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on Wednesday, 08 February 2012. Posted in AlgaeB

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Algae with read more in SPlanet articles

We see algae everywhere: small ever growing plant life. Seas, lakes, ponds, rainforests - even puddles after a heavy rain are the perfect

before read more link

after read more link

environments for algae to grow and multiply. Research is now being carried out to hardness the growth of algae in many new and wonderful ways.

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Algae2B (Copy)

on Wednesday, 29 February 2012. Posted in AlgaeB

this is subtitle text for algae2b artile

Algae2B (Copy)

Algae with read more in SPlanet articles

We see algae everywhere: small ever growing plant life. Seas, lakes, ponds, rainforests - even puddles after a heavy rain are the perfect

before read more link

after read more link

environments for algae to grow and multiply. Research is now being carried out to hardness the growth of algae in many new and wonderful ways.

End first text box


on Tuesday, 20 September 2011. Posted in Energey Monitoring


NoWatt in splanet articles



Commercial Buildings Energy Management

Sustainable Planet brings you details of one of the the latest generation of energy management systems from NoWatt.

About NoWatt

NoWatt is a rapidly expanding energy monitoring solution provider who appears to be emerging as a technology leader in their sector. As well as offering a hardware solution to monitor energy usage, NoWatt also analyse collected data with a specially written software package capable of highlighting possible issues with excess usage or flag unusual changes in energy consumption. Most problems behind increased energy usage or waste, are not enabling action to be taken. NoWatt’s energy management system is an example of using technology to reduce energy consumption. Customers are encouraged to review collected web statistics and to monitor changes in consumption to help them take action to reduce energy costs. NoWatt’s easy to use interface also allows the export of data for more advanced data analysis.

View the NoWatt V4 Demo



NoWatt’s Business Philosophy

NoWatt started with a very simple philosophy: to help customers understand the detail behind their energy usage so as to drive down energy spend. Energy is one of the largest overheads for many businesses, yet it is still billed like a telephone in the 1960s. NoWatt provides the level of detail required to manage energy in the way that you would manage any other significant business cost. NoWatt doesn’t wait to tell you what you have already used – we show what you are using and, more importantly, where it is being used. NoWatt helps businesses take the guess-work out of managing energy costs.

The Business case for commercial consumers

With NoWatt its easier to see that energy is a major area where costs can be reduced. It is generally accepted that energy prices are set to rise dramatically, so the need to develop strong management capabilities is becoming ever more pressing.

Historically energy cost management has been done by comparison with past performance and instigating policies at a macro level. The reason for this is that it has been difficult and costly to monitor detail in real time. Measurement has been based around expensive meters which tend to be installed at an early stage of the supply, looking at the energy that has been used by a whole area. More recently the time period of reporting has come down to ½ hour intervals, but this is still at a macro level and certainly does not allow the review of the performance of individual devices effectively where they use a sub-30 minute cycle. Examples typically include devices that cool or heat such as freezers, chillers, water heaters etc..

The NoWatt Solution for Business

NoWatt’s technology comprises simple, non-invasive hardware and hosted software which analyses and presents information via the web. The hardware sends sub-second readings to a central database where NoWatt stores, analyses and delivers energy usage information for any period, location or appliance. NoWatt’s software has simple navigation, allowing customers and consultants to drill down to circuits and appliances to find exactly where energy is being consumed, instantly.

NoWatt’s sophisticated data mining software enables any business to view their usage in a variety of ways (for example, by floor, building or department), to recognize individual appliances, to set alerts and rules for equipment operation, and to test new policies and equipment in real-time.

NoWatt provides a new level of detail. Working with each business to generate an ‘as is’ discovery of current energy usage as part of an initial cost-saving initiative. After collecting data, they analyse it, create reports on findings and recommend targets as part of a long term strategy. NoWatt provides regular reviews to track progress.


See The Difference?


Current Business

NoWatt has brought its solution to market (the software is at version 4.0) and has an installed base of customers across a number of sectors including government, industry, education, offices, restaurants, printers and public transport. NoWatt has proven the value of its technology with these customers. NoWatt’s solution is a significant differentiator, because it delivers real value in the short-term (helping customers reduce energy spend now) while also collecting the information needed to help customers define and measure longer-term energy saving and sustainability strategies.


on Saturday, 11 February 2012. Posted in Bio


Hello text 1

The Copenhagen Wheel

on Tuesday, 20 September 2011.


