Rhodes Performance Maintenance

SERVING ALL OF TEXAS

Out of sight, out of mind is not a good excuse for avoiding the task.

The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system is the respiratory system — the lungs — of a building. Return ducts take in air from the occupied space and send it through an air handler, where it is warmed or cooled and returned to the occupied space through a network of supply ducts. A well-maintained system removes the stale gases and provides a steady stream of oxygen-rich, comfortable, odorless air for the occupants. But where there’s air, there’s particulate.

Why be particular about particulate?

According to the Air Quality Management District near Los Angeles, an average cubic inch of local urban air contains about 250,000 particles. This reduces to 25,000 to 50,000 particles near the coast and increases to a million or more near highways. Even a cubic inch of the purest air at mountain peaks and over the center of the ocean holds thousands of particles.

With the rise of nanotechnology, the primary focus in the medical world has been on ultrafine particles known as PM2.5 — particulate matter with a size of 2.5 microns and smaller. These aren’t good for one’s health. High exposure to PM2.5 and larger particles has been linked to an astonishing array of physical ailments, including:

  • Strokes (Annals of Neurology, May 2008)
  • Blood clots in leg veins (Archives of Internal Medicine, May 2008)
  • Wheezing in infants (Thorax, August 2008)
  • Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (Environmental Factor, May 2008)
  • Clogged arteries (Genome Biology, July 2007)
  • Heart risks in young adults (American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, August 2007)
  • Premature birth (American Journal of Epidemiology online, November 2007)
  • Premature death (Thorax online, July 2007)

As air is drawn through an HVAC system, particulates gradually begin to collect on the interior of the ductwork, fan, fan housing, coils and other parts in contact with the air stream. As time goes on, the particles can coat the surfaces to a thickness of three inches or more. Although contaminant buildup usually isn’t more than 0.5 inches deep, sometimes it can be several inches. A two-inch buildup on the bottom of a 12 inch x 12 inch duct makes it a 10 inch x 12 inch duct. This narrowing of the flow area produces more resistance to air going through, adding to the energy bill. A Japanese study in the 1980s, however, found that when the contaminant coating thickness reac hes 0.03 inches, the particulates start to peel off and reenter the air stream.

HVAC systems get dirty over time, but at variable rates. Contaminant accumulation rates and peel-off rates are determined by a variety of factors, including duct size, air speed, air volume, particulate load in the air and particulate size. Some systems accumulate large amounts of debris and some reach a point of near equilibrium, where the rate of accumulation is only slightly higher than the rate of peel-off.

Energy costs

 

One of the first things to be affected by particulate buildup is energy cost, particularly from the heating and cooling coils. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) found that simply cleaning the coils after a year of use produced considerable energy savings by increasing the cfm by 14% and by improving heat-transfer ability by 10-25% (ASHRAE Journal, November 2006). But many plants allow their HVAC systems to go years without a good coil cleaning, so it seems reasonable to conclude that industry is missing out on greater energy savings. As time goes on, accumulation on other parts of the system adds to the energy loss.

Some fan blades are slightly cupped to make them aerodynamic. Accumulated dirt alters the fan-blade profile to render them less efficient and they pull fewer cfm. Also, dirt adds weight to the fan, so more energy is required to turn it. A clean fan is cheaper to run. Turning vanes at duct elbows collect particulate matter and all manner of debris over time. I’ve seen cardboard, pieces of insulation and dead birds clogging the elbows.

Clogged registers also introduce inefficiencies. Besides particulate buildup, after five, 10 or 20 years, a lot of foreign objects can find their way into an HVAC system and get caught behind the registers. Because air flow can be restricted in so many ways by particulate buildup, a cleaning can cause a dramatic increase in cfm, particularly in older systems that have never been cleaned.

Preventive measures

You have control over the rate of dirt accumulation in your HVAC system. The following items are the primary contributors to system contamination and efficiency loss:

  • Missing filters — not common, but it makes a system dirtier faster
  • Filters poorly fitted or with gaps between them
  • Improper filters — use those recommended by the OEM
  • Dirty filters and failure to clean the filter rack when changing filters
  • Neglecting the air handler — not inspecting periodically to spot functional problems
  • Dirty operating environment
  • Duct leakage — gaps at duct joints, where unfiltered air can be drawn in
  • Poor or no condensate drainage in the air handler
  • Deteriorated fiberglass liner — friable, small or large pieces get into the ductwork
  • Leaks in air handlers — worn door seals or holes in the cabinets

Monitor the symptoms

Unless you’re in a clean environment, such as a hospital, where HVAC cleaning is part of routine maintenance, you might wonder how to make an educated decision on when to clean a system. Here are some basic guidelines.

 

Replacing or repairing the air handler. When you change a fan, fan motor or the entire air handler, you shake the duct system and loosen the dirt inside it. A new fan likely will blow greater cfm than the old one, giving it enough strength to blast out lots of particulates that would have otherwise remained attached.

A poorly maintained HVAC system. If the filters have been missing or poorly fitted for six months or more, the likelihood is that the fan, coils and ductwork are laden with particulates and debris. A cleaning likely will be needed to give you healthy air output and coils that aren’t clogged.

Mold growth. This is more common in the South, but can be a problem anywhere. Biological growth inside the air handler can emit foul odors and can even make people sick. Mold growth inside the ductwork is less likely, but it can occur. Get mold contamination corrected immediately because failure to remedy it could open your company up to legal consequences.

Dirt blowing out. If system contamination reaches the point where dirt is coming out, covering machinery, desks or an employee’s lunch, you’ve probably hit a point of no return. The only remedy is cleaning the HVAC system thoroughly. Before you make the call, ensure the problem isn’t caused by something simple, like missing filters or an open door on the air handler.

Bad smells. Cigarette smoke, industrial fumes, particulates, algae, fungi, mold — a number of things can settle into a duct system, causing a rank odor when the system is running. We’ve found that the return ductwork is frequently the source of odors. It gets much dirtier than supply ductwork because it pulls in unfiltered air. Cleaning usually remedies this problem.

Dirty ducts or air handler. Sometimes you simply look at the system and common sense tells you it’s filthy and people shouldn’t be breathing air from it.

Air flow is restricted by dirt buildup. When enough particulates and debris collect in critical areas, it can cut air flow dramatically. Coils are a primary culprit because they have narrow air passages. These clog up quickly. Registers, particularly return registers with screen covers, also can become clogged.

Sick occupants. A dirty HVAC system isn’t responsible for every case of sick building syndrome, but it can be a contributor. A study conducted by Allergy Consumer Review (reported at www.allergyconsumerreview.com/air-purifiers-furnace-filters.html) found that HVAC cleaning reduced airborne particulates by about 75% and contributed significantly to a reduction of allergy and illness symptoms in the building.

