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Planet Care Carbon Capture Energy Human Effort Materials Mobility Your Home

366: The Resolutionary Anthem

Problem:

How to make people aware that there are solutions to Earth’s ailing condition and that YOU can help clean up, repair and protect our planet.

Solution:

Today marks one year since we started 366solutions and we have posted one solution per day – now a whole year’s worth –  on this site. You can find out more about the solutions by clicking on various links throughout 366solutions.com, or download all solutions through these links:

Download Microsoft Word file

Download .pdf file

In fact, these documents include even more ways to help clean up, repair and protect our shared planet Earth –  732 in all!

The Resolutionary Anthem

We also offer you this musical inspiration: The Resolutionary Anthem, by Sophia Dady:

Sophia Dady’s Website: www.sophiadady.com

This is, like our website, a work song rather than a Work of Art. If you would like to come on board and join with others in singing this Resolutionary Anthem, we encourage you to download the sheet music at no cost…all we ask is that you if you do perform the anthem, please send us a recording so that, with the required permission, we may upload it to 366solutions.com and www.sophiadady.com and promote you on our social media as a way of saying ‘Thank You’!

Sheet Music

»» download .pdf

Lyrics

14,000 miles away they judge because they can
In their plush offices very tall and grand

“No reason to believe that there is a threat to man”
For years we’ve been presented with the scientific papers
Books and documentaries are warning of the dangers
For those in the field, we sing a different song!

Can’t you see? The Earth can’t breathe
The birds can’t feed their young anymore
It’s Nature’s law…

We’re playing for a team, a team that is the same
Not working on our own behalf for personal gain
The right time isn’t in the future, it is NOW!

Don’t you see? It’s not about me!
We all must pull together more
It’s Nature’s law…

CHORUS
Find solutions, that’s the key
Join your voice and sing with me
The World deserves our respect.

Solutions come so easily, when you focus on these three:
Clean,  Repair,  Protect

Our World

Find solutions, that’s the key
Join your voice and sing with me
The World deserves our respect

Solutions come so easily, when you focus on these three:
Clean, Repair, Protect

Our World

For how to do this, check out the solutions on this website and act NOW!

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Energy

365: Wind Turbine variable speed rotor

Problem:

One weak link with wind turbines is the risk of blackouts and other disruptions. For example in August 2019, offshore turbine controllers at the Hornsea One offshore wind farm in Essex, panicked after a lightning strike elsewhere on the grid. They inadvertently pulled the entire wind farm offline, resulting in widespread blackouts in England and Wales.

Solution:

A research team lead by Xiao-Ping Zhang, Director of Smart Grid in the Birmingham Energy Institute at the University of Birmingham set out to tackle the issue of such frequency dips (or nadirs), such as when a generator gets damaged or some other systems failure occurs.

Their solution is to deploy the rotating kinetic energy of the turbine by using the variable speed of the rotors in wind turbine systems to more closely regulate the supply of power to the grid. This means that when electricity demand is high, stored kinetic energy in the turbines can be used intelligently to keep the grid stable.

To avoid a second dip, the Birmingham team proposes a sequence that starts with partial rotor speed recovery, then automatically moves on to a second phase for full recovery. With wind power projected to supply a large slice of the UK’s power by 2030, it is important to equip wind farms with safety mechanisms against frequency nadirs. University of Birmingham Enterprise has applied for a patent to protect the system

Discover Solution 366: Download all solutions and hear The Resolutionary Anthem

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Energy Materials

360: Room-temperature superconductors

Problem:

Scientists are working to increase the temperature at which materials turn into superconductors, since these materials could transfer electricity more cheaply and have important uses in the medical and quantum computing fields.

Solution:

In 2015, a team led by physicist Mikhail Eremets at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry discovered superconductivity at -70 Celsius (-94 Fahrenheit) in the form of  a high-temperature superconducting hydride, by placing a piece of lanthanum into an insulating ring, then placing it into a box full of pressurized hydrogen gas.

They clamped the gasket between a pair of diamonds, and continued squeezing the diamonds until they hit the desired pressures, 200 gigapascals, nearly 2 million times the pressure on the surface of Earth. Then, they hit the sample with a laser to form the lanthanum hydride.

Finally, they took measurements to confirm they really created the material and that it’s really a superconductor. But if confirmed, the feat would be the first example of superconductivity above 0 °C, and some physicists consider that the work could be a mi.tone in the study of superconductivity, which researchers hope will one day make the generation, transmission and use of electricity vastly more efficient.

In February 2019, Salvatore Cezar Pais, an aerospace engineer for NAWCAD at US. Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, obtained a patent on a room-temperature superconductor, representing a potential paradigm shift in energy transmission and computer systems.

The application claims that a room-temperature superconductor can be built using a wire with an insulator core and an aluminum PZT (lead zirconate titanate) coating deposited by vacuum evaporation with a thickness of the London penetration depth and polarized after deposition. An electromagnetic coil is circumferentially positioned around the coating such that when the coil is activated with a pulsed current, a non-linear vibration is induced, enabling room temperature superconductivity.

Pais’s two other patents are a gravity wave generator and inertial mass reduction. If these could be realized as technologies, then we are talking Star Trek level spaceships. The gravitational wave generator could be used for propellentless propulsion to near the speed of light. Being able to reduce inertia would also mean capabilities which currently seem beyond known physics.

The more likely situation is that these will not lead anywhere and are incorrect.

Discover Solution 361: Johad dams

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Energy

358: Poultry farm, free-range and solar powered

Problem:

Traditional poultry farms can use almost four times as much energy usage per live weight poultry (20 to 83 kWh/1000lb) to power lighting, ventilators, heaters, coolers and automated feed lines.

Solution:

Based in Mogumber, Western Australia, Western Riverlands Poultry, the nation’s largest free-range chicken farm occupying 42 free-range sheds and about 10 million birds are turned over each year, is leading the transition to clean energy with one of the largest Agricultural Solar PV projects in Western Australia.


With the support of $1.3 million in state government funding, Western Riverlands owner AAM has added 1.4 megawatts of Solar Choice PV panels to the farm sheds and installed five Tesla batteries.

Solar Choice’s engineering team analysed 30-minute interval data to understand energy consumption through bird cycles and weather seasons, and to design the optimal Solar PV system to maximise economic return and carbon offsets.

Through a National Solar Tender process, Solar Choice was able to help the Mogumber Poultry Farm beat the current market price for solar by over 10%, while delivering a high quality solution which surpasses industry standards for warranties and performance guarantees.

The 340kW Solar PV system utilises Fronius Inverter technology and Trina Solar Panels with both roof-mounted and ground-mounted arrays.

Construction of the new installation by Santrev – a leader in poultry shed construction reached completion in June 2019.
During its lifetime the project will prevent over 17,000 tonnes of carbon emissions and save over $1.5million in energy costs.

West Riverland is also turning straw and manure from chicken sheds into profitable compost. After a few months of monitoring and turning, the raw material is converted into a nutrient-rich compost which is then available for purchase.

More than 50,000 cubic metres of soiled straw and manure comes out of the sheds each year. One South Australian winemaker Michael Bruer has been spreading the compost at two of the family’s organic vineyards.

AAM believes the Riverlands sustainable model can be rolled out to all areas of agriculture.

Discover Solution 359: Insect food for animal and human consumption

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Energy

356: Sustainable energy storage device

Problem:

There is a technical challenge in storing the surplus energy produced by wind turbines of solar panels.

Solution:

At the Institut Mines-Télécom Atlantique, a large engineering school serving companies located in Nantes, teams from the research laboratory with others, in partnership with the family company Segula Technologies of Nanterre, Isle de France have found a non-polluting way of locking the energy produced to redistribute it on demand.

The principle is simple: the wind turbine, when there is wind, provides electricity. Part of this electricity is used to power a water pump which will push water into a piston and compress air. This compressed air will be stored. When there is less wind or no wind but there is a demand for electricity, the air will be decompressed. The water is then pushed back into a turbine that supplies electricity.

