Monthly Archives: November 2016

New Technologies Increase the Power of Solar Power Panels

As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise and climate change begins to take hold, there is an urgent need to turn to renewable methods of electricity generation. Solar power is one possible way of meeting our energy needs. Solar power panels are constantly being improved to make them more efficient at converting sunlight into energy. Lets take a look at some of the recent technological improvements that are helping solar panels to become powerful devices for generating electricity.

Wasted Potential

Solar power has great potential for generating huge amounts of electricity. The amount of solar energy that falls onto the Earths surface in a single year is more than the total amount of energy stored in all the worlds fossil fuels and uranium. If we could only collect this energy and convert it into electricity, all of our energy problems could be solved. However, current solar panels only manage to convert about 15-20% of the suns energy that falls on them into electricity. Researchers all over the world are working to improve this figure so that solar panels can make a bigger contribution to meeting the worlds energy needs.

Turning Up the Heat

In 2010, engineers at Stanford University announced that they had come up with a way of using not only the suns light, but also its heat, to produce electricity. The traditional process of converting light to electrical current, which is known as the photovoltaic effect, is less efficient at high temperatures, but this new technology becomes more effective as the temperature rises. The addition of this technology to solar panels could help them to work effectively under a wider range of temperature conditions.

2013 Breakthrough

Researchers at Sharp Corporation announced in June 2013 that they had made an astonishing breakthrough. By changing the structure of a solar cell, the researchers managed to increase a record-breaking 44.4% efficiency for the conversion of sunlight into electricity. This remarkably high efficiency is achieved by using lenses to focus concentrated sunlight onto the multi-layered solar cells.

Self-Cleaning Solar Panels

One problem with solar panel efficiency is that the impressive performance that is achieved in the laboratory is rarely matched by experiences in the real world. Solar panels have to cope with changing weather conditions as well as everyday wear and tear. Even seemingly mundane issues such as dust can cause serious problems with solar efficiency.

A team of researchers at Boston University, led by Dr. Malay Mazumder, is addressing the problem of solar panels gathering dust and therefore becoming less able to perform at their best. The solution the researchers came up with uses sensors to detect when the panels are becoming dusty, and then electrifies the panel with a wave of electric charge to fling away the dust. The panel can be cleared of ninety percent of the dust in just two minutes.

The first application of this technology will be for solar-powered spacecraft that have to operate in the dusty environment of the Moon or Mars. However, the researchers say that it could also be very useful for solar panels down here on Earth.

Maximizing Solar Efficiency

In order to make solar panels work as well as possible, they have to be installed in the most effective possible way. Professor Kleissl from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has been studying how to use solar panels to the best of their potential. One important consideration is the direction that the solar panels face in; Professor Kleissl says that panels facing southwest, rather than due south, perform better because they experience a longer period of exposure to the sun. This orientation also means that solar panels are working at their maximum capacity during the late afternoon, when electricity demand is often at its highest.

Going Solar

By helping solar power panels to work more efficiently, these new technologies can make solar power a more realistic option for generating power all over the world, even in countries that dont receive as much sunlight as others. Scientific research into solar power is ongoing, which means that using the suns light and heat to generate electricity is likely to become more and more effective over the coming decades.

Black Marks Between The Carpet And The Skirting Boards

Black marks between the carpet and the skirting boards are just nasty. But they can be dealt with effectively with some sealant, some carpet cleaners and elbow grease.

Light coloured carpets make a room nice and cosy. Some people go for stark elegance in a room, so they choose a pristine white carpet to achieve this look. But no matter what kind of look you are trying to get into a room, you would not be successful if you end up having black marks between your carpet and the skirting boards of your room. These black marks under the skirting boards and on light-coloured carpet are just nasty.

What causes these black marks on carpets right under the skirting boards? The culprit that you are looking for is air. Air is everywhere; we all know that. And in houses, air under the flooring can escape through gaps and leave behind it a trail of dirt and dust. Thus, when black marks appear on the carpet directly under the boards, it means there are gaps on the flooring and the wall that is being used as an air vent.

The solution to this dilemma is clearly to fill the gaps that serve as the escape route for air. It is an easy enough solution and all the supplies that you need to buy are some flexible sealants, flexible tape, cedar paper and a carpet knife.

The first step to solving the problem is to pull back the carpet to expose the gaps. If you need to cut it with your carpet knife, go ahead and do it. Once you are done, just pull the carpet back. Afterwards, remove the layers of carpet underlay underneath the actual carpet, again to expose the gaps under the skirting boards.

Before you start working on sealing the gaps, clean first the area underneath the skirting boards so you would not have to deal with dirt trapped in your sealants. Sweep it, vacuum it, wipe it away, or just do anything you need to do in order to get the dirt out of there.

