generated heat


Yes, I am writing this to avoid writing about the worst piece of Illinois energy legislation in my lifetime. But it is true that this is a great way to save energy and extend the life of your equipment. In addition the site has other useful cleaning tips.

http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/worst-cleaning-jobs-made-easy/cleaning-behind-under-refrigerator

The Worst Cleaning Jobs Made Easy

Dirty Job No. 7: Cleaning Behind and Under the Refrigerator

Time it takes: 20 to 30 minutes.

Why it matters: Lots of dust on the coils can cause a refrigerator to run inefficiently. And dust under the refrigerator can mix with moisture from the air to gum up the finish on your floor.

Step 1: Pull out the refrigerator by grasping both sides and gently wiggling it toward you; some are on wheels, so this may be easier than you think. When you can, reach behind and pull the plug (your food will survive for the short time it takes to clean). If you have an ice maker, shut off the water supply first, just in case the hose comes loose.

Step 2: To dislodge dust around the condenser coils (the wriggly apparatus in back), use a long, thin tool known as a refrigerator-coil brush (Rubbermaid, $9, acehardware.com), then gently vacuum with a brush attachment. Some refrigerators have their condenser coils behind a removable grille in the front. If yours does, snap off or unscrew the grille and clean the coils, as above.

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Go there, read and get clean. More next week.

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Now the hottest things in the energy conservation world  or at least in the lighting world are LED lights. They come in all shapes and sizes. In fact I have one that I use as a flashlight, but it was intended to be a safety head light for my bicycle. It has been amazingly helpful. This is a complex subject so it will take me a few weeks to get it all posted. But here is a start.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode

Light-emitting diode

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

A light-emitting diode (LED) is a two-lead semiconductor light source. It is a pn-junction diode, which emits light when activated.[6] When a suitable voltage is applied to the leads, electrons are able to recombine with electron holes within the device, releasing energy in the form of photons. This effect is called electroluminescence, and the color of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photon) is determined by the energy band gap of the semiconductor.

An LED is often small in area (less than 1 mm2) and integrated optical components may be used to shape its radiation pattern.[7]

Appearing as practical electronic components in 1962,[8] the earliest LEDs emitted low-intensity infrared light. Infrared LEDs are still frequently used as transmitting elements in remote-control circuits, such as those in remote controls for a wide variety of consumer electronics. The first visible-light LEDs were also of low intensity, and limited to red. Modern LEDs are available across the visible, ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths, with very high brightness.

Early LEDs were often used as indicator lamps for electronic devices, replacing small incandescent bulbs. They were soon packaged into numeric readouts in the form of seven-segment displays, and were commonly seen in digital clocks.

Recent developments in LEDs permit them to be used in environmental and task lighting. LEDs have many advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical robustness, smaller size, and faster switching. Light-emitting diodes are now used in applications as diverse as aviation lighting, automotive headlamps, advertising, general lighting, traffic signals, and camera flashes. However, LEDs powerful enough for room lighting are still relatively expensive, and require more precise current and heat management than compact fluorescent lamp sources of comparable output.

LEDs have allowed new text, video displays, and sensors to be developed, while their high switching rates are also useful in advanced communications technology.

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Go there and read in an OMG sort of way. More next week.

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I know that going from commenting on falling oil prices (and they are still dropping) to talking about a range for cooking in your kitchen will produce screeching sounds from some readers. But I felt a need to get back to this blog’s roots in the residential  housing market so I will just plunge ahead. In my real life I prefer natural gas stoves because I am good with them and not so good with electric. Still if you are like my brother Mike and trapped in an all electric house then this would be the way to go.

http://ovens.reviewed.com/features/the-future-of-induction-cooking-heats-up?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=USAT%20Recirc

The Future of Induction Cooking Heats Up

Cooking with magnets keeps getting better, thanks to clever designs and new innovations.

 

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Liam F McCabe
September 07, 2013

 

The handful of induction cooktops available in the US tend to have fixed zones to fit different pots and pans. If the cookware slips out of the zone, then it won’t cook. But tons of European manufacturers, including big names like Bosch and Electrolux, showed off induction hobs with “flex” cooking areas.

