Friday, July 31, 2009

Solar on the Go

Solar on the Go
Did you know that the sun provides over 35,000 times the total amount of energy that humans use every day? Solar energy is the most abundant, reliable, and cleanest form of renewable energy on the planet. With the rise energy costs, and increased environmental awareness, solar power is quickly becoming a feasible and affordable energy option for home use, but the best part about the sun is that it follows around even when you leave your home. That creates virtually unlimited potential for mobile solar applications such as RV Solar Kits and Solar Back Packs. Mobile solar gives you the freedom to go more places and do more things without having to sacrifice the use of your favorite comforts and conveniences. Plus, solar battery charging can play a very important role in any traveler's precautionary emergency arsenal.
The Turn Back Your Meter Team &

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Simple Guide To Online Fax

A Simple Guide To Online Fax
Copyright (c) 2009 Titus Hoskins
Bizware Magic

While most people have heard of email, there are many web users who have never heard of Internet or online fax. This is the equivalent of sending faxes via the web rather than through the old traditional facsimile machine in the office.

Like email, web faxing is a relatively new phenomenon which simply means using the Internet and your email system to send and receive your faxes. In order to use online fax you have to sign up for an account with an Internet fax service provider, who will supply you with a Toll-Free or local fax number you can use. Your
faxes are sent as email attachment, usually in TIFF or PDF format.

Your online fax service provider acts as your intermediary to handle and process all your faxing. Keep in mind, with an Internet faxing account you don’t need an extra dedicated fax phone line because everything is done via the web. However, you can still send faxes to and from the old traditional fax machine, your online provider will act on your behalf to process your faxes.

With an Internet fax service you are generally given an online site (interface) where you can log-on to send and receive your faxes. This web account will also store your faxes so that they
are available to you at all times. How long and the amount of faxes you can store will depend upon which service you choose, so it pays to do a little homework first before you sign up to any one service.

These fax providers will also have different monthly rates but the average cost is around $10 a month, but there are much cheaper quality services you can get, especially if your faxing
requirements are very minimum. Some services are as low as $20 a year or you can also get a pay as you go service.

Why are millions of individuals and companies switching over to this new way of faxing?
There are many reasons: online faxing can be much cheaper especially when you factor in the low start-up costs and the cost of a separate phone line. Online fax is paperless so it is seen
as more environmentally friendlier than regular faxing. It also uses no inks, toners and there are none of those messy annoying paper jams. No more missed faxes because of busy signals. You can also send many faxes simultaneously. Web faxing can also be much more secure than traditional faxing since your faxes can be encrypted. Plus, all your faxing is completely mobile, you can send and receive your faxes anywhere, anytime - as long as you have Internet access and these days that’s just about everywhere on the planet.

This new way of faxing is much more convenient since you can use laptops, PDAs, cell phones… to send and receive your faxes. It is also extremely easy to use, as simple as using email, anyone can do it. Furthermore, online faxing is seen as the wave of the future, connecting all your faxing with computers and the web.

Plus, we must not forget about the whole concept of competitiveness when speaking about online fax. If your business or company depends heavily on timely faxes for bringing in sales, closing deals or communicating with clients; then having a fax
service that’s available 24/7, 365 days of the year (regardless of where you’re located) is a definite advantage to have in your corner. Sometimes it may just be a matter of keeping up with your
competition who might already be using web faxing in their own businesses.

Your next obvious questions should be: can your business or company afford NOT to have it? It’s your call!

