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Apr. 30th, 2008



10 ways to fix the planet


I especially love the bit about LED light bulbs. The money-saving fluorescents are *super* toxic in the amount of mercury they contain. They're touted as a green solution without being green at all.

Oh, and I found out today from my electric company, I use about $0.53 of electricity a day. And my apartment has electric heat only (which I don't use). ^_^

Apr. 9th, 2008

critical failure


What we're missing

"What we're missing is the capacity to successfully reconnect countries [to our* functioning core] post conflict."


*the G8, and in growing ways the G20

"Why [do we need this]? Because peace is the ultimate aftermarket. This is where people really make money."

Now the big question is how do we do this. Discuss.

Apr. 8th, 2008



Nanosolar - company profile

Nanosolar is on track to make solar electricity:
--cost-efficient for ubiquitous deployment
--mass-produced on a global scale
--available in many versatile forms.

Nanosolar has developed proprietary process technology that makes it possible to produce 100x thinner solar cells 100x faster.

Watch videos by CNN, KQED, CNBC to see how we can simply roll-print thin-film solar cells.

Our first product, the Nanosolar Utility Panel™, is the industry's first panel specifically designed for optimal utility-scale systems economics.

The result sets the standard for cost-efficient solar power.

Nanosolar is a global leader in solar power innovation. We are setting the standard for affordable green power with solar cell technology of distinctly superior cost efficiency, versatility, and availability.

Our mission is very simple: Delivering cost-efficient solar electricity.

Leveraging recent science in nanostructured materials, we have developed a critical mass of engineering advances that profoundly change the cost efficiency and production scalability of solar electricity cells and panels.

Our first product, the Nanosolar Utility Panel™ enables unprecedented system economics at utility scale.

At Nanosolar, we believe that energy should be clean, safe, affordable, and abundant; and that a path to this exists through technology and innovation.

In an age of carbon fuel scarcity and global warming, it is increasingly mandatory for electricity to be produced locally, cleanly, and in ways that minimize the peak-load burden on already overtaxed electricity grids.

At Nanosolar, we are working to make it possible to deliver grid-parity solar electricity.

By setting the standard for solar technology with distinctly superior cost and capital efficiency, we are planning to become the world's largest solar energy technology company.

We will thus contribute to creating a future based on inexhaustible, clean, safe, affordable, and reliable energy.

Thanks to Vinay Gupta


Children's Safe Drinking Water Program


More than 5,000 children die every day from diseases caused by drinking unsafe water. Our goal is to reduce that number substantially.

In collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we have developed a low-cost technology called ® Purifier of WaterTM, to purify even heavily contaminated drinking water so that it meets World Health Organization standards for safe drinking water. Studies show that the sachets can reduce diarrhea illness in children up to 50 percent.

PUR has a great video showing the effectiveness of the program http://www.csdw.org/watch.shtml?videotarget=2

PUR is very effective in removing bacteria (99.99999% removal), viruses (99.99%) and parasitic cysts like giardia and cryptosporidium (99.9%). PUR also removes arsenic and DDT. Because of its efficacy in removing dirt and parasites from water, PUR is often targeted to people living with HIV/AIDS and to those drinking muddy water. http://www.psi.org/our_programs/products/pur.html

P&G Health Sciences Institute scientists have been looking for new ways to purify drinking water since 1995. Much of this work has been in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This research has led to the development and testing of an affordable and simple-to-use in-home water purification product, PUR Water Purifier. This new purifier clarifies and effectively reduces microbial pathogens, improving the quality of drinking water. P&G is working with a diverse group of partners to provide our PUR Purifier of Water technology in the developing world - this program is called the Children's Safe Drinking Water program. Our goal is reduce the sickness and death in children that results from drinking contaminated water. Our program includes not-for-profit social marketing and emergency relief components. http://www.pghsi.com/pghsi/safewater

The Safe Water System (SWS) is a water quality intervention that employs simple, robust, and inexpensive technologies appropriate for the developing world. The objective is to make water safe through disinfection and safe storage at the point of use. The intervention consists of three steps:
Point-of-use treatment of contaminated water using sodium hypochlorite solution purchased locally and produced by a local manufacturer or in the community from water and salt using an electrolytic cell;

Safe water storage in plastic containers with a narrow mouth, lid, and a spigot to prevent recontamination; and,

Behavior change techniques, including social marketing, community mobilization, motivational interviewing, communication, and education. These activities increase awareness of the link between contaminated water and disease, the benefits of safe water, and hygiene behaviors, including the purchase and proper use of the water storage vessel and disinfectant

Apr. 7th, 2008



Water as a Commodity


Millions of people around the world are without safe drinking water and increasing population demands on existing safe drinking water supplies are increasing tension throughout the world to the point where prominent UN spokespeople are warning about the risks of future wars over access to potable water.

