Auto Dialer Security and Safety Alarm

The number of crimes is increasing at a rate sbalordente. The home invasions are common in most of the neighborhood, even those that are known to be relatively crime free. There are a variety of alarm systems on the market, but many of them are quite expensive and, in addition to being expensive to install, there are monthly fees and other costs involved.

There is now a single alert, effective and affordable available. It is one of the most innovative alarms generated. The alarm auto security and safety of the Dialer is a passive infrared system that controls the whole movement in an area where it is fixed. The unit houses with the area and if the motion occurs, an alarm 105db alarm will sound and the auto safety and security of the Dialer hereinafter referred to as up to five phone numbers you have preset.

Hawk 72-1613 Motion Activated Alarm with Auto Dialer

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The alarm auto security and safety of the Dialer can also be used in a warehouse as the chime, so that when motion is detected, as when anyone enters the store, you will be notified. The alarm is easy to set, run on a 9 volt battery and has just hook into your phone system with a standard telephone cable. Then the alarm mounts between 5 and 6 feet above the floor and it is ready to protect it. The alarm auto security and safety of the Dialer is also versatile. You can turn the chime on and off as the alarm forward / stop. You can change the phone numbers. The numbers are easy to see and read and there is a pause key, a key to panic and a programmable security code. Last, but especially, there are no monthly fees!

Every Car Should Have a Life Hammer

My Uncle sent me one of these Life Hammers many years ago as a Christmas gift. Now my Uncle is a smart guy, but to me this looked like something a paranoid person keeps in their glove box. I mean how many times is this thing ever going to get used? However, I did keep it in the glove box of my truck for many years, and thank goodness, have never been in a situation that required the use of the Life Hammer.

Lately I’ve read a few articles about people who have died in accidents where they could not get out of their car for one reason or another. Well, this is where the Life Hammer saves lives.

The hammer part is designed to break any window, including the front and back with little effort, thus eliminating the problem with electrical failure and not being able to get the windows open. Another handy part to the Life Hammer is that it’s base contains a hook blade that easily cuts through seat belts that have jammed. There’s even a glow in the dark spot to help find the hammer at night.

Granted, you have to be in good enough shape after the accident to use the Life Hammer, but you’d be surprised what you are capable of in those grave situations. Hence, I no longer think of the Life Hammer as a paranoid tool, but as a life saver that I must say everyone should consider having in their glove boxes.

Life Hammer is a hammer that you keep in your car, and in case of an emergency, you use it to break the glass so you can escape. They say that you can’t kick out or break auto safety glass, that only a sharp point will break it, so these life hammers are becoming very popular.

Besides the original size Life Hammer they have a key chain version and few color options as well. I am going to buy a few key rings as gift for my fireman friends whom are trained to save lives no matter they are in a car or not : )

This keychain keeps you prepared for the unexpected by helping you get out of a car in the event of an emergency. The spring-loaded tip at the head of the tool shatters auto glass in the event your vehicle becomes submerged in water. The razor blade allows you to quickly cut a seatbelt if you become trapped. The bright yellow color makes it easy to locate. When attached to a keychain, a detachable clip provides quick access.


The ResqMe tools is a dual purpose safety tool mainly intended for drivers but can also be used in other vehicles and for people working in emergencies like doctors, paramedics, policemen and firemen.

The first function in the tool is a spring-loaded head that can break side and rear automotive windows, you press the head against the window and after applying some pressure a spring activates a pin that punches the window breaking it. It won’t break laminated windshields but normally works with side or rear windows. The activation is easy and will work underwater if needed.

The second tool is a seatbelt cutter blade, the blade is protected by a plastic cover that can be removed pulling the splitring that comes with the tool. You may need both hands to remove the plastic cover of the blade so it may be safer to keep the blade uncovered if the tool is not in your keychain.

The ResqMe is an affordable emergency tool, keeping one in your car is probably a good idea if you don’t have something similar. This is a device for breaking your car window from the inside quickly say if you are trapped underwater or something it also has a tool to cut your seat belt in case you cant get it unbuckled, if your panicked.

What Plants for Cellulosic Biofuel Production?

In an article titled “Feedstocks for Lignocellulosic Biofuels” published in Science, Chris Somerville of the University of California, Berkeley, and Deputy Director Steve Long of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with bioenergy analysts Caroline Taylor, Heather Youngs and Sarah Davis at the Energy Biosciences Institute suggest that a diversity of plant species, adaptable to the climate and soil conditions of specific regions of the world, can be used to develop “agroecosystem” for fuel production that are compatible with contemporary environmental goals.

Well, press release and research notes aside, they mean that there can be a set of plant species that could provide substantial amounts of biomass grown widely across the planet without an impact on food and feed production.  The troubled firm BP, well before the Gulf well crisis, funded the study.

The study authors discuss the sustainability of current and future crops that could be used to produce advanced biofuels with emerging technologies that use non-edible parts of plants. Such crops include perennial grasses like Miscanthus grown in the rain-fed areas of the U.S. Midwest, East and South; sugarcane in Brazil and other tropical regions, including the southeastern U.S.; Agave in semiarid regions such as Mexico and the U.S. Southwest; and woody biomass from various sources.

