Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Five Ways to Save Major Energy While Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

If you'll be slaving over a hot stove all day, you can also reduce the amount of energy you use while cooking. So gather the whole family in the kitchen, get ready to make an eco-friendly turkey feast and follow these five tips. Your dinner may not be low-effort, but at least it will consume less energy!

1. Keep the Oven Door Shut

It's hard to resist cracking the oven to check the status of a roasting bird that's filling your kitchen with such wonderful aromas. But doing so causes the oven to drop its temperature, meaning it will require even more energy to stay constant. Resist opening that door! Instead of, turn on the oven light and monitor items through the window.

2. Stuff the Oven

Pies, potatoes, vegetables, and turkey all need to roasted or baked. Whenever possible, put several dishes in the oven at once, which can cut down on the amount of time the oven stays on throughout the day.
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Could Almost Everyone Be Angling Solar Panels the Wrong Way?

Conventional wisdom in the northern hemisphere is to face solar panels south so they get the most light all day. Architects and panel installers implement this approach all the time, especially on homes. But a new study indicates that panels facing west may actually get more juice from the sun, and at more convenient times.

Researchers at the Pecan Street Research Institute did a study of homes with solar panels in Austin, Texas and found that when homeowners faced solar panels west they were able to generate 2% more electricity in a day. And they also generated more electricity in the afternoon, when power grids experience peak demand.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New flexible batteries could be made by users at home

Scientists at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have joined the ranks of those from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Stanford University and LG, by creating prototype flexible batteries. Designed for use in electronic devices with flexible displays, they could conceivably be manufactured in any size or shape, or even made at home.

Each battery is made up of a flexible plastic substrate, impregnated with electro-active ingredients consisting of carbon nanotubes and "micro-particles." Lead scientist Somenath Mitra tells us that those particles can be zinc and manganese dioxide in the case of alkaline batteries, or lithium salts for lithium batteries. "The goal is to take existing systems and convert them to a flexible platform" he says.

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