Data + Design Project

Can Harnessing Ships and Tides Beat Nuclear Power?

Thursday 03.28.2013 , Posted by

Nautical Torque 2

Without a doubt, one of the challenges facing our world population is the need for sustainable energy sources. With the converging issues of pollution, dwindling fossil fuel supplies and a rising population, it’s high time we work on smart solutions. Now Nautical Torque Technologies is proposing a way of generating electricity that eliminates many of the problems with previous technologies and does it using a readily available energy source: docked ships and tides. [Read more…]


Tracking Energy Consumption For Each Building in NYC

Tuesday 03.27.2012 , Posted by

Just how much does energy does that building across the way use? Unless a buildings lights are on all night, every night, it’s probably hard to see just how much it consumes. For the lucky residents of the Big Apple, however, a new and fascinating map has appeared on the web to help solve the mystery. From the Flat Iron building to individual buildings in Crown Heights, the map takes an astoundingly detailed look at each and every block in the five boroughs, giving it an energy consumption estimate. Not surprisingly, the gleaming Manhattan skyline easily tops the list as the biggest energy hog. [Read more…]


What if Nuclear Waste Could be Used Safely as Fuel?

Friday 02.24.2012 , Posted by

After Japan’s tsunami, much of the positive light shed on nuclear energy since Chernobyl has vanished.  It is likely hard to find many people with confidence in the safety of nuclear energy these days.  Concerns ranging from waste, to meltdowns, to terrorist attacks have nuclear power on par with apocalypse and while those concerns are blown wildly out of proportion, they are still valid. Nuclear power has gotten a bad rap over the years, but a rebirth is on its way.

In comes TerraPower. The company’s mission to develop a sustainable and economic nuclear energy system while greatly reducing proliferation risks and creating new options for converting low-level waste into vast energy resources, puts the company in a world that many would deem as science fiction.  Their new technology is still in development, but boasts the ability to turn nuclear waste (depleted uranium) into vast sources of power.  TerraPower projects their traveling wave reactor (TWR) to turn an 8-metric-ton canister of depleted uranium into 25 million megawatt-hours. That is enough power for 2.5 million households for an entire year. [Read more…]