Do you remember the terrifying nerves and intense thrill of sitting your driver’s licence exam? It’s a rite of passage of every teenager – but it’s one that may soon die out.
Foremost experts in technology and artificial intelligence believe that children born in 2016 or later will never have to get their licence, because self-driving cars will be the norm by 2030.
Automatic cars are just one of a raft of incredible advancements that are being made in the tech world right now. Many of the current and emerging technologies are related to energy – and they’re set to transform our world! They include:
Australia has the highest rate of residential solar panel installation in the world, according to the Energy Supply Association of Australia, with more than 15% of our homes drenched in solar conversion technology. Research the cost of getting solar installed through your energy provider, or via an interest-free promotion: this way, you can pay off your solar installation with the money you save on energy use!
Solar panels have been lighting up Australian homes for many years, but a new innovation has the power to truly transform our energy consumption: solar batteries. Batteries such as the Tesla PowerWall Home Battery allow you to store excess energy generated from your solar panels for use when the sun isn’t shining, rather than sending that energy back to the grid for a few cents per KW. This has the power to be a total game-changer, but you may want to wait a few years until the tech is fully tested before investing.
Not keen to install solar just yet? Consider a cool roof instead. Coated with materials that contain specialised reflective pigments, these rooftops absorb less heat than normal, keeping your home cooler in the summer months.
LED lighting is so efficient and effective that the sustainability team at Crown Casino in Melbourne committed to changing their lights over to LED – all one million of them. The process in your own home would be far faster and cheaper, and by installing LED (light emitting diodes) you’ll be consuming 85 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
Rather than simply being set to a timer, modern motion sensors are now able to detect when a room is not in use to determine whether, say, a light or fan should be switched off. Hotels are increasingly using this tech, and it’s only a matter of time before homeowners follow suit.
First we had smart computers, then smart phones, and now smart glass. It uses electrochromic technology that allows glass to change colour when an electric current is applied. This effectively allows you to control the light and heat that passes through your windows. You’ll therefore save on air conditioning and/or heating costs, though this relatively new tech is expensive to install.
While we’re on the subject of windows, did you know there are products now available designed to automatically adjust your window shade? These insulated windows will determine the amount of sunlight and the time of day, and adjust themselves accordingly. Just one of many Internet of Things home advancements that can save you energy and money!
More efficient clothes dryers
In the United States, manufacturers are researching a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air. If it works out, it has the power to (excuse the pun) to decrease dryer energy consumption by 60 percent. Of course, you could decrease that to zero percent by drying your clothes outside in the sun…
Advanced foam insulation
If you’re building or renovating, check out the latest advancements in foam insulation; it’s made from eco-friendly composite materials to ensure minimal heat escapes from your home during winter.
The Great Switch Off
Advancements in energy tech are being made at a rate of knots, but that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from going back to the basics. By simply switching off appliances that you’re not using at the wall, you can save up to $100 per year on your annual power bill. That’s a saving worth flicking a switch for!
Hungry for more eco-tips? Click here for 5 game-changing technologies in housing sustainability >