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

Sources:

Soliculture | Innovative Technology

http://www.soliculture.com/

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

https://news.ucsc.edu/2016/05/solar-greenhouse.html

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

https://news.ucsc.edu/2017/11/loik-greenhouse.html

  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!”

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Utilizing solar energy all night long

  1. Sustainability Problem: Energy storage
  2. Technology: A long-term solar energy harvesting and storage solution used by USC scientists is a cobalt-based metal-organic framework. It has been discovered that they are able to conduct electricity in the same way metals do. Thermal energy storage has been making new waves and is a promising addition for the future of solar power. This porous storage is highly concentrated: 1 gram of surface area = thousands of square feet in light and compact storage. The earth gets more energy from 1 hour of sunlight than is consumed in 1 year by the entire planet, but conservation of this energy for usage is the greatest battle.
  3. Stakeholders:
    • Energy generators and providers interested in these technologies if they can be somehow added into the electrical grid
    • Investors of renewable energies
    • Countries that are wholly dependent on fossil-fuels
    • Grid operators
    • Consumers
  4. Deployment steps:
    • Increase investor engagement in order to raise capital.
    • Conduct further R&D into this technology, as well as other solar energy storage technologies in order to improve the product.
    • Scale these technologies and put them to market.
  5. Response to ETG2132
    • This is a self-sufficient and decentralized step towards creating a smart grid that is reliable locally during a power outage. It does not create tension between energy generators and suppliers, grid operators, and consumers and service providers. Diving a larger central grid into smaller fragments makes it more effectively utilized. CSGriP shows potential for underserved areas, particularly in developing countries and is a great solution for incorporating renewables into the grid. I would be interested in the costs of scaling this project.

Solar Powered Trains

1) Sustainability problem: energy

2)

  • Indian Railways are installing solar panels on 250 local trains to reduce fuel costs and lower emissions. The energy will among other things be used to power lights and fans on the trains. The technology will help advance India’s renewable energy program, especially because the trains mainly will run in areas where there are no electrified tracks.
  • The Indian government has planned that 7000 railway stations will use solar power. By doing this, 25% of the Indian Railways can energy demands can potentially be covered by renewable energy sources by the year 2025.
  • Furthermore, India has stopped the construction of 14 new coal-fired power stations due to the favorable implementation of this technology. As India is such a large market, experts say that this can cause a large shift in the global energy markets.

3)

Stakeholders:

  • Railway companies
  • Solar panel companies
  • Energy companies

 

4)

Implementation:

  1. Incentivize railway companies to make this shift in energy policy
  2. Mount solar panels on train cars
  3. Provide proper maintenance of the solar panels so that they are always working optimally

 

Article reference: https://inhabitat.com/indian-railways-to-install-rooftop-solar-panels-on-250-trains/

5)

My comment on another article https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/30/cities-get-smart-by-prioritizing-mobility/comment-page-1/#comment-1348:

“This is a great start to making cities greener. As more and more people establish themselves in the larger cities there needs to be a shift in how people transport themselves from point A to B. Implementing bicycles as a preferred option in the city will also reap huge health benefits for the population as a whole. Health issues are increasing at almost the same pace that large cities are expanding, so this is a solution that can kill two birds with one stone, and help solve both issues at once.

 

UNI: ms5584

ABB Ability for Smart Solar Solutions

The Problem

Solar PV is a great low-carbon solution to provide power. The biggest drawback is the inability to have power when the sun is not shining. Advances in energy storage is helping that, but there still needs to be effective communication between the two systems to make it work as efficiently as possible.

The Solution

ABB’s Ability platform aims to optimize the communication among the generating Solar PV, the energy storage system, and distribution system. The platform allows communities, which typically cannot rely on Solar PV, access to electricity produced from Solar Panels. The system is built to withstand extreme environments and requires no operational know-how and little maintenance.

microgrid-for-remote-communities

Counter

Solar PV is often implemented in places where fossil fuels (kerosene, propane) have a history of providing cheap, reliable energy. Ensuring the selection of sites where Solar PV makes more economic sense than fossil fuels is key to have success. Additionally, there has to be a need in these areas for electricity.

Stakeholders

  • Remote Communities
  • Developing Countries
  • ABB

Implementation

  1. Identify locations where this is a good solution.
  2. Find financing.
  3. Install system.
  4. Setup billing procedure.
  5. Monitor and maintain.

Links

ABBs website

Forbes – Enthusiasm for Solar Micro Grids in Developing World Gets a Sobering Reality Check

Comment

On “Just When you Thought it Couldn’t Get Better… HomeBioGas 2.0”

Interesting idea. Seems like the big drawback is the 20 degree-C limit. How many people on Earth live in a climate where it doesn’t get below 20 degree-C for an extended period of time (night time)? I’m guessing that would cut out every where outside the tropics and most of the tropic region, too.

EV/PV integrated charging system

1) Sustainability Problem:

As is well understood, the greater the percentage of EV fuel derived from renewable sources, the greater the sustainability edge is to electrified transportation over fossil-fuel based transportation.

The need for separate electrical equipment to handle PV capture and EV charging is both a cost and a hassle barrier to adoption. Not all PV users drive EV’s, and not all EV drivers have roofs with PV panels but this is a population which will grow exponentially as both technologies improve and become ubiquitous.

