Sustainable_innovation_solar

Old & New Technologies

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You don’t have to be a grandfather to appreciate the uniqueness of some old inventions. Humble tools have helped make our modern world.  Take for example, the simple slide rule. A device which was created nearly 400 years ago is not only responsible for a number of crafty shop class projects in high schools around the world, but also for getting a man on the moon.  A simple invention that has yet to outlive its usefulness, it is still in use today.

Sustainable_innovation_solar

There are some great graphics here which show you how it’s done!

On the opposite side of this coin, the new.

Solar power isn’t new, and in fact, we are becoming more and more used to this innovative use of sunlight. But how to integrate it into public spaces, and integrate it into great urban design? One company has come up with the answer in a solar powered tree. The concept is to provide shade, energy and an attractive way of displaying the solar panels. It can power laptops, charge mobile phones and chill water. As the article says: “A seven-panel tree can generate a maximum of 1.4 kilowatts, enough to run 35 laptops. A battery stores excess power, lighting the area at night using LEDs and providing backup power on cloudy days.”

Innovation comes in many forms. From new and modern uses for old tools, to creative ways to introduce environmental concepts into public life, ideas are at the heart of both. How are you collecting ideas?  

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