To Cool Buildings, Run Water Through The Windows
Harvard researchers took inspiration from the cooling ability of skin for their microfluidic circulatory system, which can save energy and lower air-conditioning bills.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have created a cooling system for windows that involves passing water through ultrathin channels embedded into a thin "skin" of clear silicone rubber. The water takes the sun's heat with it, reducing the amount of air conditioning needed to cool the room. The channels become transparent when filled, so they are invisible to the naked eye. A mathematical model was created to determine the system's efficiency on normal-sized windows; it predicted that "just half a soda can's worth of water...would cool a full-size window pane by a full 8°C (14°F)."
What's the Big Idea?
In buildings, heat flowing through windows often hinders improved energy efficiency efforts. The system combines the science of microfluidics with bioadaptive technology -- specifically, the way the circulatory systems of humans and animals work to cool the body by expanding a network of tiny blood vessels near the skin to increase blood flow and heat transfer. The team's next task is to combine their mathematical model with architectural energy models to determine the total energy savings for an entire building outfitted with modified windows.
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In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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