Solar Greenhouses

Sustainability Problem:

  • Solar energy has limited useful capacity.
  • Greenhouses are increasing in number for their farming capacity and that growth is not sustainable.

Solution:

  • Electricity-generating solar greenhouses utilize Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs), a technology that generates electricity more efficiently and at less cost than traditional photovoltaic systems.
  • These greenhouses are outfitted with transparent roof panels embedded with a bright magenta luminescent dye that absorbs light and transfers energy to narrow photovoltaic strips, where electricity is produced.WSPVs absorb some of the blue and green wavelengths of light but let the rest through, allowing the plants to grow.
  • Plants grow considerably better, quicker and use considerably lesser water than traditional farming methods.
  • WSPV technology was developed by coauthors Sue Carter and Glenn Alers, both professors of physics at UC Santa Cruz, who founded Soliculture in 2012 to bring the technology to market.

Stakeholders:

  • Greenhouse builders
  • Farmers
  • Local communities
  • Utilities

Next Steps:

  • Experiment with local produce in different regions to check for viability
  • Attempt to scale this technology through quick adoption across diverse markets
  • Take greenhouses off grid completely by adding components of water

 

vk2384

References:

https://phys.org/news/2017-11-solar-greenhouses-electricity-crops.html

http://www.soliculture.com/plant-response/

 

Comment on another post:

https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/11/02/drone-to-help-pollination/comment-page-1/#comment-1342

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SolarWindow – a window for a bright future

Sustainability problem

we need to transition away from fossil fuels to avoid a climate change catastrophe. Solar is a promising component of this transition, nonetheless it has traditionally been conceptualized as a solution for to horizontal surfaces and roofs, both of which are limited in area within the urban landscape (where most people live) – Not anymore.

Solution

solar-window

 

Turn windows into a solar energy generating unit.

  • SolarWindow is a US company based in Maryland. The technology functions similarly to a PV cell, only on a transparent window.
  • The technology has lower efficiency rate, nonetheless scale is where it really shines – the rooftop area of an average skyscraper is very small compared to the approximately 6 acres of windows it has.
  • Payback period is less than a year.

Solar Windows at NREL.   August 25 2015.  Photo by Ellen Jaskol.

Stakholders

While big buildings in dense urban areas will see the highest returns, stakeholders include:

  • Home owners
  • Municipal buildings
  • Real-estate companies
  • Utility companies

solar-window-net-sun-1-w11

Implementation:

Step 1 – the company needs to scale its production while continuing to develop the product (increasing efficiency and transparency).

Step 2 – partner with a property owners to conduct pilot studies and familiarize utility companies to with the technology.

Step 3 – work towards Federal recognition of the technology as equivalent to rooftop solar (in terms of subsidies, depreciation and tax credit).

solarwindow-technologies-1020x610

Link to company website – https://solarwindow.com

Pay-as-you go solar

Energy-M-Kopa-Solar

 

 

1. Sustainability Problem: Energy

More than 620 million people, about two-thirds of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa, do not have access to an electrical grid. These populations rely on the use of Kerosene that contributes to CO2 emissions and indoor air pollution.

2. Technology Summary

  • M-Kopa IV Solar Home System is a pay-as-you-go home solar system that combines uses micro payments and mobile technology to provide electricity to people in Africa who are not connected to the electrical grid.
  • The system is rent-to-own: the unit requires a deposit of $35 and then customers make 365 payments of $0.43 though M-Pesa, a mobile money system to purchase the system.
  • The unit includes a solar panel, a control unit, two LED light bulbs, one portable LED flashlight, a rechargeable radio, and a USB port for charging cellphones

3. Stakeholders

  • NGOs
  • Electricity companies in Africa
  • Individuals without connection to electrical grid
  • Governments
  • M-Pesa
  • M-Kopa

4. Deployment

  • Increase awareness of product by performing demonstrations in common community areas
  • Provide thorough training and education to customers on proper use and maintenance of solar systems
  • Strengthen repair services and customer service to allow for effective trouble shooting of problems and to complete repairs, if necessary

Sources

Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tobyshapshak/2016/01/28/how-kenyas-m-kopa-brings-prepaid-solar-power-to-rural-africa/#38cf4f612dbf

Supporting article: https://www.ft.com/content/ccfaa1ba-d0f1-11e5-831d-09f7778e7377

Company website: http://solar.m-kopa.com/about/


Comment on Automated Underground Bike Storage Technology

  • A key feature of this technology is that instructions are given via audio and visuals, making this technology easy to use for first time users and accessible for those who may not speak the language or for those who ma have an impairment.

 

Blockchain for renewable energy

Sustainability Problem:

  • Unreliable centralized grid management or utility system which keeps track of your consumption.
  • Lack of decentralisation of energy
  • Pricing for micro grid energy consumption based on usage

Technology:

Blockchain allows consumers to produce energy, and to trade it directly with other consumers in a peer-to-peer network.

SolarCoin is a digital currency like bitcoin. The difference with bitcoin is that SolarCoin is not “mined“ by letting a computer work out some computations. It’s mined by producing renewable energy. If your domestic solar panel creates 1 MwH of energy, you receive 1 SolarCoin.