There is a wide range of technology for treating sea and contaminated water to make it safe for human consumption but those available on the market are either too expensive, require too much power or expensive parts while many of the available technologies simply can not handle water available in the region.

Water is rather expensive to transport due to its weight and the volume used. Transportation by truck is expensive in fuel, capital and man costs while transportation by pipeline is expensive in capital, energy and land right away.

A process that can produce large amounts of purified water without extensive energy costs, which can produce safe water from almost any contaminated fresh or salt water source, which can be easily scaled to be installed close to the point of consumption and which can operate for years without expensive membrane replacements is necessary to solve the problem. This invention provides this solution.

One of the big problems with water purification is that in the industrialized world, problem solvers get stuck in the box of infrastructure. Even Googling for the topic of water purification, brings up links for large purification processes... something that's not practical for someone living in a grass hut sleeping on a dirt floor.

So think out of the box... think (like presented below) like a camper, rather than a city dweller.


Water Purifiers are designed to remove, kill, or inactivate bacteria or any other disease-causing organisms. As noted above, EPA does not certify water filters but it registers some water treatment devices to show that these devices use bacteriostatic agents which slow the growth of microbes within the treatment unit. EPA simply verifies the bacteriostatic claims on the treatment unit label but not the effectiveness of the agent.

Some water purifiers can be carried in backpacks, and traveling bags.
Some portable water purifiers can be used at campgrounds, offices and any other outside events.

Importance of water filters:
Everyone has a desire for healthy and refreshing water. However, some water may not be fit to drink due to various circumstances mentioned above. For water to be healthy and fit to drink, it should meet certain conditions such as:

--A suitable temperature.
--No turbidity.
--Pleasant taste.

When drinking water lacks any of these conditions, a treatment device is needed to bring it to a desired taste and beauty. There are several types water filters or purifiers to remove any possible contaminants in drinking water. A filter of choice will depend on the specific contaminants that need to be removed. Different types include whole house, undersink or under counter, counter top or tabletop, pitchers, faucet-mount, and refrigerator water filters.

Water filters and purifiers come in variety of sizes and brands which can give you better quality water than you will get from bottled water – and even at a lower cost than regularly buying bottled water. Some filters are designed into a cylindrical case to remove sediments and heavy metals, and some to remove taste and odors. Other devices are portable in form of water bottles, water coolers, and pitchers.

Types of Technologies to resolve drinking water problems:

Activated carbon filters
Reverse Osmosis Water Filters
Carbon Block Filters
Distillation Systems
Water Softeners
Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection

Choosing the right water treatment device and using the right water treatment technology is critical to resolving any water problems. Browse our website for detailed descriptions of the different water filtration and technologies.

Got any ideas on potable water? Desalinazation?

Apr. 5th, 2008




Ready to discuss relief technology?

Remember that this tech needs to be portable, self-powered, (and in the case of those things left on-site) easy to use, easy to fix, eco-friendly, reliable, resilient, and if all possible, inexpensive.

It's a tall order. I know this. NGOs know this. But think about simple solutions like Plumpy'Nut.

Many of the solutions are already out there, like algae farms. They can use salt or freshwater. It produces oil, oxygen, biomass that can be used in human and animal food (it's even a superfood) or used to make ethanol, and it eats Nitric oxide (NO), Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and CO2 which are all greenhouse gasses from the burning of fossil fuels. But the solutions haven't been made in a way that is useful to the people who really need it: the folks in non-developed countries.

Make it cheap. (Not US cheap... Haiti cheap, Sub-Saharan Africa cheap, etc.)
Make it portable. (Assume no roads, no airstrip, no nothing)
Make it reliable. (If your iPhone breaks 200-miles from anywhere, it's just junk)
Make it simple. (If construction requires a back-hoe, forgetaboutit)
Make it repairable. (If they can't fix it with what they have, forgetaboutit)

Welcome, and have at it!!!