Following two years of R&D by a team lead by David Guyomarc’h, head of marine energy Segula Technologies, the process was patented in 2015 then developed through Remora offshore technology.

The realisation is more complicated. Pistons that will allow the compression of air must be installed on barges at sea, near offshore wind turbines. They will have a height of 33 ft (10 m). The air will be compressed at sea and stored under water. The stored energy will be dependent on the number of wind turbines disposed.

The construction and commissioning of the first demonstrator, called the ODySEA with a power of 10kW in the laboratory, was scheduled for summer 2019. This three-year project, labeled by the S2E2 competitiveness cluster, is funded by Ademe. Cetim is taking charge of the test bench, from conception to operation at its Nantes site.

In particular, it will study the hydraulic and pneumatic reversible operation of the system by making use of its expertise in dimensioning hydraulic networks with complex dynamics. Scaled up the system could provide electricity for an entire town.

Discover Solution 357: Hulhumalé

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Energy

355: Sustainable aviation fuel

Problem:

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, global fuel consumption by commercial airlines had increased each year since 2009 and is predicted to reach an all-time high of 97 billion gallons in 2019. During recent years, total fuel consumption of US airlines per year has been between 16 and 17 billion gallons (60 to 65 billion litres)).

Airplanes could generate 43 gigatonnes of AGW pollution through 2050, consuming almost 5 % of the world’s remaining carbon budget. While electric airplanes are being developed, others have been concentrating on Direct Air Capture, while some consider that the solution lies in less polluting fuel.

Solution:

In 2016, Oskar Meijerink, a sustainable energy scientist, and the Future Fuels team at SkyNRG in Amsterdam began to provide Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) initially made from residual lipids such as used cooking oil, thereafter progressing to sourcing either drought-resistant crops such as Camelina, grown on marginal land in EU Mediterranean areas.

They have now progressed to converting captured CO₂. For the latter, in a separate process, electrolysis splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is mixed with the captured CO₂ to form syngas, which can be transformed into jet fuel called BIO4A. SkyNRG has supplied over 25 airlines on all continents worldwide, cutting CO₂ emissions by 63% to significantly reduce the aviation industry’s carbon footprint.

In October 2019, SkyNRG launched its Board Now program with companies including PwC and Skyscanner signed up to the purchase of SAF for a period of five years, during which they will reduce their carbon emissions from business air travel and contribute to the development of a new fuel production facility.

The renewable fuel will be produced by Europe’s first dedicated SAF production plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, which has an annual capacity of 100,000 tons of sustainable aviation fuel and gets its energy from solar panels. The partners in the project hope to produce the first fuel in 2021.

Discover Solution 356: Sustainable energy storage device

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Energy

354: SunBOTs

Problem:

Moveable PV panels require electricity to orient them.

Solution:

Biomimicry. The stem of the natural sunflower (Helianthus annuus) moves throughout the day so that its flowery head always squarely faces the sun, wherever it is in the sky. This is known as phototropism.
Ximin He and a team at the UCLA have developed artificial flowers known as SunBots. Less than one millimeter in diameter, the fake sunflowers use materials that expand and contract with heat to bend towards sunlight.

When part of a SunBOT’s stem is exposed to light, it heats up and shrinks. This causes the stem to bend and point the artificial flower towards the light. The stem stops bending once SunBOT is aligned with the light because the bending creates a shadow that allows the material to cool down and stop shrinking. A “field” of SunBots, constructed using almost any reversibly photo-responsive soft materials, could increase the efficiency of solar power.

Discover Solution 355: Sustainable aviation fuel

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Planet Care Energy

351: PVF (Photovoltaic Fishery)

Problem:

With space at a premium, floating solar farms on their own and fish farms on their own, take up many hectares.

Solution:

Combine the two.


In 2015 a successful 120 MW prototype PVF (Photovoltaic Fishery) built above the fish pond in Yintu Township of Jinhu County, east China’s Jiangsu Province. Two years later a 220 GWh PVF was installed above a fish farm on the Zhouxiang and Changhe reservoirs in Cixi City in the Zhejiang Province in eastern China, 150 km south of Shanghai. The local division of the State Grid Corp of China (SGCC) power utility supported the project by building two new 110-kV booster stations.

It consists of 300 hectares of solar panels that can generate enough power for 100.000 households, negating the need to burn 7,4 tns of coal instead. By connecting the power station to the national grid, the fishery can expected an annual yield of 240 million RMB (US$34M) above the annual income already generated through the fish farm.

Acting as a “canopy system”, the solar panels have intentionally been spaced far enough apart in order to let sunlight penetrate the water so not to disturb the growth of the fish beneath the surface. In addition the PV panels installed above the pond will provide shade that will facilitate fish farming under the water.

In Taiwan, Google a subsidiary of Alphabet is working with Taiyen Green Energy the Fisheries Research Institute (COA) unit of the Taiwan Council of Agriculture on the installation of a 10-megawatt canopy system PVF on a 60-hectare fish pond in southern Taiwan’s Chiayi County. It should go into operation in 2022.

In Vietnam, funded by the German Government the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems is working with Viet Uc Seafood to develop a 100 kWp pilot PVF in the Mekong Delta.

Fraunhofer ISE reports that according to its initial analyses, a 1 MW project installed in Bac Lieu should see a CO2 reduction of around 15,000 metric tons per year and water consumption would fall by 75% per year compared to a conventional shrimp farm.It later hopes to expand the idea with smaller, more affordable solar fish farms. This will enable everyday aquaculture farmers to benefit from “dual land use.”

Discover Solution 352: STRAP, or Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation processing

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Materials Energy

350: Steel production using solar power

Problem:

The iron and steel sector is the “world’s largest industrial source of climate pollution,” according to the Cold Steel Hot Climate report, which notes that steel represented approximately 5% of final energy use and 7% of emissions worldwide in 2013.

Recent studies have found that 14% of steel firms’ market value is in jeopardy if they are unable to decrease their environmental impact.

Solution:

The first steel mill to be powered by sustainable energy is EVRAZ North America’s 240-MW Bighorn Solar Project at its Rocky Mountain operation in Pueblo, Colorado. USA. Xcel Energy, as the power provider for the steel mill, will purchase the power generated by the solar farm under a long-term contract with Lightsource bp. The solar facility will be located on on 1,600 acres of land at the steel mill.

McCarthy Building Companies was selected by Lightsource bp as EPC — installing nearly 750,000 Canadian Solar bifacial solar panels, mounted on trackers from Nextracker. Commercial operation is expected by late 2021

While the mill operates 24 hours a day, solar panels do not. Over the course of a year the solar farm is expected to produce electricity roughly equal to 95% of the mill’s annual demand. On sunny days, excess power will be sold to the Colorado grid, but at night the mill will draw power from the grid, which still includes a good bit of fossil energy.

Luckily, about the time solar panels are going dark, strong winds whip up across the plains of eastern Colorado, where wind turbines will turn it into power. At certain hours during the night, wind farms can supply as much as 70% of the power on the state grid, and that is likely to be true more and more often as the company signs contracts with new wind farms.

Discover Solution 351: PVF (Photovoltaic Fishery)

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Energy

348: Spicy chili pepper chemical boosts solar panel efficiency

Problem:

The charge transport layer, playing a critical role in high-performance perovskite solar cells (PSCs), suffers from significant non-radiative recombination, limiting their power conversion efficiencies.

Solution:

Capsaicin (C₁₈H₂₇NO₃)


Qin-ye Bao, a professor in the School of Physics and Electronic Science at East China Normal University in Shanghai and his colleagues have found a secret ingredient for making solar panels that absorb the sun’s energy more efficiently. Capsaicin,

C₁₈H₂₇NO₃ is the organic chemical that gives chili peppers (from the genus Capsicum) their spicy sting, also improves perovskite solar cell efficiency.