The team takes some assumptive license by making some simplifying assumptions: that technology will become available for converting most of the structural polysaccharides that comprise the bodies of plants to sugars, that all the sugars can be used for fuel production, and that the process energy required for the conversion of the sugars to fuels will be obtained from combustion of the other components of the biomass, mostly the lignin.  That way a sugar-to-ethanol bioconversion process using current technology, a metric ton (MT) of switchgrass or poplar, for example, would be expected to yield about 310 liters of ethanol.

The author’s base is founded on the comparative soil impacts.  Maize or corn plants used completely remove much more soil fertility than a perennial plant.  Perennial plants that use C4 photosynthesis, such as sugarcane, energy cane, elephant grass, switchgrass, and Miscanthus, have intrinsically high light, water, and nitrogen use efficiency as compared with that of C3 species as seen in corn.  Moreover reduced tillage and perennial root systems add carbon to the soil and protect against erosion.

While the team reports that tropical Napier Grass in El Salvador natural stands of Echinochloa polystachya on the Amazon floodplain can respectively reach production of 88 and 100 MT/ha/year, temperate Miscanthus x giganteus produced in England at 52°N a peak biomass of 30 MT/ha/year and harvestable biomass of 20 MT/ha/year. (ha is hectare, 2.47 ha per U.S. acre) Miscanthus also offers an important soil protection effect, seasonality leads to an annual cycle of senescence, in which perennial grasses such as Miscanthus mobilize mineral nutrients from the stem and leaves to the roots at the end of the growing season. Thus, harvest of biomass during the winter results in relatively low rates of removal of minerals.

That could account for the observation that stands grown at Rothamsted, UK showed no response to added nitrogen during a 14-year period during which all biomass was removed each year.  In side-by-side trials in central Illinois, unfertilized M. x giganteus produced 60% more biomass than a well-fertilized highly productive maize crop, and across the state, winter-harvestable yields averaged 30 MT/ha/year.

Miscanthis US Growing Area Map. .

The author’s note in an observation that if Miscanthus were used as the only feedstock, less than half of the 14.2 Mha currently set aside for the U.S. Conservation Reserve Program  (CRP) would be required to deliver the ethanol mandate of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  Contrary to that readers should be informed that a great chunk of the CRP land area is tiny little headlands, terraces, protective filters along watercourses and the like.  But there are vast amounts of highly erodeable land that could better serve the economy than being used for corn or soybean production.

Its worthwhile to note that as the authors seem to overlook some details they turned up others.  The Global Potential of Bioenergy on Abandoned Agriculture Lands published in 2008 reveals that more than 600 Mha of land worldwide has fallen out of agricultural production, mostly in the last 100 years.

Most readers will know that for tropical production sugarcane isn’t beaten yet and won’t most likely.  Harvested cane arrives with the sugar in liquid form ready for fermentation and the plant remnants can be burned for distillation with power left over for the electric grid.  Many other regions of the world beyond Brazil are also well suited to sugarcane production or formerly produced sugarcane on land that has been abandoned. Thus, “the total amount of fuel that may be produced from sugarcane worldwide could eventually be a very substantial proportion of global transportation fuels.” As the authors seem to be aware – the potential in sugarcane defies calculation in responsible numbers for now.

Approximately 18% of the earth’s surface is semi-arid and prone to drought.  The authors suggest various Agave species that thrive under arid and semi-arid conditions with high efficiencies of water use and drought resistance hold a potential opportunity for production of biomass for fuels.  Agave species that thrive under arid and semi-arid conditions by using a type of photosynthesis called Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) that strongly reduces the amount of water transpired by absorbing CO2 during the cold desert night and then internally assimilating this into sugars through photosynthesis during the warmer days.  By opening their stomata at night, they lose far less water than they would during the day.  Much of the land noted in the Global Potential of Bioenergy on Abandoned Agriculture Lands that has fallen out of agricultural production worldwide is semi-arid, and it appears that the amount of land that may be available for cultivation of Agave species is vast.

The research paper points out that about 89 to 107 Mha of land that were formerly in agriculture globally are now in forests and urban areas.  The authors bravely note the biomass that is harvested annually in the Northern Hemisphere for wood products has an energy content equivalent to approximately 107% of the liquid fuel consumption in the United States.  Wood resources provide regionally specific opportunities for sustainably harvested biomass feedstocks.  That explains the Chevron and Weyerhaeuser deal for biomass.

For this summary its important to note one more point the authors took the time to briefly discuss.  It is inevitable that some mineral soil nutrients will be removed when biomass is harvested, it will be essential to recycle mineral nutrients, which are not consumed in the production of biofuels, from biomass-processing facilities back onto the land. That is virtually all of the minerals.  It needs to be a built in cost before soils are degraded further by any new biomass effort.

This writer’s summary leaves a lot out from the published study including the references, the supporting documentation and the available links.  For this article Science has free registration, an opportunity cost well worth the small effort.

