Thermodynamics & Heat
Geothermal Heat Pump
January 02, 2013
A more efficient geothermal pump taps the Earth's heat to lower utility bills by up to 80 percent
Inside a Net Zero House
November 29, 2012
Take a tour of a house designed to consume less energy than it generates on an annual basis.
More Volcanoes = Less Storms
December 06, 2010
Atmospheric scientists are studying the connection between volcanic eruptions in the tropics and their effect on hurricane activity. Eruptions produce ash that blocks sunlight, which cools the Earth's surface and oceans. Since hurricanes need warm ocean waters to form, there is an observed decrease in the number of storms after these eruptions.
New Roofs Put Money In Your Pocket
September 27, 2010
As summer comes to a close and the final heat waves of the season begin, energy conservation continues to be at the forefront of many people’s minds. Mechanical engineers are designing a roof and attic insulation system that uses the properties of phase change and insulation to create a material that absorbs heat and infrared radiation during the day and then releases it into the atmosphere at night, helping keep the inside of your house cool.
Smart Bridge Keeping Drivers Safe
November 06, 2009
Civil engineers installed approximately 400 sensors in a bridge to monitor how corrosion, temperature and traffic loans impact the structure.
Prosthetics that Grow
March 13, 2009
Doctors use electromagnetism to heat and melt plastic, which allows a spring to expand and lengthen a bone prosthesis.
January 01, 2006
When moisture condenses on a cool surface, droplets can form that are the right size to scatter light, fogging up glass. A new polymer coating draws droplets into nanopores and transforms them into a transparent sheet, improving vision.
Firefighting with Fog
January 01, 2006
Firefighters usually don't aim hydrants at smoke, to avoid producing steam that can come back and burn them. But smoke sometimes contains dangerous, flammable gases. Some U.S. fire departments are now experimenting with brief bursts of water on the hot gasses, to cool them down and reduce the risk of explosion. Since it was adopted in Sweden, the technique has cut firefighter fatalities in half.
Frostless Heat Pump
February 01, 2005
A new invention, the "frostless" heat pump, produces warmer air than a conventional heat pump by raising the temperature on the device's outer coils. This prevents frost on the coils while heat is suctioned more efficiently into the home.
Underwater Weather Watchers
January 01, 2005
Researchers are now collecting valuable information about ocean weather from a fleet of cost-effective instruments called Argo floats. Using hydraulic fluid in internal and external sacs, each float sinks about a mile and a half underwater. Every ten days, the float rises to the surface and transmits information on the ocean temperature and salt content. Researchers hope Argo will improve the ability to forecast the paths of hurricanes and where they will make their landfall.