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Eco Bricks for Sustainable Building

Eco Bricks for Sustainable Building

Green Bricks

For millennia, bricks have been a cornerstone of pretty much any major building project. The use of bricks allows us to build strong, secure, and safe foundations and shapes for buildings. They are one of the most important forms of construction tool that we have ever come up with as a species. But did you know that we’re still using the same kind of bricks as we were thousands of years ago?

Sure, the supplier might have changed but the bricks we use are more or less identical to the bricks used in any major building project that still stands together. City planners from history could be transported to our modern era and see the bricks we use and recognise them instantly. However, it looks like for the first time in a long time we have a genuine competitor: the eco-brick.

Not only are our bricks that we use today made from finite and limited resources, they are known to have some pretty negative carbon impacts. That’s why the development from Gabriela Medero, an expert professor of Geotechnical and GeoEnvironmental Engineering at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, is so exciting.

Medero came up with the unique idea through her passion for civil engineering that stems from her love of physics and math. As she began to notice the sustainability issues in normal brick building, she got to work on a new kind of eco brick alongside engineering expert Sam Chapman. In 2009, they formed Kenoteq.

Eco Brick

The company creates the K-Briq, which is a brick that is made by using more than 90% of construction waste to make it possible. This brick also avoids having to be fired in a kiln and is capable of reducing carbon emissions by as much as 90%. The problem with K-Briq, though, is the scale that would be needed to match the need for bricks worldwide. Medero, though, hopes that this can be overcome in time and that her bricks can lead to a more sustainable future for us all.

Solving a centuries old problem

Bricks have long been known to have question marks regarding both how they are made and how they impact on the environment. The creation of a replacement that avoids many of the problems associated with normal bricks, though, could lead to a structurally sound and ethically robust brick solution that can replace what we are so used to using today.

Throughout human history, we’ve always come up with innovations to face the challenges of the day. While bricks have served as a fundamental building block of humanity, they are not perfect. With the K-Briq, though, we could get our hands on something just durable and useful without any of the same potential for harmful environmental impact both today and tomorrow.


Source: Green Tech News

Renewable Energy Sources for the Home

Renewable Energy Sources for the Home


Fitting renewable energy technology to your home could save you money and allow you to reduce your carbon footprint significantly. For any of the following forms of renewable energy that we discuss, you may be able to take advantage of the Feed-in Tariffs scheme. The FIT scheme can provide you with financial support if you wish to have solar, wind, CHP, hydro or anaerobic digestion technology fitted. These installations can have a maximum energy consumption of 5MW or 2kW for CHP if you wish to benefit from this scheme.

Having solar panels fitted to your roof is one of the best and most obvious ways to power your home with renewable energy. How much you’ll need to spend will vary depending on the number of panels you want installed. The solar panel installation cost to have 12 panels (4kWh PV system) fitted to an average pitched roof, will land somewhere around £6000. For 12 solar panels, it will likely cost about £4500. Both of these prices factor in labour and material costs. Alternatively, you may choose to buy a DIY solar thermal kit. Of course there are plenty of smaller ways you can exploit the power of the sun. This includes but is not limited to solar powered security lights, a solar powered wireless speaker and solar LED garden lamps.

Another way to power your home with renewable energy is through wind turbines. You can either have roof mounted or freestanding wind turbines installed. They may store energy in batteries or send it directly to the grid. This is a particularly noteworthy option since the UK is the windiest country in Europe with Scotland being especially windy. It is important that you have wind turbines fitted in the right place and in the right way. You should investigate how windy your proposed installation spot is or/and hire an expert to perform an assessment before deciding whether or not to have wind turbines fitted. Between the cost of the turbine and the installation fee, you’ll likely pay about £2000 for a roof mounted wind turbine or £7000 for a 1.5kW free-standing turbine. You should also have maintenance checks performed on your turbines every couple of years. These checks will set you back about £100 to £200 depending on the size of the turbine.

For some householders, hydroelectric power will also be an option. You could have such technology fitted, if for example, a small stream passes within the curtilage of your property. Hydro power is a fairly reliable form of renewable energy. It is also a great choice as an alternative to a mains energy supply if you have or aspire to have an off-grid home. Unfortunately, the suitability of hydro power is very site specific. You need a stream on your property with a significant flow rate and one that has an appropriate height difference over a relatively short distance. A hydro power system, if well maintained, should last for approximately 40-50 years. For a 1kW hydroelectric system, the installation will probably cost around £5000 to £10,000.

Combined heat and power or CHP energy essentially captures the heat that is created as a by-product of electricity production. Micro CHP boilers are a novel way of powering your home with sustainable energy. On average, a full installation will likely set you back between £4000 and £7000. There are several types of CHP boilers, namely a Stirling Engine CHP Boiler, Internal Engine CHP Boiler and Fuel Cell CHP Boiler. CHP boilers can reduce your energy bills by about 25% due to their efficiency and can offset around 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year for an average, semi-detached house.