Bao and his team suspected that capsaicin might have an energy-boosting effect because it can free up electrons that can go on to carry charge. They tested the capsaicin-treated solar cells in the laboratory by exposing them to artificial light to simulate sunlight and measuring the electrical current running through them.

Capsaicin made the solar cells more efficient, yielding a power conversion of 21.88 per cent, versus 19.1 per cent without capsaicin. The team then analysed the solar cells with spectroscopy while conducting energy and found that the addition of capsaicin did indeed lead to a greater number of free electrons available to conduct current at the solar cells’ surface. This reduced energy leakage via heat.

Conflicts between farmers and elephants have long been widespread in African and Asian countries, where elephants nightly destroy crops, raid grain houses, and sometimes kill people. Farmers have found the use of chilies effective in crop defense against elephants.

Elephants do not like capsaicin, the chemical in capsicum chilies that makes them hot. Because the elephants have a large and sensitive olfactory and nasal system, the smell of the chili causes them discomfort and deters them from feeding on the crops. By planting a few rows of the pungent fruit around valuable crops, farmers create a buffer zone through which the elephants are reluctant to pass.

Discover Solution 349: Photovoltaic road surfacing

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Energy

347: PV-SÜD

Problem:

It would prove incredibly costly to equip the unused surfaces of the hundreds and thousands of highways and motorways with resistant solar panelled roads, subject to damage

Solution:

The Austrian Institute of Technology, Martin Heinrich, supervisor of the solar module product team Fraunhofer Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Germany, and Forster Industrietechnik in Switzerland with interest from the German Federal Ministry of Transport Switzerland’s Federal Roads Office is working to develop a solar canopy system. It is called the PV-SÜD initiative.

A trial demonstration section will be built in Southern Germany, including the 1-year testing at the section 20-40m from the exit and entrance, where they will not only study the power generation volume, but also observe on water drainage, snow and wind resistance, stability, and resistance to vehicle collision, since equipment maintenance and traffic security are the largest challenge subsequent to the completion of engineering.

Naturally, traffic safety is another unique concern, and efficient maintenance would be important to making it cost competitive. In addition to the double use of space, the scientists expect other positive outcomes, including the protection of road surfaces from precipitation and overheating. Such a system can also help reduce noise pollution.

The theory is basically attainable, as Germany has a 13,000km long highway network, and if a standard 4-lane highway measures 24m in width is established with solar panels that are capable of 180W/m2, the total solar capacity can reach to 56GW, which exceeds the accumulated installed capacity of 49GW in Germany during 2019.

Looking at the power consumption demand from Germany in 2019, the solar highway will satisfy 9% of power consumption in the country, equalling approximately 1/3 of household power consumption.

The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management is also considering to install solar panels on the A37 motorway in Drenthe that are expected to be 40km, and 3 km2 (approx. 300 hectares) in total area. The solar panels will not be laid on the road, but on the refuge islands and enclosures between roads, and will arrive at 140MW in total installed capacity.

Discover Solution 348: Spicy chili pepper chemical boosts solar panel efficiency

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Energy Your Home

345: Solar kits for internet access (SDHS) OniriQ

Problem:

The Internet is not always available rural communities in Third World countries.

Solution:

In 2016 a team led by Rodolphe Rosier in Senegal developed an off-grid access system for 600 million Africans.


Called SOLARBOX50 it combines solar energy and digital home systems (SDHS) and is a crossover between traditional solar home systems (SHS) and set-top boxes. A typical SDHS device (solar box) comes with a 50W solar panel, 3 LED lamps, a 19-inch TV set and an embedded Internet connection for domestic use and for IPTV; all for a monthly subscription fee.

Joined by Michael Hernandez, the renamed OniriQ was improved from a traditional design model to a design that resulted in savings and increased data redundancy. Like every startup, OniriQ experienced difficulties raising money, especially for hardware development.

But following the completion of the first set of working prototypes and the warm reception from testing at Ounck, a rural community 370 mi. (600 km.) from Dakar, the team behind OniriQ got the needed motivation to keep on pushing. While it is still seeking fund to enable it attain 5,000 units of production, ten were deployed in homes of influencers and local personalities in the community where testing was carried out, with financing from an NGO named Energy Foundation for the World. OniriQ’s plan is to export its solar kits to seven African countries, available on the micro company’s internet platform

Discover Solution 346: Prefabricated Plastic Road

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Energy Materials

342: Solar Cloth and film

Problem:

Since their commercialisation in the 1970s PV panels have been sold in rigid, rectangular formats.

Solution:

Integrating them into cloth enables a much more versatile application. In 1966, Charles A. Escoffery of the International Rectifier Corporation in El Segundo obtained patent US3255047A for a “Flexible fabric support structure for PV cells” Six years later, Escoffery had toured both the United States and Europe with a 1910 Baker Electric automobile which he had outfitted with a panel of solar cells as an advertisement for International Rectifier Corporation.

In 2014, Alain Janet, a sailmaker of Mandelieu-la-Napoule in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France, innovated SolarSailCloth, with the thickness of a banknote and flexible enough to be rolled in a tube.

He then developed a machine in a “clean room” enabling the integration of layers of very thin (25 to 65 microns) films within laminated or woven textiles. Its applications are widespread: on the sea for zero emission racing and cruising boats; on the land for tents for refugees or agricultural projects; and in the air for stratospheric scientific probe balloons.

In 2018, SolarSailcloth teamed up with UK Sailmakers make a 1kW Power Sail) as part of the 380Z production zero emission sailboat built by Arcona of Sweden, with its motor from Finnish electric engine manufacturer Oceanvolt, SuperB lithium batteries and Victron regulators from the Netherlands.

In 2015, in partnership with the American leader MiaSolé, manufacturer of these multi-junction cells, Solar Cloth System has greatly improved the performance of its solar panels. The new cells, using 4 different sensor metals to harvest solar radiation from a wide range of brightness, offer 17% efficiency, almost similar to rigid panels.

With the textile integration of SolarCloth System, the result is the best weight / load capacity ratio on the market. With a peak power of 170W / m² and an average weight of 500 g / m², the energy density is 340 W / kg. The semi-flexible solar panels on the market are around 70 W / kg and the rigid 13W / kg. That year the French Government awarded SolarClothSail 1st Prize at the ADEME Innovation-Growth Competition. (solarclothsystem.com)

Also in France, Hubert de Boisredon and a team at the ink and print cartridge manufacturer Armor, in Nantes, (Loire-Atlantique) France, collaborating with the National Institute of Solar Energy (INES), have developed an ultra-thin, durable and very light solar film (450 g / m²) called Asca.

Its flexibility allows it to marry rounded or complex shapes and to cover domes. Its translucence allows it to be placed on glass surfaces such as agricultural greenhouses such as conventional panels, Asca contains elements of organic origin and not rare metals making it perfectly recyclable.

A production tool has been designed, capable of producing 10.7 million ft² (1 million m²) of Asca film per year. In Togo, West Africa, Armor has partnered with UNESCO to provide more than 200 schoolchildren with solar kits. A pocket fitted with Asca film allows children to charge a mobile lamp during the school day so that in the evening they have the essential light to study, in a region where access to energy is sorely lacking.

Discover Solution 343: Wind-powered ships

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Energy Your Home

339: Energy-efficient shower head

Problem:

Spending too long taking a shower in the bathroom is energy inefficient in both water and electricity. According to Ademe’s estimates, the shower represents 40% of the water consumed by a household.

Solutions:

Gabriel Della-Monica has invented Hydrao, a LED shower head which automatically changes colour depending on shower length to make you aware of how long you have been showering.

This shower head also has an integrated flow restrictor disc to limit the water flow rate to 2.6 gallons per minute (10 litres/min). Della-Monica, a telecoms engineer, has 4 teenage daughters at home, and was also looking for ways to reduce his water bill and to have some hot water left over in the morning.

