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The Solar Power House Gets a Revolutionary Battery

The Solar Power House Gets a Revolutionary Battery

Solar power technology for residences has been with us for a while, but it has historically been prohibitively costly.  However, because of new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film chemistry and better manufacturing systems, costs have recently been dropping significantly.  Some solar panel production companies are announcing PV panels for under $2 a watt which is a four-hundred percent price reduction from the $8 it was only several years ago.

The convergence of these improvements with a remarkable new deep-storage battery technology has previously unimaginable implications for the solar power house and our dependence on fossil fuels for electricity production.

A revolutionary new cost-effective, deep-storage battery has arrived that is the result of 10 years of research and testing that’s small and safe enough to sit in your home and power it. It is likely to be the single most important new technology to date for the potential supply of sufficient solar power electricity produced in the home.  A company named Ceramatec is the developer on this breathtaking new battery technology.

The the core value of their huge battery technology breakthrough is that high density power storage (high levels) can now be accomplished safely at operating temperatures below 90 degrees C which allows for solid components instead of hot liquid.  This is an astonishing breakthrough because currently most energy-dense batteries are very large containers of very hot highly corrosive and toxic molten sodium – conditions very unsuitable for use in the home.

Ceramatec indicates its new generation of battery, about the size of a refrigerator, can store approximately 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy for 3,650 daily discharge/recharge cycles over about 10 years of battery life.  With the batteries anticipated to sell for about $2,000, this calculates to below 3 cents a kilowatt hour battery cost over its life.  Traditional electricity from the grid usually costs around 8 cents per kilowatt hour, and typical deep-cycling lead/acid batteries typically only last for a few hundred cycles so they expire after only about a year.

Ceramatec’s new battery technology also has profound possibilities for the U.S. electrical grid which is an inefficient, aging approach to energy.  Taking a load off the grid through electricity production and storage at home would likely extend the system’s life and eliminate the expenditure of hundreds of billion dollars to make it “smart.”  Additionally, centralized management of the energy grid requires the use of computers, which brings on potential problems such as hackers and terrorists.  Also, large-scale energy generation from centralized power plants creates the possibility of regional grid blackouts created by a “point failure” on the grid.

The potential  with this new battery is to reduce pressure on the grid and move homeowners closer to greater energy independence. With small-scale solar electrical production and battery storage occuring at millions of individual residences the above problems should be severly reduced.

It’s hard to imagine anything more secure than generating power from the sun at your own solar power house, and having a safe, cost-effective way to store it.  It’s the optimum in security, and the optimum in control.”

Ceramatec says that they are close to moving from initial scale-up toward a commercial product, and this presents an enormous opportunity for home production of solar power electricity.

Sigma 17-50 F2

Sigma 17-50 F2.8 EX DC OS HSM

Recently, Sigma one of the leading American corporations of lenses announced its new Sigma 17-50 F2.8 EX DC OS HSM lens for the market. It is an ultra compact lens of latest cameras for photography with an overall length of just 3.6 inches where as talk about the dimensions and weight of this lens is comparatively perfect as compare to other with 84mm x 92mm (3.3in ? 3.6in) and just 565g or 19.9oz in weight. It is made up of tightly assembled combination of metal and high quality parts etc.

Sigma 17-50 F2.8 EX DC OS HSM has two glass molds, two latest camera lens features FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, and one hybrid aspherical lens that provides great correction for any kind of aberration. Furthermore, it covers a focal length of a 17mm wide angle, has a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches in its zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:5.

Its OS function offers the use of shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible. Only Sigma has made it possible to utilize an anti-shake system in either the latest camera body or the lens. The compensation for camera shake is visible in the view finder for all mounts, which makes accurate focusing fast and easy.

