Energy from Radio Waves

  1. Sustainability Problem

Energy: Global energy demand is at an unsustainable rate. At this rate, the world will lock itself in an insecure, inefficient, and high-carbon energy system. Thus, innovations are needed to produce energy without consumption of non-renewable energy source. Free volt technology can be a solution to such a problem.


  1. Technology

Article: Charging gadgets using THIN AIR: Freevolt captures radio waves to wirelessly power small devices

By Victoria Woollaston

  • Freevolt transforms energy in signals from TV, Wi-Fi and mobile networks into a current that can be harvested by devices
  • The harvester is capable of absorbing energy from multiple RF bands at almost any orientation
  • The design is scalable and can be used with wearables, sensors, or fitted into large-scale buildings
  1. Organizational Stakeholders
  • Drayson Technologies
  • Imperial College London
  • General Public
  • Investors
  1. Implementation
  • Lord Paul Drayson from Drayson Technologies developed Freevolt with support from Imperial College London
  • Drayson Technologies will license out Freevolt for big partners and a Freevolt developer kit for do-it-yourself customers
  • The first device that will make use of Freevolt technology was already launch in November 2015




Pure Lives Water Filtration System

  • Kid-Wearing-Purelives.pngSustainability problem
    • Clean water is a scarce or unaffordable resource for people in developing countries.  Further, natural disasters or man-made crises such as war place millions of people in new refugee camps that lack infrastructure to provide water to all of the residents.
  • Technology and how it connects to problem
    • Purelives is a 5 gallon water filtration and transportation system allowing it to be used at home or at a water source and carried back to the home.
    • The filter can work with any fresh water source (wells, rivers, etc) and removes 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, heavy metal and other contaminants
    • Filter lasts for 3000-5000 gallons and stops allowing water through when it needs to be changed so there is no risk of using filters that are no longer appropriately cleaning water.
  • Stakeholders
    • NGOs, especially disaster relief
    • Residents of developing countries with poor water sources
    • Workers in fields away from water sources
    • Campers
  • Implementation steps
    • Rebrand the company and product.  “Portapure” reminds readers of sanitation (portapotties) and Pure Life is a name for a number of  organizations (some religious) that focuses on sexual issues.
    • Partner with NGOs to pilot the usage and understand real world challenges for using the system- how do you supply replacement filters, etc?
    • Develop a pricing model that can meet low income people in developing countries, for example, microfinance leveraging community peer groups to ensure repayment.


Can high-tech photosynthesis turn CO2 into fuel for your car?

1) The problem is crude oil dependence.



Article title – Can high-tech photosynthesis turn CO2 into fuel for your car?

Website name – The Guardian

Website link –

What the technology does – The technology is artificial photosynthesis where solar energy is used to split water and carbon dioxide into hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. A catalyst then recombines the molecules to create liquid fuels, such as methanol. Methanol is the simplest hydrocarbon that works in internal combustion engines.

How the technology addresses the problem – The technology greatly reduces our dependence on crude oil and make use of the growing amount of manmade carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change


3) Stakeholders include: HyperSolar, University of Iowa, Solar Fuels Institute, the US Department of Energy, Sweden’s Uppsala University, Total France, Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, and Caltech’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis


4) Three steps to deploying this technology include:

Step 1 – Develop public-private partnerships to perform research on the developing technology.

Step 2 – Determine viable options to fund and/or finance research.

Step 3 – Once a team and funding is in place, determine a timeline for a pilot product to be complete.


Using Connected Car Data for Smart Urban Planning

INRIX Population Analytics

(1) Problem

Primary category is Mobility, but application also touches Public Administration & Services, and Health & Safety. Perspective is city mayor’s office.

(2) Summary

  • INRIX, Inc. of Seattle (WA) developed and launched a platform that integrates location data collected from connected cars and personal devices to analyze movement of people, vehicles and commerce
  • The platform leverages readily-available real-time geocoded GPS data from a large number of sources that are distributed fairly evenly across cities (e.g., taxis)
  • These data can be used, for example, to make transit systems more efficient, site new business, and measure marketing campaign results
  • The platform provides data visualizations that facilitates quick and easy assessment of traffic controls and roadway performance
  • The overwhelming volume of available data provides an accurate picture of actual population movements, thereby minimizing reliance on road-side counters and automated traffic records

Garthwaite, E. 2015. INRIX launches smart cities platform to exploit connected cars. ITProPortal, courtesy of Posted 05-Jul-2015 at

(3) Stakeholders

  • Transportation department
  • Sustainability department
  • Business development incubators
  • Lending institutions/ risk managers

(4) Deployment

  • Create consortia of city agencies to brainstorm specific benefits of this platform
  • Provide public access to data visualization
  • Monitor and measure performance of transit systems; identify and correct bottlenecks
  • Gather performance data from businesses that utilize the platform to increase sales, and leverage those results into wider deployment

Big data (Cycle Atlanta) to anticipate development in civic engagement, not just remedy break-downs.


1) Many app services are reflexive and passive neither allowing the individual nor the project to achieve full realization, whereas Cycle Atlanta makes normative claims of what is happening and what is needed proactively.

2) “The Right Way to Make Cities Smart” Cycle Atlanta.

