Is it worth the cost?

Or should you save your money?

The question is should you pay a little extra upfront in hopes of saving money in the future?

Or are you better off spending nothing and pocketing the savings now?

Is it Really Worth the Cost?

Getting an annual Furnace, Heat Pump or Air Conditioning System checkup.

An efficiently performing system will lower your utility bills as well as lessen the odds that your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner will break down at an inconvenient moment. Many expensive break downs that we repair such as furnace and air conditioner replacements could have been avoided with one simple maintenance service.

Keep in mind that faulty heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires in the winter months, and a crack in your heat exchanger or a clogged up flue will threaten your family with toxic carbon-monoxide poisoning.

It’s worth the money to pay Ameri-Serv Heating and Cooling to inspect and clean your systems every year.

Ameri-Serv @ Ameri-Serv Inc. ASI Heating and Cooling Green Informational BLOGGo here to see the original: Ameri-Serv

Making the Most of Your Energy Density

Some studies have demonstrated that a simple parallel connection of an ultracapacitor to a low-cost alkaline battery can duplicate the performance characteristics of a lithium-ion battery.  Now on the market is an ultracapacitor kit for forklifts using lead acid for the energy density storage and Ioxus ultracapacitors for the power density.

Ioxus Ultracapacitors.  Click image for the largest view.

Ioxus Ultracapacitors. Click image for the largest view.

Better yet in many applications, the use of ultracapacitors to provide peak power will extend battery life by a factor of four and in some cases even more. That kind of improvement will have a dramatic effect on the recycling and waste disposal problem associated with the batteries being used every day in portable and hand-held devices on up to the largest lead acid or nickel cadmium sets.

Ioxus is calling their product an ELCD Electronic Reservoir System or EERS.  In the forklift design each module is a set of 60 ultracapacitors, control electronics, safety circuitry, the interconnects and a safety enclosure.  The customer gets a complete stand-alone power assist module.   The kit offers such a boost those electric lifts in cold warehousing situations can run all day.  The kit installs in about an hour.

The effect is that the battery set can run 30% longer and avoids a deep discharge, an enemy to lead acid cells life expectancy.  If not in a deep freeze ware house customers can reduce the total battery set size by 15% or so.

The instructive value here is that forklifts draw minor power when moving about but deeply need power when lifting heavy loads.  That is when the ultracapacitor set kicks in, supply the electrons in a rush while the battery chemistry is steadily discharging away oblivious to the sudden draw down of power.

This gets more interesting when considering a regenerative braking system.  The charging effect is magnified in a fast braking effort.  A lot of energy is suddenly loaded into a system – a reverse of the discharge.  As readers know, the battery chemistries don’t like those fast charges and discharges.  The Ioxus design does just what is needed for those fast cycles.

With orders in hand Ioxus has cracked an interesting market by bringing the special characteristics of ultracapacitors to a product.  Leading the marketing was the ultracapacitor’s wide temperature range, so exploiting the difficulties of electric drive sets in cold locations such as the refrigerated warehouse.  The Ioxus design also uses the low resistance to gather back the energy from lowering a load taking up a lot of current in a very short time frame.  The company is also simplifying the packaging with multiple cells wired so that most any voltage requirement can be satisfied.

Until something like EEStor gets market penetration, which might be delayed by setting their price too high, there will be for years or decades to come a huge number of battery powered devices in need of an efficiency update.

Ultracapacitors essentially offer moving and holding a charge and ions.  Unlike a battery the chemical bonds need not be made and broken for an energy absorption or release.  That aspect and the leveling of a charge or discharge rate extend battery life giving a lot more things than first though a new lease of a useful life.

Ioxus makes carbon-carbon ultracapacitors where both electrodes are carbon, as opposed to the hybrid (asymmetric) ultracapacitors in which in one of the electrodes is carbon and the other electrode utilizes a different material. Energy densities of hybrid ultracapacitors can be significantly greater than that of carbon-carbon ultracapacitors, but power densities are lower.  Thus the company made a choice, leave the density to a cheap battery and the fast moving electrons to an ultracapacitor.  They seem to be going the wrong way, but Ioxus has customers and real world results on existing equipment.  Maybe they are going exactly the right way.

