Developing green technology isn’t child’s play, but children’s games can certainly inspire new ideas. Playground equipment made from old wind turbines, and a solar powered night light are just two of this week’s green tech finds.
Heat and lighting are necessary elements for survival beyond bare-bones subsistence; in the developing world, however, these two necessities require a lot of labor for fuel sources that threaten the health of people who use them, as well as the planet. Women spend hours each week collecting wood for cooking, and lights, where available, are almost always powered by kerosene. Various social enterprises have worked to tackle the first issue with clean cookstoves; others are now stepping in to address the need for clean lighting with a variety of solar-powered technologies.
Architect Michael Jantzen is known for creating “transformable” structures: buildings that an inhabitant can change or interact with on a physical level. Think of them as the high-art equivalent to a snail shell. After all, why keep your house in one place when you can hit the road and bring it with you? His latest project, the “M” series, features relocatable buildings that can be slapped together in infinite combinations to a matrix of modular support frames, creating totally customizable spaces. If you were a Lego freak as a child, you should probably stop reading and splash cold water on your face, ’cause yeah, this is totally big kid LEGOs.
Ben Kaufman’s company, Quirky, is all about finding great ideas from regular people and turning them into real, marketable products, and Core77 is all about covering the best and latest in design and technology. Throughout the Quirky series, we’ll be bringing you stories from designers, inventors and entrepreneurs who’ve either already brought their product from concept to completion or are right in the middle of that process – and all without the help of a company like Ben’s.
Today we bring you the story of the Solar Puff, runner up for the Core77 Design Award for DIY/Hack/Mod. Designed by Alice Minsoo Chun of Studio Unite.
T-shirts that detect pollution, wind power from transit tunnels, and solar power in coal’s heartland… your green tech finds for the week.
- The pollution-detecting t-shirt: NYU grad students Nien Lam and Sue Ngo’s Warning Signs t-shirts display either a heart or a pair of lungs that change color according to the levels of carbon monoxide in the air. Watch it work above… (via Green Energy News and @greeneconpost)
- All renewables by 2050? A brand new report from WWF claims we can get there, “…with only isolated residual uses of fossil and nuclear fuels.” (via Mail & Guardian Online)
Professor Michael Gratzel is the planet’s next hero. Gratzel recently won this year’s Millennium Technology Prize, a competition that seeks out the most innovative life-enhancing technology, with his dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC). DSC are not as efficient as silicone solar cells, but unlike silicone they’re made organically and are inexpensive to produce, two factors that will hopefully make them ubiquitous in no time. Extremely lightweight, DSC can be folded up for transportation and applied to glass. They go on clear or can be tinted any number of colors from dyes made from crushed fruit. That means every pane of glass in any structure can be used to generate solar power – think of what that would mean for a 90-story office building.
President Barack Obama today announced the award of $2.3 billion in Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for 183 clean energy manufacturing projects across the United States.
California energy regulators have approved Southern California Edison’s request to construct a 173 mile long electricity transmission line to bring wind power generated in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area in Kern County to Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
Tree-power and homemade submarines… all that and more in your green tech finds for the week.
Google… the solar company?: The company announced on Wednesday that it’s “working to develop its own new mirror technology that could reduce the cost of building solar thermal plants by a quarter or more.”
Wind power from the air conditioner: Renewable energy company EarthSure has announced its WindAir system, which is designed to “[transform] the exhausted air flow from central air conditioning units into a source of renewable, clean energy.”
Beer and gas? Sound like a National Lampoon movie… but it’s your green tech finds for the week.
Fart-powered fuel cells? Sort of… Danbury, Connecticut-based FuelCell Energy recently installed two fuel cell power plants at food processor Gills Onions that “…create electricity using old onions and a process that mimics how the human body expels gas”
Solar-powered parking: Austin, Texas is replacing traditional parking meters with “pay stations [that] are solar-powered, take credit cards, debit cards and coins, and will replace the 3,800 outdated single-space parking meters around the city.”
It’s Friday… time for your round-up of interesting and innovative green tech stories.
Sony Ericsson announces the release of two new “Greenheart” mobile phones. The company claims both models have a 15% lower carbon footprint than comparable models, and feature a minimum of 50% recycled plastic. (via eWeek)
Ever had your hat blown off in an urban “wind tunnel?” Ohio-based start-up Green Energy Technologies is trying to replicate the effect of wind tunnels, and harness the energy, with its WindCube wind speed amplifier. (via earth2tech)
Check out more green tech finds and see if you can greenify your life!
This is the second in our list of the best green jobs as our country converts to a 21st century Green economy. If you missed it, read the first entry in the list.
Energy courses through every aspect of industrialized civilization. Since everyone can agree that polluting energy sources need to be cleaned up, solar technology seems to have an absolute advantage when it comes to providing sustainable energy. Being a solar panel technician will allow you to directly improve the environment. Every unit you install adds more alternative energy to the nation’s grid.
Welcome to Eco-mmunity. This website aims to connect people to all the green resources in the world. One of those resources is environmental events and important environmental locations. Creating event and location markers in Eco-mmunity is a great way to create awareness about ways to lessen damage to the environment, and also to protect special…
Parking lots are one of the necessary evils of the average American life. The only people who really like them are skateboarders, and then only if it is relatively empty. We do have to park our cars somewhere, so perhaps it would be good to make better use of them… This is where solar parking…