Archives for posts with tag: Technology

Ford Motor company’s Sustainability Chief talks about their vision for the future and about innovation at Ford. This wonderful interview from Forbes also links to the sustainability report for 2013/2014 and talks about Ford’s commitment to environmentally responsible manufacturing among other things.

(Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rahimkanani/2014/06/18/ford-motor-company-sustainability-chief-talks-innovation-progress-and-a-vision-for-the-future/ )

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This is one video you won’t want to miss! It shows astronauts playing soccer from the International Space Station (ISS) and they answer fan submitted questions. The crew talks about the teams that they are rooting for, their jobs, what type of cameras they use for space photography, the foods that they miss eating, and how often they get to chat with their families among other things.

You can watch the whole video downlink here:

http://ti.me/1jqSvzf

 

( Source: http://time.com/2970293/time-space-station-video/ )

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build high green halo waste tracking system xeros washer water

It’s not news that certain parts of the world have drought emergencies right now but Xeros has an new invention that is helping reduce the travesty. Xeros came out with a polymer bead laundry system which comes with enormous savings and benefits that currently attracts mainly commercial locations. This new laundry system is currently impacting the hotel, gym, and hospital industries in a great ways.

By reducing consumption in commercial laundry, hotels can conserve valuable resources, gain competitive advantages, market themselves as green to increase their brand value and improve customer loyalty in addition to reducing costs.

The Xeros washer works by utilizing the hydrophilic properties of polymer beads. Scientists at the University of Leeds School of Textiles discovered that these beads, mixed with a small amount of water and a special detergent act as magnets for stains and dirt to clean laundry better and more gently than traditional methods. These reusable polymer beads also last for hundreds of washes before they need to be recycled and the Xeros polymer bead laundry system uses 80% less water, 50% less energy, about 50% less detergent and results in better cleaning results compared to traditional methods.

Source: http://www.waterworld.com/articles/iww/print/volume-14/issue-3/features/wiser-washing.html

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Altaeros Energies has announced the first planned commercial demonstration if it’s Buoyant Airborne Turbine or BAT product. The announcement event plans to deploy the BAT at a height of 1,000’ above ground which could break the record for the highest wind turbine in the world. See what the BAT looks like here:

The BAT has a helium-filled, inflatable shell which lifts the apparatus to high altitudes so that energy can be consistently generated in a low cost way as well. BAT is secured to the ground with high strength tethers and electricity gets sent to the ground from there. The reason behind traveling to higher altitudes is because the winds are stronger and more consistent higher up in the sky.

To learn more, visit: http://www.altaerosenergies.com/

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FreshPaper by fenugreen is paper infused with natural, organic, botanic ingredients that greatly reduces food spoilage. Kavita Shakla won the Inventor of the Week award from Lemelson-MIT for FreshPaper and she has doubled and quadrupled the lifetime of food that sits in people’s refrigerators with this paper. FreshPaper is also biodegradable and compostable. The mission is: Fresh for All. Kavita tells the fabulous story of her invention here:

 

(Source: http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/shukla.html )

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solar power green halo waste tracking system green building guide

Choosing solar panels as a first timer isn’t easy, but this guide provides a short background on solar panel evolution for people who are looking to understand what might give them the best price to performance ratio.

First off, traditional solar cells are made from silicon and they are currently the most efficient solar cells available for homes. Traditional solar cells account for at least 80% of all solar panels sold around the world. In this category, monocrystalline silicon cells are the most efficient, at a rate of up to 24.2% per unit area but they costs are higher than most solar cells. Monocrystalline silicon cells require the most intensive manufacturing because the shape of the silicon cell is extraordinary and there is quite a bit of original silicon waste. The second most popular option is a polycrystalline silicon cell, and it is relatively inexpensive with an efficiency of up to 19.3% per unit area. The third type of traditional solar cell is known as amorphous silicon cells which is the type used in most calculators and other small electronic devices. The amorphous silicon cells have the lowest prices and have an efficiency of up to 10% per unit area. The area of this type of panel is often double the area of other panels to achieve the same power output. The beauty of the amorphous silicon cells besides the low cost are the flexibilities of the material and their ability to perform well at low and high light levels. Lastly, the hybrid silicon cells combine multiple materials in a cost reductive way which are also designed to increase efficiency and the lifetime of the cells.

The second-generation solar cells are usually thin-film solar cells that are made from layers of semiconductor materials. The materials that are used in this type of solar cell varies and they are known for being inexpensive.

Third-generation solar cells are currently being researched and they are made from different materials, new technologies, conductive dyes and plastics. The goal is to improve commercially available solar cells and more can be learned on this page developed for the latest in solar panel research:  http://www.solar-facts-and-advice.com/solar-research.html

For additional tips and specs to look out for, James Walker the Director of Energy Matters does an excellent job of explaining who to buy from and what factors should go into the decision making process here:

 

(Source: http://www.cnet.com/news/solar-junction-claims-cell-efficiency-record/

and http://www.solar-facts-and-advice.com/)

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Obama and the EPA 's fight on power plants, the epa, climate change and green house gas

We at Green Halo Systems have been following the news about the USA’s greenhouse gas policies since the beginning of the year when the Secretary of State John Kerry’s goal was to become the “lead broker of a global climate treaty” according to The New York Times. John Kerry has made President Barack Obama and millions of others focus on global warming in the past six months and today it was announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a 30% cut from 2005 figures to all power plant emissions by 2030.

