iPod Creator Tony Fadell Revolutionizes Thermostats
The former Apple executive behind the iPod and iPhone, Tony Fadell, revolutionizes the conventional thermostat, helping homeowners save money and reduce energy consumption. Called the Nest, the futuristic, easy to use device has motion-tracking sensors that detect the presence of people to adjust temperatures accordingly and is smart enough to learn and mimic your temperature setting habits.
“We've built the world's first learning thermostat—a thermostat for the iPhone generation,” Mr. Fadell told the New York Times.
See how smart it is:
The Nest will hit markets by mid-November for $249, but could pay for itself well within a year with minimal effort. Every degree a home is kept cooler in colder months or warmer in hotter months results in 5 percent of energy savings. Shifting habits by just a few degrees over the course of a year easily reduces energy bills by enough to cover the initial cost of the device and then some.
SEE OTHER TOP STORIES IN THE ENERGY DIGITAL CONTENT NETWORK
Temperatures are set by turning the outer ring and pushing in the ring until it clicks. As the homeowner sets the thermostat at different times of the day, the Nest learns those daily settings and adapts to further changes. Furthermore, if the person is away from the home, the Nest can detect the absence and switch to an “auto away” setting for lower energy use. It can be programmed, but doesn't need to be since it learns the homeowner's preferences.
Connected to Wi-Fi, the Nest can be remotely controlled by an iPhone or laptop. The Nest will initially be available on the company's Web site and Best Buy's Web site.
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly