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Autonomous Cars and the Environment: What You Need To Know

By Guest Blogger Scott Huntington

Ever since Henry Ford introduced the Model T in the early 1900s, the automobile industry changed forever. Transportation via car was no longer a luxury of the affluent, but a mainstay in American culture accessible to virtually everyone.

Much has changed over the last century; the automotive industry has blossomed into a multibillion-dollar enterprise featuring competitors from around the world. In 2000, amid a push for alternative fuel sources, Toyota released the Prius to the American market. This vehicle was the first hybrid car in the United States. As environmental concerns over the future of cars continue to grow, many are looking to driverless cars as the answer to curbing carbon emissions.

No, this isn’t something out of a science fiction movie; autonomous cars are real and they are coming faster than you think. In fact, Google has a working prototype of a driverless car and Delphi Automotive recently attempted the world’s first cross-country road trip in one of these vehicles.

An Autonomous Solution?

Self-driving cars have many social and economic benefits, but can they really be helpful from an environmental perspective? One major concern is the vehicle’s fuel source. Driverless cars are still cars, and further reliance on fossil fuels aren’t exactly helping the environment. Automotive engineers have to figure out the most eco-friendly way of streamlining this method of transport. While it is difficult to determine the long-term environmental benefits without a larger sample size, you can find some speculative points below:

  • Fuel efficiency: Researchers at KPMG believe that driverless cars will be considerably more fuel-efficient than vehicles that use human drivers. If every car is driving at the same speed, the cars could, theoretically, bunch together, effectively cutting gas usage by at least 30 percent.
  • Lighter vehicles: The hope is that automated vehicles will lessen the amount of car accidents per year. Considering the fact that 81 percent all car accidents are due to human error, driverless cars should be met with widespread support. With less emphasis placed on accident prevention, cars will likely be more durable and use less material.
  • Ridesharing increase: Recent data from the International Parking Institute suggests that cars remain parked 90 percent of the time. Services like Uber and Lyft are beginning to mitigate the stigma associated with ridesharing. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to turn ridesharing into a normal occurrence. Fewer cars on the road translates to increased environmental stability.

Convenience at a Cost

Driverless cars open up a realm of new possibilities for people who are unable to drive, such as minors, disabled, elderly, intoxicated or medically unable. Ridesharing is already causing significant tensions between taxi companies and other sources of public transportation; what happens if autonomous vehicles become the preferred method of transport among Americans? Other mediums would quickly become obsolete.

Despite the prospect of a less-stressful work commute, the increased number of driverless cars on the road will outweigh any proposed environmental benefits. Experts foresee a 160 percent jump in people’s need to travel by car. Autonomous vehicles may be the next step in the automobile industry, and their effects on the environment remain will be seen soon.

 

About the Author

Scott Huntington is a writer and auto enthusiast. Check out his site, offthethrottle.com for more.

 

What about Solar-Isopropanol Powered Cars?

By Guest Blogger Ali Lawrence

For decades, we’ve heard about the promise of the electric car. These cars don’t produce any tailpipe emissions, they’re less expensive (they cost about one-third or one-quarter less per mile than their gas-guzzling counterparts), and you can fill them up at home. On top of that, they’re practically silent, meaning you won’t have to hear the loud whirr of the engine as you drive from Point A to Point B.

The cars — which have theoretically been coming down the pike since the ‘70s — still have yet to make considerable inroads in the market, despite the soaring success of companies like Tesla Motors on Wall Street. In 2013, for example, 96,000 electric cars were sold in the United States, representing about one-half of one percent of the market that year.

So while electric cars have yet to take off — it remains to be seen if they ever will —scientists are working on alternative green energy sources they hope will one day power the automobile.

Using the Sun for Fuel

At Harvard, researchers recently revealed they figured out how to convert solar energy into liquid fuel, a breakthrough that may very well have substantial implications as we search for alternative fuel sources.

Here’s how it works: Scientists use sunlight to break apart water into hydrogen and oxygen. By using a bacterium and adding carbon dioxide, they’re able to convert the gases into isopropanol, a liquid fuel generally used in cleaning, pharmaceutical or cosmetic applications.

