The survival of our planet is dependent on a well balanced ecosystem. The more we destroy the habitats of plants and animals, the more our ecosystem is thrown off balance. Scientists are currently addressing the issue of deforestation through the use of robotics in the rainforests. These robots or “treebots" are individual nodes in a Networked Infomechanical System (NIMS) and are being used to monitor tree growth, light, humidity and carbon dioxide levels to detect changes and provide data that allows scientists to predict how climate changes will affect the future of our forests.
Desert reclamation technology is being implemented to undo damage done by deforestation and other human activities. Tree planting projects stop desert drifting and stabilize the environment. In regards to irrigating these trees, technological developments have made it possible to use less water to achieve the same results. Cloud seeding, inducing specific cloud formations to produce rainfall, is also being used to direct the rainfall where it is needed most. In addition, hi-tech fertilizers have been created to nourish over-cultivated desert land and help it retain water.
Landfill space is becoming increasingly limited. Plasma Gasifiaction can now be used to convert gas into plasma, essentially reducing trash to its most basic molecular structure. This is done by passing a high voltage current between two electrodes inside a sealed container. The two byproducts of this process are a glass-like substance that can actually be re-used to make items like bathroom tiles, and a synthesis gas that can be converted into fuel.
Green technology for home energy systems includes geothermal heat pumps, solar collectors, and bio-fuels. Geothermal heat pumps can be used to heat or air condition a home by drilling 200 to 300 feet deep holes into the ground and inserting U-shaped earth-heat exchange tubes. These tubes are then connected to a primary heat exchanger inside the home. Solar collectors are used to convert the photons from the sun’s energy into electricity or heat. The two most commonly used solar collectors are solar cells and solar thermal collectors. New technology is being developed that will also allow the use of mirrors and parabolic dishes to collect the sun’s rays. Bio-fuels are another source of renewable power for your home. Bio-fuels are manufactured, safer for the environment and are cheaper. One of the newest technologies is thermo-depolymerization. With this process, any carbon-based water can be turned to oil.
For larger buildings, Egain Forecasting is now being used as a way to control building heating by calculating the demand for heating energy and the amount that should be supplied to the building. Special remote control weather loggers measure air temperature and humidity. The measurements are sent in real time to forecasting receivers who manage the operation of control panels installed in buildings. Based upon the given information, adjustments can be made to the energy system.