Posts Tagged ‘insulation’

Parking lot gets car charger, solar array

Úterý, Srpen 21st, 2012

Those passing through the Bedford Street parking lot in recent days may have been seen the solar array mounted on a support gantry there, part of a soon-to-be launched electric charging terminal for hybrid vehicles.

The 3 kilowatt power system, with spaces to charge two vehicles, is being installed using a $83,126 block grant from the federal Department of Energy, Erin McKenna, a city associate planner who oversaw the project.

Solar energy garnered from the panels would flow into the grid of the adjacent garage, McKenna said.

McKenna said the charging station is a step towards meeting expected demand from owners of electric vehicles, though initial use of other city managed charging stations put in operation in May has been infrequent.

The system will also include an display featuring a gauge showing resulting cuts in carbon dioxide emissions and the gallons of gasoline saved, according to Elliot Isban, chief executive officer of the project’s contractor, American Solar & Alternative Power.

“We wanted to put it in as prominent a place downtown as we could that wasn’t expected to have a big development soon that might put it in the shade,” McKenna said of the solar array. “The display will show how much energy the solar panels provide compared to the amount of energy used.”

While being charged, cars would be sheltered under the solar panels, Isban said.

Isban said he thought a commitment by Stamford and other cities and private businesses to seek opportunities to install electric charging stations was necessary to enable the public to use alternative fuel vehicles.

“People want to buy electric cars but there are very few electric charging stations so it is sort of a chicken or the egg type situation,” Isban said. “This will provide energy for 25 years with no moving parts, no noise, and no pollution. I think that’s elegant.”

In May the city completed installation of three free electric charging stations — one each at the Government Center and the Summer and Bell Street garages — as part of a Connecticut Light & Power’s two-year research study on how drivers charge electric vehicles.

A Danish insurance company last week flicked the switch on what it claims is the largest rooftop solar system in Northern Europe.

More than 3,000 solar panels have been installed at Topdanmark’s headquarters in Ballerup, Copenhagen, and they are expected to produce around 752,000kWh of electricity each year, enough to power about 200 households and reduce the corporation’s annual carbon emissions by 600 tonnes.

A statement on Topdanmark’s website said each panel produces as much energy in one year as was used in its production, meaning that with the panels expected to last about 40 years they should deliver a significant net reduction in carbon emissions.

The insurer decided to proceed with the investment after assessing a smaller installation at one of its commercial tenancies and undertaking what it described as “profound analysis of advantages and disadvantages investing in such a large solar cell system”.

The review concluded that declining production prices for solar panels, which dropped from $1.50 per watt in September 2010 to $0.60 by the end of 2011, ensured the business case for the project was viable.

The G450 Elite Cabin Experience

Středa, Únor 15th, 2012

Gulfstream Aerospace comes to Singapore with, among other things, a G450 demonstrator aircraft fitted with its new Elite interior. The all-new optional package features elements from the company’s flagship G650, and is also available for G550 aircraft as well. AIN got a taste of the new cabin during a pre-show demo flight, courtesy of the U.S. manufacturer.

The sleek design features clean lines and white leather seats, offset by black high-gloss woods and matte silver finishes. Each element–up to the tiniest detail, such as the brushed chrome window shade controls–is a credit to its designers.

However, it is the aircraft’s invisible features that will make most difference to passengers. The company’s new cabin management system (CMS) includes digital control through Apple devices. Passengers can download an application that allows them to manipulate lighting, temperature, speakers, monitors, entertainment, window shades, and even call the flight attendant.

They’ll also be able to set and save their preferences. For example, if they like to work using the reading light, a closed window shade and a certain color for the indirect lighting, they’ll be able to save these preferences under their “work” label, which will automatically fire up their chosen settings when selected.

All the cabin systems (waste, water, communication, lighting, power, cabin control and entertainment) are designed to ensure that no single point failure will result in the loss of cabin functionality. Should a failure occur, maintenance staff on the ground will receive a message on the ground while the jet is still in the air.

There is an option for motorized seats. To ensure total comfort throughout all phases of flight, they sport heated back and seat cushions, a massager, single-position memory preset and press-and-hold controls for full upright and full-flat positions.

Lovers of gourmet cooking will appreciate the spacious galley, which houses a stainless-steel appliance stack with two coffee makers, a microwave and a convection oven, plus a refrigerator with freezer and removable shelves. There are touch controls built into the walls and the hinged doors on the crystal storage unit can double as an added work surface.

With such luxury on board, the flight seemed all too short. Should you want to experience the G450 interior for yourself, head to the Gulfstream stand where the aircraft is on display, alongside a G150 and G550.

LCD, LED and plasma televisions: which is for you?

Pátek, Prosinec 16th, 2011

As modern televisions look very similar to each other with pleasing to the eye, shiny and stream lined designs, you could be forgiven for thinking that LCD, LED and plasma TVs are all the same. They even have similar features such as the ability to access the Internet or display photos.