Who knows whether scientists will be able to leverage isopropanol to power cars in such a way that allows them to move quickly over long stretches of road. After all, General Motors believes “range anxiety” — a driver’s fear of their electric car running out of juice and leaving them stranded on the highway — is a primary inhibitor of EV adoption. So in order for an electric car to really be successful, it has to be able to cover lots of ground.

But they will most assuredly be trying.

Will Isopropanol Be the Gasoline of the Future?

Charged with the task of ensuring the planet remains livable for future generations, many environmentally conscious car owners are proactively looking to reduce their carbon footprints, finding a more fuel-friendly vehicle like a hybrid (if not a fully electric car), taking public transportation or carpooling.

Believe it or not, Americans consumed 13 percent less gasoline in 2012 than they did in 2007, though they still burned through 123 billion gallons of gasoline. This reduction was driven in part by new, alternative forms of energy.

While we still rely on gasoline, researchers are pursuing a variety of substitutes, including ethanol, methanol, compressed natural gas, biodiesel, electricity and hydrogen. These alternative fuel sources have helped reduce our collective carbon footprint — but we can certainly do better.

The breakthroughs at Harvard certainly give us a glimmer of hope that we as a society may very well be able to begin seriously weaning off gasoline and oil in our lifetimes. The sun is one of our most renewable resources, and as such we should do all we can to leverage its power.

Imagine driving a solar-powered car that doesn’t shut off at nighttime or on a cloudy day. Thanks to the researchers at Harvard, it appears as though we’re a step closer to experiencing that reality.

 

About the Author

Ali Lawrence is a tea-sipping writer who focuses on healthy and sustainable living via her family blog Homey Improvements. She was born and raised in Alaska and dabbles in PR, Pilates, and is a princess for hire for kid’s parties.

 

New Roof Tile Coating Cleans the Air

roof tiles clean the air

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way that we could get rid of pollution without actually having to do anything? Well, researchers at UCR in southern California believe they have a solution that fits the bill. A new coating for roof tiles can absorb smog pollutants, and can clean the area’s air daily if given a chance by homeowners.

By spraying clay roof tiles with titanium dioxide, UCR students discovered that 88% to 97% of nitrogen oxide pollution can be cleaned from the air. The calculations suggest that 21 tons of nitrogen oxides can be removed from the air with the adoption of the roof tiles on one million homes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make much of a dent in the 500 tons of pollution emitted every day in Southern California.

Despite the 4% reduction rate, it’s worth noting that the research delivers positive results. With even a small coating of titanium dioxide, there is effectiveness being exhibited. It’s a small step in the average homeowner taking an effort to reduce air pollution, without actually having to do more than apply a treatment to their roof. The average sized home would only require about $5 worth of the coating to treat their existing roof.

These types of roofing tiles are available commercially already, although they are fairly expensive. A small study completed by the UC Riverside engineering students showed that pollution concentrations can decrease in as little as 20 minutes when using titanium dioxide coated roof tiles.

These new roof tiles aren’t the first invention to harness the pollutant eating capabilities of titanium dioxide. In the Netherlands, a city street comprised of titanium dioxide coated pavers was proven to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution by 45%.

The research on titanium dioxide coatings and their effect on air pollutants, specifically nitrogen oxide, shows a positive step towards dealing with environmental issues. Because the coating is relatively easy to use and requires very little from the consumer, it can be a way to proactively deal with smog without negatively affecting the appearance of the neighborhood.

Titanium dioxide is a compound that is already added to a variety of consumer products, such as paint, makeup, and sunscreen. The UC Riverside students would like to continue their research to determine if the addition of titanium dioxide to paint used on walls would also have an effect. If so, adding this type of paint to concrete dividers and walls along major highways can help reduce the air pollution emitted from traffic.

While the concept isn’t anything new, and the research study was small, the findings are a big step in the right direction for dealing with pollution. Better air quality is something that many major cities struggle to maintain, and something as simple as a coated roof tiles (or painted walls) can have a large impact. The next step is to think large scale, and apply the pollution eating aspect of titanium dioxide in a bigger project.

