Block 4 of the course required me to write on what can be done to increase consumer uptake of domestic scale green energy technologies, for example the technology needs to be proved to be economically viable and with a shorter payback time than at present and needs to be convenient for people with busy lives. Lack of awareness was an issue but for those who were aware of the technologies, issues of aesthetics and conservation needed to be addressed.

John Burcham / National Geographic Image Collection.

A young girl experiments with solar energy. Location: Flagstaff, Arizona. Photographer: John Burcham / National Geographic Image Collection.

The project work required me to complete a second project report – I was required to write about my project in terms of economic viability, environmental sustainability, product development and project management.

Researching economic viability was a real eye opener РI never realised how expensive such designs were to buy.  Environmental sustainability was an interesting topic also РI learnt that Bamboo can be used to make bicycle frames and of a cardboard bicycle. Feedback however, indicated that the materials used in the design, whilst important, were not a priority and people would rather the design did not have environmentally friendly materials, if the use of these, was to increase the price.

Phil Schermeister / National Geographic Image Collection

Rows of wind turbines in a field under a stormy sky. Location: Altamont Pass, California.Photographer: Phil Schermeister / National Geographic Image Collection

Because of the size of the project, it was decided it would be necessary to take a ‘black box approach’ – identifying some components by what they needed to do but not necessarily having the full technical detail for them. I continued to research existing / comparable products, so that I could cite these as evidence, that what I wanted to do was technically achievable. I also started to look at patented designs, the patentability of my idea and marketing.

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