New construction. It’s nearly impossible to keep construction dust from getting into the HVAC system. The architectural specs for many government buildings mandate a “post-construction blowout” (cleaning) before the system can be used.

There are no set standards regulating how often HVAC cleaning should be performed. For hospitals, which do it more than most facilities, every five to 10 years is common, although coil cleaning might be more frequent. It depends a great deal on how quickly the system gets dirty and the needs of the occupants. The primary factor concerns how often the system exhibits one of the symptoms listed above. Ideally, you want to clean the system before it turns into an emergency; however, coils should be cleaned annually to capture an easy and considerable cost savings.

The cleaning process

 

Duct cleaning technology has been refined over the years. In the 1980s, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) promulgated industry standards to promote greater professionalism. Today, most reputable duct-cleaning firms are certified NADCA members.

Duct cleaning is usually done during off hours, when operations are shut down, so cleaning contractors work nights and weekends. Duct-cleaning equipment varies by company and even by region, but there are two basic technologies: contact cleaning and negative-air cleaning. With either method, each part of the HVAC system gets cleaned, including the registers, coils, air hander and ductwork.

Contact cleaning is the old-school method. The ductwork is hand-vacuumed. If the ducts are large enough, a technician crawls the interior. If not, the ducts are cleaned by cutting access holes every 15 feet or so, reaching in and vacuuming. Contact cleaning is the most thorough method but, because it can be more labor intensive (and thus more costly), it’s not used very often. However, even on some modern jobs, part of the work might require contact cleaning.

Negative-air-cleaning technology has been developed during the last 20 years. It involves a large vacuum (known as a negative-air machine) attached to a duct opening to produce a powerful draw of air through a section of ductwork. A variety of tools can be run through the duct while the vacuum is operating. Hoses can blast air and augers (long cables with a spinning brush on the end) can agitate the particulate into the air stream for the negative-air machine to collect.

Regardless of approach, industry best practices say that it’s insufficient simply to connect a strong vacuum up to the duct. Some kind of contact agitation, such as air blasting or mechanical brushing, is required on the interior duct surfaces to remove particulates more effectively. NADCA standards also dictate that either method must use vacuum devices equipped with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that catch particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Design problems

Manufacturing processes can release oil mist, lint, sawdust and all manner of particulate matter into the air. Any HVAC system is at risk for contamination in such an environment, particularly if the return or intake registers draw air from the particulate-filled zone. Such contamination not only increases energy costs, but can be a fire hazard if the material is flammable.

Some industrial and commercial venues can exhibit serious HVAC contamination. This is particularly true if a system shares air with industrial processes that release airborne particulate matter. A classic example was a California hotel, where the HVAC system’s large fresh-air intake opening was just above a gigantic laundry exhaust vent. The HVAC system had to cool air that was 20°F hotter than normal outside air. Lint also clogged the filters and coils and caused rapid ductwork buildup.

The HVAC air intake register at a cooking facility was too close to the cooking area. Smoke from the cooking process — which includes minute droplets of grease and steam — was drawn into the HVAC system. Food odors came through the ductwork and grease accumulated on the coils, filters and ductwork. Cleaning this system was an arduous exercise.

The best advice for such situations is to design the system properly in the first place so it doesn’t cross-contaminate from the industrial process — primarily by not drawing from particulate-laden air. If you already have an HVAC system with a poor design, an HVAC engineer might be able to redesign the filtration or reroute the ductwork to solve the problem.

A quality HVAC system can be a luxury when it runs well with little attention. But, just like dependable old friends, they occasionally let us know they need a helping hand. When they become overloaded with particulate and debris, problems begin. HVAC cleaning is a well-established procedure for remedying a contaminated system. When done properly by a reputable company, it can improve air quality, restore system functionality and reduce the cost of running it.

Dan Stradford is CEO of Action Duct Cleaning Co. Inc.

April 2009 Clean HVAC System Coils Save Energy Dirty coils force compressors to run longer and work harder than required, increasing energy usage and utility costs Dirty coils force compressors to run longer and work harder than required, increasing energy usage and utility costs COURTESY OF NADCA One of the easiest, most cost-effective green things you can do for your building’s energy efficiency is to have your HVAC system’s condenser and evaporator coils inspected yearly and cleaned as necessary. Dirty coils force compressors to run longer and work harder than required, increasing energy usage and utility costs while decreasing component life and occupant comfort. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), major utilities, and other experts, dirty condenser and evaporator coils can significantly increase HVAC energy usage and associated utility costs. The U.S. DOE says that “a dirty condenser coil can increase compressor energy consumption by 30 percent.” A dirty evaporator coil decreases airflow, resulting in reduced heat transfer and a degradation of the dehumidification process. These can cause overall air quality to decline and systems to fail, and decrease the life expectancy of motors due to increased heat while running. NADCA Standards The ACR 2006 Standard for HVAC Assessment, Cleaning and Restoration includes details regarding methodologies for coil cleaning and occupant protection strategies. It also helps building owners and managers quantify HVAC-system performance before and after cleaning, calling for HVAC systems to operate within 10 percent of their nominal and/or design volumetric flow after coil cleaning (other factors aside). Using NADCA-certified air-system cleaning specialists ensures that the systems are properly cleaned and maintained for increased energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) suggests an annual coil cleaning to its commercial customers as part of its ongoing efforts to promote energy-efficient HVAC-system operations. “Once the system has been properly charged with refrigerant and has good airflow across the indoor coil, and assuming there is no damage to the duct system, only basic service, such as changing filters and cleaning the outdoor unit annually, should be needed to maintain the system operation at peak performance levels,” says PG&E. With the HVAC system running in “cool” mode, there are two places where heat exchange occurs: 1) condensing unit coils, and 2) evaporator coils. Foreign materials on these coils act as unintended insulators and inhibit the free flow of air through the coils, decreasing the rate of heat transfer between coil and air that is the basis of most HVAC systems. Further, experience shows that servicing dirty systems can lead to misdiagnosing problems and/or faulty or unnecessary repairs. Typically, this results in overcharging of systems and premature failure. It’s not just old systems that need cleaning. In fact, the newer and more efficient your HVAC system is, the more likely it is to benefit from regular coil inspection and cleaning. These newer systems operate at greatly increased pressures and are less tolerant of increases in static pressure. While clean coils have always been important, today’s higher-efficiency units require more efficient heat transfer across larger coils to function at their highest capacity. New units with high SEER ratings often have variable-speed fan motors that adjust fan speed based on demand; however, these units lose much of their effectiveness when forced to run harder than necessary due to fouled condenser vanes. An effective coil inspection and cleaning requires more than hosing down the vanes on an exterior compressor coil. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association’s (NADCA) ACR 2006 Standard for HVAC Assessment, Cleaning and Restoration sets minimum best practices for coil cleaning. Building Use Air-Handling Unit Supply Ductwork Return Ductwork/Exhaust Industrial 1 year 1 year 1 year Residential 1 year 2 years 2 years Light Commercial 1 year 2 years 2 years Commercial 1 year 2 years 2 years Healthcare 1 year 1 year 1 year Marine 1 year 2 years 2 years Robert “Buck” Sheppard is president of the Washington, D.C.-based National Air Duct Cleaners Association.

