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Air Conditioners

Around The Home

LG mosquito-repelling air conditioner aims to help reduce malaria cases in Africa

While promising vaccines and genetically-engineered mosquitoes are providing hope in the fight against malaria, it currently remains a major and potentially life-threatening problem in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. These regions are also hot and sticky, making LG's introduction of an air conditioner that it claims actively repels mosquitoes as it keeps the house cool a seemingly obvious blending of technologies. Read More

Environment

MIT develops new "reverse air conditioner" solar power system for the developing world

Solar power would appear to be an obvious choice for the developing world, but as impoverished regions need systems that are simple, self-operating and cheap to build and maintain, this is generally not the case. The ability to provide heating in addition to electricity would also be beneficial because many communities need hot water has much as they need lights. An MIT team has developed a solution that meets these needs with a solar power system that is an air conditioner built backwards.Read More

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

Wearables

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

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