Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Energy
November 20th, 2014
12:22
 

The FlyKly Smart Wheel fits practically any bicycle or lifestyle. And turns any bike into an electric bicycle and any commuter into a joyrider in no time. Just start pedaling and Smart Wheel delivers a boost up to 20 mph and a 30 mile range on a single charge – more than enough to power your every day. And it can be recharged in just 2-3 hours.

YouTube Preview Image

In combination with a smart phone app, this technology encompasses all aspects of bike riding: setting your top speed, locking the bike, GPS tracking if the bike should happen be stolen and saving and sharing your favorite routes. There are plans to manufacture a glow-in-the-dark version in the near future.

While the cost of the FlyKly Smart Wheel isn’t inexpensive, it looks like a great product for cycling enthusiasts.

FlyKly products are exclusively available online. They ship orders on a first come, first served basis. Your credit card will be charged when your order goes into production; FlyKly will confirm with you before the charge.

This looks like just the incentive I need to get out my old bike and go for a ride!

Bookmark and Share
November 19th, 2014
6:23
 

As a college student, I did my laundry more than most of my friends (and didn’t take it home to Mom at the end of the semester, either).   “Clean” water seems to be decreasing in supply – although there’s an abundance of the salty variety covering the planet.  We’ve come up with a bunch of de-salination methods that have been in the news.  This ‘fresh’ water is being used in many applications – farming, animal husbandry, drinking water for humans…

But what if we just decreased CONSUMPTION of the water that IS available? Or in any case, used the supply more efficiently?  Here’s a look at technology that aims to minimize the amount of water being used for the laundering of fabrics.  Although it’s not strictly new tech, having been around for several years, it is being used with greater frequency in industrial applications and may be available for household consumers in the near future.

Scientists develop waterless washing machines

 

Almost waterless washing could come to American homes

 

Read about one company that is on the manufacturing end of things:   Polymer beads  Maybe you’ll be inspired to go them one better?  (Or at least do some of that laundry that you’ve been piling up?)

 

Bookmark and Share
November 18th, 2014
10:03
 

Fourteen flooring tiles from London-based clean-tech company Pavegen Systems were installed outside the Saint-Omer subway station in northern France. The tiles, each roughly 7 by 24 inches, generate renewable electricity from the otherwise wasted energy of footsteps.

When a walker’s foot makes contact with the tile, it bends inappreciably, depressing an average of five millimeters each step and creating approximately seven watts of converted kinetic energy in the process. The slabs, made from 100 percent recycled rubber, can store energy for up to 72 hours via small built-in batteries.

The concept was conceived in 2009 by Laurence Kemball-Cook, then a graduate student in industrial design at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

The concept was conceived in 2009 by Laurence Kemball-Cook, then a graduate student in industrial design at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

“I realized that although wind and solar alternatives were progressing exponentially, they were inefficient in urban environments due to high-rise infrastructure and pollution,” he says. “Given that 60 percent of the world’s population would be residing in urban environments by 2030, I decided to investigate further. I discovered footfall as an untapped, renewable resource that is efficient, constant, and literally all around us, to be used when and where it is needed.”

The tiles were also installed at the Simon Langton Grammar school in Kent, UK. Check out the students’ reaction to this exciting new technology:

YouTube Preview Image

This is a win-win situation for all involved: the students who get inspired to think of ways to contribute to a smarter planet at a very young impressionable age, the company looking to expand operations into different venues to capture greener energy production, and, of course, the entrepreneur who profits from this great new technology!

What a great world we live in – that young minds can shape a very (literally) bright future!

 

 

Bookmark and Share

There is almost frenzied focus to find alternative fuels for use around the world.  In the U.S., there are a number of different replacements for fossil fuel that have been, and continue to be, explored.  How will this affect the world economy?  Maybe you have a great idea for merging production with prosperity?  Here’s some news on the Ethanol front that may spark some creative thoughts for your own ‘liquid energy’.

Since 1981, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has been the authoritative voice of the U.S. ethanol industry. Our members are committed to helping our country become cleaner, safer, and more energy independent.

Click the pic to visit their website.

Click the pic to visit their website.

RFA Unveils New Mobile App

 

Ethanol Fun Fact:   Each bushel of corn used in ethanol production yields 17.5 lbs of nutrient-rich livestock feed, returning 1/3 of the bushel to the market.

 

 

Bookmark and Share

I fondly remember the Disney ride attraction “Mission to Mars” that my family and I would experience during each trip to Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida.  During the ride, the seats in the attraction would simulate the vibrations and G-forces from “Hyper-space” during take-offs and landings by filling up with compressed air. That ride has since been retooled a few times and morphed into Stitch’s Great Escape!

That memory came to the forefront of my brain when I read about the mission that six people will embark upon when they enter a 36 foot diameter geodesic dome on the slopes of the second biggest volcano in the solar system in Hawaii. And, to be sure, they are not there on vacation.

blog mars

This team is beginning an eight-month mission funded by the US space agency NASA to test if humans will be able to withstand the long periods of confinement in a tight space that will be required to send a manned space mission to Mars some time around 2030. For Martha Lenio, the 34-year old renewable energy entrepreneur who is commanding the mission, it is something else besides: a chance to explore the furthest frontiers of sustainability.

These engineers, who were hand-picked by NASA for their contribution to sustaining life within the pod, will have to be more self-sufficient than lunar astronauts who are in constant contact with Earth, Lenio said.

“Maybe all the things we learn about sustainability along the way will turn out to be the most useful thing about going to Mars,” said Lenio.

What a great opportunity for these six engineers – you never know what great adventure may come your way with the skills you possess.

 

 

 

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to this category Subscribe to Energy

 
ChatClick here to chat!+