A New Super-Thin Coating Could Cool Buildings Without AC

When it's hot out, buildings have a hard time staying cool: bombarded with ambient heat and generating yet more inside, their air conditioning systems have to work hard to keep temperatures down. Now, a new super-thin coating developed at Stanford could be applied to buildings to help them cool themselves more… » 11/28/14 7:00am Yesterday 7:00am

The World's First Solar Road Is a Bike Path in the Netherlands

There are only so many roofs in the world, so the Dutch are getting creative about where to put their solar panels. SolaRoad is exactly what it sounds like—solar panels that pull double duty as road surface and electricity generator. And this being the Netherlands, they of course made a solar road for bikes. » 11/05/14 1:54pm 11/05/14 1:54pm

Nest Just Made Your Thermostat Smarter With a New Algorithm

It's been a while since we heard anything new about Nest's flagship product, the quiet elder brother to the attention-hogging Protect. But today the company is pushing a new software update to all existing devices this week, and it's using a clever new bit of software to make them far more efficient. » 11/04/14 3:01am 11/04/14 3:01am

Explore the Deck of the Largest Floating Object Ever Created

No one knows quite what to call the Prelude, the floating behemoth that Shell engineered to extract natural gas from below the ocean floor and liquify it for use. It's hard to describe Prelude because it's so much bigger than any other floating structure humans have ever built—which is also what makes it difficult to… » 11/01/14 6:09pm 11/01/14 6:09pm

This Algae Farm Eats Pollution From the Highway Below It

A highway overpass is the last place most of us would think to install a farm. But algae, that wonderful little ecological miracle, is different. Since it consumes sunlight and CO2 and spits out oxygen, places with high emissions are actually the perfect growing area. Which is why this overpass in Switzerland has its… » 10/31/14 10:51am 10/31/14 10:51am

This Handsome Brick Facade Is Insulation That Snaps on Like Lego

We all like the idea of saving energy, but actually retrofitting an old house is a loud, messy, and expensive headache. So the Dutch company Energiesprond has come up with a way to make houses carbon neutral with easy, snap-on insulation and solar panels. It doesn't hurt that houses come out looking quite handsome,… » 10/30/14 2:51pm 10/30/14 2:51pm

Satellite Dishes Can Turn Toxic Waste From Fracking Into Clean Water

In the past few years, earthquakes in Oklahoma have been on the mysterious rise—the state has had more earthquakes than even California. Why? One big fat finger has been pointed at fracking, in which toxic wastewater is injected into wells that can leak and lubricate faults. We clearly need a better solution for this… » 10/27/14 3:45pm 10/27/14 3:45pm

The US Doesn't Have Enough Railroads to Keep Up With the Oil Boom

Passenger rail has never been known for punctuality (at least in this century), but over the past year, Amtrak's long distance passenger trains have reportedly gone from being late 35 percent of the time to being late 60 percent of the time. But don't blame Amtrak—it's being forced to make way for the thousands of… » 10/09/14 3:18pm 10/09/14 3:18pm

Your City's Next Power Plant Could Be an Incredible Art Installation

As anyone who's ever driven by farm of wind turbines or a glittering solar plant knows, the infrastructure that powers our lives actually tends to be pretty stunning. But for a variety of reasons, it also tends to be pretty remote. If clean energy plants doubled as great public art, would be care about them more? » 10/06/14 9:20am 10/06/14 9:20am

The World's Biggest and Best Gas Turbine Can Power 400,000 Homes

If you thought the GE90 aircraft engine was a masterpiece of modern engineering, just get a load of this beauty. General Electric's 9HA is the most advanced and efficient gas turbine available today and though it may not be able to lift a 787 off the ground, this potent electricity producer can easily power a mid-size… » 10/03/14 11:40am 10/03/14 11:40am