Advertisement

Efficiency

Architecture

RD House keeps naturally cool inside a Dominican Republic hillside

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

Bicycles

Speed Up Bag carries cyclists' stuff and reduces drag

It's not uncommon for cyclists to carry snacks, phones, wallets or other items in a handlebar-mounted bag when out for a ride. Unfortunately, though, putting a block-shaped bag right on the front of the bike doesn't do wonders for its aerodynamics. That's why Slovenian inventor Joze Petkovsek created the Speed Up Bag. Not only is it sleeker than a regular bag, but a bicycle equipped with one is claimed to produce less wind drag than one with no bag at all. Read More

Mobile Technology

FrogPad2 to take the reins from iFrog one-handed keyboard

Anyone who uses the keypad of a smartphone is by definition a typist. A great many of those people, however, have never learned touch-typing. Therefore, they don't really need that low, wide QWERTY keyboard, do they? The folks at FrogPad realized that, when they first introduced their compact iFrog one-handed Bluetooth keyboard. Now they're about to release its successor, the FrogPad2. Read More

Automotive

Volkswagen's 214 mpg Twin Up! concept debuts in Tokyo

Earlier this year Volkswagen announced production of its 261 mpg hyper-efficient XL1, but with an estimated $145,000 price tag it’s unlikely the hybrid will become a common fixture on most streets. The company’s Twin Up! hybrid concept, which made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show yesterday, could however become a more reasonable option for the masses. Read More

Electronics

Tiny digital chip delivers up to 20 W audio output

If you can find one, the new STA333IS digital audio chip and power amplifier from STMicroelectronics (STM) offers a quick and easy solution for converting digital audio into a 10 watt/channel stereo for anything from a boom box to a backyard sound system. Don't misunderstand, they currently are at distributors, selling for about one US dollar apiece. The problem is literally finding the chips. At about one-eighth the volume of a grain of rice and weighing only a few milligrams, drop one on a carpet and its gone for good. Read More

Environment

Making the most of low-grade silicon for cheaper, more efficient solar panels

While we wait for affordable multi-junction solar cells that are pushing past the 40 percent conversion efficiency mark to make it out of the lab and onto our roofs, we have to make do with standard commercial silicon cells that currently max out at around 19 percent. A team from the University of New South Wales in Australia has found a way to improve the quality of low-grade silicon, enabling higher efficiency solar cells to be produced from cheaper, low-grade silicon.Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning

    Advertisement