Sense and Sustainability


the Copenhagen Wheel, a smart phone controlled electric bike with the change of a wheel.

The batteries in the hub of the Copenhagen Wheel power the sensors that provide location and local environmental information  such as CO, NOx, noise, temperature and humidity. Cyclists can also use this information to determine the health impacts and distances traveled and for connecting with friends and other cyclists on the go.
Collected information is also useful for gaining an insight into the aggregate movements of bicycles in cities helping civil engineers and city planners to propose and build better cycle routes , work towards accommodating cyclists and assess the impact of cycling in the city SENSEable City Lab has developed a variety of applications that use the data collected by the Wheel. One example is the Green Mileage Scheme which provides incentives for cyclists when they reach a certain number of ‘green miles’. In the future such a scheme could also allow cities to enter carbon-trading schemes, by helping prove that a city is increasing the amount of ‘green miles’ being traveled.


MIT’s SENSEable City Lab and the Mayor’s office of Copenhagen have joined forces to develop a leapfrog sustainable transportation system for bicycles. The Copenhagen Wheel, which will be unveiled during the Mayor’s Summit as part of the OP15 United Nations Climate Conference is an electric ‘hybrid’ bicycle which is also a smart mobile sensing device that can map eal-time flows and environmental conditions in cities.

SENSEable City Lab


An Improved biking experience

all components packaged into the hub easily retro-fit-able into any bike monitors air quality regeneration and assist modes intelligent locking mechanism
real-time feedback controlled through your smart phone

Battery Level
Real Time Data
Change Gears + / -
Change Mode + / -
Mode: Assist 1/2/3 | Regeneration 1/2/3
Bluetooth connection
Gears: 1/2/3

The Copenhagen Wheel aims to improve the experience of cycling for two types of people: those that already cycle and those who don’t ordinarily consider using a bike for their daily commute. It also is a tool for harvesting information about the city: the environmental sensors in the wheel provide both riders and cities (if the cyclist opts in) with real-time feedback about pollution, miles travelled, effort spent and route choice. Cities can use this information to make more informed transport related decisions and better allocate resources.
The Copenhagen Wheel is controlled by your Smart Phone. Here you can choose your mode - regeneration or assist - change gears and receive real-time feedback about your riding and the environment. The wheel can be easily retrofitted into any standard bicycle. Unlike the majority of electric bicycles, all components, including the batteries, motor, and location and environmental sensors are packed into a small hub that is located in the back wheel of the bike.


MIT Senseable City Lab, Cambridge, MA

The Copenhagen Wheel , Fall 2009

Analyzed and modified the mechanical design of a hybrid (human-powered/electric) bicycle wheel to be presented at the 2009 UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen. Advised on the construction of a functional prototype at MIT and of the finished wheel by Ducati Energia in Torino, Italy.

More than a way to get from A to B

The Copenhagen Wheel aims to transform bicycle use in Denmark’s largest city through promoting urban sustainability and building new connections between the city’s cyclists. In this work, bicycles become smart mobile sensing devices that map the real-time flow of people and environmental conditions in Copenhagen. This is achieved through strategically placing small location and environmental sensors on bicycles to gather information as people ride through the city. This data then powers applications of benefit to citizens, city municipalities and researchers interested in understanding more about city dynamics.

The components of the project are an electric bicycle wheel that can be easily retrofitted into any regular bicycle and location and environmental sensors which are powered by the bike wheel and in turn provide data for a variety of applications.

The Copenhagen Wheel project demonstrates that small intelligent implementations can lead to major changes. This work will be displayed at the 2009 Cop 15 UN Climate Summit where the next version of the Kyoto Protocol will be signed.

SENSEable City Lab

Vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs)

on Tuesday, 20 September 2011.

Vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) is a wind turbine where the shaft is vertical as opposed to horizontal. Usually the generator is located at it's base.




