Thursday, September 20, 2007

Who the heck is Galvin?

TGIT – Thank Galvin It’s Thursday

You all may ask who the heck is Galvin? Well he was the CEO of Motorola and has started an initiative to improve the electrical supply system in the USA
There is much debate about plug in hybrids and purely electric cars. No matter what the electrical power system is need of an upgrade. Next month Tesla Motors will start selling their Lotus built roadster that uses lithium ion batteries as the energy source.

This car will sell for $98,000 and not too many will be produced. The batteries have just over 54 kilowatt hours of stored energy and the battery pack will have a mass of some 900 pounds. The rest of the car (frame, body and motor) will weigh another 1,000 pounds. These batteries are good for 500 cycles of charge discharge and the range of the vehicle is 200 miles so the battery pack should be good for 100,000 miles. Tesla is more practical than the ultracapacitor we discussed last week as charging is accomplished in a little more than 3 hours so the service needed from the electric company is only 150 amps at 110 volts. Tesla however will remain unaffordable until lithium ion batteries are less expensive.

Last week there were many new efficient prototype vehicles displayed at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Mercedes will introduce hybrids in the next couple of years. The car has not been named but the Re-Volt could be a winner.

Frankfurt Auto Show Features Hybrids, Fuel Cells, and Minis
European automakers demonstrated a new interest in hybrid and electric vehicles at last week's Frankfurt Auto Show, while automakers of all nationalities showed a strong interest in small cars. For example, Mercedes-Benz arrived at the show with seven hybrids, including a luxury sedan concept vehicle called the F 700, a 17-foot-long car that achieves a fuel economy of 44.4 miles per gallon (mpg). The research vehicle features a homogenous charge compression ignition engine, a technology that produces the high fuel economy of a diesel engine from a clean-burning gasoline engine. Mercedes has also mated its clean-diesel engine to an electric motor, creating the Bluetec hybrid. The company plans to introduce a gasoline-fueled hybrid SUV and sedan in 2009, followed by two Bluetec hybrids in 2010, one of which will achieve 51 miles per gallon of diesel fuel. The company also plans to start the limited production of its first fuel-cell vehicle in 2010. In addition, the Mercedes Car Group exhibited its smart car in three new incarnations: an electric-only vehicle and both diesel and gasoline versions with "micro hybrid drive," a belt-driven starter and alternator that allows the engine to shut off at stops. See the DaimlerChrysler press releases about the
auto show and the F700.
The Ford Verve concept may indicate the company's future direction for small cars. Credit: Ford Motor Company
Opel, a division of General Motors Corporation, exhibited the Flextreme, a plug-in hybrid that can travel 34 miles on its lithium-ion battery before a small diesel engine starts charging the battery. Opel also exhibited the Corsa Hybrid Concept, a coupe that combines a belt-driven starter and alternator with a lithium-ion battery. Volvo Cars, a division of Ford Motor Company, exhibited a plug-in hybrid with motors in each of the wheels. The Volvo ReCharge Concept can travel about 60 miles on battery power alone, using a lithium-polymer battery pack that can be recharged in a standard outlet. Ford also exhibited the Ford Verve Concept, a stylish small car billed as "the first sign of what the future may hold." See GM press releases about the
Corsa Hybrid and the Opel Flextreme and the press releases from Volvo and Ford.
Asian automakers were also present at the show, and even unveiled some world premieres. Hyundai unveiled its third-generation fuel-cell vehicle, the i-Blue crossover vehicle. And Toyota introduced the iQ concept, a vehicle that looks much like a smart car, but seats three adults "in comfort." The company also exhibited two new models of its Yaris subcompact. See the press releases from
Hyundai and Toyota.

Not to be left out China is also going green if only for a day. This Saturday China has declared this Saturday a “No-Car Day”. My suspicion is that the Hasidic Orthodox Jewish community in China who follow the strict observance of the Sabbath convinced the Ministry of Construction of the wisdom of a car sick out

As proof I am not a crank I offer these recent articles on the virtues of LEDs;jsessionid=S4BOSDHS1GHYAQSNDLOSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=201805563
and the non-virtues of biofuels I had inside knowledge that the OECD would issue a statement condemning bio-fuels as one of the subscribers to TT attended the OECD session a few months back.

