Produce your own water from thin air with SunGlacier’s solar-powered DC03

February 1, 2017 by  
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If you’re alarmed by reports of dwindling water supplies across the globe, there has never been a better time to take matters into your own hands. SunGlacier founder Ap Verheggen, who has spent the better part of the last decade designing devices that harness the sun’s potential to extract water from thin air, has made his latest design available online – for free. The solar-powered DC03 relies on a Peltier element, explained in greater detail below the jump, to produce a small amount of clean water each day without a battery, without fans or an inverter, and without any moving parts that could easily degrade. The solar-powered DC03 device generates power for an 18W Peltier element. Asked to explain that in layman’s terms, Ap Verheggen told Inhabitat: “A Peltier element is a very small and thin square piece of electronics. If you connect it to electricity, it becomes hot at one side, and cold at the other side. The cold side we use to cool a cone. As the air comes at the cool cone, moisture in the air starts to condensate and produces water drops.” Water drawn from the air then drips, through gravity, into a glass (or whatever vessel each person chooses to use). Because the Peltier element has a temperature difference of 67C maximum between the upper “hot” side and the under “cool” side, according to SunGlacier, the hotter the air, the more water the device produces, bringing the group one step closer to their original ambition of improving water security for people living in desert conditions . Related: A solar-powered leaf that makes ice in the desert At the moment, the device makes about half-a-glass of water every six hours, according to SunGlacier. It is designed to operate during daylight hours only, mitigating the need for a battery. Verheggen says while the DC03 design has been thoroughly tested, it has not been optimized, which is where you come in. In the same spirit as Elon Musk’s approach to the Hyperloop , whereby he encourages anyone to improve upon the original idea, SunGlacier invites the public to take a stab at making their own solar-powered water maker using their design, which is available online . Universities and research institutes from as far afield as Iran, Romania, South-Africa and The Netherlands have already expressed an interest in getting involved, Verheggen says. This collaborative approach is expected to make SunGlacier’s groundbreaking, low-maintenance design accessible to the greatest number of people possible – and that is something we can really get behind. + SunGlacier Photos by Hessel Waalewijn

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Produce your own water from thin air with SunGlacier’s solar-powered DC03

New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain

October 20, 2016 by  
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One in 200 people in East Africa need wheelchairs , but don’t yet have them. SafariSeat has developed an all-terrain, open source wheelchair that could allow those people to live their lives with more independence. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter , SafariSeat hopes to use money collected to build more wheelchairs and create a manual with the open source designs. SafariSeat wheelchairs are inexpensive and can be made with bicycle parts. They’re designed to be built and repaired in developing countries . A mechanism that imitates car suspension keeps all four wheels on the ground so users can navigate difficult terrain easily. The wheelchair is designed to minimize pressure sores, and rolls via pump levers that a rider can use. Related: Google.org awards $20 million to groups developing tech for people with disabilities Designer Janna Deeble was raised in Kenya , and met a Samburu man named Letu as a child. Polio left Letu disabled and dependent on other people. But the difficulty of Letu’s condition really hit home when Deeble himself was wheelchair-bound after an accident in design school. Deeble went back to Kenya to create SafariSeat, working with a team and with local workshops. The SafariSeat wheelchair has granted Letu independence, and now he’s able to teach his son the Samburu way of life. Deeble and his team want to create a pictograph manual that a person can use no matter what language they speak. Their goal is for local workshops to build the wheelchairs, creating jobs and allowing locals to repair the wheelchairs. They note on their Kickstarter page that while wheelchair donations can help people for a time, when the chairs break there’s often no way to repair them. SafariSeats are designed to be made with locally accessible parts and repaired in basic workshops. SafariSeat is the first project of social enterprise Uji, and they are crowdfunding on Kickstarter so more people can access the innovative wheelchair. With just under a month to go, they’ve raised over $24,000. Their goal is $36,889. You can back the campaign here . + SafariSeat + SafariSeat Kickstarter Campaign Images courtesy of SafariSeat

