The good, the bad and the ugly about Smart Meters

October 22, 2011 by  
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Garima Goel: Smart Meters Smart Meters For those who want to keep a tab on the electricity consumption for their home or business, the Smart Meters are a great option. Unlike the traditional meters, the smart meter helps you in tracking your energy consumption on hourly, daily, weekly or month basis. The data offered by smart meter will help you make better energy choices, and will give you full control over your energy bills. Moreover, smart meters can also transmit and receive data, which helps in remote reporting. The smart meter technology is being utilized popularly in different nations. These energy counting devices are available in market with various features. The good benefits of Smart Meters benefits of Smart Meters for the consumers Smart meters are being regarded with great favour in homes and business globally. This popularity is due to the reason that the energy saving is more convenient by making use of smart meters as they monitor the energy that is consumed by the users. The smart meters can also interact with electrical devices like TVs and washing machines. These devices can also broadcast the present price of the energy consumed by the electrical appliances. This technology would enhance energy conservation and also minimise the energy costs. The most prompting advantage of installing a smart meter is that the consumers will not be issued any erroneous electrical bills. The smart meters will help in cutting the energy consumption and therefore indirectly national carbon emissions. The product can be therefore categorized as eco-friendly. The bad Smart Meters Cost are Smart Meters Costly While smart meters have various advantages, they also come with certain drawbacks and challenges to the consumers. The smart meter is very costly and this is the most prominent lowdown due to which, they are not favoured much, by everyone. These cunning little gizmos make use of a communicating thermostat to interact with electrical devices at home. The smart meters are installed with an in-home display where the details about the current energy usage are shown. The GPRS technology used by the device keep your electricity supplier au fait of the energy that you have consumed and also allows you to check your gas and electricity consumption on the internet. With all such costly components and software, the smart meter by all odds will be expensive. Moreover, the knowhow of the technology and software installed with the smart meter is necessary for the customer. The ugly Safe Smart Meters are Smart Meters safe The most horrible disadvantage of smart meters is the microwave radio frequency radiation emitted by the installation of these devices, which cause various health hazards. These devices when set up at homes or other commercial buildings will radiate microwaves that are dangerous for health of humans and animals as well. Therefore consumers, especially electro-sensitive persons have given an account of various health problems. The microwave radio frequency is used in the communication process between smart meters and electronic devices. Tumors and cancer risks, DNA damage, cognitive difficulties and heart problems are some of the series health problems that are caused due to these radiations. So overall, the smart meters are not worthy at all. You can afford to buy a smart meter but not at the cost of your health. Why are we so critical? Everything has its pros and cons, and so is with smart meters. Many companies are manufacturing the smart meters with various attractive features. The technology used by smart meters keep a record of your daily energy consumption and thus can help you to cut off the extra energy that was consumed by you. Of course, establishing the smart meters in your households or any other commercial place would certainly not be cheap. Moreover, after installing the device, you need to be cautious while maneuvering the device. As most of the electrical appliance will be connected with the smart meter using a certain technique or some particular software, you need to handle it with extra care. Regarding the health problems called by radiations, many companies are taking precautions to fabricate a product that is safe for the users. But, you cannot be sure about the long term impacts of the smart meters. The bottomline Because smart meters tend to save energy, therefore the product is definitely an eco product. With various modifications, the disadvantages of the product can be removed, thereby making the product safe and secure to be used. Though the initial cost of the smart meter is high, we should not forget the reductions given to us in the future energy bills.

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The good, the bad and the ugly about Smart Meters

