Companies and individuals are advancing innovative ideas for more sustainable products. These range from products and services available today to futuristic concepts for tomorrow. A 3-D printer made out of of African e-waste is the latest - watch the video.
Supercomputer manufacturers have always vied to build the most powerful machine. Now, they routinely increase energy efficiency, as well. The most recent addition to this ongoing article looks at the current top performer, China's Tianhe-2.
We first noted the potential of "energy harvesting" to power devices without conventional batteries or grid connections a couple of years ago. The latest research shows the "Ambient Energy Harvesters" (AEH) market growing at a CAGR of 17%. The latest technology harvests energy from microwave signals.
Liquid cooling was once a staple of large-scale computing, but has largely been replaced by air cooling. We identified several efforts to bring liquid cooling to the server world in our first version of this post a year and a half ago. Here is an update that includes some new American technology.
Updates from Africa and the Middle East. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe. Click on 'Africa-ME' tag above for all news about the region.
We've been tracking the innovative re-purposing of the globe's ubiquitous shipping containers at the intersection of Green ICT and ICT4D. The Coca Cola Company's "EKOCENTER is a modularly designed kiosk ...transformed from a 20-foot shipping container into a hub of community activity, offering clean, safe drinking water, alongside other services, such as access to wireless communication, electricity, vaccination storage, and more tailored to address community needs." The solar-powered EKOCENTERs are being trialed in South Africa; the company's goal is to place 1,500 to 2,000 worldwide by the end of 2015.
Image courtesy Coca Cola Company
Most Green ICT focuses on hardware. That make sense, because hardware lifecycles encompass everything from environmentally responsible sourcing of its raw materials through energy efficiency of its use to sustainable disposal at its end-of-life. Special utility software such as desktop power-saving plays a central role in Green ICT, but less attention has been given to the application and system software in the gear, itself. Now, projects are looking at how to create more sustainable software.
There is a rich global mix of advanced concepts and technologies emerging from research labs that may improve the future sustainability of ICT equipment and infrastructures. We'll regularly update this post with technologies to watch. (You can see all the technologies which hold the promise of greener ICT in the future by clicking the 'FutureTech' tag, above.) Our latest is research into a phone that can charge itself from ambient radio-waves…maybe.
TV Whites Spaces (TVWS) are portions of the broadcast spectrum that, depending on your perspective, either are valuable unused frequencies or are usefully buffering against adjacent channel interference. The potential for TVWS to deliver wireless services is a major controversy in the United States between the wireless community and the broadcast community. Microsoft and Google are both using Africa to demonstrate the viability of delivering connectivity via TVWS with projects launched in early 2013.
We've counted over 17 billion pieces of e-gear attached to the global ICT infrastructure. The 'Internet of Things' will increase this number five-fold by the end of the decade. Can technology keep up with the energy and resource demands?