REON II Water Quality Sensor Device

In the race to find solutions to critical water issues, the launch of a new cost-effective water quality sensor device by Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries|Clarkson University is the first step in overcoming hurdles of historically prohibitive costs for long-term water resource monitoring.

The installation of the Institute’s newest generation of River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON II) sensor arrays signifies the passing of the baton from the science lab to the river as they run ahead, complementing government capacity to invest in “wiring” the river for cleaner water.

The REON II device or “Sonde,” deployed on the banks of the Hudson River in New Hamburg, N.Y., is providing real-time data called for by scientists to better understand the complex relationship between humans, the built environment and our fragile waterways.

It is one of 37 sensor stations currently in place in the Hudson and St. Lawrence river watersheds, making REON one of the world’s most robust resources of real-time data. The goal of the REON research team to develop affordable, scalable, low-profile sensor networks and its potential for making water sensor technology universal, could be transformational to the field of environmental science.

CEF FFT: The more up-to-date and accurate the data we can collect on the water quality of rivers and estuaries, the more we can become aware of the impact our civilization has on these precious sources of life.

To read more and watch a video, visit the source link here.

RanMarine WasteShark

Founded by Richard Hardiman, Ranmarine Technology uses WasteShark — 24-hour on-the-water drones. The solar-powered drones collect detritus, marine waste and chemical substances from ports and canals.

Founded in 2015 in South Africa, the company was later re-incorporated in the Netherlands at the start of last year as RanMarine Technology BV.

Hardiman is based in Rotterdam. He moved there after being selected for PortXL Rotterdam’s maritime accelerator (portxl.org) in February last year. The startup was one of 12 companies selected from 1000 startups worldwide.

In July last year the startup began a pilot with the Port of Rotterdam to test both the use of autonomous surface vessels in their waters and how the product actually works in “high trafficked waters”. The pilot was successfully completed last month.

There are currently 3 different types of the Waste Shark products: the WasteShark, the Great WasteShark and the ChemShark.

Check out their website https://www.ranmarine.io/ for more info and videos!

Idénergie River Turbine

Combining Quebec’s expertise in hydroelectricity, aluminum and renewable energy, Idénergie has successfully developed the first solution to easily generate electricity from the natural flow of a river. This innovation will allow people to generate electricity from nearby rivers, 24 hours a day.

Idénergie’s river turbine has an embedded smart converter that allows the conversion of the energy harnessed from the water current into electricity. The built-in smart converter includes many additional features including a self-starting turbine, continuous power optimization, remote monitoring capabilities, an emergency brake and many more to come.

Mostly made of noble metals such as aluminium and other environmentally friendly components, the turbine is the greenest amongst all available renewable energy products. These material do not react to the environment and are easily recyclable ensuring a substantial end of life value. In addition, the river turbine does not require a permanent structure reducing its impact on aquatic fauna.

By taking into account numerous studies estimating the interactions of the turbines with the ecosystems, Idénergie designed its product in order for it to have minimal impact on the aquatic fauna and its housing environment. Studies carried out by the Alden laboratories, an american entity, have proven that the Darrieus Turbines, used by Idenergie, represent no harm to the river’s ecosystem. In fact, extracting energy from a fluid tend to slow it down, resulting in faster velocity on the side of the turbine thus floating objects and debris, as well as fish, tend to naturally avoid the turbine resulting in 98% survival rate.

A society based on a green economy is Idénergie’s dream. Fully aware of the need to adapt to the threat of climate change, they aim to make a positive difference by encouraging every individual, homeowner or community to use renewable energy and become energy-independent.

Check out their website http://idenergie.ca/en/ to see how this renewable-energy hardware is accessible and discover how yes, it can be done.

First Smog-filtering Bicycles

Millions of Chinese cyclists may soon be able to ditch their air-pollution masks. Dutch innovation firm Studio Roosegaarde has partnered with bike-share startup ofo to develop a new model that can collect polluted air, purify it, and release the clean air around the cyclist. Studio founder Daan Roosegaarde confirms to Quartz that the first prototype of the smog-sucking “future bike” is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

How about we filter polluted air while riding bicycles? Sounds like a win-win to me!

Visit the source link for more info: www.qz.com

(Photo credit: Studio Roosegaarde)

Bee’s Wrap

Why use plastic wrap when you can use sustainable Bee’s Wrap?

Bee’s Wrap is washable, reusable and compostable. Their fabric and printing is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard using beeswax that is sourced from sustainably-managed hives in the US. Bee’s Wrap packaging is recyclable and plastic-free.

Get your own and start cutting down on needless plastic waste! https://www.beeswrap.com/

As they say on their website: “Because good food deserves good care”

First Solar-powered Train

The world’s first solar-powered train is here!

India’s first solar-powered trains has begun service, running a 12.5-mile route from Delhi’s Safdarjung station to Farukh Nagar in the country’s north. The diesel-electric hybrid train has six coach cars with solar panels embedded in their roofs. The panels feed a battery that can power the train for up to 72 hours. Roughly 50 solar-harvesting coaches are set to be launched in the next several days, running primarily along commuter routes.

The new trains are a part of Indian Railways’s plan to establish an energy-generation capacity of 1 gigawatt of solar and 130 megawatts of wind power in the next five years. The state-owned company has been using train-mounted solar panels since 2015 to power interior lights and air conditioning, but their newest train is the first in the world to use solar power.

India isn’t the only country exploring solar-powered trains. A research team at the Imperial College London is embarking on a similar quest to take trains off-grid and power them with solar energy. However, the UK project is looking to track-side solar panels, not ones directly mounted to the trains themselves.

