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Found 122 results

  1. Going green can seem a bit daunting, especially if you don’t know how to apply these principles at home. At first, it might seem like everything is trying to destroy the planet. However, these four tips will help you make the difference that you’re looking to make right from your own home. Grill One appliance that may use propane or other forms of energy is the grill, but that no longer has to be the case. It might be a good idea to consider a solar-powered grill that will not use up electricity or force you to purchase propane. These grills can fry, bake, boil, and grill by using the power of the sun. This is a tasty way to help the earth! Generator One way to power your small appliances is by using generators. Solar-powered generators will allow you to use your basic appliances without plugging them up to electricity. Generators do not last too long, but it should provide enough energy throughout the day. This is really what you want since most of the electricity produced by factories ends up releasing unnecessary carbon into the atmosphere. Hot Water Everyone knows that water heaters work with gas or electricity, but did you know that you can install a solar-powered hot water system? Yes, and it should work just as efficiently as any other hot water appliance would work. It is estimated that about 80 percent of the annual cost associated with hot water can be cut using a solar-powered hot water heater, like those you can get from Degree C Pty Ltd. This also means that electricity use will be down, reducing your carbon footprint. Solar Panels This is perhaps the most expensive option, but it is one worth mentioning. These panels are installed on the roof of your home by professionals and are meant to provide the house with a sufficient amount of energy. Think of it as installing a large-scale generator that will power up your entire house. The expense is one reason why some do not opt for this choice while others do not want to install these panels above their roof due to several reasons like aesthetics or the stability of the roof. Nevertheless, it is a good option for those who would not mind installing these panels. These are just four ways that you can go green by using solar-powered appliances or making additions to your home. There are more ways that you can harness the power of the sun. Do not be afraid to make the switch that will help you save some cash and help the planet
  2. Keep your office warm without seeing the bill skyrocket. It takes only a few, small changes to keep the heat in and keep the energy usage down. Here are several energy-efficient tips to preserve the warmth in your office. Lower Your Thermostat a Few Degrees You save energy with every one or two degrees you turn down. Make adjustments whenever you feel the weather change throughout the day. Maintain warm room temperatures within 60 to 70 degrees. At the end of the month, you will save at least a few dollars on your heating bill. Also, invest in a model that switches on and off automatically so that it does not run endlessly. Invest in Tote Heaters To store liquids and chemicals, use a tote heater that is known for its energy efficiency. Preserve the heat while keeping your liquids warm for hours. If the tote works right, you will not have to adjust the thermostat too high. The Powerblanket brand states that it is important to look for a safe and efficient heater. You cannot use your tote on a heater that overheats and smokes easily. Also, find a product that fits snugly around the heater and is made of a strong, long-lasting material. Check the Filter Replace the filter in your heater at least once a year. Dirt prevents the flow of air into the heater and decreases its efficiency. Also, maintain the furnace so that all of its parts work properly. Look for Leaks Keep the heat in the room by plugging up the leaks. Look for cracks and holes around the doors and windows. Consider sealing the leaks with caulk that is used in home construction. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances Replace your old appliances with new ones that have the Energy Star labels. Solar heaters are popular devices that keep the home powered all day at no cost. Once you start using your new machine, notice significant increases in your monthly savings. If the heating bill costs $1,000, you could cut it in half and save money for more important household needs. There are many ways to keep your energy usage down in your office. One option is to buy a brand-new appliance that is built for convenience and energy efficiency. Another option is to keep the temperature down on the thermostat. Make as many adjustments as you need to maintain optimal warmth and comfort while you work.
  3. In today’s world, keeping costs down is important and this is especially crucial for new homeowners. If the utility payments get out of hand, it is very easy to fall behind on all your bills. To alleviate some of the utility costs, consider what you can do and what tools can be used to make your home more energy efficient. Here are some tips for cutting back on energy use and how to make life at home a lot easier. Energy Audit Every homeowner who wants a more energy efficient home should consider a professional energy audit. While you can conduct one yourself, the professional may hit on areas you have overlooked. They start by checking your home for air leaks and making sure you have the proper insulation installed. While doing this, they will be certain that the home is ventilated properly to prevent harmful toxins from getting back into your home. Further study will be done on all systems in the home, including appliances, the heating and cooling system, and lighting. Energy Star Appliances Should you choose to not have an energy audit done, the first step in using less energy is to install Energy Star certified appliances in your home. This includes the refrigerator, freezer, washer, dryer, stove, and dishwasher. Many homeowners tend to forget about the hot water tank as they often do not think of it as an appliance. Appliances with the Energy Star certification will operate on the lowest energy possible. Appliances on receive this label if they pass the government standards for energy use. Heating and Cooling System Outdated systems or systems that are not properly maintained will use more energy. Anything over 15 years old, you may want to consider replacing. However, even a new system must be properly maintained in order to be at its most efficient. Filters should be cleaned or replaced regularly and ductwork cleaned prior to using at the beginning of a season. This can be done by scheduling an inspection of your system by a professional. The above steps are a great start in making sure your home is energy efficient. You may also wish to replace lightbulbs with Energy Star certified ones and after putting all the time and effort into making it efficient, protect your home and investment with an ADT security system. Your home should be considered like a business. Keeping the costs low will put more money in your pocket and allow you and your family to spend it on the things you enjoy. Make sure the investments you put into yours are worth it.
  4. It is impossible to live without heating and cooling your house throughout the year. However, energy costs are usually one of the biggest expenses in a home every year, but you can drastically reduce this expense by making your home more energy-efficient. If you take the time to make these four changes to your home, then you will have no problem cutting down on your energy bills in your newly efficient home. Install New Windows If you have not replaced the windows in your home recently, then there is a very good chance that they are not energy efficient. Old windows naturally start to get leaky cracks over time, which allows unwanted air to enter and leave the house. If you have old leaky windows, then you will have to spend more on energy costs to keep the house at your desired temperature. New energy efficient windows will ensure that this will never happen again. Replace Pilot Light On Your Propane Furnace A propane furnace is a great way to heat the house because it is much more energy efficient than an electric heater. While you are already saving money on your heating costs, there is a way to make your propane furnace even more energy efficient by replacing the pilot light on the furnace with an electric igniter. You will be required to ignite the electric igniter every time you want the furnace to run, but this will come with a lot of savings when compared to an always-on pilot light. You also can use products such as a Powerblanket to help keep your propane tanks energy efficient and even more effective. It is amazing how many tools are out there to help you with things like this. Add Insulation You can never have too much insulation in your home. The insulation traps the outside air and keeps it from entering the home to make sure your home remains a comfortable temperature throughout the year without spending a fortune on energy costs. Insulation is much more effective when added upstairs and in the attic. Seal Up The Ducts Air ducts carry the hot or cold air throughout the house to help maintain your desired temperature. Over time, these ducts will start to let more and more air escape through leaks and cracks. This air will never get to its intended destination in the house, so you will be forced to keep the heater or air conditioner running longer than necessary. Using duct sealant on your air ducts is the only way to ensure that all of the hot or cold air is being properly circulated throughout the house. There is no need to waste money on energy costs when it so easy to make your home more efficient. It may require a little extra work around the house, but you will be happy you followed these four tips after you see the results.
