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Shaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today
April 18, 2024
A seasonal thermal energy storage facility will be built by Vantaa Energy in Vantaa, which is Finland's fourth largest city neighboring the capital of Helsinki. When completed, the facility will be the largest in the world of its kind by all standards. The operating principle of the seasonal thermal energy storage facility, called Varanto, is to store heat in underground caverns so that it can be used to heat buildings via the district heating network whenever it is needed. The possibility to store cheap and environmentally friendly waste heat from data centers, cooling processes and waste-to-energy assets in underground caverns is a revolutionary innovation in terms of the energy transition. Read more
World's Largest Thermal Energy Storage to be Built in Finland
The seasonal thermal energy storage caverns' total volume is 1,100,000 m3, including process facilities. The volume of Varanto is physically almost as large as two Madison Square Gardens. Credit: Vantaa Energy.
A national coalition that includes nine major cities and counties in the U.S. launched a turnkey building decarbonization program. This venture aims to rapidly scale up the deployment of clean-energy technologies across millions of small commercial and multifamily buildings that have persistently high carbon footprints. The innovative Building Decarbonization In-A-Box program, announced just days after the U.S. EPA awarded $20 billion in competitive "green bank" grants through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, will be one of the first initiatives to demonstrate how the newly available funding will mobilize capital for on-the-ground decarbonization projects in communities across America. Read more
Microsoft has pledged to build and improve cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure in Japan as part of a $2.9B investment. This investment, Microsoft's largest ever in Japan, aims to expand the country’s computing capabilities while also upskilling the local workforce, advancing AI research and strengthening cybersecurity defenses. Read more
ASHRAE Journal
By Joseph W. Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng., Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE
Columnist Joe Lstiburek waxes lyrical on the advantages and disadvantages of venting roofs. Download here
In Case You Missed It
Researchers have introduced the world’s first refrigerator that cools with “artificial muscles” made of nitinol: a nickel-titanium alloy. The refrigerator developed by the team at Saarland University and the Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technology (ZeMa) is a small, compact prototype showcasing the new cooling technology. It works based on the elastocaloric principle: heat is removed from an area by stretching wires and releasing them again. The shape-memory wires composed of super-elastic nitinol collect heat within the cooling chamber and release it into the surrounding air. Read more
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