Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Transportation systems

In the early days of water travel, the wind was the source of the energy used to power a large vessel (unless it was being rowed – backbreaking work, if you’ve never tried it!).  As times have changed, and technology has advanced, we’ve seen steam, fossil fuels and nuclear energy used to power ships across vast expanses of water.  It seems that we’re almost taking a step back in time to move forward now…

“The E-ship 1 system represents an annual fuel saving of 25% and avoids the emission of 5.000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and at the same time does not need a constant or complicated maintenance system.”


Read the full article about the E-1′s oceanic voyage:

First wind-powered vessel expected

in Montevideo with turbines for eolian farm


Owned by German company, Enercon, the vessel is docked in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.  The ship was designed specifically for the transport of wind turbine materials and uses wind technology itself for propulsion.

E-1 Enercon ship

Photo credit:

Quite a wonderful accomplishment, don’t you think?  Using a technology to share that technology with others…does it give you some ideas along the same lines?

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April 3rd, 2015

Population growth and over-reliance on resources that have ‘given us all they’ve got’ has caused overcrowding and problems the world over that have created shortages of many kinds – lack of materials, poor nutrition, healthcare & medicine being unavailable – you name it!  Here is a story concerning the Asian sector of the globe about the need for better methods that will serve to help people and the environment!

Asian countries urged


to plan for sustainable




Urbanization drives Asia’s position as an economic powerhouse, but for this growth to be sustainable, careful planning is being urged to create more resilient cities that are not only resource-efficient, but also promote quality of life.”


Shell brought around 300 leading thinkers together for its 2015 Powering Progress Together Asia forum in Manila, Philippines, on February 26 to discuss how each sector of society can help cities become more resilient and liveable in the face of rapid urbanisation and resource pressures.  Click the pic to visit the site and learn about the forum!

Crowded street

Here are a couple of sites for the companies mentioned in the article posted on that you should visit if you are interested in getting involved with Smarter Planet Planning for better urban life around the world:

Xyntéo: “Xyntéo’s mission is to reinvent growth.”

The Manila Observatory: “At the turn of the 21st century, the Observatory finds itself at the nexus of global concerns for environment and development.”

Shell Corporation: “At Shell, we use human ingenuity, innovation and technology to unlock the energy our customers need to power their lives in the years ahead, while aiming to limit our impact on the environment.”

Is there work that you’re doing along these lines?  Will you propose the next great system or technology that pushes urbanization to the new levels needed to keep our planet humming along?  There’s much to do – be a part of it!

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From (which has some awesome blogging going on by Tracy Staedter, and others) is this mention of using alternative fuel help future plane travelers take to the skies in a more eco-friendly way…

Staedter says “Oscar Viñals is at it again. From the designer who brought us Sky Whale, comes the AWWA·QG Progress Eagle concept plane, which has six hydrogen fuel cell engines, rear wind generators for electrical power and quantum solar cells to harvest sunlight. The sweeping curves reduce drag and produce 75 percent less noise than current planes. Viñals thinks the plane could be airborne by 2030. We can only hope.”

Get the details on Progress Eagle here (including really cool renderings): Envisioning the Eco-Jet


Progress Eagle

The 2014 Sky Whale by Viñals is a story that you should catch up on as well:  The future of sustainable air travel: A chat with designer Oscar Viñals

and take a look at the drawings laid out by Yanko: Sky Whale

Check out other Yanko concepts by visiting their website – there’s so much to look at!!!  Yanko logo


With so much of our time being spent to make ‘friends’ around the globe through virtual meetings, wouldn’t it be cool to hop aboard one of these jets and say hello to that individual “IN PERSON”?  Are you dreaming up your own method of transportation? What forms of renewable energy can you use to power your vehicle(s)?  Maybe your next tweet should be to an aeronautical engineer to enlist their help…you could be flying high!


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March 13th, 2015

Along with modernization has come an increase in noise pollution worldwide.  Although this technology was introduced approximately a year ago, its relevance remains timely.  As we move further along the path to more organized and efficient mass transportation worldwide, consideration must be given to the impact the noise will have on the surrounding environs and inhabitants (both human and other…)  Sustainability of the materials is another concern – and that, too, is addressed.

Take a look at the: BREMEX ANNSYS for railways – watch the videos posted there!  The system was designed by  ELPA logo

a company based in Slovenia, and has been installed in Russia and Germany.  Visit their website by clicking on the logo above.  Their purpose is developing systems that solve worldwide railway problems relating to noise, wear and tear, friction, vibrations, jolts, corrugation, maintenance problems, and railway working conditions.  All their solutions are supported by revolutionary WONROS™ (Wear Out and Noise Reduction On Source) technology.

And, read about their involvement in the Better Cities for Better Life conference held in Prague in 2014.

Advantages of the BREMEX system:

  • 99 % reduction of high frequency braking noise
  • Reduces vibrations and strokes on the rail brake
  • Effective anti-wear protection of rail braking segments and wagon wheel flanks
  • Effective anti-noise and anti-wear protection for exposed parts on the switches, check rails, etc
  • Operates at all extreme weather conditions with the same material (DBM 50)


What noise reduction systems do you envision to make the world a more soothing place to inhabit, while providing increased mobility to the masses?

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March 10th, 2015

The aircraft – called Solar Impulse-2 – has traveled it’s first leg of what will be a 5 month trip.  The 2 pilots will take turns piloting each leg of the trip with stops along the way to spread the message about the aircraft that uses no fossil fuel.  The route will cross the Pacific and Atlantic oceans while skipping from continent to continent.

One of the challenges will be that they may have to fly for five days and five nights to cross the oceans.

blog solar impulse

This newer Solar Impulse model has a wingspan of 72m, which is wider than a 747 jumbo jet. And yet, it weighs only 2.3 tons.

Its light weight will be critical to its success.

So, too, will the performance of the 17,000 solar cells that line the top of the wings, and the energy-dense lithium-ion batteries it will use to sustain night-time flying.

Operating through darkness will be particularly important when the men have to cross the Pacific and the Atlantic.

Here’s the flight path:

blog solar impulse

Witness the historic landing of the first leg which takes place at night:

YouTube Preview Image

We wish them great success as they traverse the globe and prove that solar power is where more expertise should be focused.

Do you have any skills to contribute to this VERY important technology?

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