DO YOU SUSPECT YOUR OFFICE HAS AN INDOOR AIR PROBLEM?

Indoor air quality problems are not limited to homes. In fact, many office buildings have significant air pollution sources. Some of these buildings may be inadequately ventilated. For example, mechanical ventilation systems may not be designed or operated to provide adequate amounts of outdoor air. Finally, people generally have less control over the indoor environment in their offices than they do in their homes. As a result, there has been an increase in the incidence of reported health problems.

Health Effects

A number of well-identified illnesses, such as Legionnaires’ disease, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever, have been directly traced to specific building problems. These are called building-related illnesses. Most of these diseases can be treated, nevertheless, some pose serious risks.

Sometimes, however, building occupants experience symptoms that do not fit the pattern of any particular illness and are difficult to trace to any specific source. This phenomenon has been labeled sick building syndrome. People may complain of one or more of the following symptoms: dry or burning mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, and throat; sneezing; stuffy or runny nose; fatigue or lethargy; headache; dizziness; nausea; irritability and forgetfulness. Poor lighting, noise, vibration, thermal discomfort, and psychological stress may also cause, or contribute to, these symptoms.

There is no single manner in which these health problems appear. In some cases, problems begin as workers enter their offices and diminish as workers leave; other times, symptoms continue until the illness is treated. Sometimes there are outbreaks of illness among many workers in a single building; in other cases, health symptoms show up only in individual workers.

In the opinion of some World Health Organization experts, up to 30 percent of new or remodeled commercial buildings may have unusually high rates of health and comfort complaints from occupants that may potentially be related to indoor air quality.

What Causes Problems?

Three major reasons for poor indoor air quality in office buildings are the presence of indoor air pollution sources; poorly designed, maintained, or operated ventilation systems; and uses of the building that were unanticipated or poorly planned for when the building was designed or renovated.

Sources of Office Air Pollution

As with homes, the most important factor influencing indoor air quality is the presence of pollutant sources. Commonly found office pollutants and their sources include environmental tobacco smoke; asbestos from insulating and fire-retardant building supplies; formaldehyde from pressed wood products; other organics from building materials, carpet, and other office furnishings, cleaning materials and activities, restroom air fresheners, paints, adhesives, copying machines, and photography and print shops; biological contaminants from dirty ventilation systems or water-damaged walls, ceilings, and carpets; and pesticides from pest management practices.

Ventilation Systems

Mechanical ventilation systems in large buildings are designed and operated not only to heat and cool the air, but also to draw in and circulate outdoor air. If they are poorly designed, operated, or maintained, however, ventilation systems can contribute to indoor air problems in several ways.

For example, problems arise when, in an effort to save energy, ventilation systems are not used to bring in adequate amounts of outdoor air. Inadequate ventilation also occurs if the air supply and return vents within each room are blocked or placed in such a way that outdoor air does not actually reach the breathing zone of building occupants. Improperly located outdoor air intake vents can also bring in air contaminated with automobile and truck exhaust, boiler emissions, fumes from dumpsters, or air vented from restrooms. Finally, ventilation systems can be a source of in door pollution themselves by spreading biological contaminants that have multiplied in cooling towers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air conditioners, or the inside surfaces of ventilation duct work.

Use of the Building

Indoor air pollutants can be circulated from portions of the building used for specialized purposes, such as restaurants, print shops, and dry-cleaning stores, into offices in the same building. Carbon monoxide and other components of automobile exhaust can be drawn from underground parking garages through stairwells and elevator shafts into office spaces.

In addition, buildings originally designed for one purpose may end up being converted to use as office space. If not properly modified during building renovations, the room partitions and ventilation system can contribute to indoor air quality problems by restricting air recirculation or by providing an inadequate supply of outdoor air.

What to Do if You Suspect a Problem

If you or others at your office are experiencing health or comfort problems that you suspect may be caused by indoor air pollution, you can do the following:

  • Talk with other workers, your supervisor, and union representatives to see if the problems are being experienced by others and urge that a record of reported health complaints be kept by management, if one has not already been established.
  • Talk with your own physician and report your problems to the company physician, nurse, or health and safety officer.
  • Call your state or local health department or air pollution control agency to talk over the symptoms and possible causes.
  • Encourage building management to obtain a copy of Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers from the EPA. Building Air Quality (BAQ) is simply written, yet provides comprehensive information for identifying, correcting, and preventing indoor air quality problems. BAQ also provides supporting information such as when and how to select outside technical assistance, how to communicate with others regarding indoor air issues, and where to find additional sources of information. To obtain the looseleaf-fomat version of the Building Air Quality, complete with appendices, an index, and a full set of useful forms, and the newly released, Building Air Quality Action Plan, order GPO Stock # 055-000-00602-4, for $28, contact the: Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954, or call (202) 512-1800, fax (202) 512-2250.
  • Obtain a copy of “An Office Building Occupant’s Guide to Indoor Air Quality,” EPA-402-K-97-003, October 1997 from IAQ INFO at 1-800-438-4318.
  • Frequently, indoor air quality problems in large commercial buildings cannot be effectively identified or remedied without a comprehensive building investigation. These investigations may start with written questionnaires and telephone consultations in which building investigators assess the history of occupant symptoms and building operation procedures. In some cases, these inquiries may quickly uncover the problem and on-site visits are unnecessary.
  • More often, however, investigators will need to come to the building to conduct personal interviews with occupants, to look for possible sources of the problems, and to inspect the design and operation of the ventilation system and other building features. Because taking measurements of pollutants at the very low levels often found in office buildings is expensive and may not yield information readily useful in identifying problem sources, investigators may not take many measurements. The process of solving indoor air quality problems that result in health and comfort complaints can be a slow one, involving several trial solutions before successful remedial actions are identified.
  • If a professional company is hired to conduct a building investigation, select a company on the basis of its experience in identifying and solving indoor air quality problems in nonindustrial buildings.
  • Work with others to establish a smoking policy that eliminates involuntary nonsmoker exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
  • Call the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for information on obtaining a health hazard evaluation of your office (800-35NIOSH), or contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, (202) 219-8151.

Are you consuming contaminated drinking water? Some water supplies that were once considered pure are now found to have contaminants. Drinking water impacts many human body functions. Considering that our bodies are almost two-thirds water, eliminating contaminated drinking water can be vital to your health.