During the first 3 minutes of showering, the LEDs glow green with approximately 8 gallons (30 litres) total water consumption, from 3 to 5 minutes: the LEDs glow orange,5 to 6 minutes: the LEDs glow red (approx. 15.8 gallons/ 60 litres) total water consumption and from 6 minutes after, the LEDS blink red.

In 2015, Della-Monica founded the Hydrao startup in Grenoble as part of French Tech, the Minalogic technology cluster and the GreenTech Verte incubator overseen by the French Minister of the Environment.

Following the company’s first ever award for Best-in-Innovation from ST Microelectronics, HYDRAO has since garnered numerous awards both in France and abroad: amongst which are a 2016 CES Innovation Award and two 2017 CES Innovation Awards and two 2017 UK Water Efficiency Product Awards from the well-respected NGO Waterwise. (hydrao.com)

A mist shower atomizes water to very fine drops (less than 10 microns), which greatly reduces the water flow. Buckminster Fuller invented the first one in 1936 as part of his Dymaxion bathroom (he called it a “fog gun”). The idea was taken up again in the 1970s, when several trials and experiments were conducted with both atomised hand washing and showering.

In San Francisco, USA, Nebia Spa Shower was developed in 2014 as a prototype designed to cut down on water usage in Mexico’s largest athletic club chain, where one of the company’s co-founders, Carlos Gomez Andonaegui, was CEO. By utilizing the same technologies that engineers use for rocket engines and medical devices, the Nebia (= “mist” in Italian), developed by a team of world-class thermo and mechanical engineers, industrial designers, atomizes the water stream into tiny droplets, allowing 10 times the surface area to be covered with only a fraction of the water volume; all while maintaining water pressure and decreasing water wastage.

Soon, Nebia made its way as a beta product onto the campuses of Google and Apple, with the fledgling startup eventually wooing prestigious Silicon Valley investors including Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt. Patent US20160059243A1 was granted 2018. In four years, Nebia 1.0 claim to have saved 100 million gallons (380 million litres) of water. In 2019 Nebia teamed up with Moen to develop the Nebia 2.0, designed to save 65% of the water and 60% of the heating energy used by a standard shower. (nebia.com)

In the Netherlands, Jonas Görgen, a young designer who graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2019, became fascinated by the history of the mist shower and decided to build one himself. Compared to earlier mist showers, Görgen has improved the concept in two important ways. First, he developed a kit that can turn almost any shower into a mist shower with very little effort. Second, in contrast to earlier experiments, his mist shower uses not one but three to six nozzles. It costs far less than the Nebia.

Another alternative solution is Ilya, a cyclic shower, developed by Simon Buoro, Antoine Escande and Nathan Guiraud, three engineers graduated from INSA, the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Toulouse, France. With each new shower taken, the system draws 10 to 20 pints (5 to 10 liters) of water from the water network, as would be the case with a conventional shower.
These few litres of water correspond to the volume of water required to fill the system and guarantee closed circuit operation in the various subsystems (filter, heater, etc.) of the cyclic shower. This is possible because it turns out that the shower water is in fact very little polluted, especially if natural soap and shampoo are used. For a conventional shower the water is heated to 40 degrees at a cost. With this cyclic system, energy consumption is lower because the recovered water is still hot.

What you can do: Reduce your environmental impact by using an energy efficient showerhead

Discover Solution 340: Pods for coffee

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Energy

337: Wind Power Hub

Problem:

Large land-based wind turbine farms take up space which could be better used for housing and agriculture.

Solution:

A very big floating offshore wind farm


Equinor ASA, a Norwegian multinational energy company headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, builds energy captors offshore. They built the 88MW Hywind floating offshore wind farm to provide electrical power to the Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas platforms in the Tampen area on the Norwegian continental shelf.

This farm is reducing CO₂ emissions by more than 220,500 tons (200,000 tonnes) per year, equivalent to the emissions from 100,000 cars. After this, Equinor teamed up with Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and Korea East-West Power (EWP) to carry out a feasibility study for the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, the 200 MW Donghae 1 project to be located close to the KNOC-operated Donghae natural gas field off the coast of Ulsan. They aim to start building the farm in 2022, with possible electricity production from 2024.

Equinor is also linking up with SSE to build an offshore wind farm in the North Sea. It will use the largest, most powerful offshore wind turbine in the world: GE Renewable Energy, already with 50,000 turbines in the field, is preparing the Haliade-X. While each blade is 107m long, longer than the size of a soccer field, its 260m mast is more than five times the size of the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France.

Designed by LM Wind Power of Kolding, Denmark and built at their factory in Tianjin, China, one Haliade-X is capable of generating between 12 and 14 MW – up to 67 GWh annually, enough clean power for up to 16,000 households per turbine, and up to 1 million European households in a 750 MW windfarm configuration. GE Renewable Energy aims to supply its first nacelle for demonstration in 2021

Each of the new 720 ft. (220 m.) diameter rotor mega-turbines planned for the world’s biggest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank in the North Sea will generate enough electricity for 16,000 homes. Together, the new generation turbines, built by GE Renewable Energy, will make up a windfarm capable of generating enough renewable electricity to power 4.5m homes from 80 mi (130 km.) off the Yorkshire coast, or 5% of the UK’s total power supply. In November 2020 Equinor and SSE completed a deal worth £8 billion to finance the first phases of the farm (equinor.com)

In June 2016, nine countries – the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden – signed an agreement to cooperate in planning and building offshore wind parks. The goal is to reduce costs as quickly as possible and thus make the wind parks more economically viable.

A study commissioned by Dutch electrical grid operator TenneT reported in February 2017 that as much as 110 gigawatts of wind energy generating capacity could ultimately be developed at the Dogger Bank location. TenneT (Netherlands and Germany) teamed up with the Centre for Electric Power and Energy at the Technical University of Denmark (Energinet) and signed a tri-lateral agreement for the creation of a large connection point for thousands of future offshore wind turbines in the North Sea.

The ‘North Sea Wind Power Hub’ would have the potential to supply 70 to 100 million Europeans with renewable energy by 2050. Working closely with Energinet, Vestas, MHI Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, ABB, NKT, Siemens and Ørsted, The North Sea Wind Power Hub is a proposed energy island complex to be built in the middle of the North Sea as part of a European system for sustainable electricity.

One or more “Power Link” artificial islands or modules will be created at the northeast end of the Dogger Bank, a relatively shallow area in the North Sea, just outside the continental shelf of the United Kingdom and near the point where the borders between the territorial waters of Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark come together. Dutch, German, and Danish electrical grid operators are cooperating in this project to help develop a cluster of offshore wind parks with a capacity of several gigawatts, with interconnections to the North Sea countries. Undersea cables will make international trade in electricity possible.

According to this plan, the first artificial island will have an area of 2.3 mi² (6 km²). Thousands of wind turbines will be placed around the island, with short alternating-current links to the island. On the island itself, power converters will change the alternating current to direct current that will be carried to the mainland via undersea cables. The Hub – one island at first, and later one or two more – is intended to make a substantial contribution to the energy transition and to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.

The idea is that the structure would be built in modules, so that, over time, it would be possible to expand the Hub with more islands or enlarge it so that up to 180GW of offshore wind capacity could ultimately be handled. To get to that point, a lot of new technology would be required, both to transmit energy and to store it, hence the project.(tenet.eu)

In October 2020 the Hub obtained a €4 million EU grant.

Meanwhile in March 2020, Shell, Gasunie, a Dutch gas grid operator, and the port of Groningen began to plan the NortH2 Project to provide 3-4GW of offshore wind capacity established in the North Sea by 2030 that would only be used for the manufacture of green hydrogen.

Electrolyzers would be installed along the northern coast of the Netherlands, in Eemshaven, and by 2040 the project may expand with added offshore electrolyzers that are set to produce 10GW of power. Shell currently has a 20% stake in a consortium that is building around 730MW of offshore wind off the coast of the Netherlands. (gasunie.nl)

Discover Solution 338: X Prize Carbon Capture and Removal

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Energy

336: Flexible and portable water turbine

Problem:

Machines for harnessing energy from flowing rivers are mostly built on the riverbank.

