New ‘thermal battery’ soaks up heat energy like a sponge

January 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Scientists at MIT have created a new unconventional material that is highly effective at storing and releasing heat energy — and could be used as a battery. Called AzoPMA, the new plastic-like polymer is capable of holding 100 times as much thermal energy as water. If further developed, a thermal battery which stores and releases heat as energy is needed could revolutionize solar energy , much as powerful traditional batteries have transformed the smart phone and electric car industries. Research on AzoPMA was led by Dr. Dhandapani Venkataraman, a chemist at the University of Massachusetts , and recently published in the journal Nature . The material was given its name in reference to its azobenzene-based poly(methacrylate) composition. AzoPMA is able to hold so much thermal energy because it switches between two conformations, or shapes, depending on its heat . When the material is heated, molecules within take their high-energy form, which is effective at storing thermal energy . When it is cooled, they return to their low-energy form, which then releases heat energy as needed. Related: South Australia to host world’s largest thermal solar plant The potential for thermal battery power is seemingly endless. “Thermal batteries today are where electrical batteries were a century ago,” MIT professor Dr. Jeffrey Grossman, who has led similar thermal battery research , told NBC News . “There are exciting applications we’re only starting to understand.” Venkatarman sees this feature as being especially useful in off-the grid locations. “Imagine when go camping, you’d be charging the molecules while you are hiking, then you’d discharge them to cook your dinner,” he said . AzoPMA could also be used as a non-burning material in solar-thermal ovens, which would reduce the risk of health damage from fumes on stoves common in rural areas, as a component of large household batteries, or spread out in small pieces to melt snow after a storm, without the need for electricity. Via NBC News Images via MIT and Nature

Go here to read the rest:
New ‘thermal battery’ soaks up heat energy like a sponge

Seattle’s new Angle Lake Transit Station looks like a long-exposure photo of a dancer in motion

January 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa just completed construction on the new Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The building’s design was inspired by dance, and the architects wrapped the structure an undulating transparent envelope that mimics the motion of the human body. The team drew inspiration from an improvisational dance piece by famous contemporary dance choreographer William Forsythe. In it, dancers connect their bodies by matching lines in space that could be bent, tossed or otherwise distorted. Thanks to the use of ruled surface geometry and straight aluminum elements, the architects were able to achieve complex curved forms that look like a long-exposure portrait of a dancer. Related: Brooks + Scarpa completes forest-like kinetic sculpture ringed with rain gardens The seven-acre 400,000 square foot mixed-use complex features a seven-story cast-in-place and post-tensioned concrete structure. Its exterior façade is composed of over 7,500 custom-formed blue anodized aluminum panels. Brooks + Scarpa segmented each element into standardized sizes for the most efficient structural shape and material form, while maximizing production, fabrication and installation cost efficiency. This made it possible to install the façade on-site in less than three weeks without the use of cranes or special equipment. + Brooks + Scarpa Lead photo by Benjamin Benschneider

See the rest here:
Seattle’s new Angle Lake Transit Station looks like a long-exposure photo of a dancer in motion

Salesforce Tower to include largest blackwater recycling system in a US commercial high-rise

January 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

7.8 million gallons of drinking water will be saved every year with a blackwater recycling system at the new 1,070-foot tall Salesforce Tower in San Francisco . The skyscraper , designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects , will be equipped with the on-site system, which is the first of its kind in the city and the biggest in any commercial high-rise building in the United States. Inhabitat spoke with Salesforce’s senior director of sustainability Patrick Flynn to hear more about blackwater recycling and the tower ‘s other green features. Salesforce Tower’s blackwater recycling system will take water from any of the building’s sources, according to Flynn – from toilets or sinks to drainage from the roof. The system itself will be housed in the basement – Flynn said they are converting “a handful of parking spaces on two levels into rooms and storage tanks that can house the system” – and it will extensively treat blackwater and resupply it for non-potable uses like irrigating plants or flushing toilets throughout the entire building. “The impact from a water perspective is huge,” Flynn told Inhabitat. “7.8 million gallons per year of freshwater use reduced – that’s a 76 percent reduction in the overall building’s water demands, and an amount of water avoided that’s equivalent to the use of 16,000 San Francisco residents.” That translates to savings of around 30,000 gallons of water every day. Related: SOM’s LEED Platinum 350 Mission tower offers an urban living room to San Francisco Flynn said California was experiencing a drought when they first discussed the building’s design years ago. “We know that periods of extreme drought will come again,” he said. “We know that climate change is amplifying extreme weather . And so we felt like upholding our values to do the right thing for our community, for our region, here at our headquarters, was to think about water responsibility and water recycling .” Salesforce is the first recipient of a blackwater grant from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), according to the company. But the blackwater recycling system isn’t the only sustainable feature in the tower. Flynn, a HVAC engineer by profession, also said a patented HVAC system will bring fresh air from the outdoors inside the tower – a move that will not only cut energy consumption but also boost occupant health. According to Salesforce, the tower has already achieved LEED Platinum certification. LED lighting , daylight sensors, and what Flynn described as healthy materials fill the building. He told Inhabitat, “We know that people spend most of their time indoors, and it’s important to make sure that that environment is inspiring and healthy.” Clean energy will power the tower; this past summer, the company signed Salesforce East and Salesforce West up for SFPUC’s SuperGreen Service , opting in to a 100 percent renewable energy program. Flynn said they were the first Fortune 500 company to do so, and their entry more than doubled enrollment in the program. Last year the company also reached net zero greenhouse gas emissions – 33 years early on a goal they’d set in 2015. The Salesforce Tower has already changed the San Francisco skyline (check out the construction camera here ), and when asked if there were concerns over its impact on the look of the city, Flynn said, “When I think about the tower, I think of how proud I am to have such a prominent example of how high-performance buildings and sustainable buildings and healthy buildings are all synonymous with one another. I think what we have here is a showcase for how real estate can uphold the expectations and exceed the expectations of its occupants, its local community, and all of its stakeholders – and I think the blackwater system is a great example of how we’ve been able to introduce a first-of-its-kind, largest such system in a commercial high-rise in the U.S. – and show a better way forward.” Salesforce is already beginning to move in to the tower. Construction on the blackwater recycling system hasn’t started yet, but Flynn said it will be constructed over the course of 2018 and could be up and running around the end of this year. Flynn told Inhabitat, “We hope we’ve shown a path forward that other companies can follow and inspired them to take action as well.” + Salesforce Tower + Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects Images courtesy of Salesforce