The increased efficiency in EV charging by leveraging gathered solar energy at the point of collection is a material gain to the consumer/homeowner.
From the manufacturer:
The SolarEdge HD-Wave inverter with integrated EV charger offers homeowners the ability to charge electric vehicles up to six times faster than a standard Level 1 charger through an innovative solar boost mode that utilizes grid and PV charging simultaneously. This product is the first PV inverter-integrated EV charger.
The SolarEdge HD-Wave inverter-integrated EV charger reduces the hassle of installing a separate standalone EV charger and a PV inverter. Furthermore, it eliminates the need for additional wiring, conduit and a breaker installation. By installing an EV charger that is integrated with an inverter, no additional dedicated circuit breaker is needed, saving space and ruling out a potential upgrade to the main distribution panel.
Category: Energy

2) Technology Summary:

Article: SolarEdge unveils inverter-integrated EV charger
Website: PV Magazine
Tags: #electric vehicle #solar power

3) Organizational stakeholders

  1. utilities
  2. public service commission / regulators
  3. EV manufacturers
  4. PV manufacturers
  5. banks providing clean energy financing products

4) Steps in deploying this technology

  1. partner with solar installers to promote PV/EV option over standard grid connection
  2. develop innovating PV/EV rebate programs from state governments
  3. mandate utilities to market/offer inverter charging equipment
Related Resources:

Uni: jz2805

Using photosynthesis to convert CO2 into ethanol and ethylene

https://phys.org/news/2017-09-solar-to-fuel-recycles-co2-ethanol-ethylene.html

UNI – js5079 (Joshua Strake)

Sustainability Problems: Energy + Waste

  • The new technology enables sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into usable forms of liquid fuels, such as ethanol and ethylene.
  • Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Labs developed the technology, which has reached efficiencies as high as 5%, reducing CO2 to a hydrocarbon end product over a certain amount of sun-time.
  • The technology can also function in low-light settings, although the main interest in this case would be the reduction of CO2 and the ability to use Solar-powered fuels at any time of the day, so whether o not the technology works at night isn’t as relevant, since the byproduct of the technology (the fuel) can be used at night. THis helps solve the issues must-take forms of energy face.
  • The main science behinf the technology is a “copper-silver nanocoral cathode” which breaks the CO2 down, and “an iridium oxide nanotube anode, which oxidizes the water and creates oxygen”.

3. Organizational Stakeholders: Scientists at Berkeley, Developers/Manufactuers, the Government (DoE project).

4. Three potential steps to roll out:

1 – Get better at it. (Achieve higher efficiency, optimize build and design)

2 – Standardize a means of production at large scales

3 – Engage utilities and contract developers to begin working the technology into the energy industry.

SolarPuff: A Unique Little Solar Light

  1. Technology (http://www.solight-design.com/our-story)

This inflatable personal solar lamp, was designed through the integration of photovoltaics with thin film substrates. Inspired by origami balloon this water-resistant light source offers people without direct access to electricity, the ability to become less reliant on traditional expensive and pollution-intensive kerosene lanterns.

The collapsible-cube shaped lamp consists of 10 LEDs with a lithium polymer battery. The small cube weighs on 2.6oz and is made from PET which is both water-resistant and recyclable. It offers 3 different light settings, operated by a push button: 1 push for low, 2 for high and 3 for blinking or distress setting. On average, the SolarPuff will be fully charged in 8 hours of bright sunlight, providing 8 to 12 hours of light.

solarpuffs

  1. Sustainability Problem

Many communities without access to electricity (estimated 1.6 billion in the world) have to resort to the use of kerosene lanterns to light their homes. The lack of reliable lighting vastly limits their ability and options to carry out activities once the sun goes down. Furthermore, the burning of kerosene lanterns has severe knock on effects due to the toxic nature of the indoor air quality as a result – 2 million children reportedly die each year due to this. Not only an environmental problem, but also an economic one; these families spend 30% of their income on kerosene fuel. The SolarPuff can help alleviate these burdens by offering a free and safe alternative for lighting.

  1. Stakeholders
  • Partner NGOs
  • Community Leaders
  • Local Government
  • Development Aid donors
  • Consumers
  • Designers
  • Material researchers

 

  1. Implementation Process

Applicable in numerous different countries, across cultures and even income levels, the SolarPuff technology has huge potential as an innovative type of decentralized infrastructure. The clean design and flexible use options make it an attractive product to both the developed and developing world.

The organization has a website for online purchase of an individual or set of these solar lanterns. 10% of online sales goes to aid the mission. The products are also stocked in shops like the New York UN HQs gift store as well as the MoMA Design store. This entrepreneurial team works closely with local NGOs on the ground in places like Haiti, Ghana, Syria and Nepal, to distribute lights to refugees, disaster victims and communities disconnected from basic infrastructure. Appealing to both those who need them and those who want them, the design-oriented strategy of this technology allows it to maximize its reach.

solar-puff-demo

Sources:

Kickstarter, SolarPuff: A Unique Little Solar Light: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/solightdesign/solarpuff-a-unique-little-solar-light

Inhabitat, The foldable Solight Solarpuff solar-powered lantern provides off-grid light where there is no electricity: http://inhabitat.com/the-foldable-solight-solarpuff-solar-powered-lantern-provides-off-grid-light-where-there-is-no-electricity/

Inhabitat, Help kickstart this little SolarPuff lantern that could save the world: http://inhabitat.com/help-kickstart-this-little-solarpuff-lantern-that-could-save-the-world/

MoMA store, SolarPuff: https://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/ProductDisplay_SolarPuff_10451_10001_209093_-1_26715_11501