New tools will merge urban design with scientific analysis to improve the decision-making process associated with large-scale urban developments. One such tool, called LakeSim, has been prototyped with an initial focus on consumer-driven energy and transportation demand.
A new online meter combines a live data feed drawing on European data, updated regularly to show the precise level of CO2 in the earth's atmosphere today, and comparison tools to show how CO2 levels have changed over time.
Some 380 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste are generated every year and most of it ends up in landfills. Re-using and recycling components and materials is good for the environment and saves money, but industry has been less than enthusiastic. An EU-funded research project has laid the foundations for change - it is promoting concrete, ceramics, gypsum and plastics recycling around Europe.
This innovative engine integrates the traditional electric motor with the air-con compressor, typically two separate units. This novel, space-saving design allows the use of bigger batteries, which can increase the range of electric vehicles by an additional 15 to 20 per cent.
Present-day lithium batteries are efficient but involve a range of resource and environmental problems. Using materials from alfalfa (lucerne seed) and pine resin and a clever recycling strategy, researchers have now come up with a highly interesting alternative.
The 'Internet of Energy' is defined as the networking of relatively autonomous electricity producers and consumers, who determine and cover the energy demand among themselves. Such an infrastructure will become necessary when large numbers of electric vehicles have to be supplied with energy in the future.
Researchers have developed a modular device based on paraffins that allows thermal energy to be stored, thus reducing the total volume of the system by 50 percent with respect to storage by means of water, traditionally used in buildings.