Archive for the ‘green_engineering’ Category

Most plastics come from petroleum polymers that don’t decompose after time and fill up landfills all around the world. Thankfully, researchers at the University of North Texas have created biodegradable plastics that can replace their petroleum-based counterparts. These plastics are derived from natural polymers, such as cellulose and corn starch, that easily decompose in compost. The University of North Texas is continuing research about biodegradable plastics to develop a plastic that can fulfill the consumer’s initial needs, but degrade quickly once thrown away.





By using NI LabVIEW and NI CompactDAQ, researchers built a reliable automated system that monitors and enhances biodegradation, as well as meets ASTM D5338-98 (2003) standard requirements. "We knew from the outset that our system needed to be controlled using the LabVIEW graphical programming environment because of its flexibility and rapid deployment capabilities,” said Mark Pickens, researcher with the University of North Texas. “Given the fact that we were building a complex system with many sensors, NI CompactDAQ proved to be invaluable and versatile in realizing our objectives."




>> Check out these “green” street lamps designed with LabVIEW.


Street lamps have always lit our way through the night, and now they are lighting the way to a greener planet and a brighter future.  Scientists at Mir Energy Solutions developed a gateway that can remotely dim and shut  off street lamps based on the time of day and local events while significantly reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.



Mir Energy Solutions used NI LabVIEW Real-Time system design software to develop programming for the system, and the NI sbRIO 9601 to control and communicate to the lamps.  This gateway system of communication reduces energy costs of the street lamps by 25 percent and maintenance costs by 40 percent and protects them from voltage fluctuation. 



The engineers at Mir Energy Solutions were able to control about 200 street lamps through RF network and gather performance and cost savings data in graphical visualization form.  This wireless monitoring and control system can even track failures and provide different reporting options back to the controller by combining a geographical information system with the web-based application.




>> Read the full case study