One Earth Designs, a U.S. based company came up with a cheap and affordable way to cook and produce a bit of electricity, using solar energy. Winning a €500,000 ($667,000) environmental prize for this, the company developed an umbrella-shaped contraption made of yak wool and a cheap Chinese insulation fabric that boasts a supremely high reflectivity to focus the sun’s rays and generate about 11 watts of power, weighing just 6 kilograms (13 pounds). The cooker and electricity generator combination costs about €10 ($13) and can last a whole 12 years! Designed by students from MIT, Harvard and Tsinghua universities, the money won at the competition, the Green Challenge, will be used for scale production of the system.
Category Archives: Gadgets and Tech
Cutting off power to a plugged-in appliance repeatedly can have its adverse effects on the poor electronic, especially if that happens every time you walk out of a room. That’s probably the only thought the HiSAVER hasn’t come across. It means to be green though, and assures users reduced power consumption by simply stopping power supply to everything plugged into it once the rooms left empty. It’s intelligent and uses a bunch of sensors to detect presence. Well, if you really are skeptical of this one though, the makers have made sure a second selectable outlet option is available, plugging into which, power isn’t cut off with the sensors. If the motion sensors detect no movement for about 10 minutes, the strip cuts off power to all the appliances plugged into the specific sockets.
The results for the Electrolux Design Lab 2010 are here, and the winner this time hails from the National Institute of Design, India, Peter Alwin with his invention, The Snail. Winning a cash prize of a sweet € 5000 with a six-month paid internship at one of Electrolux global design centers, Peter Alwin’s invention sure grabbed the hearts of the jury made up of Ineke Hans, founder of design office INEKEHANS/ARNHEM, Benjamin Hubert (Design of the year, British Design awards 2010), Jon Marshall, Studio Director at BarberOsgerby; and Henrik Otto, Senior Vice President of Global Design at Electrolux. Coming back to the invention, The Snail is basically a portable heating and cooking device that uses magnetic induction processes. This one can be used in pots, pans, mugs and can help heat up the contents. Taken that it reduces the amount of energy used to heat up food, this one sure is green. Its portable too, making cooking a lot easier, especially in places where full-fledged cooking-ranges are inaccessible.
We’ve forever been complaining about just how noisy our gas-guzzling four-wheelers are. And so, when the electrics came, we were all excited about them being extremely silent and sneaky. Now we’ve got a reason to complain yet again! These electrics are just too silent! And too much silence can prove hazardous too. In comes the Electric Vehicle with Interactive Noise, ELVIN. This one has a range of sounds that can be used to alert pedestrians and motorists of its presence. Also, these sounds are meant to be alerts, and not to scare motorists and pedestrians into having them look around in shock, which could, of course, lead to accidents.Continue reading
Drive-thru conveyer systems haven’t given a damn about the environment before, until E.F. Bavis & Associates Inc. based in Maineville decided they should. Having developed a few solar powered conveyers of the type for banks before, the firm has now put into place pharmacy drive-thru lanes at a national convention for drug store chains in San Diego powered by solar energy. The system includes a roof-top solar collector and a heavy-duty carrier for larger pharmacy items along with a backup battery and a charger just incase the sun decides to ditch.Continue reading
At first, we thought this to be a basketball. A closer look made us realize, it hardly is one. No doubt it misses all those lines and engravings on it. It also is a lot smaller than a usual basketball. Besides that, this is a set of speakers shaped like a ball! Known as the Ecoball, this set of portable speakers splits up into two, revealing speakers and controls. Also, the strap used on this one is a lot more than just a handle to make mobility easier. It charges up the Ecoball with solar power! The strap is a solar panel in disguise that helps soak in the sun’s heat and charge up this set of portable speakers. Designed by Pedro Gomes, the Ecoball is perfect for a trip outdoors, where the sun shines just bright enough to charge up your speakers and blast out your favorite tunes!Continue reading
Power Assure is here to assure energy-efficiency at data centers, places where energy is wasted on a scale large enough to make our eyes pop out in shock. Anyways, the Santa Clara, California based company has just pulled the veil of its energy wastage reducing system that could just help save all that useful energy in corporate data centers. Based on computing load, this system scales back power usage of data center servers, cutting energy costs by as much as 50%! With the help of a device for the data center and an application, the system analyzes information gathered from the data center and switches between power supply modes according to demand. If demand for a particular server is low, the system makes sure lower power consumption is applied.
Batteries make a difference. To our lives, our cars, our gadgets, our homes and just about everything that needs a touch of electricity. And without batteries, mobility would indeed be impaired. Its time that the world thinks up of a few ways to better these batteries and chemists Christopher Bielawski and Jonathan Sessler from the University of Texas at Austin have given research a start. Using a process of electron-switching that the chemists have just stumbled across, thinner, lighter and high-powered organic batteries might just seem less of a dream and more of a future reality! Taken that they shun the use of metals, these batteries are lighter with a potential to store more energy than conventional batteries and cost less for production. Batteries like these, if developed extensively, could last weeks or even months!
Whirlpool is all set to offer the world a host of eco-friendly and environment-conscious appliances, the Whirlpool Green Generation, to be unveiled on the 28th of September this year in London. These energy efficient appliances offer some pretty jaw-dropping energy savings, equipped with cutting-edge 6th Sense technology. Take the Green Kitchen refrigerator for instance, that saves up to 46% more energy, using new insulation materials, variable capacity compressors and heat-exchangers with a better efficiency. Using a drawer design and trapping cold air inside these drawers, the refrigerator’s sensors also detect soil levels in water and keeps clean water from running down the drain, saving it in tanks instead.Continue reading
Today, solar energy is being used for loads of applications, powering up lives across the globe. However, the use of this renewable source of energy at times is somewhat unpractical. Solar energy cannot be used in applications where more energy is required all the while. To help make it a lot more efficient, MIT chemical engineers have developed a process, by which solar energy can be concentrated, 100 times over. Using nanotubes, hollow tubes of carbon atoms, antennas are formed to capture and focus light energy that helps solar arrays go more powerful and smaller. The tubes contain a fibrous rope that is 10 micrometers long and four micrometers thick consisting of 30 million carbon nanotubes. These can also be used for various other light concentrating needs like night vision goggles or telescopes.Continue reading