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Good article and it just goes to show that America is always behind. We cede way to much to the powerful and pay the price. I would be willing to bet that we could half those numbers again with the proper research and development.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2013/06/11/europes-clothes-dryers-consume-half-as-much-energy-as-americas/?ss=business%3Aenergy

William Pentland

William Pentland, Contributor

Europe’s Clothes Dryers Consume Half As Much Energy As America’s

Like the vast majority of U.S. households, I own a clothes dryer that accounts for a non-trivial share of my electricity consumption. Like the vast majority of my fellow Americans, I would likely pay a lot less to dry my clothes if I lived in Europe.

Based on a new study by Ecova, an energy consulting firm in Spokane, WA, Europe’s embrace of new heat pump technologies is largely responsible for the transatlantic disparity in the energy efficiency of clothes dryers. Unlike Europe, heat pump technology has yet to arrive in North America.

There are 87 million residential dryers in the U.S. These clothes dryers account for 6% of residential electricity consumption, which is roughly equivalent to the electricity consumed annually by the entire state of Massachusetts (60 billion kWh per year). The annual cost of operating America‘s clothes dryers adds up to about $9 billion.

The energy efficiency of North American clothes dryers has made at most modest gains over the past two decades. By contrast, the energy attributed to washer use has decreased by about 70% since 1992.

Ecova compared the energy consumption of currently available European heat pump dryers to North American conventional electric dryers spanning a wide range of sizes, prices, features, and manufacturers.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The unstable weather patterns created by Global Warming means that there will be drought and flooding somewhere in the world, more or less at the same time. So this impending hurricane just pushes the drought out of its way for a while but it will come back.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/30/us-usa-drought-idINBRE87T0Z620120830

Drought eases in U.S. Midwest, worsens in northern Plains

By Karl Plume

Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:30pm IST

(Reuters) – The worst U.S. drought in a half century loosened its grip on the Midwest in the past week, helped by rain and cooler temperatures, but the drought grew more dire in the northern Plains, a report from climate experts said on Thursday.

But the improved Midwest weather arrived too late for crops in major farm states such as Kansas, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, where severe corn and soybean yield losses have already been realized.

The portion of the contiguous United States suffering from at least “severe” drought fell to 42.34 percent from 44.03 percent over the prior week, according to the Drought Monitor, a weekly synthesis representing a consensus climatologists.

The percentage of the Midwest in that category slipped to 49.96 from 51.06 the previous week, with the most notable improvement in Indiana, 64.07 percent of which was under severe drought or worse, down from 81.48 percent a week ago.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Water is a utility issue, an environmental issue, an energy issue and a residential issue. So it makes sense to cover it here. Next week I turn to the energy policies of the Presidential candidates.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2019013218_apusdroughtwellwitchers.html

Originally published Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 5:14 AM

In drought, drillers offering even water witching

Well driller Randy Gebke usually uses a geology database and other high-tech tools to figure out where to sink new water wells for clients. But if asked, he’ll grab two wires, walk across the property, waiting for the wires to cross to find a place to drill.

By DAVID MERCER

Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —

Well driller Randy Gebke usually uses a geology database and other high-tech tools to figure out where to sink new water wells for clients. But if asked, he’ll grab two wires, walk across the property, waiting for the wires to cross to find a place to drill.

Gebke is water witching, using an ancient method with a greater connection to superstition than science.

Thousands of wells have gone dry this summer in the worst drought the nation has experienced in decades. Some homeowners are spending as much as $30,000 to have new ones drilled, and Gebke said most potential customers in his area expect water witching to be part the deal.

“Over 50 percent of the time in that conversation, they ask do we have a witcher on the crew,” he said. “And my response is, `We have a witcher on every crew.'”

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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This drought is so severe that it will take more then a hurricane to end it.  Two or three hurricanes maybe, but this one no way.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/tropical-storm-isaac-could-bring-welcome-rain-to-midwest-but-unlikely-to-break-drought/2012/08/28/3066b0a4-f0e0-11e1-b74c-84ed55e0300b_story.html

Tropical Storm Isaac could bring welcome rain to Midwest but unlikely to break drought

By Associated Press,

OMAHA, Neb. — The remnants of Tropical Storm Isaac could bring welcome rain to some states in the Mississippi River valley this week, but experts say it’s unlikely to break the drought gripping the Midwest.