I had opined several months ago that if each citizen of the US shed 10 pounds of fat this would propel our cars for half a day in the form of bio-diesel. CNN recently reported that airlines are spending nearly $300 million a year in extra fuel cost to carry the extra fat now common in the population

The hundred dollar laptop to help poor kids around the world gain access to the internet goes into production in November. Unfortunately the $100 price target could not be met and the actual cost will be $188.;jsessionid=WZP5VHYUQEUNYQSNDLPCKHSCJUNN2JVN?articleID=201806663

The word of the day is recreant a word we never use to describe TT readers.

Word of the DayThursday September 20, 2007
Today's Word
Yesterday's Word Previous Words Subscribe for Free Help
recreant \REK-ree-uhnt\, adjective:1. Cowardly; craven.2. Unfaithful; disloyal.
noun:1. A coward.2. An unfaithful or disloyal person.
His recreant companion disappears around the fence, but he remains, smiling affably.-- Eric J. Segal, "Norman Rockwell and the fashioning of American masculinity",
Art Bulletin, December 1, 1996
To any man there may come at times a consciousness that there blows, through all the articulations of his body, the wind of a spirit not wholly his; that his mind rebels; that another girds him and carries him whither he would not. . . . The open door was closed in his recreant face.-- Genie Babb, "Where the bodies are buried",
Narrative, October 1, 2002
Wordsworth compares himself to a truant, a false steward, a recreant, when he does not write poetry, when poetic numbers fail to come spontaneously, when his harp is defrauded and the singer ends in silence.-- J. Douglas Kneale, "Majestic Indolence: English Romantic Poetry and the Work of Art",
Criticism, September 22, 1996
And it appears in the way the review essay was set up: Aronson versus Miliband, the recreant versus the faithful one.-- Ronald Aronson, "Response to Victor Wallis",
Monthly Review, October 1, 1996
But was it worth surrendering your religion, hence your honor, and becoming a recreant?-- Eugen Weber, "The Ups and Downs of Honor",
American Scholar, January 1, 1999
Recreant comes from Old French, from the present participle of recroire, "to yield in a trial by battle," from re-, "re-" + croire, "to believe," from Latin credere.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

About the universe

TGIT – Thank Galaxies It’s Thursday

I was watching a TV show about the universe on the history channel and how from the time of Newton we have used mathematics to model the physical world and in particular motion and gravity. Einstein developed the notion of space time surfaces that warp in the presence mass. Einstein did not ascribe to the notion of an expanding universe even though his math supported this. In order for the big bang theory to hold there is this initial state where all the four fundamental forces (gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear forces, and weak nuclear forces) were all combined in a single force. When the big bang happened the gravitational force was the first to break away and soon afterwards the three other forces split. An observation that led to the unified force theory and the initial inflation after the big bang is that most of the outer universe is at the same temperature and this can only be explained in that the initial inflation (Guth’s theory) occurred at a speed faster than the speed of light

All this physics is fine but we still have the basic inflation problem on planet earth of high energy prices. Physicists and chemists are trying to invent nanosystems to store more electrical energy so we can use less gasoline. This company in Texas called EEstor claims to have an ultracapcitor that can store enough electricity to travel 500 miles. All of this energy is placed into the ultra capacitor in five minutes. The rate at which electricity is transferred exceeds 1 MW so don’t rush to buy one of these gizmos as you will need 10,000 amp service in your home at 110 volts. The typical home has 100 to 200 amps of service. If the ultra capacitor short circuits we could reenact the Big Bang.

John sent me a picture taken in South Africa of airmen who fly in formation and let their wheels skim the water to simulate water skiing please note the lead airman is a distant cousin “Numb Scully Levin”

Early morning anglers are treated to the spectacle of four T6 Harvards from the Flying Lions Aerobatic team water skiing across the Klipdrift Dam near Johannesburg, South Africa.Led by Scully Levin, with wingmen Arnie Meneghelli, Stewart Lithgow, and Ellis Levin - this renowned airshow display team rehearse a sequence for the newly launched "Aviation Action" television program on SuperSport TV. Arnie Meneghelli from Academy Brushware, owner of the aircraft, has this to say, "What we did today I believe is a world first".K This unusual act, approved by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and supported by Castrol Aviation, was meticulously planned and took place under the watchful eye of divers and paramedics that were on site.

Time magazine has published their Fifty Worst Autos in the history of travel you all may want to page through these and see just how many dumb ideas have been tried in the past for autos.,28804,1658545_1657686,00.html?cnn=yes

I also found an interesting site on auto history

My guess is the ultra capacitor will make it into the updates of these sites in ten years time.