To review some of what has happened since the beginning of the year, this past February, the EPA drafted a new rule to regulate 1,500 power plans in America to curb climate change and to tighten the language on such a rule. Later that month, Pres Obama ordered the development of new fuel efficiency standards for the nation’s heavy-duty trucks through the use of executive authority. Days later, the Supreme Court considered the President’s orders when it comes to emissions from “stationary sources” such as power plants. Pres Obama’s use of executive authority has since become a popular topic.

At the end of March the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change report warned that climate change is having a “sweeping effect worldwide” that is likely to grow worse unless greenhouse emissions get under control. The report gave weight to Pres Obama’s effort to use his executive authority under The Clean Air Act.

During April the United Nations report said that the United States needs to develop a climate change law so taxing carbon pollution was up for discussion. Paul Krugman’s response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s statement was that economists’ optimism about limiting emissions of greenhouse gases is due to technological innovations that have decreased the cost of renewable energy.

At the beginning of May, Pres Obama announced investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The President campaigned to build support for the EPA’s carbon pollution limits on pollution from coal-fired power plants. Also in May, research about the giant glaciers’ “tipping points” as proof of global warming was scrutinized by The New York Times. Pres Obama also recently stated that the proof of climate change makes this issue “not some distant problem of the future”.

And so now, in the beginning of June, Pres Obama reiterated the importance of climate change policies in his second-term agenda. On June 1st, 2014, the Obama administration proposed what might be the most ambitious climate change mitigation strategy in the USA so far. The proposal is that the entire power sector (America’s largest carbon polluter) must bring its emission levels down by 30% from what they were in 2005 by the year 2030.

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NASA asked people from around the globe to upload a selfie on Earth Day on social media so that a mosaic of the images with the globe could be created and posted on GigaPan at: http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/155294

Image

This spectacular image was built using 36,422 photos that were tagged #globalsefie in five humongous social media platforms around April 22, 2014. Here, people from more than 100 countries are all organized in a high quality rendering that people can zoom in and out of to see the selfies large or small.

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The International Space Station will have a new lifeboat for approximately seven months. The lifeboat spacecraft is not necessarily wished to be called into service but in the event that people need to be evacuated off of the International Space Station, this “next generation” American spacecraft will come to rescue.

Right now, in the place of this next generation American spacecraft, the lifeboat function is served by a pair of Russian Soyuz spacecraft which hold three people each. The Soyuz lifeboat is pictured here:

russian space soyuz space craft landed

This means that there can be six people working on a station at a time. With the next generation spacecraft, there is the ability to offer another four to seven seats so more people would be available for research duties according to NASA. This section explained the difference between the Soyuz spacecraft and the next generation American spacecraft that will soon be used. The new lifeboat looks like this:

nasa life boat space station

Next, we look into engineering specifications and some of the conditions that lifeboats are designed to face.

In a recent article by NASA, their engineers revel the two capabilities that a spacecraft must perform to be called a life boat. They are: “First, the spacecraft needs to provide a shelter for astronauts in case of a problem on the station. Second, the ship has to be able to quickly get all its systems operating and detach from the station for a potential return to Earth.” In addition to these two requirements, the spacecraft also needs to run on the little amount of power that is dedicated for a docked crew spacecraft (the amount of power is about the amount of electricity a refrigerator uses). Let’s look at engineering’s relative that is, design.

When it comes to spacecraft design for the lifeboat feature, the challenges include a few things. First, it is ideal for the lifeboat to be powered off when not in use, but the deputy manager of CCP’s Spacecraft Office explained that this isn’t currently the case because air needs to be circulated since air doesn’t automatically circulate in microgravity the way it does on Earth. Another thing that designers need to look out for is that the spacecraft needs to be protected from things outside the spacecraft like micrometeoroids and should be able to survive an occasional hit, yet the armor cannot be too heavy to launch.

nasa life boat space station international

The new lifeboat is much anticipated because of the increased amount of people that it can hold. The “extra seats” compared to the Soyuz lifeboat which is currently used will most likely be used for researchers. In addition, the design and engineering challenges and specifications are extraordinary. We highly recommend viewing the NASA website for more information at: http://www.nasa.gov/

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Green Halo - Google Buys Solar-Powered Drone Manufacturer Titan Aerospace to Boost Internet Access in Third World Countries3D printing may be all the rage in design, but for Big Tech, drones are where the money is. On Monday, web giant Google beat out Facebook in a race to acquire Titan Aerospace, a solar-powered drone manufacturer. Although Google claims the drones will be used for the forces of good, such as broadcasting Internet signals to remote areas, some worry that the high-flying drones may pose troublesome consumer privacy implications.

New Mexico-based drone maker Titan Aerospace specializes in the creation of high-altitude solar-powered drones. “It’s still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation,” said a Google spokesman in an email to AFP. Google also plans to use the high-flying drones to assist their ongoing Project Loon, which uses giant balloons to broadcast Internet signals, as well as Makani, a project to build an energy-efficient airborne wind turbine.

The drones may also be used to enhance Google Earth’s aerial imagery capabilities. According to Titan, its drones can stay airborne for up to five years without the need for routine maintenance. The search engine giant’s continued foray into drone investing mirrors similar gambits by other high-profile consumer-based businesses such as Amazon’s proposed drone delivery service and Facebook’s similar plans to deliver Internet via drones to third-world countries.

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