Week in Review – May 10th-16th 2010

This week I’m skipping the elephant in the room, given that there is so much coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill.  For some sadly humorous takes on the issue, I recommend the recent Daily Show clip There Will Be Blame

Now to the exciting and thought provoking recap of last week with an eye toward green.

CNET Green Tech: IBM liquid-cooled supercomputer heats building

Computers generate a lot of heat (every Watt of electricity that goes in comes out as heat in the end) so the ability to take that heat, concentrate it and do something useful with it is awesome.  Liquid cooled computers are not a new concept, but re-purposing the “waste heat” is not something that has been done at the chip level as far as I know.  Read on to see how this can reduce the energy consumption by 40% and the overall carbon footprint by an estimated 85%.

TreeHugger: Solar Panels vs Caulk: When Does the Techno-Fix Make Sense?
This article hit home as we are in the process of going forward with a large residential solar PV project ourselves.  Thankfully, we’ve done the efficiency stuff like air-sealing and insulating and reduced consumption by about 40-50%, so the next step for us is renewable energy.

TreeHugger: Renovation Turn Old House Into Green Healthy House With Near Zero Heating Bills

Contrary to the title of this article, it is actually about comparing two identical houses where on one the basic stuff was done for a modest investment of $25K and comparing that to the no holds barred approach on the house next door to get to zero energy.  It is awesome to see a side by side comparison that can help illuminate the value for the different approaches.  I can’t wait to see where this is in a couple years.

MIT: Cementing Success
Given the huge environmental impact of cement production (10% of greenhouse gas production) combined with the unbelievable quantities that are produced everyday, it is awesome to see ideas like this to make a cement with half the impact.

MIT: New water-splitting catalyst found
Professor Daniel Nocera and his graduate students are at it again, finding a second catalyst, this one made from much more abundant materials, that can efficiently and sustainably be the electrode on the oxygen side of electrolysis. There is a lot more research to be done, but this could be the basis of a scalable and efficient energy storage in our homes of the future.

All in all a pretty exciting week.  What things caught your eye in the realm of green?

Happy Greening,

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  1. Very interesting articles!

    I’d love to know how much the REEP house actually cost…how much is ‘no holds barred’? Maybe they are waiting to figure in the savings at a later date?

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