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Sunday, December 7, 2014

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Pulling Water out of Thin Air – Sustainable Condensers Create Drinkable Water


elowater turbine

Fresh drinking water is a disappearing commodity for many people of the world. In fact, some 750 million people in the world lack access to safe drinking water. With current climate changes the desperation for water is expected to increase. This need has triggered the rise of numerous new technologies. Most promising are those that are self-efficient. The following devices function by condensing fresh water right out of thin air – utilizing renewable energy to get the job done.

water from wind

Since 2011 Eolewater has been developing the WMS1000  a wind turbine that powers itself using the wind and collects water from the humidity in the air. The WMS1000 has been able to collect an average of 62 litters an hour of fresh water in 45 percent humidity at 24 degree Celsius. After being able to produce 1000 liters a day of freshwater the turbine is currently being shipped to Abu Dhabi for the first phase of tests in extreme weather conditions. If successful, the WMS1000’s wind powered water collection can be implemented bring fresh water to people in need.

NERIOS S3

Eolewater also has systems that harness solar to power water collection. The NERIOS S3 is a solar powered water condenser. It’s the newest model and boasts 28 individual solar panels. Its ice storage system means that no battery is needed for when the sunlight is not available.

fontus condenser

Also harnessing the power of the sun  is another invention called Fontus. Designed by Kristof Retezar a Austrian industrial design student; Fontus is a solar powered water condenser for your bike.

fontus self filling

Fontus attaches to the frame and when you ride air flows in through the filter, is cooled, water condenses then drips down into the removable bottle. Offering a way to allow bicyclists to ditch the camel-packs and make their own water as they ride.

fonuts design

In 50 percent humidity at a minimum temp of 68 degrees Fahrenheit Fontus can condense at a rate of 1 drop per minute. However it currently lacks an additional filter to prevent pollutants from being in the water so it’s not recommended for use in an urban setting. At a price point of 25 to 40 dollars for a unit it might be a fun investment for the alternative bicyclist.

These technologies all address a growing problem in different ways. With our need for fresh water growing by the day inventions like these might save rivers and groundwater from being tapped.  They can also create a water source for people that live in even the driest of environments. Although water collection from humidity is more practical in areas where humidity is high, these strides are perhaps a step in the right direction.

related: more green design projects featured on The Alternative Consumer

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Carbon Neutral Homes: The Future is Flat-Packed


zed factory homes

In February 2008, the first 100% carbon neutral flat-pack home was revealed by ZEDFactory – Zero (fossil) Energy Development. It was affordable, quick to put up and revolutionary in the way properties are designed.

flat packed home

The house was designed to be erected within a few weeks, and the cost of £150,000 for a three-bedroom property was seen as a huge step in making such eco-friendly homes affordable for more people.

ZEDFactory said that its flat-pack home has a Code 6 status, which is the highest level in the sustainable building code. The innovative idea has since developed and it could well lead the way to many more such eco-homes appearing over the coming years.

Key Features of the Eco-Homes
Wooden frames are used to build the houses, which is a carbon-neutral material. On top of this, they use eco-concrete that provides excellent energy efficiency and allows the building to absorb and release heat more slowly. As a result, the insulation is up to three times higher than in standard homes.

The buildings also make use of plants on the roof to attract birds and insects. On the south facing side of the room, solar panels are installed to generate energy for up to four people. A small wind turbine can also be added, and the energy can be used to sell back to the grid or to power an electric car.

A biomass boiler is used to heat the water in winter using wood chips, and a grey-water system and low-flow showers are used to reduce water usage.

How Can You Go Greener at Home?
You may not be able to take advantage of all of the features of these eco-homes, but you can still make a difference by making simple changes around your home. For example, you could invest in solar panels or a wind turbine, which can help meet your electricity needs in a greener way. Or you could do something even simpler and add more insulation to your home, such as cavity wall insulation or loft insulation. This can help you to reduce your heating requirements and cut your bills.

Saving energy means saving money, and another way to save money is to choose a more suitable tariff. npower has a Tariff Information Label tool so you can search for a suitable one in your area with ease. Or you can find a tariff that promotes other ways to save energy, such as npower’s Intelligent Fix tariff, which comes with the Nest Learning Thermostat at a reduced cost, which could provide you with a way to reduce your energy usage.

Then there are simple things you can do around the house to lead a greener lifestyle, such as:

  • using more low-energy light bulbs
  • turning off all computers, televisions and gadgets when they are not in use
  • collecting rain water to use in the garden
  • recycling as much of your waste as possible
  • buying reused goods rather than new ones

Cut Your Own Carbon Footprint
These are all ways to cut your energy use and live a low-carbon lifestyle, even if you cannot move into a new eco-home. Greener homes are likely to become more popular over the coming years, and that is good news for everyone, and by following simple tips you can have a big impact on your own energy use and reduce your environmental impact.

Contributor Evie Noble became interested in green technology over 8 years ago while building her own home. She now enjoys researching the latest tech and trends on today’s consumer market and writes about them on a variety of eco and tech blogs.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Another Miracle Cure for Our Carbon Fuel Addiction


Sunfire

Like HydroInfra Technologies’ introduction of the Hydro-Nano Gas reactors, which promise to completely neutralize the pollution resulting from our use of carbon fuels, this most recent development in alternative fuels comes to us from overseas. Based in Dresden, Saxony of Germany, Sunfire GmbH (above) has developed a method to sustainably create the carbon fuels we utilize in power plants, ships and automobiles in an effort to lessen our inputs to the carbon cycle. These newly produced carbon fuels, comparable to the long-chain compounds that make up diesel fuel, can be used just as conventional fuels would be, but are not derived from raw petroleum products. Instead, the fuel is made using two of the most common compounds on the planet: namely, carbon dioxide and water.

