The Future Of Green Technology
The future is never certain, but green technology is promising more quantifiable results and opportunities than ever before. Over the past year alone, there have been momentous steps in making eco-friendly technology more widely available. Furthermore, the Government is continuing to take steps to ensure that energy saving devices will soon be accessible throughout the UK.
We cannot predict what green technology will take precedence in the future, but here are our (informed) guesses. From real-time electric meters, to outdoor pipes which heat your home, we have everything you need to know about the future of eco-friendly devices.
One of the most important technological developments over the next 10 years will be the widespread introduction of smart meters. In December 2009, the Government announced its intention that have smart meters installed in all British homes by 2020. This will affect over 30,000,000 homes and will help also help 2,000,000 businesses in the process.
A smart meter is an electronic device which allows the bill payer to get an (almost) real-time reading of their domestic energy consumption. The device updates itself usually every hour and tells the user how much electricity has been used within that period of time. Some models can also gather data on your water or gas consumption.
There will be numerous benefits for homeowners and tenants who have smart meters installed in their home. Smart readers allow users to see when their energy tariffs are lower and modify their energy usage accordingly. They also help people to keep a closer track of their consumption and budget better for their monthly bills.
It has been estimated that Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology will save the UK nearly £300,000,000 per annum. Although much of this success will depend on how much smart meters encourage people to change their current energy usage.
There’s been plenty in the news recently about electric cars, especially with the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, making his electric vehicle patent publicly available to the world. This is a huge step forward in the design and manufacturing of electric cars. At this current point in time, electric cars are more expensive than their petrol/diesel-run counterparts and electric stations are not widely available in the UK. However, the future is set to change with the eco-friendly patent being introduced publicly.
Elon Musk has stated that the parent will help other businesses to ‘build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis’. This means that other manufacturers will not be limited by any intellectual property barriers that would prohibit them from producing their own electric cars.
With this in mind, it seems almost certain that electric cars will become extremely common in the future as more people choose to reduce their carbon footprint while travelling. Much of this success will be attributed to Elon Musk and Tesla.
Over the past several years, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have succeeded in creating a prototype device which generates electricity from waste water. Furthermore, the water would also be treated in the process – allowing people in developing countries to provide clean water and electricity for themselves.
According to the researchers, the amount of chemical energy found in waste water is nine times higher than the energy required to treat it. Using a process known as electrodialysis (RED), freshwater and seawater are placed in two different chambers and are separated with a membrane. This in turn creates an electromagnetic charge and allows people to both treat their water and generate electricity from it too.
Overall, the Waste-Water Generator has enormous potential and will potentially allow homeowners to generate electricity from their wasted water. The device is still in its infancy but promises to be one of the major devices in the future of green technology.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps are not new, but many people are not aware of their potential. They have been used in Sweden since the 1970s and it’s estimated that some 27,000 ground source heat pumps are installed there every year. They are growing in popularity in the UK, however, they will become increasingly important in the near future.
Geothermal heat pumps involves digging and inserting heat pipes into the ground in your garden. The pipes then absorb heat from the ground and transfer this energy back into your home. This energy can then be used for a variety of purposes, including supporting household heaters and radiators.
Many people worry that geothermal heat pumps will not be able to extract enough heat from the ground to warm their house. This is not true. The technology is so advanced that the pipes will still work even if it’s freezing in winter. Furthermore, the pipes are protected with antifreeze to ensure that they will never ice up.
Given the universal appeal of geothermal heat pumps, it seems clear that they will continue to grow in popularity and prominence in the near future.
Finally, fuel cells are also estimated to be a significant method of producing our energy needs in the future. A fuel cell, somewhat similar to a battery, is a device which involves the following chemical process. Hydrogen atoms are inserted into a fuel cell and a chemical reaction occurs where the atoms are stripped of their electrons. This then ionises the atom and allows them to carry a positive charge. This electricity can then be harvested for a variety of purposes, such as lighting a bulb or fueling an entire city.
Overall, fuel cells are inexpensive and reliable – meaning that they promise to be increasingly important alternative to traditional energy sources. They also have huge potential and can be manufactured to fulfill a wide range of energy needs.
There are a variety of fantastic energy saving devices which will change the way we consume and produce energy in the future. Some are already available, such as electric cars, but they will become more prominent as time goes on and their demand increases. Visit the Green Deal Shop, the “one-stop shop” for more information on green technology and all of your Green Deal needs.