Higher demands on technology and the environment is giving way to historically unique ideas in green technology. Cost-efficiency and eco-friendly solutions are working together in many design models today. Here are a few of the most recent innovations in green technology that continue to improve and amaze consumers over time.
High-Range Electric Vehicles
The elusive electric car has evolved considerably over the years. The recent introduction of high-capacity lithium ion batteries in the electric motor of these electric cars is taking the vehicle range to over 100 miles per charge. The Nissan Leaf started the trend and companies such as Ford and Toyota are quickly approaching Tesla Motor’s 200+ mile range vehicle. For example, the recent Toyota RAV4 EV is getting over 100 miles per charge.
Solar Roof Shingles
Solar technology for generating electricity has been around for a few decades now. However, the technology has changed considerably by reducing costs and the impact on home aesthetics. Solar shingles are offered in standard roofing application to discretely provide the majority of power to the home. Most solar roof shingle cells are silicon-based to gain more solar energy.
Cheaper LED Technology
LED lighting uses considerably less energy than its fluorescent cousin. Early models were often expensive and cast an artificial glow that was harsh on the eyes. The newest models are less expensive, due to advances in more efficient diodes, and carry a better array inside the bulb for true lighting. Many of these light bulbs can surpass two decades of life and use less than 10 watts of energy per bulb.
The process of converting sunlight to plant food may be a way to convert energy into something useful for green energy. An engineer who earned the NJIT Master’s in Electrical Engineering online reports that research into artificial photosynthesis techniques has already yielded some promising results. He says that artificial photosynthesis techniques could be the stepping stone for powering more advanced energy needs, like hydrogen or solar cells.
Low-emitting Building Products
The new consortium for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has a new rating system that encourages the use of more advanced building products the use a small footprint and emit the least amount of chemicals as possible. These low-emitting products include items include materials like mineral wool board insulation and laminated timber used for dimensional rigidity. Newer insulation manufacturers such as ROXUL emit no toxic gases into the home after construction.
The recent innovations in green technology are taking a hint from nature on what works best. Businesses and consumers are also learning to appreciate the benefits of using a proven technology that has made considerable advances over the years. Low-impact products will continue to simplify the green technology movement for years to come.
Emma Sturgis, the author of this post, is a freelance writer from Boston, MA
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