External hard drives are exceptionally popular peripheral devices, and it is exceptionally likely that you have one attached to your system given the recommendation to use Time Machine or some similar form of full-system backup. If you have a laptop, then it is additionally likely that these external drives you use will be the smaller 2.5-inch laptop drives that can be powered off the computer's USB or FireWire bus. While convenient, sometimes these drives can end up getting exceptionally hot with use, to the point where it may hurt or even burn if you hold the drive for … Read more
As a product category, CPU cooling hardware tends to offer few worthwhile developments, but a new heat sink concept from Sandia National Laboratories seems to offer tremendous promise for computers, as well as cooling appliances. Designed by researcher Jeffrey Koplow, the new "Sandia Cooler" does away with a separate fan component, and instead relies on the heat sink itself to disperse heated air.
If you're familiar with traditional CPU heat sink designs, they usually feature a metal heat sink and a fan working in concert to siphon off the heat generated by CPU, graphics chips, and other computer parts that draw, and therefore emit, energy. The problem with that design is what's called the boundary layer of air that hugs the heat sink. That boundary layer retains heat, which the fan is then supposed to disperse. Because of the power necessary to drive the fan, as well as the fan's proximity to the boundary layer, that design is inefficient. The Sandia Cooler eliminates the fan, replacing it with a finned heat sink that can disperse the boundary layer far more efficiently since the two are in closer contact.… Read more
An oil drill in Mississippi is breaking new ground in waste heat, using unwanted water to run a generator that runs on waste heat.
ElectraTherm, which makes the waste heat generator, said the Denbury oil well near Laurel, Miss., has successfully installed its GreenMachine product and shown that it can provide 20 percent of the electric power needed for the drilling. The demonstration was funded by a $460,000 federal government grant, half of which was paid for by one of ElectraTherm's distributors.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--To modernize a 1940s power plant for better efficiency, its owner turned to an underground steam pipe system designed in the 19th century.
Operators of the Kendall Station power plant here are planning to construct a pipeline to ship excess steam from the plant to heat buildings in Boston and Cambridge. The pipeline, which will cross the river near the mouth of the Charles River, will add capacity to the existing underground district heating system and lighten the plant's environmental impact.
During a tour of the facility last week, the companies involved said they hope to get … Read more
Now you can hang wall decor that also warms your home. The LAVA Design Infrared Glass Heating System from WarmlyYours employs heat conductive glass technology that radiates heat evenly in multiple directions without combustion or forced air circulation.
The LAVA panel looks like a rectangular canvas or tile and comes in four models, ranging in heat capacity and price from 250W at $1,299 to 1000W at $2,299. WarmlyYours reps claim "homeowners may be able to lower the ambient room thermostat temperature by 2 degrees, saving up to 12 percent on their regular heating expenses."
It works with electricity, so there is some energy cost, but no moving parts means less dust and other allergy triggers. The device emits heat in three dimensions, but amazingly remains cool to the touch and therefore safe for houses with children.
WarmlyYours is presenting the panels at the ongoing 2011 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center and positioning the panels as more than just enviro-friendly heating sources. They want to offer them up as room decor elements alongside a line of radiant electric heating solutions for any flooring surface and bathroom spas. For example, buyers can combine a LAVA panel with a LAVA bath bar (for hanging and warming towels) or a mirrored LAVA panel with light bars. … Read more
New York City plans to restrict the use of dirty heating fuels, use its capped landfills for solar farms, and issue loans for green and energy efficiency upgrades to home owners.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the latest initiatives for PlaNYC, the city's sustainability plan, on Thursday at a press conference in Harlem.
It's part of the lead up to Earth Day, which is Friday, April 22, and also happens to be the anniversary of when PlaNYC was first announced, in 2007.
Over 132 initiatives grew out of "48 public meetings with 220 groups, yielding almost … Read more
Sometimes after running a system update, be it a security patch, an incremental OS update, or a full upgrade to a new OS version, you may experience problems with the system's fans running loudly. This may happen immediately and continuously after updating the system, or it may be an intermittent but frequent occurrence. Sometimes this can be coupled with system slowdowns, but at other times it may seem to happen with no other apparent effects.
There are several reasons why this can happen, including corrupt hardware settings, corruption in software configurations and temporary files, and a fault in the … Read more
It's always great to save money on gadgets, but even better when that gadget helps you save even more money.
For example, the Black & Decker Thermal Leak Detector helps you locate hidden energy leaks in your home. Patch 'em up and you could save a small fortune on heating and cooling.
Update: Apparently this was a regional deal. Although it … Read more
There is no denying the deliciousness of much takeaway food. First of all, many might say the convenience alone ups the flavor factor. Certainly every maker of microwaveable food would agree. But there is more to it than that: Since the beginning of comfort food itself, people have tried to capture that elusive essence that can make a meal felt down to the bones. (And not just the ribs either.) No, the common quality is not necessarily fat (although we all know that equals flavor) or freedom from the kitchen; the elements that all comfort foods have in common are … Read more
Paul the German Octopus is officially more powerful than our own Wilson G. Tang at predicting the future. The mollusk in Oberhausen is 8 for 8 in forecasting the winning teams in this year's World Cup, including yesterday's triumphant victory for Spain over the Netherlands.
In fact, we already planned to invite Paul into the studio this Friday to tell us about the iPhone 5, but recent news tells us that the eight-legged wonder is already planning his retirement from the soccer prediction industry.
If you haven't figured it out by now, The 404 crew is complete … Read more