RSS Entries ATOM Entries

Posts Tagged ‘technology’

The power of Algae – innovative building facade

Posted in Models by Jessica Bird on April 18th, 2013

Source: DesignBuild Source

BIQ_House5_900x600.ashx
Image from Arup

From the Arup media release “World first bio-reactive façade debuts in Hamburg

The BIQ [Bio Intelligence Quotient] house will become the world’s first pilot project to showcase a bioreactive façade […] With 200m² of integrated photo-bioreactors, this passive-energy house generates biomass and heat as renewable energy resources. At the same time, the system integrates additional functionality such as dynamic shading, thermal insulation and noise abatement, highlighting the full potential of this technology.

The microalgae used in the façades are cultivated in flat panel glass bioreactors measuring 2.5m x 0.7m. In total, 129 bioreactors have been installed on the south west and south east faces of the four-storey residential building. The heart of the system is the fully automated energy management centre where solar thermal heat and algae are harvested in a closed loop to be stored and used to generate hot water. […]

“Using bio-chemical processes in the façade of a building to create shade and energy is a really innovative concept. It might well become a sustainable solution for energy production in urban areas, so it is great to see it being tested in a real-life scenario.” — Jan Wurm, Arup’s Europe Research Leader

The system will be officially presented to the media on 25 April 2013 when the biofaçade system goes into operation for the first time.

>>> You can read the original media release on the Arup Website.
>>> You can see more images of the building and read more about it on DesignBuildSource.com.au


Tidal Energy for Darwin: pilot plant and research centre

Posted in Models, Research by Jessica Bird on September 26th, 2012

Source: RenewEconomy


Photo by Oceanflow Energy via flickr CC

From “Plan to power Darwin with tidal energy gains momentum” by Sophie Vorrath

A plan to power Darwin with tidal energy – and to turn the Northern Territory into a tropical tidal energy hub – has come one step closer to being realised this week, after the signing of an MoU to build a 2MW pilot plant and research centre in Clarence Strait, off the Territory’s coast. Australian tidal energy company Tenax Energy said on Tuesday it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NT’s Power and Water Corporation to develop a 2MW Pilot Plant and Research and Tropical Tidal Testing Centre, the first steps on the path to a utility-scale generation facility that would deliver renewable power to Darwin.

Tenax says the project – to be located between Darwin and Melville Island – will be generating electricity by 2015, and could reach commercial scale before the end of the decade. The 2MW project will be followed by a 10MW pilot array test.  The Darwin-based company was first given a provisional licence to occupy 16.8sqkm in the Clarence Strait in 2010, having identified the area as one of three locations around Australia ideally suited to tidal energy; with high tidal velocity movement, sufficient water depth, and proximity to existing power grid infrastructure. (The other two locations are Banks Strait, Tasmania, and Port Phillip Heads, Victoria.) Tenax says power from the Clarence Strait has the potential to provide a “significant percentage” of Darwin’s electricity supply, and would go a long way to helping the Territory achieve a 20 per cent renewable energy target by 2020.

The project’s staged development process is designed to allow the establishment of appropriate environmental and performance standards for tidal energy technologies in tropical waters, while also showing the Darwin community that tidal energy is a safe, convenient and reliable energy source.  “The idea with the testing station is to test out a number of different turbines and technologies in the Clarence Strait,” said Power and Water’s manager for sustainable energy, Trevor Horman, on ABC radio on Monday. “(The project) is reasonably close to an existing power line, so we’ll give it a trial over a couple of years and see how the technologies work out there… but we do hope this will prove a safe, reliable and inexhaustible energy source.” According to Tenax’s managing director, Alan Major, reliability is one of tidal energy’s strong points. ”The generating capability of tidal generators is predictable, with exceptional accuracy many years in advance,” he said back in 2010. “Twice a day, every day, the sea rises and falls … creating powerful and reliable water currents.” Major also says that one of the company’s main goals is to to position Darwin as the global centre of excellence in tropical tidal energy, “before the opportunity is captured by others.” “Tidal energy generation in tropical waters will demand new technical solutions that will be developed first in Darwin,” he said in the company’s statement on Monday. “This project is going to place Darwin at the forefront of a global industry, providing local employment and skills development and opening major export opportunities to Asia.”

