How to keep cool without costing the earth, SpaceX is saving a ton of money by re-using Falcon 9 rockets and are hydrogen cars out? Enjoy this weekly feed of inspiring, interesting and intellectual articles and news, with a focus on disruption!
Keeping cool, sustainably
Scientists at the University of Colorado have found a technique that can cool buildings without the use of refrigerants and even without drawing any power. Even better, it can be produced with standard roll-to-roll manufacturing methods at a cost of about 50 cents per square meter. Maybe not a big deal in a country like Sweden but in the US for instance more than 5% of all electricity generated is used to power air-conditioning systems. The new film works by a process called radiative cooling a long kown technique but till now unfeasible. In the article The Economist (once again) explains in a simple way how it works. Let’s hope this is can help poor people in very hot areas to cool down and that it is yet another break through that moves us closer to a sustainable future!
SpaceX keeps chipping away at the cost of space travel
“I’m sort of at a loss for words. It’s been a great day for SpaceX and space exploration as a whole”, said Elon Musk after SpaceX successfully relaunched a Falcon 9 rocket last week. This is one big of many incremental steps to reduce the total cost of flying to space (and Mars). SpaceX ultimately expects reusable rockets to shave 30 percent off launch costs. Though there’s a long way in bringing the per person cost down from “$10 billion with conventional methods” to “the median cost of a house in US”.
Are hydrogen cars out? Definitely not for the military!
What do you do when you’ve invested billions in a new technology that’s not taking of? Turn to a new customer segment or market! Hydrogen cars have been in the making for more than 20 years, and still it isn’t seeing any success. Toyota has a new car on the way, but with EVs becoming better and cheaper as well as having an increasingly built out infrastructure it isn’t looking good. Toyota is forecasting 3,000 of the new sedans by the end of 2017, Tesla received over 232,000 preorders for the model 3 in 24 hours. To get some bang for its bucks GM has then turned to another segment, after about two years of design and testing, they are now handing the new ZH2 truck off to the Army. And the benefits are many! First off, where do you charge an EV in the forest or the desert? You sure won’t bring the (very) heavy extra batteries. The demo ZH2 could power eight homes for 10 hours. Or a field hospital. Or recharge a battery-powered drone. You can even drink the water that’s coming out of the tailpipe (with a bit of filtering).