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Shaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today
April 25, 2024
An energy startup aimed at cleaning up artificial intelligence’s massive use of electricity is getting a multi-million dollar boost from investors, including OpenAI's CEO, Sam Altman. The company, Exowatt, develops shipping container-sized modules fitted with solar lenses that turn the sun’s energy into heat, which can warm up cheap material, and can be stored for up to 24 hours. The modules then produce electricity by passing the stored heat through an engine. The company’s goal is to benefit from cost reductions by storing energy as heat. Exowatt reportedly wants to offer electricity for as low as one cent per kilowatt-hour minus subsidies, and hopes to deliver its modules later this year. Read more
Herrenknecht AG, a company that specializes in tunneling technology, recently released a simulation video that shows how its Urban Vibro Trucks identify the best places for geothermal development, through the deployment of a "thumper device" that sends seismic waves into the ground. Sensors then record the waves that bounce back, providing a map of the underground. This technology could be important for geothermal energy in urban environments, where getting permits for more invasive types of underground mapping is difficult. Read more
Revolutionary Trucks Could Detect Locations to Extract Game-Changing Energy from Earth
A German company has developed a special kind of truck that can drive around cities and identify good places to tap into the earth and extract geothermal energy. Credit: Herrenknecht AG on Youtube.
As the world shifts towards renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, copper is in high demand in this transition toward net zero emissions and low carbon. This demand stems from its crucial role in powering many key technologies and applications, including renewable energy generation, electric vehicles and efficient grid infrastructure. This explains why this year, copper equities experienced a significant upturn, largely driven by a series of market dynamics including reductions in Chinese smelter activity, global supply concerns and robust demand forecasts. Read more
ASHRAE Journal
By Chitra Nambiar, Associate Member ASHRAE; Reid Hart, P.E., Life Member ASHRAE; Michael Rosenberg, Fellow ASHRAE; Samuel Rosenberg, Associate Member ASHRAE
The United States’ national model energy standard for commercial buildings is ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, which provides minimum energy efficiency guidelines for designing, constructing, operating and maintaining new construction and renovated buildings. This article is a detailed review of the simulation results that formed the basis of the report “Energy Savings Analysis: ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2019” in support of DOE’s Determination, which details the qualitative and quantitative comparison of Standard 90.1-2019 to Standard 90.1-2016 to determine its energy savings impacts. Download here
The technical program is now available for the 2024 ASHRAE Annual Conference taking place June 22-26, at the Marriott Indy Place in Indianapolis, Ind. At this year’s Annual Conference, AI in buildings, electrification, building lifecycle assessment and workforce development are among the highly anticipated topics. Read more
In Case You Missed It
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
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