Nextfest contd. - solar, NASA, brainball

The GE Solar exhibit was interesting, it explained how hygridding works, by showing how the energy flows from the panels to the inverter, to the battery and finally to the electric grid. For more on the different types of solar systems and how they relate to the grid, check out solarbuzz. There wasn't too much info in their stall and unfortunately was not able to talk to a rep, but i met a very helpful gentleman from the NY academy of sciences. They are working together with other organizations especially in healthcare with an eye towards achieving the UN millenium goals. Check out their site here.
Factoid on the stall: CFL's (Compact Flourescent Lamps) use 70-75% less energy than incandescent lamps.
We then moved on to the Interactive institute exhibit, the guys here were very helpful in explaining their technology. One such gentleman was named Magnus. There was a lamp and a translucent cord, you could see the blue wiring in the cord. When the lamp is plugged in, you could see how you are drawing energy from the grid. Magnus explained how when you connected a stereo you could see the way the bass takes up more energy. It makes for an interesting visual though, imagine a club where the wiring is set up, and you can see the energy thumping to the music. No that was not the point of their invention, it was more to make people more cognizant of how much energy they actually use. IMO energy is sometimes taken for granted. Just drive through any town in the us. and see just how many lights are on that do not really have to be. Magnus then showed us the solar shade. The PV(photovoltaic) panels are light and integrated with the shade to capture solar energy during the day, and the shade would illuminate the room at night. The battery was not visible at all, it was sewn into the fold of the shade at the bottom. They also had textiles that respond to heat, such that you could play tic-tac-toe with your cup of coffee with other guests. They are also the guys behind brainball, a game where you make a ball move on the table by being more relaxed. click here for more of their incredible inventions.
NASA Exhibit.See pics below of the Mars rover (it is solar powered) & link.
Spoke with Rich Wlezien.
Q: What technologies developed by NASA can we look forward to seeing in the consumer/public market?
A:- Replacing cell towers with unmanned remotely operated planes to support mobile communications.
- Use of satellite technology to detect forest fires (These happen often in the US)
- Applications in border security
- Hurricane tracking.


Blogger akiey said...

Seems like you had an exciting or should I say 'electrifying' time at the exhibit. The idea of seeing how we draw energy from the grid appeals to me & I think apart from setting up electric meters that we never even bother to check(some folks don't know where the hell they are in the house)we should also have, right next to the microwave in the kitchen, a screen that shows where & how much energy we're consuming...that could get us turning some appliances off.
You write very well on energy & technology, is this your domain? Sorry for prying though:)

6/30/2005 1:55 AM  
Blogger Afromusing said...

True true..
You are far too kind Akiey, thanks, and i agree with you that we could do more to conserve energy.As for whether its my domain, tech, yes, energy... more of an interest on my part.

6/30/2005 8:28 AM  
Anonymous mentalacrobatics said...

You learn something new everyday! I didn’t know my bass speakers use more energy than my polite tweeters. As for the club wired up where you can see how much energy everything uses that would be worth the entrance fee alone. The solar powered/powering shades look very interesting although I’m worried about the unmanned drones. Our every move would be watched, although that is the case today all ready I guess.

6/30/2005 3:04 PM  
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