Check out these more unusual and weird green technologies. They’re a little different from the usual solar-panels and turbines that readers of renewable energy websites are accustomed to. The stories vary from a 3D-printer that builds buildings to large-scale heat collection and onto a total identity transformation for solar-panels. Worth checking-out! Enjoy!
3-D Building Printer
This 3D printer can create a full-size stone buildings. It is the work of the designer Enrico Dini and is known as the Prototype D shape printer. The printer uses layers of sand rather than ink and Enrico claims that it would be possible to firstly create building four times faster than using conventional methods currently employed in the construction industry and secondly generate less waste. Intriguing!
Transparent Solar Spray
Photovoltaic panels can quite easily harvest the sun’s rays into energy. However they still suffer from aesthetic issues. Now EnSol AS, a Norwegian company have developed a spray-on solar-film generated from metal nanoparticles. When embedded into any innocuous window they turn it into a solar-panel…and the bonus…the window remains clear!
Electron microscope image of EnSol nanocrystals
Foot Step Energy
POWERleap is an alternative renewable energy. It is not sun, wind, or wave, but human-powered. The energy is created by humans themselves whose energy is harvested from their own movement. Basically, a ‘piezoelectric tiling-system’ on the floor is able to convert the kinetic energy of people into electricity to be used for in-house charging or channeled to power-grids.
Now this takes solar-panels to the extreme. Solar ivy is a decorative system than can be placed on any surface. Looking much like foliage it can harness solar energy The Brooklyn-based company SMIT (Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology) created this system. It is a paper-thin (and rustling) solar-panel system shaped like leaves. In addition, a piezoelectric generator is attached to each leaf allowing energy to be harnessed from their movement. This couldn’t be further from the right-angled solar-panels the construction industry is ordinarily used to. Innovative!
It clear that simply walking is already a ‘green’ act, but this goes one step further (pardon the pun). Now, a Louisiana Tech University researcher has created a shoe that is able to convert a walker’s own footsteps into electricity. Within the sole of the shoes are generators. These can charge a battery for use with small electronics. Clever stuff!
Cooling buildings takes energy (especially in the summer). Then, only a few months later, energy is again needed to heat buildings. Now, the idea of saving the hot summer air and redistributing it in the winter is being developed at the Honggerberg Campus in Switzerland. Their campus (known as science city) is now installing systems to do just that. Summer air will be stored underground and releasing it again in winter months. It seems so simple, how can it be that no one thought of this earlier. It’s the first of its kind! All clever and innovative stuff.
Congratulations to all!