Along with the deluge of rain expected along the Gulf Coast when Isaac makes landfall, the National Weather Service predicts 2 to 6 inches of rain will fall in eastern Arkansas, southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.

Those areas are among those hard hit by the drought that stretches from the West Coast east into Kentucky and Ohio, with pockets in Georgia and Alabama. The rain that falls inland likely will ease but not eliminate drought, because those areas are so dry, said Mark Svoboda, a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Arkansas rancher Don Rodgers said his area is short 17 inches of rain this year. He said even a couple of inches from Isaac would make a significant difference because he would have water for his cattle and might be able to grow some forage for this winter.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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While I wrote about the higher output temperatures of power plant effluent (water) and the effects on the wild life and the surrounding environment. But the fact is, they have been dropping in production too. I mean if you can’t cool them, they will melt and for the most part that is a bad thing especially for the nukes. The President of PG&E was crowing about their nuke being cooled by sea water so “as to be not effected” by the drought and climate warming. He may want to rethink that.

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120815/nuclear-power-plants-energy-nrc-drought-weather-heat-water

Extreme Heat, Drought Show Vulnerability of Nuclear Power Plants

Reactor shutdown in Connecticut is latest sign that nuclear energy would face challenges from climate change.

Aug 15, 2012

Will 2012 go down as the year that left the idea of nuclear energy expansion in the hot, dry dust?

Nuclear energy might be an important weapon in the battle against climate change, some scientists have argued, because it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases. But separate of all the other issues with nuclear, that big plus would be moot if the plants couldn’t operate, or became too inefficient, because of global warming.

In June, InsideClimate News reported on the findings of Dennis Lettenmaier, a researcher at the University of Washington. His study found that nuclear and other power plants will see a 4 to 16 percent drop in production between 2031 and 2060 due to climate change-induced drought and heat.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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But that would mean that monopoly utilities were smart and they are not. Now that the problem has been shoved in their face by the warming up of the sun, they want to talk about it. Great.

http://www.pgecurrents.com/2012/08/07/climate-change-comes-to-the-power-industry/

August 7, 2012
Climate Change Comes to the Power Industry

By Jonathan Marshall

With temperatures setting new records across the country, and over half of the continental United States now experiencing serious drought, global warming is no longer just a prediction of climate scientists. It’s a reality, here and now.

Though every sector of human activity is feeling the impact, electric utilities are feeling them especially keenly, as they struggle to keep up with peak summer demand for air conditioning. At the same time, heat and drought threaten to curb their ability to generate and transmit power in the first place.

As Matthew Wald reported in his Green blog, one power plant in the Midwest was recently curtailed and another shut down altogether because river water levels dropped too low for their cooling intake valves. This was no fluke. A number of Texas power plants reduced their output in 2011 due to water shortages. Three years earlier, many more plants throughout the drought-stricken Southeast came close to shutting down.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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And in away this is a solar earth issue, just not one that involves pollution free power generation. It has always amazed me how good a source of news Rolling Stone has become. It was the home of Hunter S. Thompson too.

http://digg.com/newsbar/topnews/3_215_high_temperature_records_broken_or_tied_in_the_us

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is

July 19, 2012 9:35 AM ET

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history.

Not that our leaders seemed to notice. Last month the world’s nations, meeting in Rio for the 20th-anniversary reprise of a massive 1992 environmental summit, accomplished nothing. Unlike George H.W. Bush, who flew in for the first conclave, Barack Obama didn’t even attend. It was “a ghost of the glad, confident meeting 20 years ago,” the British journalist George Monbiot wrote; no one paid it much attention, footsteps echoing through the halls “once thronged by multitudes.” Since I wrote one of the first books for a general audience about global warming way back in 1989, and since I’ve spent the intervening decades working ineffectively to slow that warming, I can say with some confidence that we’re losing the fight, badly and quickly – losing it because, most of all, we remain in denial about the peril that human civilization is in.

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Go there and read. More next week.
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