• Category Archives: Alternative Energy

    Velopresso, the pedal-powered mobile coffee-store


    Looking to grab a quick cup of coffee on the go? Well, the next time you find it difficult to spot a coffee-shop, simply look around for the Velopresso. A coffee-store-on-wheels, this one was designed by Royal College of Art graduates Amos Field Reid and Lasse Oiva. In essence a pedal-powered cart, the Velopresso uses an old tricycle frame while the gears are alternatively used to propel the cart or work the coffee grinder! Using a small gas canister to boil water when needed, the Velopresso works as a low-carbon and low-energy business solution. Also, the designer duo is currently working on a system to recycle the coffee grinds into ethanol, which in turn could be used to create energy!

    [inhabitat]

    Posted in Alternative Energy on September 25, 2012
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    Bath gets solar-powered waste-compressing street bins


    The City of Bath now plays home to a spectacular way to dispose of trash. Powered by solar energy, these 26 bins installed around the city are an upgraded version of the conventional street bin and compress waste thrown inside making it all easier to dispose later. Using two volume sensors that trigger a compactor when the waste reaches a particular level inside, this solar-powered trash can also makes waste-collection less-frequent and more meticulous. Priced at a £1,000 each, these solar powered bins are expected to help the Bath and North East Somerset Council save nearly £30,000 a year and will soon turn cost-neutral.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on September 11, 2012
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    Salt-water-powered LED lamp charges USB devices too!


    Lighting up living spaces in areas away from grid connections, particularly in under-development regions isn’t all that easy and at times, using renewable energy sources to do the same proves beneficial. Take this LED lamp for instance. Extremely green and cleverly designed, this one’s developed by Green House Co Ltd. and functions on a mix of water and salt! The GH-LED10WBW works perfectly fine with 350ml of saline water containing 16g of salt, which then works as an electrolyte with the lamp making use of a magnesium (Mg) rod (negative electrode) and a carbon rod (positive electrode). With a luminous flux of 55lm, the lamp can be used for up to 120 hours before the magnesium rod requires replacement. And that’s not all. The energy generated from the saline solution can also be used to juice up USB devices with the lamp packing a USB port for the same!

    Posted in Alternative Energy on September 5, 2012
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    China’s wind-energy industry grows 96% in six years, surpassing US


    China has on previous account been pulled up for constantly pumping dreadful emissions in the air and has taken up the cause to go green. The country seems to have lived up to its word, surprising the world with its continual wind-power growth. Growing from 2,000 megawatts to 52,580 megawatts in just six years time, the country has managed to surpass the United States and is currently drawing plans to reach a whopping 200,000 megawatts by 2020! Statically, China’s wind energy industry has grown nearly 96%, enough to make similarly-prosperous countries around the globe go red-faced. We applaud the effort put in by the Chinese authorities and hope to see this far-eastern land known for creating some of the best in technology go greener by the day, inspiring us all towards a better future.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on September 3, 2012
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    Solar-powered air-conditioning system cuts energy consumption by 90%


    The sun has never really been associated with cooling before. More often than not, particularly on hotter days, the best of us look up at the sun frowning, cursing it for its ever abundant heat. This heat could very well be used to cool our homes, with a little bit of technological ingenuity, like this recent development from the Queensland University of Technology. Using the energy from the sun, this eco-friendly air-conditioning system is stated to cut energy consumption by nearly 90% and could very well make use of a solar collector running an ammonia based absorption air conditioning system. The waste resultant heat is then used to heat domestic water, making this system an ideal way to control the temperature of our homes in an energy-efficient manner!

    Posted in Alternative Energy on August 31, 2012
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    SunStation solar-powered EV charging system makes energy-efficient vehicles greener


    Electric vehicles are a promisingly green way to travel, however the very fact that these plug into coal-fired grids to power up somewhat make their efficiency questionable. Helping EVs go truly green, a New Jersey company called Princeton Satellite Systems has come up with an innovative way to juice up green cars, called the SunStation. In essence a solar-powered EV-charging station, this one uses photovoltaic panels to charge electric vehicles with a 240-volt AC output. Capable of charging a 1.6-kilowatt battery in less than 10 hours, there are however doubts in regards to the systems feasibility, given the fact that these don’t really come cheap. Priced at nearly $27.000 for the smallest system packing four solar panels, a full-sized version costs a pocket-wrecking $55,000. And given the fact that electric cars these days don’t really come cheap either, driving green in these days might just remain a day dream.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on August 31, 2012
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    Chewing Gum Battery Concept dispenses paper RFID batteries for quick charges while outdoors


    Running out of charge while outdoors can be a downright frustrating and infuriating event, and more often than not, looking for a charging port away from home isn’t all that simple. Designer Ping-Yi Link has come up with a fantastic way for those outdoors looking for a quick charge to rejoice their gadgets. Called the Chewing Gum Battery Concept, this solar-powered dispensing machine basically dishes out paper batteries which can be used to give your device a quick energy boost. Once used, these RFID paper batteries can be tossed inside the accompanying recycling bin. Essentially an eco-friendly way to juicing up your device while outdoors, this one’s designed for tourist spots and college campuses and dispenses paper batteries of different voltages.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on August 30, 2012
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    Solar powered Heating Lounger chairs sport temperature-indicating LEDs


    Outdoor lounge chairs used for sunbathing are known to spend longer hours in sunlight and are built to bear the harshness of nature. Designers at the Nea Studio have now come up with an innovative way to turn these pieces of outdoor furniture into energy-generating devices. Called the Heating Lounger, these lounge chairs placed on the Riverdale waterfront in Bronx are made from recycled materials and use photovoltaic panels at the back of the seats that soak in the sun. The energy generated can then be used to supply small doses of electricity to passersby in need of juice for their devices. And that’s not all. The Heating Lounger also sports temperature indicating LED lights which work as an aesthetic treat unlike any other.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on August 30, 2012
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    IKEA unveils Minnesota’s largest solar array with 4316 photovoltaic panels


    Furniture retailer IKEA has just unveiled Minnesota’s largest solar array, capable of generating enough energy to power up a 100 homes annually! Propped up on the roof of the retail giant’s Twin Cities store in Bloomington, this array is part of IKEA’s Solar Panel Initiative and is one of the company’s 31 solar projects. With the store covering nearly 142,000 square feet, IKEA has put into place 4316 solar panels in all to power up its facility and lighten its carbon footprint substantially. The array will help IKEA displace the CO2 equivalent of nearly 157 cars on an annual basis and is an inspiration to other large retail chains to step towards greener energy sources to power up.

    Posted in Alternative Energy on August 29, 2012
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    First Solar looks forward to developing solar-power industry in India after consecutive blackouts


    India has been facing regular blackouts these days with the aged power grid buckling under the load of the quickly developing country. So, in order to keep the lights glowing bright in urban Indian homes, First Solar is now drawing plans to build solar projects across the country that will in turn contribute green juice to the overburdened grid. The company in particular has been supplying cadmium-telluride-based solar panels since quite a while now, manufacturing these at comparatively inexpensive prices. As per report, Indian businesses use nearly 30GW of diesel-powered backup systems during blackouts and First Solar thinks switching these with solar panels indeed could prove to be a boon for the country and the environment as a whole.

    [gigaom]

    Posted in Alternative Energy on August 24, 2012
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