2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show

Energy-saving

The UPC/Eolgreen streetlights incorporate both solar panels and a wind turbine (Photo: Eol...

If you're trying to save power, you generally don't leave your lights on all night. With a few exceptions, however, that's what cities do with their streetlights. That's why some groups have developed streetlights with built-in solar panels. A Spanish team is now taking things a step farther, with a stand-alone streetlight that runs off of both solar and wind power.  Read More

Fraunhofer's solar-powered radio sensor chip, mounted in a window

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

The Miito is an induction kettle that heats only the liquid you need (Photo: Miito)

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

Chisel allows small computational errors to be made, in the name of saving power (Image: S...

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

The as-yet-unnamed building is due to be completed in 2016 (Image: Studio Gang Architects)

Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects has unveiled some early renders and a few preliminary details concerning a new, as-yet-unnamed, residential tower slated for Miami. The firm is targeting LEED Gold certification for the project.  Read More

The EcoDrain uses outgoing hot water to heat incoming cold water

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

Honeywell has announced the Lyric smart thermostat

Honeywell has announced a new thermostat, Lyric, that tracks the user's location via their smartphone and adjusts the temperature of their home accordingly. It figures out when a household is empty and when residents are on their way home. Users can expect reduced energy usage and costs.  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

Lakiya Culley cuts the ribbon on her new home (Photo: Sarah Gerrity, US Dept of Energy)

It won first prize in the Affordability category of the 2011 Solar Decathlon, and in December of 2012 Empowerhouse became Washington DC’s first Passive House. In a video interview just released by the US Department of Energy, its new owner describes how the house's energy-saving design means a brighter future for her family.  Read More

The Illawarra Flame house was created by students from the University of Wollongong

A group of students from the University of Wollongong took a typical Australian "fibro house," and retrofitted it with technology which includes solar panels, climate control, and an energy monitoring system. The end result, dubbed Illawarra Flame, is a net-zero home which offers a potential starting point for transforming many similar properties into low-energy dwellings.  Read More

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