Ram Kumar

Energy from Footsteps

pavegen_tiles

With sustained growth in the population of urban regions, demand for power has increased drastically. Higher costs and less availability of fossil fuels means the need for innovation in harnessing alternative energy sources is urgently needed. One British company is working hard to make use of the urban “crowds” to generate power. A floor tile has been developed by Pavegen Systems Ltd that harvests energy from footsteps. The idea has enormous application when we consider the number of people who walk through a given area such as shopping malls, subways, and pedestrian paths everyday. The tile itself is green in colour, and is… read more

Simplifying Modern Life

technology_stockxpertcom_id1218361_size1

Technology makes life easier and more convenient. With the advancements in software and micro chip design, technology has enabled consumers to reduce their carbon footprint by consolidating many devices into one. For instance, it is no longer necessary to carry a camera, or an mp3 player, or a GPS or a laptop or a gaming console or an eBook. Instead a compact Smartphone can do the work of all the above mentioned devices and proves the proverb that “good things come in small packages”. Due to the personal nature of this mobile technology, we as consumers can modify our behaviour… read more

Glowing Trees

irtree

The blockbuster movie Avatar depicted many inspirational and creative ideas of new forms of life. Imagine if one such idea, the glowing trees providing luminescence in the dark, could become a reality. Modern display and lighting devices use LED for illumination,which includes phosphor powder to simulate light of different wavelengths. These phosphor powders are highly toxic and are expensive. Dr Yen-Hsun Su of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, has led a team that have discovered a way to develop a less toxic substance to replace the phosphor powder which poses a serious threat to human health. This project resulted in bio-LEDs, developed by… read more

Tips for a Green Computer

A green computer

In a report last year by Environmental researchers some alarming information was released. They took four laptop computers of leading brands and took an x-ray scan which revealed that those laptops had some very hazardous materials inside them. Unavoidably, the manufacturing itself involves additions of hazardous materials in order to fulfill certain customer needs such as a sleek design and an appealing look. We cannot compromise the hardware by spending money on a “Green Computer” which would be made of non-toxic recycled materials; rather we can save the power consumed when we are using the computer. There are some very simple and… read more

A Light in the Dark

GravityLight

From time to time we read a lot of news about innovation in the lighting industry and new means of producing light which is green and energy efficient. Apart from electricity which powers incandescent and LED lights, solar is another option for generating power. Due to its cost and practical application this alternative source of energy is not widely used in many developing countries. Recent research at the University of California claims kerosene lamps which are used in most part of India and Africa are more hazardous to the environment and human health than we think. Designers Martin Riddiford and… read more

Carbon Solar Cells

carbonsolar_news

Solar cells are the greatest hope for mankind with a shortage of fossil fuel. We read a lot about solar cells and improvements in this field but a true revolution in solar cells is not happening. There are many reasons for the gap between solar cells and ordinary man but one of the main handbrakes is the expense of the materials used. Some recent breakthrough research at Stanford University looks promising and will give hope to the solar cell field using an inexpensive substitute, carbon. The research team has successfully built a thin film solar cell prototype which is coated with… read more

Recycling at an ecoATM

ecoatm

The automatic teller machine was a mind-blowing concept during 1930’s but our ancestors did not have the technology to design the machine then. Several years later the machine was designed and people loved to use it. Users were able to make financial transactions without waiting in the queue or filling out forms. Late in 2012 a US based startup designed a fully automated machine, the ecoATM, which pays you instant cash for your old or broken electronics gadget. Recycling or making money with old electronic gadgets is usually a bit of a problem, not to mention, a hassle. Either you… read more

Wearing Solar Fabrics

image_preview

The idea of wearing solar fabrics may look like a piece in a sci-fi movie, but the fact is it is not new or fictitious. Researchers around the globe have been trying to figure out how to incorporate solar technology into wearable designs for years. A solar fabric will be lightweight, portable, foldable, wearable and capable of trapping more of the sun’s rays. This  is because the fabric will be collecting sunlight from many different angles at once, whereas flat panels can only collect rays from one installed direction. Many solar fabric innovations have involved either printing solar cells onto regular… read more

Brighter And Lighter

Full-colour quantum dot displays fabricated by transfer printing

An innovation in LED lighting achieved through the use of quantum dots has greatly increased the efficiency, brightness, lifetime and low turn-on voltage of this energy source. A research team at Seoul National University, South Korea has published their research in a recent issue of Nano Letters. They found that the key to improving the brightness and efficiency of the QLEDs (Quantum Light Emitting Diode) comes from improving the injection of current-carrying electrons and holes into the quantum dots. The more efficiently the electrodes can inject electrons and holes into the quantum dots, the more efficiently QLED can emit light. The anodes… read more

Power From The Body

Power from the body

Obtaining power from the human body may sound like a crazy idea, but scientists have started to take this idea seriously. There are various ways one can obtain power from the body such as heat, body movement and vibrations metabolism. One obvious form of energy harvesting is using well known piezo-electricity technology, which means converting human movements and vibrations into electricity. Researchers from the University of Michigan have developed a prototype using piezoelectricty to charge pacemakers installed in human hearts. Generally, pacemakers are introduced to do the work of the heart which has become weak but patients face many and regular… read more