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Extreme Weather Compounds World Hunger Crisis; Sustainability Key to Solution – AccuWeather.com

Extreme Weather Compounds World Hunger Crisis; Sustainability Key to Solution
AccuWeather.com
According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), extreme changes in weather increase the risks of hunger and undernutrition through droughts, floods and climate-related disasters that have the potential to destroy crops and critical

extreme weather – read more

Magnetic Water Softening Solution Looking For Crowdfunding


Originally published on Ecopreneurist.

akwamagwatersoftening

For those of us who live in areas with hard water, dealing with the effects of mineral deposits in our bathrooms, kitchens, and water heaters can be not only a total pain in the you-know-what, but can also be an expensive endeavor. Conventional water softeners tend to require regular maintenance and rely on replenishing the salt, which can end up polluting the local water system.

However, a new type of water softening process, which uses magnets instead of a salt resin and is considered maintenance-free, could end up being the most affordable and effective solution for homeowners in hard water areas.

The Akwamag system uses a “High Intensity Multipass” magnetic technology to treat hard water, by converting dissolved minerals into a crystalline structure that isn’t prone to “scaling” plumbing fixtures and which can be easily removed. The process is said to be able to soften an “unlimited capacity” of water and to not require any maintenance, resulting in an eco-friendly and cost-effective water softening solution.

Not only does the average salt-resin water softening system introduce a lot of salt to the local water system (up to 800 pounds of salt each year), but it also uses about 10,000 gallons of water per year, plus an estimated 10 to 25% more water in order to fully rinse clothes, bodies, dishes, etc., so having a more sustainable water softener could have a bigger impact than just reducing scale in home plumbing systems.

According to the company, the device can handle large volumes of water (continuous use), and the design overcomes inefficiencies found in other magnet-based water softening systems.

“Akwamag uses advanced magnetic water softening technology to replace existing water softening products.

Unlike existing water softeners, Akwamag’s patent-pending High Intensity Multipass™ technology can process unlimited water capacity at a fraction of the cost. And because Akwamag is not salt based, homeowners no longer have to worry about purchasing salt every month, or dealing with water waste and salt discharge.”

To get the Akwamag technology to the market, the company has turned to crowdfunding, and their Indiegogo campaign seeks to raise $ 26,000, with the first units being available to the campaign’s backers as early as July of 2014.

Magnetic Water Softening Solution Looking For Crowdfunding was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

A Potential Solution For Long-Distance Power Transmission Leakage


Originally written on JBS News.
By John Brian Shannon.

Electrical grids perform two main functions. They carry electrical current from the power producer to the end-user and they regulate the electrical current that is being transported through the lines.

On one end of the line, the electrical current might be generated by a hydro-electric dam, coal, nuclear power, or a renewable energy power plant such as wind or solar power. At the other end of the line, the homeowner, business, industry, or government, receives all the AC electricity (Alternating Current) they need at exactly the right voltage (Volts) and cycles per second (Hertz). In North America, this usually works out to 110 (or 120) Volts AC power @ 60 Hertz.

Along the route, through the hundreds or even thousands of miles of high tension lines and towers (called ‘pylons’) significant but naturally-occurring electrical current losses of up to one-third of the original output are experienced — which must be covered by 1) sending more current than is needed to ensure the required amount reaches the city after the losses are factored in 2) the installation of costly substations, with their hugely expensive transformer systems to recover and re-modulate the current.

Illustration below depicts just one example of the many kinds of current leakage found in all electrical grids, worldwide.

479px-Fluorescent_tube_under_electric_line

A fluorescent tube glows in the electromagnetic field under high tension lines, from so called “navigated voltage” which happens near energized High Voltage wires.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia (BaronAlaric).

There are more substations in North America than you can possibly imagine, and these help to regulate the electrical current and manage leakage. Even the tiniest substations cost several million dollars, have an appreciable land footprint, are often located on expensive land next to residential or commercial/industrial areas, and they are hazardous locations for pets and kids who may ‘jump the fence to take a look around.’ I know this, because in my youth this was a favourite pastime, and my friends and I ‘inspected’ entire substations wondering what role each component performed. After lightning storms, we always looked around for pieces of fried metal that we could proudly take home to show Mom.

SOLAR POWER GRID AUGMENTATION

Small-scale solar installations placed along high tension line routes could compensate for current leakages, and add surplus solar power to the grid as the current flows towards the end users.

