In the present day, product design for laptops, PCs and other electronics by many major brands tend to discourage self repair or upgrade options and once they become obsolete, there’s few options to recycle or repurpose them short of dismantling them for valuable metals.
Over the years, this concept of product design has resulted in e-waste taking up a huge chunk in landfills and an increased carbon footprint. To that end, Dell Technologies as an organisation asked a huge question ‘What if we could push reuse to the limit and dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of our products?’. The answer to that question lies in Concept Luna.
Even prior to Concept Luna, Dell has put significant measures into reducing their carbon footprint as well as their electronic waste and conceived of a series of expansive, ecologically positive goals.
Their prior 2020 Legacy of Good programme that was achieved ahead of schedule and which committed to recovering 2 billion pounds of used electronics via responsible recycling, reusing 100 million pounds of recycled content, plastic and other sustainable material in new products and more.
They’re aiming for another moonshot with their Progress Made Real plan for 2030 and Concept Luna is the first prototype design that aims to accelerate their efforts to accelerate their circular design practices and it’s a doozy.
What is Dell Concept Luna?
For the uninitiated, Dell’s Concept Luna project is a proof-of-concept design made in collaboration with Intel to make the components in a laptop accessible, replaceable and reusable in order to reduce resource use and reduce the need to source, smelt and forge raw new components in the typical consumer upgrade cycle and to keep more circular materials rolling in the economy. If the design idea in Concept Luna takes off, it can save a whopping 50% in overall product carbon footprint which is a monumental feat indeed.
Seen from a birds’ eye view, ‘Concept Luna’ is a concept design for a laptop that is intended to last well beyond the average product life cycle of repairs and obsolescence to make it easy to dismantle, repair and replace damaged components.
To make it easy to repair and replace, Concept Luna has a redesigned layout with a smaller motherboard located closer to the top cover for better cooling and heat distribution to eschew the need for a fan. It also radically reduces the number of screws by a factor of 10 used in holding it together compared to the average Dell laptop and no screwdrivers or special adhesives are required in gaining access to vital hardware as they’re held in place with easy to remove keystones.
The printer circuit board is made with flax fiber in the base and water-soluble polymer as the glue which means that it’s easier to separate the metals and components for recycling.
To be fair, it’s a heady concept but it is, at present, not a design intended to be made or sold. Yet. Still, it’s a promising look at the future and one that hopefully takes shape in the years to come. For more details, you can check out Dell Technologies official post for Concept Luna here.