ग्रीन Glossary

Green Glossary:
Annual Consumption – Annual consumption refers to the amount of electricity used in one year and is typically measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This information is available on your electricity bill or by contacting your energy provider.
Anthropogenic – Caused by man or resulting from human activities. Used in the context of greenhouse gas emissions produced as a result of human activities.
Atmosphere – The gaseous envelope surrounding the Earth. The dry atmosphere consists almost entirely of nitrogen (78.1% volume mixing ratio) and oxygen (20.9% volume mixing ratio), together with a number of trace gases, such as argon (0.93% volume mixing ratio), helium, radiatively active greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (0.035% volume mixing ratio), and ozone. In addition the atmosphere contains water vapor, whose amount is highly variable but typically 1% volume mixing ratio. The atmosphere also contains clouds and aerosols.
Atmospheric Lifetime – The lifetime of a greenhouse gas refers to the approximate amount of time it would take for the anthropogenic increment to an atmospheric pollutant concentration to return to its natural level (assuming emissions cease) as a result of either being converted to another chemical compound or being taken out of the atmosphere via a sink. This time depends on the pollutant's sources and sinks as well as its reactivity. The lifetime of a pollutant is often considered in conjunction with the mixing of pollutants in the atmosphere; a long lifetime will allow the pollutant to mix throughout the atmosphere. Average lifetimes can vary from about a week (e.g., sulfate aerosols) to more than a century (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons [CFCs], carbon dioxide).
Carbon Dioxide – Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an atmospheric gas that is a major component of the carbon cycle. Although produced through natural processes, carbon dioxide is also released through human activities, such as the combustion of fossil fuels to produce electricity. Carbon dioxide is the predominate gas contributing to the greenhouse effect, and as such is known to contribute to climate change.
Carbon Intensity – The amount of carbon by weight emitted per unit of energy consumed. A common measure of carbon intensity is weight of carbon per British thermal unit (Btu) of energy. When there is only one fossil fuel under consideration, the carbon intensity and the emissions coefficient are identical. When there are several fuels, carbon intensity is based on their combined emissions coefficients weighted by their energy consumption levels.1
Carbon Footprint - A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide you add to the atmosphere each year as a direct result of your actions and lifestyle.
A carbon footprint is measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e), and activities such as heating and cooling your home, driving your car, and running electrical appliances all contribute to the size of your footprint. The more natural resources you use to carry out these activities, the more carbon based emission you add to the environment, and the bigger your carbon footprint.
Certification and Verification – Refers to the certification and verification of green power products. See the Certified and Verified Products section of this Web site for more information.
Climate – Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the "average weather," or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands of years. The classical period is three decades, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.
Combined Heat and Power – Combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is an efficient, clean, and reliable approach to generating power and thermal energy from a single fuel source. CHP is not a specific technology but an application of technologies to meet an energy user's needs. CHP systems achieve typical effective electric efficiencies of 50 to 80 percent — a dramatic improvement over the average efficiency of separate heat and power. Since CHP is highly efficient, it reduces traditional air pollutants and carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas associated with climate change. Visit EPA's Combined Heat and Power Partnership Web site for additional information
Commodity Electricity – Is physical electricity in the absence of the technological, environmental, social, and economic benefits associated with a specific generation source. These benefits are transferable over geographic distance through a tradable instrument called a renewable energy certificate (REC) and can be re-associated with the physical electricity at the point of use.
Competitive Markets – Until recently, most consumers received generation, transmission, and distribution services from one local utility company. As a regulated monopoly, the utility was given an exclusive franchise to provide electricity to consumers in any particular community. Rates were set, and consumers had little choice but to pay that rate. In recent years, however, many states have restructured their electricity industry and are now allowing consumers to choose from among competing electricity suppliers.
In these states with retail competition, sellers of electricity obtain power by contracting with various generation sources and setting their own price. Consumers in these states have the opportunity to choose their energy provider and purchase products based on the price or type of power supplied to their home or business. Some consumers are exercising this choice and switching to accredited "green power" resources. In states that have not restructured their electricity markets, consumers interested in purchasing renewable energy now have the option to participate in green pricing programs offered by their local utility.
Conventional Power – Power that is produced from non-renewable fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear. Conventional fuels are finite resources that cannot be replenished once they are extracted and used.
Distributed Generation – Small, modular, decentralized, grid-connected or off-grid energy systems located in or near the place where energy is used.
Electricity Supplier – As states restructure their electricity markets, an increasing number of customers will be able to choose from a range of electricity suppliers who market different types of power products, including green power. In states without restructured electricity markets, local utilities may offer green pricing programs that enable customers to elect to have their utility generate a portion of their power from renewable sources. To find out about green power products in your area, visit the Green Power Locator.
Emissions – The release of a substance (usually a gas when referring to the subject of climate change) into the atmosphere.
Energy Efficiency – Refers to products or systems using less energy to do the same or better job than conventional products or systems. Energy efficiency saves energy, saves money on utility bills, and helps protect the environment by reducing the demand for electricity. When buying or replacing products or appliances for your home, look for the ENERGY STAR® label — the national symbol for energy efficiency. For more information on ENERGY STAR-labeled products, visit the ENERGY STAR Web site.
Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management – Executive Order 13423 calls for Federal agencies sets goals in the areas of energy efficiency, acquisition, renewable energy, toxics reductions, recycling, sustainable buildings, electronics stewardship, fleets, and water conservation.
Fossil Fuels – Fossil fuels are the nation’s principal source of electricity. Fossil fuels come in three major forms: coal, oil, and natural gas. Because fossil fuels are a finite resource and cannot be replenished once they are extracted and burned, they are not considered renewable.
Generation – The act of transforming energy into electricity.
Global Climate Change – Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). Climate change may result from:
• Natural factors, such as changes in the sun's intensity or slow changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun
• Natural processes within the climate system (e.g. ,changes in ocean circulation)
• Human activities that change the atmosphere's composition (e.g., through burning fossil fuels) and the land surface (e.g., deforestation, reforestation, urbanization, desertification)
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the last century.[1][A] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation are responsible for most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century.[1] The IPCC also concludes that natural phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes produced most of the warming from pre-industrial times to 1950 and had a small cooling effect afterward.[2][3] These basic conclusions have been endorsed by more than 40 scientific societies and academies of science,[B] including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries.[4]
Global Warming Potential (GWP) – Global Warming Potential (GWP) is defined as the cumulative radiative forcing effects of a gas over a specified time horizon resulting from the emission of a unit mass of gas relative to a reference gas. The GWP-weighted emissions of direct greenhouse gases in the U.S. Inventory are presented in terms of equivalent emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), using units of teragrams of carbon dioxide equivalents (Tg CO2 Eq.).
Conversion: Tg = 109 kg = 106 metric tons = 1 million metric tons
The molecular weight of carbon is 12, and the molecular weight of oxygen is 16; therefore, the molecular weight of CO2 is 44 (i.e., 12+[16 x 2]), as compared to 12 for carbon alone. Thus, carbon comprises 12/44ths of carbon dioxide by weight.
Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) – Gases in the Earth’s atmosphere that produce the greenhouse effect. Changes in the concentration of certain greenhouse gases, due to human activity such as fossil fuel burning, increase the risk of global climate change. Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, halogenated fluorocarbons, ozone, perfluorinated carbons, and hydro fluorocarbons.
Green Power – Renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro generate green power. A green power resource produces electricity with zero anthropogenic (i.e., human-caused) emissions, has a superior environmental profile to conventional power generation, and must have been built after the beginning of the voluntary market (1/1/1997).
Green Power Marketers – Due to increased customer awareness of the environmental implications associated with conventional power generation, a growing number of utilities and other types of energy service providers have begun offering green power products. The term “green power marketers” usually refers to energy providers operating in states that permit retail competition in the electricity markets. In states that do not allow this retail competition, many utilities have begun offering green power options under what are typically referred to as green pricing programs. To learn more about green power products in your area and whether your utility offers a green pricing program, visit the Green Power Locator.
Green Power Product – Green power electricity products are supplied from renewable energy resources that provide the highest environmental benefit. Green power sold by regulated utilities is called green pricing, and when sold in competitive electric markets, green power is called green marketing.
Green Pricing – Some power companies are now providing an optional service, called green pricing, which allows customers to pay a small premium in exchange for electricity generated from green power resources. The premium covers the increased costs incurred by the power provider (i.e., the electric utility) when adding green power to its power generation mix. To find out if your utility offers a green pricing program, refer to the Green Power Locator.
Green Power Purchasing – Green power can be purchased nationwide from several sources. Green power marketers offer green power products to consumers in deregulated markets, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New England. In states that do not allow retail competition in the electricity markets, many utilities offer green power products through green pricing programs. In addition, all customers nationwide have the opportunity to buy green power and stimulate the development of renewable generation sources through renewable energy certificates. Finally, customers can choose to install on-site generation, such as solar photo-voltaics.
Hydroelectric Power (Large) – The process of generating electricity by harnessing the power of moving water is called hydroelectricity. Hydroelectric power (hydropower) is generated by forcing water that is flowing downstream, often from behind a dam, through a hydraulic turbine that is connected to a generator. The water exits the turbine and is returned to the stream or riverbed. Much of the hydroelectricity in the United States is generated at large facilities and in the Pacific Northwest, where it meets about two-thirds of the electricity demand. In the United States, hydroelectricity contributes about 10 percent of the total electricity supply.
Hydro (Small-scale) – In addition to very large hydroelectric plants in the West, the United States also has many smaller hydroelectric facilities. Like large plants, small-scale hydroelectric systems capture the energy in naturally flowing water and convert it to electricity. Although the potential for small hydroelectric systems depends on the availability of suitable water flow, these systems can provide cheap, clean, reliable electricity where the resource exists.
Kilowatt-hour – A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a standard metric unit of measurement for electricity.
• One kilowatt-hour (kW) is equal to 1,000 watt-hours (Wh).
• A watt-hour is the amount of energy delivered at a rate of one watt (W) for a period of one hour.
• One watt is the amount of power rate of one joule of work per second of time.
• Example: A 100 watt light bulb in use for 10 hours uses 1000 watt-hours, or 1 kilowatt of electricity. (100 watts x 10 hours = 1000 watt-hours = 1 kWh)
Megawatt-hour – A megawatt-hour (MWh) is equal to 1,000 kWh.
Methane (CH4) – A hydrocarbon that is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential most recently estimated at 23 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane is produced through anaerobic (without oxygen) decomposition of waste in landfills, animal digestion, decomposition of animal wastes, production and distribution of natural gas and petroleum, coal production, and incomplete fossil fuel combustion. The global warming potential (GWP) is from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC's) Third Assessment Report (TAR).
Metric Ton – The common international measurement for the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions. A metric ton is equal to 2205 lbs or 1.1 short tons.
Net Metering – A method of crediting customers for electricity that the customer generates on site in excess of their own electricity consumption. Customers with their own generation offset the electricity they would have purchased from their utility. If such customers generate more than they use in a billing period, their electric meter turns backwards to indicate their net excess generation. Depending on individual state or utility rules, the net excess generation may be credited to their account (in many cases at the retail price), carried over to a future billing period, or ignored.
“New” Renewables – The voluntary green power market came into existence in the late 1990’s. January 1, 1997 is considered a definitive point in time when green power facilities could be adequately identified as having been developed to serve the green power marketplace. Green power facilities placed into service after January 1, 1997 are said to produce “new” renewable energy. The “new” criterion addresses the additional requirements for the voluntary market.
Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) – Gases consisting of one molecule of nitrogen and varying numbers of oxygen molecules. Nitrogen oxides are produced in the emissions of vehicle exhausts and from power stations. In the atmosphere, nitrogen oxides can contribute to formation of photochemical ozone (smog), can impair visibility, and have health consequences; they are thus considered pollutants.
On-site Renewable Generation – Electricity generated by renewable resources using a system or device located at the site where the power is used. On-site generation is a form of distributed energy generation. For more information about distributed energy technologies that are renewable and non-renewable, visit the Department of Energy's Distributed Energy Resources Web site.
Renewable Energy – The term renewable energy generally refers to electricity supplied from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower, and various forms of biomass. These energy sources are considered renewable sources because their fuel sources are continuously replenished. Some renewable energy resources, such as nuclear power, have environmental impacts that preclude their acceptance among customers in the voluntary green power market.
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) – Also known as green tags, green energy certificates, or tradable renewable certificates. RECs represent the technology and environmental attributes of electricity generated from renewable sources. RECs are usually sold in 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) units. A certificate can be sold separately from the underlying generic electricity with which it is associated. Once the REC is sold separately from the underlying electricity, the electricity is no longer considered renewable. RECs provide buyers flexibility to offset a percentage of their annual electricity use when green power products may not be available locally.
Renewable Portfolio Standard – The requirement that an electric power provider generate or purchase a specified percentage of the power it supplies/sells from renewable energy resources, and thereby guarantee a market for electricity generated from renewable energy resources.
Retail Competition – In states with retail competition, consumers have the opportunity to choose their energy provider and purchase products based on the price or on the source of power supplied to their home or business.
Short Ton – Common measurement for a ton in the United States. A short ton is equal to 2,000 lbs or 0.907 metric tons. See metric ton.
Sulfur Dioxide – High concentrations of sulfur dioxide affect breathing and may aggravate existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Sensitive populations include asthmatics, individuals with bronchitis or emphysema, children, and the elderly. Sulfur dioxide is also a primary contributor to acid rain, which causes acidification of lakes and streams and can damage trees, crops, historic buildings, and statues. In addition, sulfur compounds in the air contribute to visibility impairment in large parts of the country. This is especially noticeable in national parks. Sulfur dioxide is released primarily from burning fuels that contain sulfur (such as coal, oil, and diesel fuel). Stationary sources such as coal- and oil-fired power plants, steel mills, refineries, pulp and paper mills, and nonferrous smelters are the largest releasers.
Utility – A utility is a municipal or private business that provides electricity to the public and is subject to governmental regulation.
Vintage – A term that refers to the year that purchased green power was generated. Refer to the Green Power Partners Program Requirements for more information.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What is SEER?

