Coastal urban development has resulted in buildings and civil structures extending to the waters edge, which has significantly reduced the coastlines natural mechanisms for resisting erosion from wave action. There is a need to restore the ability of many coastlines to absorb wave energy and to restore native shoreline plants. To address this problem, this technology provides biomechanical structures for coastline remediation.
Rensselaer researchers have developed a water treatment system that is integrated with the faade of a building. The system includes a lens that forms part of the building faade and that guides sunlight through wastewater carrying conduits so that the wastewater is treated by the sunlight. The system therefore provides an inexpesive water treatment solution, but also increased thermal storage, as the water absorbs heat energy from the sunlight as well.
Conventional technologies used for the generation of solar power include building-integrated flat-plate photovoltaic (PV) systems, and stand-alone concentrating PV systems that are removed from the location of power application. Although these technologies work, widespread adoption of them for general use has been hampered by a number of impediments, such as the large amount of silicon needed for flat-plate systems, the cost and appearance of the stand-alone systems, and the relatively weak solar-to-electric operating conversaion efficiencies of both systems.