Sunfire alternative energy

Firstly, the Sunfire system completely relies on electricity, of which the company suggests should be derived from renewable sources; in Germany, this is an easier suggestion in Germany considering the high proportion of renewable energy employed there. Electricity is then supplied to the electrolysis station where the hydrogen and oxygen atoms of water are split apart and separated. The H2 obtained here is then used to reduce CO2, which can be reclaimed from the atmosphere, to carbon monoxide (CO).

Sunfire turns water into fuelAfterwards, the H2 and CO compounds undergo a “Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis” reaction, which combines them into single, long-chain hydrocarbon fuels. This whole process is touted as the antithesis of carbon fuels combustion in that during the burning of these fuels, oxygen attaches to the split components of the hydrocarbon chain. The Sunfire system inversely seeks to remove the oxygen from the CO2 and H2O molecules, and combine them to create synthetic versions of our well-known carbon fuels, gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

The synthetic version of these fuels further displays higher purity levels when compared with conventional fuels that are derived directly from petroleum, which leads to lower final emissions and higher fuel-to-work efficiencies in the Sunfire system. Sunfire partnered with prominent fuel cell producer Staxera in 2012 to better support the core electrolysis components of the Sunfire system. When we consider the potential of the Sunfire system, combined with that of HydroInfra Tech HNG systems, we can actually begin to realize a green future complete with energy independence, carbon neutrality and a turning tide in the war against climate change.

related: more alternative energy info on alternativeConsumer.com

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Drive for Free with the Drive Green for Life Program!


Drive Green

Owning the vehicle of your choice and driving it freely through the web of roads crisscrossing your home city is as much an American tradition as the Presidential pardoning of one lucky turkey each year about this time. Being able to finally buy that personal car of your dreams is engrained into American culture, symbolizing freedom, economic status – and a means to sustain life for those that rely on their cars for business.

Drive Green

As we are all aware, each of these conventional-fuel-burning vehicles emits extremely harmful gasses  and with over 250 million registered vehicles in the United States, their combined emissions contribute heavily to climate change. The threat of a changing climate is real, but could anyone really point to their neighbors and say, “I think they should retire that S.U.V. to stop polluting…”?

Drive Green infographic

Well, one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the United States recently partnered with SunPower, a leading supplier of home solar PV systems, and The Sierra Club, the largest grassroots environmental NGO in the country, to offer consumers the opportunity to more gain access to alternative energy for their home. Ford Motor Company is offering new and existing Ford electric car owners a $750.00 rebate on their purchase or lease of a SunPower home solar system through (more…)

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Martifer PV Projects: Integrated Solutions for Fulfilling Solar Power Needs


martifer portugal solar field

Martifer Solar is more than merely a company that focuses on solar energy.  This Portugal based company employs teams of engineers and people who fabricate and design required engineering solutions for various types of solar energy related projects. As per Greentech Media Research’s statistics, Martifer Solar ranks third amongst similar companies in Europe. IHS lists the company in 5th position within Europe and 16th in the world.

martifer solar install rooftop

EPC Services from Martifer Solar
One of the drawbacks that have prevented PV solar technologies from taking off has been the cost versus returns in comparison to the fossil fuels. Martifer can offer PV solutions on 360° turnkey basis, which would include all engineering, purchases and procurement, project management, construction and commissioning related to the PV solar system installation and operations.

Photovoltaic Projects or PV projects from Martifer include EPC or engineering, procurement, and construction services. This means the company can offer customized solutions based on the needs of the people so that each such project becomes viable and offers optimal energy cost savings. It is because of its high standards of reliability today it boasts of having implemented more than 500 projects. The company is also maintaining and operating solar power generators with a capacity of 560 MW across the world.

integrated solar window panels

Variety of PV Projects offered by Martifer Solar
Martifer Solar offers all types of solar power generation solutions under one roof. Therefore, its portfolio of PV projects includes:

  • Ground mounted solar power generating systems
  • Rooftop solar power generating systems
  • Building integrated Photovoltaic projects (BIPV). Martifer’s Torre De Cristal in Madrid still qualifies as the tallest BIPV project, even though the project was completed in 2008.
  • Off-Grid solar power generating systems for people and businesses in remote locations
  • Small solar power generating systems for residential accommodations

Effectively, Martifer undertakes projects suiting the needs of small as well big customers.  This adaptability is one of the reasons for Martifer Solar’s larger market share.

One of the reasons many well-known companies opt for Martifer Solar is because it does more than supply the instrumentation and materials. Its personnel ensure that the project is commissioned and functioning to the satisfaction of the client.

Global Presence
Though Martifer is originally from Portugal, it has spread its activities across the globe. There are collaborations and joint ventures with various companies in different nations. For example, Martifer Solar entered into a joint venture with Hirschfeld Industries in the US. Likewise, it became Maisis’ partner, for technology.

The company has implemented PV projects for well-known businesses such as Hertz. Westfield Group is another famous business that has availed the services of Martifer Solar. In Latin America, the company recently installed a 30 MW project for Gauss Energia.

Martifer Solar has recently received a new contract from Italy. It is a 90 MW project. The company is implementing a project for well known private Equity Fund Company, i.e., Eland, and Dutch Infrastructure Fund.

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