Dell’s Moonshot: 5 key features of the Concept Luna

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O’Ryan Johnson

“We need to move from use to recycling, they need to be reused multiple times and then recycled when the material is no longer usable in its original form. This iteration of Concept Luna does just that. It shows a vision of what could be,” said Glen Robson, CTO of Dell Client Solutions Group.


As one of the largest PC manufacturers in the world, Dell Technologies aims to use less plastic and electronic waste in the construction and design of its laptops in order to achieve the company’s goal of net-zero emissions.

Glen Robson, CTO of Dell Client Solutions Group, said that Dell can reduce the carbon footprint of its laptops by 50 percent with Concept Luna, a collaboration with Intel.

“Concept Luna is a proof-of-concept developed in collaboration with Intel, exploring revolutionary design ideas to make components instantly accessible, interchangeable and reusable, reducing resource consumption and enabling even more circular materials in the economy. It was created to test what is possible, not to be manufactured and sold,” Robson said in a statement.

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By focusing on every facet of laptop construction, from design to replacing parts after use of the device, Dell has managed to reduce the material used to construct the device, including using less hardware and fewer components and Device Interchangeability Parts are more accessible to technicians for repairs or upgrades.

“Our position is simple. We need to move from using to recycling, reusing them multiple times and then recycling when the material is no longer usable in its original form,” said Robson. “This iteration of Concept Luna does just that. It shows a vision of what could be.”

Robson said that Concept Luna implements new ways to improve a laptop’s energy efficiency with better performance and cooling, and uses materials that have a lower carbon footprint to offer customers a more “decarbonized” device.

“With this concept and future iterations and others to follow, we will build on the existing leadership in circular economy that you see across our product portfolio today to examine, revisit and rethink every step of the product lifecycle to create even more sustainable ones Delivering products of the future,” Robson said in a statement.

Here are some of the key features of Concept Luna.

Honey, I shrunk the motherboard

According to Dell, a laptop’s motherboard can consume as much energy as any component of the PC. Dell has reduced the measurable area of ​​the motherboard by 75 percent and reduced the number of components used by 20 percent. Together, these two changes reduced the motherboard’s carbon footprint by 50 percent.

In addition, the company prints circuit boards from flax fiber, as well as water-soluble adhesives, all of which replace the plastic circuit boards and plastic adhesives used for the laptop’s internals.

“It is noteworthy here that the flax fiber replaces traditional plastic laminates,” wrote Robson. “And even better, the water-soluble polymer can dissolve, making it easier for recyclers to separate metals and components from the panels.”

Fewer screws to loosen

Robson said designers have “completely reconsidered” the layout of the PC’s interior and are trying to figure out how to maximize efficiency by taking advantage of the laptop’s architecture. Initially, engineers moved the smaller motherboard closer to the “top surface” of the PC.

“Combined with the separation from the battery charger in the base, this results in better passive heat distribution and could eliminate the need for a fan entirely,” Robson said.

Concept Luna also designed the laptop wrist rest for easy repair and reuse. The keyboard mechanisms simplify recycling with clean and easy separation from other components.

And Dell has simplified repair once a technician breaks into the device.

“We’ve reduced the number of bolts required to access internal components for repair or reuse from hundreds to just four—reducing repair time (disassembling, repairing, and reassembling key components) by about 1.5 hours shortened,” Robson wrote.

Long loading times, less performance

Robson said the device’s overall power consumption could be significantly reduced with the changes, which could allow the laptop to use smaller batteries that are made specifically for long-term use.

“The advanced deep-cycle cell battery provides a long charge that can be maintained for many years, increasing refurbishment and reuse beyond the initial product lifetime,” Robson wrote.

Aluminum for victory

According to Dell, the Concept Luna will use an aluminum chassis that’s made using hydroelectric power and a stamped construction, which the company says uses less energy and produces little scrap.

Designed differently

According to Dell, Concept Luna incorporates circular design practices that focus on eliminating waste, reusing raw materials and regenerating nature.

“In the last year alone we have introduced sealed aluminum from discarded hard drives, bioplastics made from tree waste in the papermaking process and scaled our use of reclaimed carbon fiber to over 1.2 million pounds,” Robson said in a statement. “But we need to find new keys to open new doors and get there faster. Last year we shared our vision of a parallel innovation workstream to accelerate circular design and today we are sharing the first prototype from that effort.”

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O’Ryan Johnson

O’Ryan Johnson is a veteran news reporter. He covers the data center beat for CRN and hopes to hear from channel partners on how he can improve his reporting and write the stories they want to read. He can be reached at [email protected].

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