But Ioxus isn’t slack in the research and technology area.  To achieve its power densities Ioxus is essentially using multiple types of carbon to pack the material as best as possible and using a variety of different types of carbon with different conductive properties. Ioxus has also optimized binders to adhere to special foils inside the canisters.  They are making the typical cylinders as well as prismatic shapes.

Ioxus has 12 patents to date with others in proceedings or preparation.  Like everyone in the business they are interested in transportation applications—mass transit, hybrid-electric, train/light rail, and stop/start applications.  Where Ioxus is different is the applications closer to the load such as replacing power steering with electric steering using ultracapacitors, smart airbags, instrument clusters, multimedia/telematics, seatbelt releases, and power seats, locks and windows – all short term high current loads.  They might even consider the air conditioning matter, one that was sure to bedraggle the electric powered car for years to come.  One hopes they see the opportunity in the overnight chargers as well.

The opportunities seem boundless today, with the EEStor product perhaps being the one market gorilla in the future.  But there is a lot of things holding the EEStor project back, the license terms seem strange, the investors are sure to try for ubar billionaire status from the breakthrough so reducing the EEStor effect and delaying the growth in return for the big bucks.  Somehow this writer doesn’t see EEStor being so shrewd as to go to the lowest cost maximum volume as fast as possible.

That makes the Ioxus business very attractive.  Not just for the existing fleet where the technology can be installed quick and cheap, but for new equipment as well.  The problem of energy density and power density offers consumers a great opportunity with innovation such as Ioxus is offering.  You can have both.  Now – with no waiting for the EEStor products and if EEStor tries over pricing, who cares?


Post written by: New Energy and Fuel

Save Energy the Green Way with a Whole House Fan

Americans Spend $22 Billion A Year To Cool Their Homes…

A 2,800 square foot home could easily spend $2,000 over a 6 Month Period Using A Central Air Conditioner To Cool Their Home! When you Compare this to the Savings running a Whole House Fan.

A Whole House Fan’s Operating Cost Is 1/10th The Cost Of Your A/C Usage…

Yes, during the same six month period, if the homeowner who spent $2,000 on air conditioning used a whole house fan instead, they could have saved more than 50% or $1,000 off their energy bill!

Save energy Today, don’t wait call today!

Whole house fans have been used effectively for many years. A whole house fan is very effective at cooling a home anytime the air temperature is cooler outside than inside your home as it takes advantage of cool overnight and early morning temperatures which saves you money.

THE PRICE WE ALL PAY FOR ELECTRICITY IS NOT GOING DOWN!

With Sky-Rocketing Electrical Energy Prices we all pay…

Investing In A Whole House Fan Is A No Brainer As It Will Pay For Itself In A Short Period Of Time, Then it will Pay You for years In Saved Utility Bills Year After Year!

Yes, Over Its Lifetime A Whole House Fan Can Save You Thousands & Thousands Of Dollars…

Ameri-Serv @ Ameri-Serv Inc. ASI Heating and Cooling Green Informational BLOGHere is the original: Ameri-Serv

AltaRock Loses Its Geothermal Hole

AltaRock Energy, the company pursuing an advanced geothermal energy technology has had to suspend its first attempt to drill a deep well in Northern California. The effort was funded by  Google and venture capital company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers with partial funding by a Department of Energy grant.  Some part of the $17 million budget is blown.

The project encountered a number of physical difficulties in the drilling of well called E-7, the first well planned as part of its engineered geothermal systems (EGS) demonstration project in the Geysers, resulting from geologic anomalies particular to the formation underlying the well location.  After nearly two months of the highly expensive drilling, the rig had reached a depth of less than 4,000 feet. The original schedule called for it to reach a final depth of 12,000 feet, or 2.3 miles in less than 50 days of drilling.

Altarock's EGS System.  Click image for the largest view.

Altarock's EGS System. Click image for the largest view.

