This is from TED: Ideas worth sharing
This is from TED: Ideas worth sharing
Do It Yourself Solar Panels have become quite popular, especially if you or someone you know is handy. You can build them easily with a little patience and time. The savings is substantial, and from what I can tell the quality is as good as many prefabricated panels- if you’re using quality parts.
I’ve run across many DIY sites for solar panels, and I’m opting not to put in links- but rather have you do a search for ‘diy solar panels’ and see what looks good to you. You always want to do the research on any given company, or before buying a manual that promises to give you all the answers. There are so many options that you will be surprised.
You also want to do the research for your geographical area to determine how well solar panels will work for you.
I was reading http://www.treehugger.com/ (a ‘green’ blog) today and there is a posting that is very interesting relating to the state of the nuclear plant in conjunction with the recent earthquake.
The writer states that he is not an expert on this subject, yet he poses some very interesting questions, and answers some of these questions to the best of his ability/ resources.
It may be awhile before we find out more accurate information about this tragedy!
I know that this is a totally lame posting, but in an effort to push something out in a very busy week, I’m posting a YouTube video about Geothermal Heat Pumps.
I will post more on this subject after I’ve had a chance to research this more.
It looks awesome, and I have heard of this in the past. It looks like it could be rather costly, but may have come down in price over the years and there may be tax incentives available!
Fuel cells are starting to pop up all over California. A wide variety of businesses such as breweries, food processing, waste water treatment plants, grocery stores, hotels, a casino and even a jail.
Each unit can be the size of a large SUV, saving large amounts of money and reducing the carbon footprint.
These units take oxygen from the air and combine it with fuel such as natural gas in an electrochemical process that produces electricity without using combustion.
They are expensive, but their costs can be recouped in roughly 10 years, and are much more environmentally friendly than anything we are currently using. Buyers are eligible for tens of thousands of dollars in government rebates and available tax incentives.
There are more than 40 cities in California that are producing about 35 megawatts of power. That’s enough electricity to light up about 35,000 average homes.
Some of the high profile installations include Google Inc. in the Bay area and eBay Inc. in San Jose.
The phase out of the inefficient incandescent light bulbs is expected to be starting in 2012. The bulbs most relevant to consumers are the 40w, 60w, 75w and 100w standard incandescent light bulbs.
The EISA (Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007) is providing a three year phase out that will start with the inefficient 100w bulbs the first year (2012). The second year will be the 75w bulbs and the third year the 60w and 40w bulbs will become unavailable.
Currently there are three options for replacing the incandescent light bulbs: Halogen, Compact Fluorescents (CFL’s) and solid state (LED). The Halogen lights will look the most like the incandescents. CFL’s and LED use a lot less energy. They both have drawbacks of their own. CFL’s have a small amount of mercury and need to be disposed of or recycled appropriately. LED’s have no mercury, but are currently considered considerably more expensive limiting their use to commercial and business applications for now.
I was recently reading ‘This Old House’ for their usual helpful winter heat saving tips when I discovered something I’ve never heard of before.
Many of us know how much heat we lose up the chimney, even if you have dampers and glass doors. I have glass doors, but I do not have a damper- it probably came out when someone put in an insert many years ago. Dampers can also become warped with age and heat, and not create a decent draft block.
I noticed an item called a Chimney Balloon™ and they come in many sizes to fit the myriad of chimney openings. They are made of PVC and are inflatable making them easy to install and remove when you want to have a nice fire.
I read somewhere that you can order one from Ace Hardware and avoid paying the shipping costs. You need to do a little research about how to best measure the opening. There may be some applications where they may not work- chimneys and dampers vary tremendously. You can do a Google search for Chimney Balloons™ and you will find there are different manufacturers that make these.
According to the Department of Energy, a lit fireplace sucks about 24,000 cubic feet of furnace-heated air up your chimney each hour.
‘Battic Door’ also makes many devices to help save energy in the home.
Fastmac.com has come up with a great idea! They’ve combined a standard 110V three prong dual wall socket with 2 USB ports for charging gadgets without an adaptor. It’s called the U-socket.
They are supposed to begin shipping in October ’10. They’re waiting on final safety approval.
These are available for pre order for only $19.95, and can be installed on any existing wall outlet.
The USB ports only draw power when something is physically connected to the port, so that no vampire draining occurs.
Park Gate is quite an architectural masterpiece. It has 6 curving towers covered with canopies of solar panels to keep the heat out, let in light and cool the building. It takes advantage of the cool breezes from the ocean. It has hanging gardens that have drought tolerant plants (watered with a gray water mist system); as well as plants that are salt water tolerant. The gardens are in abundance. There are thermal salt water reflecting pools that act as a heat sink during the day, and release the heat at night. All of these measures are thought to reduce temperatures by 10-15 degrees.