See the rest here:
Salesforce Tower to include largest blackwater recycling system in a US commercial high-rise

Tetra is a brilliant see-through dishwasher that fits in even the tiniest apartments

January 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Most people living in tiny apartments are resigned to the fact that their kitchens will never have space for a dishwasher – but that’s no longer the case. Heatworks just unveiled Tetra – a new compact, tankless dishwasher that’s sure to make apartment dwellers jump for joy. According to the Heatworks team, if a two-person household were to switch from handwashing to the Tetra, they could save a whopping 1500 gallons of water every year. The Tetra, which will cost under $300, is the size of a small microwave, and it not only reduces water waste , but in fact, requires no plumbing connection at all. Since there are no faucet connections, water is loaded by hand. This simple design is a big asset, because it lets users know exactly how much water is being used. A typical Tetra load lasts just a few minutes and it uses about half a gallon of water. Detergent use is also reduced with small loads – the internal detergent reservoir will last dozens of cycles. Another cool feature is the machine’s transparency, which lets you keep track of the wash cycle. Related: Hand-powered Circo dishwasher saves time, space, money and water Standard dishwashers are designed to fit up to 13 place settings, which is great for large families. By contrast, the Tetra is designed for small households of two or three people who lack space for a full-size dishwasher and are looking to conserve water . Although compact, the Tetra can fit up to 2 place settings or 10 plates or 10 pint glass. Jerry Callahan, CEO and founder of Heatworks, revealed that the Tetra was inspired by the need to provide more efficient options to smaller households: “Our research indicates that although the average household is comprised of 2.58 people, the modern dishwasher holds place settings for 13 or more. This makes people believe that they either need to handwash their few dirty dishes — which wastes 10 times more water than using a dishwasher — or wait for a fill load to run a cycle. With Tetra, we hope to change people’s mindset.” + Heatworks Images via Heatworks

Originally posted here: 
Tetra is a brilliant see-through dishwasher that fits in even the tiniest apartments

Researchers find sunscreen becomes toxic when exposed to chlorine

June 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Researchers find sunscreen becomes toxic when exposed to chlorine

Most of us are quick to reach for our sunscreen before heading outdoors in the summer , but that might not be a great idea – especially for swimmers. New research reveals that sunscreen becomes toxic when exposed to chlorine, sometimes resulting in kidney and liver dysfunctions, as well as nervous system disorders. The study, conducted by Lomonosov Moscow State University, was published in the journal Chemosphere . The researchers were reportedly stunned to discover that chlorine — a chemical commonly used in the US and UK to disinfect water by killing bacteria — breaks down suncream into other potentially-hazardous chemicals. Specifically, the ingredient Avobenzone is what breaks down into hazardous components when mixed with chlorinated water. As Phys.org reports , Avobenzone was approved by the FDA in 1988 due to its ability to absorb ultraviolet light by converting the energy of the light into thermal energy . Every year, it is regularly applied by millions of people worldwide — a fact which makes this finding so concerning. Related: Hawaii aims to ban coral reef-killing chemical sunscreens Dr. Albert Lebedev, the study’s author, said, “On the basis of the experiments one could make a conclusion that a generally safe compound transforms in the water and forms more dangerous products. In spite of the fact that there are no precise toxicological profiles for the most established products, it’s known that acetyl benzenes and phenols, especially chlorinated ones, are quite toxic .” Scientists are now looking into a suitable alternative for avobenzone that won’t break down when exposed to chlorination or bromination of fresh and sea water. “Studying the products of transformation of any popular cosmetics is very important as very often they turn out to be much more toxic and dangerous than their predecessors,” said Lebedeve. “In principle, basing on such researches, one could obtain results, which could restrict or even put under a ban the usage of one or another product, and preserve health of millions of people.” Via Express.co.uk , Phys Images via Pixabay , SheKnows