  5. Green and eco-friendly construction is the way of the future. Current homeowners are doing what they can to make their homes green through small (or large) remodeling projects. While some can get pricey, the long-term pay off for any green project is immeasurable. Technology is being developed every day to advance green building practices, maximize renewable resources, and reduce our carbon footprint. If you are looking to make your home more environmentally friendly, here are a few suggestions for your next remodel. Cool Roofs Cool roofs are quickly becoming the way of the future according to professionals at Roland’s Roofing. The special tiles and reflective paint reflect sunlight and heat, keeping the home cooler in the summer. This reduces the need to use an HVAC system, saving the owners money but also reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission. Reclaimed Floors Reclaimed wood is being used more and more for flooring projects in homes. Reclaimed wood is durable, renewable, and recycled, meaning no new trees have to be cut down. Backing without harmful VOCs is also becoming more popular to create a truly green floor. Although not reclaimed, bamboo flooring is also on the rise since it is inexpensive, durable, and the plant matures quickly. Solar Panels More home owners are opting to go solar. Solar panels are fairly quick and easy to install, increase home value, and pay themselves off in 5 to 10 years depending on your energy use. They also require little long-term maintenance. Direct Vent Fireplaces Homeowners who want a fireplace without the hassle of a fire place are turning to direct vent fireplaces. Wood-burning fireplaces may be charming and romantic, but they require a lot of upkeep and the pollutants they produce can irritate your lungs. Direct vent gas fireplaces use air for combustion and can be vented vertically or horizontally, meaning you don’t need a chimney either. Storm Water Management When remodeling, don’t forget the outside. Landscaping the outside of your home to better manage large volumes of water will come in handy after a big storm. Not only can this help prevent flooding, plants in your yard will be able to absorb the water and purify it as it soaks into the soil. This also helps curb erosion in more rural areas. Just because you are not in the market for a new home doesn’t mean you need to miss out on green home trends. Use the above ideas to improve your home as well as the environment around you.
  6. The winter season poses several problems for Colleyville residential and commercial property owners. Sudden temperature drops can freeze pipes and cause leaks, flooding and expensive remediation. It can also take longer than usual and cost more to get repairs during emergency calls this time of year. To make your plumbing system more efficient and less likely to break down this winter, do the following: Add More Insulation One of the best ways to prevent pipe freezing is by using insulation to maintain warmer temperatures in certain areas that are affected the most by outside temperatures, such as exterior walls, crawl spaces, attics and basements. Additionally, you should wrap cold and hot water pipes. Insulated hot water pipes are not only less likely to freeze. They are also less likely to lose heat, which means you can turn down your hot water heater and save on your electricity bill. Keep in mind that insulation is useless unless you also seal any gaps at windows, doors, vents or other areas along exterior walls with caulk and other sealants. Shut Down Outdoor Water Sources Since outdoor water sources can freeze much easier than indoor ones, it is important that you turn off water to outdoor faucets and attached water systems like garden and irrigation hoses. After the water is completely turned off, drain, remove and store the hoses and then wrap each faucet with an old heavy cotton t-shirt or towel, a heavy duty plastic freezer bag and duct or shipping tape. Keep Drain Pipes Clean Frozen pipes and related problems are not the only thing you need to worry about this winter. One of the biggest problems that plumbers hear about during the holidays is drain clogs. To prevent an emergency plumbing situation when you are trying to enjoy festivities with loved ones, install mesh debris catchers at the top of the drain pipes in each sink to collect hair, food and other debris. These traps are also a perfect year-round solution to prevent large debris clogs. The secret to preventing clogs from soap scum, grease and microorganisms is cleaning the pipes at least once a month with a simple homemade method: Pour one pot of boiling hot water down each drain followed by one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. Wait five minutes and then follow up with another pot of water. Invest in a Plumbing Inspection Things can go horribly wrong with your system for no other reason than a part breaking down because of age or defect. To help lower the chance of winter plumbing surprises, contact an experienced plumber like those at Piece of Mind Plumbing, a company that offers plumbing services in Colleyville. A plumbing specialist can determine if your system is at risk for leaks and other issues like water heating problems or if it needs a thorough professional cleaning. You rely on plumbing throughout the day for so many things, including hot showers, cold drinking water and waste disposal. These few steps can make certain that your plumbing performs optimally all winter long.
  7. Costa Rica has been getting all of its electricity from renewable energy sources since the beginning of the year. “The year 2015 has been one of electricity totally friendly to the environment for Costa Rica,” the state-owned power supplier Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) announced in a press release. The country hasn’t had to use any fossil fuels so far in 2015, much thanks to heavy rain that has kept the country’s hydroelectric power plants working at full capacity without any interruptions. This accomplishment is no random luck, it’s the result of hard work to reach the country’s goal to become carbon-neutral by 2021, as Costa Rico announced back in 2009. “We are declaring peace with nature,” Costa Rican ambassador Mario Fernández Silva said in 2010 when his country won the Future Policy award. “We feel a strong sense of responsibility about looking after our wealth of biodiversity. Our attitude is not progressive, it is conservative. Our view is that until we know what we have, it is our duty to protect it.” Costa Rica has also generated additional electricity from various other renewable energy sources – such as wind, biomass, geothermal and solar energy. Last year, hydropower accounted for 80 percent of the total electricity used while geothermal reached upwards of 10 percent. Approximately 94 percent of Costa Rica’s energy comes from renewable energy sources. But their energy system is sensitive to climate and weather disruptions due to their hydro power plants being based on so called run-of-the-river systems. They can therefore be hindered because of seasonal changes in water flow or drought – something which is becoming far too common due to climate change. CleanTechnica reports that Costa Rica are planning to build three new geothermal projects, capable of generating 50-55 MW each, to help diversify their energy portfolio. These new geothermal plants will help Costa Rica to continue to produce clean, renewable energy when the country’s hydropower plants are unable to produce electricity. It’s worth pointing out that Costa Rica is a small nation with a population of only around 4.8 million people. The country also does not have much heavy and energy-intensive industries, and mainly relies on tourism and agriculture. Despite this, Costa Rica’s accomplishment gives us hope and it should inspire other nations to increase their renewable energy efforts.
