A team of scientists from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Florida has developed a novel method that could yield lower-cost, higher-efficiency systems for water heating in residential buildings.
The theory behind the newly termed “semi-open” natural gas-fired design, explained in an ORNL-led paper published in Renewable Energy: An International Journal, reduces the cost and complexity of traditional closed gas-fired systems by streamlining, and even eliminating, certain components.
“When applied, the new concept could result in better than 100 percent energy efficiency, because the system draws energy from the surrounding air as well as from the natural gas,” said ORNL’s Kyle Gluesenkamp, lead author of “Efficiency analysis of semi-open sorption heat pump systems.”
The versatile design combines water heating and dehumidification functions, which are typically found in separate architectures. In the semi-open scenario, the novel absorber device acts in place of the traditional evaporator component, pulling water vapor directly from the air through a membrane into a liquid solution. As the vapor is absorbed, much of the heat is transferred to domestic hot water.
The simpler semi-open system would operate at the surrounding atmospheric pressure, using an inexpensive, non-sealed solution pump. This approach eliminates the need for vacuum pumps found in closed systems that purge gas build up. It also allows manufacturers to consider lower-cost, lightweight polymers instead of costly, bulkier metals to build equipment, making it less susceptible to corrosion.
“The semi-open architecture introduces a new class of ultra-efficient heat pump water heaters that could become commercially available in a few years to homeowners seeking to replace their existing gas water heater,” Gluesenkamp said.
UF researchers are leading the development of a semi-open gas-fired heat pump prototype and are using both ORNL’s Building Technologies Research and Integration Center, a DOE user facility, and UF facilities to evaluate the potential of commercial applications.
Researchers develop a way to stop ransomware
Ransomware – what hackers use to encrypt your computer files and demand money in exchange for freeing those contents – is an exploding global problem with few solutions, but a team of University of Florida researchers says it has developed a way to stop it dead in its tracks.
The answer, they say, lies not in keeping it out of a computer but rather in confronting it once it’s there and, counterintuitively, actually letting it lock up a few files before clamping down on it.
“Our system is more of an early-warning system. It doesn’t prevent the ransomware from starting … it prevents the ransomware from completing its task … so you lose only a couple of pictures or a couple of documents rather than everything that’s on your hard drive, and it relieves you of the burden of having to pay the ransom,” said Nolen Scaife, a UF doctoral student and founding member of UF’s Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research.
Scaife is part of the team that has come up with the ransomware solution, which it calls CryptoDrop.
The University of Florida (commonly referred to as Florida or UF) is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) campus in Gainesville, Florida.
It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida and traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906. The University of Florida is ranked 14th overall among all public national universities in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings, and has ranked within the top 100 universities worldwide. The University of Florida was also described as a “Public Ivy” in the book The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities.
The University of Florida is an elected member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization composed of sixty-one top American and Canadian research universities. The University is classified as a Research University with Very High Research by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
The Latest Updated Research News:
University of Florida research articles from Innovation Toronto
- Ransomware will be going extinct shortly thanks to CryptoDrop – July 8, 2016
- Purple limes and blood oranges with anthocyaninscould be next for Florida citrus – January 11, 2016
- Quick clean-up: New process turns decades into hours for mining-water purification – December 11, 2015
- Microscopic molecules can fight citrus greening bug with less insecticides – September 19, 2015
- New app puts the world’s biodiversity in the palm of your hand – May 13, 2015
- Fisherfolk, communities need more than healthy fish stocks – May 7, 2015
- Two most destructive termite species forming superswarms in South Florida, UF/IFAS study finds – March 29, 2015
- UF/IFAS researchers find chemicals that treat citrus greening in the lab – June 7, 2014
- Web tool successfully measures farms’ water footprint
- Hearing loss prevention drugs closer to reality thanks to new testing method from the University of Florida
- Panama disease spreads among bananas again
- Wrangling Flow to Quiet Cars and Aircraft
- VIDEO: UF researchers find that ‘peanut butter’ test can help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease
- UF scientists encounter holes in tree of life, push for better data storage
- Tiny airplanes and subs could be next hurricane hunters
- NASA announces new CubeSat space mission candidates
- Johns Hopkins Surgeons Implant Brain “Pacemaker” for Alzheimer’s Disease in United States as Part of a Clinical Trial Designed to Slow Memory Loss
- UF researchers develop “nanorobot” that can be programmed to target different diseases
- Geographic Analysis Offers New Insight Into Coral Disease Spread
- LANDMARK PATENTS ISSUED FOR VIEWRAY TECHNOLOGY