Contamination in your drinking water, even small amounts of a chemical, can cause chronic health problems. Examples of potential health issues that can be caused by drinking contaminated water include cancer; liver and kidney damage; disorders of the nervous system; damage to the immune system; and birth defects. It has been reported that our drinking water today may contain more than 2,100 toxic chemicals. Neither earth’s natural filtration process nor municipal water treatment is effective at removing these poisons.

The causes of tap water pollution are many, ranging from chlorine to pesticides, herbicides, and everything in between. In our contemporary society more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals bring added convenience and productivity to our daily lives, but at a very high price?drastic increases in risk of degenerative disease.

The tragic health effects of consuming these highly toxic chemicals can be magnified many times over for small children because their systems are more sensitive and still developing. The National Academy of Sciences issued a report in 1993 on this subject and stated, ?children are not little adults; their bodies are less developed and simply incapable of detoxifying certain harmful compounds.” So what is the answer to protecting yourself against drinking contaminated water?

Is it wise to entrust your health to bottled drinking water? A four-year study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reveals that bottled drinking water sold in the United States is not always pure and not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water.

The NRDC’s study included testing of more than 1,000 bottles of 103 brands of bottled water. While most of the tested waters were found to be of high quality, some brands were significantly contaminated. About one-third of the waters tested contained various levels of unhealty elements.

The best all around option to protect yourself against contaminated drinking water could be to purify your own tap water. A wide range of water filters, purifiers, and methods of water purification is available on the market today. In reality, there is no single filter or treatment that will eliminate 100% of every contaminant from your water. Many technologies target only a specific type of contaminant and may be completely ineffective against others.

Typically, most higher-end water purification systems use a combination of filter technologies to achieve the best results. However, it is important to choose a system that specifically targets the known or potential contaminants in your personal water supply.

Testing your water is the first step in determining the best form of water purification for your particular needs. This will ensure that the filtration system you choose has the capability to filter the toxins in your water.

Take charge of your health and begin now to ensure the water you?re drinking is safe. Then join others in recognizing the importance of eliminating contaminated drinking water each year on March 22?World Water Day.

By: By: Robert N. Perry

Our site has a world of information on emergency water purification methods. If a disaster strikes, you can only live a few days without water.
www.emergencywaterpurification.com

Robert Perry specializes in the building of income producing niche websites, usually using google adsense ads. For $75 he builds a 5 article website that the search engines love. You should visit his site. www.thenichebuilde

Article Source : Contaminated Drinking Water : ArticleDashboard

Solar energy is a form of renewable energy that can serve different purposes. Since a long time, human beings are exploiting this energy using various tools and technologies for the enlistment of the society. Solar energy has a large number of applications in various fields. This article is all about the various benefits of the solar energy.

The sun is a consistent source of power that will be with us every time. Unlike fossil fuels that release carcinogens, green house gases, carbon-dioxide and other poisonous gases in environment, solar cells do not release any of these venomous gases in the air. Thus it is environmentally friendly that does not pollute the air.

Solar energy portals are highly reliable as they do not contain any moving parts. Hence any sorts of replacements are not required. In fact, electricity for 1000s of hours with little or no maintenance can be easily generated by using solar energy portals. In the midst of numerous renewable energy resources, this is the only resource that makes no noise while collecting energy from them. These sources are completely silent.

Solar electricity is cheaper as compared to other sources of electricity. There is a start up cost but after that it does not require any more investments for the production of electricity. Once break even point is reached, everything after that is profit. A number of solar panel systems are available. Some of them can be expensive and some can be very cheap. This means that everyone has the entry point to get into solar panels.

Connecting to power grid is not at all required. Everyone can live off-grid and can become self-sufficient. Excess electricity that is generated can be sold if a large solar panel system is built. Easy money can be made by using this method as all the power companies will gladly buy the excess electricity. Hence, there are various benefits of solar energy.

Article Source : Various Benefits of Solar energy : ArticleBase

Anjali Goswami –
About the Author:
For more information on Solar energy and the benefits of Solar energy Israel and Solar energy Portals please visit the mentioned website

With the way man has abused the environment, people need to find newer and better ways to recycle. If everyone continues to act irresponsibly, there might not be anything left for the future generation. Sure, you’ve heard this line repeated over and over again in the past. Maybe, you’ve even grown sick and tired of it. But you’ll continue to hear people yelling it out as long as no one does anything about it. Right now, environmental organizations have been formed to make people more aware of the way the earth is going south. But it seems as if it’s still not enough. Things are continuing to get worse.

So what can you do? As individuals, here are a few ways to recycle. While you won’t really make much of a difference, at least you’ll also know that you’re actively playing a role.

  1. Make sure to segregate your trash. Put all non-biodegradables in one bin. As for the trash you can recycle, check out organizations that accept these materials. You’ll be surprised at just how many people are willing to accept this second-hand gift.
  2. Keep a bin handy and put all the recyclable materials there. Toss those empty bottles and boxes there and think about how you can use these.
  3. If you have more than enough old bottles and boxes that you’re already reusing, donate these to art institutes or orphanages. There are also organizations that feature mainly recycled art. These are resold in the market and the money earned often goes to charity.
  4. Stack papers with blank sheets on one side. You can use these to save phone messages. You even can do your grocery list on them. Just stack the similar-sized sheets together and buy the binding glue in your nearest bookstore. That way, you have your very own writing pad on your desk. People no longer mind that you use old sheets. After all, recycling has been encourages since time immemorial.
  5. Reuse grocery bags for your next trip. Many stores offer discounts if you have your own bag available. Not only are you doing something good for the planet, but you’re also saving money in the long run.
  6. Start planting. You can use coffee grounds and ashes as compost. Moreover, plants add life to a place.
  7. Instead of buying a rag, you can use tattered clothes to clean your house.
  8. Drink water from a container. That way, you don’t leave anything after meals and you will always have something to hydrate your body whenever you’re on the road.
  9. Donate old books and magazines to charity. Knowing that you’ve helped will make you feel like a better human being.
  10. Keep garbage from smelling by putting lemon rinds in them. Don’t buy new plastic bags to cover your garbage with. Instead, you can also use the grocery bags you’ve kept when you were out buying household materials.

 

Article Source : Ten Easy Ways to Recycle : ArticleBase

Energy is the lifeline to prosperity and growth of infrastructural development in any country. The energy thus would need to be ensured for its availability on sustainable basis. The demand of energy is growing at a very fast rate and the energy sources are becoming scarce and costlier day by day. In the power sector alone, we need to add over 100,000 MW of additional generating capacity in Xth & XIth Plans to meet the power on demand by 2012. This would necessitate mobilization of nearly Rs.8000 million investments by the year 2011-12 which is a very daunting challenge before the country.

