Tag Archives: sustainable energy

Smart Lightbulb

Imagine a smart eco-friendly LED powered bulb that has a tiny electronic brain and some awareness of what’s going on around it. It is clever enough that if you put it in a bedside lamp it could detect that you have woken up and heading for a midnight toilet visit, it knows the time, so it turns on dimly to not hurt your eyes. It could flash an urgent amber to remind you that your pizza had enough time in the oven and most importantly, it can connect to other objects over Wi-Fi.

These smart lights could automatically fade on and off to save energy as your home’s occupants amble from room to room. They could alert you when you’ve got new emails, triggered by signals coming from your PC or tablet, or help you find a mislaid smartphone by detecting its Wi-Fi signature and then steering you to the room where you have left it. This is really useful, this is smart.

By being smart, the traditional lightbulb is transformed into a helpful and interactive Internet of Things device. Its smart powers may contribute to your relaxation, health or happiness, as lighting effects your mood.

This technology is arriving as we speak because multiple developments have happened all at once. Coloured LED lighting is now powerful, reliable and low priced enough to be built into consumer electronic devices and sold cheaply in bulk. Tiny low-processor chips, like those by ARM, and their ancillary circuits are powerful and ubiquitous thanks to innovations in smartphone design. Moreover, wireless radio systems like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are ubiquitous, tiny, cheap, and economical enough to be built into devices like a lightbulb. This technology creates the ability to transform everyday objects into smart and magical items.

The technology could even go into your home’s irrigation system. Imagine a lawn that knows when it needs a sprinkle by detecting the dryness of the grass or a flowerbed that knows it needs water by detecting the soil dryness. This system will then be smart, and will not waste water. Smart lightbulbs could also be used for security systems by placing sensors in the bulbs that detect intruders, and report in real-time.

To conclude, the smart lightbulb could perform all kinds of functionalities to increase our quality of life and assist us in our daily lives. We are keen to follow the next exciting developments for this ‘smart bulb’.

 

 

 

College Dorms in Denmark

A university in Denmark has created a circular dorm that will make you incredibly frustrated at the tiny double room where you spent your college years. Bet you didn’t have french windows, balconies, and a bike workshop.

It’s hard not to be envious of the students who get to live in Copenhagen’s Tietgen Student Hall (Tietgenkollegiet), a 288,000-square-foot, seven-story building designed as a communal space for residence. Among the building’s features:

  • All rooms face outwards, thanks to the building’s circular space (a symbol of its equality and communal nature). That means everyone gets ample natural light.
  • The rooms all have energy-efficient floor heating and their own showers and toilets (a big bonus for anyone who has shared a bathroom with their entire dorm hall).
  • Every room has either a French window or a balcony.
  • 30 kitchens in the building, each of which has four fridges and two stoves.
  • A ground floor given over almost entirely to common facilities, including a bike room, two music rooms, a gym, a computer room, a study room, an assembly hall, and an outdoor area for basketball and other sports.
  • Three workshops: a sewing workshop, a bike workshop, and a wood workshop.

In the U.S., universities are quickly figuring out that they must add amenities to attract students–they’re featuring everything from climbing walls to sustainable improvements but Tietgenkollegiet offers an impressive combination of energy efficiency and community building.

Combining sustainable improvements with community building to optimise student’s academic performance and well-being seems the way forward.

 

 

Smart Cities in Action

The world’s first total-concept smart grid deployment project, PowerMatching City, has been placed on the Sustainia 100list of solutions. Sustainia 100 describes itself as “More than a model and a vision, Sustainia aims to be the world’s one-stop toolbox for sustainable solutions.”

PowerMatching City, The Netherlands, is the first real-life smart grid community in the world which delivers the world’s first results from a total concept smart grid deployment project.

The city currently involves 25 households connected with each other and fitted with fully functioning micro combined heat and power systems (CHP). Systems in place include high efficiency boilers, hybrid pumps, smart meters, PV panels, electric vehicle charging stations and other smart household appliances which when combined together make up the smart energy system.

“With the share of renewable energy going up strongly over the next decades, the rising demand for electricity, and consumers who are increasingly providing their own energy supply, it is evident that smart grids will have an essential position in our future energy system. PowerMatching City plays a pioneering role in the development of smart grids and in the transition towards a sustainable energy system,” said Frits Bliek, Program Coordinator, PowerMatching City.

It is hoped that the grid will continue to grow, with the next phase set to include a further 70 homes. Follow the link below for the video!

PowerMatching City (www.PowerMatchingCity.nl)

 

 

Europe’s Smart City Initiative

Last year, Europe has set up an Initiative on Smart Cities. The Initiative fosters the dissemination throughout Europe of the most efficient models and strategies to progress towards a low carbon future. European countries should be progressing towards the energy and climate objectives at a local level while maintaining or improving the quality of live. Investments in energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emission can be used to improve local economies.

The Initiative wants a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (with start year 1990), which is very ambitious. This reductions can be obtained by using and producing sustainable energy. The Initiative will support cities and regions in creating a systematic approach and organizational innovation to encompass energy efficiency, low carbon technologies and the smart management of supply and demand. The main components of the Initiative is the measures of buildings, local energy networks and transport. Local authorities have to propose and implement holistic problem-solving approaches that use appropriate technology and policy measures.

Things that have to been done is for example the refurbishment of existing buildings so they use as less energy as possible while increasing performances and comfort. A good example of these sort of buildings are passive buildings, using vacuum insulation, windows, cool roofs,… New buildings have to be build with zero energy requirements or net zero carbon emissions.

In terms of energy, smart grids, smart meters, energy management systems, smart appliances and equipments can be used. And when thinking about transport, we think about sustainable mobility. Advanced smart public transport, intelligent traffic management and more encouragements to walk and cycle.

And all these objectives have to be turned into actions. The Initiative helps with this according to a city’s ambitions and the risk that’s involved. So ambitious cities could get funding for technical assistance to facilitate access to loans and risk sharing loans. And pioneer cities, taking much greater risks because they use radical technology and organizational transformations, could in addition receive grants to support the implementation of the proposed package of technologies and measures.

For more information about the Initiative, its objectives and the actions that will be taken: http://setis.ec.europa.eu/about-setis/technology-roadmap/european-initiative-on-smart-cities