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Energy Efficient

— Architecture

CHIP House powered by solar energy, controlled with Xbox Kinect

The CHIP House - which stands for "Compact Hyper-Insulated Prototype" - was started with the goal of creating a net-zero energy home (i.e. one that requires no external energy source), and it looks like the designers exceeded that target. The house actually generates three times as much energy as it uses thanks to solar panels and a host of energy saving measures. The incredibly energy efficient design would make the house stand out on its own, but the integrated Kinect controls and smart features push the CHIP House above your typical green-conscious home and into "home of the future" material. Read More
— Environment

Icelandic facility uses geothermal energy to store data for UK colleges

Hertford Regional College (HRC) in the UK has joined forces with the Thor Data Center (THORDC) in Iceland to provide cost efficient, eco-friendly technology to schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK. The joint venture has been coined "HRC Cube" and is an innovative solution to dealing with increasing cuts in UK government funding to education. Drawing on Iceland's combination of freezing temperatures and natural volcanic heat, THORDC has become one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the world. Powered by clean renewable hydroelectric and geothermal energy sources, the facility is claimed to offer cost savings to its customers whilst at the same time helping them lower their carbon emissions. The fact that it is situated in such a remote location also ensures a high level of security for the data. Read More
— Around The Home

LEDO offers LED lighting in a bulb-like form

LEDs last far longer than incandescent bulbs, are much more energy-efficient, and contain less toxic substances. Compact fluorescents give them a run for their money in some areas, although LEDs tend to have a warmer, “nicer” light. In the past few years, a number of companies have started marketing LED light fixtures that screw into traditional incandescent receptacles – these have included products from Geobulb, Switch, GE and Sharp. A new arrival, however is the Bulled line of “bulbs” (for lack of a better word), from German manufacturer LEDO. If nothing else, they definitely have a look of their own. Read More
— Mobile Technology

ARM unveils Cortex A7 CPU and big.LITTLE Processing for high-end devices

UK-based chip manufacturer ARM has announced its most energy efficient CPU for portable electronics, called the Cortex A7, which will succeed the Cortex A8 CPU. The new arrival is designed to work as a stand-alone CPU in entry-level devices, and requires twenty percent the energy of its predecessor while offering twice the performance. High-end smartphones and tablets will also utilize the A7 as an additional source of computing power for less demanding tasks, with main processing provided by the upcoming ARM Cortex A15. Such a combination is dubbed big.LITTLE Processing. Read More
— Environment

University of Maryland takes 2011 Solar Decathlon crown

On the last two occasions, the overall winner of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has gone to Germany's Technische Universität Darmstadt but this year the top honor has stayed with one of the home teams. As the name might suggest, the University of Maryland's winning WaterShed project features some novel innovations to make the best use of water, in addition to an intriguing internal waterfall that helps reduce the load on the structure's air conditioning system. Read on for a brief look at the top five winning projects, as well as the People's Choice. Read More
— Aircraft

'Best of both worlds' MAV combines flapping and gliding flight

As I look out of my office window and watch the heart-stopping acrobatics of feeding swifts, it's not difficult to see why so many aircraft designers find inspiration in nature - from birds to bats to insects. Now it's the turn of the swift. Hoping to demonstrate the endurance and performance benefits of a combined flapping and gliding approach to Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) design, researchers have developed an experimental flyer capable of combining both unsteady and steady aerodynamics. Read More
— Environment

U.S. Army aims for more energy-efficient base camps

The U.S. Army has opened a System Integration Laboratory (SIL) at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, modeled after forward operating bases in Iraq and Afghanistan to test technologies aimed at creating more energy-efficient base camps. The various energy-efficient technologies being tested are expected to reduce base camp fuel requirements by 20 percent or more and water demand by up to 75 percent. Read More
— Science

'Thermally activated cooling system' puts waste heat to use

Automobiles, appliances, power plants, factories and electrical utilities all waste one thing: heat. More specifically, they produce heat as a by-product of their normal operations, but that heat is just dispersed into the air instead of being put to use. Researchers from Oregon State University, however, have created a prototype system that harnesses waste heat to (rather ironically) cool the device that’s creating the heat in the first place. While it isn’t the first system to do so, it is claimed to be unusually efficient ... and, it can generate electricity. Read More
— Environment

World’s first 100 watt equivalent LED replacement bulb

Currently the brightest options for those looking to ditch their incandescent light bulbs in favor of the longer life and more energy efficient LED variety are those equivalent to 60 watt incandescent bulbs, such as the GeoBulb II. Things got a little brighter last month when California-based Switch Lighting announced its 75 watt-equivalent LED bulb and now the company has gone one better with the announcement of what it claims is the world's first 100 watt-equivalent LED bulb. Read More
— Good Thinking

Yill is one wheely useful mobile office energy storage unit

Although HP and others are breaking new ground in notebook battery life, there are times when you might find yourself away from the grid for a bit longer than your laptop battery can last. A mobile energy storage unit like Yill, from Germany's Younicos, is said to be capable of autonomously meeting the power needs of a computer workstation for between two and three days on a single charge of its own quick-charge batteries. Deployment of the drum-like power houses throughout an office could even help save energy bills. Read More
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