7 Innovative Inventions Towards A Green Future

Image source - anu.edu.au

We live in a world which is constantly evolving with technology. From the evolution of smartphones to easy access to the internet, our society has dramatically changed. Life was burdensome before the advent of modern technology, and daily chores took most of our time. The access to basic needs like education, medicine, industry, transportation etc. has been simplified due to modern-day technology. Our lives have improved significantly due to the convenience and efficiency provided by technology.
But despite advances in technology, we are still surrounded by poverty, pollution and depletion of natural resources. It is estimated that natural resources like coal, natural gas and oil will be extinct before the end of this century, our survival seems bleak. But still, there are some inventions that might come to our rescue.

Here is a list of inventions towards a green future.

1. Solar impulse 
Solar Impulse is a solar-powered experimental project developed by Swiss engineers. The main purpose of solar impulse is to make a complete revolution of the earth using only solar power and to bring attention to clean technologies. The first prototype referred to as solar impulse 1 was completed in 2009 designed to remain airborne up to 36 hours. The plane conducted its first test flight on April 2010 for 87 minutes. A second aircraft, named solar impulse 2 which carried more solar cells and the powerful motor was completed in 2014.

2. Water car
We have all seen Tesla electric car but have you heard about a car that runs on water? Yes, Water powers cars are a reality now and the country’s brightest minds at IIT Roorkee have come up with the prototype of an electric car that requires no fuel or even electricity and will cost as much as your standard car. The car on a single charge has a range of 1000km and will require litre of water for 300km. Once the 1000km has been completed the aluminium plates need to be replaced. The aluminium plates cost about Rs 5000 and replacements takes about 15 minutes.

3. Wave Technology 
Popularly known as CETO Australia’s Carnegie Wave Energy it is an underwater buoy which converts the kinetic energy in the wave and converts into electrical power. The technology was developed and tested onshore and offshore in Fremantle, Western Australia and is used to power the HMAS Stirling naval base in Western Australia. This technology uses underwater buoys which oscillates due to movements of the waves, the system then uses the motion caused by swells to drive the pumps which cause pressurized seawater to be pushed through a pipeline beneath the ocean floor to an onshore hydroelectric power station.

4. Floating wind turbines 
Developed by Altaeros energies in the USA, this company has used the technology of balloon and airship technology to lift wind turbines. The company uses helium inflatable shells through which a lightweight wind turbine is attached. As helium is lighter than air it acquires an altitude of 2000 m. At this altitude, wind speeds are faster and have five to eight times greater power density due to which it generates more energy compared to a tower-mounted turbine.

5. Plastic bricks and roads
 Surprised how plastic can help us towards a green future? Here’s how, plastic waste is increasing due to increase in population, urbanization and development. The disposal of waste plastic has become a serious problem globally due to their non-biodegradability. To overcome these defects plastic waste is nowadays used in the construction sector as a raw material in a number of ways. The plastic is taken in a burning container and is mixed with either sand to prepare bricks or mixed with bitumen to make roads. These products formed from plastic waste have more strength and lasts longer than conventional ones.

6. Hybrid solar panels
 Everyone has heard about traditional solar panels and how it uses the energy of the sun and converts it into thermal or electrical energy but despite being one of the cheapest source of electricity in many parts of the world it becomes ineffective during grey skies. The new device, demonstrated in a laboratory at Soochow University in China, produces electricity when raindrops falls on two transparent layers of polymer on top of the photovoltaic cells, the friction between the raindrops and polymer results in electricity production. This device can produce electricity in both sunny and rainy weather 

7. Piezoelectric road
One of less known technology which is used is known as piezoelectricity. Piezoelectricity means the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials in response to applied mechanical stress. Piezoelectric crystals are embedded underneath the asphalt layer to utilize the energy generated due to the vehicle motion, as the vehicles move over the asphalt layer, the wheels exert a force or pressure into the crystals and thus deform. This deformation will absorb the force and undergo the process of power generation, this technology has been widely used in roads of California and Israel.

New ideas and methods are coming up every day to create a world free of hazardous that humans use to survive. If these inventions are used by a large scale of the population daily it can help in reducing fuel consumption and pollution. But one tiny hurdle in the usage of these devices is their accessibility. Would we able to distribute resources likes these before the planet runs out of time?

- Written by Ayan Lahiri

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