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MAR 16

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An "Unprinter" to Clean Laser Printed Paper
Written by Philip Proefrock on 16/03/12   

Scientists at the University of Cambridge (England) have developed a method using lasers to remove the toner from a laser printed page, which would allow the how to get viagra canada paper to be reused. With the "unprinter," a green laser is flashed at the page. This does not harm the paper, but the light is absorbed by the toner, causing it to detach from the paper.

Because of the difference in technology between laser printing, where the cialis at real low prices toner sits on top of the paper and is fused to it by heat, and inkjet printing, where some of the dye is absorbed by the paper, it probably would not work (or would work less well) with inkjet printing.

As noted on Slashdot, "Recycling paper is a good step in the right direction, but it still pales in comparison to generic levitra mexico unprinting. In a worst-case scenario, The University of Cambridge unprinting method has half the carbon emissions of canadian pharmacy discount code viagra recycling; best-case, unprinting is almost 20 times as efficient."

image: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

via: BoingBoing


MAR 08

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Solar Storms Could Disrupt Power Grid
Written by Philip Proefrock on 08/03/12   

A recent article from Smart Energy Portal turns out to be extremely timely as a major solar storm is headed towards Earth.

Geomagnetic storms are triggered by the solar wind of charged particles from a solar eruption which create fields that interfere with the Earth's own magnetic fields. In turn, this can induce low frequency currents in the power grid network, and these currents have the potential to damage the high voltage transformers that are central to power transmission over the grid.

While this storm doesn't appear to have the strength to damage power distribution, the sun certainly has the pharmacy viagra potential for stronger outbursts, and there have been grid failures due to solar activity in the past.

image: NASA



MAR 07

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Largest Geothermal Project in US
Written by Philip Proefrock on 07/03/12   

Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana is in the process of installing the largest ground-source heat pump system in the country. It is not supplying just a single building, however. Rather, this is a campus-wide system that will provide heating and cooling for the only here levitra canada prescription entire University campus.

The system uses 3,600 vertical bores located in several fileds throughout the campus with more than 1,000 miles of piping for the heat transfer. The first phase of this project is nearing completion, with the system now providing heating and cooling to levitra in canada nearly half the campus.

The University expects to realize $2 million in annual energy costs through the use of the campus-wide geothermal system. Additionally, by removing its old boilers, the University says it will also reduce about 85,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. Total cost for the project is around $70 million.


MAR 06

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Automakers Offering Bi-Fuel Pickups
Written by Philip Proefrock on 06/03/12   

Natural gas is going to be a fuel option available for some Chevrolet and GMC pickups beginning late this year. These will be bi-fuel vehicles, like the present flex-fuel vehicles (that can run on either gasoline or ethanol) but in this case, the fuel choices are gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG). Chrysler has also announced similar plans for its Ram pickup.

There are many utilities and service companies that have pilot fleets of need viagra CNG vehicles, and the Honda Civic Natural Gas was this named this past year's Green Car of the Year. But these are all dedicated CNG vehicles. The newly announced pickups will be able to run on either gasoline or CNG.

Economics is certainly a factor in this. The cost of CNG fuel is about one third less than an equivalent amount of gasoline. But the bi-fuel option is several thousand dollars of additional cost over the base vehicle. The numbers for these vehicles are rather meager, with GM planning to build 2,500 of these pickups in the fourth quarter and Chrysler planning to build 2,000 of its trucks this year.

Overall, it's only a small step, and not without its downside. While seeing new markets for cheap CNG will have some cheering the use of this cleaner burning fuel, there are also environmental consequences lurking at the corners of the gas fracking boom that make us think this is a mixed development at best.

However, wider adoption of natural gas vehicles could lead the way to wider distribution infrastructure. While the use of fossil natural gas is still problematic in terms of buying viagra from canada CO2 emissions, methane is fairly easy to synthesize compared to gasoline, and several solar and microbial fuel processes could potentially produce gas that could be used for more vehicles in the future.

via: GM Media


FEB 23

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Housing Workers for an Offshore Windfarm
Written by Philip Proefrock on 23/02/12   

Installing offshore wind turbines is already a logistical nightmare to get all the components delivered to the proper site. But the biggest issue may be getting the workers to the worksite. For the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm off the east coast of England north of Norfolk, the workers are being housed on-site in a 137-room ferry during their 2-week on/2-week off rotations.