  8. After Shell proved, through blunders and its infamous reputation, that it is not fit to drill in the Arctic, Aug. 17 brought news that the Obama administration had granted them approval to do just that. The troubling development came just days after President Obama announced he would visit Alaska to discuss the impact of climate change on the region. Now, as the oil corporation further destroys the already-disrupted Arctic sea ice, the problem of global warming can only grow worse. The move is especially bewildering for many, as the president has declared Alaska to be "the frontlines of our fight against climate change." For a place of such importance, it hardly seems like an opportune time for the administration to greenlight a venture that will wreak environmental havoc, but that is what has come to pass. Even so, the approval has not gone unnoticed by activists. Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Marissa Knodel said, "When Obama visits the Arctic this month, he must face the communities he is sacrificing to Shell's profits." Greenpeace executive director Annie Leonard added, "The president cannot have it both ways. Announcing a tour of Alaska to highlight climate change days before giving Shell the final approval to drill is deeply hypocritical." In an official report, however, Greenpeace seemed to suggest that the brunt of the blame does not lie with Obama, but rather, with the greed-driven company that seeks to ravage the Arctic. They noted that the president "has used his executive power to show climate leadership before. Earlier this year, he vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline in response to a nationwide public outcry, demanding the U.S. no longer champion policies and projects that accelerate climate change. "The world is watching Shell right now. [They have] a history of ineffective equipment. In 2012, one of Shell's Arctic rigs ran aground and became stuck in Dutch Harbor. The technology does not exist to effectively clean up an oil spill in the icy and unpredictable waters. This is a disaster waiting to happen." The imbalanced and contradictory approach the Obama administration seems to be taking in regard to environmental matters is confusing. That has grown more so with today's news that the EPA, which was responsible for the recent mishap resulting in a large mine waste spill, has proposed new regulations aimed at cutting methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent (from 2012 levels) over the next ten years. The rules would apply to new or modified sources of oil and natural gas and require energy companies to find and fix leaks and take careful steps to limit emissions. And yet, experts seem to point out that this is not quite cause for celebration. Up in the Arctic, when Shell starts breaking up ice in its exploration for oil, more methane will be released into the atmosphere - enough, perhaps, to render the curbing of emissions from other manmade activities a moot point. Merritt Turetsky, a biology professor at the University of Guelph, Ontario, remarked, "Permafrost carbon feedback is one of the important and likely consequences of climate change, and it is certain to trigger additional warming. Even if we ceased all human emissions, ice would continue to thaw and release carbon into the atmosphere." Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said, "Granting Shell the permit to drill in the Arctic was the wrong decision, and the fight is far from over. The people will continue to call on President Obama to protect the Arctic and our environment." And the opposition to Shell's drilling is composed of more than just environmental activists. Hillary Clinton released a statement on the matter in the form of a tweet, saying, "The Arctic is a unique treasure. Given what we know, it's not worth the risk of drilling." Brune added, "She's exactly right. Everything we know about dangerous oil drilling in the Arctic indicates it imperils a national treasure and is guaranteed to make our climate crisis worse. Allowing Shell to use unproven technology in the Arctic is a recipe for disaster and toxic to any climate action legacy."
  9. As time rolls on, it is becoming increasingly apparent how much we impact the world around us. Be it the seemingly small choices we make--like what to watch on a Saturday night--or the bigger choices involving a person's livelihood, each decision has a grander importance that goes beyond ourselves; even if we don't realize it. Negative choices as well as positive ones have far reaching impacts that can last for years to come. That's why it is so crucial for households to do their part in reducing the negative impact they can have on our beautiful environment. Softening Water There are many homes that have already made the switch to softened water. An extremely large number of homes still rely on the water treatment implemented by their water company. This leaves people using hard water that is chalk full of minerals, chemicals, and possibly bacteria that can be harmful. Softened water is meant to lessen said harmful elements coming through people's pipes. However, numerous water softeners use salt. The use of salt can generate waste water filled with salt brine and destructive chemicals that are released into the environment. Using softener systems that are salt-free produces a positive reaction for the ecosystem as well as for a healthier home. Tankless Water Heaters Conserving energy is a popular topic nowadays and for good reason. According to plumbers in Spanish Fork, UT at Professional Plumbing Systems, traditional water heaters use a good amount of energy to keep the tank warm all day long. Tankless water heaters cut the cost of energy usage by only heating the water that's being used at a given moment. It's a simple, dollar friendly way to conserve precious energy. Less Electricity It turns out, kicking it old school is not such a bad thing. Using natural lighting instead of constantly relying on electrical luminescence is a better route when it comes to reducing negative environmental impacts. Instead of flipping a switch and staying super incognito inside four walls, open up those blinds. Let the glorious rays of the sun illuminate the rooms that have forgotten what a natural glow looks like. But, if natural sunlight just doesn't cut it, make sure to purchase or install products that are certified as eco-friendly, like Energy Star or Bosch appliances. Change Roofing This may seem like an expensive route to take, but the end result is a great pay off. Many people don't realize that even the material of a home's roof can impact the environment. Replacing standard asphalt shingles with green roofing materials can save energy throughout the seasons and long term financial resources. One of the most eco-friendly rooftops are those made out of recycled shingles. These shingles are constructed out of waste materials like rubber, wood fiber, and plastic. Since these roofs are long lasting, they lessen landfill waste, the need to consume more raw materials, energy costs, and pollution. These are just a handful of ways a home can lend a helpful hand in the fight to preserve our world's health. The choices are simple, and the outcome will far outweigh the cost of making a change. The impact of our actions are hefty. Neglecting the environment could lead to dire consequences for our families and the families we share this thriving planet with.
  10. Running a business means making a lot of important decisions on a daily basis. However, one thing many business owners tend to not think about is how they’re heating their office. One choice that has many benefits that you should certainly consider during the colder months of the year is heating your office with propane. It Helps the Environment When people think of eco-friendly fuel sources, propane does not usually come to mind. However, it is a green alternative fuel recognized by the government. One reason why is because it escapes as a gas and doesn’t leave any physical residue as pollution. Propane exhaust also creates 70 percent less smog and hydrocarbons than burning gasoline does. It is far less toxic than other carbon based fuels. It’s Economical Another great thing about using propane to heat your office is that it can help slash your overhead expenses. You should be aware that propane is far cheaper when used to heat a building than electricity is. In fact, the cost savings can be as much as 50 percent. Propane water heaters are a much better deal than electric. You can also insure that you save even more money by wrapping your propane water heater in a Powerblanket. This added insulation will prevent heat loss and increase the efficiency of your heating system. It’s Convenient One great thing about propane is that it does not require a lot of maintenance. One propane tank can last for as long as 40 years. It’s a long term solution, and the investment can begin to pay off quite decently versus other more expensive heating options. It’s Dependable Once you install your propane powered heating system into your office, it should provide consistent heat for decades. Other heating sources may not be as dependable. For example, if you depend on electricity to heat your office, you could be prone to losing heat during power outages. Power outages, of course, are common in the winter when harsh weather destroys power lines. With a propane tank, your office will still be heated even during an outage. It’s dependable and provides some safety for your employees if an outage were to occur. There are many benefits to using propane to heat your office during cold winter months. It’s cheap, environmentally friendly, convenient and dependable energy. If you are moving to a new office, consider installing a propane tank to provide the energy you need. Converting your current heating system to propane may be an excellent idea as well.
