Solar-powered Vertical City is a self-sustaining, green-infused tower planted into the ocean floor

  1. Sustainability Problem: With rising sea levels and the ever-increasing population growth, alternative living solutions are in dire need. Italian architect Luca Curci has just unveiled a design that envisions a soaring zero-energy tower infused with greenery on each level that will be planted into the sea floor, resulting in what could be the future of self-contained architecture.
  2. The Vertical City tower is designed to reach a height of 2,460 feet with 180 floors. The tower will be layered with a membrane of photovoltaic glass to ensure there is sufficient energy for the entire building. Other features are as follows:
    • 190,000 square feet of mixed-use floor surface
    • Natural lighting due to perforated slots throughout the exterior
    • 66,000 feet of outdoor green space
    • Access possible through water, land or air

Sources:

Solar Vertical City is a self-contained, green-infused tower planted into the ocean floor| Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

https://inhabitat.com/luca-curci-envisions-a-living-vertical-city-powered-by-the-sun/

Vertical City | Luca Curci Achitects

http://www.lucacurci.com/portfolio/vertical-city.html

  1. Stakeholders:
    • Citizens around the world
    • The Gulf countries
    • Global and Local government
    • Building contractors and architects
    • Engineers
  2. Next steps:
    • Do a feasibility study and engage with stakeholders to improve relations
    • Reach an agreement on costs and economic outlook
    • Initiate the project or decrease scale of project (if denied by government)

 

By: Timothy Wiranata

UNI: tw2618

Comment on OLLI – the self-driving electric mini bus:

“A very innovative idea! However, my concern is, how would Olli cater to many different passengers’ destinations? Will it be able to find the most optimal route to drop each passenger (like Via)? Or will it drop the passengers one by one according to when they stepped into the bus?”

 

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

 

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

 

 

Biology Inspired Cooling Technology

Article:
Solar-powered Mistbox slashes summer cooling costs

by Katie Medlock, Published 5/22/2016 on inhabitat at http://inhabitat.com/solar-powered-mistbox-slashes-summer-cooling-costs/

1. Sustainability Problem: Energy

Rising temperatures increase energy demand for air cooling methods. The hotter it gets, the more energy it takes for condenser units to produce cold air.

2. Technology: Mistbox

  • Using the concept of human perspiration-evaporation cooling method, Mistbox created an affordable and easy to install device to mist any style AC unit
  • Self-manages to determine when your AC unit needs some help and will emit mist to cool the air around the unit and in-turn increase the cooling capacity of the system and use less energy
  • Completely solar powered, and qualifies for a tax credit
  • Saves 30% or more on monthly energy bills and comes with an app to track your savings, pays for itself within on summer!

3. Stakeholders

  • Cooling system manufacturers
  • Mistbox investors and employees
  • Energy companies
  • Potential, future and current AC unit owners

4. Deployment

  • Distribute to large and popular home improvement and home good stores
  • Increase awareness of Mistbox technology, savings, and tax credits
  • Teach people how to install the technology to existing units

 

San Francisco Water Woes

1920px-san_francisco_downtown2c_and_golden_gate_bridge_early_morning_panorama

  1. Sustainability problem: Unsustainable water sourcing for the San Francisco Bay Area
  • California has faced record-breaking droughts putting stress on existing water sources.
  • Existing water resources cannot be used at current rates without depleting long-term capacity.
  • Most of the water resources available to the city are far away and used by other municipalities. Water is not collected or controlled locally

 

  1. The technology: Advanced Fog Collection

“How to get fresh water out of thin air” MIT News [ http://news.mit.edu/2013/how-to-get-fresh-water-out-of-thin-air-0830 ]

  • Fog collection is an ancient practice, but recent advances in materials science can make fog collection more efficient for use in densely populated areas.
  • San Francisco is surrounded by seawater, but does not have much fresh water. However, it experiences fog clouds that derive from evaporated seawater that blows inland from the Pacific Ocean.
  • Unlike existing desalination methods, no energy is required to collect fog, as it takes advantage of the sun’s energy to desalinate the water.  Fog collection methods are affordable and require little maintenance. They are easy to install on both small and large scales.
  • Innovators at M.I.T. have optimized the material characteristics and mesh-size of fog-catching nets to produce more water in a smaller space, and reduce evaporation off the nets back into the air. These new methods can extract up to 10% of the water in fog and triple the collection capabilities of existing methods. 

 

  1. Organizational stakeholders:
  • City Water Authority
  • Consumers
  • Property owners and developers
  • Environmental organizations

 

  1. Steps to deploy the technology:
  • Step 1: Identify areas that receive the most fog and relevant building codes.
  • Step 2: Identify pilot partners to install roof top fog collectors and MIT researchers and patent holders willing to pilot their designs and integrate them into a water system. Partnerships may be made with those who have or are looking to build green roofs, as water can be collected and distributed on the roof without creating new piping systems.
  • Step 3: Launch pilot with willing partners and optimal locations identified in Steps 1 and 2.

Parabosol: providing safe drinking water in remote areas

Technology: Parabosol is a portable solar powered water treatment system for use in remote areas.

  • Physical and purifying filtration is conducted by using a parabolic mirror that boils water at a temperature up to 400 degree Celsius.
  • The water first passes through a sand filter to catch particles.
  • Secondly, the water is collected in a water container where it is purified using the steam generated by the parabolic mirror.
  • And lastly, the water passes through a carbon filter to remove odor-dissolved gases.
  • The system consists of one contaminated water container, one purification container and two clean water containers.
  • This technology can clean up to 170 liters of water in a single use.

Problem:

  • Statistics vary but the WHO states that “1.1 billion people has no access to any type of improved drinking source of water.” http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/mdg1/en/
  • water.org puts this figure at about 663 million people that lack access to safe drinking water (about 1 in 10 people)
  • A lack of safe drinking water has a strong impact on health and mortality as can be seen by the millions of people who suffer from waterborne diseases.

Stakeholders:

  • Engineers / Designers of the technology
  • Suppliers of materials
  • Sales and marketing
    • Who can sell this technology and get additional funding/investment
  • Investors
    • who can finance the implementation of these solar panels
  • NGOs and project managers
    • who can help assist with the implementation through actual installation, maintenance and education of communities for how to maintain it themselves
  • Local communities
    • who will be benefiting from this technology also need to be receptive to it.

Implementation:

It is unclear what stage this technology is in with regard to implementation, however it did win awards in 2014 and 2015.

A plausible implementation process for such a technology, however, would be:

  • Seek funding and investments to launch a pilot project
  • Partner with an NGO that has ties to a community where it could implement such a technology
  • Launch pilot project and monitor outcomes / problems that arise
  • Made adjustments to technology/ additional R&D
  • Marketing of success of pilot / get additional funding
  • Continue partnership and implementation across communities

Sources:

http://www.designnobis.com/index.php?r=site/product&id=192

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/mdg1/en/

http://water.org/water-crisis/water-sanitation-facts/