 

The Truth Behind Green Energy Subsidies

By Guest Blogger Lee Rolison

Nobody wants to see their tax dollars spent covering the operating costs of failing energy companies. That’s why debates over energy subsidies tend to be fiercely polarising. They also tend to be completely misinformed.

There’s a widespread assumption that the solar power industry is not economically viable and only survives due to generous government subsidies. This is a myth that stems from slanted media headlines and misunderstandings about how energy subsidies work. In reality, the fossil fuel industry takes the overwhelming share of energy subsidies each year, at $544bn for fossil fuels compared to $101bn for renewables globally, according to a 2012 report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). In the US, that equates to a cumulative $446.96bn for the oil and gas industry between 1994 and 2009, compared to just $5.93bn for renewables.

In a competitive business environment, the companies with the best business practices will prosper, while those that perform badly will fail. The existence of gigantic fossil fuel subsidies distorts this competitive environment, so that poorly performing businesses can survive through government support. Not only that, but energy subsidies obscure the whole cost of energy production and artificially lower prices. This means that the true cost of developing and producing fossil fuels has traditionally been shouldered, in part, by the taxpayer.

This makes it very hard for alternative, cleaner energy sources to be competitive. Private investors are discouraged from putting money into alternative energy sources because that means competing with artificially low prices. Not only that, but subsidies are naturally biased in favour of large-scale productions, meaning that those who already have the most benefit disproportionately from energy subsidies. To give a crude example, someone who owns a business that requires a great deal of fuel consumption profits much more from subsidized gasoline than someone who only owns one car. Lastly, fossil fuel subsidies incentive carbon-intensive technologies and financially reward companies for taking part in the very activities that are responsible for climate change.

None of this is to say that subsidies can’t be a useful tool of government, when used correctly. But we should be moving away from a permanent subsidy model to one where subsidies primarily exist to launch new and innovative technologies. This is because young and small companies are unable to bankroll research by themselves, given that only a tiny fraction of research ever translates into a commercially viable product.

We should also remember that subsidies are useful for maintaining employment in periods of transition, just as the solar industry employs 120,000 Americans today. Lastly, and in direct opposition to how energy subsidies work today, we should be using subsidies to protect the environment and improving the air quality in our major cities. Subsidy reform makes economic sense and it makes environmental sense – it is good for the budget as it is good for the planet. As noted by Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the IEA, without the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies, we will not reach our climate change targets.

About the Author

Lee Rolison is a renewable energy installer who works with solar panels and other green technologies at Complete Renewables.

 

Recycling Smart Phones and Tablets – The Real Scoop

According to recent studies conducted by the Yale Environment 360 program, very little of the metals that go into making smartphones and tablets ever get recycled. In fact, there is at least 50 pounds of gold and 550 pounds of silver in every 1 million smartphones. These are precious metals that are just getting thrown away each and every day by consumers all over the world.

The cost savings alone in these precious metals is enough to make people want to recycle them, but take into account the polluting agents that smartphones and tablets contain, and you might want to think twice before throwing away your old smartphone. These pollutants don’t just sit in landfills for thousands of years until they finally degrade. They actually spoil the surrounding environment to such an extent that the area cannot be used for anything ever again for risk of making people and livestock sick.

We have looked at two reasons that you should recycle your smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices, but let’s take a look at one more. Today’s electronics contain a variety of rare earth materials that without them, there would be no more electronic devices ever. No smartphones, computers, tablets or even televisions. These rare materials need to be recycled if we are ever to have the latest technology to hold in our hands again.

Recycling your cell phone or tablet is easy and can even make you some money. You can sell your phone to a company like GreenBuyback. GreenBuyback gives you the option the find out how much your phone is worth by using their website. Simply visit GreenBuyback’s website and select the phone you are trying to sell. You will get a free quote instantly. If you agree with the price, you can continue to checkout and generate a free UPS label to send in your phone. Payments are made via PayPal or check once GreenBuyback receives your phone.

