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Energy Efficient

Robotics

Rolling HyTAQ robot avoids obstacles by taking to the air

A team at the Robotics Lab at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has come up with another take on the caged flying robots like the spherical air vehicle developed by Japan’s Ministry of Defense (JMD) and the more recent Kyosho Space Ball. However, instead of a spherical shape, the the outer protective cage of the HyTAQ (Hybrid Terrestrial and Aerial Quadrotor) is cylindrical and is attached to the quadrotor via a shaft connected by two rotating joints, thereby providing the HyTAQ with the ability to fly or roll over the ground. Read More

Environment

SEAD identifies the most energy-efficient TVs available

Size, resolution, the underlying display technology, 3D or not 3D, contrast ratio: these are all things one considers before splashing out on a television. How many of us think about energy consumption? The SEAD Initiative (Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment) is laboring under the apprehension that however many it is, it's not enough. What's it doing about? It's launching Global Efficiency Medal awards to very visibly identify the most energy-efficient flat-panel TVs (and other electronics), and last week it announced its winners ahead of an awards ceremony in January.Read More

Architecture

SOM's net zero New York school aims for "ultimate sustainability"

Net zero: put together, they're two of the buzzwords of contemporary building design. Sometimes the phrasing's a little different. ZNE, or zero net energy, is one variation; zero-energy building is another. They're all the same thing, though: buildings designed to offset their energy consumption over the course of a year, every year. Work has commenced on one such project, a 444-student primary school on Staten Island, New York, designed by architects at SOM and engineers at AKF.Read More

Environment

Energy-saving Greencam app is a real turn-off

Computing guzzles a great deal of electricity and striving for greater energy efficiency both saves money and decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Although computers already come with energy-saving mechanisms, such as sleep mode and other power saving features set by users, there's always room for improvement. This is the idea behind Ecobeneficios’s Greencam. The Brazilian company has launched a PC app that automatically turns off the user’s monitor when he or she walks away from it.Read More

"Cool blue" pigment could boost energy efficient building

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a new type of blue pigment that could help boost the energy efficiency of buildings. Discovered unexpectedly three years ago, the "cool blue" pigment has unusually high infrared heat reflectivity which it is hoped can be channeled into commercial products in the near future.Read More

Environment

Record setting small-scale solid oxide fuel cell could power neighborhoods

A new, small-scale solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system developed at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (DoE PNNL) could be used for household and neighborhood power generation. Fueled by methane, the system achieves an efficiency of up to 57 percent, improving on the 30 to 50 percent efficiencies seen previously in SOFC systems of similar size. The PNNL researchers say the pilot system they have built generates enough electricity to power the average American home, and can be scaled up to provide power for 50 to 250 homes.Read More

Architecture

Iconic, efficient Warburg House cost less than $100k to build

Canadian design studio Bioi recently completed this compact home in Warburg, Alberta after being given the challenge to create a contemporary and energy-efficient home for under US$100,000. The result is a simple, open and sustainable home, with a reduced space that holds all of the functionality of a regular sized home. “Working alongside our client, we determined the true necessity of the space that they required,” principal architects Jordan Allen and Ryan Trefz told Gizmag. “Throughout the design phase redundant spaces were eliminated, and non-inhabitable spaces were pushed to an absolute minimum.” Read More

Environment

Osram Sylvania's 100 W-equivalent LED bulb may be pick of the bunch

Following Gizmag's coverage of GE Lighting's 27 W Energy Smart and Switch Lighting's 100 W-replacement LED light bulbs, Osram Sylvania has been in touch to tell us about its 100 W-replacement LED light bulb, joining its Sylvania Ultra series: a 20 W, 1600 lumen light bulb with a warm, "incandescenty" color appearance of 2700 K. With Philips also to release a 100-W equivalent this means the big three manufacturers of light sources are joining Switch Lighting in offering high-output LED light bulbs for the home, but all things considered, Osram Sylvania's may prove the pick of the bunch.Read More

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