement infrastructure is needed to prevent the grid from being overloaded. Utilities play a critical role in decarbonization yet face many challenges. 


2. Solution: Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) 

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) enables utilities to gain visibility of energy usage to make more informed decisions and meet customer demand. AMI enables utilities to predict outage risk and respond faster. AMI also provides customers more control over electricity consumption with new tools and techniques. Features include:

— Near real-time smart grid predictive management of energy supply and demand. 
— Edge computing over 5G networks to provide scalable IoT cloud integration. 
— Advanced streaming analytics with AI that collects and reacts to energy data. 
— Energy insights surfaced on a dashboard to inform data-driven decisions. 
— Platform to trade electricity among customers and provide energy services.

Smart Meters 

Smart meters are electronic devices that measure energy use with data captured in 15-minute intervals. This data is securely sent to portals that can be accessed by customers and utilities. As smart meters are widely adopted, utilities can provide customers energy at the lowest cost and lowest environmental impact. ConEdison is installing 5 million smart meters over the next year. 

3. Stakeholders

Key constituents in the AMI and smart meter ecosystem include:

— Utilities: ConEdison in New York, PG&E in California, and Oncor in Texas are examples of utility companies that provide AMI solutions and smart meters to customers.  
— Technology Providers: Companies such as IBM provide AMI cloud services and Siemens develop smart meters used by utility companies. 
— Commercial and Complex Billing Customers: These customers gain insights on cost and usage trends. This includes tracking consumption to uncover energy efficiency opportunities. 
— Residential Customers: These customers track near real-time energy usage with comparison to similar homes and saving tips.
— Electric Vehicle Charging Companies: Charging stations integrate AMI and smart meters to collect and share energy consumption data with utilities.
— Policymakers: Federal and State politicians impact the financing of energy budgets and the rollout of programs that promote AMI and smart meters. 


4. Implementation

Once a residential, commercial, or complex billing customer decides to get a smart meter, the following steps are taken:

1. The customer contacts the utility company to request smart meter installation availability.  
2. Once eligibility is confirmed, an approved vendor completes the installation on location. 
3. Approximately 2 weeks after installation, customers access tools on their account dashboard. 
4. Near real-time usage, comparison, and analysis data surface energy efficiency opportunities. 


Sources 
— Enable an advanced metering infrastructure. IBM: https://www.ibm.com/industries/energy/solutions/smart-metering
— Smart Meter Features and Benefits. ConEdison: https://www.coned.com/en/our-energy-future/technology-innovation/smart-meters/how-will-a-smart-meter-help-me
— Sources of Greenhouse Gases. EPA: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

Detecting Forest Fires using Wireless Sensor Networks

Sustainability Problem

Forest fires have adverse effects on a wide range of environmental, social, and economic assets and are 46% above the 10 year average so far in 2016 in the US.

Technology Article

http://www.libelium.com/wireless_sensor_networks_to_detec_forest_fires/ 

  • Most of the time forest fires are discovered too late because they have already spread.
  • Apart from prevention, early detection is the most effective way to minimize casualties and damages.
  • DIMAP-FactorLink, which under the name of SISVIA Vigilancia y Seguimiento Ambiental jointly commercialize projects for the environmental protection, have developed and integrated a forest fires detection system using the products of Libelium.
  • The covered area is about 210 hectares in the North Spain region, comprising the Communities of Asturias and Galicia.
  • The aim was to provide to different organizations of an environmental monitoring infrastructure, with capability to have alert management and to deliver early warning alarms.
  • The system has 3 main parts, the wireless sensor network, the communications network, and the reception center.

Stakeholders

  • DIMAP-FactorLink
  • Libelium
  • Residents of areas that are in danger of having forest fires
  • Fire fighters
  • Governments

Deployment

  • The companies form partnerships with governments and install the systems to monitor forest fires.
  • People are trained to use the technology.
  • These sensors and systems can be used in cities as well.