  • Enables cyclists to record their ride data—where they’ve gone, why they went there, what kind of cyclist they are—in an effort to collect more knowledge about cycling in the city.
  • Aggregates information with the explicit goal of helping the Atlanta cycling community advocate for particular infrastructural reforms.
  • Collects data to inform planners where bike facilities should be built.

3) Stakeholders include tax payers, city planning, IT data servers, bicycle riders, city parks, private construction contractors, DOT, Business Improvement Districts.

4) Step 1) Hire tech company to install algorithms, servers, and start-up training to manage incoming date.

Step 2) Establish boundaries of inclusion and exclusion for initial trial period.

Step 3) Reach out to community boards in affected areas to discover their willingness to incorporate potential’s data’s findings.

Step 4) Go live, and see what the users are actually experiencing!

Data furnaces arrive in Europe: Free heating, if you have fibre Internet

  1. The sustainability problem is Energy and Waste Management
  2. Summary of Data furnaces arrive in Europe: Free heating, if you have fibre Internet
    1. Nerdalize is offering 1000 watz of free heating through distributed data centers
    2. Heat is provided from their data unit distributed across housing in the Netherlands
    3. Requirement is for a fibre optic internet connection
    4. Initial setup cost by household is between €400 and €500
    5. Many problems with this approach including security, damaging, and privacy
  3. Stakeholders involved are
    1. Nerdalize
    2. Users of Nerdalize
    3. Consumers of the Nerdalize eRadiator
  4. Deployment
    1. Step 1: Offer free installation to small town in Netherlands with fiber
    2. Step 2: Begin using the data centers and monitor performance against standard data centers
    3. Step 3: Measure peformance, modify software/hardware, and roll out new changes across all other regions

Distributed technique for power ‘scheduling’ advances smart grid concept


Power plants around the country use a centralized scheduling approach to forecast and distribute energy. This centralized approach does not support the integration of renewable energy systems and battery storage systems.  The rise of on-site energy storage technologies makes centralized scheduling calculations significantly more complex.


  1. Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for scheduling energy in electric grids that moves away from centralized management by tapping into the distributed computing power of energy devices.
  2. By having each device communicate with its immediate neighbors, the device can calculate and schedule how much energy it will need to store, how much to contribute to the network, and how much to draw from the network. In this way, the program can determine the optimal schedule for the entire grid.
  3. Distributed computing seeks to replace the traditional control center with a decentralized approach. This approach advances the smart grid concept by coordinating the energy being produced and stored by both conventional and renewable sources.
  4. The technology has been validated in simulations, and the researchers are in the process of implementing it in an experimental smart grid system at the National Science Foundation FREEDM Systems Center on NC State’s campus. They expect to have results in 2016.


  1. Utilities
  2. Government and government regulators of utilities
  3. Alternative energy and battery storage companies


  1. Distribute paper for peer review
  2. Get data from multiple tests and report out results
  3. Pilot large-scale demonstrations
  4. Gain industry acceptance and scale usage


Big Belly Trash Cans in NYC as Wi-Fi Hubs

1) Energy, Waste:  Not only are we in dire need of renewable and efficient energy sources, we need to manage our waste production and waste management strategies.

2) Article: New York City Is Turning Smart Garbage Bins Into Free WiFi Hotspots

Source: Huffington Post Business


  • Over 150 solar-powered Big Belly trash cans have already been installed in Manhattan.
  • The trash cans are data enabled to send a signal when full.
  • A trial included equipping two trash cans with Wi-Fi, and the results showed that the signal was good despite it being nestled into a trash can.
  • The article mentions Link NYC’s plan to convert old phone booth locations into Wi-Fi sources.
  • It seems that, in the areas that Big Belly trash cans already exist, Link NYC may be able to collaborate with the trash can owners to use the bins as hot spots instead of installing new infrastructure.  Though this could save Link NYC installation costs, it may also affect Link NYC’s business plan since the Big Belly trash cans tend to be in visible places (like Time’s Square), so Link NYC may miss out on a marketing opportunity by doing this. However, if Big Belly and Link NYC are both aiming to provide free Wi-Fi in NYC, they are going to have to compete if they don’t work together.

3) Organizational stakeholders: NYC government, other city governments, Big Belly, Link NYC, NYC residents, NYC tourists, utility companies, internet companies, wireless companies, etc.

4) The first 3 steps in deploying this technology:

  • Assess feasibility of expanding Wi-Fi capability to more Big Belly bins.
  • Assess the market if Link NYC is also going to be involved in the same market.
  • Assess collaboration opportunities with Link NYC and other entities.

Water purification system using nanotechnology

1) The problem is Water. Intense pressure is placed on the planet’s limited water supplies.



Article title – The new water technologies that could save the planet

Website name – The Guardian

Website link –

What the technology does – The technology is a water purification system using nanotechnology.

How the technology addresses the problem – According to the World Health Organisation, 1.6 million people die each year from diarrhoeal diseases attributable to lack of safe drinking water as well as basic sanitation. The technology removes microbes, bacteria and other matter from water using composite nanoparticles, which emit silver ions that destroy contaminants.


3) Stakeholders include: Utility companies, businesses, residents, World Health Organization, Scientists.


4) Three steps to deploying this technology include:

Step 1 –Determine labor and productivity costs.

Step 2 – Determine a market in desperate need of this technology.

Step 3 – Engage governmental officials to discuss an optimal deployment strategy.