See the rest here:
Researchers find sunscreen becomes toxic when exposed to chlorine

15-Year-Old Develops Flashlight Powered by Body Heat, Wins Top Prize in Google Science Fair

June 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on 15-Year-Old Develops Flashlight Powered by Body Heat, Wins Top Prize in Google Science Fair

From a sleeping bag that charges your gadgets to entire buildings warmed by body heat , scientists are harvesting the heat emitted by humans as a source of renewable energy. But the latest development in thermoelectric energy generation doesn’t come from a high-tech lab at MIT; it comes from Ann Makosinski, a 15-year-old Canadian girl who developed a flashlight that is powered by the heat from a human hand . With the aim of reducing the number of single-use batteries that are thrown in landfills, Makosinski developed the innovative flashlight, which can be developed cheaply and deployed to populations that can’t afford electricity to light their homes. Read the rest of 15-Year-Old Develops Flashlight Powered by Body Heat, Wins Top Prize in Google Science Fair Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 15 year old , Ann Makosinski , Google , Google Science Fair , Hollow Flashlight , human heat , human-powered flashlight , renewable energy , science fair , teenager , thermal energy , thermoelectric flashlight

Read more from the original source:
15-Year-Old Develops Flashlight Powered by Body Heat, Wins Top Prize in Google Science Fair

Precinct Energy Power Station Activates a Low-Carbon Energy Landscape in Australia

November 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Precinct Energy Power Station Activates a Low-Carbon Energy Landscape in Australia

Read the rest of Precinct Energy Power Station Activates a Low-Carbon Energy Landscape in Australia Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: astro-turf wall , carbon emissions , cogeneration , cogeneration power station , cogent energy , dandenong , energy production , low carbon energy , Peter Hogg + Toby Reed Architects , phtr architects , places victoria , precinct energy power , rorschach , thermal energy        

View original here: 
Precinct Energy Power Station Activates a Low-Carbon Energy Landscape in Australia

Dwell Launches Its New Online Store!

November 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Dwell Launches Its New Online Store!

Design lovers will finally have a chance to buy some of the stunning designs featured on the pages of the world-renowned Dwell Magazine . Dwell Media has just announced the launch of their Dwell  online store, which showcases a curated collection of modern products designed by icons such as Kartell, Flos, Rich Brilliant Willing and the Bouroullec Brothers. Read the rest of Dwell Launches Its New Online Store! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: design ideas , design magazines , dwell , Dwell designer , Dwell Home , dwell magazine , Dwell new designers , Dwell online store , green design , interior design ideas , online stores green design , product design store        

See the original post: 
Dwell Launches Its New Online Store!

15-Year-Old Develops Hollow Flashlight Powered by Body Heat

July 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on 15-Year-Old Develops Hollow Flashlight Powered by Body Heat

From a sleeping bag that charges your gadget s to entire buildings that use body heat to run heating systems , scientists are harvesting the heat emitted by humans as a source of renewable energy. But the latest development in thermoelectric energy generation doesn’t come from a high-tech lab at MIT; it comes from Ann Makosinski, a 15-year-old Canadian girl who developed a flashlight that is powered by the heat from a human hand . With the aim of reducing the number of single-use batteries that are thrown in landfills, Makosinski developed the innovative flashlight, which can be developed cheaply and could be deployed to populations that can’t afford electricity to light their homes. Read the rest of 15-Year-Old Develops Hollow Flashlight Powered by Body Heat Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 15 year old , Ann Makosinski , Google , Google Science Fair , Hollow Flashlight , human heat , human-powered flashlight , renewable energy , science fair , teenager , thermal energy , thermoelectric flashlight        

Here is the original post: 
15-Year-Old Develops Hollow Flashlight Powered by Body Heat

Vodafone Unveils Smartphone-Charging Shorts Just in Time for Festival Season

June 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Vodafone Unveils Smartphone-Charging Shorts Just in Time for Festival Season

British telecommunications company Vodafone wants people to be able to use their phones, even when they’re away from a power source for days on end at music festivals, for example. So this week, the company unveiled a pair of denim hotpants that can actually charge a cellphone by harnessing thermoelectric and kinetic energy. In addition to the Power Pocket shorts, Vodafone also unveiled a sleeping bag that transforms body heat into energy that can be used to charge a phone. These technologies aren’t commercially available just yet, but Vodafone says it will be testing them out at the  Isle of Wright Festival  in England this week. READ MORE >   Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cellphone charging , kinetic energy , kinetic energy harvesting , off-grid , Power Pocket , renewable energy , smartphone charging , thermal energy , thermoelectric , Vodafone        

Read the original:
Vodafone Unveils Smartphone-Charging Shorts Just in Time for Festival Season

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1060 access attempts in the last 7 days.