A former cruise ferry, the Regina Baltica, has now been repurposed to serve as a floating hotel for wind farm construction workers. Keeping the workers close at hand makes it possible to work in smaller windows of favorable weather, and reduces the amount of travel and transportation needed for them. It also reduces the stress on local towns which may not have the capacity to support 100+ workers at a time. The ship's accommodations include "amenities such as a coffee shop, restaurant, swimming pool, conference and meeting rooms, lounge areas and a sun deck."

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Erik Christensen/Wikimedia

via: NA Windpower


FEB 23

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Raspberry Pi is a Low-Power, Credit-Card Sized Computer
Written by Philip Proefrock on 23/02/12   

A low-cost, low-power, credit-card sized computer developed by a charitable foundation set up by some computer science instructors from Cambridge University. Their goal was to produce a very inexpensive, low-power computer that could be used by kids to learn programming. Now the first examples of the resulting low-cost credit-card sized computer are about to reach the market with a starting price as little as $25.

"The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming."

The Raspberry Pi is an ARM-based, SoC (system on a chip) computer that is just slightly too large to fit in an Altoids tin.  It will run several varieties of Linux operating system. Fedora Linux is its recommended distribution, and it will also support Debian and ArchLinux (some issues with Ubuntu and we choice what is viagra professional the ARM processor prevent Ubuntu from supporting it at this time).

The Raspberry Pi is capable of viagra uk cheap purchase buy delivering BluRay quality display. The developers say that "graphics capabilities are roughly equivalent to cialis rx Xbox 1 level of performance. Overall real world performance is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much, much swankier graphics." It has ports for composite and DVI (using a cheap adapter for the DVI) video output.

Power to run the Raspberry Pi can come from a phone charger or even from 4 AA batteries. A 700 mA USB charger will be the online drugstore power source for the Model B, and the Model A can get away with even lower power requirements (300 mA). At that low power level, solar powered options should be practical and not terribly expensive.

The Raspberry Pi comes in two models (A and B) with 128 MB and 256 MB of RAM and priced at $25 and $35 respectively. Lots more information and specifications are available in the Raspberry Pi FAQ. The Raspberry Pi will be available beginning at the end of February 2012.

image: via Raspberry Pi

Hat-tip to @chrissalzman for the heads-up


FEB 20

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US Virgin Islands Plans 60% Reduction in Fossil Fuel Use By 2025
Written by Megan Treacy on 20/02/12   

The U.S. Virgin Islands has worked with NREL to come up with a strategic plan to reduce fossil fuel use by 60 percent by 2025. The plan will include the deployment of five different renewable energy technologies and a huge roll-out of energy efficiency improvements.

The USVI, much like other islands, currently depends heavily on imported fuel for their energy needs, making electricity cost almost $0.50/kWh for residents -- about five times more than residents of the continental U.S. The need for switching to renewable sources of energy is just as much economical as it is environmental for the islanders.

NREL wanted to come up with a realistic plan for reducing the USVI's dependence on fossil fuels, so they worked with the government, utilities and public and private groups to map out the territory's potential for different renewable energy and viagra and diarrhea efficiency solutions. The organization came up with the following mix of efforts to cialis pills in canada get the islands to a 60 percent reduction:

  • 2 percent biomass
  • 3 percent landfill gas
  • 3 percent solar
  • 6 percent wind
  • 8 percent waste-to-energy
  • 38 percent energy efficiency

The USVI burns 2.6 million barrels of oil every year for electricity and water desalination. By 2025, if this plan comes together, that number could drop that number to just over 1 million barrels, creating a cheaper, homegrown electricity portfolio for the islands and a major slash in emissions.

via NREL

Image via Don Buchanan, USVI Energy Office


FEB 17

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President Obama's New Budget Includes $10,000 EV Rebate
Written by Megan Treacy on 16/02/12   

President Obama's recently released new budget plan includes lots of incentives for cleantech industries and reportedly an exciting $10,000 rebate for electric vehicle purchases.

Currently, if you purchase an all-electric vehicle, you are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit that you receive when you file your taxes for that year, but this new rebate program would allow consumers to slash $10,000 off the top of the cost of an electric car, right at the time of purchase. That's a huge incentive for drivers who are on the fence and would likely support some large gains in sales of those vehicles.

Many of the first crop of mass market EVs are still in a price range that is just beyond what most consumers want to pay for a sedan or compact car, but with this rebate, the Chevy Volt would go from $41,000 to $31,000; the Nissan LEAF would go from $36,000 to $26,000 and the newest to hit the market, the Mitsubishi i, would drop to under $20,000. Those are prices that would be much more appealing to a wider base of cialis online without prescription consumers.

