Author Archive

Second Glass Reusing Broken Windshields

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Creative ways to recycle scrap is a favorite here at TheModernGreen.  Case in point, there are so many auto accidents in the United States, and many wonderful ways to recycle the scrap metal.  However, not much has been done about the broken windshields.  Now a company called Second Glass is recycling the windshields from junk cars to make practical room partitions, walls, or lighting.

Second Glass is a great example of the reduce, reuse, recycle philosophy, and are part of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™.

Not much is known about the process of how they they recycle the windshields.  However, it is a patent pending process that, according to their website, “While simple in concept it is a complex formula of art and science. We can add color to coordinate with other design elements.”

via secondglass

Solar Window Produces Electricity and Sticks Tongue Out at HOA’s

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

It is almost universally agreed that renewable energy is the future whether it is solar, wind, wave, or bio energy.  However it seems that many home owner associations are opposed to solar panels on roofs and/or wind turbines in back yards.  There are some innovative thinkers out there that have a solution.  At Taipei’s International Optoelectronics Week, the Chin Hua solar window was making electricity from what seemed to be a regular window albeit a slightly foggy window. read more »

Smart Windows Save Energy

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

A number of years ago, I installed a solar film that would reflect sunlight, and keep the interior of the house cool.  It worked great and the house stayed much cooler during the summer, but when the winter came around it continued to reflect the sunlight that could have been used to heat the house.  Even though I lived in Texas (where it is only cold about 2-3 months out of the year), it would still help to keep the house warmer in the winter. read more »

Self-Healing Concrete

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

One of the best ways to be green is to make the most of what is already being used.  It is hard to do with concrete due to its brittle nature.  Once it is broken, it is hard to fix without costly man hours and the use of more natural resources.

However, Michelle Pelletier, a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island, has discovered a way for concrete to heal itself.  Pelletier found that after fracturing concrete mixed with a microencapsulated sodium silicate agent into standard concrete can cause the concrete to regain up to 26 percent of its original strength.  It is speculated that a higher concentration of the sodium silicate will result in a higher rebounding strength. read more »

Shower Heats Water Without Electricity

Friday, May 21st, 2010

One of the biggest consumers of electricity in a household is the hot water heater.  Old units can continuously heat water in a tank for use.  More efficient ways to heat water would be a tank-less solution that produces on demand hot water.  Even more efficient is the solar hot water heater.  The latter combined with insulated piping provides an efficient way to get hot water.  However, what if water could be heated without water heaters or solar power.  What if water could be made hot, on demand simply by turning the water on?

The Piezo Shower does exactly that.  It captures the kinetic energy of the water running through the lattice of piping to create hot water.  The idea is similar to clothing that creates energy to charge small electronic devices.  As the water runs through the pipes, the water moves piezo electric fibers that create electricity by movement and read more »

New Lithium Batteries Good for 10,000 Charges

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Battery technology has lagged behind in terms of advancement.  There are two main hindrances with batteries…storage capacity and wear.  We have found some interesting alternatives to batteries, but the old double a  is going to be hard to replace in form, and until there are some real breakthroughs we might have to hold on to our dreams of phones and laptops with super fast processors.  However, before you wake up, a company has come through with an innovation in the wear category. read more »

Illuminate Highways With Turbine Light

Friday, February 5th, 2010

One way to make our cities more energy efficient is to use the energy we already use and make it go further.  That is the concept behind Turbine Light.  It uses the wind generated by cars and trucks to power the lights and recycles that energy used to produce more energy to light the highways.  It is a good idea, but there are a few issues with this concept. read more »

More Efficient Wind Turbines Look Like Jet Engines

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

A company called FloDesign has created an all new wind turbine based on technology found in jet engines.  They claim that these new turbines are 3-4 times more efficient, require less space, and can operate at higher speeds than the traditional wind-mill style turbines we see installed today.

Traditional wind turbines create a wake effect much like a wake seen behind a boat.  This causes the turbines behind the front line to be less effective than the ones behind it.  Turbines after the first row tend to produce 20-30% less power.  This is due to the fact that the turbines cannot dynamically move as winds change direction. read more »

Volkswagon NCC Hybrid Coupe Concept

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

One problem with hybrid cars is that they look like hybrid cars.  Perhaps something that will help to bridge the aesthetic gap between what is green and what is gas could be the new Volkswagon NCC Hybrid Coupe Concept that was unveiled at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.  This car, although not perfect, helps to shed the “green cars are ugly” image with aggressive styling and smart technology. read more »

Clean Dishes…No Soap

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Normally plastics are not a part of the green equation.  They cause massive amounts of pollution to manufacture, and if not disposed of properly, can cause vast areas of our oceans to be covered in trash.  However, Dr. Jeffrey P. Youngblood of Purdue University has been working on new transparent plastic coatings that may eliminate the need for detergents and soaps.  The hope is that one could just leave dishes in water and they would clean themselves.  If commercialized, this could have a huge impact on the amount of phosphates entering our marine ecosystems. read more »