Emerging electrical technology that will help us create cutting-edge workplaces
Electricity is a valuable resource the modern world would struggle to survive without.
While many methods of producing electricity exist, many of these technologies are slowly becoming obsolete and causing global and generational problems like global warming.
For instance, Australia’s coal-fired power plants are gradually becoming unreliable, and with 75% of the country’s power supplied by these stations, it’s time for us to leverage new ways of producing and conserving electricity.
Businesses will be directly affected by an energy crisis; today, they need to look for innovative technologies that help them not only save but also produce electricity and keep their operating costs low—all while avoiding electrical issues that may get in the way of business as usual.
In this post, we take a look at three very exciting technologies that will soon help businesses generate and conserve electricity efficiently.
Triboelectricity is a phenomenon in which electricity is produced when two surfaces come into contact with each other. While this method of electricity generation is not something new, there has never really been any practical application for it.
Until now, that is.
Researchers at The Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA have created triboelectric nanogenerators that can harvest electricity produced by the triboelectric effect. Friction—or simply tapping on a surface, for instance—will generate electricity that these tiny generators can store and use to power small electrical devices.
Although this technology is still in its early stages of development, the concept may be used in future workplaces as a way of saving energy.
Application for the workplace: Researchers have pointed out that triboelectric nanogenerators may be used for harvesting electrical energy produced by tapping on keyboard keys. Using these generators via every keyboard in the workplace, enough electricity may be produced to power the lighting in these spaces.
Though its application is limited at present, the triboelectricity nanogenerator could help future workplaces become more energy-efficient.
Working in a similar vein to solar panels, photovoltaic glass produces electricity using sunlight. Unlike traditional solar panels, however, this glass can be incorporated into a building’s structure rather than just being fixed to the roof.
Photovoltaic glass is made of photovoltaic cells sandwiched between two panels of glass. While they are not as transparent as regular glass panels, they still let in a decent amount of natural light.
These panels can be repurposed as windows and skylights in place of traditional glass and can help power buildings while providing shade and protection from external elements. As it happens, the world’s first-ever solar greenhouse, made with photovoltaic glass, was built right here in Australia, in Perth.
Application for the workplace: Photovoltaic glass can be used instead of regular glass for the windows in a workplace. Given that many commercial properties leverage the popular glass building design, this technology is ideal as it allows a large number of photovoltaic glass panels to be installed.
Not only will these panels be able to generate electricity for commercial spaces, but they may also reduce the heat coming in. Given that they’re semi-transparent, they let in as little as 10% of sunlight, reducing infrared rays and lowering the cost of air conditioning.
The smart grid is a revolutionary new technology that has made certain key modifications to how conventional electrical grids work.
Smart grids incorporate devices into an electrical grid, which measure and collect data on the amount of electricity being used by consumers, helping them regulate their power usage. In addition to this, these devices can detect potential power surges or outages and alert relevant authorities automatically.
The underlying goal with installing a smart grid is to achieve a cost-effective and energy-efficient operational system that is environment-friendly.
Application for the workplace: Businesses can also use the smart grid to determine which areas of their operations need more power and manage their power consumption accordingly.
This move can save them plenty of resources, which can then be reallocated for high-value R&D initiatives or other areas that require time and money.
The future is now
Given the spate of innovative breakthroughs in electricity generation and conservation making waves around the world, every business regardless of industry and size needs to integrate these technologies not just to save money, but to stay ahead of the competition too.
Working together with the right commercial electrical service providers in Port Macquarie, who can keep an eye on the latest developments in energy conservation and production, can help you modernise your business’ electrical infrastructure.