The authors did a good job here, but left a lot out.  There are lots more plants to consider, but the local weather and soils are going to decide what farming can accomplish and the profit for production will in the end decide.  This writers main concern is that highly profitable biomass could displace prime food and feedstock land and force food and feedstock production onto the less optimal soils.  Some oversight, as oppressive as it is – is going to be needed to balance the demands with the conditions – something competition isn’t going to get done.

Original post here: New Energy and Fuel

A New Peak Demand Electricity Generation System

An impressive idea is out in the International Journal of Energy Research from the University of Leeds and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The research group has invented a new way to answer quick peak electricity demands.

Peak demand and particularly quick and short-lived peaks are when demand for electricity soars, causing a problem for electric grid operators.  The amount of electricity drawn from national grids varies enormously at different times of day. It usually peaks in the early evening for a couple of hours after homes are occupied from people leaving school and work.  But it’s the short duration peaks that cause such concern.  Those common spikes turn up after major televised sporting events, during commercial breaks and in the morning hours.  It’s ‘the everyone hits the microwave and refrigerator’ and those industrial startups with homemakers staring the clothes dryer moments that pull down the available volts and amps.

Grid operators matching the highs and lows in demand with a steady supply is a major challenge. The companies typically top up a ‘base’ supply of energy with electricity from power plants that are just switched on to cope with the peaks. But those natural gas-fired generators often used to feed these peaks are notoriously inefficient, expensive to run and sit idle for long periods of time.  The system as it works now is both energy consumption dense and financially consumes lots of money for very little operating time.  Answering peaks is a huge chunk of your power bill.

Professor Tulong Ding. rmartion.

University of Leeds Professor of Engineering, Yulong Ding, and colleagues are proposing a more environmentally friendly system that could also be much cheaper to run.

Of crucial significance, the system would store excess energy made by a plant supplying the ‘base’ demand and use this to supply the ‘peaks’ in demand – as and when they happen.  The clever boffins of the UK and China have a fascinating take on forming a fuel to store energy.

The practice is to use excess electricity to run a unit producing liquid nitrogen and oxygen – or ‘cryogen’ from right out of the atmosphere. At times of peak demand, the nitrogen would be reheated to a boil – using waste heat from the power plant heat and as needed from the environment.   Step one: the hot nitrogen gas would then be used to drive a turbine or engine, generating the peak demand’s ‘top up’ electricity.

Step two: the oxygen would be fed to a combustor to mix with the natural gas before it is burned. Burning natural gas in pure oxygen, rather than air, makes the combustion process more efficient and produces almost no nitrogen oxide. Instead, the ‘oxygen + fuel’ combustion method produces a concentrated stream of carbon dioxide that can be removed easily in solid form as dry ice.  Clean, neat and the only effluent would be what’re produced when making the cryogen.  Smartly managed with adequate storage, the efficiency could be quite high.

Operating an integrated system with cryogen and the down process methods the amount of fuel needed to answer peak demand could be cut by as much as 50%. Greenhouse gas emissions would be lower too, thanks to the greatly reduced nitrogen oxide emissions and the capture of carbon dioxide gas in solid form for sale.  The base production efficiency if effluent free would make peak demand effluent free as well.  It’s an elegant, innovative and simple design that begs the question how could this not have been thought of before?

Professor Ding said, “This is a much better way of dealing with these peaks in demand for electricity. Greenhouse gas emissions would also be cut considerably because the carbon dioxide generated in the gas-fired turbine would be captured in solid form. On paper, the efficiency savings are considerable. We now need to test the system in practice.”

Technically speaking the new system combines a direct open nitrogen (cryogen) expansion cycle with a natural gas-fuelled closed Brayton cycle and the CO2 produced in the system is captured in the form of dry ice.  Thermodynamic analyses were carried out on the system under the baseline conditions of 1 kg s−1 natural gas, a combustor operating pressure of 8 bars and a cryogen topping pressure of 100 bars. The results show that the energy efficiency of the proposed system is as high as 64% under the baseline conditions, whereas the corresponding electricity storage efficiency is about 54%, an 10% gain or nearly a 20% improvement.

A sensitivity analysis has also been carried out on the main operating conditions. The results indicate that the baseline performance can be enhanced by increasing the gas turbine inlet temperature, decreasing the approach temperature of the heat exchange processes, operating the combustor at an optimal pressure of ~7 bars and operating the cryogen topping pressure at ~90 bars. Further enhancement can be achieved by increasing the isentropic efficiency of the gas turbine and the liquefaction process. The results of this work also suggest that the power capacity installation of peak-load units and fuel consumption could be reduced by as much as 50% by using the newly proposed system. Further work is suggested for an economic analysis of the system.

The engineering choices for a working design are a huge list with lots of variables to work through for different situations.  The outstanding point is the existing generating capacity could fuel up for the peaks leaving the whole investment for fresh fuel sourced peak demand generation out of the cost equation.  It’s a superb idea with lots of potential, not just for power plants either.

Here is the original post: New Energy and Fuel