A new Kickstarter project called HYQUATOR aims to bring safe drinking to anyone, at anytime. The HYQUATOR is portable solar-powered electronic device and the first project for a New York City based tech start-up iTRONYC. The device is said to work without filters or UV light and does not need any additional chemical components. It is powered by a built in solar panel, but can also be powered by a battery.
So far only $1,711 has been raised, and the goal is set to $60,000. With only 8 days to go please contribute if you feel this concept is interesting. The money will be used to produce 500 pieces of HYQUATOR and to get the production costs down to an affordable price. Some of it will also go to cover start-up expenses for the electrode design and case tooling for the injection mold fabrication, and to cover development costs of a pre-production device. The funds are also needed to get FCC/CE and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approvals, that HYQUATOR works in respect with its regulations and in respect with the US Safe Drinking Water Act.
The European island nation of Malta is aiming to increase the amount of energy created by renewable sources. Like the others members of the European Union they are evaluating different options to meet the goal set by a mandate recently to get 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. To achieve this goal, Malta is considering a proposal by the Swedish company Hexicon, to build a large floating wind farm.
The plant is intended to produce 54MW, which amounts to 9% of the energy currently generated by the two existing power stations. The solution Hexicon proposes in tales a massive offshore hexagon-shaped, 460-metre-wide, floating platform, hosting 36 wind turbines that is anchored to the seafloor by cables.
The Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology (CASE), have just picked up another award for their Solar Enclosure for Water Reuse (SEWR) system, and this time they have won the SPARK awards. CASE conducts interdisciplinary research focused on the next generation of building technologies for a sustainable built environment.
Solar Enclosure for Water Reuse or SEWR consists of a series of modular glass blocks, configured to capture, refocus and intensify sunlight and form the sheathing of the exterior surface for a building. The cast-glass blocks have carefully calculated profiles and each block features a standard flat lite on the interior surface, followed by a stiffening frame. The external lite has solar concentrators and graywater flow channels embedded in a surface that is tilted to capture the maximum amount of solar energy.
When held close to a warm body or other heat source the Power Felt take advantage of temperature differences and create a charge. That means power can be generated just by insulating something. It can be used to charge a mp3 player or a smartphone, but also for something far more interesting. If used to insulate pipes or buildings you could theoretically generate a charge while you turn on your taps, or just being at home.
In the small lake of Colignola, Italy, engineers have built a cost-effective prototype for floating and rotating solar panels. Standard solar panels on buildings, or in fields are often criticized for taking up valuable agricultural land, and also for being a bit of an eye-sore. Most standard solar panels are also stationary, only taking advantage of the sunlight for a limited amount of time during the day. They also have a tendency to lose energy through overheating.
The floating solar panels are intended to resolve a lot of these issues. Designed to take advantage of unused areas of artificial reservoirs or disused quarries they would, if placed correctly, hardly be visible from a far. The water would also keep the panels at low temperatures minimizing overheating issues. The reflectors are positioned to maximize solar capture at different times of day, and rotating to track the sun for optimized performance. This should make them more efficient than a traditional installations.
As London is preparing to host the 2012 Olympic games this summer, the streets of the city will be receiving a lot of temporary guests. This will naturally put a strain on both public transport and law enforcement, but it will also increase the amount of garbage produced. To reduce litter during this time and beyond, the city have chosen to place new digital recycling bins around town. They will display the latest news, while also collecting 1.65 tons of material every year, and at the same time provide platform to broadcast public alerts if needed, in a fast and efficient way.
NASA is now looking for alternatives to be more environmentally friendly, and seeking technology proposals for green propellant alternatives to the highly toxic fuel hydrazine used today. Hydrazine is an efficient and ubiquitous propellant that can be stored for long periods of time, but at the same time it is also highly corrosive and toxic. The fuel is used extensively both on commercial and defense department satellites, as well as for NASA science and exploration missions.
In a way to minimize environmental hazards and pollutants, and also lower costs for rocket launches, NASA is now looking for innovative and transformative fuels that are less harmful to our environment. “High performance green propulsion has the potential to significantly change how we travel in space”, said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA‘s Space Technology Program at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “NASA’s Space Technology Program seeks out these sort of cross-cutting, innovative technologies to enable our future missions while also providing benefit to the American space industry. By reducing the hazards of handling fuel, we can reduce ground processing time and lower costs for rocket launches, allowing a greater community of researchers and technologists access to the high frontier.”
LanzaTech, a producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, has closed it’s Series C round with new investment totaling US $55.8 million led by the Malaysian
Life Sciences Capital Fund. New investors include PETRONAS Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd, the venture arm of PETRONAS, the national oil company of Malaysia, and Dialog Group, a leading Malaysian integrated specialist technical services provider to the oil, gas and petrochemical industry.
LanzaTech’s specialty is creating biofuels and biochemicals from factory waste emissions. They use carbon monoxide emissions from steel mills, factories, oil refineries, and other waste sources to create ethanol, and then apply a process called gas-liquid bacterial fermentation. LanzaTech captures the carbon monoxide, pumps the gases into a bioreactor, and mixes with liquid, and uses bacteria that feeds on the mixture. Nutrients are added, and when the process is finished ethanol is produced.
On the 16 December a new, next generation double decker bus, was presented in London. Transport for London that commissioned the buses, claims the hybrid double-decker bus “will be the most environmentally friendly bus of its kind when it enters passenger service.” The engineering test vehicle uses a hybrid drivetrain developed by Volvo and emits only 640 grams of CO2 per kilometer. This is less than half of that of current diesel buses emits. During testing fuel economy was also better than twice that of a standard diesel bus, clocking in at 11.6 mpg.
Transport for London awarded the contract for engineering design early 2010 to Wrightbus, a company based in Northern Ireland. Wrightbus in collaboration with London’s Heatherwick Studio have now have finished the first prototype, and is ready to show it off. London Mayor Boris Johnson proudly proclaimed at the unveil that “It is the latest, greatest masterpiece of British engineering and design, and I am certain it will become a much-loved and iconic vehicle akin to the legendary Routemaster from which it draws so much inspiration”. The first bus is planned to begin carrying passengers on the busy Route 38 (Victoria station to Hackney) on February 20, 2012.
Hidden inside a Norwegian mountain a new data center is under construction. When completed it will provide an estimated 21.000 square meters (226,000 square feet) of space, naturally cooled by water in a adjacent fjord, making it the worlds most environmentally-friendly data center. The Rennesøy fjord supplies water at a around 8 degrees Celsius, a temperature ideal for a data center, witch makes the placement of this new construction a stroke of genius. It benefits both the environment and the data centers financial department at the same time.