A less common form of renewable energy is anaerobic digestion. This involves using a digester machine to break down biological or food waste in order to produce biogas or/and bio fertiliser. Biogas can in turn be used to produce electricity to power your home. Fitting a domestic digester will probably cost several thousand pounds. As a new, emerging technology, finding domestic digesters for the home is unfortunately not straightforward.

With any of the sources of renewable energy discussed in this article, with the correct systems installed, you can also sell energy back to the grid if you wish.











Source: Green Tech News

Trekker GT e-Bike Review

Trekker GT e-Bike Review

Triumph Trekker eBike

As one of the most respected names in the industry, British motorcycle developers Triumph have worked hard to build a strong reputation. They are known for their development of high-end gasoline-powered motorcycles, but their move into the electric market with the Trekker GT E-Bike has been very interesting indeed. This known e-bike is known as the Triumph Trekker, and this really changes things: for one, it’s a bicycle as opposed to a motorbike!

However, they’ve decided to go ahead and build something a bit different from what they usually would develop. They’ve come up with what we would call a very useful road-aimed commuter e-bike. By using a strong and secure hydroformed 6061 aluminium frame, you are riding around on a very sturdy piece of kit. Add in the integrated and lockable battery included, and you can avoid having an e-bike that is obvious to the world what it is.

In fact, thanks to the sleek nature of its frame and shape you could easily mistake the Trekker GT for a normal bike. Unveiled as the next step in the Triumph journey, they’ve powered it up with an impressive Shimano E6100 mid-drive motor, capable of producing a whopping 250-500W.

The battery, a Shimano E8035, has a capability of 504 Wh of power. That’s pretty impressive, and it should be capable of riding as far as 93 miles in a single charge which is more than enough for a few days of back-and-forth journeys for most people. It’s a very impressive solution, but power will naturally be dwindled if you look to save on leg power by boosting the power to a higher level.

Triumph Ebike

With Schwalbe Energizer Green Guard 27.5 x 2.0 tires, this is a very comfortable bike to ride around and not feel any reverb or shock. The addition of a Shimano Deore M600 hydraulic brake disc set ensures that you can keep on moving whilst coming to a quick standstill. The inclusion of LED lighting also helps to keep you plenty visible, meaning that night-time journeys don’t need to carry needless risk.

Add in the impressively comfortable Selle Royal Vivo saddle and riding around on the Trekker GT should be as comfortable as it should be. Triumph has naturally put in a lot of work to make this a very comfortable starting point for most riders, and it’s easy to see the benefits of that work.

Craftsmanship counts for a lot, but it naturally factors into the cost of the bike. Riders are expected to pay around $3,700 for the latest Triumph model, while it’ll be just shy of £3,000 in the UK. It’s become a very impressive model quickly, though, and it’s already available on-sale in the UK, Europe, and across the Americas.

The Triumph Trekker GT e-bike is one of the most interesting electric bikes to hit the market in recent times, so we should expect it to garner a lot of interest in the coming weeks and months. For now, though, it’s a very interesting starting place for those who might want to get an e-bike from a developer that they know and trust.





Source: Green Tech News

Hyundai 45 EV on the Horizon

Hyundai 45 EV on the Horizon

Hyundai 45 EV

As one of the major names in the vehicle production industry, Hyundai has created top quality vehicles worldwide. Their approach to high-end car manufacturing has made them a global giant within the industry and beyond. However, it isn’t just making a high standard of vehicle that makes Hyundai such a big name; it’s their desire to innovate and create something unique that makes them stand out so much today. That’s why reports of their Hyundai 45 EV being on the horizon is very exciting indeed.

This all-electric 45 EV has been spotted around Europe with far less camouflaging than it was once using. This new hatchback is going under yet more testing and analysis to ensure that it can produce the same standard that is expected. Photographers managed to snap a few photos of the vehicle in all of its glory, showing off its very unique and interesting roll cage. In the photos shown, it was noted that the Hyundai 45 EV seemed to have little to no corner rolling.

Many vehicles of this style have done nothing more than ride like a poor crossover; this does genuinely feel like a hatch from the looks of the images that we are seeing. Also, the fact it’s managed to do away with the excessive camouflage means that the vehicle now stands out looking fresher than ever before. Many of the visual aspects seem to mostly be based off of the look that we see from the concept car in Frankfurt back in 2019.

Facts are thin on the ground

However, despite finally seeing some interesting photos of this little machine in action, we’ve not got much to go on with regards to specifications. We know little of its engine, for example, though some expect we’ll see a Kona Electric 201HP EV system fitted into this. For now, though, facts are thin on the ground and we don’t know too much about the actual hardware behind the model.

We should also expect some of the other features shown off so far to be cut as the car moves from concept to conveyor belt. However, for those who like the Kona-inspired design of the new 45 this should be an exciting time for you.

While we don’t know so much about the car at the moment, what we do know is that it is turning heads and making a very interesting car come to life. For Hyundai, this could be the flagship entry into the electric market that they have been working towards for so long.






Source: Green Tech News