But despite their similarities and as televisions are sizeable investments, knowing what you want from your television is essential to buying the right model. With the more simple characteristics of the available televisions seeming to be so alike, which set is the best for you?

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) televisions have back lamps behind the screen which shine white light through millions of coloured liquid crystals to create a black and coloured picture. LCD TVs are perfect for the smaller to average sized screens (typically up to 32 inches) as the technology really suits the display, with images appearing sharper and clearer. It is only recently that the LCD TV has expanded beyond the 32-inch option with many manufacturers now providing models over 40 inches.

As well as using less energy than the plasma TV, the LCD also produces less glare and is therefore more suited to natural daylight conditions meaning the need to close the curtains to hide your early-evening soaps from the late afternoon sun is greatly reduced.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) televisions work very much the same way as the more common LCD option. The LED TV is relatively new to the market in comparison to the plasma and LCD, however it has gained a fast following for its energy efficiency and size. An LED TV can be much slimmer than the standard LCD or plasma TV due to its backlight structure that separates it from the crowd. Traditionally, televisions had large back lamps used to light the screen, LED televisions offer two alternatives:

1. The back lamps which usually feature are substituted for lots of tiny LED lights

2. The back lamp format is removed completely and small LED lights are used around the sides of the screen, creating what is called an Edge LED TV.

Although many buyers are opting for LCD or LED televisions, the plasma TV remains an old favourite. The plasma TV works as mini fluorescent tubes are lit by a stream of ultra-violet light which hits various dots of colour to create an image. This process takes place between two pieces of glass, which causes the infamous plasma TV glare.

Sleek and stylish, Panasonic are considered the authority on this type of HDTV but plenty of other manufacturers still produce this breed of box, as well as concentrating on LCD and LED alternatives.

This is due to the fact that plasma TVs are able to produce deeper blacks and stronger colours as well as a quicker image response time in comparison to LCD and LED TVs. This also puts the plasma TV at an advantage for the next generation of home entertainment: 3DTV.

Blue lights below stoplights confuse drivers

Čtvrtek, Září 1st, 2011

Red, yellow, green – and blue? Blue lights are popping up on traffic lights all over Southwest Florida. Many residents have noticed the blue lights, but don’t know their purpose.

Many drivers have noticed the LED diving flashlight attached to stoplights, but don’t know their purpose.

“We noticed when the white lights turned blue and we guess maybe it was for color blindness,” said Lois Smith of Punta Gorda.

“Now that they are activated and on, we still don’t understand them,” said Dick Smith, Punta Gorda resident.

At the beginning of august blue led lights replaced white lights at 19 intersections - at a cost of close to $5,700.

Many drivers assumed one thing, Big Brother was watching.

“At first I thought it was a camera to take a photo of you if you run the red light,” said Penny Deutsch, Charlotte County resident.

The blue lights on traffic signals are not cameras. They are called confirmation lights. Law enforcement officers use the lights to determine which direction has a red light – to catch red light runners.

“I think it’s a good thing they should have them. People run red lights and I think it’s totally wrong,” said Ruby Ryan.

Ryan says the lights haven’t changed her driving habits.

“As long as you keep to the speed it’s okay,” said Ryan.

The blue lights are expected to last four years longer than the white bulbs. Officers say they are easier to see at night.

That means it will be easier to catch red light runners. The fine for running a red light is $259.

Shelters going green

Čtvrtek, Srpen 18th, 2011

Homeless shelters want to go green, but donors just don’t have that warm, fuzzy feeling they get from giving when they know the money is being spent on thermostats and insulation, according to shelter operators.

Shelters can help get more people off the streets if they are saving money because their buildings are more energy efficient, which makes shelters some of the best places to use “green” technologies.

The Ottawa Mission is trying to prove this through leading by example.

Over the past year, the 107-year-old shelter has saved thousands of dollars by becoming more environmentally conscious and it is poised to save another $25,000 next year thanks to even more green initiatives.

Often, philanthropy is focused on creating new beds in shelters or providing meals, but becoming more energy efficient is a means to that end, said Diane Morrison, executive director of the Ottawa Mission.

Putting new, better-insulated windows or a programmable thermostat can have an even bigger impact in the long term, she said.

“These are the hard things that when you ask donors, they don’t really think about that. They want to help people,” Morrison said. “So it’s easier to raise money for people to help people than to raise money for new windows, or insulation or a hot water heater. All of those things that are really needed here.”

The Mission recently replaced more than 100 of its 175 old, leaky windows with newer versions that seal in warmth and reduce the cost to heat the Waller Street building. Add that to other initiatives, such as an energy-efficient dishwasher that uses 50 per cent less electricity, reducing the amount of paper the mission uses and switching to LED diving flashlight, and the mission will cut its costs by an estimated $25,000 this year.