Solution:

Mobile wind- and water-powered electronics chargers
In 2007, Robert Boyd, Geoff Holden, Adam Press and Andrew Cook of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada co-founded SEAformatics to commercialise mobile wind- and water-powered electronics chargers they called SeaLily and Waterlily.

With a flexible support shaft that permits the water current to orient the turbine with the flow of water to optimize flow across the turbine blades, the portable units weigh 1.8 lb. (800g.) and measure 7 in. (180 mm.) across and 3 in. (75 mm.) thick. They can be placed into a river or a windy place to spin up some power for any device that charges via USB.

WaterLily is designed for hikers, paddlers, campers, and anyone who spends time off the grid. It charges phones, speakers, cameras, battery banks, and even 12V devices, by generating power from rivers and streams. SEAformatics SeaLily enables reduced cost for the collection of environmental data.

In 2018, the Memorial University of Newfoundland obtained U.S. Patent No. 9,784,236 for their “Flexible Water Turbine.”

What you can do: Purchase a product from WaterLily Turbine

Discover Solution 337: Wind Power Hub

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Energy

328: Rotting Veg

Problem:

One of the shortcomings in solar energy production is poor environmental conditions while vegetable waste needs to be usefully recycled.

Solution:

AuREUS vegetable waste


Carvey Ehren Maigue, a 27-year-old engineer from Mapua University in Manila, the Philippines has developed AuREUS (=golden) a new fluorescent material made out of waste fruit and vegetables such as carrots that that can be attached to the sides of buildings to harvest invisible ultraviolet (UV). While ‘resting’, the particles remove excess energy, which bleeds out of the material as visible light and can be transformed into electricity.

The young engineer was inspired by the fact that UV light still seeps through on dark gloomy days when there’s not much sunlight that could potentially be harvested AuREUS could line the side of tower blocks to turn them into ‘vertical solar energy farms’ and power them for a fraction of the cost.

For his solution, in 2020, Maigue became the first-ever recipient of the £30,000 James Dyson Sustainability Award.

Discover Solution 329: Sneakers

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Energy

325: Water battery

Problem:

With global warming, the search is on to developed more natural air conditioning systems.

Solution:

Air-conditioning “water battery”


During 2019, a team lead by Dennis Frost, Manager of Energy and Infrastructure at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), Queensland, Australia in collaboration with energy and utility services company Veolia, began to trial a three-storey air-conditioning “water battery”.

The thermal energy storage system will use a large storage tank of water that is cooled using a “complex thermal process” by the output of 6,000 solar PV panels spread across campus rooftops and car park structures on USC’s Sippy Downs Campus. The cooling and storage system is paired with 2.1 MW of on-site solar PV, which the University said is enough to cool 4.5 megaliters of water.

The water battery will help “slash 40% of grid energy use” at Sippy Downs. The cooled water will be stored and then used for air conditioning, currently the single biggest use of energy at the site is the start of an ambitious rollout of clean-energy developments that is planned to include renewably produced hydrogen and make USC carbon-neutral by 2025.

Discover Solution 326: Plastic-free aisles in supermarkets

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Energy

323: Hydrogen-powered train

Problem:

At present, Indian railways has a fleet of 19,000 passenger and goods trains. Of these, about 5,000 trains run on diesel. While diesel trains are more energy efficient than automobiles, they do have their own effects on the environment, including producing nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter that can contribute to air pollution and negative health effects. Diesel engines can emit a fair amount of nitrogen compounds and particulate matter as they burn diesel fuel.

Solution:

Sustainable electric trains


Indian Railways is currently working on electrifying all of its lines apart from a few narrow-gauge lines. It has a target of completing this by December 2023. The electricity will all be wind and solar generated. India Railways is also working on development of a hydrogen-powered suburban train and has floated an Expression of Interest for industry participation,

In 2018, two years after Alstom had presented its Coradia iLint hydrogen-powered train at Innotrans in Berlin, iLint entered passenger service in Lower Saxony. It had had been designed by Alstom teams in Salzgitter, Germany and in Tarbes, France, funded by the German Ministry of Economy and Mobility as part of the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).

Following the trials Alstom stated that it would build 14 Coradia iLint emissions-free trains, that can travel 621 mi. (1,000 km.) on one full hydrogen tank, and can reach a maximum speed of up to 87 mph (140 kph) with regular services beginning in 2021.

In May 2019, German public transport network Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) subsidiary fahma placed a US$ 500m order for 27 Coradia iLint trains. Alstom would supply the hydrogen fuel in partnership with Infraserv GmbH & Co Höchst KG. A refuelling station will be located at the Höchst industrial park.

During the first quarter of 2020, the testing of the Coradia iLint train was carried out the track between Groningen and Leeuwarden at up to 87 mph (140kph). Dutch railway operators and regional authorities are looking to replace diesel fleets for operation on non-electrified lines find it a clean alternative. (alstom.com)

Also in Germany, Siemens and Canadian fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems with their FCveloCity® fuel cell modules have announced plans to jointly develop a fuel cell drive for the Siemens Mireo aluminum railcar.

The collaboration will also include input from RWTH Aachen University and aims to develop a new generation of fuel cells featuring longer lifecycles, higher efficiency and greater power density. The project has received around $13 million in funding from the German Federal Ministry for Transportation and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of the Ministry’s ‘National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program’. The fuel cell technology is currently slated to be ready for service and integration on-board the train platform by 2021.

In England Porterbrook is working in close partnership again with Ballard and the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) to develop the HydroFLEX, the UK’s first hydrogen powered train. HydroFLEX, was developed using an existing Class 319 train set.

Discover Solution 324: Vertical Forests

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Materials Energy

322: Smart textile, Radiative heat transfer

Problem:

Many textiles are made for social etiquette and aesthetic purposes, but the pressing threat of global warming has created demand for innovative textiles that help to better cool the person who wears them.

Solution:

Stanford engineers have developed a low-cost, plastic-based textile that, if woven into clothing, could cool the body far more efficiently than is possible with the natural or synthetic fabrics in clothes worn today – and without air conditioning. If you can cool the person rather than the building where they work or live, that will save energy.

Photon-to-cooling phenomenon relies on the atmospheric transparency window to dissipate heat from the earth into outer space, which is an energy-saving cooling technique.

The emissivity of aluminized Polymethylpentene (PMP) thin films as selected by the Stanford team matches well to the atmospheric transparency window so as to minimize parasitic heat losses.
This new material works by allowing the body to discharge heat in two ways that would make the wearer feel nearly 4° F cooler than if they wore cotton clothing.

The material cools by letting perspiration evaporate through the material, something ordinary fabrics already do. But the Stanford material provides a second, revolutionary cooling mechanism: allowing heat that the body emits as infrared radiation to pass through the plastic textile.

First, they found a variant of polyethylene commonly used in battery making that has a specific nanostructure that is opaque to visible light yet is transparent to infrared radiation, which could let body heat escape. This provided a base material that was opaque to visible light for the sake of modesty but thermally transparent for purposes of energy efficiency.

They then modified the industrial polyethylene by treating it with benign chemicals to enable water vapor molecules to evaporate through nanopores in the plastic, said postdoctoral scholar and team member Po-Chun Hsu, allowing the plastic to breathe like a natural fiber.

To test the cooling potential of their three-ply construct versus a cotton fabric of comparable thickness, they placed a small swatch of each material on a surface that was as warm as bare skin and measured how much heat each material trapped.

The comparison showed that the cotton fabric made the skin surface 3.6 F warmer than their cooling textile. The researchers said this difference means that a person dressed in their new material might feel less inclined to turn on a fan or air conditioner.

