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No More Tinkering: How Reinventing the Oven is Like Reinventing the Grid

July 8, 2014 by Christine Hertzog
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How do you build a better oven? That’s a question Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO for Microsoft and foodie recently discussed. He pointed out that today’s electric or natural gas-powered oven is designed on the principle first put forward five thousand years ago to dry clay bricks.[read more]

Modifying Wind Turbines So They Kill Fewer Bats

April 29, 2011 by Tyler Hamilton

My Clean Break column today takes a look at the importance of bats when it comes to agriculture and how bat populations, under threat by white nose syndrome and wind turbines, are getting some help by the Electric Power Research Institute. EPRI researchers have designed a system that can detect a bat’s echolocation call and adjust the...[read more]

The Trombe Wall: Energy-Efficient and Beautiful, Too

February 25, 2011 by Taylen Peterson
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While the methods of collecting solar energy have improved drastically over the years, some of the most effective tools have been around for decades. Case in point: the Trombe wall, made popular by French engineer Felix Trombe in the 1960s, but originally patented as early as 1881 by Edward Morse. The idea behind the Trombe wall is...[read more]