Five most amazing pedal powered boats

October 21, 2011 by  
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Apara Bhattacharya: Amazing pedal powered boats Most amazing pedal powered boats Boats were the conventional means of transport that is nowadays a great choice for the eco- conscious generation. Although you cannot deny the drawbacks of boats in comparison to the modern automobiles, if you are solely focused on the level of pollution imparted by the modern vehicles and that of boats, the latter always tops the list of most effective means of transport that causes almost no pollution. Boats are better regarded as human powered water vehicles that can be both human driven and motor driven. Not only this, boats also vary according to their construction, function and capacity. Thus, while on one hand simple and conventional boats, driven by two boatmen or a single boatman in there, pedal boats are also there on the other hand. Likewise submarines, hydrofoils, etc. are also there in the category of water crafts. Here are five boats that run on pedals and are unique in their own ways. 1. WiTHiN pedal powered boat WiTHiN WiTHiN – a pedal powered boat This is a boat that runs on human power and has the ability to stride across the ocean. This human powered boat, Ocean WiTHiN draws its inspiration from the water craft, WiTHiN. The body of this water vehicle is made from fiberglass which are in the form of flat carbon fiber panel that are stitched together to form the hull at the bottom. The base of the same comprises of a double kayak hull, which was donated to the designer of WiTHiN by Steve Schleicher of Nimbus Kayaks and sponsor and adviser of PedalTheOcean. The designers of this boat are Rick Willoughby and the award winning naval architect, Stuart Bloomfield. 2. Solar and Human Powered Concept Boat Solar and Human Powered Solar and Human Powered Concept Boat This boat has been designed by the French designer, Jonathan Mahieddine. This is solar powered boat that has the dual function of running on human power as well. The most notable feature of this boat is that unlike the conventional boats it targets at zero noise emission while floating on the water. The unique appearance of this boat has a wide deck that is a great option for relaxing amidst nature with your whole family, while having a wide view of the ocean. Moreover, you can also enjoy sunbathing while on boards. The human operated oars are also beneficial for exercising your hand muscles while floating in the ocean. But when you feel tired, switch over to the solar powered mode and let the boat sail by the energy it has accumulated in its solar cells throughout the day. 3. Torpedalo designed by Bentley engineers Torpedalo Torpedalo designed by Bentley engineers This boat is a combined creation of two engineers from Bentley, who have the aim of crossing the Atlantic this December in their self made boat, thereby covering more than 3000 miles in ocean and setting a world record. The designers of this boat are Mark Byass and Mike Sayer. They will have a competition with twenty five such racing boats in the world championship known as Woodvale Challenge Atlantic Rowing Race. The boat, Torpedalo, which they have made, features a fiber glass body, which is made from carbon fiber panels. It has a length of nine meters and is also equipped with solar panels for capturing green energy from the sun and using it to produce fresh water by desalinating ocean water and also to empower devices that they will carry on board, such as GPS, radar, satellite phone, etc. 4. Ilha by Alexandre Bellerose Zero-emission pedal-powered boat concept Ilha Ilha by Alexandre Bellerose Zero-emission pedal-powered boat concept Now water rafting is going to be more fun with the help of the green boat that will not harm marine life as conventional water vehicles do by toxic emissions and awful noises. This boat has been designed by an eco conscious designer, named Alexandre Bellerose and is human powered. The passengers on board are supposed to pedal the boat and make it cut through the waters and move ahead. The extended feature of this boat are that it has a light weighted, folding foundation, which when stretched, becomes almost an small private island for those on board and provide them opportunities for various water activities. Together with it, water rafting in summers is also pleasant in this boat as it has a folding umbrella that collapses to become a fan so that the occupants can adjust the exposure to sun as per their choice. 5. Waterbug by Garry Hoyt and the Harken brothers Waterbug Waterbug by Garry Hoyt and the Harken brothers This is a strange looking boat, made by the nautical manufacturer, Fisheries Supply. It is an outcome of the joint venture of yacht designer and sailing innovator brothers, Garry Hoyt and Harken. The body of the boat is made from roto molded material and has a two seated option. It also features an electric propulsion package.

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What’s next: Bladeless wind turbines

October 21, 2011 by  
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Mahashweta Patra: Wind turbine Future of wind turbines As we know it You must be aware of the fact that wind turbines are very helpful in making efficient use of renewable source of energy. The wind turbines are such device, which convert various forms of energy into electrical energy. The kinetic energy first is transformed into mechanical energy, and is ultimately used to generate electrical power. In current times, wind turbines are mainly available in two versions. One is vertical wind turbines and second is horizontal wind turbine types. However, many portable forms of wind turbines are also developed to fulfill all day-to-day domestic needs like battery charging and many more. Research is still on to advance the wind turbine technology through various efficient ways. Wind turbines without blades are also invented in order to minimize many air accidents with birds and bats. One more concern is also taken into consideration regarding noise pollution created by wind turbines in land areas. In this way, many advanced form of wind turbines are demanded apart from conventional types of wind turbines. Need for change There is always a possibility of demerits associated with everything that exists in the world. The technology using wind energy also contains some major disadvantages along with it. Wind turbines should be always situated in areas with consistent wind supply. At the same time, wind turbines are also responsible for causing wildlife threat, noise pollution, disturbance with television and radio signals, and many more. However, the negative impacts associated with wind turbines are reduced through several modifications in their conventional designs. As a result, wind turbines with no blades are introduced due to which several complications like noise pollution, wildlife threat especially birds and bats, and radar interference are pacified. The bladeless wind turbines are also efficient to deliver a very low maintenance cost to the man. Therefore, some major bladeless wind turbines are invented. What’s next? 1. Bladeless wind turbines inspired by Tesla Bladeless wind turbine inspired by Tesla Solar Aero’s bladeless wind turbine is a noise-free way to generate wind power What’s new The new thing introduced in these wind turbines is the use of the design presented by Tesla. The conventional turbine blades are replaced by the parallel and thin metal discs with spacers. The entire device is enclosed in the form of compact portable set up. The device is able to convert the energy of fluid or airflow into potential work. As the wind flows through the areas between the disks, air passage ultimately adapts the inward flow direction and leads to disc rotation. As a result, the disc rotation also causes the shaft movement. The number of discs is directly proportional to the amount of power generation. What difference will it make The main highlights of bladeless Tesla wind turbines are the less noisy application, comparatively safer in use in respect of wildlife injuries, no radar interference situation, and many more. It is also useful in domestic as well as commercial aspects in terms of reliability and cost cutting factors. Problems The development, however, is still on with bladeless wind turbines. As a result, currently no definite manufacturing process has started yet. 2. Windspire Windspire Bladeless design and capacity to produce nearly 2000 kilowatt hours per year What’s new Windspire is another wind turbine that is very incredibly designed with no presence of blades. The unique sleek design makes it visually very attractive and safer for birds too. The device has efficiency to produce about 2000 Kilowatts hours power per year. The whole design is prepared with 30 feet length by 2 feet wideness. The Windspire wind turbine is very much efficient to reduce the chances of noise pollution. What difference will it make The Windspire wind turbine machine produces about 25 decibels of noise, which is almost equivalent to average noise produced in any living society. A wireless monitoring facility is also provided with such type of wind turbines. As a result, you can easily monitor or attain the complete information regarding power generation. Problem The only problem with Windspire device is the high purchasing cost. 3. Mekaro Akita’s windmill Mekaro Akita’s windmill Mekaro Akita has developed a windmill that uses cylinders replacing propeller blades What’s new The Mekero Akita’s windmill is a special windmill designed with no blades. The uncommon design helps to deliver harmless generation of electric power. What difference will it make The entire device works by using cylinders instead of wind blades. Around five cylinders are attached with 10-meter diameter measurement. Each of these cylinders rotates in order to produce electricity. Problem The initial electric unit is used to start the function of cylinders. The entire eco-friendly set-up is useful in two ways – for protecting birds from injuries and for using wind energy proficiently.