The researchers are continuing their work on several fronts, including adding more colours, textures and cloth-like characteristics to their material. Adapting a material already mass produced for the battery industry could make it easier to create products.

Discover Solution 323: Hydrogen-powered train

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Energy

317: Vanillin battery

Solution:

Researchers led by Stefan Spirk from the Institute of Bioproducts and Paper Technology at Graz University of Technology have succeeded in making redox-flow batteries more environmentally friendly by replacing their core element, the liquid electrolyte, which are mostly made up of ecologically harmful heavy metals or rare earths – with vanillin.

Spirk and his team have refined lignin into vanillin into a redox-active material using mild and green chemistry without the use of toxic and expensive metal catalysts, so that it can be used in flow batteries. The process works at room temperature and can be implemented with common household chemicals.

Vanillin is also present in large quantities. Although it is native to Mexico, V. planifolia is now widely grown throughout the tropics. Vanilla is grown within 10-20° of the Equator. Most vanilla beans available today are from Madagascar, Mexico and Tahiti. Vanilla flavoring in food may be achieved by adding vanilla extract or by cooking vanilla pods in the liquid preparation.

Vanillin can be bought quite conventionally, even in the supermarket, but on the other hand we can also use a simple reaction to separate it from lignin, which in turn is produced in large quantities as waste product in paper production.

Spirk and colleagues are in concrete talks with Mondi AG, a leading global manufacturer of paper-based products, which is showing great interest in the technology.

Discover Solution 318: Globally-transmitted wireless power

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Energy

316: Typhoon-harnessing wind turbines

Problem:

Substantial winds are good for electricity production, but the very high wind speeds in storms can overwhelm traditional turbines. When the anemometer registers wind speeds higher than 55 mph (cut-out speed varies by turbine), it triggers the wind turbine to automatically shut off.

Solution:

Atsushi Shimizu, founder and chief executive of Challenergy in Tokyo has developed a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT), with cylinders in place of blades, and which make use of a physics phenomenon known as the Magnus effect

While the motors require an energy input to spin, this is only up to approximately 10% of the power generated by the turbine. The advantages of this turbine, in its vertical axis and Magnus-effect-exploiting design, is that it can adjust to any wind direction, and power generation can be controlled in accordance with the wind speed. The latter is done via flaps or “cylinder wings” incorporated alongside the spinning cylinders, which can be adjusted to control the magnitude of the Magnus effect.

Shimizu’s calculations show that a sufficiently large array of his turbines positioned in typhoon ally could capture enough energy from a single typhoon to power Japan for 50 years

Because the Magnus effect acts as the main driver, the rotation of the turbine is almost 10 times slower than conventional blade turbines. This means they are less noisy, and Shimizu is also studying whether the lower rotational speed has a less detrimental effect on passing birds.

The 10KW version, installed in Ishigaki, Okinawa, has already recorded its first electricity generation during Typhoon Hagibis in October 2019 and the power and communication lines were maintained by continuously supplying the satellite antenna with power. Challenergy claim that their design can survive winds of up to 70m/s (156mph) but has an upper operating limit of 40m/s (89mph).

Discover Solution 317: Vanillin battery

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Energy

314: Reversible pumped storage systems

Solution:

A reversible pumped storage hydroelectric power plant works like an enormous rechargeable battery. Its reversible turbines use cheap electricity during the night to pump water to an upper reservoir, in readiness for charging the turbines to meet peak demand the following day.

There are nearly 300 pumped storage projects in the world, and 40 in the United States.

The first use of pumped-storage in the United States was in 1930 by the Connecticut Electric and Power Company, using the 11 mi (17.7 km) long Candlewood Lake, a large reservoir located near New Milford, Connecticut, pumping water from the Housatonic River to the storage reservoir 230 ft. (70 m) above.

Its Chief Engineer, Paul Heslop described his design “The statement that a hydro-electric plant can pump its own water supply sounds absurd on the face of it, yet this is virtually what happens in the case of our the Rocky River Hydro Plant. ”  The technology pioneered at the Rocky River project using reversible pumps that also act as generators was not widely used in other U.S. projects until the 1950s and 1960s.

Another RPSS, the Cruachan Power Station, located in Argyll and Bute, Scotland which takes water between Cruachan Reservoir to Loch Awe, a height difference of 1,299 ft (396 m.) has a capacity of 7.1 GWh. It was the brainchild of Sir Edward McColl, a Dumbarton-born engineer and pioneer of hydro power while the civil engineering design of the scheme was carried out by James Williamson & Partners of Glasgow, and the main project contractors were William Tawse of Aberdeen and Edmund Nuttall of Camberley. Consulting electrical engineers were Merz & McLellan of Newcastle on Tyne.

Construction began in 1959 to coincide with the Hunterston A nuclear power station in Ayrshire. Many working models of the turbines were built and work tests were carried out on completed alternators before being delivered to the site. At the peak of the construction, there were around 4,000 people working on the project. It was opened Queen Elizabeth II on 15 October 1965 and is still in service.

Over in the USA, the Bath County Pumped Storage Station was built for the Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO) between March 1977 and December 1985 The station consists of two reservoirs separated by about 1,260 ft. (380 m) in elevation. It is the largest pumped-storage power station in the world with a maximum generation capacity of 3,003 MW, when all six generators are operating at full power. National Public Radio called the station “The World’s Biggest Battery.”

Pumped hydroelectric storage (PHS) is by far the largest and most cost-effective form of energy storage today. In 2009, world pumped storage generating capacity was 104 GW, while other sources claim 127 GW, which comprises the vast majority of all types of utility grade electric storage. While the facility in Bath County is the largest now, a 4,000 MW project at Lake Revelstoke in British Columbia has been proposed.
In 2017 the largest pumped storage in Europe was the Cortes-La Muela hydroelectric project in Spain, rated at 1,762MW.

The largest in China was the Cuntangkou Pumped Hydro Power Station in Sichuan, rated at 2,000MW. The Snowy Hydro 2.0 pumped storage project in Australia completed a feasibility study in 2017 that proposed to expand the existing network of hydropower dams to provide up to 6,000 MW of generating capacity. It would become the world’s largest hydropower scheme with pumped storage. It has yet to be built.

Discover Solution 315: Skateboards from recycled and since recycling

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Energy

313: Photocatalyst sheet

Problem:

Harvesting solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into fuel is a promising way to reduce carbon emissions and transition away from fossil fuels. However, it is challenging to produce these clean fuels without unwanted by-products, in addition, storage of gaseous fuels and separation of by-products can be complicated

Solution:

Wang Qian a researcher at the Department of Chemistry, Cambridge University originally from Jiangxi province has collaborated with artificial photosynthesis expert Erwin Reisner, to develop a standalone biomimicry device that converts sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into a carbon-neutral fuel, without requiring any additional components or electricity.

The 20cm² test unit called a photocatalyst sheet is made up of cost-effective semiconductor powders and uses light as its only energy source, prompting a reaction that produces formic acid, a storable fuel that can be used directly or converted into clean-burning hydrogen.

The wireless device could be scaled up to several m² and used on energy ‘farms’ similar to solar farms, producing clean fuel using sunlight and water. In addition, the formic acid can be accumulated in solution, and be chemically converted into different types of fuel.

Discover Solution 314: Reversible pumped storage systems

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Energy

310: Twin thin-film solar cell with 34% efficiency

Problem:

Solar cells have come a long way, but inexpensive, thin film solar cells are still far behind more expensive, crystalline solar cells in efficiency. Theoretically, two layers would be better than one for solar-cell efficiency.

Solution:

A team led by Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of engineering science and mechanics at the Pennsylvania State University, has suggested that using two thin films of different materials may be the way to go to create affordable, thin film cells with about 34% efficiency.

To do that the Penn State team had to make the absorbent layer nonhomogeneous in a special way. That special way was to use two different absorbent materials in two different thin films. They chose commercially available CIGS — copper indium gallium diselenide — and CZTSSe — copper zinc tin sulfur selenide— for the layers. By itself, CIGS’s efficiency is about 20% and CZTSSe’s is about 11%.