Another method of recycling your old e-waste is to contact the device’s manufacturer and see if they have a recycling service where you can send your old smart phone or tablet to them in a postage paid envelope. Many times, when you purchase a new phone, it comes along with a prepaid envelope for you to send in your old phone. This is an especially good idea if your old phone isn’t worth much money or it is broken.

Just as we recycle our aluminum cans, glass bottles and paper products. We should also recycle our consumer electronic waste to ensure that our environment is kept healthy and clean and that new electronic items can be made at an affordable price. And remember, if you can make some money from selling your cell phones and stay green, that’s a great method as well.

Consider Rainwater Harvesting Systems to Maximize Usage of Water

By Guest Blogger Samantha Jones

The rainwater harvesting system makes for a simple mechanical system which helps in the reduction of our need for water transport systems, which are detrimental for the health of our immediate environs. Harvesting rainwater in homes is an efficient way to combat the common predicament of defective water infrastructures— no matter whether you are living in the parched Mojave Desert or the damp Pacific Northwest or for that matter the Pacific Midwest, ruled by thunderstorms.

In the wake of the emerging water crisis across the globe, experts regard this as an efficient means of maximizing water usage. On an average one inch of rain on an acre of land might amount to more than 27,000 gallons of rain. Rainwater is generally clean containing only softer chemicals.

Sourcing rainwater with the help of Rainwater Harvesting System

The rainwater harvesting system is considered to be an effective strategy in the greater scheme of trimming down the use of domestic water. It works on the premise of a simple mechanism that entails the connection of the whole system with that of a rooftop water collection network or a gutter. The water is then collected in a barrel for later usage.

Even in areas with very low rainwater, a roof of around a thousand square feet of home can gather up to 600 gallons of water with just an inch of rain. Even in the homes, connected by gutter, you can jolly well divert the collected water into storage tank. In the hoophouses the water can be collected in the gutters along the side rail, placed right on top of the roll-up side walls.

The initial cost of this system might vary with the type of installation and the extent of your use would determine the time in which you would be able to recover the initial costs.

Better landscape contouring in order to facilitate formation of rainwater sourcing

By demonstrating a little sagacity you can turn your entire yard in to an efficient rainwater storage system. One of your primary responsibilities in this regard would be to select plants which have the capacity to store water in their root systems or to help it navigate to the water table. Raise the heights of patios and pathways and sink the level of the planting areas so that they can capture the flow of the water.

Catchment System

Rainwater harvesting makes for a crucial part of environment sustainability and there are three potent ways in which you can do it including roof harvesting, street harvesting and direct rainfall. An effective catchment system contains a first flush system which keeps the first rain waters away from the tank. The first rain waters are the dirtiest since they clean the roof. There is a screen which is used to eliminate debris, leaves etc before the rainwater flows on to the top of the tank. Barrels, one of the cheapest rain water storage systems, are adept for usage in the urban areas since they can be installed in the unused spaces of the houses.

 

About the Author

Sam is an environment enthusiast writing extensively on recycling of aerosol cans for http://ekocorp.com.

 

E-Waste: Implications and Controlling Measures

By Guest Blogger Erich Lawson

The disposal techniques of electronic waste followed across the globe is more hazardous than its generation. There are countries who do not know the difference between hazardous and non-hazardous waste material, while almost all electronic waste is hazardous in nature.

The generation of e-waste has been huge in the past couple of years. Two million tons of e-waste has been generated by the United States alone in the year 2010. Every year, over 1,120,000 laptops and desktop computers are discarded, which amounts to around 41 million of e-waste. This is not only alarming, but also puzzling as different IT companies do not consider the reuse of old computers and laptops. The lifecycle of a laptop or computer can be easily increased if the companies make an effort to change and maintain them in a proper manner.

One of the biggest reasons for companies changing electronic equipment each year is the encouragement and pressure imposed by various IT vendors. Along with this, it is a common notion among many people that anything that is old and refurbished is never going to be worth using again. Therefore, ultimately these things land up in different landfills.

