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Energy-saving

— Good Thinking

"Smart" facade keeps offices from overheating, without using any electricity

By - April 10, 2015 1 Picture
Office buildings with plate glass windows may provide a nice view for workers, but they're certainly not ideal when it comes to energy-efficiency. Among other things, the sunlight that pours through them can raise the temperature in the office, causing the air conditioning to come on. Now, however, researchers from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology have created a light-blocking facade for such windows that only kicks in when exposed to strong sunlight – and it's powered by that sunlight, too. Read More
— Science

Device zaps oil to make it flow easier

By - March 2, 2015 1 Picture
It's a simple fact that the more fluid an oil is, the easier it is to pump. That's why oil companies typically heat sections of pipeline, to reduce the viscosity of the crude oil traveling within. Generating that heat still requires a fair amount of energy, however, plus the oil's reduced viscosity produces turbulence it its flow. Temple University's Prof. Rongjia Tao has developed what may be a better alternative – a device that electrifies the oil. Read More

Solar-powered chip reminds you to shut your windows

Although it may be handy to have sensors in your windows that remind you if you've left them open, running electrical wiring to all those sensors (or regularly changing their batteries) could be a hassle. A new window-monitoring radio sensor chip, however, gets all the power it needs from the sun. Read More

Miito reimagines the kettle

We all know that you should boil only what you need in a kettle to avoid wasting energy, but overfilling is still very common. The Miito combats this problem by using induction heating to boil just the water you need. Read More
— Computers

MIT's Chisel system saves power by allowing computers to make mistakes

By - October 31, 2014 1 Picture
You may have heard the expression, "Work smarter, not harder." When applied to humans, it means (partially) that we should do our best work on the tasks that are the most important, instead of wasting time and effort by going all out on every task. Well, that principle is now also being applied to computers. Using MIT's new Chisel system, computers are saving power by delegating less-critical tasks to less-dependable lower-energy hardware. This means mistakes may be made on those tasks, but that's OK. Read More
— Around The Home

EcoDrain recycles the heat in used hot shower water

By - July 7, 2014 2 Pictures
Generally-speaking, when there's something that we're trying to conserve, we don't just put it down the drain. For those of us who are trying to save power, however, that's just what happens when we let hot water from our showers or baths run straight into the sewer. The EcoDrain is made to address that problem, via a unique design that allows outgoing hot water to warm up incoming cold water. Read More
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