  11. You've probably noticed the growing popularity of solar panels, as they've become less expensive and more refined in the past few years. And although many of your neighbors may be sprucing up their roofs with solar panels, is it really worth the switch for your wallet and the environment? Here are some of the pros and cons of solar power systems to help you decide if making the switch is right for you. Pros No Greenhouse Gas Emissions The process of obtaining and using solar energy does not result in any chemical by-products. No gases, smokes, or any other potentially harmful substances are released, making solar energy a healthier option for your family and the environment. Tax Credits and Cash Rebates In a nutshell, there are a lot of people who want you to switch over to solar energy. The federal government, state governments, and several utility companies are willing to reward those who install solar power systems. The federal government will match dollar-for-dollar 30 percent of the cost of your system as a tax credit, and several state governments also offer tax credits to those who install solar energy systems. Not to mention the savings on your monthly power bill, and the possibility of selling your SREC (solar renewable energy certificates) to make an extra few hundred or thousand dollars each year. No Ongoing Energy Costs The great thing about solar energy is that it’s literally available to anyone, anywhere. So once you have a way to harness and use solar energy, you don’t have to keep paying for it. Other than the initial costs of installing a system, as well as some light maintenance, you won’t have to pay anything for the energy. Can Function off the Grid An especially appealing feature for those who live in rural areas is the possibility of using solar power to power buildings and structures that would otherwise require expensive power line installation, or that experience frequent power outages. Not Influenced by Politics Since no particular country or person can own the sun or its energy, you don’t have to worry about costs fluctuating because of politics or the conditions of international relations. Cons It Doesn't Work at Night Your house will still be connected to the main power grid when your solar energy system cannot generate enough electricity, like at night when the sun has gone down. Solar Panels are Large In order to make the switch to solar energy, you have to be willing to sacrifice the consistent look of your roof. Solar panels are just big and bulky. The more-efficient silicon crystalline wafer solar panels are particularly thick and large. New, thinner panels have been developed, but these are not as efficient as the larger crystalline wafer solar panels. It's not Very Efficient As mentioned above, solar energy is not consistent because the sun is not always available. Solar panels in general have about a 20 percent efficiency rate, which measures how much of the sun’s energy the panels are able to convert into usable electricity. Efficiency is improving, and considering the cost on the environment and other factors of using traditional fossil fuels for energy, many people dub even 20 percent a raging success. If you’re considering making the switch to solar energy, get a free quote and learn more about the process.
  12. Propane heating is a smart move for heating your office this fall/winter. It is innovative, and it has a variety of benefits. It is a more "green" choice, it saves money and it is a safe and reliable option compared to electricity. Detailed below are three reasons why you may want to convert to propane heating. Clean Energy Propane is on the approved clean fuel list according to the 1990 Clean Air Act. Propane is actually one of the cleanest fossil fuels to burn. Using propane to heat your office space conserves energy while being friendly to the environment. Efforts are continuing to use less gasoline, and propane is the top competitor that the world is turning to. It is readily available and 90% of the propane used in the U.S. is actually produced in the U.S. as well. Saving Money Everything in your office that currently runs on electricity can be powered by propane while also being cost effective. Because propane is more effective than electricity, it saves your business money. Heating your business with propane could also mean more affordable maintenance. A propane heater lasts longer and in most cases, is cheaper to repair than an electric furnace. Propane heaters are also very small and do not take up a large amount of space in your office. When using propane in the colder winter months, a Powerblanket can be a great resource to optimize the temperature of the tank to keep it running efficiently. Safe and Reliable Despite rumors, using propane to heat your office space, or any space, is very safe! In the event of a leak, propane vaporizes in the air rather than causing a potentially harmful and serious problem for your office space/employees. Using propane is also reliable. You are not at the mercy of the electrical companies. If there happened to be a power outage during the winter months, your office space and employees would continue to be comfortable and able to work, rather than waiting for the power to come back on. Propane is the smart choice that many businesses and homes are choosing as a heat and power source this winter. It is clean, cost effective and safe. It is readily available and propane heaters come in a variety of different sizes to accommodate very large or small office spaces. As winter approaches, be sure to look at the benefits that heating with propane could offer your business.
  13. Many business are going green to benefit the environment and their bottom line. Green building initiatives show corporate responsibility. By investing in these useful tools, you can go green efficiently and make investments that could ultimately save your business a significant amount of money. Solar Panels A building's roof has the potential to either absorb a great deal of the sun's energy or reflect it. One way to create a green roof is to install solar panels. Solar panel technology allows for the collection of energy on sunny days. A connected battery system allows this energy to be stored and used as needed. The electricity that is generated can be used to heat water or to power electrical items inside of the building. Excess amounts of electricity could even be sold back to the utility company. State and federal tax grants are available for companies that install certain types of solar panels. Green Roofs A green roof confers many advantages. It can help with storm water mitigation to eliminate runoff during heavy rains. A green roof absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen into the air. The green roofing materials add insulation and reduce heat absorption through the roof, which helps to reduce the amount of electricity that is required to keep a building cool during the summer. You can even add a patio or access area to a green roof and turn it into a leisure place where your employees come for relaxation on their break time. Delicate Building Materials When you have delicate building materials such as sprayed foam insulation, they need to be kept cool. In a hot environment, the sprayed foam may deteriorate. Some companies, like Powerblanket, know that regulating the temperature of sensitive materials helps keep them safe. Keeping delicate materials at their optimum temperature is important. Insulation Newer insulation products help to reduce unwanted air exchange with the outdoors. Sprayed foam insulation has high thermal resistance values and only needs to be installed once. Proper insulation helps to keep buildings consistently comfortable all year long. Going green in your business does not have to be complicated. You can make one upgrade at a time as your budget allows. By doing the research and making cost-effective changes such as electronic cooling blankets for your server room, you can save money and use the savings to make even more green updates.
