Heat exchanger technology--the cooling machinery that ferries internal heat away from your PC, your computer, your air conditioner, and other appliances--hasn’t changed too terribly much for decades. That’s led to some limiting problems: For instance, more powerful computer chips can’t be run at their full potential because they might overheat.
Future buildings may use heat to cool off more efficiently, using new materials developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The materials could enable compact adsorption chillers inside homes and office buildings.
Hoping to entice young residents to work outside, authorities in southern India announced a contest worth more than $20,000 to the winning designer of an air-conditioning jacket.
Authorities in the southern state of Kerala challenged individuals and research groups to come up with a viable prototype. A committee will select 10 options, and each inventor will get about $2,200 to develop their concepts. The winner gets $22,000, which is 1 million rupees.
Proving that no matter how expensive your air conditioner the cooling pump will still break, NASA is planning a pair of emergency spacewalks on the $100 billion International Space Station this week to replace a cooling system component that unexpectedly failed Saturday.
The emergency spacewalks don't just punctuate a cooling system problem, but a breakdown in the Earth-to-orbit ISS maintenance supply chain. The broken cooling pump module weighs an unwieldy 780 pounds and can only be transported to the ISS aboard the Space Shuttle.
When it comes to home comforts, few inventions can beat the air conditioner for its ability to help us tolerate the dog days of summer. The problem is, when it comes to energy-guzzlers, few inventions can beat the air conditioner.
But the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has invented a new air conditioning system that uses 50 to 90 percent less energy than the best available units. The Desiccant-Enhanced eVaporative air conditioner -- DEVap -- combines membranes, evaporative cooling and liquid desiccants in a way that has never been done before.
Server farms are undeniably awesome in that they store huge pools of data, enable such modern phenomena as cloud computing and Web-hosted email, and most importantly, make the Internet as it stands today possible. The downside: data centers get very, very hot. Cooling huge banks of servers doesn't just cost a lot, it eats up a lot of energy, and that generally means fossil fuels.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.