Read the original article by Sophie Vorrath.


City of Sydney blazing the way with LED lighting.

Posted in Models, Movements by Jessica Bird on April 4th, 2012


Photo from City of Sydney

From an article on Greenpages by The Climate Group

Sydney has become the first major city in Australia – and one of the first in the world – to embrace LED lighting, following council approval for General Electric (GE) and UGL Limited to fit LEDs to the majority of the City’s outdoor lights as part of an AUS $7 million three-year project.

The new lights promise to cut the City’s lighting-related electricity bills and carbon emissions by more than 50%, while bathing city streets in a whiter, brighter light. The first lights were installed last weekend on George Street in front of Sydney Town Hall, a central location which was initiated by The Climate Group’s LightSavers program. In total, 6,500 lights will be fitted with LED technology. A rollout of this size is unprecedented in Australia and will be closely watched by other councils. If successful, it may start a domino effect and see LEDs spread to city streets across Australia.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore supports the City’s pioneering rollout of the LED lights. She said: “Replacing 6,450 conventional lights will save nearly $800,000 a year in electricity bills and maintenance costs. Sydney will be the first city in Australia to install the new LED street and park lights across its entire city centre, and joins other major cities such as Berlin, Barcelona, Los Angeles and San Francisco.”

Independent polls conducted in the trial areas show that Sydney residents agree with the City Council’s move: 90% supported the rollout of the lights on Sydney’s streets.

[…]

Sydney’s LED transformation follows a rigorous testing phase conducted as a contributor to The Climate Group’s Global LED Trial. The Global Trial, undertaken in more than 10 major world cities, including Hong Kong, London, New York and Toronto, has put almost 30 different outdoor LED lighting products to the test. The City’s successful trial results also reflect those of the wider Global Trial: LED products are reliable, use 50-70% less energy and produce fewer carbon emissions – and have outshone traditional street lighting with more attractive light.

[…]

Read the full article here


Information Technology Supporting Transparent Future Food Policy

Posted in Movements, Opinion, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on May 13th, 2011

Source: Projects To Finish Someday via Sustainable Cities Collective


From “Information Technology: Coming to a Food Policy Near You” by Mari Pierce-Quinonez:

There are currently dozens of smartphone and internet apps designed to bring good food to tech-savvy consumers. You can now type in your location, the type of food you want and immediately get both directions to the best restaurant to go and the story behind the food they’re serving.  If buying food in bulk to cook at home is more your thing, beta versions of a wholesale purchasing app is now available by invitation.  Or if you want to grow your own, there are applications to aid you in planning your garden, sites to find a yard if you don’t already have one, and mobile apps with maps to fruit-bearing trees on public property.  But the food system is more than foodies finding their next fix: the modern tech-movement goes beyond consumer-oriented apps.  Food advocates and academics are using technology to connect the food system dots and are making good food policy decisions easier.

[…]
In the past, federal policymakers kept track of their own program-specific data: how many acres of farmland they had preserved, the nutrition status of the US population, the amount of vitamin D available in a particular type of milk.  By moving everything online and opening this data up to everyone, all sorts of sophisticated policy recommendations can be made.  The USDA’s Food Environment Atlas was released last year to much fanfare for the interactive maps that could show the state of the national food system.  Much more exciting was the fact that this data was all available for download, and the site continues to act as a datahub for food policy advocates.  Advocates and technophiles are using this data to produce reports and visualizations that help rally support as they begin to mobilize around the 2012 farm bill.

[…]

Read the full article by Mari Pierce-Quinonez over on Projects To Finish Someday.


Applications for fellowships at TEDGlobal 2009 have now opened!

Posted in Events by fedwards on March 19th, 2009

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. TED is excited to begin the search for the inaugural class of TEDGlobal Fellows to participate in the TEDGlobal Conference in Oxford, U.K. Following the successful Fellows program launch in Long Beach, CA, they are looking for the next eclectic group of 25 innovators from around the world.

TED Fellows may apply or be nominated by another individual. Please follow this link to apply. To nominate a candidate, email fellows@ ted.com. The program will accept applications for fellowships from March 6, 2009 through April 3, 2009.

For more information the TED Fellows program visit http://www.ted.com/fellows.