Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Air Conditioners

The Kuchofuku Air-Conditioned Cooling Work Shirt features two built-in cooling fans

Last year we took a look at the EntroSys Motorcycle Air Conditioning system, which is a vest that’s designed to blow cooling air across the torsos of leather-jacket-clad bikers. While the EntroSys needs to be attached to a bike-mounted air conditioning unit, there are doubtless many sweltering people who would appreciate a similar but more mobile garment, that they could wear while walking around or working outside. Well, needless to say, there is one – it’s the Kuchofuku Air-Conditioned Cooling Work Shirt.  Read More

The solar-powered AC system test vehicle

The more environmentally conscious among us still driving gasoline-powered cars often feel a pang of guilt as we turn on the air-conditioning on a hot day, knowing that we’ve just significantly reduced the fuel efficiency of the vehicle and sent more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. While solar-powered AC systems – even portable ones – are nothing new, there’s been a problem getting their size down to a point that would allow them to cool a vehicle. While cars may have to wait a bit longer, truck drivers look like being spoiled for choice with another solar-powered AC system joining the i-Cool Solar system we looked at earlier this month.  Read More

The truck used in the trial of the i-Cool solar-powered cabin air conditioning unit

A trio of companies has joined forces to develop a truck cabin air conditioning system that uses solar energy generated from panels on the trailer’s roof area for its power. The i-Cool Solar system can save around 1.8 liters of light oil per hour when the truck is idle and reduce fuel consumption by about 1 percent when the truck is moving. If planned trials go well, we could see these units on highways in spring 2012.  Read More

UM researchers will test a prototype cooling system using a thermoelastic 'smart' metal th...

Many readers would be familiar with the electrical blackouts that occur in the summer months resulting from the extra load placed on electricity supplies by air conditioners. A new “smart” metal being developed by researchers at the University of Maryland (UM) could help cool homes and refrigerate food 175 percent more efficiently than current technology, not only giving strained electricity networks a bit of relief, but also drastically cutting summer electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions.  Read More

The Ribbon, a loop-bladed prototype ceiling fan

Bored with your plain old ceiling fan, with its old school, conservative straight blades? Perhaps what you need is the Ribbon. A one-off exercise from Australian industrial designer Ben McMahon, the Ribbon not only looks radically different than traditional fans, but is also claimed to be much more effective at air circulation. The designer obviously believes his invention has potential, as he has entered it in this year’s James Dyson Awards.  Read More

The Double-Circulator from Segula has twin fans that can be operated independently and a b...

On some summer days and nights, a good fan is all you need to keep your cool. But often it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time if you want to benefit from old-fashioned fan technology. The Segula Double-Circulator doesn’t just blow the air into the room like any other ordinary fan. Instead, it circulates the air in the whole room via two independent heads, which the manufacturers say is more healthy than a fan directly aimed at your body. The Double-Circulator also has an integrated ionizer to keep the air fresh.  Read More

The EntroSys Motorcycle Air Conditioning system

Yes, a motorcycle air conditioner. As you can see in the picture, though, it’s not as dumb as it sounds. In fact, it’s pretty clever. Haven’t you ever watched bikers riding around in the summer heat wearing full leathers, and wondered how they can stand it? They can’t. They’re boiling to death in there. Some opt to wear shorts and T-shirts instead, but from a safety standpoint... it’s not a sensible alternative, let’s put it that way. What is sensible is a process that pumps cooled air into a vest that the rider wears under their jacket. And that’s just what the EntroSys Motorcycle Air Conditioning system is.  Read More

Nissan's new air conditioning system is designed to keep drivers alert and relaxed by disp...

Nissan's new Fuga vehicles will have an air conditioning system that emulates forest scents and refreshing breezes to make driving more comfortable. The company says the air conditioner uses a number of technologies to control cabin temperature, ventilation, aroma and humidity. It can even detect bad smells from outside and shuts its vents to prevent their entry. The system is based on the results of a joint research study with the Tokyo University of Science on the effects of aroma on human mental activity.  Read More

AIR-igator : A 24” diameter, 65 gallon polyethylene tank is buried in the ground and the c...

At a time of severe water shortages and ever-hotter summers, conservation of water for gardens is increasingly important. But you can only collect rainwater when it’s raining. What about the rest of the time? The AIR-igator ingeniously solves this problem by collecting condensate from air conditioners, storing it and then automatically drip-watering. So, the hotter it gets, the more water your garden gets.  Read More

Raser Technologies has begun delivering 10 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable electricity ...

Raser Technologies has begun delivering 10 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable electricity to Anaheim, California, from its first low-temperature, binary geothermal plant, the Hatch Geothermal Power Plant in Beaver County, Utah. Traditionally, the lead time on a geothermal plant is three to five years, but the USD$33-million Raser plant has been powered up just five months after ground-breaking. To help meet such rapid construction schedules, the plant uses off-the-shelf modular components, taken from the air conditioning industry, which are essentially running in reverse.  Read More

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