The Empire State Building, arguably the world's most famous office tower, is 1,472 vertical feet of historic American real estate. It also contains 2.8 million square feet of office space, constructed to the energy efficiency standards of the early 1930s. So when Anthony Malkin took over management of the building several years ago, he also inherited an $11 million annual energy bill and a problem: How could he turn the iconic but aging building into a 21st-century office tower?
Now, a sweeping $13.4 million energy retrofit is slashing the Empire State Building's energy consumption by nearly 40 percent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years while trimming $4.4 million from annual energy costs. We took a firsthand look at what such a massive and meaningful project looks like, starting in a nondescript corner of the fifth floor where the Empire State Building is turning two-decade-old glass into future dollars.
It’s a 21st-century conundrum: You want a power-assisted bike that’s electrically powered and that packs an energy density (and a light weight) that lithium-ion batteries simply can’t provide. But the idea of strapping a tank of compressed hydrogen between your legs makes you somewhat uncomfortable as well. SiGNa Chemistry has a solution: a metallic metal powder of sodium silicide that generates hydrogen as soon as it comes in contact with water.
It seems like we get everything from automated vending kiosks these days, from cash to DVDs to postal service to gasoline. The French have simply taken the next logical step. Putting a modern (and greener) spin on an old way of doing business, a French vendor has begun selling wine by volume from 500- and 1,000-liter vending pumps in French supermarkets. All customers need is a container.
Building smart homes that are networked to run as efficiently as possible is supposed to be one of the technological fixes to our current energy consumption problem. But what's often lost in all the heady talk about innovating our way to a greener future is the fact that those wireless networking technologies also consume power, reducing the net benefit.
We're already making great strides at pulling electricity from the motion of the air and from the photons that stream through it, but what about pulling electric charges right out of the air itself? Researchers have solved a mystery about how electricity forms in the atmosphere, and in doing so may have found a way to pull electricity right out of the air.
Wouldn't it be convenient if Red Bull could recharge your phone just as it recharges you? Researchers at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society today revealed the creation of a new breed of battery-like device that's more like the mitochondria that fuel biological cells than the anode-cathode batteries that charge our devices. As such, it could power our cell phones or other portable electronics with sugary drinks or other energy-storing media like vegetable oils.
You may not have heard about it during your local traffic report this weekend, but anyone negotiating the Beijing-Tibet expressway in recent days is painfully aware of the problem: a 62-mile jam that slowed traffic to a crawl between the Chinese capital and Jining city. But while such huge traffic jams aren't unheard of, China’s traffic woes are unique in their duration – the current traffic snarl (it’s still ongoing) has been unfolding since August 14, making for nine days of gridlock.
Green cars require green roadways, and to that end Finland is planning the world's first "green highway," an 81-mile stretch of pavement dotted with electric charge stations and pumps pouring locally made biofuel that will hopefully stimulate the adoption of next-gen auto technologies.
Wiring large building for fire safety systems, climate control mechanisms, and other public safety monitoring schemes consumes a lot of wire -- imagine how much feet of copper connects every room, corridor, stairwell and broom closet in a building like the Empire State.
File this under news you can raise a glass to: Researchers at Edinburgh Napier University have figured out how to turn the leftovers from one of Scotland’s biggest exports into biofuel. Made from byproducts of the whisky-making process, the scotch-derived biofuel is ready to run in ordinary automobile engines without requiring any modifications.