The word of the day is impassible not to be confused with impossible which best describes my review of the ultra capacitor technology

Word of the DayWednesday September 12, 2007
Today's Word
Yesterday's Word Previous Words Subscribe for Free Help
impassible \im-PASS-uh-buhl\, adjective:1. Incapable of suffering; not subject to harm or pain.2. Unfeeling or not showing feeling.
Body is flux and frustration, a locus of pain and process. If it becomes impassible and incorruptible, how is it still body?-- Jeffrey Burton Russell,
A History of Heaven
As he was a man of much dignity, with an impassible face, it was impossible to say whether he felt inwardly glad that the end had finally come, or felt sad over the result, and was too manly to show it-- Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs
Impassible is from Late Latin impassibilis, from Latin in-, "not" + Late Latin passibilis, "passible; capable of feeling or suffering" from Latin passus, past participle of pati, "to suffer." It is related to passion, which originally meant "suffering" but came to apply to any strong feeling or emotion. Entry and Pronunciation for impassible

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Geometry can count

TGIT Thank Geometry it’s Thursday

Today I am sending Thermo Thursday a day early.

Yes geometry can count in saving BTUS. There is a coefficient of drag (CD) that is used in aerodynamics to calculate the amount of drag in fluid flow Note this has nothing to do with the costume design at Beach Blanket Babylon.

The shape of a vehicle can improve the fuel efficiency if the coefficient of drag is reduced. The energy required to propel a vehicle through the air is proportional to the coefficient of drag. In a TT of about a year ago I wrote about the bio-car that is shaped like a box fish that only has a CD of 0.19. The Prius has a CD of 0.29 and the Hummer has one greater than 0.5.

Below are some photos of some new aerodynamic tractor trailers that will possibly be manufactured in the future

I have opined of the great harm being caused by biofuels. Steve sent me a link he found in which a very large UK bus operator will no longer use Biodiesel in their fleet because of these very same concerns This is good news and more of this type of news will be coming from Europe over the next several months.

The US DOE (Department of Entropy) and its head Gangrene Bodman continue to waste the planet’s resources and our money on the futile effort of Biofuels. Since the cost to society of biofuels is the tripling of the cost of tortillas I suggest the EPA change its “SmartWay Grow and Go” program to the “Help Global Starvation and Misery” program. Volvo who take pride in their engines running on seven renewable fuels should remember Josephs interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream of the seven lean years.

EPA Recognizes 48 Companies for Promoting Renewable Fuels in Trucks
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledged 48 companies in late August that have joined its "SmartWay Grow & Go" program, which encourages the use of renewable fuels in tractor-trailer trucks. The EPA program, launched in October 2006, is an offshoot of the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, which encourages the development and use of efficient trucks. The new program aims to convince one-quarter of the EPA's SmartWay Transport partners to start using renewable fuels by 2012, raising that to one-half of the partners by 2020. EPA is currently working with about 600 SmartWay Transport partners, including major truck and rail carriers as well as shipping and logistics companies, so the agency still has a way to go before reaching its goal. But one partner, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), is certainly doing its part, providing mapping software that helps truckers find biodiesel pumps. See the NBB press release.
The EPA recognized its partners at the Great American Trucking Show, where it also displayed the first SmartWay-certified tractors and trailers, a lineup of the cleanest, most fuel-efficient heavy-duty trucks available on the market. The six new models of SmartWay tractors and trailers are equipped with a series of advanced aerodynamic features, idle-reduction options, and low-rolling-resistance tires that together can serve as a model for improving the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks by up to 20%. To date, SmartWay partners have saved more than 350 million gallons of diesel fuel and eliminated nearly 4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, primarily through the adoption of fuel-saving technologies and strategies, according to the EPA. See the
EPA press release and the list of partners on the SmartWay Grow & Go Web site.
While most people would think of biodiesel when talking about renewable fuels in trucks, the Volvo Group recently demonstrated that its trucks can be modified to run on up to seven different renewable fuels. Volvo ran its trucks on biodiesel; biogas (methane); a mix of biodiesel and liquefied biogas; dimethyl ether, or DME, produced by gasifying biomass; a blend of ethanol and methanol; synthetic diesel produced from gasified biomass; and a mix of hydrogen and biogas. As the CEO of Volvo put it, "With these vehicles, we have shown that Volvo is ready, that we possess the technology and the resources for carbon-dioxide-free transport ... " See the
Volvo press release.

