“Thermal Outerwear” — The Discovery Files

The sun bathes the planet in energy free of charge, yet few systems can take advantage of that source for both heating and cooling. But engineers at Rensselaer Polytech are developing a green, thin film technology that adheres both solar cells and heat pumps onto surfaces, ultimately turning walls, windows–and maybe even soda bottles into climate control systems. Don’t drink soda? Then, how about a mug that keeps tea or coffee hot?