Among the various strategies to be evolved for meeting energy demand, efficient use of energy and its conservation is by far the least cost option. The steps to create sustainable energy system begin with the optimal use of resources. Energy efficiency improvement is the mantra that leads to achieving sustainable energy systems.

In a scenario, where India faces peak power and energy shortages of the order of 8-10%, meets 70% of the petroleum products demand through imports, conservation and energy efficiency measures will play a central role. The Electricity Act, 2003 and the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 are the Government’s major Legislative initiatives towards creating an enabling framework for a sustainable and more efficient future management of our primary and secondary energy resources. Government of India has accorded high priority to the Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservations measures and launched the Campaign on Energy Conservations in 2004. In order to maintain the momentum of energy conservation campaign and to make all the energy users to realize their potential role in promoting energy conservation in the country, Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency have decided to continue the National Campaign on Energy Conservation, which was launched last year. The main goal of the campaign is to reduce energy costs by reducing demand for energy and help individual citizen to make small behavior changes that collectively will make a big difference.

STRATEGIES FOR THE TARGETED SECTOR

  1. Industrial Sector

 

Nearly 50% of the total conventional energy available is consumed in the Indian industries. The large and medium scale industries have taken up many programmes in past to conserveenergy. To maintain the tempo, the currentawareness programme will focus on this sectorthrough the organisation of sector specificworkshops on energy conservation. The focussector in this year campaign will be cement,pulp & paper, aluminium, petrochemical andrefineries. The workshops and conferences willbring together people from across the countrywho are committed to helping the nationdevelop a long-term, sustainable energydirection.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency plans to undertake life long learning programme on energy conservation for certified energy managers and energy auditors. A large number of industrial units have also come forward to participate in the national campaign and organize various activities and programmes to create awareness among their employees. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) plans to request the top Management of Industry to declare their Energy Management Policy. Already 44 industries and commercial establishments have declared their energy management policies, during the campaign 2005. This has already given a much required momentum to energy efficiency improvements drive in the industry. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) coordinates all the planned awareness campaign activities for this sector.

  1. Commercial Sector

 

The issue in this sector can be addressed effectively through print media by insertions on tips to save electricity. Organizing of workshops, and symposiums, demonstration of energy efficient lighting system in the Trade Fairs, etc. does contribute in achieving the objective in effective manner. Bureau of Energy Efficiency has the primary responsibility of creating the awareness through print & electronic media in this sector.

Commercial buildings owners will be requested to undertake awareness creation programmes for their employees. The newly introduced energy conservation award scheme for Commercial and Government buildings will be expended to include shopping malls and offices as well, in the modified EC Award scheme.

  1. Domestic Sector

 

Domestic Sector being in the category of unorganized sector, it requires a mix of strategies for a sustainable energy conservation awareness campaign. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency will be releasing insertions on regular basis on ‘simple trips’ on how to save electricity in the lighting, refrigerators , air-conditioners and other electrical appliances. Bureau also plans to launch Voluntary Labeling Scheme, to start with, on refrigerators and fluorescent tube lights. This would provide and facilitate the consumers to make an informed choice of the various consumer goods. A large number of industrial units have also taken initiatives and come forward to create awareness amongst the residents of their townships and neighborhood areas through organizing various energy conservation programmes, posters, quiz and slogan competitions and other such activities

  1. Agricultural Sector

 

Regular insertions would be made by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the print media on simple tips to save energy in the electricity and diesel operated agricultural pump sets. Further, manufactures of these pump sets are being involved in demonstrating the improved energy efficiencies in the modern designs of agricultural pumps in various Trade Fairs, seminars, workshops etc. as well as local Fairs. Some of the industrial units have already committed to organize awareness programme for the farmers and villagers.

  1. Educational Institutes

 

In the campaign, organized this year thrust is placed on the messages that can stimulate active involvement of the young to attitudinal changes in regard the energy saving habits since their childhood. The objective is to make energy saving practices as part of their involuntary actions of their daily life. The effort is also intended to expand the campaign impacts by involving the school children so as to spread the energy conservation messages through their friends, parents and other relatives. The major activity, which is planned to be undertaken in this regard, is the continuation of ‘Painting Competition on Energy Conservation’ for the children at School, State / UT and National Level. The continuation of this activity will not only make aware the children about the need of conserving energy, but at the same time, would necessarily educate and involve their parents in the above cause. The identified activity is one of the measures, which can help in creating awareness in the domestic sector. The painting competition also aims to motivate the children towards energy conservation and offer them a chance to explore their creativity and in turn help the nation in SAVING ENERGY

Chapter 2    ENERGY- AN INTRODUCTION

Energy is defined as the ability to do work. In the layman language it can be said that energy lights our cities, powers our vehicles, and runs machinery in factories. It warms and cools our homes, cooks our food, plays our music, and gives us picture on television.

Energy can be found in a number of forms:

  • CHEMICAL ENERGY
  • ELECTRICAL ENERGY
  • HEAT(THERMAL) ENERGY
  • LIGHT ENERGY
  • MECHANICAL ENERGY and
  • NUCLEAR ENERGY

Energy makes everything happen and can be divided into two types:

  • Stored energy is called POTENTIAL ENERGY
  • Moving energy is called KINETIC ENERGY

We will take the example of a pencil to know the two types of energy. We put the pencil at the edge of the desk and push it off to the floor. The moving pencil uses kinetic energy. Now, we pick up the pencil and put it back on the desk. We use our own energy to lift and move the pencil. Moving it higher than the floor adds energy to it. As it rests on the desk, the pencil has potential energy. The higher it is, the further it could fall. That means the pencil has more potential energy.

We use energy to do work and make all movements. When we eat our bodies transform the food into energy to do work. When we run or walk or do some work, we ‘burn’ energy in our bodies. Cars, planes, trolleys, boats, and machinery also transform energy into work. Work means moving or lifting something, warming or lighting something.

The discovery of fire by man led to the possibility of burning wood for cooking and heating thereby using energy. For several thousand years human energy demands were met only by renewable energy sources- sun, biomass, hydel and wind power.

As early as 4000-3500 B.C. the first sailing ships and windmills were developed harnessing wind energy. With the use of hydropower through water mills or irrigation systems, things began to move faster. Fuelwood and dung cakes are even today a major source of energy in rural India. Solar energy is used for drying and heating.

With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the use of energy in the form of fossil fuels began growing as more and more industries were set up. This occurred in stages, from the exploitation of coal deposits to the exploitation of oil and natural gas fields. It has been only half a century since nuclear power began being used as an energy source. In the past century, it became evident that the consumption of non-renewable sources of energy had caused more environmental damage than any other human activity. Use of fossil fuels has led to high concentration of harmful gases in the atmosphere. This in turn has led to ozone depletion and global warming.