  14. It may surprise many business owners that there are many simple tips they can use to get a company on a greener track. Usually, the impetus to consider going green occurs when there is proof that eco-friendly methods are also more economically advantageous. The first step to get your company looking a little greener is to start with a plan and to learn your most local resources for basic assistance and information to make your plan more efficient and cost-effective. Tips to a Greener Track You probably already think about how much waste comes out of your company. Disposing of waste may incur unnecessary costs and is a huge burden for some types of industries. It is important to begin your plan by studying where, when, and how waste occurs within your company. For example in small offices, paper waste is usually a major source of unnecessary costs. This can be avoided by redesigning the office system so that less paper is used. This will also provide the added benefit of less problems with paper dust and paper mites. Look at how much food waste comes out of company provided lunches and see if a potluck or different catering service might be a better option. Saving Energy With the numerous advancements in using more modern energy, all businesses need to rethink their energy use. In a business with minimal hours of operation, install a programmable thermostat to save on the cost of energy and by association, contribute to a greener environment. Spend time reviewing energy upgrades from your local energy company. This offers a greener solution and lowers your energy costs. Companies like Lumo Energy can help you compare different electricity and gas packages so you’ll know if you really are saving money. Simple Tips for a Greener Track In most cases, businesses can encourage their employees to choose the newest, greenest products for home and business use. Purchase recycled paper and paper products like recycled coffee filters for business coffee makers. Use recycled paper towels and toilet tissue in company bathrooms. Opt for liquid soap made from natural ingredients rather than synthetics. There are many other small tips you can use as well so research well to see what work for your business. Recycling Recycling is a major step forward to put your company on a greener track. Many items in companies today are recyclable. This includes plastics, glass, aluminum, and colored and printed materials. Create a regular schedule of recycling for your company by engaging the services of a local recycling facility. Most of these facilities offer pickup services. The fastest way to implement a recycling program in your company is to provide recycling receptacles that are readily accessible at various locations within the building. Employees quickly adapt to recycling programs in your company when they have quick access for disposal of the most frequently used items. Helping your company go green really doesn’t have to be a huge paradigm shift, or even very expensive. Simply use what you have and the local resources available to make better overall choices and make more energy saving possible.
  15. Environmentally friendly manufacturing methods are commonly referred to as green manufacturing. Developments in equipment and technology over the past several years have resulted in green manufacturing making sense financially in addition to showing respect for the environment. Respect for the environment can be shown in a number of ways including reduction of waste, prevention of pollution and energy savings. Energy Savings Saving energy shows respect for the environment because it means fewer natural resources are consumed. One way to save energy is to make sure the equipment is operating at peak performance levels. Engine dynamometers, while not traditionally thought of as an energy saving tool, can actually be beneficial in that realm. When used to help determine the motor size that is needed to drive a piece of equipment such as a pump, energy is not wasted because a motor that was larger than what was needed had been installed. A dynamometer could also help determine if the motor needs to be serviced. Professionals, like those at Power Test Inc., know that if the test results indicate the motor is not operating at peak performance, it is likely wasting energy. Not only does this mean it is costing more to operate, but it is adding more pollutants to the atmosphere. Waste Reduction The most effective way to reduce waste is to not generate it in the first place. Packaging material serves as a good example. With the use of returnable and reusable packaging, landfill waste is eliminated. Finding ways to reuse items that were formally discarded is also an effective tool used in green manufacturing. Things like specifying pallet sizes on which raw material is received in order to match the size pallets used internally or for shipping allows companies to reuse these pallets. It eliminates the need to throw these pallets away only to buy new ones for shipping. When the amount of material used cannot be reduced at the source or reused in the process, the next best thing is to recycle it. Again, packaging material provides a good example. Cardboard can be compacted and recycled. Things like stretch wrap and banding straps can easily be bailed. Some recycling companies will even install bailers and compactors on-site to aid in the process. Many of these items can actually bring in revenue when recycled. The bigger savings come, however, by not having to pay landfill charges for these items. While, with today's technology, green manufacturing makes for good business practices, it also helps a company's reputation in the community. This includes both the general public and the regulatory community.
  16. The desire to create a greener office space is driving business owners to re-think office organization and to institute protocols that make the most of materials and energy usage. A number of systems can be integrated into the average office to use less energy, lower the amount of emissions, improve work efficiency and provide a healthier environment for workers. Recycle Paper Even in the computer age, the amount of paper that is generated creates a problem for disposable and a waste of previous resources. Systems should be put in place to recycle paper products of all types. Paper and boxes can be re-used within the office system and ultimately placed in containers that can be picked up by local recycling companies. Go Energy-Efficient Take a close look at how the office uses energy throughout the day. Using energy efficient light bulbs can save hundreds of dollars. Make sure areas that are not used throughout the day, such as storage rooms, have motion-sensitive lighting that turns off automatically. Choose the Right Office Furniture Office furniture that utilizes materials responsibly and does not add to the accumulation of volatile organic compounds in interior spaces can be an important step in making your office space greener. Emissions coming from synthetically-produced parts should be minimized to prevent reactions to the chemicals and long-term health problems. Some companies, like Affordable Business Interiors, know that furniture should also be recyclable, that is, it should break down easily into component parts that can be re-used in other ways. In this way, your office can comply with the highest standards of creating a green interior environment. Turn Off Computers and Equipment Computers are often left on, even when people have left the office. This habit results in a waste of electricity that adds hundreds of bills to utility bills each year. Workers should be encouraged to use “sleep” settings on the computer for daytime use and shut them down completely during the night hours. Add Natural Plants Natural plants create a more natural atmosphere that improves working conditions. Not only are plants visually pleasing and remind workers of outdoor spaces and recreational activities, but they also add oxygen to the air, which increases healthy breathing and neutralizes some of the toxic gases that build up in offices from synthetic materials. Hardy plants only require a minimum of care, yet they provide many benefits for those who work in the areas where they are located. Going green is a growing trend in today’s offices that not only makes sense for the bottom line but can also improve work environments for employees to achieve greater productivity and worker satisfaction.
  17. For the very first time in Germany’s history, clean power is supplying nearly all of its power demand, making a milestone for the “Energiewende” policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel which aims to boost renewables and eliminate dependency on fossil fuel and nuclear energy. Just recently, the country’s renewables supplied 45.5 gigawatts of the 45.8 gigawatt demand, according to an energy consulting firm in Berlin, Agora Energiewende. Power prices dropped during periods of 15 minutes, going as low as -$57 (50 euros) per megawatt hour based on Epex Spot’s data. European countries are building more and more renewable capacity to lower carbon emissions and increase supply security. More and more energy consulting firms are being hired by companies who want to become energy efficient. In 2015, Denmark’s wind farms provided 140% of the demand. In the United Kingdom, no coal-fired power stations were used for roughly 4 hours on May 10th. Bloomberg’s analyst for New Energy Finance, Monne Depraetere, said that it is events such as these that show that at some point in the future we may begin limiting due to an oversupply. This may eventually provide a case to create technologies that will help manage such oversupply including energy storage and inter connectors. Germany’s shift to clean energy has gripped coal margins while increasing cost for consumers in the biggest power market in Europe. The increased clean energy flow have also put pressure on the grid and now Germany is considering excluding some regions from wind power auctions in the future if local grids are already having a difficult time keeping up with the high volume of renewable energy supplies. According to Depraetere, although Germany used 100% renewable energy for a day, it’s unlikely that the current generation will see a 100% supply of clean energy. Meanwhile, Europe’s clean technology industry overall has fallen into a fast decline and last year’s low carbon energy investments have plummeted to a record low. In 2010, Europe comprised 45% of the global clean energy investment but in 2011 after peaking $132billion, the EU investment dipped by around 50% with just $58billion invested in 2015. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)’s chairman of the board, Michael Liebreich, stated that the global financial crisis is partly to blame. However, he also pointed out that policymakers also made their share of mistakes and they collectively created a boom-bust cycle by first showing strong support for renewable energy and then rowing back due to their fear of the costs of subsidies. Manufacturers in EU have also suffered. They were once the world leader in solar panel manufacture and now they no longer have any companies that belong to the top 10 globally. Jobs have been lost and in Europe, employment in PVs have fallen to over a third. The future of clean energy technology is still uncertain in Europe and in most parts of the world however, awareness still continues to grow among the general population.
