Ranging from the very small to the very large and in price from very low cost to heavy duty investments, here are 5 green gadgets and technologies that stand at the frontiers of innovative environmental savings.
1. Smart Buildings
Since we’re on the subject of exciting office gadgets, might as well include the entire office itself as an item. Intelligent office buildings, just like intelligent homes, are becoming a very real new technology of architectural design and making their appearances with ever greater frequency.
For one thing, smart offices feature the use highly efficient designs and materials in ways that make them better at trapping heat when it’s cold, keeping cool when it’s hot and using a minimum of electrical energy in a myriad of clever ways. But these are just smart design principles and with a lot of smart offices, high tech design goes a lot further.
Integrated computer control systems, sensor networks, Highly complex climate and lighting control software algorithms and an array of interfaces that let users control the settings for all of these things are turning many modern offices into models of using only the necessary amount of energy to keep inhabitants comfortable and everything working without wasting light or power anywhere else.
Modern office buildings in places such as Shanghai, Dubai and New York City are appearing with many of the above technologies incorporated into them, but so too are small town office spaces with much smaller needs.
2. Smart thermostats
For something a lot less robust than a fully computerized and intelligently programmable office building, there is the intelligent, programmable thermostat.
Numerous electronic manufacturers make these powerful little devices and their prices can vary from between $50 and almost $300 per thermostat. What all of them have in common to one degree or another is their ability to be programmed in a highly dynamic way that leaves older thermostat technology in the dust.
You as the user can set a more diverse array of heating and cooling schedules for a programmable thermostat and can even change these parameters remotely in some models, since they come with a WiFi connection and a downloadable mobile app that lets you control them from nearly anywhere. In some of the pricier models, such as the NEST smart thermostat and internal learning program lets them adjust themselves to your daily office rhythms and change temperature accordingly on their own directions.
3. LED Lighting
Incandescent lighting, which ruled the world’s office and households for more than 100 years, was finally starting to get heavily replaced by CFL (compact fluorescent) lighting on a large scale when the commercial LED home and office light came along.
And while still immensely popular and much leaner on electrical burn than incandescent lights, CFL lighting doesn’t hold a candle to the energy efficiency of LED technology. While your typical CFL bulb can last 6 times as long as an incandescent bulb and consume up to 10 times less energy while doing so, the LED light can produce results up to 10 times better even than those of the CFL. This makes this newest illumination technology the undisputed king of low energy and resource use.
The only thing keeping them from much wider adoption is their still high per unit pricetag.
4. Cozy Heaters
Cozy heaters, unsurprisingly made by a company called Cozy Products, represent the neatest and newest technology in office heating for those who want to make the environment cleaner while saving themselves as much money on their electrical bill as possible.
The highly efficient technology of Cozy space heaters makes them even more powerful energy saving comfort tools than any conventional heater, which itself is supposed to save money over a regular built-in HVAC system. Thus, with Cozy heaters, what you can look forward to is a personalized heating gadget that will keep you or parts of your office warm in a highly customizable way while cutting as much as 93% of the electrical consumption a regular space heater would use.
This handy comparison chart from Cozy Products provides the detailed numbers for what they have researched.
5. Rooftop Solar Array
A full scale solar array might be out of the question for your office due to space restrictions or financial limits, but if you can manage the cost of installing one, you’ll not only be at the cutting edge of sustainable green technology using entrepreneurs, you’ll also save a bundle eventually.
While Small scale solar power systems aren’t cheap, costing between 10 and $80,000 for parts and installation depending on quality and size, they do absolutely pay themselves off over the long run. This is especially the case today with technological advances that have allowed for solar absorption efficiency levels of up to 35% on commercial systems.
If you get plenty of brilliant sunlight over your office space, you might be able to cut out as much as 60% of your grid usage per year and likewise save a couple or more thousand dollars per year on electrical bills.
About the author: Stephan Jukic is a freelance writer who generally covers a variety of subjects relating to the latest changes in white hat SEO, mobile technology, marketing tech and digital security. He also loves to read and write about location-free business, portable business management and finance. When not busy writing or consulting on technology and digital security, he spends his days enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico. Connect with Stephan on Google+ and LinkedIn.