There are always a number of inventive companies in the sustainability sector touting intriguing new products. Although the Energy Saving Trust can’t endorse these products as our Field Trials Team have not yet tested them, here are a few of our recent top spots.
Three-wheeled green micro mobile
(Image via @rideveemo)
The Veemo is an electricity-assisted three-wheeled enclosed bike which offers non-sweaty, protected from the weather travel about town. Space-efficient, with no driving licence (or bike helmet) required, there's no wonder the technology community and urban areas looking to aid the shift to greener transportation methods are taking notice.
Homes made from rice
(Image via Unicef)
For every five tonnes of rice produced, you get a tonne of waste husks and straw. A clever 16 year-old student in Delhi recognised a potential use for this far cleaner than combustion – as an affordable construction material. The 'green wood' concept sounds like a win-win for farmers and families in developing countries – but is a few years from wide adoption, as the prototype is still being honed. One to watch.
Solar 'beach towel'
(Top of page - Image via @Renovagen)
Want to roll out your electricity source wherever you lay your hat? No problem. A highly flexible solar panel from Renovagen offers a fully-functional microgrid, where there's the space to roll it out. Granted, this is not really one for the casual consumer, as it comes in pretty large sizes, suitable for uses like camping, festivals, and organisations working in off-grid areas. It probably wouldn't be welcomed on the Costa del Sol over the summer holidays.
Table meets heat sink
(Image via Web Urbanist)
Heating and cooling our buildings is one of the world's great energy uses. French designers have taken a leftfield look at how we can increase efficiency here, by creating a table made of materials that 'lock in' heat above 71 degrees, and release it back into rooms when the temperature drops below that mark. Using what's known as phase-change materials in attractive and practical designs may well become more commonplace over coming years.
Secretive power breakthrough
(Image via Belfast Telegraph)
Nothing piques our interest quite like not being told how the magic is done. An Irish nanotechnology company is claiming quite the big rabbit out of a hat – systems for homes and businesses that provide free or nearly free heating, hot water and electricity, all simply from sunlight. 6,000 of these internet-connected systems harbouring a guarded secret are being installed around the world, says the man behind Photonomi Energy. With German social housing and the NHS key customers, this molecular invention may well be something we see a lot more of – but don't expect a detailed explanation any time soon.