- Lit Dance Floor
Got kicked out of the club for those killer dance moves? It’s alright, dance your way to the Sin City to light up a whole street, literally. A clean tech startup company established in New York, EnGoPlanet combines the kinetic energy from walking and the energy from the big red star in the sky to power the streetlights of Las Vegas. The company also aims to harness the free energy from our daily lives to erect streetlights that will allow Wi-Fi hotspots and charging ports. It is literally a step towards a greener city of Las Vegas.
- TNB? More like TNByeeeeee
We’re Malaysians, there are only three season each year. The panas until you can’t tahan anymore, the flash flood season and the annual haze; two of those seasons we would blast our air conditioning on high so high that the electricity bill is also very high. But, fear not my fellow sweaty friends, we have paint that can make use of that Malaysian heat.
This paint developed by Korean researchers is a step sideways from the existing solar energy; it converts heat into electricity. With this thermoelectric paint, the future of dissipated heat energy from our fridges, telly and car engines may not be such a waste at all. Moreover, this will definitely save you money on electricity bills. It’s ironically cool to see that the bloody heat is finally the reason why we can turn up the air conditioning in our rooms.
- 9.81 ms^-2 light
“Dude, I was burning the midnight oil studying for finals…” Ha, no, you weren’t. You were probably studying while munching snacks under the light in your room, you didn’t really ‘burn the midnight oil’. However, kids with no access to electricity are forced to use kerosene lamps thus burning oil to read after dark. Plus, kerosene isn’t cheap nor is it healthy when there is prolonged exposure. Here enters Gravity Light, a cute little creative invention using the forces of gravity to light up these kids’ lives. Gravity Light is an award winning innovation and it truly deserves all the recognition it has received.
We have taken for granted a flick of a switch to such immense power, so carelessly used for such frivolous things, sometimes lighting up the house like it’s Deepavali. Just remember that there are kids who have to squint to read under a kerosene lamp.
- Purify the atmosphere like no tomorrow
Scientist has figured out a concrete mix that can be used as air purifier. Since concrete jungle is basically the only jungle that is getting any larger nowadays, this may be the way to compromise between the human development and environmental effects. The important component in the concrete is titanium dioxide; a photocatalyst that activates in the presence of UV light and converts harmful pollutant in the air; nitrogen dioxide into unharmful nitrates. Imagine a future where houses are made with this miracle concrete; the plaster mix, the tile roof and the pavements too, all there to eat away the smog in the very air we breathe. Its use has been deployed nowadays, and in such a beautiful way too!
- Low battery? Just plug your phone to a tree
Solar cells have been a big hit for as long as I can remember and it’s understandable since it’s very promising. However, traditional solar cells will hit the limitation of resource; that is the materials needed to make the cells will run out or gets more expensive as it gets more scarce. Scientists have solved this problem by tampering into photosynthesis; the most efficient photovoltaic cells to enable us to tap the power generated from the process. Using this technology we will never run out of the material (because we literally need to just plant more plants to have more). Research are actively pursued to lower the cost of building a bio-photovoltaic cells. In a 2012 paper by a MIT researcher, they may have found a way to produce a custom-made chemical that can just be mixed into grass cuttings and smeared on a board to tap away the solar power.
- Now play ‘wau’ and charge your phone like a boss
I have always liked windmills and ‘wau’s (I’m a Terengganu kid). Now these wonderful folks at Altaeros Energies have put this into one and even make electricity out of it! Have you noticed that windmills are built very high and very big? This is because winds at higher altitudes is more stable and strong thus, the high and big built of the windmill. However, this has taken a lot of space and has become a debate since it is not very ‘economic’. Altaeros Energies solves this problem by putting the wind turbine in a helium-inflated balloon and floating it up high in the sky. The wind then passes through the wind turbines, generating electricity that is sent to a storing device back on the ground via a special tether. We have been playing with kites all of this while and we just forgot to stick a dynamo on it!