The rebate would apply to how to get cialis without prescription other alternativ-fuel vehicles, too, like natural gas, hydrogen fuel cell or other high-tech green vehicles.

Though it's hard to hold out hope for things like this to make it through a very tough Congress, it's pretty exciting to think of the impact a rebate would have on the EV market.



FEB 16

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Map Shows NYC Energy Use Block by Block
Written by Megan Treacy on 16/02/12   

A Columbia University study has plotted the canadian drugs cialis energy use of New York City's buildings on a beautiful, interactive map where you can view energy consumption by block. The map really illuminates how different areas of the city, and the types of buildings located in those areas, use energy differently.

In New York, buildings account for two-thirds of the energy used by the city, a major reason that the city has pushed for retrofitting programs. This new map can help city officials know where to concentrate their improvements.

The model uses data from a few sources to arrive at the block by block totals:

  • Data the city government gathered from utilities on zip-code level numbers on electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and steam consumption in 2009,
  • Data on how the energy was used (heating and cooling, water heating, lighting, etc.) from the U.S. Energy information Administration
  • Information on the building floor areas of each of the city’s tax lots from the city government.

You can visit the fully interactive map here, where you can view the total yearly kWh used per block, total fuel use and total land area. Each block also has its own pie chart with the breakdown of how that energy use was distributed among space heating, space cooling, water heating and general electricity use.

via MIT Tech Review


FEB 14

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ESL Bulbs Offer Another Efficient Lighting Option
Written by Philip Proefrock on 14/02/12   

Incandescent light bulbs are really little space heaters with a side benefit of just try! cialis 30 mg producing some light. They are an old technology that is being phased out for many applications by more efficient alternatives. Now, in addition to the LEDs and CFLs, we can add ESL bulbs, which have started to reach the market, to the available technologies.

We've been watching for Electron Stimulated Luminescence (ESL) lighting technology for a few years. It is now commercially available with the introduction of the Vu1 bulb. ESL lighting uses an electron gun to stimulate a phosphor coated surface for illumination, much like an old CRT or television tube. The bulb is actually a vacuum, with no mercury (or anything else) inside it, so disposal and recycling is easier.

The Vu1 bulb has an expected lifespan of 11,000 hours, which can be 5 times that of an incandescent and close to that of a good CFL. It uses 19.5 watts to produce 500 lumens, so it falls in between CFL and incandescent in efficacy. The color-rendering index (CRI) of the ESL bulb is 90+, again falling between an average CFL with a CRI of 80 and an incandescent with a CRI of 100.

Street pricing for the Vu1 is about $15*. That’s more expensive than a CFL these days, but that’s in the range of what CFLs were a decade ago, and LEDs with this color quality aren't at this price level, either. For further information and a more subjective review of the light, you can read a longer review about the Vu1 light on my personal blog.

[Disclaimer: Vu1 provided the try it canadian healthcare sample bulb to me at no charge for my review.]

[* Edited to add: After posting this yesterday, I got a call from William Smith, the chairman of Vu1. One thing he wanted to emphasize is that the company expects the price for this bulb to be less than $10 within 18 months, as production ramps up which is in the range of other dimmable bulbs.]


FEB 14

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Project Investigating "Hot Rocks" Geothermal Energy Options
Written by Philip Proefrock on 14/02/12   

Geothermal energy is often overlooked as the "other" renewable energy. Capping geysers to harness their energy is difficult, and the sites where these resources exist are not widespread. But companies are exploring new methods of obtaining energy from geothermal sources by stimulating accessible geologic formations to generate hot water and steam for energy production.

A demonstration project being run by AltaRock Energy is underway in the Deschutes National Forest near Bend, Oregon to explore the viability of this technique. AltaRock is using "hot rocks" and an approach called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) for energy production. This process uses accessible geological formations which are hot enough to generate steam for power generation, but which are not naturally geysers. The system is meant to be closed-loop, with the water re-cooled and returned through the system, so that there is less impact on local water supply. However, the demonstration will use somewhere between 73 and 142 million gallons of water, so the company is also purchasing Deschutes River Conservancy mitigation credits to offset its water consumption during the project.

The process also calls for developing fracture zones in the rock, which may be too reminiscent of natural gas "fracking" for widespread acceptance of the technique. But, instead of an extraction process, the geothermal approach will be injecting water into the how to buy levitra rocks. The proposed system is laid out in more detail on a poster presentation of the core concepts for the test project. According to the company, "EGS has the potential to provide as much as 10 percent of the nation's energy needs within the course of a generation."

via: Science Friday


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