Spray on Paintable Batteries and Spray on Solar Power for Windows
Researchers at Rice University have developed a lithium-ion battery that can be painted on virtually any surface.
The rechargeable battery created in the lab of Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan consists of spray-painted layers, each representing the components in a traditional battery. The research appears today in Nature’s online, open-access journal Scientific Reports. Technique could turn any surface into a lithium-ion battery; may be combined with solar cells.
Want to grow your own veggies but don’t have a sunny backyard? Check out the incredible Kitchen Nano Garden concept by Hyundai. Definitely a gardening gadget straight from The Jetsons.
Gardening for the 1%
Slated for completion in 2015, PlanIT Valley won’t be a mere “smart city” — it will be a sentient city, with 100 million sensors embedded throughout, running on the same technology that’s in the Formula One cars, each sensor sending a stream of data through the city’s trademarked Urban Operating System (UOS), which will run the city with minimal human intervention.
Built-from-scratch cities have been popping up for years, but fully sentient ones are only in the prototype stage (PlanIT Valley will have just 150,000 residents). And their goal, as with all sentient beings, is to replicate. The percentage of global city dwellers will surge to 70 percent by 2050, and many of the fastest-growing cities are sprawling eco-disasters in the making. PlanIT Valley’s hyper-efficient model promises to be bright green. A white paper created by Living PlanIT, the company designing PlanIT Valley, details an techno-paradise of energy conservation. (Living PlanIT did not respond to requests for comment.) Cars are guided toward empty parking spaces, personal computers are engaged to run the UOS when they’re sitting idle, and rooms not only lower the air conditioning when you’ve left them (yes, the system will know when you’ve left them), but can even decide whether it’s worth it to do so based on how long you typically leave that room vacant.
But wait, there’s more! Leaky faucet? The UOS can detect it, and if it can’t do the repair remotely, will dispatch a plumber. Lose your child? Surveillance cameras might be swiveled to ascertain “the child’s current location and activity.” Apartment on fire? The UOS will alert the fire department, direct each resident to the safest exit, adjust the neighborhood’s traffic lights to clear a path for the incoming trucks, tell the firefighters which parts of the building are affected and the locations of anyone inside, automatically unlock doors and windows, increase pressure in that neighborhood’s water mains, and allocate patients in priority order when they arrive at the nearest hospital.
|—||Science fiction no more: The perfect city is under construction - Salon.com (via myserendipities)|
Paul Higgins: These sorts of charts and numbers irritate me because while I am in full support of not wasting water they are a glib simplification. For example:
Iceberg Lettuce at 1kg = 130L and looks more efficient that lots of others but a Kg of lettuce only contains 587kj of energy and 8g of protein whereas I kg of wheat contains around 14,000 kj of energy and around 110g of protein. In a world that is food constrained and likely to become more so in the future as populations and demand grows this is important.
On top of that you then have to factor in the energy costs of transporting all that weight for a much lower energy density.
I am not sure of the source of the chart above but others that I have seen calculate the water use based on what falls on the crops like wheat or sugar cane. This analysis is then added to the water use of other products like meat and milk where grain is fed to animals.However unless that water is actually used up in the process and is useful elsewhere (either economically or environmentally) the calculations are meaningless at best and manipulative and deceptive at worse. To do a full comparison you need to do a full water cycle analysis compared to not using that land to produce that crop. For instance most of the water that falls on land to grow crops is not used by the crop, it either evaporates back to the atmosphere or moves through the soil to enter underground aquifers and rivers. Why should those amounts be added to the water cost of a product?
The arguments become different when irrigation is used because clearly water has been diverted for the use it is being put to. However the same rigorous analysis should be done, not meaningless easy comparisons designed to influence people.
By all means let us have the debate. The issues of water will become more important as populations grow.
I took the numbers here from http://nutritiondata.self.com which uses USDA data. I also cross referenced them with my own knowledge of grain nutrient levels.
UN-Water World Water Day
The JuiceTank is the first iPhone case to feature an integrated wall charger that folds flat to provide maximum portability. The automated plug deploys easily and allows you to plug your phone directly into any outlet. No cords required.
See kickstarter project.
This is a trend: mobile devices will have everything they need to operate independently. Their own plugs, but also being able to download music without a PC, to upload pictures without a PC, and so on. And soon, wireless electricity. Untethered mobility.
So true, can’t believe this is just being invented now.