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Cooling

The BioSkin that coats the NBF Osaki Building in Tokyo integrates evaporative cooling to k...

The urban heat island effect, whereby the high concentration of heat-retaining concrete and bitumen causes metropolitan centers to be significantly warmer than the rural areas surrounding them, is a common problem around the world. The phenomenon is particularly prevalent in Tokyo, Japan, but among the sea of towering structures stands one beacon of hope. The BioSkin that coats the NBF Osaki Building integrates evaporative cooling to keep its surface temperature down and could inspire new solutions to rising city temperatures across the globe.  Read More

Sharifi-ha House, by Iranian architecture firm Nextoffice (Photo: Nextoffice)

Based in Tehran, the Sharifi-ha House by Iranian architectural firm Nextoffice is a luxurious home by anyone's standard. The seven-floor residence boasts an elevator, swimming pool, and a sizable gym. More interestingly, it also features three rooms which resemble large wooden boxes and sit upon operable rotating platforms.  Read More

The Bio Cooler in sun-baked Aipir, Colombia

In the town of Aipir, Colombia, the temperature can often get as high as 45ºC (113ºF), yet few of the residents have a reliable source of electricity. So, pulling an ice-cold beverage out of the fridge isn't really an option. Coca Cola and the Leo Burnett Colombia advertising agency therefore devised a "Bio Cooler" for the town – it reportedly chills cans of Coke, without using electricity.  Read More

Tado Cooling is a WiFi-enabled unit that turns any air conditioning unit controlled via IR...

As internet-connected appliances continue to make their way into the modern home, you'd probably think that cooling your house with a smart air conditioner would involve going out and buying a new one. German company Tado is looking to bring your existing unit up to speed with its Tado Cooling system, a Wi-Fi-enabled device that turns any old air conditioner operated by infrared remote control into a smart device.  Read More

Adidas' new Climachill fabric gives athletes a cool-down

The sports apparel market has no shortage of solutions for cold weather, with waterproof-breathable materials, advanced natural and synthetic insulations, and battery powered heat among them. But athletes have fewer options in hot, humid weather: take off clothing, get a cold headband/cloth, or stop exercising and find an air conditioner or pool. Adidas offers one more. Its new Climachill fabric combines several cooling elements to keep athletes more comfortable during hot summer sessions.  Read More

Megan and Emily, creators of the IceTee that applies cooling gel packs to particular point...

Layers of clothing that cool you down rather than warm you up can involve lugging around hefty equipment or some pretty advanced technology. The IceTee takes a more low-tech approach with strategically-placed pockets for holding gel packs to help keep you cool.  Read More

Artist's conception of a quantum atomic gas undergoing laser cooling in an ultracold refri...

Quantum physics likes the cold. In particular, macroscopic quantum phenomena such as superconductivity, superfluidity, and Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) are only found at quite low temperatures. While current refrigeration methods can attain temperatures of a few nanoKelvins, attaining still lower temperatures is largely prevented by the need to support the cooling matter against the pull of Earth's gravity. Now NASA's Cold Atom Lab, scheduled for installation on the ISS in 2016, will aim for temperatures roughly four orders of magnitude smaller.  Read More

A bottle of beer is cooled using the new magnetic refrigeration system developed by GE

The fridge is the most common of common household appliances. Despite improvements in efficiency over the years, they remain one of the biggest users of electricity in the home, relying on chemical refrigerant and a compressor to transfer heat from the inside to the outside of the fridge. GE researchers have now developed a new type of refrigeration technology using magnets that is more environmentally friendly and is predicted to be 20 to 30 percent more efficient that current technology ... and it could be in household fridges by the end of the decade.  Read More

The rear sections of the RD House come into direct contact with the hillside, so are natur...

Cave homes, pit houses and other part or fully-underground dwellings all offer benefits in energy efficiency when compared to typical above-ground homes, thanks to natural insulating properties that help to maintain a near-constant interior temperature. Architectural firm Vasho made use of the same principle to keep RD House cool by partially burying it within a steep Dominican Republic hillside.  Read More

Road testing the EntroSys BikeAir motorcycle A/C system

As someone who likes to have my skin wrapped around my body rather than smeared up and down the highway, I cringe every time I see a motorcyclist cruise past without suitable protective gear on. There is an (albeit still completely flawed) rationale behind this, though – leather jackets, boots, gloves and scrape-resistant pants are hot, heavy and uncomfortable. All of this leaves motorcyclists in an unfortunate predicament because when the weather is at its best, the inclination to pull on protective gear is at its lowest. The EntroSys BikeAir motorcycle A/C system is a product designed to let you enjoy the best of both worlds by providing portable cooling (and heating) for the rider. It sounds great in theory, but does it work? We ventured out under the burning Australian sun to answer that question.  Read More

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