Even though different regulations and legislations are in place, the illegal transportation of e-waste from different countries is still taking place. This accumulated e-waste lands in different dumping grounds like Accra (Ghana), Bangalore (India), Lagos (Nigeria), New Delhi (India), Guiyu (China), and Karachi (Pakistan). It has actually become a lethal occupation in these countries as workers handling e-waste in downright unsafe conditions have started showing symptoms of e-waste poisoning. Even the surrounding areas and the soil have shown high levels of contamination.

 

Ways of Controlling E-waste Generation

There are many ways of controlling e-waste. Some of these methods are:

  • Donate or sell electronics: As mentioned earlier, electronics can easily be reused or you can also sell or donate them. There are people who have never seen the face of a computer. Therefore, rather than filling up the landfills and dumping grounds, it’s a good idea to donate these items. You can also look for vendors who buy old electronic items. Contacting them to dispose your old gadgets is a better idea than throwing these items in the trash.
  • Recycle: Unused batteries, television sets, refrigerator parts, and air conditioning units should never be thrown in the trash. Instead, they need to be discarded in bins that are labeled as e-waste recycling bins. These bins are taken to different recycling centers straightaway, which separate and segregate these waste materials to recycle them in a proper manner. This is one of the best ways of dealing with e-waste.
  • Green electronics: You can easily search for different types of green electronics manufacturers in the market. These items are generally made under different norms and regulations about climate change, chemical usage, and recycling as per Greenpeace International. When you go to buy different types of electronic items, it is imperative to look for the energy star rating. Higher the star rating, lower the consumption of power would be.
  • Reuse: Look for ways to reuse your existing electronic appliance rather than throwing them away. In fact, discarded electronic items that either reach the recycling center or a landfill are generally repaired and reused. Large items like televisions, home theatres, refrigerators, and air conditioners can be repaired so that they can be reused again. You can also give such items to others who’d use them.
  • Evaluate your needs: Before purchasing a new electronic item, analyze whether you really need it. Is your life going to get any better than what it is right now with the gadget that you are about to buy? If not, then wouldn’t it be better not to buy it? Also, look for a gadget that can be used for multiple purposes.

 

E-waste is a major cause of concern in the world currently, not only for countries that generate it, but also for those that have become the dumping grounds. Looking for ways to process it properly and adopting such methods is critical for the world’s environment.

 

About the Author

Erich Lawson is passionate about saving environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern equipments such as balers, compactors and shredders can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting http://www.norcalcompactors.net.

 

7 Solar Power Apps to Consider

By Guest Blogger Sharon Freeman

There is no doubt that solar energy is taking over, despite efforts by Big Oil to undermine its spread. Solar panels are easier than ever to install and buy, thanks to government encouragement. Even app developers are paving the way for cleaner power generation.

Australian solar panel installers GreenElec know first-hand the big role that apps play in bringing about the new world order. Director Gareth Felton says that apps have increased the efficiency of his business “tenfold.”

“This has given me the time to focus on different aspects of my industry,” Felton said.

Google Play and the App Store have many apps that can ease households into the strange but sustainable world of solar power. These solutions will bring some sunshine into your life:

  1. Solar Panel Suitability Checker

Intent is everything, but it’s another thing to realise a plan to use solar power. To get started, you should check if your property is suited to solar panel installation. Here’s the free app that lets you bypass companies that charge to do that for you. Just input your address and this app will determine if the roof of your residence is getting the most sunlight there or somewhere else. This app is only for iOS devices though.

  1. Solar Checker

Solar Checker can measure how much solar energy you can generate over the year and your lifetime. It can also give you a rough idea on the energy savings you stand to make from your panels within those periods. This app is designed in a way that you can get a different estimate if you move to another location with your phone. Free for iOS devices

  1. Photovoltaic

This app can predict your energy generation monthly and give you an idea of your ROI. You can even use your phone or tablet screen as a simulator of the photovoltaic glass. Developed by Gallic panel maker Technologie Solaire, the app can be Europe-centric though as you have to input data manually for your location if you’re not in the continent. Free for Android devices

  1. Solar Meter

While this app may also not work in the US, the promise is universally appealing. Solar Meter allows you to calculate solar power according to your panel tilt and orientation, which can be measured by sensor technology. Retails for $3 on Google Play.

