Cryogenic storage for excess renewable energy 

The BBC reports on the trial of cold storage of energy produced by renewable sources. From the article: 

The cryogenic energy facility stores power from renewables or off-peak generation by chilling air into liquid form.

“When the liquid air warms up it expands and can drive a turbine to make electricity.”

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37902773

Tesla unveils roof tiles with integrated solar cells

Tesla has introduced Solar Roof – a new range of glass roof tiles that have built in solar cells in what could be a major next step in integrating clean and renewable energy generation into buildings and objects. 

There are four durable glass tiles to choose from that mimic slate and other colours traditionally used in roofing materials, with a solar cell below the glass.

Via: The BBC
Tesla shows off solar roof tiles – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37809151

Royal Caribbean to use LNG and fuel cells on ships to reduce emissions

Luxury cruises are increasingly popular but can come with huge environmental costs around ports and whilst at sea, due to sulfur and other harmful particulates from the heavy fuel oil burnt by most ships. Royal Caribbean is aiming to reduce such emissions from future cruise liners through a combination of liquefied natural gas and fuel cells from the early 2020’s.

rcl-lng-infographic-projecticon-r-299x414

Image credit: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Source: http://www.rclcorporate.com/rcl-steps-to-the-fore-with-plans-for-fuel-cell-technology/

Via: Engadget

Wind-powered ‘WaterSeer’ pulls clean water from the air 

Inhabitat features the WaterSeer – an in-development device that draws water from cooled air through condensation. From the article:

The Water Seer device is planted six or more feet into the ground, and soil is then packed around its metal neck. The top of the Water Seer holds a vertical wind turbine, which spins internal fan blades to draw air into the subterranean chamber. Because the underground chamber portion of the Water Seer is cooled by the surrounding earth, water condenses in the reservoir to creates sort of an artificial well, from which people can draw clean, safe drinking water around the clock.

Source: http://inhabitat.com/wind-powered-water-seer-produces-11-gallons-of-clean-drinking-water-from-the-air/

Concept: Aid-Delivering Drone That Breaks Into Edible / Useful Parts

FastCoExist highlights the development of a humanitarian drone for disaster and conflict zones by Windhorse Aerospace that is packed full of food and useful parts. From the article:

“Because the drone, called the Pouncer, is designed for one-way delivery, it can be broken down and reused when it arrives. Chop up the lightweight plywood frame, and it becomes kindling for a fire to cook the food. The wings themselves are packed with meals. The protective covers around the food can be used in shelters.”


Source: https://www.fastcoexist.com/3064094/this-humanitarian-aid-delivering-drone-is-going-to-be-edible

World’s First Flatpack Truck Assembles in 12 Hours

Wired features a flat-pack truck designed for developing countries, initially in Africa, where access to rugged vehicles or indeed any reliable and affordable transport is limited at best.

The vehicles can be put together by three people in around 12 hours and take up considerably less storage space than preassembled cars/trucks. The vehicles could be useful in remote regions of developing countries via community ownership or donation by NGOs and philanthropists, as well helping recovery from natural disaster or humanitarian crises.

Source: https://www.wired.com/2016/09/can-assemble-worlds-first-flatpack-truck-12-hours-just-like-ikea-book-shelf/

Concept: Solar-Powered Desalination Plant Looks Like Sci-Fi Art

FastCoExist highlights a concept design for a desalination plant that proposes a novel approach to extracting salt from seawater. As explained in the article, ‘The Pipe’ would use a magnetic field to remove the salt, rather than using filters which are commonly used in existing desalination plants.

Source: https://www.fastcoexist.com/3063376/this-solar-powered-pipe-desalinates-the-water-that-flows-through-it

UK to build the world’s largest offshore windfarm

Engadget reports on plans to build the largest offshore wind farm – Hornsea Project 1 and 2 -off the east coast of the UK to generate 1,800 MW and power 1.8m homes.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/17/worlds-largest-offshore-windfarm-uk/

Dissolving batteries for short-term medical implants

medGadget highlights research at Iowa State University into batteries for short-term medical implants that dissolve / wash away after completing their task / function. From the article:

Though the power produced by this battery is only sufficient to run a calculator for about fifteen minutes, the proof-of-concept is enough to point to great potential for diagnostic and therapeutic devices that don’t require a visit back to the doctor for explantation. In particular, brain implants would probably benefit the most since their removal can be particularly challenging and dangerous.

Source: http://www.medgadget.com/2016/08/dissolvable-battery-power-transient-implantable-devices.html

Audi’s active suspension draws power from bumps in the road


Audi has developed an active suspension system – eROT – that captures kinetic energy from bumps in the road and potholes and converts it into electricity. From Engadget’s article:

To convert kinetic to electrical energy, the shocks use a lever arm that captures up-and-down wheel motion and transmits it to a 48 volt alternator. It’s then converted into electricity, with an average recuperation output of 100 to 150 watts — as little as 3 watts on a freeway, and up to 613 watts on a rough county road.

Via Engadget: https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/11/audi-regenerative-active-suspension/

Largest offshore wind farm to power 1m homes in the Netherlands

Inhabitat highlights plans for what will be the worlds largest offshore wind farm – to be built off the coast of The Netherlands. As well as its impressive scale – powering c. 1 million homes – the project should also result in some of the most cost effective wind energy anywhere.  

Source: http://inhabitat.com/worlds-largest-and-cheapest-offshore-wind-farm-will-power-1m-homes/

Hybrid solar & biofuel plane to cross Atlantic

Solar-plane

Inhabitat features a hybrid solar and biofuel plane that will attempt a trans-Atlantic crossing later this year, which if successful will be the first zero-carbon flight over the Atlantic.

The article states that the plane will be “powered by a combination of solar energy and biofuels produced from microalgae, which was developed specifically for the Eraole. Wing-mounted solar panels will provide 25 percent of the plane’s power, while 55 percent will come from the algae-derived biofuels. For the remaining 20 percent of the time, the plane will simply glide on wind currents.”

Source: http://inhabitat.com/hybrid-solar-and-biofuel-plane-to-attempt-first-zero-carbon-trans-atlantic-flight/

A durable post-disaster dwelling

Inhabitat features a disaster and emergency shelter designed to feel more like a home.

Hex House

Unfortunately most recovery and development work after a disaster or displacement takes years rather than days or weeks, so the idea behind the Hex House is to give people a comfortable, semi-permanent space that could last many years and includes solar panels and a rainwater capture system.

Source: http://inhabitat.com/hex-house-is-a-rapidly-deployable-affordable-home-for-disaster-victims/

Kyocera is Building Largest Floating Solar Power Plant – via CleanTechnica

Kyocera-2

CleanTechnica reports that Japanese multinational Kyocera has begun construction on the world’s largest floating solar PV power plant at the Yamakura Dam, which is due for completion in 2018 when it will generate 13.7 MW.

Source: http://cleantechnica.com/2016/01/25/kyocera-begins-construction-worlds-largest-floating-solar-power-plant/