Generators and gearboxes are close to the ground for ease of maintanance

VAWTs are omni-directional so do not need to be pointed into the wind.

Transverse axis wind turbine (TAWT)

A VAWT tipped sideways with the shaft axis horizontal  o the ground, opperates in the same way.


Advantages of vertical axis wind turbines

  • They are not subject to the minimum distace rules applied to Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT).
  • VAWTs are rugged, quiet, omni-directional, and they do not create as much stress on the support structure.
  • They have a very low starting torque.
  • They do not require as much wind to start generating power.
  • Easier to maintain.

Disadvantages of vertical axis wind turbines

  • Tendency to stall under gusty winds.
  • The VAWTs are not efficient in high wind speed environments.
  • The blades can be prone to fatigue
  •  Limited to operation in relatively low wind speeds.

Voltage Optimisation

on Tuesday, 20 September 2011.

Voltage Optimisation

Sustainable Planet brings you details of another perhaps under-utilised way of saving energy.

Typically if you want to reduce your electricity bill you would just simply turn off any electrical appliances when not in use rather than leave them on standby, opt for low energy light bulbs and perhaps even switch electrical supplier.

Realistically there is a limit to the things you can turn off, with energy costs rising and predicted to continue to grow what else can we do?

One possible solution worth looking at is Voltage optimisation which potentially offers even more savings than just reduced electricity bills.

How does it work?

Voltage optimisation is an electrical energy saving technique which is installed in series with the mains electricity supply to give an optimum supply voltage for the site's equipment, typically achived by regulating the supply voltage to 220Volts.

Optimum electricity diagram

Why is it a problem?

The voltage supplied to many premises is much higher than it needs to be, by law electricity companies must supply electricity in a range from 253v to 207v, leading to excessive losses in many types of equipment.

Whilst UK electrical equipment is designed to operate within these tolerances there is no need for supplies to rise above an optimum value of 220v. As the average supply voltage in the UK is in the region of 243v single phase, on any given day some of your electrical equipment will be using much more electricity than it requires.

This is where voltage optimisation comes in....

Reduce... ENERGY CONSUMPTION : savings in the region of 15-20%

Save on... CARBON EMISSIONS : reduced in the region of 25%

Prolong... EQUIPMENT LIFE : apparently it can increased up to 90%

An illustration of the benefits of the voltage regulator is shown in the chart below:











Voltage optimisation is not suitable for all types of equipment, however voltage reduction is nevertheless a highly effective energy-saving technique that is being used very successfully on many commercial sites, and is well worth considering as part of your overall energy-reduction strategy.

Disadvantages of voltage optimisation.

  • Voltage reduction does not work with all types of load.

  • Variable-speed inverter drives, high-frequency lighting ballasts and switch-mode power supplies for example will generally not yield significant savings at reduced voltage.

  • Temperature-controlled heating is another type of load where no energy saving will be obtained, as the heater will still need to consume the same amount of energy to perform its required function.

Negative report from Which magazine

If the load is linear, a reduction in voltage from 240 to 230 will reduce the energy consumption by 8%, while a reduction to 220 Volts will yield a saving of 16%.

Benefits of voltage optimisation.

  • Average savings of 15%, however some installations are achieving much more.

  • Up to 25% reduction in carbon emissions.

  • Some systems offer self-adjusting intelligent controls to maximise saving.

  • Average ROI /return on investment is estimated at approximately 3 years.

  • Businesses may benefit from interest free funding*

  • Reduces the need for maintenance and

  • Extends the life of electronic and electrical equipment.

  • Creates harmonisation of supply, stops harmful power spikes thereby protecting your equipment.

  • Automatically improves the balance of your 3 phase supply to improve the optimum running of your equipment - particularly AC motors.

  • unit is fitted with a meter and digital display so at any time you can see exactly how it is performing.

Positive report from Npower

Voltage optimisation, voltage regulation, voltage management.



Powerstar EMSc UK Ltd.                          Commercial

Optipro Ltd                                               

Power Perfector Ltd:                                

SwitchFMS Ltd: Voltis unit                       

3-phase voltage optimisation


VPhase plc: VPhase VX1 Voltage Optimiser



*interest free funding:


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