Another best quality of this quality lens of latest cameras for photography is that it is very pretty and stays a little short of the high expectations. Like its predecessor (AF 18-50mm f/2.8 HSM DC EX macro), it uses a mono-cam system (one inner lens tube) to extend the lens when zooming towards the tele setting. Moreover, its front element does not rotate the zoom ring has a pleasant, smooth action whereas the focus ring has no friction in manual mode. Its focus ring is coupled to the AF mechanism so it rotates during focus operations – this is somewhat disappointing for a high end product actually.

How to Choose a Transformer

How to Choose a Transformer

When choosing a transformer, there are two primary concerns: the load and the application. Several factors must be evaluated carefully while making the choice, to ensure that the needs of both primary concerns are met.

To use a clich?, it is typically a ‘no-brainer’ to choose smaller transformers. A unit with a kVA rating that is larger from the anticipated load can quickly be picked up. But if you are selecting a large unit for an electrical utility system, to be part of a large distribution network, you are typically making a much larger investment; thus the evaluation process is much more detailed and elaborate. With over 90 years of experience in this industry, Pacific Crest Transformers has put together a quick checklist to help you make your choice judiciously.

Top Questions

There are three major questions that influence your choice:

  • Does the chosen unit have enough capacity to handle the expected load, as well as a certain amount of overload?
  • Can the capacity of the unit be augmented to keep up with possible increase in load?
  • What is the life expectancy of the unit? What are the initial, installation, operational, and maintenance costs?

Evaluation Factors

The cost and capacity of the transformer typically relate to a set of evaluation factors:

1. Application of the Unit

Transformer requirements clearly change based on the application.

For example: in the steel industry, a large amount of uninterrupted power is required for the functioning of metallurgical and other processes. Thus, load losses should be minimized – which means a particular type of transformer construction that minimizes copper losses is better suited. In wind energy applications, output power varies a great extent at different instances; transformers used here should be able to withstand surges without failure. In smelting, power transformers that can supply constant, correct energy are vital; in the automotive industry, good short-term overload capacity is a necessary attribute. Textile industries, using motors of various voltage specifications, will need intermittent or tap-changing transformers; the horticulture industry requires high-performance units that suit variable loading applications with accurate voltage.

These examples serve to underline that type of load (amplitude, duration, and the extent of non-linear and linear loads) and placement are key considerations. If standard parameters do not serve your specific application, then working with a manufacturer that can customize the operating characteristics, size and other attributes to your needs will be necessary. Pacific Crest regularly builds custom transformers for unique applications.

2. Insulation Type (Liquid-Filled or Dry Type)

While there is still debate on the relative advantages of the available types of transformers, there are some performance characteristics that have been accepted:

  • Liquid-filled transformers are more efficient, have greater overload capability and longer life expectancy.
  • Liquid-filled units are better at reducing hot-spot coil temperatures, but have higher risk of flammability than dry types.
  • Unlike dry type units, liquid-filled transformers sometimes require containment troughs to guard against fluid leaks.

Dry type units are usually used for lower ratings (the changeover point being 500kVA to 2.5MVA). Placement is also a crucial consideration here; will the unit be indoors serving an office building/apartment, or outdoors serving an industrial load? Higher-capacity transformers, used outdoors, are almost always liquid-filled; lower capacity, indoor units are typically dry types. Dry types typically come in enclosures with louvers, or sealed; varnish, vacuum pressure impregnated (VPI) varnish, epoxy resin or cast resin are the different types of insulation used.

3. Choice of Winding Material

Transformers use copper or aluminum for windings, with aluminum-wound units typically being more cost-effective. Copper-wound transformers, however, are smaller – copper is a better conductor – and copper contributes to greater mechanical strength of the coil. It is important to work with a manufacturer that has the capability and experience to work with either material to suit your specific requirement.

Read more on how to choose a transformer

Gen-2 RFID Tags

Gen-2 RFID Tags

If your company is required to comply with an RFID mandate set forth by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) or Wal-Mart, you must do so by following EPC (electronic product code) standards.

EPCglobal is the authority on how radio frequency identification (RFID) tags should be coded with information. The data content of RFID tags must be standardized for two key reasons: 1) so that all RFID readers are able to capture the tags’ data, and 2) so that your particular RFID implementation contains only unique tag identifiers.