  1. PV Solar Calculator

This app can calculate energy production not just yearly but daily. It can also calculate the AC/DC size, system cost, and total surface area. The app can easily convert between DC size and energy output. Costs $3 for iOS and Android

  1. U-Clinometer

Solar power tradies like GreenElec will appreciate this app, which allows them to determine the right alignment for a solar panel.

  1. WattRebate

As you may have heard, government is encouraging households to wean themselves off the fuel-based grid. This app will help set you for a life of sustainability. WattRebate provides leads on promos and tax incentives for your solar energy projects.

With these and other apps, you will not only rollick in the cumulative savings but also the carbon offsets. Sunny days are truly ahead, for you and the planet.

 

About the Author

Sharon Freeman is a professional freelancer who writes about builders and the latest news in the world of iPad Apps.

 

Using a Thermal Imaging Camera to Identify Heat Loss at Home

By Guest Blogger Katherine Ogilvie

A badly insulated home is not only bad for the heating bills but also for the environment. More efficiently heated homes means less heating is necessary and thus there is less burning of fossil fuels to meet the demand for energy.

In the UK, heating homes is one of the main sources of carbon dioxide emissions; in 2004 it was found that roughly 30% of the entire UK’s emissions (that’s over 40 million tonnes of carbon) came from heating houses. Because of their significant environmental impact, carbon emissions from housing have been the target of government schemes with grants to aid individuals to make their homes more energy efficient (such as the Green Deal). However, many individuals are still unaware of how much heat their home is losing.

There are tools available to help, such as this calculator allows you to enter the dimensions of your home and estimates how much carbon dioxide and money you could save if you were to invest in insulation. For instance, for a medium size semi-detached house proper insulation could save over 10,000 kWh of heat loss, £510 per year and over 2,800 kg of Co2 – an overall saving of 76%.

What’s more there’s a general consensus on which parts of a home tend to lose the most heat; 25% of heat is lost through the roof, 35% through the walls, 15% through the floor, 15% through doors and 10% through windows.

While the generalisations of where heat is lost from most homes is good for giving you a rough idea of where heat could be saved, every home is different and is likely to be losing heat from varying locations. This is where a thermal imaging camera can be incredibly useful, it instantly provides a visual depiction of where heat is being lost in a specific home and therefore what home improvement could be of the most use.

There are various types of thermal imaging cameras which can be of use when identifying heat loss in the home:

FLIR Ex-Series

From $1200

The Ex-Series FLIR Cameras are easily the most popular in the thermal imaging camera market for those with a larger budget. Even so, several electrical test equipment outlets do offer them for hire but it is clear that you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to FLIR products. FLIR’s patented MSX technology displays thermal images of outstanding quality and in real time, making inspecting and observing a cinch.

The spotmeter function which comes on the E4, E5, E6 and E8 models allows the user to provide temperate information on every pixel. The key difference between each model is the thermal image quality which ranges from 80 by 60 pixels for the E4 all the way up to 320 by 240 pixels on the E8 (an image demonstrating the range of resolution can be seen below). The other differentiator would be the temperature differences from as small as 0.15 on the E4 to 0.06 on the E8. These easy to use point and shoot style cameras are ideal for detecting insulation loss.

(image from http://www.flir.com/instruments/display/?id=61194)

Thermal Imaging Smart Phone Extensions

Currently there are two main contenders in terms of thermal imaging cameras as phone additions, the FLIR ONE and the Seek.

The specs of each model are equivalent to low end of the aforementioned Ex-series range, with the FLIR ONE with a resolution of 80×60 (same as the E4) and the Seek with a resolution of 206×156 (somewhere between the E6 and E8).

However it is worth mentioning that the FLIR one combines its infrared image with images taken from the visual camera, which helps to provide a clearer picture – providing outlines of objects. As you can see from the picture below even though the thermal image on the FLIR one has a lower resolution, when combined with data from the visual image the output is easier to interpret.