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New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain

New Source solar panels pull clean drinking water from the air

October 20, 2016 by  
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A new kind of solar panel is being tested in water scarce regions of Ecuador, Jordan, and Mexico where the device, called Source, pulls moisture from the atmosphere to provide clean drinking water. Developed by the Arizona-based startup Zero Mass Water , the setup uses solar energy to produce potable water for a family of four or an entire hospital, depending on how many panels are in use. Last year, the company raised $7 million to back a series of pilot programs to prove how simple and cost-effective access to clean water can be. Founder and CEO Cody Friesen is also an associate professor at Arizona State University’s School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy. Zero Mass Water is the second startup to stem from Friesen’s work at ASU, and it promises a reliable source of affordable drinking water without the need for additional infrastructure. Because the devices can be used alone or in groups, the solar-powered system can scale up or down to meet the water needs of as many or as few people as desired. Related: Wind-powered Water Seer pulls up to 11 gallons of clean drinking water from thin air A single solar panel can produce enough clean water for a family of four, and it’s easy to use because the water flows from a faucet on the back side of the solar panel setup. Source works by passively absorbing moisture from the air using a special humectant material. The solar panel converts solar energy to electricity, which is used to power the process that drives the water back out of the collection material. The water is then evaporated to remove pollutants, leaving behind clean, safe drinking water. Around the world, there are many places primed for this type of sustainable, standalone passive water source. ZMW plans to use Source to provide fresh water to Syrian refugees in Jordan and to Jordanian families, affecting 100,000 households by the end of 2017, with funding from the Clinton Foundation , Duke Energy International, and other investors. Although the pilot programs to date have been conducted in developing countries and areas where water supplies have been contaminated or disrupted by violent conflicts, Friesen sees no reason that residents of the United States couldn’t put Source to work for them as well, and effectively skirt problems with municipal lead contamination and the other threats that increasingly limit access to clean drinking water across the country. Via FastCo Images via Zero Mass Water , Duke Energy , and Arizona State University

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New Source solar panels pull clean drinking water from the air

New $150 gadget lets your smartphone detect cancer with laboratory precision

October 20, 2016 by  
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While smartphone spectrometers are already being used to help detect cancer, they have only been able to evaluate one sample at a time, making the work slow and tedious. A breakthrough by a Washington State University research team led to the creation of a low-cost multichannel smartphone spectrometer that uses optical sensors to scan multiple samples simultaneously . The team, led by Lei Li, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, found their spectrometer to be highly accurate and sensitive, thanks to the custom prism array designed especially for this device. The WSU team has created a device, perhaps the first of its kind, with the same sensitivity level as existing laboratory equipment, capable of detecting proteins and cancer biomarkers with a high degree of accuracy. The team used a customized prism array they built through a hybrid manufacturing process, which makes it possible for the smartphone spectrometer to scan several samples at once in search of cancer biomarkers. The eight-channel smartphone spectrometer can detect human interleukin-6 (IL-6), a known biomarker for lung, prostate, liver, breast and epithelial cancers. Related: World’s first pocket spectrometer lets you measure the molecular makeup of nearly anything The smartphone-based cancer screening device is also a cost-effective solution, with a price tag around $150. The design was based on the iPhone 5, but the team is currently working to make it compatible with other smartphone models. A portable, low-cost spectrometer that produces lab quality results is just the sort of device in high demand in rural areas and especially in developing countries where hospitals lack high-tech cancer screening equipment or are absent altogether. The team’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation along with a WSU startup fund, and the report on their results was recently published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Via WSU Images via Wikipedia and Lei Li/WSU

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New $150 gadget lets your smartphone detect cancer with laboratory precision

The future of reporting: Goodbye, annual PDFs; hello, real-time feeds

March 28, 2016 by  
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Don’t get too excited about the death of the yearly corporate sustainability report. Soon reporting will be always on, wide open and searchable, says the Global Reporting Initiative.

