A lack of rigorous design methods and comprehensive performance data has slowed U.S. acceptance of natural ventilation technology, which proponents argue can increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings as well as improve indoor environmental conditions. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) new LoopDA 1.0 software program (for Loop Design and Analysis) helps fill this critical information gap.
The LoopDA simulation tool enables building designers and engineers to determine the size of natural ventilation openings needed to provide desired airflow rates. Previously, building designers have had to make decisions using trial and error or based on past experiences. Although LoopDA 1.0 provides “first-cut” estimates rather than final results, it is a great improvement over the former “more art than science” approach, according to NIST developer Stuart Dols.
As described at a recent technical conference in the Netherlands* LoopDA allows users of the computer program to sketch rooms and vertical sections of a building, the location of natural ventilation openings (e.g., windows, doors and ducts) and the paths the air should take through the building (i.e., pressure loops). The program then enables designers to determine the size of the natural ventilation openings needed to control indoor air quality and thermal comfort using an engineering-based design process.
John Blair | NIST
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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