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Its idea may be simple, but that did not stop Radiator Labs winning the MIT Clean Energy Prize with its controllable box that can be retrofitted to radiators to boost the efficiency of hot water and steam heating systems. The heavily insulated housings physically cover the radiator, trapping heat in the system, and strictly controlling the amount that is let into the room. This prevents homes becoming over-heated, and wasteful heat loss as people open windows to compensate. Read More

Earlier this year at CES 2012, Siemens subsidiary Thermador unveiled its Freedom Induction Cooktop that allows pots and pans of various sizes to be placed anywhere on its surface instead of being constrained to fixed cooking zones. Now Siemens has shown its own full-surface induction cooktop that provides the same freedom of cookware placement. Read More

In the last two years, UK coatings specialist Zircotec has helped 10 of the 12 Formula One teams to protect their composite diffusers from exhaust gasses via the use of ceramic coatings. To do so, it created a coating that allows composites to function in temperatures above their melting point! This year, its engineers have been busy on a new challenge, as debris from tires has been causing build-up on aerodynamic surfaces which has been reducing down-force. Read More
A funny name but an innovative design, Jompy allows campers, backpackers, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts to get hot water from their hydration packs. The simple device works in conjunction with a hydration bladder and camping stove to deliver boiling water for use in food, beverages and cleaning. Read More
Over the years, we’ve seen Spiderman use his webbing to catch villains, swing between buildings, and even parachute from great heights. In all that time, however, the opportunity never came up for him to use it to conduct heat. As it turns out, it would have been perfect for the job. Although materials from living things generally don’t conduct heat well, a team of scientists from Iowa State University have discovered that spider silk does so 800 times better than any other organic material ever tested. Because the silk is also very strong and stretchable, it could have a number of applications in human technology. Read More
Mother Nature is a cruel vixen, and man needs every advantage he can get when attempting to ward off her fury. Blizzard Survival improves upon the traditional emergency blanket with a honeycomb-like build that both reflects and traps heat to keep you warm. It's a technology called Reflexcell. Read More
For the past several decades, it has been assumed that in order to store data on a magnetic medium, a magnetic field must be applied. Recently, however, an international team of scientists discovered that heat can be used instead of a magnetic field. Not only is this method reportedly more energy efficient, but it also theoretically allows for ten times the storage capacity and 300 times the performance of current hard drive technology. Read More
At this time of year, many of us living in the upper reaches of the Northern Hemisphere start wishing that we had a fireplace in our home. Unfortunately, installing a fireplace and chimney in a house that doesn't already have them is quite an involved and expensive process. Here's a solution in the form of a functioning fireplace that you simply hang on the wall like a picture - it's made by a company called Pureflame. Read More
When you have wet skin, you no doubt notice a cooling sensation as it dries. This is because the water droplets are carrying heat away from your skin with them, as they evaporate. Phase-change thermal diodes work the same way – through an evaporation and condensation process, they use liquid to transport heat away from things such as microchips. In most of these diodes, liquid placed on a hot surface evaporates, the vapor then rising onto a cooler surface, where it condenses back into liquid. In a closed-loop cycle, gravity subsequently carries that condensate back down to the hot surface, so it can once again be evaporated. Now, scientists from North Carolina's Duke University have discovered a method of getting condensed water droplets to jump back to the hot surface – and they can do so in any direction, including straight up. Read More
While they might still seem rather high-tech, induction cooktops have been on the market since at least the mid-1970s. Instead of warming pots via heat transfer from electrical elements or gas burners, they instead use coils of copper wire located beneath their ceramic glass surface to induce an electrical field within metal pots, which results in the resistive heating of their contents. Typically, the sizes and locations of those coils are marked on the stove’s surface, and users must place their pots on those. Thermador’s new Freedom Induction Cooktop, however, will heat up cookware placed anywhere on its surface. Not only that, but the “active” part of the cooktop will conform to the footprint of whatever size or shape of cookware is used. Read More