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Category: SCIENCE


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The Rise of Solar Cell Efficiency

The Rise of Solar Cell Efficiency
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Solarplaza tells us that the National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV), part of the American National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has published an impressive chart that shows all solar cell record efficiencies since 1975. Over on Wiki-P is an excellent timeline for the history of PV cells. It begins in 1839 when Alexandre Edmond Becquerel observed the photovoltaic effect via an electrode in […]

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It’s Not Rocket Science #5: Night Sky Radiant Cooling

It’s Not Rocket Science #5: Night Sky Radiant Cooling
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If ever you’ve noticed cloudless nights are colder than cloudy ones, then you’ve experienced Night Sky Radiant Cooling.   The temperature of the surface of the earth is relatively constant so the amount of energy lost in the form of heat from the surface of the earth at night must be more or less the same […]

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It’s Not Rocket Science #4: Humidity Control

It’s Not Rocket Science #4: Humidity Control
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The building you see above is the oldest timber building in the world. It was built in the year 756AD. Hats off!   It is the Shosoein Treasure House in Nara, Japan, built to house the treasures of the Emperor Shomu (701–756). Buildings like this are the only traditional Japanese buildings that don’t employ post and beam construction. […]

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Misfit Motors

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Chaparral Cars was a United States automobile racing team which built race cars from 1963 through 1970. They pushed race car technology and weren’t afraid to test new ideas. The Chaparral 2 was their first big  success. Here’s a Chaparral 2. It’s a bit of a beast. The Chaparral 2 featured the innovative use of fiberglass as […]

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The Process Behind A Better Architecture Building STACEY #3: Daylighting & Views

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Previous posts: Part I, Part II Back to STACEY and, this time, with DAYLIGHTING & VIEWS. Daylighting is a very important yet neglected aspect of buildings. In addition to its benefits for energy-saving, it has huge psychological and productivity benefits for a building’s occupants as well. As for productivity, studies have shown that daylight can have […]

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New Architecture Found in Space!

New Architecture Found in Space!
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Following on from the previous post, there’s probably not much chance of oil rigs ever being considered an expression of a new type of architectural beauty. Nevertheless, the idea is still out there, waiting for the right example to express it as the way for the future. The extremely scientific building known as the Large Hadron […]