These two materials work in a solar cell because the structure of both materials is the same. They have roughly the same lattice structure, so they can be grown one on top of the other, and they absorb different frequencies of the spectrum so they should increase efficiency
“It was amazing,” said Lakhtakia. “Together they produced a solar cell with 34% efficiency. This creates a new solar cell architecture — layer upon layer. Others who can actually make solar cells can find other formulations of layers and perhaps do better.”

According to the researchers, the next step is to create these experimentally and see what the options are to get the final, best answers.The National Science Foundation supported this research.

Discover Solution 311: Ultra-strong coloured bricks from plastic waste

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Mobility Energy

308: Retrofitting vehicles to electric propulsion

Problem:

According to Oliver Wyman of Lux Research electric vehicles are 45% more expensive to build than their internal combustion engined equivalents.

Solution:

During the 1980s, many individuals retrofitted their gasoline automobiles to electric propulsion despite being held back by batteries with feeble autonomy.

In 1966, Daniel Theobald Cambridge, Massachusetts bought a 1966 VW camper off Craigslist, converted it to electric power in an afternoon and started re-engineering the vehicle for solar power.

Among them was Randy Holmquist of Errington, a small Vancouver Island community in British Columbia, Canada. In 1995 Holmquist set up Canadian Electric Vehicles (CEV) with the initial focus to provide the designs and parts for converting gas vehicles to non-polluting electric.

In 2000 Canadian Electric Vehicles was approached by Los Angeles airport to design and build an electric powered aircraft refueling truck. Over 70 of these three ton trucks have been converted and are in use at airports in in US, Dubai, Puerto Rico, Australia and in 2009 England. In 2012, CEV innovated a kit to convert Ford Ranger fleet vehicles to electric which was received by both municipal and private fleet operators in BC.

Today, across the border, there are some thirteen Electric Vehicle Conversion Companies

Across the Atlantic, in Newton, mid-Wales, Richard “Moggy” Morgan and Graham Swann e-retrofit models from the 1960s or 1970s including the iconic VW Beetle and its derivatives

Since 1954, it had been impossible to change a car engine in France, even to put an electric, batteries and thus drive every day with much less pollution. But on April 6th 2020, the French government published a ministerial decree that creates a legal framework for electric car conversions. ICE cars, buses, and trucks over five years old, and two and three-wheelers over three years old can now be retrofitted with an electric powertrain

This was largely due to lobbying by Retrofuture of Paris, who have “electrified” such vehicles an Austin Mini, a Peugeot 504 or a Jaguar XJ. With batteries today, but with hydrogen tomorrow, Marc Tison and Arnaud Pigounides are accompanying the revolution in ecological and economic mobility

Discover Solution 309: Shaded farming aka Agrophotovoltaics

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Energy Uncategorized

305: Molten salt storage system

Solution:

Ouarzazate Solar Power Station (OSPS), also called Noor Power Station (نور, Arabic for light) is a solar power complex located in the Drâa-Tafilalet region in Morocco, 6.2 mi (10 km) from Ouarzazate town, in Ghessat rural council area: The gateway to the Sahara Desert.

At 510 MW, it is the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant. Unlike popular solar panels, which provide electricity only when the sun is out, the Noor complex is a thermal solar plant.

Noor uses concentrated solar power (CSP) by storing heat, allowing it to continue to produce electricity for hours after sunset. Its 797 ft ( 243 m) tower, the tallest in Africa, houses molten salt which is melted to create energy. A cylinder full of salt is melted by the warmth from the mirrors during the day, and stays hot enough at night to provide up to three hours of power.

This system had been patented in 2009 by Jesús Maria Lata Pérez of Sener Ingenieria y Sistemas SA in Getxo, Basque Country, Spain. Its first commercial use was Gemasolar, located located within the city limits of Fuentes de Andalucía in the province of Seville, Spain. Gemasolar consists of a 75 ac (30.5 ha) solar heliostat aperture area with a power island and 2,650 heliostats, each with a 1,300 foot² (120 m²) aperture area and distributed in concentric rings around the 460 ft (140 m.)-high tower receiver. The total land use of the Heliostats is 480 ac (195 has).

Managed by the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) working with ACWA power, Noor has been built in four overlapping phases.

Construction began in May 2013, Noor I, with an installed capacity of 160 MW. was connected to the Moroccan power grid on 5 February 2016. Using half a million mirrors, it covers 1,112 ac (450 ha) and is expected to deliver 370 GWh per year. The plant is a parabolic trough type with a molten salt storage for 3 hours of low-light producing capacity. The design uses wet cooling and the need to regularly clean the reflectors means that the water use is high – 60 million ft³ (1.7 million m³) per year or 19.7 pints (4.6 liters) per kWh.

Water usage is more than double that of a wet-cooled coal power station and 23 times the water use per kWh of a dry cooled coal power station though life-cycle GHG emissions of solar thermal plants show that generating comparable energy from coal typically releases around 20 times more carbon dioxide than renewable sources. During 2017, Noor I produced monthly between 20 and 40 thousand MWH of electricity.

For the construction of Noor II and Noor III, Morocco called on the services of chief engineer Liang Xinfeng and a team from Shandong Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd (SEPCO III) in China. Construction started in February 2016 and after more than 1,000 days and nights of hard work,

Noor II was commissioned in January 2018. It is a 200 MW CSP solar plant using parabolic troughs. It has a 7 hours storage capacity. It covers an area of 1,680 ac (680 has) and is expected to supply 600 GWh per year. It uses a dry cooling system to decrease water use.

Noor III is a 150 MW using a CSP tower mirror field with 7 hours energy storage, it covers an area of 1,359 ac (550 ha) and it is expected to supply 500 GW·h per year. At 150 MW, the Moroccan unit, 820 ft (243m) high, is the most powerful CSP tower unit built. In September 2018 it was synchronized to the power grid. In December Noor III completed a 10-day reliability test demonstrating that the project can provide continuous rated power even in the absence of sunlight. The model HE54 heliostat has 54 mirrors with a total reflective surface of 1,921 ft² (178.5 m²). The solar field has 7,400 of such mirrors.

Built by Chint of Hangzhou (China) and Sterling & Wilson of Mumbai (India), the 72 MW Noor IV is nearing completion.

Once completed the Noor Ouarzazate complex will cover an area the size of 3,500 football fields, it generates enough electricity 580 MW to power a city the size of Prague, or twice the size of Marrakesh, protecting the Planet from over 838,000 tonnes (760,000 tonnes) of carbon emissions World Bank financed construction with a US$400 million loan combined with US$ 216 million provided from the Clean Technology Fund. (masen.ma)

Discover Solution 306: Oxygen evolving nickel foam catalyst

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Energy Mobility

301: Pedelec, electric-assisted bicycle

Problem:

The millions of tons of CO₂ hourly produced by diesel/gasoline engined transport needs to be reduced.

Solution:

Whilst millions of people pedal bicycles, some wish for a little more power. The electrically assisted bicycle meets this requirement and there are at least 40 million such e-two wheelers in use around the Planet.


Manufacturers include A2B Bicycles, Airwheel, Beistegui Hermanos, Gocycle, Italjet, Mahindra GenZe, Pedego Electric Bikes, F-wheel DYU, Fuji-Ta, Riese und Müller, Superpedestrian, SwagCycle alongside innumerable Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers.

Commercially manufactured e-bicycles have been in use since the early 1990s, although the arrival of the longer-range li-ion battery from 2007 increased the popularity of the pedelec. The choice ranges from the simple street scooter to the more muscular 2kW models where riders must show a number plate and are advised to wear a helmet.

Since the COVID19 pandemic, given the need for social distancing, the use of pedelecs has been encouraged by Governments and Municipalities.

What you can do: Drive a pedelec.