Visit the source article with a video as well on curbed.com

TraffEnerate

“Just be you and pave the way to change” says 13-year-old inventor Laalitya Acharya who hopes to revolutionize energy in developing countries by using vehicular motion to generate and harness clean and affordable energy.

Acharya’s invention “TraffEnerate” came about after she started researching cheap, easily renewable resources of energy, and came across a device she calls a piezo. She explains when stress is applied to a piezo, it generates electricity. She wanted to make it easy to utilize piezos, so she designed TraffEnerate to obtain power when cars drive over the devices. Her prototype incorporates 11 piezo sensors and a 3D-printed block so stress will be applied to all 11 piezos even if a car just barely passes over the corner of the prototype.

Acharya said, “I wanted to change the world, that simple. On my family’s yearly trip to India, I saw children who have no power in their homes, huddling near dangerous fires. I wanted to change their position in life, to make it better by creating clean energy and electricity.”

CEF FFT: Imagine what a difference TraffEnerate could provide for people around the world living with an environment congested with vehicular traffic!

For more info visit this link on inhabitat.

Thanks again to Michelle for the share! =)

DroneSeed

Let us welcome DroneSeed–a new solution to precision reforestation!

DroneSeed is working with commercial foresters to make reforestation more efficient. Their team offers a one-stop solution of drones capable of planting tree seeds and spraying fertilizer and herbicides to keep trees healthy.

Millions of acres of forestland are currently under-utilized. The availability of dependable workers, and the safety concerns of rough terrain, prevent trees from being planted and cared for. DroneSeed is presented as a scalable solution to addressing this problem. Could this be the future of a faster, safer, and more efficient forestry?

Check out their website for  videos and more info: https://www.droneseed.co/

CEF FFT: Using drones is perhaps more efficient, but this isn’t to disregard the freedom we have to plant seeds and plant trees. If we all planted even a single seed and tree each week, what sort of transformation would we expect to see?

Open Litter Map

Open Litter Map is a web-based litter-mapping game to generate Open Data for a healthier planet. By switching your phone’s camera to allow for “Location Tags,” when you take a photo of litter, the approximate location will be geotagged into the image. Once you upload the image to Open Litter Map’s website, it will need to be verified. After verification is complete it will appear on their global map data as in this screen grab!

Check out their website for more info on how to start uploading your own geotagged photos of trash needing cleanup!

CEF FFT: What would be a next step for the application for mapping litter data? Well, first thing that comes to mind is trash not easily accessible for someone to remove without proper gear, for example in a public park with a large pond where fish, turtles, ducks and other creatures live.

Zero-Emission Fossil Fuel Power

(photo credit: CHICAGO BRIDGE & IRON)

This is NET Power’s prototype plant near Houston, Texas. It is testing an emission-free technology designed to compete with conventional fossil power.

Zero-emission fossil fuel power sounds like an oxymoron. But when that 25-megawatt demonstration plant is fired up later this year, it will burn natural gas in pure oxygen. The result: a stream of nearly pure CO2, which can be piped away and stored underground or blasted into depleted oil reservoirs to free more oil, a process called enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Either way, the CO2 will be sequestered from the atmosphere and the climate.

That has long been the hope for carbon capture and storage (CCS), a strategy that climate experts say will be necessary if the world is to make any headway in limiting climate change. But CCS systems bolted to conventional fossil fuel plants have struggled to take off because CO2 makes up only a small fraction of their exhaust. Capturing it saps up to 30% of a power plant’s energy and drives up the cost of electricity.

In contrast, NET Power, the startup backing the new plant, says it expects to produce emission-free power at about $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. That’s about the same cost as power from a state-of-the-art natural gas-fired plant—and cheaper than most renewable energy. The key to its efficiency is a new thermodynamic cycle that swaps CO2 for the steam that drives turbines in conventional plants. Invented by an unlikely trio—a retired British engineer and a pair of technology geeks who had tired of their day jobs—the scheme may soon get a bigger test. If the prototype lives up to hopes, NET Power says, it will forge ahead with a full-scale, 300-megawatt power plant—enough to power more than 200,000 homes—which could open in 2021 at a cost of about $300 million. Both the company and CCS experts hope that the technology will then proliferate. “This is a game-changer if they achieve 100% of their goals,” says John Thompson, a carbon capture expert at the Clean Air Task Force, an environmental nonprofit with an office in Carbondale, Illinois.

Even if NET Power’s technology works as advertised, not everyone will be a fan. Lukas Ross, who directs the climate and energy campaign at Friends of the Earth in Washington, D.C., notes that the natural gas that powers the plant comes from hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and other potentially destructive practices. And providing a steady supply of high-pressure gas for EOR, he adds, will only perpetuate a reliance on fossil fuels. Ross argues that money would be better spent on encouraging broad deployment of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.

Yet oddly enough, NET Power could help smooth the way for renewables to expand. The renewable portfolio standards in many countries and U.S. states require solar, wind, and other carbon-free sources to produce an increasing proportion of the electric power supply. But those sources are intermittent: The power comes only when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. Nuclear and fossil fuel sources provide “base load” power that fills the gaps when renewables aren’t available. Conventional natural gas power plants, in particular, are viewed as a renewable-friendly technology because they can be ramped up and down quickly depending on the supply of renewable power.

CEF FFT: Although this is not an ideal solution, perhaps this is a step in the right direction. Who knows what this new Allam Cycle could inspire in other renewables.

Visit source article on Sciencemag.org for more information and diagrams!