Tag Archive | save energy now

3 Simple Things People Should Do to Consume Less Energy and Save it For Future Generations

Consume less energy and save it for future generations. We’re always hearing we should, but how?

Here are three simple steps that we can take individually to consume less energy — and if we do that, we save it for future generations… and we are saving money. Take these simple steps and start saving today.

  1. Turn off lights — by far the easiest way to save electricity and save money. Turning off lights as you leave the room alone saves you a lot on your electric bill. Then, as you turn off lights, you see ways to…
  2. Unplug unused electronics — this is the electricity waster that many people do not even know exists. Many of today’s appliances, both large and small, and electronic devices in our homes draw a small amount of power even when switched off. This “phantom power” drain comes from VCRs, televisions, satellite and cable boxes, DVRs, stereos, computers, printers, kitchen appliances, clocks and clock radios, cell phone and portable music player chargers, laptop chargers… almost anything plugged into wall power. This is especially true if the device has a remote control; the circuitry that responds to the remote must ALWAYS be on — and drawing power – or the remote will not work. As much as three quarters of the electricity used to power many of these devices goes through them while switched off.
  3. Switch to energy saving bulbs — by switching to energy saving bulbs technology from traditional incandescent type lamps, you can save energy and save money on your energy bills. Using today’s new energy saving bulbs technologies: Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), and Light Emitting Diode Lamps (LED or L.E.D.), you can save as much as 80% on the energy you use to light your home — and less energy used is less money out of your pocket plus it reduces the resources needed to create that power.
CFL Bulbs The important thing is always think about ways to consume less energy. Switch off or unplug anything you’re not using. You’ll save a great deal of energy, reduce your utility bill, reduce resources used to create the power, and save it for future generations of people on our planet. Even if you create the power with your own wind and solar generators, if you use less, you will have more for other things — and for future generations.

By Dan Davenport

Dan Davenport wants the world to be a greener place — intelligently. If we use the energy resources we already have wisely, and exploit viable, renewable energy sources, it is good for the planet, we will save money, and, not only we, but future generations, can continue to live comfortably.

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.