  18. Seems like everyone these days is trying to become a little greener. You probably already recycle and if you’re lucky, maybe have even upgraded to a hybrid car. But what can you do for your home? There is certainly an environmental benefit of conserving energy and resources and can help the earth stay clean, but in the end it also saves you money to improve your energy at home. There are small things you can start doing today and more long-term solutions that you can plan for in the near future to make your living space much greener and more wallet-friendly. Close Doors Any rooms or spaces in your home that you use on a minimal basis do not need to be consistently heated or cooled. Any spare rooms or even closets that you can close off means less space that you are using energy to heat or cool. Just by simply closing a door or two, you can cut down on heating or cooling costs depending on the season. Use Curtains In the wintertime as soon as the sun is up, open your curtains. Free heat! It will come in through your windows and warm your space so your heater is not working as hard. Likewise, in the hotter months, draw the shades during the warmer hours of the day so you keep the sun out and cool air in. This will decrease the use of central air and any air conditioning units that have a built in thermostat. Insulate It's pretty simple to do at least temporary insulation around your home. Quick weather stripping around doors and plastic covering over unused windows are quick and easy insulating jobs that take minimal time and money. Less obvious insulating options are things like using a propane tank Powerblanket and insulating any indoor duct systems. Lighten Up If you are building a house, or planning to replace your existing roof, choose a lighter color shingle for your roof. It's one of the things that many people don't think of, but darker colors attract sunlight which in turn attract heat which makes for a much more difficult time cooling your home in the hotter seasons. This is a more long-term solution, but can really make a difference in how much energy you spend. Tree Time Obviously, planting a tree at all is a long-term commitment and although you can get fairly mature trees, it takes time for most to reach the point of maturity to offer shade. But it's one of the greenest ways to add shade to your home in a natural and beautiful way. Try deciduous trees for great results, and see if you can add bushes for added shade as well. Install Smart Systems Many new homes come equipped with smart systems for everything, but you can start installing these same systems in your home especially for energy purposes. The easiest solution is a thermostat you can control from your smart phone to regulate temperature and energy use of your heating or cooling system even when you're not home. There are countless small and innovative ways to maximize your energy resourcefulness in your home. Some you can easily start today, and many you can start planning today. Either way, make a plan to have a greener dream home.
  19. Most manufacturers understandably focus on essential business systems like Kanban, Six Sigma and lean manufacturing. However, green manufacturing processes will also lower costs and increase revenues. Here are three major benefits of implementing green manufacturing into your business. Reduce Energy Costs Energy and water bills are very high for most manufacturing companies. A large portion of these expenses are actually caused by long periods of equipment standby and downtime. Strategic production planning and tighter schedules will reduce waste. Regular equipment inspections help through identifying problems, such as air compressor leaks. Changing product processing and packing can also save time and costs. Consider switching to energy-efficient lights and upgrading equipment to energy-saving models. There are many government reimbursements available for companies that buy efficient machinery and install solar or wind energy equipment. Manufacturers must also research how to sell production waste. For example, lumber manufacturing facilities often sell bark and sawdust. Sustainable Maintenance A green maintenance approach proactively evaluates the impact of machine failures on both employee performance and environmental conditions. The goal is to monitor equipment functioning and implement preventive maintenance actions. For example, dynamometers are used to monitor heavy equipment testing systems. Some companies, like Power Test Inc., have dynamometers that test electric engines. Performing such tests makes production easier to manage. Sustainable maintenance will accurately predict when energy consumption levels peak and when material degradation threatens the environment. As a result, maintenance managers can effectively mitigating risks and avoid operational repair costs. One of the best ways to implement an eco-friendly preventative maintenance program is through regular equipment maintenance check sheets that are performed by operators and turned into maintenance. Designing for Sustainability When new manufacturing systems are proposed, life cycle cost analyses should be performed during the conceptual design stage to evaluate the best engineering solutions that offer the highest levels of reliability and maintainability. This will help key decision makers identify potential financial gains or losses from poor operational and maintenance practices. During the planning stage, management can evaluate and compare the maintenance needs and energy consumption levels of proposed equipment. Management can thus select higher efficiency motors, alternative fuels or more eco-friendly energy sources. An additional benefit of sustainability planning during the life cycle cost analysis is that it will be easier to smaller, energy-efficient alternatives and avoid oversized equipment. Complex production systems will most likely require an outside consultant to perform an environmental impact and risk analysis. Sustainable businesses practices will control costs and curb environmental impacts through efficient asset and maintenance management. Keep in mind that these benefits and improvements are often realized as annual savings instead of quick, short-term savings.
  20. If you're in need of a new water heater for your residence, you may want to consider taking the tankless path. Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more common in homes these days due to their numerous energy-efficient advantages. These types of water heaters can be terrific for households that are serious about using less money. Tankless Water Heaters Last Long Tankless water heaters generally have longer lives than their standard water heater counterparts. They also don't cost anywhere near as much money to run. The majority of tankless water heaters out there can stay in good condition for more than two decades. If you want to enjoy reduced energy and running costs for 20 plus years, a tankless water heater in your home can indeed be a wise and energy-efficient option to consider. If you want to get a tankless water heater, a company like Knights Plumbing & Drain can help you with the installation process. The Frustration of Standby Heat Loss Storage water heaters are often linked to drops in standby heat. The H20 in storage water heaters is being heated nonstop. That can lead to wastes of energy at all times, which is referred to as standby heat loss. If you want to avoid the stress of wastes of energy, getting a tankless water heater can be highly beneficial for you. Tankless water heaters are the sole water heaters that don't trigger standby water losses. If you want reduced monthly utility bills and a mind that's totally free of worries about standby water losses, then a tankless water heater can indeed be a good thing for your property. Power Needs Tankless water heaters are convenient because they solely require sufficient power to heat the exact amount of H20 you need for the specified time. If you don't like the idea of being wasteful and heating water that you simply don't need for the time-being, a tankless water heater can be a source of immense peace of mind for you. These kinds of water heaters, simply put, only heat what they immediately need. There's no simpler way to put it. There are truly many exciting energy-efficient perks that are part of owning a tankless water heater. There are also, however, a number of advantages that don't involve energy efficiency. These go beyond money savings, too. Tankless water heaters can be great for compact residences such as apartments. They don't require anywhere near as much space as other types of water heaters. They also are great because they can always provide you with nice hot water, no matter what.