This solarcoin is kept in an online wallet that you can update manually or let it update and earn automatically by, for now, a Smappee energy monitor (soon other energy monitors will follow).

This same wallet can be used for three things:

  1. to store the coins you create with your solar panel,
  2. to receive payments for the energy you sell, and to,
  3. pay for energy you trade with your neighbors.

In fact, you won’t even need to install energy production at your home. It will become perfectly possible to buy a solar panel, install it anywhere and collect SolarCoins.

Another benefit is that the entire transaction remains transparent due to a shared ledger amongst the neighbourhood.

Stakeholders:

  • Blockchain currency issuing agencies
  • Domestic users of renewable energy smart grid
  • Local public Utilities
  • Solar system installers and manufacturers

Next steps:

  • Siemens has set up a pilot project in Brooklyn where a mini and smart grid for 10 homes early last year, which is due to expand and include a school, hospital and park this year and potentially the entire neighbourhood by 2018.
  • Other companies and entrepreneurs should look at blockchain as a valuable way to share and track utilities.
  • Policy for enabling such technology to take flight so that it can reach scale quickly
  • 1,613,853.5 SolarCoins have been granted so far, in 41 out of 215 countries

 

https://richtopia.com/emerging-technologies/blockchain-renewable-energy-sustainability

https://solarcoin.org/en/frequently-asked-questions

https://www.siemens.com/innovation/en/home/pictures-of-the-future/energy-and-efficiency/smart-grids-and-energy-storage-microgrid-in-brooklyn.html

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): https://sandiegofreepress.org/2017/05/clean-renewable-energy-never-easier/

I also used the company’s website to clarify aspects of the technology/business model: https://www.arcadiapower.com/

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

 

Sol Chip Powers Precision Agriculture with Solariz (wireless, solar-powered small chip solutions)

Sol Chip Powers Precision Agriculture with Solariz in Singapore

Sustainability Problem

Food is one of the biggest problem of next century and precise agriculture and using land wisely and efficiently is one of the solutions for that which this technology enables.

Technology Article Summary

It is a small chip with PV which has “everlasting” battery which has no need for maintenance at least 10 years. It connects wirelessly to sensors uses IoT platform. Apart from reducing maintenance costs this sustainable solution aims to reduce dispose of batteries which is harmful for environmental. It enables complete solution for precision agriculture and it connects cloud wirelessly.

It measures soil moisture, temperature, solar radiation intensity and some other parameters. As there are more connected sensors, the more algorithms can be run to improve the efficiency and quality of agricultural yields.

Stakeholders

Farmers(for now)Later it may be everyone as it is very versatile chip

Later it may be everyone as it is very versatile chip

Deployment

It has been tested successfully in Israel, Argentine and Spain.Right now it is deployed in Singapore. Also it will deploy to other fields such as air quality measurement, intelligent parking lots, waste management and drinking water infrastructure as it is basically everlasting chip without maintenance that could gather data whichever filed you want

Sol Chip Powers Precision Agriculture with Solariz in Singapore

Solar Wallpaper

solar wallpaper

The Sustainability Problem

While solar panels have proven their effectiveness, many things about the way we makes solar panels today serve as barriers for use. One such problem is precisely that they have to come as panels made of non-flexible material and whose weight can add up once you place many panels onto a surface. As such, there are limited places where one could apply solar panels, and there is definitely a lot of concern around load bearing constructions.

The Technology

Sunflare, a company in China, developed a new solar surface that does not require panels. According to this article, they describe the new technology as:

Compared to traditional crystalline silicon solar panels, Sunflare solar panels are flexible because they do not use a glass substrate — rather, its substrate is a thin, high quality stainless steel. Likewise, Sunflare solar panels are lighter and thinner than traditional crystalline silicon because they are made of thinner layers of chemical elements and a lighter, stainless steel substrate.

“Our solar panels are easier to install because they don’t need a frame to support the panels,” said Gao. “In fact, the panels can be secured to any surface with a special double-sided tape.”

Given this development, there are now many new applications for the solar wallpaper, allowing a wider range of surfaces where they can be placed.

Stakeholders

  • Other solar technology makers whose businesses may be affected
  • Current users of solar panels who may want to switch or complement their current systems
  • Current non-users of solar panels who found the cost or weight of panels too prohibitive but can use solar wallpaper
  • Environmental agencies and nonprofits

Deployment

  • Create demo buildings for easiest uses of solar wallpaper (in factories, logistics centers, offices, etc.)
  • Create case studies for innovative uses of the solar wallpaper material (solar roads, solar bus stands, etc.)
  • Create payment plans that allow more people to afford the technology

Source:

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/cleantech/mike_hower/hardware_store-turned-solar-firm_invents_solar_wallpaper?utm_source=email&utm_medium=community&utm_content=title&utm_campaign=sbnews201624&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTlRnNU1XVTVPREJrWVRsaCIsInQiOiJNZVZlWjdMakVBZzIwcGMySjAwVkRrVExGOGt2VmxDeFVPd1NOWE0zMHNCWXp3ZmpxQ0NwZFhZTnA4WWs0MzVucTQ2STZMOVhIdU15Rkk0M0Q0ZVBQdU1tQ0czTUREWVwvUUx3XC9XQUlHZytBPSJ9