There has been an enormous increase in the demand for energy ever since the middle of the last century as a result of industrial development and population growth. World population grew 3.2 times between 1850 and 1970, per capita use of industrial energy increased about twentyfold, and total world use of industrial and traditional energy forms combined increased more than twelvefold.

Due to the problems associated with the use of fossil fuels, alternative sources of energy have become important and relevant in today’s world. These sources, such as the sun and wind, can never be exhausted and are therefore called renewable. Also known as conventional sources of energy, they cause less emission and are available locally. Their use can significantly reduce chemical, radioactive and thermal pollution. They are viable sources of clean and limitless energy. Most of the renewable sources of energy are fairly non-polluting and considered clean. However, biomass is a major polluter indoors.

Renewable energy sources include the sun (SOLAR ENERGY), wind, water (HYDEL ENERGY) agricultural residue, fuelwood, and animal dung (BIOMASS), GEOTHERMAL ENERGY is derived from hot dry rocks, magma, hot water springs, natural geysers, etc. OCEAN THERMAL is derived from waves and also from tidal waves. We will read about all these sources of energy in detail in the coming pages.

Chapter 3   HOW ENERGY IS MEASURED

One of the basic measuring blocks for energy is called Btu or British thermal unit. Btu is defined as the amount of heat energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit, at sea level. It takes about 2000 Btu to make a pot of coffee.

Energy can also be measured in JOULES. One joule is the amount of energy needed to lift 1 pound about 9 inches. So, if we lifted a five-pound sugar from the floor to the top of a counter (27 inches), we would use about 15 joules of energy. It takes 1000 joules to equal a Btu. It would take 2 million joules to make a pot of coffee.

Joule is named after an English physicist named JAMES PRESCOTT JOULE who lived from 1818 to 1889. He discovered that heat is a type of energy.

Around the world, scientists measure energy in joules rather than Btu. It is much like people around the world using the metre system, metres and kilograms. Like in the metric system, you can have kilojoules: ‘kilo’ means 1000, therefore, 1000 joules = 1 kilojoule = 1 Btu.

For example a piece of buttered toast contains about 315 kilojoules(315,000 joules) of energy. With that energy you could:

  • Jog for 6 minutes
  • Bicycle for 10 minutes
  • Walk briskly for 15 minutes
  • Sleep for one and a half hours
  • Run a car for 7 seconds at 80 km per hour
  • Light a 60 watt bulb for one and half hours

In some respects, the global energy system has evolved in a cleaner direction the last 25 years. The share of world primary energy derived from natural gas- the cleanest fossil fuel- has increased by more than 25%. So has the use and generation of renewable energy sources.

Still, the overall efficiency of energy production remains extremely low: on an average, more than 90% of energy consumed is lost or wasted in the process of conversion from raw materials such as coal to the final energy service such as the light to read a book. The main problem isn’t that we use energy, but how we produce and consume energy resources. What we really need are energy sources that will last forever

Chapter 4      CHANGING ENERGY

Energy can be transformed into another sort of energy. But it cannot be created AND destroyed. Energy has always existed in one form or another.

For example:

·         Stored energy in flashlight’s batteries becomes light energy when flashlight is turned on.

·         Food is stored energy. It is stored as a chemical with potential energy. When our body uses that stored energy to do work, it becomes kinetic energy. If you overeat, the energy in food is not “burned” but is stored as potential energy in fat cells.

·         When we talk on the phone, our voice is transformed into electrical energy, which passes over wires (or is transmitted through the air). The phone on the other end changes the electrical energy into sound energy through the speaker.

·         A car uses stored chemical energy in gasoline to move. The engine changes the chemical energy into heat and kinetic energy to power the car.

·         A toaster changes electrical energy into heat and light energy.

·         A television changes electrical energy into light and sound energy.

Chapter 5   FOSSIL FUELS

The Industrial Revolution in Europe in the 19th century fired man’s research for alternative sources of fuel to meet energy needs of the mushrooming industries. With realization that fossil fuels could meet this requirement, the energy needs of the world were fulfilled for the time being.

FOSSIL FUELS are called so because they have been derived from fossils, which were formed millions of years ago during the time of dinosaurs. They are fossilized organic remains that over millions of years have been converted to oil, gas, and coal. Because their formation takes so long, these sources are also called non-renewable.

These fuels are made up of decomposed plant and animal matter. When plants, dinosaurs and other ancient creatures died, they decomposed and were buried, layer upon layer under the ground. It took millions of years to form these layers into a hard, black rock like substance called COAL, a thick liquid called OIL or PETROLEUM, and NATURAL GAS-THE THREE MAJOR FORMS OF FOSSIL FUELS.

Fossil fuels are usually found below the ground. Coal is either mined or dug out while oil and natural gas are pumped out. Coal is widely distributed and is easier to locate than oil and gas.

Fossil fuels take millions of years to make, but burn and disappear in seconds. Once they are used, they cannot be reused. People have irretrievably damaged the planet by extracting and burning these fuels. It is best not to waste fossil fuels as they are not renewable. We have to learn to conserve these sources of energy.

Every year, millions of tones of coal is consumed as energy. This has led to GLOBAL WARMING (greenhouse effect) and the depletion of resources. At present, the worldwide burning of coal, oil and natural gas releases billions of tones of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. Burning any fossil fuel means pollution of some sort. Even if the fuel is low in sulphur, the atmosphere contains nitrogen, which combines with oxygen at high burning temperatures found in boilers, jet or car engines. This yields nitrogen oxides, which like sulphur oxide, dissolves in rain to form nitric acid. Both gases are poisonous to humans. Mining and exploration of fossil fuels can cause disturbance to the surrounding ecosystem. The burning of fossil fuels emits oxides of sulphur and nitrogen to the atmosphere

Chapter 6 ENERGY CONSERVATION

When we look around we see machines running, lights, fans, cars etc., we simply cannot imagine life without them. We also cannot imagine the amount of energy that is being used to run all this. Fortunately, people all over the world are becoming aware of the problem of consuming too much energy and are making a conscious effort to CONSERVE it and thereby put less pressure on earth. By conserving energy we also lower the amount of pollutants we release into the air and thereby help to keep the air clean.

The interaction between the natural resources and the population has to be maintained at a balance in order to ensure the continuity of the human race. Energy is essential to life and its conservation has become an absolute necessity.

India‘s overall consumption of energy is low, but compared to its gross domestic product production its relative consumption is high. The cost of commercial energy is also high compared to that in most other countries. The industrial sector consumes about 50% of the total commercial energy produced. There is a growing need to bring about improvement in the efficiency of energy use in the industrial sector.

