Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
 

Renewable energy could provide a cheap and immediate source of power to those who need it most – especially those thrown into chaos by war (including refugee camps), famine or natural disaster.

UK entrepreneur, John Hingley, founder of Renovagen has developed a lightweight roller solar panel designed to be deployed in war zones and remote locations.  The panel is designed as a bendable solar panel sheet which is a patented solar system called RollArray – a 9mm thick photovoltaic sheet that “rolls up like a carpet.”

blog rollarray

The RollArray claims to be 10 times more powerful than any other transportable solar generator of the same size, and that a 20ft container can house a system capable of producing 100 kilowatts at peak performance.

Daniel Becerra, co-founder of BuffaloGrid, wants to relieve some strife by enabling mobile phones to be charged in off-grid locations. The UK company has developed a small portable unit resembling a toolbox which users can plug their phones into to charge. The BuffaloGrid Hub can run off any power source, including solar panels. There’s a huge demand for this because many of the world’s poorest people, while lacking a power supply, have their own mobile phones.

Bboxx, which sells off-grid solar systems core product is a solar home system, known as the BB17, which contains a 17 amp battery encased in a control unit. This allows people in cut-off regions to power a range of standard appliances.

Do you have any expertise in this arena?  or would any of these solar solutions help you to develop other great ideas for leaving a smaller footprint?

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April, 20th 2015
7:24
 

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arash in

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With the almost continual reliance on staying connected nowadays, a dead cell phone battery can be a catastrophic event in one’s daily life.  Remembering to charge that device to keep it functioning has been added to the list of daily items on almost everyone’s “to-do” list.  Now there’s a possible solution to that dilemma…

Tejas Shastry’s busy creating AMPY, a device he and fellow Northwestern Ph.D. students Alex Smith and Mike Geier invented in class. They say it’s a cure for the dead cell phone, turning energy from a person’s physical movement, called kinetic energy, into battery power.

Smith said. “The secret for AMPY really came from taking somewhat existing technology and shrinking it into a form factor that can fit right here in your pocket.”

 

Read about this invention, profiled by CBS News, here:

Run, walk, bike your way

 

to a full charge

 

Not only is this concept a great way to relieve your brain of having to remember to add charging your cell phone into your everyday routine, it’s got the added benefit of stimulating your physical activity to new heights.  The payoff isn’t just being fit and toned, but having a working phone to brag about your exercise accomplishments, as well!  And you’re being ‘green’ by not consuming electricity to recharge your phone!

If you’re interested in this gadget, the unit – along with various accessories – can be pre-ordered on their site:  AMPY cell phone charger logo    Estimated ship date: July 2015, base pricing cost ~$100 USD

 

 

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April, 16th 2015
13:18
 

DIY electronics are all the rage these days.  A new kit called MESH (Make, Experience, Share) is intended to make coming up with your own clever projects easier than ever.  From customized alarm clocks to trash cans that thank you for recycling, it’s claimed to open up a host of possibilities for amateur inventors.

MESH is a creative DIY platform that lets you make your own “smart projects” in just minutes.  No coding required!  Simply drag and drop.

Do you have any processes that you’d like to build a solution for?  Maybe MESH is something useful for the project you are working on.

There is a wealth of information about this new kit here.  Sets are available to order for $119 and above. Delivery of the first kits is estimated for May. View the video below for a guide to some of MESH’s key features.

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