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EPFL creates a solar cooker with solid potential in Switzerland

— EPFL scientists have developed a glass-paneled solar cooker that delivers exceptional performance. Their patented design can operate an average of 155 days a year in Switzerland’s cloudiest regions and up to 240 days in its sunniest. 

EPFL-developed geothermal panels reach international finals

— EPFL researchers have developed a geothermal system for recovering the heat captured in basements, subway tunnels and underground parking garages. Their technology will compete today in the finals of ClimateLaunchPad – the world’s largest competition for green business ideas.

An intelligent network for better water management

— EPFL-based startup Droople has developed a smart flow meter that can measure buildings’ water consumption and identify potential savings in energy. The Montreux Jazz Café at EPFL has already tested the device and found a way to cut its energy bill.

EPFL champions energy geostructures

— Energy geostructures provide a constant source of renewable heating and cooling in buildings and infrastructures and perform very well. Professor Lyesse Laloui, the director of EPFL’s Laboratory of Soil Mechanics (LMS), has co-authored a new book that takes stock of the latest developments in a field where Lausanne leads the way globally.

Claudia R. Binder appointed dean of ENAC

— Professor Claudia R. Binder will take over as the new dean of ENAC on 1 January 2020. We spoke with her about her plans to make the school a center of excellence in advancing the sustainability of our natural and built environment.

The right carbon tax to reduce the impact of transport in Switzerland

— Using macroeconomic modeling, EPFL researchers have identified the most effective carbon tax for Switzerland to meet the Paris Agreement targets: a uniform levy on gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil, rising steadily to 1.70 francs per liter by 2050. 

Student fieldwork targets thawing permafrost and an abandoned gulag

— For the first time this summer, EPFL students travelled to the Yamal Peninsula of northwest Siberia for field research. A Stalin-era gulag and railway against the backdrop of the delicate Arctic ecosystem offered unique opportunities for interdisciplinary research in climate change, civil engineering, and history.

A chip to measure vacuums

— Vacuums are a vital part of the processes – such as freeze-drying – used to make and preserve countless everyday items and must be measured with precision. An EPFL spin-off, Hexisense, is bringing to market a gallium nitride-based chip that can measure the quantity of certain gas molecules cheaply and with unrivalled precision.

EPFL spin-off Kandou Bus brings in 56 million dollars

— In its latest funding round, Kandou Bus has raised 56 million dollars – mainly from Swiss investors. The proceeds will allow the specialist in high-speed, low-power connectivity to market a new component needed for the development of USB-C plugs that are compatible with the recently approved USB4 specification.

Daylight levels affect our thermal perception

— A pioneering study carried out at EPFL shows that the amount of daylight in a room can influence our thermal comfort and how well we tolerate heat or cold. The findings could be used to improve existing building standards and decrease energy consumption. 

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