Tag Archive | energy saving products

Lowering the heat makes new materials possible while saving energy

A low-temperature process has been developed that has opened a window on the ability to combine incompatible materials, such as ceramics and plastics, into new, useful compound materials.

A new technology developed by Penn State researchers, called Cold Sintering Process (CSP), has opened a window on the ability to combine incompatible materials, such as ceramics and plastics, into new, useful compound materials, and to lower the energy cost of many types of manufacturing.

Ceramics is the oldest known human-made material, dating back tens of thousands of years. Throughout that time most all ceramics have been made by heating them to high temperatures, either by firing in kilns or sintering ceramic powders in furnaces, both of which require large amounts of energy.

“In this day and age, when we have to be incredibly conscious of the CO2 budget, the energy budget, rethinking many of our manufacturing processes, including ceramics, becomes absolutely vital,” said Clive Randall, professor of materials science and engineering at Penn State who developed the process with his team. “Not only is it a low temperature process (room temperature up to 200 degrees Celsius), but we are also densifying some materials to over 95 percent of their theoretical density in 15 minutes. We can now make a ceramic faster than you can bake a pizza, and at lower temperatures.”

In a recent article in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, Randall and his coauthors describe the co-sintering of ceramic and thermoplastic polymer composites using CSP. Three types of polymer were selected to complement the properties of three types of ceramics, a microwave dielectric, an electrolyte and a semiconductor, in order to highlight the diversity of applicable materials. These composite materials demonstrate new possibilities for dielectric property design, and both ionic and electronic electrical conductivity design. These composites can be sintered to high density at 120 degrees C in a time frame of 15 to 60 minutes.

Just add water

According to the researchers, the process involves wetting ceramic powder with a few drops of water or acid solution. The solid surfaces of the particles decompose and partially dissolve in the water to produce a liquid phase at particle-particle interfaces. Adding temperature and pressure causes the water to flow and the solid particles to rearrange in an initial densification process. Then in a second process, clusters of atoms or ions move away from where the particles are in contact, which aids diffusion, which then minimizes surface free energy, allowing the particles to pack tightly together. The key is knowing the exact combination of moisture, pressure, heat and time required to capture the reaction rates so the material fully crystallizes and gets to very high density.

“I see cold sintering process as a continuum of different challenges,” Randall said. “In some systems, it’s so easy you don’t need pressure. In others you do. In some you need to use nanoparticles. In others, you can get away with a mixture of nanoparticles and larger particles. It really all depends on the systems and chemistries you are talking about.”

The Penn State team has begun building a library of the precise techniques required to use CSP on various materials systems, with 50 processes verified to-date. These include ceramic-ceramic composites, ceramic-nanoparticle composites, ceramic-metals, as well as the ceramic-polymers discussed in this paper.

Other areas that are now open to exploration by CSP include architectural materials, such as ceramic bricks, thermal insulation, biomedical implants and many types of electronic components.

“My hope is that a lot of the manufacturing processes that already exist will be able to use this process, and we can learn from polymer manufacturing practices,” Randall concluded.


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Materials provided by Penn State Materials Research Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Going Green.Cut Your Energy needs first

Before you go “Green”, it’s a good idea to cut your energy use first. Follow, these simple steps outlined below and make big savings in your energy consumption. In this article we will walk you through these easy to follow steps that will help you reduce your energy use before you start your “green ” energy conversion

With simple instructions available on how to convert to homemade wind power or DIY solar panels for as little as £200, many people are taking renewable energy more seriously. When choosing to take on a DIY conversion project the first question most people ask is will one windmill or one large solar panel be enough?
There are far too many factors involved to be able to fully answer that question for you here. But one way to start is to ensure your home is energy efficient in the first place. In this article we will walk you through some steps that will help you reduce your energy consumption before you start converting your home.
Reducing Your Energy Needs
One often overlooked step in converting a home to green power is reducing your energy needs in the first place. The average home uses inefficient lighting, power hungry appliances, and poor heating/cooling solutions. An important step to reducing your energy needs is to look at the inefficiencies in your current system.
Consider:
1. Replacing old incandescent bulbs with fluorescents or led bulbs.This can cut your energy use from lighting by 50%
2. Turn off lights when not in use.
3. Replacing old, inefficient, appliances may reduce your energy bills by as much as 30% in itself.
4. Always switch appliances off. Never leave them on standby.This wastes too much energy. You can now buy energy saving gadgets which will do this for you. However, if you start to make it part of your daily routine it will soon become second nature.
5. You should also look at your current heating/cooling solutions. That inefficient electric hot water heater could potentially be replaced by a modern solar water heater.
6.Or maybe your old air conditioner system,could be replaced with a more efficient heat exchanger.
7. Ensure the timer/ programmer on your heating only operates when the house is occupied.
8. Turn individual room, as well as radiator thermostats down one degree. You wont feel the difference, but this alone could save £50/£60 a year on your energy bills.
If you need help choosing more efficient appliances, or just want more energy saving advice, an excellent resource for this in the UK is http://www.housingenergyadvisor.com
Spend some time looking around the site and calculating how much you can reduce your energy consumption in different areas of your home. You don’t have to go and spend £1000’s replacing everything, but by simply reviewing everything in your home that consumes powerComputer Technology Articles, you will most certainly find many ways to cut your energy needs before you start your “Green Energy”conversion..

Reducing Energy Consumption Tips

Since every penny counts these days, saving money whenever possible should be a top priority. There are a lot of costs that are out of your control, but reducing energy consumption is something that can be easily done by following the tips below:

Tip 1. Reducing electric consumption is as simple as using it only when needed. Turning off lights that aren’t in use can work wonders on your electric bill. If you just need a soft light, candles can also be a useful tool, instead of clicking on a light switch.

Tip 2. Using lower wattage bulbs in areas that don’t need as much lighting is another way of reducing your electric bill. Using bulbs labeled “energy saver” will also cut costs as well.

 

Tip 3. Unplugging appliances that are not in use for extended periods of time will also lend a “hand” at saving on your electric bill.

 

Tip 4. When utilizing electric heaters and air conditioners, set temperatures so that they will come on only when necessary. These appliances have controls where you can regulate the amount of energy being used. In winter months, it is a good idea to use heavy drapes to cover windows to reduce the drafts that often find their way into your home. Taping plastic around your windows will also keep out unwanted drafts as well. In the summer months, it’s a good idea to close blinds and/or pull shades to keep out the sun-light. Heat from the sun will heat up your home, triggering your air conditioner to come on. Speaking of air conditioners, make sure you remove them from your windows when they are no longer in use.

 

Tip 5. If you’re like most households with computers, your computer is in heavy use. Setting your computer to “sleep” or “hibernate” is a way to control the amount of energy being used. Monitoring computer use by children will also reduce energy consumption.

 

Tip 6. Other appliances that can use high volumes of energy are your washing machine and dryer. Hot water consumption can send your electric and gas bills through the roof. Using cold water whenever possible will cut down on energy costs, tremendously. Buying detergents specifically for cold water use will ensure that your clothes still get clean. Limiting the use of your dryer by air drying, whenever possible, will also make a difference in your utility bill. Hanging clothes out to dry in the summer time is a thing of the past, but when it comes to saving on energy costs, bringing back the past can be beneficial.

 

Tip 7. Still on the subject of hot water usage, taking quick showers or opting to bathe instead of watching the water and your pennies go right down the drain can also reduce energy consumption.

 

These are just a handful of tips to help reduce your energy consumptionFree Articles, and deciding to implement them will decrease your energy bills for sure. These tips work whether you are trying reduce your home energy consumption.