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RachelleW posted a blog entry in Shades of an Apple Green HomeGoing green isn’t just a trend. It is a strategy for moving towards more sustainable ways of living that could help preserve the earth for future generations. To combat things like climate change and deforestation, cleaner and more efficient power sources must be relied on. Below are some clean power sources worth utilizing. Solar The greatest power source in the galaxy is one that often goes under-utilized on Earth. That of course refers to the rays of the sun. Thankfully, installing solar panels on a building is easier and more cost effective than ever. Doing so will lead to significant long term savings. Taking into account the initial investment, a residential solar panel system should save a homeowner $50 a month on utilities. Hydropower Hydropower concerns the use of running water as a fuel source. As you probably know, hydropower harnessed by dams is used to power large swaths of the country. Hydropower technology is also evolving. Hydroelectric power systems that can be used to supplement other power sources in a home are now commercially available. Industrial Electrician Services If you wish to implement a solar power system, hydroelectric system, or some other form of clean alternative energy into your factory or other industrial facility, you should contact an industrial electrician service to help complete the job. Switching to green fuel may have many benefits, but it’s certainly not something a novice should attempt on their own. Wind Wind is another clean power source that once went under-utilized. However, that is beginning to change thanks to large wind turbines sprouting up across America’s heartland. Wind farms made up of these huge turbines can produce enough electricity to power entire communities. They can also do so without adding any pollution to the earth’s atmosphere. Biofuel One of the challenges facing conservationists is the fact that human beings produce so much waste and garbage. However, what if a good portion of that waste could be transformed into a clean fuel source? That is the possibility presented by the advent of biofuel. Creating biofuel involves the transformation of biomass, things that were recently living, into a sustainable fuel source. Today, biofuel technology mostly involves plant waste, but it could someday soon encompass almost all food waste produced by humans. Going green should be a long term goal for all of society. Curbing pollution and stopping climate change will help to ensure that the environment can be enjoyed by future generations. Clean alternative fuel sources can help make a greener future a reality.
The desire for better fuel economy is not a new trend. For decades, automotive manufacturers and designers have been coming up with ways to help the consumer in getting more miles out of their gas tanks. The latest technologies in the fuel economy arena show a lot of promise in taking fuel economy to a new level. Let’s take a look as some of the most interesting advancements to keep your eyes on. Advanced Cylinder Deactivation While cylinder deactivation was originally introduced in the early 80’s with Cadillac's V864 engine, it only became commonplace a few years ago with improved electronics and a better fuel system then Cadillac’s pioneering model. One fuel saving technology to keep an eye out for will be advancements to this technology. Look for cylinder deactivation engines that run longer on fewer cylinders, thanks to added sensors and a more sophisticated control algorithm that could potentially reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent. Fuel-Cell Plug-In Hybrids The hydrogen fuel-cell may finally make its debut. As of now, the fuel cell is going to be expensive and the infrastructure for refueling is still foggy. One solution to these problems was actually shown by Ford almost 10 years ago when they displayed their Airstream concept. The Airstream used a plug-in-hybrid layout that created better usability and a better cost balance. The fuel cell would act as a range extender while a capacitor or battery handled fluctuating power demands that are prevalent in everyday driving. Engines with No Camshaft Yep, you read that correctly. Even though designers and engineers have gotten very close to optimal valve lift, timing, and cam phasing, there is little more they can achieve with the traditional camshaft. Unlike the loud, energy-draining hydraulic and electromechanical solenoids like those used in a lab test for cam profiles, the introduction of a 48-volt electrical system, see below, and smaller engines make the idea of having camless engines a very real possibility in the not-too-distant future. Instead of a rotating camshaft, each cylinder would have a dedicated actuator that would be precisely timed for the needed power demand. This design would allow for optimal timing across all cylinders and would result in superb fuel efficiency. 48-Volt Electrical System Let’s face it, the internal-combustion engine has dominated the automotive industry pretty much ever since there was an automotive industry. Even though there is a huge push for total electric vehicles, the lack of a refueling infrastructure and global manufacturing realities, the internal-combustion engine will probably remain the dominant power plant for quite some time. One way engineers are working to make these engines more efficient is by using a 48-volt electrical system to replace the current 12-volt system. Since there are so many components on the modern automobile that drain power and energy from them, a 48-volt system opens the possibility of advancements such as camless engines, replacing mechanical accessories like air conditioning and power steering pumps with electric alternatives, and have plenty of power left over for other features. This reduction in loads on the engine can increase fuel efficiency by 10 percent. Electric Superchargers Another advancement that would be made possible with a 48-volt electrical system is the electric supercharger. Audi is already using this technology on their SQ7 TDI and it is rational to think there will be plenty more to follow. Such an advancement means that cars equipped with cylinder deactivation can run longer on fewer cylinders. If additional power is needed, the supercharger will kick in and when the car travels downhill, the airflow will drive the electric motor in the supercharger, sending power back to the battery. Visit a supply shop like Arnold Motor Supply if you have questions. While there are plenty of other technologies on the horizon designed to improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles, we selected these five for their plausibility and the amount of an impact they would, will, or do have in the modern vehicle. You might consider contacting an auto shop if you have questions about how your specific vehicle can have better fuel efficiency.
HannahWhittenly posted a blog entry in HannahWhittenly's BlogIt's almost impossible to avoid being confronted with waste. Wherever we look, people and industries produce mass amounts of it, littering our environment and spreading toxic chemicals. This alarming trend can however be reversed by using green technologies, like the following. Vertical Farming In vertical farming, plants are grown indoors hydroponically on stacked shelves under artificial light. The crops grow far more quickly than with traditional soil farming methods, plus the land use area is drastically reduced. This can make vertical farms up to 100 times more productive than outdoor fields. LED Lighting LED lights reduce the waste of electricity since they use much less power than regular incandescent bulbs. However, an even more exciting fact might be that using LED lights can help reduce the impact of diseases like malaria, a deadly plight, in places like Africa. LED lights have helped the development of vertical farming there, which takes place indoors, without mosquitoes around. Fuel Cells A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water. Both the fuel and the by-products are clean, making the device waste-free. Most fuel cells run silently, and are commonly used in buildings, but, so far, there are only a few car models running on fuel cells. Think about the huge improvement of our environment, especially in big cities, if cars were quiet and emission-free. Free Fuel for Your Car How would you like to run your car on free fuel? Any diesel vehicle can be readily converted to run on waste vegetable oil instead of toxic diesel. This bio-degradable fuel can be picked up for free from restaurants, who throw it away anyway. The methods of recycling this type of waste have improved with cities like San Francisco even picking up collected food waste. Wave Energy Numerous studies have found that wave power could contribute massive amounts to the energy production worldwide. However, many obstacles have prevented the development of larger wave power plants. Cost, design issues, the hostile environment of saltwater and the ocean, have been reasons why wave energy hasn't been developed yet on a larger scale. Water Treatment We all need fresh, clean water to survive, but getting it can be a challenge. Lead plumbing in older buildings can pose a risk to people, and water waste contaminated with everything from medications and plant waste has been known to harm animals when simply dumped. Luckily companies like Seidler Chemical are making changes by supplying the right kinds of water treatment chlorinators. You can see common ways chemicals are used in this process here. Green Burial Finally, if you care about your environmental dead or alive, you may consider a green burial when that time comes. You can choose to be buried in everything from a biodegradable casket to a mushroom death suit. Another approach could be to have your ashes converted into reef balls for restoration of coral ecosystems. Would you like to reduce the waste in the world by using these green technologies? If so, which do you find most interesting?