Ram Kumar

Auto-Tinting Windows

View W Hotel SF 5

A startup in Silicon Valley has unveiled a smart window which promises green and energy efficient building in the future. Soladigm (formally called “View”) officially introduced its flagship product auto-tinting window system, which will be displayed to the public at the Greenbuild conference in San Francisco. Previously there have been many attempts to make windows that can change color just like a chameleon in order to adjust light and temperature indoors but these glass products are rarely manufactured and used. The product is basically an electro-chromatic glass which is highly durable and provides a reasonable payback on energy reductions and… read more

Refrigerator Recycling

refrigerator-recycle

Some important household appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners are now considered to be dangerous because they contain coolants that can contaminate almost everything from air to soil. These appliances are gods in the home but they become demons when they are thrown out. Disposal of these appliances is similar to nuclear disposal – which requires care and attention. Recycling these appliances is hard because one has to carefully remove the usable part of the appliance without releasing the harmful substance. Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA) and GE has come up with a recycling technology which efficiently recycles these refrigerators…. read more

Social Media Saving Energy

Sharing bills on Facebook

Social media has changed the lifestyle of humans recently. The way people share and communicate has changed a lot since dark blue (I mean Facebook) and light blue (I mean Twitter) invaded our lives. Integration of life with these media outlets has become tighter than yesteryears and as a result a company has rightly taken a smart and productive initiative which makes use of this generation “sharing” technology. Opower, a U.S based company has created a platform where people can track their electricity use and share this information with their friends. This app can be logged in directly with a… read more

Eggshell Storage

Eggshells for energy

Mitlin, a professor of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Alberta, Canada is working on a way to turn waste eggshell membranes and egg whites into materials for high-performance supercapacitors. Supercapacitors are devices which offer many “need-of-the-hour” features like high power density, charging and discharging which are generally faster than regular rechargeable batteries. But unfortunately they store much less energy. Mitlin thinks the membranes inside eggshells could help crack this problem. “If you could keep the very nice power of a supercapcitor but extend the energy density even to be that of a mediocre lithium-ion battery, you’d really… read more

Solar Paint

solar_paint-1325606641672

Capturing and using the sun’s rays has always been an enthralling task for researchers and recent advancements in the electronics industry has brought a great deal of interest into the field of solar. A research team from Notre Dame University led by Prashant Kamat has created one such form of solar energy conversion where they introduce us to “solar paste” which will replace solar panels in the future. By simply painting the outside of a house with this special solar paste/paint electricity can be generated from the sun which would potentially power the home appliances inside. This paste is alcohol based… read more

Air Energy Storage

2R5DR1~Z

While more efforts are being taken to generate energy through various methods very little research is being done on the field of storing energy. This is an extremely significant criterion because energy demands will not be the same all the time and there must be an efficient system to store the produced energy. Air medium is used for many purposes such as communication, transportation etc, but the next generation energy storage will be carried out with the help of air. Compressed Air Energy Storage may look like a new concept but it has a history dating way back. During late… read more

Wi-Fi LED Bulbs

Greenwave Reality smarter lighting

The internet has almost become everything in this connected world, with more and more application of the internet, advancement in electronic devices and even our homes becoming smarter. A start-up company, Greenwave Reality, has come up with a “wireless LED lighting kit” which surely is a gateway to a smarter home. Headed by former consumer electronics executives, the company sells this lighting kit at a price of US$200. It contains four 40 watts LED bulbs and a Smartphone application – which is the game changer. The four supplied bulbs are Energy star rated and they should be connected to the… read more

Solar Cells with a Difference

Plastic solar cells

The price of solar cells has consistently fallen as more and more people install them in their homes and businesses, but it still remains out of reach for many, who do want to make a sustainable choice regarding power generation. Government subsidies are still necessary because the manufacturing costs of solar cells are still prohibitively high. Anirudh Sharma, a PhD candidate at Flinders University has come up with an alternative, less expensive way of manufacturing solar cells. He says that in traditional manufacturing methods, various materials are sequentially deposited on top of each other forming a sandwich structure but as time passes the… read more

Smart Thermostat

Thermostat-Auto-Away

There are many thermostats in the market that concentrate on home energy management featuring programmable settings that allow the user to save maximum power by scheduling the thermostat. However there is a thermostat that programs itself based on weather forecasts that effectively saves power as well as keeps the home at a perfect temperature. This auto programming is done by some intelligent software named ‘e5’. E5 is a demand-response software developed by EnergyHub and Earth Networks,with the help of more than 9,000 weather observation stations around the country. Owned by earth Networks, e5 receives periodic updates on weather conditions and reports to the… read more

Portable Wind Turbine

photo 5-1

Wind turbines are generally static. Once they are assembled and in place they have to work in the varying conditions of that environment – high winds and often extreme temperatures. However, Uprise Energy, a California based startup has developed a wind turbine that is portable. The concept is cool and far easier to maintain as it works without the requirement of any ground digging and is easily transportable. The installation of a static wind turbine is a difficult process as each huge part arrives at the location separately and is assembled using large machines. They require a smooth and flat… read more