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The future of reporting: Goodbye, annual PDFs; hello, real-time feeds

Why doesn’t sustainability messaging work better?

March 28, 2016 by  
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Adobe’s sustainability strategist offers lessons, and a clean example from Colgate.

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Why doesn’t sustainability messaging work better?

Platforms for participation: Simplify, organize, empower

September 16, 2015 by  
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Synthesizing the human capacity for innovation with the scalability of a corporation to create a new Collaborative Economy.

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Platforms for participation: Simplify, organize, empower

EcoCasa Suyana is an sustainable, open-source home project in Argentina

April 27, 2015 by  
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EcoCasa Suyana is a project lead by a couple of young engineers and travelers that is the first ecological, economical and 100% open-source home in Argentina. Suyana means “hope” in Quechua language and idea of EcoCasa Suyana project is to build a green, sustainable, affordable home, that can be a model for the construction of community housing . The concept was created by Noa and Cristian, a couple who decided to change their life nine months ago. They sold their few possessions in Buenos Aires and began a trip in Latin America. During their trip, they discovered social and environmental problems that appeared to have an easy solution given the right materials and know-how. Noa and Cristian realized that “in order to improve the quality of life and reduce the impact on the environment, we need to bring together various sustainable technologies and practices into one place: in a house that can be visited and serve as an inspiration for better housing.” Each stage will be documented and the project will be 100% open source in order to share the information with people in need. The design can be adapted depending on the climate, population and the materials available in order to adapt the model to other locations. + Fund EcoCasa Suyana + Follow Cristian and Noa The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco building , eco homes , EcoCasa Suyana , Green Building , green homes , IndieGoGo , open source construction , open source home building , reader submission , Sustainable Building , Sustainable Homes

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EcoCasa Suyana is an sustainable, open-source home project in Argentina

EcoCasa Suyana is an sustainable, open-source home project in Argentina

April 27, 2015 by  
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EcoCasa Suyana is a project lead by a couple of young engineers and travelers that is the first ecological, economical and 100% open-source home in Argentina. Suyana means “hope” in Quechua language and idea of EcoCasa Suyana project is to build a green, sustainable, affordable home, that can be a model for the construction of community housing . The concept was created by Noa and Cristian, a couple who decided to change their life nine months ago. They sold their few possessions in Buenos Aires and began a trip in Latin America. During their trip, they discovered social and environmental problems that appeared to have an easy solution given the right materials and know-how. Noa and Cristian realized that “in order to improve the quality of life and reduce the impact on the environment, we need to bring together various sustainable technologies and practices into one place: in a house that can be visited and serve as an inspiration for better housing.” Each stage will be documented and the project will be 100% open source in order to share the information with people in need. The design can be adapted depending on the climate, population and the materials available in order to adapt the model to other locations. + Fund EcoCasa Suyana + Follow Cristian and Noa The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco building , eco homes , EcoCasa Suyana , Green Building , green homes , IndieGoGo , open source construction , open source home building , reader submission , Sustainable Building , Sustainable Homes

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EcoCasa Suyana is an sustainable, open-source home project in Argentina

Le FabShop’s DIY 3D-Printable Accessories Transform Fruit and Vegetables into Fun Toys

November 28, 2014 by  
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French company Le FabShop has come up with a great way to make fruit and vegetables fun for kids. They have just released 14 3D-printable components that transform potatoes, carrots, eggplants and apples into planes, four-wheelers, helicopters and submarines. These accessories, called Open Toys, are open source and can be downloaded for free, then printed and attached to your kid’s favorite  – or not so favorite — fruit and veggies. Read the rest of Le FabShop’s DIY 3D-Printable Accessories Transform Fruit and Vegetables into Fun Toys Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printed toys , 3D printing , 3d printing technology , DIY toys , le Fabshop , makerbot , open source design , Paris , toys , vegetable toys

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Le FabShop’s DIY 3D-Printable Accessories Transform Fruit and Vegetables into Fun Toys

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