Concerns over the negative environmental impacts of inefficient uses of energy are growing, both globally and regionally. Such concerns require greater national efforts and greater international cooperation to promote energy efficiency and energy conservation. More efficient energy use can increase productivity and economic competitiveness as well as lower greenhouse gas emissions per unit of output.

Energy conservation has been recognized as a national priority for a very long time, but concrete steps have not been taken seriously and the few that have been taken lack in perspective and determination. The growth and demand for energy is increasing at a very fast rate, especially in the INDUSTRIAL SECTOR, THE TRANSPORT SECTOR and the HOUSEHOLD SECTOR, therebyputting a great deal of pressure on the available resources. The need of the hour has become conservation and preservation. Conservation and efficient use of energy in industry has for a long time been a priority of the Government of India. People on their part should become aware of the seriousness and do their best to conserve and preserve this energy. Our small contributions towards conservation can help a lot. Some of these steps can be:

  • In our home we can save energy by turning off appliances, TV’s and radios that are not being used, watched or listened to.
  • Switch off lights when no one is in room.
  • By putting insulation in walls and attics, we can reduce the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool our homes. Insulating a home is like putting on a sweater or jacket when we are called instead of turning up the heater.

 

Chapter   7  WHAT IS ENERGY MANAGEMENT

ENERY MANAGEMENT iscollective term for all the systematic practices to minimize and control both the quantity and cost of energy used in providing a service. Important components of energy management include:

  • Staff involvement and awareness
  • Minimization of energy wastage
  • Ongoing monitoring, target setting and reporting to ensure energy use remains within policy objectives
  • Optimisation of energy efficiency through passive means and/or the use of appropriate technology
  • Use of the most appropriate energy source( eg electricity, gas, solar) with due regard to the environmental benefits
  • Purchase of energy at the most economical price
  • Modifications of operations, where possible, to make the best use of energy price structure
  • Increasing the use of energy from renewable sources

Many businesses consider energy as an overhead rather than a resource that is considered uncontrollable by the management but energy management is not only possible but also helps in bringing down the expenses of a business and helps the society on the whole by controlling pollution and using the resources in the most optimum way. With help of various firms one of them being ENER-G which is providing innovative solutions and technology energy management has become easily achievable.

The AIM of energy management is to reduce the amount of energy a building consumes. Good energy management starts from an understandingof how a building uses energy. The next stage is to identify inefficiencies and agree actions to improve efficiency. These actions need associated targets and ongoing monitoring to measure their performance.

Actions taken to improve efficiency can vary. Some cost nothing, others are low cost and some require greater investment. Some use technology other focus on people but good energy management will usually deliver savings through a combinations of all thestepswhich best suit an organization.   Improving energy efficiency can bring many benefits:

  • Lower energy costs
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Improved working conditions
  • Better control
  • Ensures legislative compliance
  • Aids ISO 14001 accreditation
  • Demonstrates corporate and social responsibility

 

Chapter 8  RELATIONSHIP OF ENERGY MANAGEMENT TO OTHER BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PLANS.

Energy management should not be undertaken in isolation but should be a strategic component of a comprehensive business management plan. Energy management not only makes good financial sense it also protects the environment by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to government operations.

Agencies that incorporate an energy reduction strategy under the umbrella of a total business management plan are more likely to achieve greater energy savings. Proper planning at the time of procurement can provide lasting financial and environmental benefits to the agency.

Many organizations regard energy costs as unavoidable and fixed. However, energy costs are one of the more controllable variable costs within the agency. Generally, all that is required to ensure the success of an energy management plan is the commitment of all staff, from the most senior level down to the office floor. In most cases a successful energy management policy will only require a small capital investment and over the short to medium term will actually save money.

Chapter 9   BENEFITS OF ENERGY

MANAGEMENT

By incorporating a good saving plan a business firm is bound to make savings and help in controlling the pollution of the environment. Some of the benefits of a business plan are:

  • MINIMISING  OPERATING  COST

It is estimated that a 5%reduction in operating costs is achievable through good house keeping practices and the implementation of a comprehensive energy management program. Additional savings of upto7% should be attainable in the medium to longer term through investment energy efficient technology upgrades.

  • IMPROVING  PROCESS  CONTROL

Paying close attention to the operation of building controls will usually improve the performance of building systems, including the elimination of systems working against each other.

  • IMPROVING  WORK  ENVIRONMENT

An efficient and better controlled building leads to an improvement in general working conditions for staff. More comfortable surroundings contribute to a more productive workplace.

  • REDUCING  ENVIRONMENTAL  IMPACT

For every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed, approximately 1 kg of greenhouse gas is emitted to the atmosphere. Implementing an energy saving program not only saves money; it reduces the environmental impact of the business following it.

Chapter 10 RENEWABLE ENERGY

In the past century, it has been seen that the consumption of non-renewable sources of energy has caused more environmental damage than any other human activity. Electricity generated from fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil has led to high concentration of harmful gases in the atmosphere. This has in turn led to many problems being faced today such as ozone depletion and global warming.

Therefore, alternative sources of energy have become very important and relevant in today’s world, these sources such as the sun and wind can never be exhausted and therefore are called renewable. They cause less emission and are available locally. Their use can, to a large extent, reduce chemical, radioactive and thermal pollution. They stand out as viable source of clean and limitless energy. These are also known as non-conventional sources of energy. Most of the renewable sources of energy are considered clean, though biomass, is a major polluter indoors.

When we burn a piece of wood it turns into ash. We cannot use this ash to again light a fire. This is exactly what happens to the non-renewable sources of energy such coal, oil and natural gas. Once we burn them they cannot be reused. Other than this they also cause extensive damage to the environment. Some of the renewable energies are:

  • Solar energy
  • Hydel energy
  • Wind energy
  • Geothermal energy
  • Biomass
  • Cogeneration

 

Chapter 11   SOLAR ENERGY

FORM OF ENERGY: Thermal energy

USED FOR: Cooking/heating, drying/timber seasoning, distillation, electricity/power generation.

SOME OF THE GADGETS AND OTHER DEVICES: Solar cooker, flat plate solar cooker, concentrating collectors, solar hot water systems (domestic and industrial) solar pond, solar dryers, solar hot air systems, concentrating collectors.

FACT: India receives solar energy equivalent to over 5000 trillion kWh per year, which is far more than the total energy consumption of the country.

Solar energy is the most readily available source of energy. It does not belong to anybody and is, therefore, free. It is also the important of the non-conventional sources of energy because it is non-polluting and therefore helps in lessening the greenhouse effect.

Solar energy has been used since prehistoric times, but in the most primitive manner such as drying clothes. Before 1970, some research and development was carried out in some countries to exploit solar energy more efficiently. But most of it remained mainly academic. After the dramatic rise in oil prices in the 1970’s, several countries began to formulate extensive research and development programmes to exploit solar energy.

