At this very moment, ElectraTherm is releasing details of the successful installation of its new product, a commercial waste heat generator called the Green Machine. ElectraTherm tested their first Green Machine at none other than my alma mater, Southern Methodist University, and the results exceeded initial expectations. Stated simply, the Green Machine makes electricity from residual industrial heat that usually just goes to waste. ElectraTherm’s new product employs minimal heat (200 degrees F liquid) to generate fuel-free, emissions-free electricity at $0.03 – $0.04 per kWh during a three-year payback period and at under $0.01 per kWh after that. SMU’s test of the 50 kW Green Machine reached output well beyond the 50 kW rating.
Buro North, a design firm located in Melbourne, Australia, has partnered with Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) to develop this interesting solar-collecting sun shade called the "Solar Shade" for Australian elementary schools. The Solar Shade concept is part educational and part functional. Of course, when used in clusters, Solar Shades provide a shaded gathering place that generates energy for the school. But in addition, the device demonstrates and educates students on the dynamics of harvesting solar energy. The foundation of the Solar Shade includes LED lights that provide feedback as to whether the orientation is/is not optimal. When the LEDs turn red, students can grab the handle and rotate the device to absorb more of the sun’s rays. Although still a concept, it’s kind of a cool idea — maybe enthusiasm for the project will push it into production?