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Air Conditioners

— Military

Scientists create an air-conditioned bulletproof vest

When most of us realize that we’re overdressed for the weather, we can simply take off that extra jacket or whatnot that’s causing us to overheat. Police officers, however, don’t have the option of taking off their bulletproof vests ... and those vests aren’t exactly known for being lightweight and breathable. Fortunately, a team from Swiss research institution Empa has developed just the thing for those hot cops – an air-conditioned ballistic vest. Read More
— Science

Solar thermal collection system uses Sun's heat to keeps things cool

Given that it typically gets hottest outside when the sunlight is most direct, it would make sense to have air conditioners that were powered by the thermal energy from solar rays. Unfortunately, collecting enough of that energy in a cost-effective manner can be challenging. Now, however, a team of University of California, Merced students have created a solar thermal collection system that is said to be significantly simpler, cheaper and more efficient than anything that’s come before. Read More
— Environment

Skylight substitute harvests solar power and reduces overheating

There’s no doubt that skylights make for psychologically-nicer buildings, while also reducing the amount of electricity required for daytime artificial lighting. If they let in too much sunlight, however, they can actually increase the amount of electricity needed for air conditioning. California-based EnFocus is attacking the situation from two ends – its Diamond-Power panels diffuse sunlight to keep interior heat down, while also harnessing it to create electricity. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Air conditioned shirt has its 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
— Environment

Solar-powered air-conditioning for vehicles developed

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
— Automotive

Using solar power to keep truck drivers cool

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
— Around The Home

'Thermally-elastic' metal to cut summer CO2 emissions and electricity bills

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
— Good Thinking

Ribbon ceiling fan design based on a three-dimensional helical loop

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
— Around The Home

Two fans are better than one - the Double Circulator

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
— Motorcycles

The motorcycle air conditioner (no, really)

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