  21. Efficient energy is something that the world desperately needs now. Growing populations in many areas of the world have stretched the needs of energy suppliers who often need to struggle to keep up with the demand. For many populations in need, the existing infrastructure cannot keep up with the demands. In other cases, the supply of energy is too expensive for the community. 1. Much of the World Lives Without Electricity Many find it hard to believe, but experts estimate that, by 2035, there will still be one or two billion people living without access to power. Most of these people live in developing countries where economic resources to get electricity are rare. Some of the solutions that people in this situation require use a lot of power making efficiency more important. Professionals need to find a careful balance between meeting demand while keeping the energy sources efficient. 2. Some Places Require Greatly Increased Capacity Although power plants will expand by a relatively small margin, some areas will require a large installed capacity rate. For example, if Sub-Saharan Africa were to increase their capacity to match that of South Africa's, the increase would need to be by 33 percent. Many companies, such as Opportune, work to explore economic solutions where places in need of more power can meet their demands. 3. Greater Efficiency Saves Money Efficient energy has fewer costs for both suppliers and customers, which is a winning situation all around. It is easier to expand energy resources in growing areas when residents have economic choices. In areas where people are receiving electricity for the first time, economical options make the delivery easier. As these communities save money, they will have more to reinvest when they must upgrade their infrastructure. 4. Efficient Options Help the Economy There are many ways in which efficient energy helps boost the economy. People who don't need to spend as much on energy costs can spend more in their local economy. Another advantage of efficient energy is the fact that it encourages further innovations and also encourages job growth to help deliver more energy. This combination is one that has the greatest overall benefit. As the world's population grows, efficient sources will become more necessary. However, there are many power-related resources available to help make energy more efficient as the demand grows. Professionals in the industry are dedicated to working hard to ensure that the growth and efficiency can keep up with the demand.
  22. At the end of 2013, the wind farms installed in more than 85 countries had a combined generating capacity of 318,000 megawatts, which would be enough to meet the residential electricity needs of the European Union’s 506 million people. New data from the Global Wind Energy Council show that wind developers built 35,000 megawatts of new generating capacity worldwide in 2013. This was down from 45,000 megawatts installed in 2012—marking only the second time in 25 years that installed capacity increased by less than it did the year before. The principal reason for the decline in new capacity was a more than 90 percent drop in U.S. wind farm installations from a record 13,000 megawatts in 2012. Although the United States has the second-highest wind power capacity in the world—some 61,000 megawatts—a lack of long-term policy planning has led to several such boom-and-bust cycles. Despite the dearth of new capacity, there were many bright spots for U.S. wind power in 2013. Wind accounted for at least 12 percent of the electricity generated in nine states, including Iowa (27 percent) and South Dakota (26 percent). Iowa will get another boost from a $1.9 billion deal announced in December 2013: Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Company purchased Siemens turbines totaling more than 1,000 megawatts, all destined for Iowa wind projects. When complete in 2015, these wind farms will likely bring the wind share of electricity in Iowa to at least 33 percent. Wind’s contribution to the grid is also growing in Texas, the U.S. wind capacity leader with 12,400 megawatts. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas reports that wind farms produced nearly 10 percent of the electricity delivered to its 24 million customers in 2013. And with the early-2014 completion of state-funded transmission projects linking windy West Texas and the Panhandle to population centers to the east, Texas can accommodate even more clean electricity on the grid. The state has 7,000 megawatts of new wind power capacity under construction, more than half of the 12,000 megawatts currently being built nationwide. China has led the world in installed capacity since surpassing the United States in 2010. In contrast to the drop in U.S. installations in 2013, China’s wind construction accelerated—adding 16,000 megawatts to reach a total 91,000 megawatts. Wind further solidified its role as the number three electricity source in China (behind coal and hydropower), out-generating nuclear power by an impressive 22 percent. The National Energy Administration aims to make wind-generated electricity cost-competitive with coal by 2020. (See data.) As in Texas and many other places around the world, some of China’s best wind resources are found far from major cities where electricity demand is high. High-voltage transmission lines now under construction will connect wind-rich provinces in the north and west with more populous ones in the central and eastern provinces. For example, one project linking remote Xinjiang province to the 4 million people in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, was completed in early 2014. Infrastructure projects such as this one will be critical in reaching the official Chinese goal of 200,000 megawatts of grid-connected wind capacity by 2020. India, the country with the fifth-highest amount of installed capacity, added 1,700 megawatts in 2013 to cross the 20,000 megawatt threshold. Although this was 25 percent less new capacity than in 2012, India is poised to grow its wind power base dramatically in the coming years. In January 2014, the government announced a National Wind Energy Mission—in the spirit of the country’s National Solar Mission—to be launched mid-year. By beefing up the grid and using incentives to attract investment to wind hotspots, the program aims to hit 100,000 megawatts of wind within eight years. Development is picking up elsewhere in Asia as well. In Pakistan, wind power capacity doubled to 100 megawatts in 2013 and will double again when two 50-megawatt projects go online in 2014. Thailand also doubled its wind capacity in 2013, reaching 220 megawatts. And the Philippines has seven projects due for completion in 2014 that will expand wind capacity there 13-fold to 450 megawatts. Before China’s recent surge, Europe was the leading wind power region. Germany, which added 3,200 megawatts in 2013, ranks third worldwide in total capacity, with 34,000 megawatts. Four of its northern states regularly get half or more of their electricity from wind farms. When it comes to wind’s contribution to national electricity needs, European countries top the leaderboard. Denmark gets one third of its electricity from wind, well on its way to a target of 50 percent by 2020. Portugal, Lithuania, Spain, and Ireland come in at around 20 percent each. In fact, wind came within a percentage point of beating nuclear power for the title of Spain’s number one electricity source in 2013. And Germany, Europe’s largest economy, obtained 8 percent of its electricity from wind farms. While some of the larger European wind power markets, including Spain, Italy, and France, have slowed down, smaller players are speeding up. Poland and Romania each expanded their wind power capacity by 36 percent in 2013, to 3,400 and 2,600 megawatts, respectively. And in Turkey, even though the approval process for projects is slow, wind capacity grew by 28 percent to nearly 3,000 megawatts. One region with enormous wind potential but little development so far is Latin America. Brazil, best known for getting 80 percent of its electricity from large hydropower, hosts the most wind power capacity in the region—now close to 3,500 megawatts after a 950-megawatt addition in 2013. At government auctions, wind companies have won more than half of all contracts to sell electricity since 2011, according to Bloomberg data. Some 10,000 megawatts of wind may be installed in Brazil between 2014 and 2019. Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay also added wind power in 2013. In all of Africa, just one project added capacity in 2013. The final 90 megawatts of Ethiopia’s 120-megawatt Ashegoda Wind Farm went into operation, more than doubling the country’s wind capacity to 170 megawatts. South Africa has 2,100 megawatts of wind power in the pipeline, including 750 megawatts to be added in 2014 alone. Offshore projects account for just over 2 percent of the wind capacity installed worldwide. Having hit a seventh straight annual installation record in 2013, however, offshore wind is growing fast. More than half of the 7,100 megawatts of offshore capacity belongs to the United Kingdom, which installed 730 megawatts in its waters in 2013. Denmark, Germany, and Belgium each added at least 190 megawatts to their totals, while China added 39 megawatts. Both Vietnam and Spain added offshore wind capacity for the first time, as did the United States, although the U.S. project was one very small demonstration turbine off the coast of Maine. Offshore wind is still one of the more expensive electricity generating technologies, but onshore wind is often highly competitive with coal, natural gas, and nuclear power in areas with strong wind resources. And costs continue to fall as wind manufacturers steadily improve turbine efficiency, harnessing more wind per machine. In the United States, the average price of wind-generated electricity has dropped 40 percent since 2009. After a slower year in 2013, world wind installations will bounce back in 2014, perhaps to a new record—the Global Wind Energy Council sees the potential for 47,000 megawatts. Roughly half of the total will be built in China and the United States (around three times more in the former than in the latter). This is good news for the wind business, for electricity consumers, and for people who value cleaner air and water. But increasingly dire scientific warnings about the consequences of climate change mean that the world will need to accelerate the shift to carbon-free, renewable sources of energy even more so in the years to come. By J. Matthew Roney.