Other sources:

Smart hydration

1. Problem: Health & Safety

Individuals require vastly different amounts of water each day depending on their age, activity level, size and other factors such as pregnancy/medical conditions. This makes providing accurate recommendations to individuals difficult.
2. Pryme Vessyl prymeVessyl smart cups link biological data (age, weight, height, etc.) with data generated by fitness trackers to determine how much water a person should drink and when.
– The cup is outfitted with sensors that detect how much you’re drinking.
– If you aren’t drinking enough water, the cup will ping you.
– This solution may prove especially useful for athletes, pregnant/nursing women and others who require more hydration than the average person.
3. Stakeholders
– Athletes/athletic organizations
– The medical community
– Pryme (the manufacturers of Vessyl)
4. Implementation
– Target advertising of the device towards athletic societies, organizations and teams.
– Perform research on hydration needs associated with certain medical conditions.
– Develop compatibility with FitBit (currently only available for Apple Health and Jawbone)

Planter that Charges Smartphones

Sustainability Problem

The natural resources that are currently used to create the majority of the world’s electricity are scarce and not clean. Renewable energy sources are needed not only because they will not run out but also because they are clean.

Technology Article

Bioo is the world’s first planter that can charge your smartphone  by Cat DiStasio on 4/29/2016. 

http://inhabitat.com/bioo-is-the-worlds-first-planter-that-can-charge-your-smart-phone/

  • A startup based in Barcelona has created a planter that harnesses the power of photosynthesis and uses it to charge electronic devices.
  • The planter is able to charge a device up to 2 to 3 times a day and produces electricity during the day and night (5.0v, 1.0A).
  • It looks like a simple, average sized planter pot and has a USB port disguised as a rock.
  • The planter is expensive, it costs $135, but the idea of creating electricity from plants is an interesting one.

Stakeholders

  • Arkyne Technologies
  • Consumers of the product
  • Consumers of electricity

Deployment

  • Make the planters available for commercial use. You can only pre-order now, the products are expected to be ready for use in December 2016.
  • Get the planters in stores so they can be made and sold on a larger scale.
  • Investigate using the technology on a larger scale to create larger amounts of electricity to power items other than USB port device (a Dutch company is currently doing this).

Other sources:

Fighting a Megacity’s Pollution with Mega Panels

Sustainability Problem:

Air Pollution in major cities around the world has become and issue that affects the health of city dwellers.

Article Summary:

  • Plastic panels coated with titanium dioxide (TiO2) can be placed on building facades that react to sunlight.
  • This material breaks down nitrogen oxides and VOCs when it gets in contact with sunlight.
  • Byproduct of chemical reaction is a non toxic chemical (calcium nitrate), which will get washed away with rain

Stakeholders:

  • Government
  • Private entities
  • Public

Steps for deploying technology:

  1. Getting approval from city government
  2. Secure funding for the project
  3. Finding buildings with larger square footage and sunlight exposure

References:

http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/projects/fighting-a-megacitys-pollution-with-mega-panels_o

http://www.prosolve370e.com/

 

 

 

 

Water and Pollution in the Textile Dyeing Industry

parsons-airdye-7

Problem: Water Usage and Pollution Caused by Dyeing Textiles

Textile dyeing is estimated to cause 17-20% of the global industrial water pollution. Until recently, little attention was given to the environmentally harmful effects of the dyeing process, when it comes to chemicals, waste, and water usage.

Technology: 10 Awesome Innovations Changing the Future of Fashion” by Melissa Breyer

  • A new technology, AirDye developed in California by Colorep, works with proprietary dyes to transfer color with heat from paper to fabric in a one-step process.
  • Basically, it has created a software that “computes color recipes that reproduces the specified color reflectance curve on a target substrate”.
  • This process has the potential to save between 7 and 75 gallons of water in the dying of a pound of fabric. It can save energy and produces no harmful chemical by-products.
  • Furthermore, the technology uses 85 percent less energy than traditional dying methods.

Stakeholders:

  • AirDye tech engineers/designers
  • Colorep engineers
  • Technological partners
  • Investors
  • Fashion designers
  • Clothing retailers

Implementation:

  • In order to implement this technology on a large-scale, a number of investors need to be introduced
  • Fashion designers must begin to use the technology to introduce the innovation to the public and encourage its usage down the supply chain i.e. factories and low-end designers/retailers.  For example, AirDye has become a vital component to the designers Costello Tagliapietra and Gretchen Jones and was used for their Fall 2012 collection
  • Governments in countries that manufacture dyed textiles should subsidize this technology to consumers (factories and managers who buy it) so that it can bring down the price, encourage product development, establish familiarity of the product, ensure future customers and therefore be more easily implemented in the thousands of dyeing factories around the world.

Sources:

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/water-scarcity-fashion-industry

http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-fashion/10-awesome-innovations-changing-future-fashion.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=20376121