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ECOstrive
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The Conservative Environmentalist
The Conservative Environmentalist

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Awesome work! Should be a much quieter and more efficient refrigerator. 
New Efficient Refrigerator Uses Magnetic Refrigeration

Think about your refrigerator, it is a cold box that stays cold, in a hot room.  According to the laws of thermodynamics, that is not supposed to be.   Heat always moves from hot to cold.  You have to do work to get heat to travel from cold to hot.  That is what happens in a refrigerator. Heat is pumped from inside the freezer out to the room and that is how the freezer stays cold.   It takes work to move heat from cold and that is what the compressor does in a regular refrigerator.  You pay the electric bill to pay for this work.

That is just one way to move heat though; now, an old method, the magnetocaloric effect, is being researched for use in a refrigerator.  That is a big word that means certain materials will heat up or cool down when they are subject to a changing magnetic field.  Imagine holding a bar of this material and passing a strong magnet over the it. You would feel a change in temperature,  as a wave of hot and cold travels down the bar.   

One of the most notable examples of the magnetocaloric effect is in the chemical element gadolinium and some of its alloys. Gadolinium's temperature is observed to increase when it enters certain magnetic fields. When it leaves the magnetic field, the temperature drops. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetocaloric_effect

Researchers at General Electric have taken this effect and designed a new refrigerator that will use it to keep the refrigerator cold.  And it could possibly be 20% more efficient than the compressor type. 

"GE teams in the U.S. and in Germany picked up the problem again 10 years ago. They decided to build a cascade from special magnetic materials, where each step could lower the temperature just slightly. “We are taking a chunk of heat and pushing it down the ladder, from the cold insides of the refrigerator to the warm room outside”  ⓐ

Researchers working in GE labs have used special magnetic material to achieve temperatures cold enough to freeze water. The breakthrough system, which is projected to be 20 percent more efficient than current refrigeration technology, could be inside your fridge by the end of the decade.  ⓐ

The system is using a water-based fluid flowing through a series of magnets to transfer heat, rather than a chemical refrigerant and a compressor. This significantly lowers any harm to the environment and makes the recycling of old refrigerators simpler.  ⓐ

“This is a big deal,” says Venkat Venkatakrishnan, a leader of the research team. “We are on the cusp of the next refrigeration revolution.”  ⓐ

There are  videos that explain this new magnetic refrigeration at the links.

ⓐ  http://www.gereports.com/post/75911607449/not-your-average-fridge-magnet

Your next fridge could keep cold more efficiently using magnets
http://www.gizmag.com/ge-magnetocaloric-refrigerator/30835/

Deep freeze: how scientists are resurrecting magnet technology to cool refrigerators
http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/10/5398602/GE-magnetic-refrigeration-prototype

Types of refrigeration.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator

Heat flows from hot to cold
http://theory.uwinnipeg.ca/mod_tech/node79.html

Image: Wiki Magnetocaloric effect
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KurzweilAINetwork  A Virginia Tech research team has developed a battery that runs on sugar and has an unmatched energy density, a development that could replace conventional batteries with ones that are cheaper, refillable, and biodegradable. The…
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PALO ALTO, Calif. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reaffirmed the 5-star safety rating of the Tesla Model S overall and in all subcategories for Model Year 2014, confirming the highest safety rating in America. While Tesla…
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Tom Rickey, PNNL, (509) 375-3732 Process simplifies transformation of algae to oil, water and usable byproducts RICHLAND, Wash. – Engineers have created a continuous chemical process that produces useful crude oil minutes after they pour in harvested…
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Amazing! Musk rules.
Tesla Repays Department of Energy Loan Nine Years Early - The only American car company to have paid back government 
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Check us out. New content coming very soon.
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In case you haven't seen this yet, Tesla has announced a third model, a SUV, due out in 2014. The Model S is due to start production this year and the new Model X is slated for production in 2013.

These definitely fall into the "I want one of these" category.
Model X | Tesla Motors
Model X | Tesla Motors
teslamotors.com
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Nice.
Originally shared by ****
Rare 360-degree Panorama of the Southern Sky

The +Milky Way arches across this rare 360-degree panorama of the night sky above the Paranal platform, home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The image was made from 37 individual frames with a total exposure time of about 30 minutes, taken in the early morning hours. The +Moon is just rising and the zodiacal light shines above it, while the Milky Way stretches across the sky opposite the observatory.

The open telescope domes of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical observatory are all visible in the image: the four smaller 1.8-metre Auxiliary Telescopes that can be used together in the interferometric mode, and the four giant 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes. To the right in the image and below the arc of the Milky Way, two of our galactic neighbours, the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, can be seen.

Image Credit: ESO/H.H. Heyer
Explanation of the image from: http://www.eso.org/public/images/vlt-mw-potw/
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Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you had a great 2011 and have a wonderful 2012.
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Take a look at the web site to get caught up. I will be working on some new content soon. Seems that there is a LOT of effort to take the focus off of the real issues (energy) by talking about who's to blame for climate change, instead of how to move to more renewable energy sources (for a LOT of reasons).

You will see on the site a big focus on groups that are DOING something. Either by offering more efficient products, or changing manufacturing practices. There is some debunking data for AGW (Anthropomorphic (man-caused) Global Warming) and some other stuff about hype, versus action.

Stay tuned for more updates.
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