- Cell Phones Could Double as Night Vision Devices
- New Contact Lenses Pack Vitamin E, Could Replace Eye Drops
- USF research may lead to PTSD treatment
- Large study shows pollution impact on coral reefs – and offers solution
- New 5D Method to Understand Big Data
- New study offers hope for halting incurable citrus disease
- Spider Silk Coated With Carbon Nanotubes Has Amazing Properties
- Caribbean’s native predators unable to stop aggressive lionfish population growth
- Farming Carbon: Study Reveals Potent Carbon-Storage Potential of Human-Made Wetlands
- Engineers Develop Skills for Future Flight Systems at ‘Rocket U’
- Expert: Transgenics could head off ‘the end of orange juice’
- Breakthrough in developing new tools for cleaner air and energy production
- Scientists Detail Severe Future Impacts of Climate Change
- A new supercapacitor technology destined to play a major role in the world’s future energy usage and storage needs
- Emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology
- VIDEO: Shape Shifting Invention
- New Energy Technologies Promise Brighter Future
- Robocop with a Difference
- Aerospace Engineer’s Supersonic, Futuristic Flying Wing Design Wins Prestigious NASA Grant
- STUDY FINDS A NEW PATHWAY FOR INVASIVE SPECIES – SCIENCE TEACHERS
- New nanoparticle discovery opens door for pharmaceuticals
- Accelerated Resolution Therapy shows dramatic reductions in PTSD symptoms
- New Anti-Cancer Vaccine Developed and Tested
- More Than 150,000 Methane Seeps Appear as Arctic Ice Retreats
- Deep Thought Is Dead, Long Live Deep Thought
- Coral Transplants Offer Hope to Threatened Reefs
- Ancient Civilizations Reveal Ways to Manage Fisheries for Sustainability
- Scientists Produce Eye Structures from Human Blood-Derived Stem Cells
- Enter the Dragon: Here Comes China’s Creative Class
- Collision in the Making Between Self-Driving Cars and How the World Works
- An eBay for science
- Eating Dried Plums Helps Prevent Fractures and Osteoporosis
- New ‘Frozen Smoke’ May Improve Robotic Surgery, Energy Storage
- Growth-Factor-Containing Nanoparticles Accelerate Healing of Chronic Wounds
- Researchers Helping Electric-Wheelchair Users Move More Easily
- No Elder Left Behind: Researchers Say Designers Can Help Close Tech Gap
- Computer Scientists Take Over Electronic Voting Machine With New Programming Technique
- How Can Humanity Avoid or Reverse the Dangers Posed by a Warming Climate?
- An effective, environmentally-friendly way to break down old tires
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- String of offshore turbines along East Coast could provide steady supply of wind power
- Has the human gekko’s time finally come?
- Hybrid System Of Human-Machine Interaction Created
People can check out local wildlife wherever they are in the world with a new app that says what species of animals and plants might be nearby.
The free Map of Life app dispenses with bulky field guides by allowing users to access a vast global database of species and their ranges, based on their location.
Building on the Map of Life website, which provides a database of everything from bumblebees to trees, the app tells users in an instant which sets of species are likely to be found in their vicinity. Photos and text help users identify and learn more about what they see. The app also helps users create personal lists of observations and contribute those observations to scientific research and conservation efforts.
“The app puts a significant proportion of our global knowledge about biodiversity in the palm of your hand, and allows you to discover and connect with biodiversity in a place, wherever you are,” said guiding force behind the Map of Life Professor Walter Jetz, a Senior Scientist in the Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and Environment group at Imperial College London and an associate professor at Yale University.
“This vast information, personalized for where we are, can change the way we identify and learn about the things we see when traveling, hiking in the woods, or stepping in our own back yard.”
Instead of sifting through hundreds of pages in a printed field guide, naturalists get a digital guide that is already tailored to their location. With a novel modelling and mapping platform covering tens of thousands of species — everything from mammals and birds to plants, amphibians, reptiles, arthropod groups, and fish — Map of Life presents localised species information via maps, photographs, and detailed information.
Thanks to a recording feature, citizen scientists everywhere can log their bird encounters and dragonfly sightings directly into the app and add to the biodiversity data available to scientists around the world.
“Think of a field guide that continues to improve the more we all use it and add to it. That is the beauty of this mobile application, and its great strength,” said Rob Guralnick, associate curator at the University of Florida and the project’s co-leader. “Built from 100 years of knowledge about where species are found, we hope to accelerate our ability to completely close the many gaps in our biodiversity knowledge.”
Indeed, making it easier and more globally streamlined for citizen scientists to contribute information is one of the key motivations behind creating the app. “The world is changing rapidly and species continue to disappear before we even knew where they occurred, what role they had, and how we could conserve them,” said Professor Jetz, who is involved in several global science initiatives for advancing biodiversity monitoring.
“Too much of our knowledge is limited to too few places and species,” said Professor Jetz. “Helping people everywhere to identify and then record biodiversity carries the potential to hugely extend the geographic and taxonomic reach of measuring the pulse of life.”