India is one of the few countries with long days and plenty of sunshine, especially in the Thar desert region. This zone, having abundant solar energy available, is suitable for harnessing solar energy for a large number of applications. Solar thermal energy is being used in India for heating for both industrial and domestic purposes. A 140 MW integrated solar plant is to be set up in Jodhpur but the initial expense incurred is still very high.

Solar energy can also be used to meet our electricity requirements. Through Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) cells, Solar radiation gets converted into DC electricity directly. This electricity can either be used as it is or can be stored in the battery. This stored electrical energy can then be used at night.

SPV can be used for a number of applications such as:

  • Domestic lighting
  • Street lighting
  • Village electrification
  • Water pumping
  • Desalination of salty water
  • Railway signals

If the means to make efficient use of solar energy be found, it would reduce our dependence on non-renewable sources of energy to a large extent.

Chapter 12BIOMASS

FORM OF ENERGY: Chemical energy

USED FOR: Cooking, mechanical applications, pumping, power generation, transportation.

SOME OF THE GADGETS AND OTHER DEVICES: Biogas plant/ gasifier/burner, gasifier engine pump sets, stirling engine pump sets, Producer gas/biogas based engine generator sets, ethanol/methanol.

FACT: Half a kilo of dry plant tissue can produce as much as 1890Kcal of heat which is equivalent to the heat available from a quarter of kilogram of coal.

Biomass is a renewable energy resource derived from the carbonaceous waste of various human and natural activities. It is derived from numerous sources, including the by-products from the timber industry, agricultural crops, raw material from the forest, major parts of household waste and wood.

Biomass does not add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as it absorbs the same amount of carbon in growing as it releases when consumed as a fuel. Its advantage is that it can be used to generate electricity with the same equipment or power plants that are now burning fossil fuels. Biomass is an important source of energy and the most important fuel worldwide after coal, oil and natural gas.

Traditional use of biomass is more than its use in modern application. In the developed world biomass is again becoming important for applications such as combined heat and power generation. In addition, biomass energy is gaining significance as a source of clean heat for domestic heating and community heating applications. In fact in countries like Finland, USA and Sweden the per capita biomass energy used is higher than it is India, China or in Asia.

Biomass fuels used in India account for about one third of the total fuel used in the country, being the most important fuel used in over 90% of the rural households and about 15% of the urban households.

Instead of burning the loose biomass fuel directly, it is more practical to compress it into briquettes( compressing them through a process to form blocks of different shapes) and thereby improve its utility and convenience of use. Such biomass in the dense briquetted form can either be used directly as fuel instead of coal in the traditional chulhas and furnaces or in the gasifier. Gasifier converts solid fuel into a more convenient to use gaseous form of fuel called producer gas.

Scientists are trying to explore the advantages of biomass energy as an alternative energy source as it is renewable and free from net CO2(carbon dioxide) emissions, and is abundantly available on earth in the form of agricultural residue, city garbage, cattle dung, firewood, etc. Bio-energy, in the form of biogas, which is derived from biomass, is expected to become one of the key energy resources for global sustainable development.

At present, biogas technology provides an alternative source of energy in rural India for cooking. It is particularly useful for village households that have their own cattle. Through a simple process cattle dung is used to produce a gas, which serves as fuel for cooking. The residual dung is used as manure.

Biogas plants have been set up in many areas and are becoming very popular. Using local resources, namely cattle waste and other organic wastes, energy and manure are derived. A mini biogas digester has recently been designed and developed, and is being used in-field tested for domestic lighting.

Indian sugar mills are rapidly turning to BAGASSE, the leftover of cane after it is crushed and its juice is extracted, to generate electricity. This is mainly being done to clean up the environment, cut down power costs and earn additional revenue. According to current estimates, about 3500 MW of power can be generated from bagasse in the existing 430 sugar mills in the country. Around 270MW of power has already been commissioned and more is under construction.

Chapter 13HYDEL ENERGY

FORM OF ENERGY: Potential/kinetic energy

USED FOR: Power generation

SOME OF THE GADGETS AND OTHER DEVICES: Turbine generators

FACT: On an average, the 60 million sq km of tropical seas absorb solar radiation equal to the heat content of 245 billion barrels of oil.

ENERGY FROM WATER SOURCES

The energy in the flowing water can be used to produce electricity. Waves result from the interaction of wind with surface of the sea and represent a transfer of energy from the wind to the sea. Energy can be extracted from the sea by creating a reservoir or basin behind a barrage and then passing tidal waters through turbines in the barrage to generate electricity.

MINI OR MICRO HYDRO POWER

Hydro power is one of the best, cheapest, and the cleanest source of energy, although, worth big dams, there are many environmental and social problems as has been seen in the case of Tehri and the Narmada Project. Small dams are, however, free from these problems. This is in fact one of the earliest known renewable energy sources, in the country (since the beginning of the 20th century).

In fact, for the last few hundred years, people living in the hills of the Himalayas have been using water mills, or chakki, to grind wheat. The 130 KW small hydropower plant in Darjeeling set up in 1897, was the first in India. Besides being free from the problem of pollution, such plants are also free from issues and controversies that are associated with the bigger projects, namely affecting the lives of thousands of people living along the banks of the rivers, destruction of large areas under forest, and seismological threats.

New environmental laws affected by the danger of global warming have made energy from small hydropower plants more relevant. These small hydropower plants can serve the energy needs of remote rural areas independently. The real challenge in a remote area lies in successful marketing of the energy and recovering dues. Local industries should be encouraged to use this electricity for sustainable development.

It is a technology with enormous potential, which could exploit the water resources to supply energy to remote rural areas with little access to conventional energy sources. It also eliminates most of the negative environmental effects associated with large hydropower projects.

ENERGY FROM THE SEA-OCEAN THERMAL, TIDAL AND WAVE ENERGY.

Large amount of solar energy is stored in the oceans and seas. On an average, the 60 million square kilometer of the tropical seas absorb solar radiation equivalent to the heat content of 245 billion barrels of oil. Scientists feel that if this energy can be tapped a large source of energy can be tapped a large source of energy will be available to the tropical countries and to other countries as well. The process of harnessing this energy is called OTEC (ocean thermal energy conversion). It uses the temperature differences between the surface of the ocean and depths of about 1000m to operate a heat engine, which produces electric power.

Energy is also obtained from waves and tides. The first wave energy, project with a capacity of 150MW, has been set up at Vizhinjam near Trivandrum. A major tidal wave power project costing of Rs. 5000 crores, is proposed to be set up in the Hanthal Creek in the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat.

In some countries such as Japan small scale power generators run by energy from waves or the ocean, have been used as power sources for channel marking buoys.

Article Source : energy management : ArticleBase

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