  23. There are about 15 million cars on the roads of Australia and half a million motorcycles, compared to the 255 million cars in the U.S., account for 40% of their fuel consumption. Interestingly enough, only 16% of the consumed fuel is used for driving, the rest is for heating and supporting other systems in the vehicle. A professor from Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, named Lei Zuo has the solution. He developed a way to harvest energy from the car’s suspension. There are three ways to generate energy while driving, he said. First one is through the heat released by the working engine, second one consists in recovering kinetic energy captivated during braking, and the last one is via vibrational energy given off by the car’s shock absorbers. Zuo’s innovational shock absorbers translate the vertical vibrations into circular motion, which rotates a generator. The electricity, produced in it, is delivered directly to the car’s electrical devices or battery. What was challenging until now, is the conversion of bidirectional motion into a unidirectional one, necessary to drive a generator. Zuo invented a brilliant combination of gears which allows the two-way motion to convert into electricity. Virginia’s professor calculations suggest that among 100 and 400 watts of energy can be provided by the vibrations of car’s shock absorbers. And this is only if you are driving on a normal road. Rougher tracks would generate even more energy. It will increase the fuel efficiency up to 5%, which will save up to $19 billion spent on fuel per year. Zuo says that his innovation helps the generator to work at a constant speed, which decreases the load on the gear teeth and makes the whole system more stable and efficient. Additionally, the generator keeps spinning even after the shock absorber have stopped vibrating, which increases the volume of harvested energy. His students have built the exemplary model with off-the-rack components and have tested it on the campus roads. Their model has managed to harvest 60% of the available energy, which is an essential progress in comparison to other designs. Besides, Zuo is certain that with quality components and precise manufacturing the efficiency could come up to 85%. Furthermore, Zuo explains that his invention can be modified entirely in terms of function and space, and can be joined in every vehicle without changing anything on it. Resources: mechanism.com Geelong house cleaners phys.org
  24. The demand for energy grows as the population of our planet increases. By conserving, recycling, repurposing, and creating new sources of energy, we can get the same job done without depleting our natural resources and adding to pollution. Here are four modern problems surrounding energy issues and how they can be solved. Sustainable Communities People living in highly populated urban areas need energy resources in large amounts, creating high demand and large impacts on the environment. Developing energy solutions used in highly populated areas have a major impact. For example, making it easier for people to ride public transit, cycle, or walk for everyday trips conserves energy and reduces the use of fossil fuels. Developing green buildings, which emit less pollution, results in cleaner air and water as well. Biosolids The sewage generated from large populated areas was traditionally pumped into the waterways causing pollution. As sewage management progressed, the solids filtered from sewage were transported to landfills or incinerated. None of these methods are earth-friendly. The advent of biosolids, which turns sewage into agricultural materials by using industrial dryers, greatly reduces fuel consumption. Companies like Uzelac Industries use this self-sufficient system to recycle biosolids into useful agricultural materials. Recycling Food Waste Today, high volumes of food waste in the beef and poultry industry, as well as many other types of commercial food waste from manufacturing, is a concern for many environmentalists. As organic removal and recycling services grow, they help many food manufacturers reach recycling goals and reduce waste output. The waste collected is recycled into high-energy animal feed ingredients which reduces the amount of waste put into landfills, provides animal feed, and saves energy that would be used to transport and process the waste. Recycling makes a useful product out of material that would otherwise be an adverse issue. Substitutes for Fossil Fuels Finding alternatives in place of costly fossil fuels is a need in many industries. Many different types are still being experimented with and studied, like ethanol, biofuels, and hydrogen fuels. Urban waste water can be used as an inexpensive, carbon-neutral substitute for fossil fuels. Using drying systems, large metro areas take the huge levels of sludge a large population generates, and reduces the liquid. Then, this dried sludge can be used to produce energy that's sustainable, easily available and cheaper than fossil fuels. The levels of energy needed to sustain the population grow each day. Solutions that preserve the environment and conserve energy are important to the health of the planet. To meet that demand, it's important to look to adopting earth-friendly solutions that recycle and conserve energy while creating renewable sources.
  25. All families should be interested in saving on their energy costs, but it can be difficult for some to achieve these savings during the winter. Energy costs are going to naturally go up as the temperatures cool down, but there are still several ways you can save some money. If you follow these four tips, then you should be able to live comfortably in your home, while still saving a few dollars each month this winter. Lower Water Heater Temperature Most people have their water heater temperature set higher than they actually need. Setting your water heater around 120 degrees Fahrenheit has the potential to save you a lot this winter. It may take slightly longer to get hotter water in the sink and shower, but the savings makes the wait well worth it. Open Curtains during the Day The sun may not come out every day during the winter months, so you need to take advantage of it when it does appear. Opening the curtains to let the sun in is a great way to naturally heat your home without have to spend any money. Make sure to close the curtains and blinds when the sun goes down so you keep all of this extra heat in your home. Turn down Thermostat The cold weather outside may compel you to turn up your thermostat a few degrees, but you need to resist this urge if you want to save money. Keeping your home a few degrees cooler than normal has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars during the winter season. You should have no problem staying comfortably warm in your home if you wear a sweater or bundle up with an extra blanket. Properly Insulate Your energy costs are going to be high enough this winter, so don’t add to your own costs with poor insulation. If you do not have the proper insulation, then the warm air from the furnace will escape your home at a faster rate. This requires your furnace to run longer than it should to make up for the escaping warm air. A local heating company like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. should be able to direct you to problem areas you might have, and keep your heat pumps running smoothly. There is no reason to be intimidated by the potentially high energy costs this winter. When you implement these four changes into your normal routine it will help your house run a little less energy, and keep you toasty and warm.