There are several RFID interface protocols, each with varying capabilities, advantages, and disadvantages. Up until December 2004, EPCglobal’s First Generation Classification (Gen-1) system was the most widely used standard. The second-generation system (Gen-2) is favored after December 2004 and is the standard to follow when satisfying the requirements of the DoD and Wal-Mart RFID mandates.

RFID tags are classified as Class 0 through Class 5, depending on their functionality:

Class 0 – UHF; read-only, preprogrammed passive tags, meaning that end users cannot write a new number to the tag

Class 1 – UHF or HF; write once, read many (WORM)

Class 2 – Passive read-write tags that can be written to at any point in the supply chain

Class 3 – Read-write with onboard sensors capable of recording parameters like temperature, pressure, and motion; can be either semipassive or active

Class 4 – Read-write active tags with integrated transmitters; can communicate with other tags and readers

Class 5 – Similar to Class 4 tags but with additional functionality; can provide power to other tags and communicate with devices other than readers

A designation of “Generation 1.0″ and “Generation 2.0″ associated with a class (e.g., Class 1 Generation 2.0) is more indicative of the tag’s functionality than the class name itself, as Gen-2 tags represent standardized improvements over their Gen-1 predecessors.

Generation 2 of the EPC protocol offers several advantages, including but not limited to:

– An interoperable, global standard

– Faster and more flexible read speeds

– Faster, more accurate performance through the use of advanced anticollision protocols

– An easier way to deploy many readers at one time to end users

– Enhanced security and privacy

Additionally, Class 1 Gen-2 RFID tags are backward-compatible with Gen-1 Class 0 and Class 1 tags and replace the specifications for both classes. Generation 2.0 Class 1 tags have an open standard that any manufacturer can use to produce their tags.

Protect yourself Against Viruses

Protect yourself Against Viruses

These days it is a must to have a good, reliable virus protection program. There happens to be a many good free virus protection software packages out on the internet today. The only way to protect our pc today is using software that acts like a antidote to the disease. By using this software you can take preventive measures of stopping the disease before it infects the system.

Removable media such as cds, floppy disks, usb keys that are infected and used in another system can carry the virus and infect the other machine. If you computer is infected with a virus you will need to remove the virus as soon as possible otherwise it can infect the system completely and spread to others. If a computer is infected by a computer virus the computer needs to be scanned by virus scanning software. When surfing the internet most likely you been infected with a Trojan, virus, or some type of spyware, according to many virus detection agencies, the unprotected PC is infected on average within 20 minutes of normal internet usage. Many systems get infected every day, you must take safety measures or your system might get infected, and the virus might corrupt your data on your system. A Computer Worm is a self replicating program, the first worm to gain wide attention was the Morris Worm this infected a large number of computers and earned its writer 400 hours of community service and over $10000 in fines. When a virus infects you computer it can replicate itself, use up system resources, allow a user remote access, record keystrokes to the infected computer, it also has the ability to destroy personal data.

You must take precautions because when you download it may contain spyware, adware or viruses, spyware and adware can collect personal data, record your browsing habits and no more about you. Ad and Spyware are programs that are automatically installed on your computer.

When your computer is infected with a virus they are designed to alter your normal computer functions and spyware infections are used to spy on you, one way they do this is by recording your personal information. Many times adware, viruses and spyware find what is called a “back door” to install and replicated itself you in your computer.

Downloading may sometimes cause error on the system or the entire computer system may crash. Many spyware or viruses are downloaded when downloading software and music. Many viruses can lay dormant without you knowing this, since you don’t know it is there it can attack at any moment when least expect it, it could attack when typing a report and downloading important. Whether you have learned your lesson from a past experience or not, try not to download unwanted files or open email messages sent to you by people you don’t know. Many people do all of this without any real understanding of just how vulnerable they are each time they are on the internet. Try to take precautions, find reputable software and install it to protect your system. There is free software on the web that will protect your system.