No Tech Reader #35

Fully Enclosed Showers

bad_showerenergy saving shower

“The design features of a conventional shower minimize thermal comfort, maximize energy use and water consumption while exacerbating moisture problems. Most of these negative effects are caused by evaporation. There is a simple solution to this; preventing airflow to and from the showing area is the key, in other words sealing the shower stall. Additional benefits can be obtained by the incorporation of insulated low thermal mass walls that heat up rapidly.”

“The result is a shower stall where air currents are minimized, humidity is increased and the air is warmer. All these effects will increase thermal comfort and reduce energy and water consumption. Another benefit is that with the air in the shower warmed, the water vapor present will not be condensing in the air, eliminating steamy conditions.”

“This energy efficient shower combines effectively with solar heating, since it allows for a fairly comfortable shower when water temperatures dip to 90ºF (Typical water temperature for a shower is 105ºF).”

Read more. Via Ask the Renewable Engineer. See also: The Shower Dome (and the DIY-version).

Digital Billboards

“The growing number of digital billboards on U.S. roads and highways consume large amounts of energy and are creating a wide variety of electronic waste, according to a new report (pdf). The new study says the typical digital billboard consumes about 30 times as much energy as the average American household.”

Energy use led billboards“The digital billboards use more efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting than traditional signs, but deploy so many of the LED bulbs on each billboard that energy use is high; traditional billboards use just one or two large bulbs to illuminate signs. In addition, digital billboards are illuminated day and night, and require cooling systems that use more energy.”

Source: Yale Environment 360.

Previously: Viva Las Vegas – LEDs and the energy efficiency paradox.