What is the vision for CleanTech?

Is it a lifestyle that brings into balance CO2 emissions from people and industry to a net zero measure in relation to destructive impact, reduces destructive environmental pollution, provides economic savings while enhancing quality of life through efficiency, health and convenience?  This may seem an impossible vision but converging development is making major inroads on trying to achieve this through combining:

  • Living or working in a zero net energy house or building that generates energy that can be sold to the grid.
  • A full cycle home water system that harvests rainwater and waste water then recycles and purifies it.  Sending the water back into the building enabling use of only what is needed from the water grid and eliminating wasted water.
  • Using hybrid energy sources to feed a new energy grid that eliminates the current grid’s 20% leakage rate.
  • Moving people and materials with vehicles that use (own or share) highly efficient vehicles made of lower weight materials and several fuel supply options.
  • Food sourcing from an efficient combination of home, local and distant locations where people.
What would global and political relations look like if we are able to achieve this new world? Better?  Would the long standing conflicts still reassert themselves?

CleanTech News

 Spain’s First Certified Passive House Cuts Energy Use by 90%

Headlines:

CleanTech in the Built Environment

 

 London Data Center Staff to Avoid Olympic Traffic by Sleeping in Pods Next to Servers

The Built Environment, whether it is commercial property or residential,  is leveraging and testing several CleanTech designs to address building systems and building systems challenges.  Clean Data Centers, office space and supporting technologies are starting to seriously integrate CleanTech to realize the core values of a generic tool set:  provide leverage, makes tasks easier and more efficient.  The pod idea above is pretty interesting and can save a lot in time and logistics for both employee and employer if done well (sleeping in a data center can be a little like sleeping in a space ship engine room).  Commercial buildings using Zero Carbon IDeAs Design is a big step forward, Data Center Storage, electronics recycling projects, and other projects show that converging CleanTech solutions are becoming closer to mainstream utility.

CleanTech News

Breakthrough Rivals Speed of Natural Photosynthesis, Sets Solar Energy World Record

Transportation:  Where are we now?  The Green Living show reveals that electric and hybrid cars are making major inroads to having current solutions that are beginning to change how we view our next car purchase.  While initial CleanTech vehicle purchases may have largely been motivated by climate drivers, we are approaching the tipping-point in the foreseeable future where the economic incentive will match or surpass gas in refueling cost, convenience, and environmental impact.  Hybrid and electric vehicles are making appearances front and center in the broader markets like NASCAR and the Olympics -

Resources:  There is significant room for innovation in using CleanTech hybrids to help irrigate and manage agricultural land in desert environments.  The convergence of low tech (solar thermal, weight displacement pumps, aqueducts, cistern design, ancient ingenuity on water harvesting…) and high tech (photo-voltaic, distillation advancement, metering, environment control software…) offers the potential for very powerful near-term solutions to fresh water drinking and irrigation needs.

Built Environment:  Remember the history of prefab (Sears catalog house), modular or tract (Levittown) housing design?  These designs had significant benefits (affordability, building ease, meeting large market demand…) but also limitations (ascetics, scale-ability, perception…) that with current architectural and engineering efforts we can now look beyond.  In our High Tech age of plug and play scale-able design, we now view a system integration, modular, scale-able to right fit at any-stage design approach as the right approach with technology.  This is provided that the newer components are of the highest quality, efficiency and design.  Bringing this methodology to housing or commercial building could very much change the way we view shelter for the long term.

Significant integration of CleanTech systems and design with buildings at Universities such as Tokyo Institute of Technology and PassivHaus structures illustrates how the future is now in sustainable design.

Research:  Over the past few weeks we have been tracking several products that offer the hope of significant benefits to users.  We currently began testing the use of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting (a type of Solid State Lighting) in relation to Compact Fluorescent (CFL) and Incandescent (ICL) in our home and office. Eartheasy.com provides a helpful basic analysis that can be found here.  On a more technical note, I’d recently organized a forum where a panelist raised the following key benefits of LED lighting:

  • Uses significantly less energy
  • The illuminating material can be molded to take any shape (flat thin sheet like paper, ball..)
  • Development followsMoore’s law (I may be wrong on the specifics here) – each increment of time that it takes to double the efficiency of the LED light will half and the price will halve as well.
  • It will fundamentally change the lighting infrastructure
  • Its radiant heat is significantly lower
  • LED lights can produce full spectrum light reducing eye and concentration fatigue from working in smaller light spectrum environments

Forum:  Our focus is to research, test and integrate ready and developing Clean Technologies. The goal is to identify solutions that can help the individual or business integrate CleanTech solutions into their environment and gain both climate impact reduction and economic benefit (cost reduction, time savings, and efficiency).  We welcome constructive discussion that promotes measurable benefits to our reader base. As part of the CleanTech community we support and study the analysis of other community members to help move the local and global community forward.



CleanTech Entrepreneur

Earth 2 Platform Reboots Approaches to Sustainability

  • Ingersoll-Rand’s Secrets to Green Product Development.  My father provided legal counsel for Ingersoll-Rand in the 70′s which lead me to watch their tools and equipment with an eye of fascination and appreciation.  IR makes the equipment for those who build our nations infrastructure (the backbone to our backbone) and you usually see one of their product as you drive past a highway construction site.  Their view that sustainability provides competitive advantage drives the need for developing real solutions.  It is another case indicating that CleanTech may be the innovative vehicle that pulls our nation and economy out of the morass.  Practically the entire national infrastructure needs to be retrofitted, upgraded or advanced (roads, bridges, power grid, internet backbone, buildings, housing….) to remain competitive.
  • Can Green Buildings Boost your Financial Performance?  Businesses are discovering many sound business reasons in Clean Design.  This story addresses a more substantial value add from a business perspective beyond the immediate short term public interest.  Industry will need to pay close attention to CleanTech as competitive leads advance very quickly by those who have been working with the solutions the longest while others held a closed mind.
  • Areva Announces Plans to Build Largest Solar Installation in Asia.  Introduction of large scale projects like this is rising.
  • United States Pulls Ahead of China in Clean Energy Race.  This is important considering how the US has lagged.  The US, being one of the largest energy consumers, stands to benefit greatly in economic, national security, political and environmental terms from effeciencies in low energy supplies.  Much of the great US expansion phase in the last 30 years was facilitated by cheap oil.  Without access to low cost energy for industry, business growth grinds to a halt.
  • Mini-Camper Designed for Bicycles.  This is a fun idea for the serious outdoor bicycle enthusiast.  If it is robust enough for long treks it could be a wonderful way to see the country.  Several people have built bike campers but this design makes it available to all.
  • Thinbike: for the Space Conscious Commuter
  • An Experimental Electrified Mercedes.  Pushing the limits of electric vehicle engines is a must for electric cars to get any real traction in the broader market.  Too many people need real power in their vehicles for their work (construction, cargo, transportation, police and fire).  Studying the development areas in military research is revealing a great deal of pragmatic CleanTech solutions by those whose lives presently depend on trusted solutions.  If it doesn’t seem possible that electric engines can deliver the power, consider that many nuclear submarines use electric engines for propulsion.
  • Ford, Dow Chemical Partner on Carbon Fiber Composites, Hopes to Shed 750 Pounds
  • Will 3 Hour Home Charging Make a Difference for Electric Cars?  While it is certainly a step in the right direction.  Even to most patient person has times where they are late for work, out of gas and wishing the gas pump didn’t take 10 minutes or so to stop fill the tank and pay.  When solutions (likely hybrid such as fast charge with battery swap and recharge strips in the highway see here) converge more closely, broader market demand will escalate.