Let’s dust this thing off…
NASA and other climate scientists agree: 2015 was a scorcher. Sustainable electronics are gathering momentum; self-healing batteries may one day help EV owners brave the winter better; and GE’s move into Boston could mean good things for the area’s cleantech sector (yes, there is one). Plus, a leak in the Nest smart thermostat platform highlights the security concerns surrounding the Internet of Things market.
All those and more in today’s roundup of links.
Data produced by the US space agency (Nasa) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) show that 2015 “shattered” the previous record set in 2014 by 0.13C. According to Noaa, the increase in temperature over land and ocean surfaces between 2014 and 2015 was the largest margin by which the record has been broken.
With emerging market growth and consumers constantly swapping cell phones for the newest model, this waste seem like an inevitable and unfortunate side effect of a high-tech society. But over the past few years, a group of entrepreneurs, designers and social enterprises have begun to build what they believe is a more sustainable alternative.
A lithium-ion battery that self heats if the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit has multiple applications, but may have the most impact on relieving winter “range anxiety” for electric vehicle owners, according to a team of researchers from Penn State and EC Power, State College.
GE will hopefully help build better links across the developer and energy entrepreneurship communities in the region. One of the gaps here in Boston has been the strange schism between those communities. While cleanweb hackathons have helped, in general “tech” and “cleantech” are viewed as very separate categories by tech journalists, academics, students and entrepreneurs.
The storage capacity of batteries is improving exponentially, but the power grid is the weak link: how could it possibly charge thousands of cars at the same time? This is especially problematic in the case of ultra-fast charging, which requires more than 10 times more power. EPFL researchers have found the solution: intermediate storage.
Thanks to recent reforms, our neighbors south of the border may soon be able to take better advantage of their renewable energy potential, which could offer new benefits and opportunities for the industry on both sides of the border.
More than $3.4 million in Department of Energy funding was announced by the Hawai’i Congressional Delegation on Wednesday. The funding will allow Hawaiian Electric to improve electric grid technology, with the end goal of facilitating more renewable energy generation.
The Top VC funded company in 2015 was SIGFOX, bringing in $115 million. Actility brought in $25 million followed by PubNub with $20 million, Smart Wires with $17.3 million and Bit Stew Systems with $17.2 million.
A study by researchers at Princeton University revealed that the Nest smart thermostat was leaking its users’ zip code and location information over the internet. Nest—owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google—makes thermostats that are self-programing to adjust the temperature of a home based on the owner’s schedule, saving energy when they are not at home. A bug in the device’s software caused data to be transmitted unencrypted to its servers in the cloud.
PRESS RELEASE – As NRG’s showcase datacenter facility, the location hosts a solar array and features a full hot aisle containment deployment, further driving efficiency within the environment. Skybox will use the renewable energy generated from NRG’s solar arrays on the front berm and carport to support the facility’s highly secure on-site office space.