Inventor Creates Net-Zero Energy Island

North Dumpling Island

Dean Kamen is a well-known entrepreneur and inventor of various technologies, including the Segway, Project Slingshot, and a hybrid electrical car with a Stirling engine.  He’s also trying to establish an independent, net-zero energy island off the coast of Connecticut.  The three-acre private island is called North Dumpling, and if granted his wishes, it would have its own constitution, flag, and national anthem.  Kamen’s attempts at secession haven’t been successful yet, but that’s no surprise given the South wasn’t able to do it either.  He has found success installing LEDs and saving energy, though. 

According to LEDs Magazine, the self-sustaining island will be unveiled next spring as a microcosm of what can be done all over the world with bright green technology.  In terms of lighting retrofits to increase energy efficiency, here’s what Kamen is doing:

  • Cutting light-related energy by 70% by switching incandescents to LEDs
  • Controlling direction of lighting to increase efficiency
  • Illuminating basement with LEDs where incandescents were too hot previously

Says Kamen, "With increasing strain on our world’s energy resources, our goal is to make North Dumpling a small but prominent example of what can be achieved on a larger scale with today’s emerging energy-saving technologies. It’s an excellent demonstration of science and engineering as the antidote to the complex challenges of our time.

North Dumpling - Interior

North Dumpling - Stonehedge

Image credit: LEDs Magazine.

Noticed at GoodCleanTech.


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  • elaine

    While I misread the heading to be “energy island” I thought of a project that my company (KEMA) has been undertaking using an island for large-scale electricity storage (the first in the world). Truly innovative: http://www.kema.com/corporate/news/corporate/2007/Q3/energie-eiland.asp

    Meanwhile, Dean Kamen’s idea seems nothing more than just an attempt to be a net-zero energy home on a small private island, where it would be quite convenient to be off-grid and not have to deal with the local utility. Not meaning to belittle his attempt to be as “green” as possible; I just think the greenest thing he could have done was just not to build on the island in the first place.

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