When the manager of a lower Manhattan office building opened his electric bill recently, he saw a change for the better. The 11th floor, occupied by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), used 64% less electricity for lighting, resulting in a savings of more than $10,000 per year. Making the Con Edison bill savings possible: installation of an energy-efficient lighting system, and the useof new energy-saving personal computers in the 1901-vintage building. The lighting system for the 23,000-sq-ft space consists of energy-efficient electronic ballasts and fluorescent lamps mounted in highly reflective deep-ceiling fixtures. The lights produce less glare on computer screens. Occupancy sensors turn them off when employees leave a work area for more than 10 minutes. In addition, window ceiling monitors sense changes in natural daylight and adjust lights to save energy on sunny days. In addition, use of EPA "Energy Star"-certified computers reduces energy use 23% over standard computers. FAX Jackie Turner at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) at (650) 855-2900.
The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
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