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Shaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today
March 28, 2024
Organizers of the Paris Olympics are planning to use a water-cooling system under the Athletes Village—much like the one that has helped the Louvre cope with the sweltering heat that broke records last year—to keep temperatures in check for the Olympians and Paralympians who stay there. The decision is part of the organizing committee’s goal to cut the carbon footprint of the Paris Games by half and stage the most sustainable Olympics to date by installing a special technology that uses natural sources to keep everyone cool even during a potential heat wave. Read more
The Icelandic government intends to scale up a circular economy built around its geothermal resources and export this model to other countries looking to tap into their underground renewable energy sources. In Iceland’s “Resource Park,” sustainability- and circularity-oriented businesses use the resource streams from two HS Orka geothermal power plants, Svartsengi and Reykjanes. HS Orka’s Resource Park currently includes 10 companies focusing on aquaculture, biotech, cosmetics, e-fuels, food and tourism, which use the different resource streams from power plant operations, including carbon dioxide, cold and hot water, electricity, lava-filtered seawater, mineral-rich geothermal fluid and steam. Read more
Iceland’s No-Waste Geothermal Model Ready For Export
Sustainability-oriented businesses use resource streams from two HS Orka geothermal power plants. Credit: martin_vmorris/flickr.
The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX has completed another efficiency run, this time in the Arabian desert in temperatures of up to 93.2°F, putting battery thermal management and climate control systems to the test. Air conditioning used during the trip had a minimal negative impact on efficiency, according to Mercedes, thanks to a multisource heat pump. This desert trip also highlighted the solar roof, comprised of 117 solar cells. It's used to power ancillary equipment, reducing the energy demand from the battery pack. The roof harvested 1.8 kWh of energy during the trip, adding approximately 15 miles of range, Mercedes claims. Read more
ASHRAE Journal
By Chandra Sekhar, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE
The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change is an international, multidisciplinary collaboration aimed at monitoring the evolving health profile of climate change. A major conclusion of the 2022 Lancet Countdown is that at a temperature rise of 1.1°C (2°F) of heating, climate change is increasingly impairing all aspects of good health and aggravating the health effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical conflicts. Pertaining to the built environment, the Lancet report laments the increased use of air conditioning and inadequate deployment of effective solutions based on nature. Download here
Abstract submissions are now being accepted for the 2025 ASHRAE Winter Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida, February 8-12, 2025, at the Hilton Orlando. Read more
In Case You Missed It
The top-hatted “drinking bird,” once a fixture in science classrooms for demonstrating the basics of thermodynamics, is making a surprising comeback as the inspiration for a new clean-energy generator that could one day power your watch and phone. Scientists in Hong Kong and China have used the famous toy to develop an engine capable of using the power of water evaporation to generate electricity, according to a study published on March 14. The new method works by converting the energy produced by the bird’s characteristic back-and-forth movement into electrical power. Read more
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