The Electric Aircraft Takeoff

February 13th, 2008

The introduction of the E-plane ended the inability to use an electric motor as the energy source for a manned airplane. The first E-plane was a compact two-seat carbon composite plane powered by Toyota Prius batteries and a 100-hp motor. It had an impractically short range, very much similar to the earliest electric cars. The plane’s range was expected to increase dramatically once it flew on fuel-cell alone.

A fuel-cell airplane is a lot quieter and more efficient wherein the propeller would be the only source of noise. The plane will be able to fly for at least an hour on two pounds of hydrogen. NASA studies suggest that cheaper fuel cells is the most viable alternative to heavy piston engines if the automotive industry would be more open to fuel cell cars.

Comprehensive Greening

February 1st, 2008

Technology appears to have caused the climate change problem thus various experts are in a rush to find a solution using technology as well. People strive to “green” their houses, cars, food and other aspects of their lives with an effect that is far too wanting of the desired results. Although the adoption of cleaner technologies is admittedly part of the solution, a more comprehensive use of the principles of green technology is in order.

The realities of the present set-up of the human habitat make it difficult to be consistent no matter how green a house or car is. Houses are located far from offices, shopping and leisure activities which make it necessary to use the car as often as required. More effective planning for future housing developments that would ensure that all important facilities are within a walkable space will reduce the carbon footprint of our modern lifestyle.

Carbon Accounting

January 24th, 2008

The market for carbon accounting will most likely widen as more companies realize that they will have to do some serious assessment of their contribution to the global warming crisis. Carbon emissions have to be weighed against the size of a company and its plans for growth. However, the beginning and the end of the carbon footprint of retailers with long and varied supply chains may be almost impossible to tell.

Climate changes have manifested their serious financial impact on business as super storms wreck havoc on projected company earnings. Moves are already taking place to require public companies to disclose their financial risks from climate change. Investors can force companies to shape up and play their part in cleaning the mess.

LED Lighting

January 20th, 2008

LED has filled specialist niches for lighting requirements. It is commonly used for traffic lights, flashlights and architectural purposes. LED lighting is flexible and operates less expensively than traditional lighting. It was accidentally discovered by a graduate student trying to make really small quantum dots. Quantum dots may contain from 100 to 1,000 electrons. The smaller these quantum dots are, the easier they are excited. This particular group contained exceptionally small ones which reacted by producing a white glow when applied with electricity or shined with a light.

LED lamps have current efficiencies of 30% with much higher levels possibly attainable plus a lifetime of more or less 50,000 hours. It is struggling to deliver the required intensity of light output for domestic use and maintaining a reasonable working lifespan at a reasonable cost as well.

Variations of CFL Technology

January 18th, 2008

CFLs or compact fluorescent lamps have other types aside from its more popular ones. The electrodeless fluorescent, also known as radiofluorescent lamp or fluorescent induction lamp transfers energy to the lamp core solely by electromagnetic induction. Another variation is that of bulbs with an external nano-particle coating of titanium dioxide which is a photocatalyst. It becomes ionized when exposed to UV light produced by the CFL.

One of the newest forms of CFL is the Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light (CCFL) which uses electrodes without a filament. It was initially used for thin monitors and backlighting but is currently manufactured for use as a lamp. It is an effective and efficient replacement for bathrooms or closet lighting or those which are frequently turned on and off.

Is the old reliable incandescent light bulb on its way out? Judging from the actions of advocates of the move towards the use of more energy efficient lightning, Thomas Edison’s light bulb may as well be an outdated invention. Lighting that implements newer technologies such as compact fluorescent lights, halogen lights and light emitting diodes (LED) are being favored. This is because they require much less electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb.

The move also hopes to eliminate the need to build more coal-burning plants that pollutes the environment. Many countries have already set their own deadlines to end the production and use of the incandescent light bulbs. Efforts range from creating public awareness to instituting bans.