The problem seems to be the giant rig, meant to drill more than two miles underground, has struggled to pierce surface rock formations.  The bit has snapped off at least once and became repeatedly fouled in a shallow formation called cap rock, and the drillers have twice been forced to pull it out and essentially start the hole over again.  The problems are particularly surprising as the drilling essentially started at 3,200 feet, at the bottom of an older hole at the site, north of San Francisco.

AltaRock Drilling Rig

AltaRock Drilling Rig

As they are way behind schedule on Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management approved a request by AltaRock to halt the drilling operation temporarily, said bureau spokeswoman, Jan Bedrosian, “They need to come back to us with their future plans, and they have not done that.”  In a statement, the company confirmed the suspension but gave few additional details. Several industry officials said it was virtually certain that AltaRock would dismantle and remove the expensive rig from the site.

With information of significance missing about the downhole problems one other issue must be having an impact.  The media via the lead from The New York Times, has raised questions about whether AltaRock had been forthcoming about a similar project in Switzerland that produced earthquakes. Thus the Bureau of Land Management informed the company that it would not be allowed to fracture rock until the department completed a new review of whether the project would be safe. The company was allowed to keep drilling, however, down toward the depth at which it would begin the fracturing.

The latest delays come as AltaRock awaits word on whether the federal government will allow the fracturing of rock at all.  The company has said the fracturing would be virtually guaranteed to induce earthquakes that would be so small as to be nearly imperceptible but which local residents and some scientists fear could be larger.  The location at Geyers is in a very active earthquake zone.

The Switzerland project near Basel did trigger small earthquakes and caused only minor structural damage.  But the quakes they stimulated frightened many in the city and led to the shutdown of the project there. The Energy Department review, likely to be released in the next few weeks, is expected to compare the Basel and California projects and determine whether AltaRock’s effort is safe enough to proceed.

AltaRock suggests the Basel project made mistakes, primarily drilling in the vicinity of a major known fault that, the company says, was responsible for a huge earthquake that devastated Basel in 1356.  Six hundred and fifty or so year back is pretty hard to nail down.  Some scientists at the Swiss Seismological Service and other European institutions say the fault responsible for that earthquake has never been clearly identified, let alone localized beneath the geothermal project.  Nicholas Deichmann of the Swiss Seismological Service says most of AltaRock’s public statements about that project, “are simply wrong.   The Basel project did not drill into any known fault in the area,”

But an AltaRock scientist says the company’s description of the geothermal effort in Basel was based on documents published by scientists both in and outside the project there.  Who is right may never be learned if one government agency is going one way while another is going the other.  Meanwhile the money is spent and the hole is ‘dry’ for any practical purpose.  We are all in the dark.

Technical difficulties are frequent and normal in drilling projects of any kind.  The progress of AltaRock is significant because it is one of few companies pursuing enhanced, or engineered, geothermal systems. It’s a technology that holds great promise whether going to depth and injecting water into fractured rock so hot the result is steam for turbine drives or simply cycling gas for binary generation.

Two years ago the Massachusetts Institute of Technology study calculated an enhanced method of geothermal power generation could supply 10% of the electricity in the United States.  There are also a wide variety of locations, beyond just the limited number of locations that have today’s customary geothermal resources.  Add in the binary generation techniques using lower temperatures and that 10% gets much larger.

AltaRock and its funding partners have an opportunity to learn and produce a great deal op power if the media, public relations, and technology problems can be solved.  But the hole has to be drilled, the tests ran and the equipment ran to know.

Maybe there is cause for an earthquake alarm to be raised, but exactly when and why to raise such an alarm is yet to be known with any predictive accuracy.  It seems the trial is worthwhile, but has the risk been measured as well?  Its just allegations against the science of our time, maybe we should see, and improve the science.

For now the geothermal folks might give some more thought to the binary generation and the drilling locations that might be less difficult.  There is a lot of heat down there and the game isn’t really a particular technology, it’s a cost per kilowatt-hour produced vs. the price at the grid that matters.


The original post: New Energy and Fuel