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Press Release 06-104

Self-Cooling Soda Bottles?

Researchers work to shrink technology that harnesses sun's energy to both heat and cool

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A schematic representation of the miniaturization of the active building envelope (ABE) system.

A schematic representation of the active building envelope (ABE) system highlights the change from the full-size prototype to the smaller, next-generation system.

Credit: RPI, Steven Van Dessel


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A working prototype of the original ABE system is located on the roof of RPI's Student Union.

A working prototype of the original active building envelope (ABE) system is located on the roof of Rensselaer's Student Union building.

Credit: RPI, Steven Van Dessel


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 Active Building Envelope system

The Active Building Envelope system takes incoming solar radiation and converts the solar energy into electricity to power solid-state, thermoelectric heat pumps. The thin-film technology, still in developmental stages, can both heat and cool an enclosure.

Credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute