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High Tech Airships Making a Comeback

airshipAirships are making a comeback with the US military, which could be good news for civilian applications. The military has the deep pockets for research and development, but then, once these ideas are worked out, civilian applications often follow along. So it is for those reasons, and not military boosterism, that we are excited to see that the US Army is planning to deploy an unmanned airship called the LEMV which can spend up to 3 weeks at an altitude of 20,000 feet (6,100 m) with a 2,500 pound (1,134 kg) payload of surveilance equipment by the middle of 2011.

LEMV (Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle) is a hybrid airship which gets most, but not all of its lift from the buoyant volume of the vehicle. 20% of the lift, however, comes from the aerodynamic shape of the craft and from its thrusters. The LEMV is capable of a much longer period of continuous operation than other contemporary unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

The attached video shows trial flights of the Lockheed Martin P-791 prototype which, at 125 feet (38 m) long, was about half the size of the proposed LEMV. The initial Army deployment of the LEMV is to be in Afghanistan. But research applications and disaster relief are just two of the more beneficial uses this technology could be used for in the only here viagra no rx required near future.

via: Slashdot and Gizmodo



World's First Smart Grid City Is Now Operational

powerlinesXcel Energy's SmartGridCity project in Boulder CO is the first operational installation of a smart grid for electrical power in the world. This is a city-wide installation, rather than the kind of cialis canadian pharmacy overnight shipping long-distance distribution system that many people think of when discussing a national smart grid, but both will be necessary components for an upgraded electrical infrastructure.
The SmartGridCity project also included automating three of four distribution substations, four computer-monitored power feeders, and another 23 feeders that are watched for voltage irregularities. Approximately 200 miles of fiber optic cable, 4,600 residential and small business transformers and nearly 16,000 smart meters are now connected to the smart grid system.
The smart grid allows the utility to better monitor and regulate the electrical grid. Using real-time monitoring and herbal cialis data feedback, the utility can more rapidly adjust for equipment failures, power outages, and other electrical problems. Individual consumers whose service is connected through a smart meter will also be able to access their own information and can "design and personalize energy consumption strategies" for themselves. Already this year, since some of the components were installed, four potential transformer failures have been detected, and outages have been able to be prevented by proactively replacing those units before they failed.

via: Renew Grid


New Energy Star for TVs Calls for Better Efficiency, Smaller Sizes

The Energy Star for TVs standards were released on September 3 and manufacturers will need to buy levitra professional up efficiency and keep sizes in check if they want the coveted label.

The Version 4 sticker, coming May 1, 2010, will require a 40 percent increase in efficiency over TVs sold today and the Version 5 sticker, coming May 2012, will require a 65 percent increase.  The new ratings will reflect the energy consumed when the TV is in "On Mode" as well as when it's off but downloading programming information.

The new versions pretty much take large TVs out of the running by requiring that any TVs over 50 inches meet the same "On Mode" requirements as a 50-inch one - 108 kW.  The cover letter to the technical specifications for the new standards made it clear that large TVs just aren't environmentally friendly.

"The issue in this case is order viagra from uk what TV sizes can the federal government credibly designate as preferable from an energy and environmental perspective. This has become an important issue as the sizes of TVs and energy use continue to grow."

Making it harder to qualifty for the Energy Star label will hopefully drive up efficiency on all TV models.  TVs account for four percent of levitra for women all households' electricity use in the U.S.  According to the EPA, there are 275 million TVs in use in the country, consuming 50 billion kWh per year - enough to power all the levitra no prescription homes in the state of New York for a year.

via CNET


Europe Bans Incandescents: Fallout Begins

banned light bulbEurope has officially begun it's ban on incandescent light bulbs, a ban that promises to save some $7 Billion a year in energy costs. Stores are allowed to no prescription continue selling their current stock, but they can no longer buy any more bulbs to sell. And while the EcoGeeks rejoice, others have flung up their arms in despair and cannot imagine a world where we don't light our world with tiny little space heaters. So, with a ban looming in 2012 for the U.S., it's worth taking a look at how Europe is handing the switch.

Among the reasons that people are upset include:

  • It will be very expensive to change the lighting system on fair rides, so expensive that those beautiful spectacles may never again light up the night sky.
  • Lighting systems for galleries are very precisely tuned and generic cialis artists and curators alike have very specific needs that (apparently) sometimes require incandescent lights.
  • People who suffer from "anxiety" believe that the bulbs harm them or their children.

None of these issues seem particularly difficult to deal with. If you're really worried about your bulbs, I'm sure there will be ways to get them in a somewhat legally-gray way. But for those people who just want to replace a lightbulb and head to the nearest store (99% of people) the gains in efficiency will likely not be affected measureably by this.

I say, let the market provide incandescents for those who are angry enough to go to only for you cialis en gel russian websites and order the buy viagra now bulbs with a $10 shipping charge on top. And sure, folks will stockpile, but the change is being made and the energy will be saved. That's what matters, and I'm excited to see what the boom in the markets for LED and CFL bulbs will do for the technologies.


Cash for Clunkers for Coal?

cashforcoalWe now know that American citizens will take free money to clean up their cars. And while it might not be a tremendously cost-effective way of reducing vehicle emissions, it is helping modernize our vehicle fleet and stimulate our economy.

So, what's next? What are the true clunkers in our societies...classic cars or coal power?

In an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner propose (for the first time that I've seen) a cash for clunkers program for companies that replace coal plants with less-polluting or non-polluting power. T. Boone, of course, wants the major replacement for coal to be natural gas...because he owns lots of it. But it could (and should) work just as well for renewable power. So let's talk about this for a second.

To start out, coal power plants are extremely expensive to build. The companies building and buy viagra canada financing these plants recognize that they will not pay for themselves for decades, and so they are relying on only for you female herbal viagra the fact that, once built, coal plants will produce power for at least fifty years.

That's a long time, and it's bad news for climate change. It means that even if all of the new power generation capacity we add from now on is clean (which, actually, it might be), we'll still have dirty coal plants for at least another fifty years. Unless...

Unless we pay power-generation companies that run dirty plants that might otherwise produce dirty power for another 20 years to close those plants down and replace that power with clean supply.

Unfortunately, we can't just keep printing money. The trillion dollar economic stimulous of the last year has alraedy all but bankrupted our government. If you thought cash for clunkers was expensive, get ready for some serious sticker shock for cash for coal. I can't imagine a program that would mean significant change costing any less than a hundred billion dollars.

A much more effective policy, of course, is just to put a cap on carbon emissions and force companies to make these changes on their own. Of course this would mean that electricity costs would rise while electric companies paid for new technology. But we either spend money we don't have or we spend money we do have. That seems to be the real debate here, and I'm more or less in favor of spending money we do have and letting the market decide the best way to click now online viagra prescription decrease carbon emissions is.

Especially if, instead, we have T. Boone Pickens deciding what the best future technology (NATURAL GAS!!! PLEASE PLLEAASE NATURAL GAS!!) is.

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