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5 Electric vehicles that can actually succeed

October 21, 2011 by  
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Aswin Krishna R: Electric Energy Cars Green technology is the latest technology. And that’s why big car manufacturers are coming up with green cars mainly electric powered. Though these cars are fuel efficient, the cost is high. But it’s a good long term investment. Lot of electric vehicles are available in the market and key to success lies in the fuel efficiency. Let us discuss top 5 cars which will definitely succeed in market. Nissan Leaf World Car of the year 1. Nissan leaf Nissan leaf is named as the World Car of the Year. This electric car is powered by grid electricity using lithium-ion batteries. Leaf is a compact car that allows 5 people with limited cargo space, it is easy to drive and it touches a top speed of 90 mph. You can drive only 100 to 120 miles when the batteries are charged fully which is enough for most of the people in the country but it is not suitable for long distances. Though it’s expensive, the mileage attained will be 99 mpg. It accepts electricity from a 110-volt, a 240-volt or a 440-volt plug. It scores 10 in green rating, 9.5 in safety and 7.6 in overall performance. Chevrolet volt Best Electric vehicle 2. Chevrolet volt It comes with a tech-exotic concept and it is voted as a North American Car of the Year. Chevrolet calls it an extended range electric car. It’s known for its powertrain, which is a unique feature. It comes with an electric motor that drives the car for first 40 to 60 miles, then the batteries will get depleted and the car will switch its mode to gasoline. Now, the engine acts as a generator and provides more electric power for the motor to run for 300 miles. As most Americans won’t drive more than 60 miles in a day, it’s the most efficient car with a mileage tag of 93 mpg equivalent. Volt is fun to drive with ample power, sporty handling and good space. But it comes with a high price tag. It scores 8/10 in overall performance, 9.5 out of 10 in safety and full marks in green rating. Coda Electric New technology 3. Coda electric Coda is Southern California based automotive company which started selling electric cars in recent years. It is one of the safe and affordable cars with green technology. The car comes with more space, it is one of the added advantage of this car because most of the electric cars are not spacious. Its top speed is 85 mph and it takes 6 h to charge and it will run up to 150 miles. It comes with electronic stability control (ESC) with traction control, 3 point seat-belts, ABS, battery management system with safest battery chemistry. It gets 8/10 in overall performance. Honda Fit EV Real Fit 4. Honda fit EV This is the Honda’s first fully electric car to be out in japan and US in 2012. It is spacious car, which has three driving modes named as Econ, Normal and Sport. Econ is the most energy efficient with a driving range of 100 miles per charge. If you want to drive fast, you can choose Sport mode which will give a top speed of 95 mph but the driving range will be low. Batteries will take 12 hours to charge in 120 volt supply and 6 hours for 240 volt. It comes with a smart phone app, so you can know the charge level at any time. Renault Twizy Small and Stylish 5. Renault twizy It is an ultra compact car with all the fundamentals associated with the car. It has two seats. It is definitely for traveling within the city, it is just like driving a scooter. But it saves 15% of energy when compared to a scooter. As it is small and compact, it comes with all safety measures. It requires 4 hours to charge and runs for 62 miles. As it is too compact, it is easy to drive in traffic and easy to park as it demands less space. It comes in two versions.

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Google Leads Charge for Universal Smart Meters

April 6, 2010 by  
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More than 45 firms and NGOs sign open letter calling on the administration to develop new smart meter policies.

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Google Leads Charge for Universal Smart Meters

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