By the numbers, the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy is hard to fathom. The so-called super storm swept through eight states, killing 159 people and causing $70 billion in damage.
From power outages to flooded streets, the hurricane exposed alarming weaknesses in the infrastructure of Eastern Seaboard cities. Now, Climate Central, an independent research and journalism organization based in Princeton, N.J., has added another number to that list: 11 billion gallons of sewage flowed into waterways during the storm.
The majority of overflows occurred in New York and northern New Jersey, where untreated and partially treated sewage flowed into surrounding rivers, bays, canals and, in some cases, streets, according to a recent Climate Central report.
“This record storm revealed how vulnerable the sewage and wastewater treatment system is to major coastal flooding,” says Alyson Kenward, a scientist who is the lead author of the report.
Wind power has just become a smarter alternative.
GE is hooking up sensor-laden turbines to the Industrial Internet and batteries, creating an intelligent power-harvesting system that can store energy when the breeze picks up and release it when the gale goes still.
The company’s “brilliant” 2.5-120 wind turbine’s technology package harnesses the power of the Industrial Internet to analyze tens of thousands of data points every second. This helps manage wind variability, and provides reliable, short-term predictable power, while communicating with neighboring turbines, service technicians, and operators.
This revolutionary design integrates GE’s advanced Durathon Battery technology with three software applications. The resulting intelligent system enables power producers and the wind turbines themselves to make data-informed decisions and provide short-term predictable power.
Click through to see pictures of the new installed turbines and an infographic on how the system works.
Virginia Tech researchers are testing new road technologies that enable cars to interact with one another. The say that vehicles in constant communication with one another will be able to suggest route changes to avoid accidents, construction and congestion, and coordinate with each other, signal lights and lane markers for efficient, safe travel.
A fleet of test vehicles run by the Connected Vehicle/Infrastructure University Transportation Center is already operating on testbeds in Virginia.
Such machine networks that connect vehicles to each other, road infrastructure and other devices could prevent 80 percent of crashes. Virginia Tech and other universities are working on a number of fronts to bring autonomous vehicles and systems that support them into reality.
Hospitals are getting smarter as more and more machines start talking to each other. When sensor-mounted hospital beds can tell asset management software where they are, it means resources are available when patients need them.
GE Healthcare’s AgileTrac patient-tracking solution delivers a real-time view of how hospital resources are working, at any point in time, to care for a patient. AgileTrac uses real-time location system technology and sophisticated applications to track the physical location of each patient, asset and hospital staff member. It communicates with the facility’s clinical and business systems, such as the electronic medical record and enterprise resource-planning software. AgileTrac creates a live network throughout the hospital through wi-fi, radio frequency and infrared wireless communications.
In April 2012, a large hospital in Florida implemented . Since then, the time that its patients spend waiting in the emergency department has been reduced by 68 percent.
Time can be the most valuable resource in a hospital, and GE is committed to seeing that it’s spent as efficiently as possible.