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

 

 

 

Smartflower POP Solar System

Sustainability Problems:

The use of fossil fuel for generating electricity contributes to climate change. Although many people can install solar panels on their rooftops, some cannot do it due to issues with roof structures or shading from nearby buildings. As well, rooftop PV usually have an efficiency of 25% or less.

flower POP

Image Source: smartflower POP

 Technology:  Portable Smatflower POP Solar System Produces 40% More Energy

The smartflower POP system automatically sprouts to open itself as an 18-square meter flower-like array as the sun rises. Every morning it also cleans itself. With a dual-axis tilting system it tracks and faces the sun throughout the day for maximum efficiency.

Being portable, it can be brought by the owners to their next home when they move.  It has batteries that collect excess energy during the day and so power can be available at night. Aside from these features, the owners can monitor their energy accumulation, usage and direct it to whatever use they want, whenever. They can charge their car at night and use it during the day.

Websites:

http://inhabitat.com/portable-self-cleaning-smartflower-pop-produces-40-more-solar-energy/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ3NPmHGsg4

Stakeholders:

  • Homeowners
  • Business-owners
  • Government offices
  • Researchers
  • Policymakers

Implementation:

Propose the first 3 steps in deploying this technology.

1) Although the costs for installing solar panels are plummeting, there is still a need to do more research on how to make this technology available to most people. Dual-axis tracking is expensive so research on how to make this technology less expensive should be done. Cost can also be reduced by using efficient but less expensive batteries. Further research on how to reduce battery cost and tracking system should be accelerated.

2) Research on designing similar portable solar system should also be taken in order to increase competition and reduce the price of this technology.

3) Government and policymakers can help homeowners and business-owners through incentives on the use of clean energy such as sales tax exemptions or rebates.

 

 

Solar tents to preserve fish in Malawi

1) Energy

Problem: In Malawi, drying fish is currently achieved by chopping down trees and burning the logs, which simultaneously removes a carbon sink and produces additional carbon emissions. 

2)  The technology: solar tents: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/tech-solar-tent-boosts-malawis-dried-fish-industry-160609125320780.html

– A new “solar tent” allows fisherman to dry their fish only using only solar energy.

– A polyethylene sheet is hung over a wooden frame shaped so as to maximize the captured solar heat and ensure optimal airflow.

– The tent is more sanitary than the wood-burning open-air drying, which exposes the fish to dust, pests and contaminants. Fishermen thus lose fewer fish to spoilage.

– Farmers get a higher price for cleaner, higher quality dried fish and don’t need to cut down as many trees (just enough for the wooden frame, which can be used for years).

– Sustainability is paired with economic development.

3)   Stakeholders

– Local and international development NGOs

Fish buyers

–  Local councils in fishing communities

 Fishermen

4)   The first 3 steps in deploying this technology

  1. Perform research to compare economic and environmental impacts of an average wood-burning fishery compared to a solar tent fishery based on the pilot project.
  2. Identify fishermen using wood-burning strategies and gauge interest in solar tents.
  3. Solicit funding from local and international NGOs to provide credit and/or grants to build tents for interested fishermen.

New technique improves solar absorption efficiency

692103f812fb8690276a744389aba115_L

1. Sustainability Problem

Energy: Solar absorbers are used to transform solar radiation into thermal energy for a variety of applications – but many of these absorbers are inefficient. The inefficiency of the technology is a barrier to its large-scale replacement of non-renewable sources of thermal energy.

2. Technology Article Summary

Article:
Novel Solar Absorber to Improve Efficiency of Concentrating Solar Power Technology
by Erica Solomon
Published 6/8/2016 on Masdar Institute News at https://news.masdar.ac.ae/explore-news/stories-by-type/transformation/item/9191-novel-solar-absorber-to-improve-efficiency-of-concentrating-solar-power-technology.html

  • Researchers at the Masdar Institute and MIT have developed a new technique that can raise the efficiency of a solar absorber to almost ninety percent.
  • The technique involves piercing a solar-absorbing film with a pattern of very fine holes (less than 400 nm diamater).
  • The nano-porous absorber can absorb a broader range of wavelengths than traditional absorbers, and also uses less material – it has only two layers (a metallic layer over a semiconductor) with a total thickness of 170 nm.
  • The ultrathin film also exhibits low radiative losses.

3. Organizational Stakeholders

This technology is still in the research phase, but has potential to affect the following stakeholders:

  • Manufacturers of solar absorbers/collectors
  • Utilities using solar collectors to generate electricity
  • Building owners who could use thermal energy collected by solar absorbers for space and water heating

4. Deployment

The next three stages in deploying this technology could be:

  • Researchers: optimize metallic coating to reduce costs of manufacture
  • Manufacturers: manufacture modular units using the ultrathin film technology
  • Building owners and developers: phase in solar thermal panels to replace heating-oil technologies

 

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

 

 

Solar roadways and clean energy

solar_roadway_panels_only_1_580_435

Sustainability Problem: Roadways (city streets, highways, driveways, parking lots, etc.) as we know them today are made of miles of concrete that absorb heat and do not contribute to the grid. Moreover, these roadways are often outdated and not well-maintained, resulting in unsafe and inefficient surfaces for transport and storage of vehicles.

Technology: Solar roadways are intelligent and modular solar panels that can work on any road surface. This technology pays for itself through clean energy generation. The solar roadways are heated to keep roads ice / snow free, pressure sensitivity for safety, and multi-colored with lighting. Every panel has series of LED panels that enables programming of various markings (whether that’s a sports court or a roadway dividing line) and facilitates safety guidance. In the future, the technology will also allow for charging vehicles through mutual induction. Overall, the technology allows increased use of clean energy and re-use of existing non-efficient and outdated infrastructure.

Solar Roadways on Indiegogo

Solar Roadways on Youtube

Stakeholders: Consumers, Governments, Federal Highway Administration, Parking

Implementation: (1) Research and development on scalable technology to support this mission, including identifying high potential use cases. (2) Raise funding to begin manufacturing and testing, particularly for hardware. (3) Begin pilot work with Federal Highway Administration on selected road surface types (highway, parking lot, etc.) and collect data on improvement opportunities with the technology. (4) Launch pilot program and evaluate scaling needs.

class june 23, 2016 – uni mst2135