Obama Wants Smarter Windows

President Backs Smart Window

In the first quarter following his re-election, President Obama’s administration is working to emphasise its ‘green’ credentials. President Obama has come up with a Better Buildings national energy efficiency initiative, and building windows are front and center in the plan. Windows have been a thorn in the side of energy efficient building designs, and though they have gotten better at insulation, they are still not at a capability which can be accepted. The Department of Energy is leading the way, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (APRA-E), which is part of the DOE, has awarded a grant of $3 million to… read more

Solar Paint

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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

Solar Powered Sterilizer

Sterilized medical equipment

We all know that the sun generates massive amounts of heat, but who knew that it could be used as a sterilizer for medical equipment? In third-world countries, doctors don’t always have access to clean equipment, which means that patients put under the knife may come out of the procedure with infections and other diseases. Researchers at MIT’s science lab created a solution for this global problem, and it involves using natural elements as a sterilizer. This machine is called an autoclave, and it blasts medical equipment with 250-degree steam under pressure. Hospitals in the U.S. and other developed countries use… read more

Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse

Humans have always been fascinated by flight. This, in combination with a desire to construct a greener technology to do so, culminated in the first ever aeronautical adventure of its kind. An aircraft called Solar Impulse, created and navigated by two men from Switzerland, has managed to fly around the world on shear solar power. It is the brainchild of André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, and is true ingenuity in motion. Though there have been other solar inventions capable of flight, this is the first solely sun-powered airplane that can also be flown at night. This is due to the… read more

Air Energy Storage

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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

Portable Fuel Cells

Portable fuel cells

Fuel cells may outdo themselves – with the advent of mobile clean energy, or portable fuel cells, which are expected to have a greater and more rapid-growing market than fuel cells used for transportation. Portable fuel cells are either built into mobile devices or used to charge them, ridding the need for wall sockets. They operate at a low cost and can be used in off grid operations. Benefits of portable fuel cells include a longer run time than batteries, rapid recharging, and a significant weight reduction compared to conventional batteries. Portable fuel cells may also prove crucial in the midst of natural… read more

Plastic Alternatives

Plastic Alternatives

Bioplastics are a topic up for debate. While some think it a better choice than conventional plastics, some critics say that it is an unnecessary use of a portion of the food supply which is already strained considering the vast populations that are food insecure. Massive plastic consumption and pre-packaged convenience comes at a high price. Pollution that does not biodegrade and toxic by-products from manufacturing processes being just a few issues. While some innovations seek to create compounds that can be used like plastics, but made smarter with renewable resources, some of these up and coming products still have questionable… 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 Powered Air Travel

Solar Impulse 2013

With its huge wingspan equal to that of an Airbus A340 and its weight that of an average car, the Solar Impulse prototype presents physical and aerodynamic features never seen before in an aircraft. Carbon fiber structure, propulsion chain, flight instrumentation, everything has been designed to save energy, to resist the hostile conditions facing an airplane, and pilot, at high altitudes and to marry weight restraints with the required strength. The Solar Impulse uses no fuel. At midday, each square meter of land surface receives, in the form of light energy, the equivalent of 1000 watts, or 1.3 horsepower of… read more

Tesla Model S

Image from Tesla Motors

Motor Trend’s choice for 2013 Car of The Year surprised everybody, though it really shouldn’t have. The all-electric Model S sedan by Tesla is one of the most innovative and unique cars on the market, which should please everyone who envisions a future of sustainable transportation. Tesla was founded in 2003 by Elon Musk and a group of intrepid Silicon Valley engineers who sought to change the automobile market. Elon Musk is also the famous co-founder of Paypal and creator of the SpaceX corporation. Their first electric model, the Tesla Roadster, debuted to a mixed market reaction and a high… read more