Today people have many different ways of acquiring energy. Some of them do not affect the environment, but some can cause other damage. Blade will be an environment-friendly way of collecting energy. Blade will take energy from grass during photosynthesis and then be turned into a paste that can be painted on buildings in order to provide energy for them. Solar energy, wind energy, and hydropower are some healthy ways electricity is made and used. According to PV-Magazine, solar power represented “just over 1.
9% of all electricity generated in the United States in 2017.” (Weaver, 2018). Solar energy is a great and environment-friendly way to provide energy for many things such as homes and watches. Solar energy is also beneficial because it relies on the sun rather than harmful fossil fuels. Some problems with solar panels are its inability to store energy. During the night and when the sun is not shining, they are unable to produce energy. Another problem with the solar panel is how much land it could take up.
In order to find a place where the sun shines brightly, the solar panels could disturb wildlife and destroy natural habitats. Blade, on the other hand, would be painted on buildings, houses, and other structures that need energy so it would not take up too much land and it would not rely on the sun. Not relying on the sun allows Blade to work at night and on cloudy days. Wind energy has increased in popularity in recent decades as an alternative energy source.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “6.3%” of the overall energy generated from wind power (EIA, 2018). Wind generated energy is a healthy way to generate energy because it does not produce harmful by-products. Wind-generated electricity can also help landowners save money, especially if it is a big piece of land. Like solar-generated energy, wind-generated energy relies on something that can be fickle. The wind has to be blowing enough so that the turbines move. Wind turbines are expensive to set up and they could be a danger to birds who are flying low. According to Audubon, “wind turbines kill an estimated 140,000 to 328,000 birds each year in North America” (Bryce 2016). Blade will not hurt different creatures or destroy habitats. Hydropower is a popular way of generating renewable energy. As of 2017, “7.4%” of the energy produced in the United States was hydropower (EIA, 2018). Hydropower is usually reliable but during droughts, it may not be the best way to collect energy. Hydropower is also expensive and is a danger to fish. Supersaturation is when, “air becomes trapped in water spilled over a dam as it hits the pool below,”(FWEE, 2018). When this happens, the supersaturated water can enter the tissues of this fish. Fish can die or become injured because of this. Another reason why hydroelectricity can be hard to obtain is the fact that it needs to be close to a water source which is often difficult to find in many energy impoverished areas. Blade will not need to be close to a water source to work and will not hurt wildlife in the process of obtaining energy. Not many people have gone into working with plant electricity but a group called Plant-e has done extensive research and performed many experiments to use plant-generated electricity. But, the plant power the company has created it still has many flaws. For example, “in winters with freezing cold, the system also stopped for a while,” (Hartman, 2016). This means that the plants stopped producing energy. Although it is not perfect, it is still better than using fossil fuels. As of 2017, “62.9%” of the energy in the U.S. was generated from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are used a lot in the U.S. and people are having to dig deeper to find more coal and oils. People use hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) to collect coals and oils. This is starting to cause, “environmental and health problems, including air and water pollution” (Denchak, 2018). This also is breaking up the land and causing more forests to be destoryed in order to find more coal and oils. Sometimes, when the oil and coal is being taken out of the ground it can leak out and start to, “pollute drinking water sources and jeopardize entire freshwater or ocean ecosystems” (Denchak, 2018). When these unhealthy fuels are burned they start to cause global warming. Climate change is already starting to affect our planet. “The polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate of 9% per decade,”(TheWorldCounts, 2014). In all, renewable energy only makes up about “17.0%” of all energy in America (EIA, 2018). This is not a large amount. Blade will hopefully cause those numbers to rise in future years. Design Process: During the design process, many ideas on what Blade might be able to have to make it better. One idea was to keep a clear plastic sheet over Blade to protect it from heavy rain. If Blade’s paste was a little wet after it was painted on, then the plastic sheet would make sure that Blade did not drip down. This idea was soon abandoned because Blade is already not aesthetically pleasing and adding a sheet of plastic over it would make it even more unaesthetic. While Blade is wet, plastic might start sticking to Blade and it would be hard to remove without disturbing the paint. A second idea to add on to Blade was also going to be a chip which could power buildings and cars. This idea was thought of because it would be a small simple chip that could be easily put everywhere. The only problem was finding a way to add this chip on to different devices. It also might not be able to plugged into all device. The chip probably would have to hold a lot of energy in order to power just one building for an hour. The third idea was that Blade could go on top of the roof of building and provide them energy. One of the main flaws of this idea was the fact that building would need a lot of energy and a rooftop of grass might not be able to sustain a whole building. According to DVIRC, an office building has “an energy intensity of 97.2 thousand Btu per square foot – exceeding the average for all commercial structures, which rested at 90.5 Btu per square foot.” (DVRIC, 2015). The top of the building would have to have to be very large and someone would need to care after the grass which would be quite costly. For these reasons, this idea was abandoned. Out of all these innovations, Blade was chosen because other ideas because it branched off the idea of healthy energy and has not been invented before. Plant power is something that in recent years has been barely used. Blade will give new use to grass which will ultimately help the environment.