Decentralization of Power and Self Sufficiency in every aspect is the way to move forward in this World.
In the present World Scenario we have Centralized all our productions whether it be Energy, Food or water. The distribution/transportation losses are piling up and result in degraded efficiency. If these centralized locations are hit by any natural calamity or Terrorist Outfit, it affects the whole population. There is only one way to mitigate this risk that is to be self sufficient and decentralization of power. We have enough technology at present to carry out the same.
MIT being one of the foremost research institutes in the World could show the way by itself being Self Sufficient. It has all the Engineers/Scientist and funds to do the same.
What actions do you propose?
Self sufficiency in Energy could be attained by using alternative renewable forms of energy, One important thing to keep in mind is we need to take out the notion of storing energy, may be a little could be stored for emergency purposes but it is better to use the energy as it is generated.
Solar Wind Hybrid Energy : Solar will be able to sustain the peak demands in the morning while the wind energy will be able to sustain the demands at night. Modified wind turbine designs to maximize the yield from even low flowing winds is required. Three Blade Logarithmic Spiral Wind turbine will be a good choice in this regard. Such systems could be installed at High rise buildings in and around the Campus and also empty fields.
Bio Energy: Bio energy can be generated from two different sources one is the organic waste generated inside the campus to help produce CH4(Methane) which can be used for heating purposes(Rooms & Food) inside the campus and the second is from waste vegetable oil which can be converted to Biodiesel, which with some modifications can be used in the internal Shuttle and Bus service.
Geo Thermal Heat Pumps: Most of the energy consumed is utilized in the HVAC systems. In addition to the Bio-gas, Geothermal Heat Pumps can be utilized for maintaining ambient Temperatures.
Architectural Improvements to Maximize day light savings and also to assist other Energy related activities and installations.
Materials: The material used for any new construction or renovation of the old Buildings should be done with Environment friendly Materials as such Carbon Concrete, Bricks made from Fly ash etc
Sensor Based Monitoring System: Humans have evolved such that the thing that drives us are Competition and self awareness, If we turn saving Energy into a game rather than awareness I think it will have more enthusiastic participation.
Individual Monitors for every Dorm room should be provided which would show how much energy and water is being used, the rooms generating the lowest foot print should be awarded and also recognized, this would end in people using energy and water judiciously.
Lighting/Air Conditioning and other Energy inclusive applications should be sensor controlled to switch them off or optimize the usage when not in use.
Applications have changed the way we operate, so why not should they be utilized for building a better campus. How?
One app that will integrate things like
- Car Pooling: If someone is going to a place inside or outside the campus he will just add that in the app. Anyone going the same way will hitch a ride. Any monetary transfer during it can also be integrated in the app.
- Cycle Sharing
- Energy/Water Usage indication
- Carbon Credits Accumulated
- Awards/Points display
- Used Books Buy/Sell
- Idea Discussion Portal
- Buy/Sell any other old equipment
Many more could be added.