Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Upcycling PET Bottles - Roof Applications

While the ubiquitous PET bottles used for water or pop often get a bad rap, the used bottles are being upcycled in poorer parts of the world as part of roofs. I have two recent examples which are very different. The first uses the bottles as an internal light source. The bottles are filled with water (a touch of bleach to prevent microbial growth) and then placed in a hole cut into the metal roofing material. After being sealed into place, sunlight is collected by the upper part of the bottle and diffracted throughout the living quarters below providing the same light as a 40- to 60-watt incandescent bulb.
This ingenious invention reduces or eliminates the need for electric lighting during the day, with just short of a million such lights installed in numerous countries.

A more recent invention also upcycling PET bottles involves cutting the bottles into strips and ultrasonically wleding them to create a thatch roof alternative.
While lacking the simplicity of the previous innovation, it still is an improvement over the current materials being used - grass thatch and corregated tin roofs in that it allows plenty of light in while keeping rainwater out. This project is just starting up so the number of installations is much smaller, but I hope the project is successful. It certainly looks promising.

Previous Years
June 25, 2013 - Polymetallocenes. Not Metallocene Polymers, but Polymetallocenes.

June 25, 2012 - Researchers who found Estrogenic Activity in Nearly All Plastics Being Sued for False Claims

June 25, 2010 - Pushing a model too far

June 25, 2009 - Formulations, insomnia and career paths

June 25, 2009 - Melendez-Dias v. Massachusetts is overturned

June 25, 2008 - Now that we have that out of the way

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