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By Brian Robinson

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Green tech: NASA brings space tech down to earth

NASA is getting into the green tech business, it seems, by using software designed for such things as the International Space Station and Mars Rover missions to control indoor energy systems.

Discover.com asked Steve Zornetzer, associate center director at NASA Ames, what was going on, and he explained how the stuff used to optimize outer space environments can just as well be used to track more mundane earth-bound energy sinks such as temperature, electricity, water and lights.

It can be used to reduce the energy demands on solar panels when the sun don’t shine so much, for example, or to calculate what the air conditioning demands of a room might be at any given time of the day and control the temperature accordingly.

A building that NASA is calling Sustainability Base (of course) will be the test site for all of this. Zornetzer expects it to be “the greenest, if not among the greenest, government buildings.”

Given that all of government is under orders to cut back on energy use, them’s fighting words. I doubt that the Defense or Energy departments, to name just a few, will stand idly by and let that boast stand!

Posted by Brian Robinson on Jan 20, 2010 at 12:19 PM


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