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Hrmbee OP t1_j730v4s wrote

For those interested in the original paper, it's available here:

Multilayered optofluidics for sustainable buildings


>Buildings consume 32.4 PWh (32%) of our global energy supply, a footprint that is expected to double by mid-century. Designing facades like the skins of biological organisms, with dynamic multilayered optical reconfigurability, would enable homeostasis-like environmental responsiveness and significantly improved energy efficiency. Here, we develop an adaptive building interface, leveraging confined multilayered fluids to achieve a versatile library of shading, scattering, and selectively absorbing solar responses. Configurable optimization of this “building-scale microfluidic” platform can reduce energy consumption in our models by 43%, representing a design paradigm toward net-zero buildings.
>Indoor climate control is among the most energy-intensive activities conducted by humans. A building facade that can achieve versatile climate control directly, through independent and multifunctional optical reconfigurations, could significantly reduce this energy footprint, and its development represents a pertinent unmet challenge toward global sustainability. Drawing from optically adaptive multilayer skins within biological organisms, we report a multilayered millifluidic interface for achieving a comprehensive suite of independent optical responses in buildings. We digitally control the flow of aqueous solutions within confined milliscale channels, demonstrating independent command over total transmitted light intensity (95% modulation between 250 and 2,500 nm), near-infrared-selective absorption (70% modulation between 740 and 2,500 nm), and dispersion (scattering). This combinatorial optical tunability enables configurable optimization of the amount, wavelength, and position of transmitted solar radiation within buildings over time, resulting in annual modeled energy reductions of more than 43% over existing technologies. Our scalable “optofluidic” platform, leveraging a versatile range of aqueous chemistries, may represent a general solution for the climate control of buildings.


Hrmbee OP t1_j730akc wrote

>Squid and several other cephalopods can rapidly shift the colors in their skin, thanks to that skin's unique structure. Engineers at the University of Toronto have drawn inspiration from the squid to create a prototype for "liquid windows" that can shift the wavelength, intensity, and distribution of light transmitted through those windows, thereby saving substantially on energy costs. They described their work in a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. > >“Buildings use a ton of energy to heat, cool, and illuminate the spaces inside them,” said co-author Raphael Kay. “If we can strategically control the amount, type, and direction of solar energy that enters our buildings, we can massively reduce the amount of work that we ask heaters, coolers, and lights to do.” Kay likes to think of buildings as living organisms that also have "skin," i.e., an outer layer of exterior facades and windows. But these features are largely static, limiting how much the building "system" can be optimized in changing ambient conditions. > >... > >Kay and his colleagues thought the structure of squid skin might hold the key to creating dynamic, tunable building facades. “Sunlight contains visible light, which impacts the illumination in the building, but it also contains other invisible wavelengths, such as infrared light, which we can think of essentially as heat,” said Kay. “In the middle of the day in winter, you’d probably want to let in both, but in the middle of the day in summer, you’d want to let in just the visible light and not the heat. Current systems typically can’t do this: they either block both or neither. They also have no ability to direct or scatter the light in beneficial ways.” > >So Kay et al. constructed a prototype microfluidics system featuring flat sheets of plastic containing an array of thin channels for pumping fluids. Adding customized pigments or particles to the fluid changes what wavelength of light gets through, as well as the direction in which that light is distributed. Those sheets can be combined into layered stacks, with each stack performing a different kind of optical function, such as filtering the wavelength, tuning how the transmitted light scatters indoors, and controlling the intensity—all managed with small digitally controlled pumps. > >According to Kay, this simple and low-cost approach could enable the design of "liquid-state, dynamic building facades" with tunable optical properties to save energy on heating, cooling, and lighting. While their prototype is a proof of concept, the team ran computer simulations of the system's likely performance as a dynamic building facade, responding to changing ambient conditions. Their models showed a single layer controlling the transmission of near-infrared light would result in a 25 percent savings. Adding a second layer controlling the transmission of visible light could achieve closer to 50 percent in energy cost savings.

This looks to be some interesting research with particular applications to building science and energy performance of buildings. Hopefully further testing and development can provide us with usable systems to help architects and engineers design and build more energy efficient and comfortable buildings in the near future.


sailingtroy t1_j73kut1 wrote

Stuff like this is why it makes me so sad when I think about all the species we are losing right now. They hold the keys to so many technologies if we would just stop destroying and study them instead.


Fuck_You_Alls t1_j73u90c wrote

We just need dna samples and we can make more in the future. There already doing this with the mammoths and using elephant dna to fill in blanks. It would be even better to get the dna before they go extinct.

The mammoth thing is interesting because the theory is that by reintroducing mammoths to the permafrost areas will help keep the carbon in the ground. According to what I read by the mammoths eating vegetation will help the ground stay cooler some how.

I think if they where to bring back a extinct species and it resulted in new medicine or tech people would be much more concerned about extinct species. Im not super concerned about animals going extinct. I feel it creates opportunity's for new species to emerge and become dominant.


sailingtroy t1_j73w9lj wrote

The hubris of man knows no bounds.


Fuck_You_Alls t1_j73wfl7 wrote

Things live and then they die and replaced by more things.


sailingtroy t1_j73xhxn wrote

You're correct on the scale of millions of years, but when it comes to technologies that we can actually access within any kind of human horizon you are so, so, so wrong. We can turn our happy little spaceship into a sad, pathetic dust ball where almost every living creature is a sad, dirty human. Not because humans are intrinsically sad and dirty, but because without the other species the earth will be an extremely unpleasant place to live. But yeah, I understand that's too painful for you to think about, so go on and keep deluding yourself.


JohnsonBot5000 t1_j75p0zv wrote

Species go extinct because the habitat is no longer suitable, even if you bring them back, if their habitat isn’t the same, they will simply die again


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winston_C t1_j8p0rvf wrote

thanks for posting! this is my paper actually :)