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Bright ideas for improving the world

Powering Trains with Trackside Solar Panels

Written by , on January 12, 2017

Imperial College London and the climate change charity 10:10 have announced a project to investigate using track-side solar panels to power trains. bypassing the electricity grid so that the panels can provide power precisely when needed most. Although this sounds quite straight forward, it is not being done anywhere in the world.  Read more »

Concentrated Solar Heat in Developing Countries

Written by , on May 30, 2016

The largest energy demand in many communities is for producing heat, for example for cooking or water sterilization. Using electricity, if available, risks regular blackouts and high costs and wood contributes to deforestation and indoor air pollution.
Using concentrated solar power directly, without the need for expensive and complex components, is ideal for many developing communities energy needs.  Read more »

Electric Cars Could Reduce Temperatures in Cities

Written by , on March 23, 2015

Researchers have shown that replacing conventional cars with electric ones could not only cut emissions from cars but it could also lower emissions of carbon dioxide by cutting the use of air conditioning.  Read more »

Simple Design Elements to Improve Cycling

Written by , on October 17, 2014

Copenhagen has some simple, inexpensive “micro designs” to improve urban cycling.  Read more »

Simple Change to Cement Could Reduce CO2 Emissions

Written by , on October 1, 2014

Concrete is a leading contributor to global warming, producing as much as one-tenth of industry-generated greenhouse-gas emissions. A new study suggests a simple way in which those emissions could be reduced by more than half while producing a stronger, more durable material.  Read more »

Zero Net Enegy at Zero Cost

Written by , on September 16, 2014

A revolutionary renovation programme in the Netherlands, called Energiesprong (Energy Jump), is delivering social housing with zero net energy consumption to social housing at zero cost to the tenant and with no subsidies to the builder.  Read more »

Device Recovers Waste Heat from Showers

Written by , on August 15, 2014

A new drain heat exchanger for waste heat recovery in residential buildings promises to be the first practical version for home shower use. It is claimed to recover up to 45% of the waste heat from shower drains while offering a good return on investment.  Read more »

Solar Drink Cooler

Written by , on August 11, 2014

Coca Cola, in collaboration with the International Physics Centre in Bogota, Colombia, have developed a fridge that cools drinks without using any electricity.  Read more »

40% More Efficient Cooking Pan

Written by , on July 15, 2014

A new type of cooking pan makes better use of available heat.  Read more »

Tidal Lagoons Could Generate 10% of UK’s Power

Written by , on July 10, 2014

A British company, Tidal Lagoon Power, is proposing to develop a network of tidal lagoon power stations. It says that it could provide 10% of the UK’s power needs by building at least five full-scale tidal lagoons in UK waters by 2023,  Read more »