What is SEER?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rates the efficiency of air conditioning units. SEER is defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute in its standard ARI 210=240, Performance Rating of Unitary Air-Conditioning and Air-Source Heat Pump Equipment. The higher the SEER rating of a unit, the more energy efficient the unit. The SEER rating is the Btu of cooling output during a typical season divided by the total electric energy input in watt-hours during the same period.

For example, consider a 5000 BTU/h air-conditioning unit, with a SEER of 10, operating for a total of 1000 hours during an annual cooling season (e.g., 8 hours per day for 125 days). This section from Wikipedia.

The annual total cooling output would be:

5000 BTU/h * 8 h/day * 125 days = 5,000,000 BTU

With a SEER of 10, the annual electrical energy usage would be about:

5,000,000 BTU / 10 BTU/W·h = 500,000 W·h

The average power usage may also be calculated more simply by:

Average power = (BTU/h) / (SEER, BTU/W·h) = 5000 / 10 = 500 W

If your electricity cost is 20¢/kW·h, then your operating cost is:

0.5 kW * 20¢/kW·h = 10¢/h

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

LED, CFL, Halogen, Flourescent Comparison

When considering LED light vs halogen bulbs, it is worth remembering there are now several alternatives available when seeking new lights. These include traditional incandescent bulbs, the normal fluorescent light fixture, LED light bulbs and compact fluorescent lights. There are also variations such as halogen bulbs.
Incandescent lights are what we have been raised with. They produce bright light but give off a great deal of heat and come in a very wide variety of types. There lights are intended for an extremely diverse range of outputs from small night lights to huge floodlights. They have high power usage, low lifespan and are likely to fail as they are switched on and off. They also respond poorly to very cold temperatures. Ordinary incandescent bulbs last perhaps a thousand hours, while the more expensive and capable halogen bulbs can last about twice as long.
Fluorescent lights are somewhat more expensive to purchase than incandescent lights, but are much less expensive to operate. They can produce a relatively unpleasant color of light, and have a flicker effect as the lights flash on and off faster than the eye can detect. This can have effects on some people however, as their subconscious can detect the flicker and grow stressed. The constant hum exacerbates this and some find the lights oppressive as a result. Fluorescent lights also contain small amounts of mercury. This requires, in many jurisdictions, the user to treat old fluorescent lights as hazardous waste, much like you should treat batteries. This normally involves bagging the light, especially larger lights, and taking t hem to designated facilities for disposal. This isn’t terribly onerous, as it is the same as is required of batteries. They also use far less power than incandescent lights.
Compact fluorescent lights are the same technology as the older fluorescents, but are intended to replace conventional screw in incandescent bulbs. They also contain small amounts of mercury, and should be treated the same as the standard fluorescents, that is, bagged and disposed of properly when needed. The amount of mercury is small enough that it is not a danger by EPA standards, but many jurisdictions still require proper disposal. This does not include calling in hazmat teams as some rumors suggest. They cost about 20-25% of the energy cost for an incandescent bulb. The bulbs cost more than an incandescent bulb, but replace many due to the long lifespan. They should last perhaps 10,000 hours.
LED Light Bulbs last longer than even the CFL lights, up to 60,000 hours and considerably longer times are expected soon. LED Light Bulbs are currently expensive, but over a lifespan are comparable with the prices for the CFLs and fluorescents. The high up front costs are compensated for by the low operation costs.