The land required for such installations would be tiny, and in fact, that land is already bought and paid for (or leased) and this land is known as electrical power transmission company ‘right-of-ways’ wherever the high tension wires and the pylons which support the wires high above the ground, crisscross the countryside.

The next logical step for power producers and their partners the power transmission companies (now that solar panel costs have hit all-time lows) should be the installation of 1MW solar arrays every 50 or 100 miles along high tension wire right-of-ways to compensate for the electrical current that is lost in transit. A tiny substation at each solar array along the routes could transmit the solar generated power directly to the lines in real time, to make up for the electrical current that is normally lost in transit.

As most electricity demand occurs during the daylight hours, solar panels would add power to the grid exactly when it is experiencing its highest rate of electricity demand and leakage.

WIND POWER GRID AUGMENTATION

In Northern latitudes, wind power might be the preferred Grid Augmentation method. Installing a 1MW wind turbine every 50 miles along high tension wire routes would cover existing electrical current leakages, as well as adding surplus power to the grid.

New and sophisticated vertical axis wind turbines could be installed close to existing high-tension lines with no danger of them ever hitting the wires or pylons.

MAKE MINE A MODULAR!

By employing a modular approach to such installations, results could be seen right away, as a new design/engineering/construction method would not required for each installation. We can simply decide to add a 1 MW block of solar or wind power every 50 miles (or whatever is required to cover the average current loss per 50 miles) and start pouring the concrete bases to mount the panels or turbines. This is not rocket science, this can be done.

Electrical leakage results in a huge cost to electrical producers, electrical power transmission companies, and especially to end-users. It is a well understood factor in the course of moving electrical power over long distances and merely adding electrical current to the grid at regular intervals — of a kind which has no fuel cost, no production cost, and is not operator-assisted — will solve the problem, completely.

I look forward to new and innovative uses for renewable energy which complement electrical power producers — instead of competing with them. Using renewable energy in this way could make our grids and the huge, otherwise empty tracts of land they occupy, 30% more efficient in less than two years, if we immediately begin to deploy Modular, Renewable, Grid Augmentation.

A smarter grid, courtesy of renewable energy!

A Potential Solution For Long-Distance Power Transmission Leakage was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 other subscribers: RSS | Facebook | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

Solar power is part of the energy solution – Washington Post

Solar power is part of the energy solution
Washington Post
As a homeowner with solar panels who has used zero kilowatts off the grid during the last two months, I found the June 10 news article “When the sun doesn't shine, who pays?” very interesting. If I understand correctly, the power industry says I should

solar panels – read more

The surprisingly low-tech solution to big cities’ climate woes: Triple-pane windows

new york city skyline
Shutterstock

Climate scientists have estimated that, in order to avoid runaway global warming, the world would need to cut its carbon emissions roughly in half by 2050. Since emissions in developing countries like China and India are still rising fast, meeting this target would require developed nations to aim for a figure more like 80 percent. When you consider that the United States, the largest polluter in the developed world, has no real strategy in place to achieve that — and that no binding international agreements appear to be on the horizon — the goal can start to sound nigh impossible.

The task is so intimidating that even serious people are starting to entertain extreme-sounding geoengineering ideas like flying business jets into the stratosphere and spraying sulfuric acid all over the place to try to deflect sunlight before it reaches the Earth. Others reckon it’s already too late to prevent catastrophic warming — we’ll have to build sea walls and hope for the best. President Obama alluded to a possible cap-and-trade system in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, but few believe such a sweeping policy would pass Congress. Read more

A Left-Right Energy Solution to Security, Economy, and Environment – Huffingtonpost.com

Once again, oil prices are spiraling. Once again, it’s out fault: we failed to take charge of our energy future. And once again, politicians on the right and left looked not to solutions, but to their base, to find the rigid ideologies they pretend to …
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The Libyan Crisis and Global Energy: A Left-Right Solution to Security, Economy, and Environment – Huffingtonpost.com

Once again, oil prices are spiraling. Once again, it’s out fault: we failed to take charge of our energy future. And once again, politicians on the right and left looked not to solutions, but to their base, to find the rigid ideologies they pretend to …
Read more

Spiritual Ecology: The Solution to Our Climate Change Crisis? – Huffingtonpost.com

This week’s United Nations Climate Change Conference at Cancun, Mexico is a global forum in response to a global crisis. As well as considering cutting carbon emissions, the conference hopes among other issues to advance green technologies and fund …
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