Discover Solution 302: Reforestation sponsored by search engine

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Energy

297: Tidal stream power generator

Problem:

How to harness the prodigioius electrical energy from outgoing and incoming tides?

Solution:

Immense supplies of electric energy are being harvest from tidal streams. Electricité de France (EDF) was a precursor with this technology when, in 1966, it built the tidal power plant on the mouth of the La Rance River in Brittany, France.


It is one of just two such plants in the world along with Sihwa in South Korea. The La Rance plant has an installed capacity of 240 MW distributed between 24 bulb-type turbine generators, each with a capacity of 10 MW. For almost 50 years, it has been producing around 500 GWh/year, equivalent to the consumption of a city the size of Rennes, France.

In 2007, Drew Blaxland, Director of Turbines and Engineering Services, having graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney, joined Atlantis to work with the Lockheed Martin Corporation, one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated global systems integrators in the development of a central axis underwater power generator.

In October 2008, Atlantis chose a site near the Castle of Mey for a computer data centre that would be powered by a tidal scheme in The Pentland Firth, off the north coast of Scotland is well known for the strength of its tides, which are among the fastest in the world, a speed of 19 mph (30 kph) being reported close west of Pentland Skerries.

Two years later, MeyGen, a consortium of ARC, Morgan Stanley and International Power, received operational lease from the Crown Estate to a 400 MW project for 25 years. By September 2013 they had been granted consent to install four turbines to generate 9 MW, three from Andritz Hydro Hammerfest (AHH) and one from Atlantis developed by Blaxland’s team.

Each turbine was installed on the seabed with a gravity-base turbine support structure and a 4.4kV turbine subsea cable. The onshore construction works of the project began in January 2015 and the first turbine was officially unveiled in September 2016.

In 2017, two MayGen turbines set a world record for monthly production from a tidal stream power station when, connected to a 15MW local distribution grid network managed by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD), they generated 700 MWh of electricity, enough power for 2,200 homes. In April 2018, MeyGen Phase 1A formally entered its 25-year operations phase.

By June 2019, 17GWh had been exported to grid, a new record for the amount of electricity exported by a tidal stream project. Three months later, MayGen exported more than 21-gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity to the national grid and the array had operated at above 90% availability during 2019. That year performance represented the longest period of uninterrupted generation from a multi-MW tidal turbine array ever achieved. Full-scale production from 400 turbines is expected to start by 2020. (simecatlantis.com)

In France, the Paimpol–Bréhat project is an 8 MW tidal turbine demonstration farm off Île-de-Bréhat near Paimpol, France. The project was initiated by Électricité de France (EdF) in 2004 and work began in 2008. By 2017, a hydrokinetic demonstrator designed and built by Thomas Jaquier at Hydroquest with a power output of 1 MW was installed on the EDF test site In 2019 it generated its first MWs. The tidal farm will consist of seven turbines, 2 MW each. (hydroquest.net)

In 2018 Normandy Region, SIMAC Atlantis Energy formed Normandie Hydrolienne to build a tidal stream plant in Raz Blanchard that could eventually deliver around 2 GW of capacity to the Normandy region. The first phase will be completed in 2021 following by an expansion of the project to 200 MW by 2023, enough to power 250,000 homes. Some of these are on the isle of Alderney. The total theoretical tidal energy capacity in the English Channel region is nearly 4 GW, enough to power up to 3 million homes. (energiesdelamer.eu)

In the Netherlands Tocardo installed its first tidal turbine in 2005. Three years later Tocardo began to install tidal turbines into a primary sea defense, the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier. The Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier is the largest of the famous Delta Works, a series of dams and barriers, designed to protect the Netherlands from flooding.

In September 2012, the complete 164 ft (50 m.) long support structure, including turbines, was transported over water by famous heavy lift specialist Mammoet. Using a special barge and Mammoet’s Self-Propelled Modular Transporter, the structure was put into place between two of the barriers’ pillars. (tocardo.com)

The Afluitdijk, constructed between 1927 and 1932, is a major dam and causeway in the Netherlands. It runs from Den Oever in North Holland province to the village of Zurich in Friesland province, over a length of 20 mi. (32 km.) and a width of 300 ft. (90 m.) at an initial height of 23.8 ft. (7.25 m.) above sea level.

The Afsluitdijk is a fundamental part of the larger Zuiderzee Works, damming off the Zuiderzee, a salt water inlet of the North Sea, and turning it into the fresh water lake of the IJsselmeer.

In 2015 Tocardo installed three T1 turbines in the Afsluitdijk tidal barrage. The turbine array is an extension of the Tidal Testing Centre test facility and the tidal turbine that has already been producing electricity for more than seven years. The array has a capacity of more than 300 kW, producing electricity for about 100 local households. After fine-tuning and evaluation of the array, the project partners plan to deploy additional tidal installations in the Afsluitdijk with the capacity of up to 2 MW.

Tocardo has also installed its tidal technology at the Bay of Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) in Nova Scotia, Canada. Working with Minas Tidal, four of its 250kW-rated T2 bi-directional turbines, which are attached to the company’s semi-submersible Universal Floating Platform Structure to form a 1MW system held in place by catenary mooring systems.

In September 2019, Minas Tidal announced a partnership with Sustainable Marine Energy-Schottel Hydro to develop a 1.26 MW array in Canada that would ultimately sell energy to Nova Scotia Power. The first phase of the project is being financed by Reconcept Group of Hamburg, Germany.

Other firms such as Magallanes Renovables in Galicia, Spain have launched a148 ft (45,m) artefact (a steel-built trimaran), which incorporates a submerged part where the hydrogenerators are fitted, facilitating access for servicing and repairs.

In March 2019 Magallanes Renovables ATIR tidal energy converter (TEC) was installed at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal energy test site in Orkney, Scotland, by Orkney-based Leask Marine, as part of the Ocean_2G project. It was successfully connected to the grid via EMEC’s sub-sea cables and onshore substation and generated its first power a short time after.

Discover Solution 298: Modular houses from 100% recycled plastic

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Energy Planet Care Uncategorized

293: Passive Downdraught Evaporative Cooling (PDEC)

Problem:

Leaking CFC and HCFC-based air conditioners contribute to GHG and ozone depletion.

Solution:

Eastern architecture as an alternative to air conditioning. Chimney-like towers, (Persian: بادگیر‎ bâdgir: bâd “wind” + gir “catcher”) have been used for centuries to deliver passive cooling in arid desert regions.


Their function is to catch cooler breeze that prevail at a higher level above the ground and to direct it into the interior of the buildings. During archaeological investigations conducted by Masouda in the 1970s, the first historical evidence of windcatcher was found in the site of Tappeh Chackmaq near the city of Shahrood, Iran which dates back to 4000 BC.

A painting depicting such a device has been found at the Pharaonic house of Neb-Ammun, Egypt, which dates from the 19th Dynasty, c. 1300 BC (British Museum), while similar edifices can be found in Hyderabad, southern Pakistan.

Many traditional water reservoirs (ab anbars) are built with windcatchers that are capable of storing water at near freezing temperatures during summer months. The evaporative cooling effect is strongest in the driest climates, such as on the Iranian plateau, leading to the ubiquitous use of windcatchers in drier areas such as Kerman, Kashan, Sirjan, Nain, Bam and Yazd, the latter known as the “City of Windcatchers”.

The modernisation of windcatcher’s efficiency was proved in 1997 by Nimish Patel and Parul Zaveri of Abhikram Architects designed the 1 million ft² (93,000m2) Torrent Research Centre for Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in Ahmedabad, India. It is a complex of windcatchers saved around 200 tonnes of air conditioning load.

The Kensington Oval cricket ground in Barbados (2007) and the Saint-Étienne Métropole’s Zénith (2008) with their aluminum windcatcher rooves both use this method. Since 2004, over 7000 X-Air windcatchers have been installed by Monodraught Ltd. of High Wycombe on public buildings across the UK.

Discover Solution 294: Recreational power plant

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