The seek has a similar feature that provides context to the thermal image, known as the thermal + mode. Which produces a spilt screen, half the visual image and half the thermal image, as you can see below:

These models are ideal for checking the heat efficiency of a home because they offer a practical level of resolution but are a much more economical option with the FLIR ONE priced at $349 and the Seek at $199.

If you are considering purchasing one of these, it is worth noting that the FLIR ONE is only currently available for the iPhone 5 and 5s, although they are planning to release an android version. However an advantage of the FLIR ONE is it doubles up as an iPhone charger whereas the seek takes up the port needed to charge the phone. The Seek has an android version and can be used on anything from an iPhone 5 onwards.

The Seek also has various settings which could be of help when trying to identify heat loss in a home. For instance low mode, the camera will jump to and spot the coolest point in the field of vision – effectively finding the cold areas in your house so you don’t have to scan the photo/videos. There is a threshold mode which is applicable to this situation, you can set a temperature and get the camera to only show objects that are above, below or at that temperature. This could again be useful in locating cold spots, only highlight areas under room temperature for example.

The seek is the more affordable option, with better thermal resolution but a less professional final image. If you’re utilising the camera in a professional context (inspecting houses for their heat retention or as part of a property valuation) then it might be worth investing in the FLIR ONE for the extra cost, whereas if you’re just looking to evaluate your own home it could be worth getting the Seek. However, renting a professional thermal imagining camera on a single occasion is likely to be cheaper than both these options.

Thermal imaging cameras can provide valuable insight into home heat retention and are a key tool into ensuring homes are properly insulated which in turn can help to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.

 

About the Author

This article was written by Katherine Ogilvie on behalf of ISSWWW, who are the UK’s largest electrical test equipment retailer and thermal imaging camera wholesaler.

 

Credits

[images taken from http://www.wired.com/2014/10/seek-thermal-infrared-camera-iphone-android/]

 

Aluminet Shade Cloths Review

Ever since greenhouses have been used for gardening, crop growing, and farming, many people have been finding new ways to yield better and healthier plants. However, it is difficult to find green technology in which truly combines cost-efficiency and eco-friendliness. In recent years, greenhouse thermal screens were invented and sold in the market to meet the growing demand of upgrading greenhouses and improving light diffusion. Also, out of all the greenhouse thermal screens released, Aluminet Shade Cloth remains unbeatable when it comes to its benefits, efficiency, and durability.

If you are considering getting shade cloths for your greenhouse, there are several things that you will need. An Aluminet Shade Cloth can provide your greenhouse with all the basic essentials. Not only does it equip you with all the necessities for growing crops and all kinds of plants, but it also has several features specifically designed to promote optimal plant growth and higher yield.

Significant Heat Reduction in Greenhouses

Greenhouses were initially designed to maintain static temperatures within the apparatus especially during winter in which temperatures are too destructive for plants. On the other hand, seasons such as summer and spring may cause the greenhouse to overheat thus causing detriment to the plants within. Greenhouse thermal screens were created to reduce the heat and to shade the plants from direct sunlight as it was found to be quite harmful for the growth of plants. In addition, shade cloths also make working within the greenhouse more tolerable at the peak of the heat. Gardeners and farmers will not have to leave periodically in order to cool down and have to suffer the dire consequences of being exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time. Aluminet Shade Cloth is unparalleled to other greenhouse thermal screens available on the market. According to statistics, Aluminet can significantly reduce heat in greenhouses compared to other thermal screens.

State-of-the-Art Thermal Regulation

More often than not, the plethora of greenhouse thermal screens does not have features which can regulate temperatures within the greenhouse as effectively as it ought to. Aluminet Shade Cloth acts as a greenhouse thermal blanket. It controls the temperature of the greenhouse as well as normalizes the entrance and exit of infrared radiation. The drastic and rapid shift of temperatures in a greenhouse has been known to stunt plant growth and even prevent fruiting. Once you install Aluminet Shade Cloths you lessen the chance of experiencing leaf dry outs and soil corruption. If you want your greenhouse to be as efficient and productive as possible, only trust Aluminet greenhouse thermal screens to protect your plants.

Oh, and by the way, I have first-hand personal experience using this product and it really does work.