A year ago, we reported on an IBM effort called Water Watchers, an android app and portal that makes it possible for citizens to report water issues in South Africa. Now, IBM is at it again, harnessing its core competencies in big data and app development to solve social and environmental issues, while educating citizens and earning (more…)
Scientific breakthroughs often follow a collective focus on an issue or problem. When a tipping point is reached, the combination of small solutions across sectors spurs a giant leap forward. Renewable energy development has been a growing focus of international research over the last 3-4 decades and advances in clean energy technology have coincided (more…)
IBM is teaming up with the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), which supplies water to more than 600,000 people in Northern California’s wine country, to provide innovative “smart water analytics” solutions for water conservation. IBM’s research center in Haifa Israel has developed a water pressure management solution which enables water pressure adjustments (more…)
At the IBM Smarter Cities forum in Rio de Janeiro last week, I had the chance to go behind the scenes and take a first-hand look at Rio’s smart city project. My main impression is that the project represents one of the purest emerging examples of a smart city project that is simultaneously developing smart solutions on (more…)
The numbers surrounding urbanization worldwide are staggering. In 2008, the number of people living in cities, for the first time in civilization, surpassed the number of people living in rural settings. Although urbanization is happening on every continent, the story could not be more dramatic in (more…)
IBM saved $26.8 million in energy expenses in 2009 as a result of companywide conservation efforts that surpassed corporate targets. How did they do it? Last year, 1,900 energy conservation projects at 270 IBM facilities around the world helped deliver savings in energy consumption that were equivalent to 5.4 (more…)
Building management systems do a good job of managing the complex energy and operational processes of commercial and industrial buildings. However, some in the industry are starting to realize that they also leave a lot of value on the table. A new generation of products and services that combines sensor technologies with (more…)
Though Smart Water offers equal or potentially greater benefits than Smart Energy, Smart Water isn’t getting equal coverage.
IBM researchers have increased by 40 percent the efficiency of a thin solar cell that can be applied like ink and that uses widely available materials.
The new cells can convert solar energy into electricity with an efficiency of 9.6 percent, a significant improvement on the 6.7 percent high for existing technologies and close to the level that would make the cells practical for use in commercial solar panels, according to a report published in the journal Advanced Materials.
The new technology uses a semiconductor material made of fairly abundant elements — including copper, zinc, tin, sulfur and selenium — and utilizes an inexpensive ink-based process in creating the cell.