venerdì 15 giugno 2007

Recycle pc parts made easy!

Environmental behaviour isn't just turning off monitor during stand by. What about when that part or other pc parts brake and youhave to throw them? The energy intensive proccess of refining and molding plastic means that your computer monitor alone is responsable for emissions! If you eventually toss that monitor away on the scrap pile it will take years to brake down and will likely leak a pool of chemical compounds into the ground...this isn't so good, right?
There is a company that offering a line of flat screen monitors mouse and keyboards housed in bamboo shells. Unlike plastic this is an ecofriendly material. It biodegrades easily and doesn't release any evil compound when it's decompousing. All the bamboo is dried and treated for bugs and infestation. The price isn't so hot actually: monitor from 330$, mice from 20$ and keyboard from 30$. The name of this company is PlayEngine.

lunedì 11 giugno 2007

First post on Hybrid cars...

Let see the future...actually lets see the present! One of the most best selling hybrid cars for now is the well famous Toyota Prius. It's almost 10 years since the birth of a car that runs on a petrol engine and an electric motor. The first mass produced hybrid automobile.
The combination of these 2 motor would be readily accepted by the public in terms of familiar technology. Today the second generation Prius provides both advanced environmental performance and a smooth powerful acceleration.
The combination of energy sources is not simply limited to that of a petrol engine with an electric motor. Lets think again long term :) Toyota also aims to maximize the utilization of energy sources acceptable to society like hydrogen fuel cell, biofuel or clean diesel.
But lets see how it works:
  • The electric motor is used primarly and power stored in the battery is used to turn the motor
  • During normal driving mode the management system monitors the driving conditions and intelligently controls the petrol engine and electric motor for optimum fuel efficiency. At the same time surplus energy is stored in the battery.
  • When you accelerate power is also provided from the battery to the electric motor combined with petrol engine.
  • Need to decelerate? The electric motor functions as a generator during deceleration and braking. Regenerated energy is used to recharge the battery (very clever idea)
  • Braking to a stop at a trafic light the petrol engine is first cut off and the electric motor bringsthe car gently to a stop. The system automatically avoids wasteful idding to conserve fuel and stop carbon emission!
Seems that more car producers start producing and selling hybrid cars. This is not just a fashion or maybe an increase to our environmental morale. Gasoline now costs so much that it's clear everyone tries to save his wallet...
Aren't all these enough reasons???

domenica 10 giugno 2007

Is "friendly" trashcan the future?

Why hawl away garbage when you can store them and pick them later easily in a 18kg compact bags? Forget the stinky overflowing trash cans found in urban corners. The successor is called BigBelly with the looks of a large newspaper vending machine that collects trash rather to distribute. The unit can hold at least 4 times as much as a standard can and so trash need to be collected less often and that means less trucks on the streets!
Large and greenit's the inside mechanics that makes the trash compactor so distinctive. It is equipped with a 40 watt solar panel connected to a 12 volt battery which runs the motor under rain or shine. When the bin is full sensors trigger gears that then compact 680lt of waste into 18kg bags. A LED display indicates that the trash is ready to picked up.
Unfortunately the unit costs, for now, almost 4000$, about 10 times the price of a conventional garbage can, but just think long term...
Jim Poss, head of the Seahorse power company has plans for the LED system to be replaced by a wireless on that will signal when the can is full.

domenica 3 giugno 2007

How to reduce cooling costs..

  • Many of the steps you can take to reduce heating costs, such as insulating and sealing your home, will also reduce air conditioning costs.
  • Use fans instead of air conditioning (Fans make the air feel about 4 degrees cooler).
  • Turn fans off when no one is directly in the air stream of the fan. Fans do not actually cool the air; they help your skin to evaporate water more quickly, which cools you.
  • If you have more than two window air conditioners, it is usually more energy-efficient to install a central air conditioner.
  • Pay attention to efficiency ratings when looking for a new air conditioner.
  • Size your system properly. Calculate the heat loads.
  • If you have a portable air conditioners, be sure that it is vented outside. If it is vented inside, you are actually heating your home.
  • In geographic areas where summer nighttime temperatures fall below 75 F, open windows and use window fans to pull cool outside air into your home. Depending on the layout of your home, it may be best to only open certain windows and position fans so outside air is pulled in on one side of the house and interior air is pushed out on the other side of the house. It may be a wise choice to install a whole-house fan, which pulls air through your home and pushes it out through your attic.
  • Install awnings over windows and close window blinds or curtains to keep direct sunlight out.
  • Plant trees near your home. Choose locations that will shade your house during the afternoon. Even trees not directly shading your home will reduce local air temperatures.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help your body cool itself.
  • Keep closets doors closed. This can save you up to 5% in heating/cooling and air costs alone.

How to reduce heating costs..

  • Operate your furnace efficiently:
    • Install a programmable thermostat and set it so your home will not be heated as much when you are away or asleep.
    • Check your furnace's air filter monthly - replace/clean as required. (more often if there is a lot of dust or pet dander in your home's air).
    • Get furnace serviced annually, check for slow gas line leaks- especially at the meter and pipe junctions
    • Do not obstruct or close heating or air-return vents by placing furniture or other items in front or on top of them.
  • Insulate and weatherize your home effectively:
    • Ask your local utility to inspect your home to ensure that you have adequate insulation installed. Some may provide incentives for this checkup.
    • Seal off rooms that are not in regular use and close heating vents.
    • Carefully hold a smoking combustible material (such as an incense stick) near the frames of exterior doors and windows. If the smoke moves toward or away from the window, an air leak is likely. A thin shred of paper or string may also be used if a combustible smoking material is not available, though it may not work as well.
    • Replace old, leaky windows (especially single-pane glass) with newer double or triple pane, gas filled, low E windows.
    • Install heavy curtains over windows. Use them at night, let the sun in during the day.
    • If you have basement windows that are never opened, consider replacing them with glass block, which is more insulating than a window. Keep at least two basement windows in place, however, so you can vent the basement if needed.
  • "Reuse" heat:
    • Leave hot water in the bathtub or in cooking pots instead of draining it immediately. This allows the water's stored heat to dissipate into your home rather than being lost down the drain. You can also leave a hot oven slightly open after it's use to heat the home.
    • If you have an electric dryer, you may vent it inside occasionally. The vented air will be very moist, so track humidity levels; if the humidity is high for extended periods you may encourage mold and mildew growth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU VENT GAS DRYERS INDOORS due to carbon monoxide present in the exhaust.
  • Use thick blankets so you can keep your home's air temperature lower at night. Wearing a cap on your head at night can enable much lower temperatures.
  • Turn down the temperature on your water heater to 120°F and drain the silt occasionally with a water hose. Be sure to check and replace the anode rods periodically as well.
  • Replace your water heater with a gas tankless water heater, which heats water on demand rather than storing heated water. Solar hot water heating also has tax credits available.
  • Wear several layers of clothing.
  • If you live alone and/or in a large home, it may be more efficient to keep your overall house temperature low (55 to 65°F) and use an electric space heater to heat the areas you use most often. For example, if you work from home, keep a heater near your desk. You could even carefully use a hair-dryer to preheat your bed in seconds. You can utilize the concepts of personal heat.
  • Purchase a radiant-type glowing heater to heat only yourself in the bathroom in the morning to eliminate morning whole-house heating time.
  • Protect your home from cold winds using windbreaks or other energy-efficient landscaping methods.
  • Choosing a smaller home and eschewing unnecessarily high ceilings reduces the amount of space your heating system will have to heat.
  • Choose an apartment or condominium rather than a free-standing house. These dwellings share walls and therefore have fewer exterior walls.