Makani Airborne Wind Turbine
Makani Power, recently acquired by Google, was founded in 2006 to more efficiently harness the power of the wind, and its airborne wind turbine seems to be an excellent solution for making wind farms cheaper and more effective. The wind turbine is a wing tethered to the ground; it flies in patterns where the wind is stronger and more consistent, and it uses 90 percent less material than a conventional wind turbine. This style of turbine can also access wind at higher altitudes and above deep water, making it an option for developing offshore wind farms.
Hybrid faucets by Kohler
Kohler’s new hybrid energy system for its touchless water faucets is maintenance-free for 30 years. This means no photovoltaic-cell upkeep, no turbines to monitor, and no batteries to replace. The system has a hybrid internal capacitor that protects against high-current draws to help preserve the life of the energy cell, which is designed to store energy significantly longer than a traditional battery. (Don’t miss our exclusive interview with David Kohler, Jr. here)
The materials used to make Ecovative Biocomposites aren’t manufactured—they’re grown. Agricultural byproducts, the parts of plants that can’t be used for food or feed, are mixed with mycelium, a fungal network of threadlike cells that act as a binding material for the byproducts. Over the course of five to seven days, the mycelium digests the raw materials, and then it is dehydrated, creating a hard surface that can be used in building applications such as insulation, SIPs, and acoustical tiles.
Warmboard Radiant Heat
Warmboard is redefining radiant heating by making it more energy efficient. The company was created in 1992 by an architect and inventor, and the system uses aluminum to conduct heat instead of concrete, the conventional material. Because of this, Warmboard panels can use a lower water temperature, meaning less energy, to sufficiently heat a home. Using Warmboard panels on a home can also contribute up to 15 LEED points in Energy and Atmosphere and Indoor Environmental Quality.