The word of the day is antiquarian In the next century antiquarians will study Volvos

antiquarian \an-tuh-KWAIR-ee-uhn\, noun:1. One who collects, studies, or deals in objects or relics from the past.
adjective:1. Of or pertaining to antiquarians or objects or relics from the past.2. Dealing in or concerned with old or rare books.
From the depositions filed with the Loyalist Claims Commission after the Revolution, from a handful of letters gathered by an antiquarian at the beginning of the twentieth century, and from scattered court papers in scattered archives, it is possible to piece together some of the family's history.-- Linda K. Kerber,
No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies
Except to antiquarians and preservationists, silent cinema has little presence on the cultural radar screen, its landmark films unrented on video, its iconic images spotted only as fodder for video collage on MTV.-- Thomas Doherty, Pre-Code Hollywood
Indeed, the evident attention to detail and studied historicism bore the impress of Truefitt's years with the antiquarian Cottingham.-- Francis R. Kowsky, Country, Park & City
A friend of mine, the manager of an antiquarian bookshop in Leningrad in the 1960s, told me that he remembered well the twice-monthly visits of a matronly lady from the censorship bureau, who spent hours rifling through the thousands of books on his shelves, checking them against her latest copy of the Summary List (which was always being updated).-- David King, The Commissar Vanishes
Antiquarian is from Latin antiquarius, "pertaining to antiquity," from antiquus, "ancient." Entry and Pronunciation for antiquarian

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Lindsay Leveen, "The Green Machine", has worked with and consulted to major corporations in areas of energy deregulation, fuel cells, biotech, telecommunication, alternate fuels, power generation, transmission and distribution, as well as a variety of other process based technologies. Lindsay has held executive position in strategic planning and sustainable development at Fortune 500 companies. Andrew Tobias has called Lindsay "Frighteningly Bright". Lindsay has lectured at leading universities and numerous industry conferences. Lindsay also writes for the Ark Newspaper in Tiburon California. Lindsay has a knack to simplify and explain thermodynamics in everyday terms. Lindsay studied thermodynamics for his graduate thesis in Chemical Engineering at Iowa State University. Lindsay likes to misquote Warren Buffett by saying "be green when all are fearful and be fearful when all are green." Read his blogs on Green Explored and you too will be able discern Green from Gangrene.

Elizabeth James is a green consumerista and blogger. Look for her posts on green trends in fashion and other consumer items. Once, in the third grade, she read that balloon launches were harmful to the environment. And so when her school was planning a launch, she successfully campaigned to have it replaced with a less-impactful means of celebration. Today she continues her crusade with her wallet, buying green and informing consumers on how to do the same.

Patricia Ewanski, MS, MBA, LEED AP, PMP is the founder of re-HOME™, a local green building consultancy whose focus is to help reduce unnecessary resource and energy consumption in homes. Prior to starting re-HOME, Patricia consulted in the commercial green building sphere, and was involved in projects such as completing research and writing for a NAIOP report concerning green building incentives and an analysis of U.S. green building legislation at the state level. Patricia is a Governing Council Member of the Southern AZ Branch of the USGBC and has served on various committees including the Technical Committee and the Communications Committee. Patricia holds the AZ state-level USGBC position of Residential Green Building Advocate and heads the state-wide Residential Green Building Committee. Patricia comes to us today with a strong background and knowledge of retrofitting and business and can assist others in navigating new opportunities in retrofitting, sustainable building, and sustainable business.

Mark Bremer is a green family man, teaching his two children to have minimal impact on the earth. Mark is a Lecturer of Biology at SUNYIT Utica/Rome and is a member of their Sustainability Task Force. Mark recently earned a Professional Certificate in Campus Sustainability Leadership from the University of Vermont and is coordinating a Green Campus Initiative at SUNYIT. For his graduate work in Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University, Mark studied the effects of acid rain on microbial forest soil communities throughout the Northeastern U.S. Other research he has conducted includes ecological field studies for the Smithsonian in Virginia and Scarlet Macaw nesting behavior with the National University of Costa Rica. Mark is also an avid hiker and nature photographer, with extensive experience in the Colorado Rockies, Denali Park, and Adirondacks Mountains.

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Mission Statement

There are numerous opinions and claims about sustainable and green products. However, many of these opinions and claims are supported by neither science nor fact. Green Explored provides the reader with a humorous primer on green and sustainability that is easily understood by the layperson. Spurious claims are shot down while honesty is applauded. Those who break the laws of thermodynamics are punished with the Gangrene Award.