Once the gaps are clean and dry, apply the flexible sealant into the gaps. Let the sealant dry, and then slip the cedar paper into the space underneath the skirting boards. Tape the paper in place by using the flexible tape. In finishing this, you have just put a stopper on the escape route the dirty air is using.

This just leaves you to deal with the dirty stain on your carpet. Before you deal with that, you first replace all the carpet underlay that you removed prior to working on the gaps underneath the skirting boards. After you have replaced the carpet underlay, you may refit the carpet as you see fit. Then we get to the cleaning part. It is just collected dust, so all you need to do is to get a hardworking carpet cleaner to get the job done.

Light-coloured carpets are lovely in a room, but they can be nasty when there are black marks on the place where the carpet meets the skirting boards. Just stop the gap under the skirting boards, and your carpets will be fine.

What Are Ticks and Why Are They Dangerous?

Did you know that there are more than 800 types of ticks in the world? That’s a frightening thought. Ticks are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of reptiles, birds and mammals. Like mosquitoes, ticks are dangerous because they spread diseases. For example, specific types of ticks can spread Lyme disease, a debilitating autoimmune disease. Out of any arthropod that sucks blood for nourishment, ticks transmit the largest number of pathogens.

There are two main types of ticks. These are hard ticks and soft ticks. Hard ticks have a shield-like plate on their backs, and soft ticks lack this and have more of a blunt head so that they’re difficult to identify and often look like pieces of debris.

Natural Ways You Can Avoid Ticks

You should always seek professional help when trying to control the tick population in your yard or on your grounds. But there are a few things you can do to prevent ticks and keep them at bay as well. First, make sure that you mow your lawn regularly. Long grass is often a welcome home for ticks. You should also make sure that you wear long pants and socks when you walk in grass or the forest.

What if You Have a Tick Attached to You?

Ticks do not normally want to feed on humans. Instead, they prefer furry animals like deer and dogs. But from time to time, a take may attach to human skin. If you find a tick on your body or on the body of your pet, it is important not to simply brush it off or yank or twist it. Instead, you must pull the tick straight out with a specific strategy.

Start by getting rubber gloves and a pair of tweezers. You should never touch a tick with your bare hands. Using the tweezers, grab the tick as close to your skin as possible. Using pressure, pull the tweezers straight out, and do not jerk or twist them. Once you have removed the tick, put it in a plastic bag, label it with the date and put it in your freezer in case you or your animal show signs of Lyme disease or another pathogen-sourced disease. Treat the area of the bite with alcohol.

Tick Control at Home

It is vital to get help from professionals when trying to control ticks on your yard or on your property. Many of the agents that can help limit the number of ticks on your grounds are dangerous chemicals. And if these are not used properly, they may be detrimental to your health or the environment. It’s important to seek professional help whenever you’re trying to control ticks or mosquitoes.

Perfectionism is Debilitating When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Learning to Thrive with Bipolar Disorder

Many of us want things to be just right, but when it crosses over to needing to be perfect all the time, it becomes an impossible ideal that can never be reached. That becomes very frustrating and exhausting. What is “perfect” anyway, is it what you believe or what someone else believes? This becomes even more exhausting if you are trying to keep up with what is perfect for someone else like your mother-in-law or maybe even your own mother. If someone else is driving you to be perfect, you need to stop letting them rule your life.

Once you have got all the other “voices” to stop pushing you to perfection, you then just need to work on yourself. Sometimes “Good Enough” is good enough. So what if you have a few spots on your dishes after they’ve been run through the dishwasher? Unless you’re having a major event or party going on, let it go, it’s good enough. So what if your house isn’t spotless and completely cleaned top to bottom? When you are in a depressed state, it’s hard to get out of bed sometimes, much less clean everything. So quit kicking yourself when you’re down. Your house doesn’t have to be perfect all the time.

What other areas in your life are striving to be “perfect”? Finances, relationships, health, education, and your job are all areas that are important , but you don’t have to strive for perfection. Perfection is only an ideal that someone has arbitrarily set for themselves. What is good enough to be satisfactory may vary from person to person, but it should not drive you to a point of hopelessness because it’s not just right. It is okay to lower your standards. You may not get the highest grade in the class, but a “B” is still a worthy grade. So what if you are not the top athlete at the gym; if you are working on your goals, then it’s good enough. If you have goals that you are working on, whether it’s just to get out of bed today and take a shower because you are depressed, or to lose 25 lbs this year, then you are already ahead of many people that aren’t moving forward in their life. And those of us who have bipolar disorder, may have to shift our goals day-by-day when we are either depressed or manic. Depression slows everything down so go easy on yourself if you are in that state. On the other hand, being manic usually has us going in 100 different directions with no real progress on any one goal. Then we get depressed again and feel overwhelmed because we have 100 different unfinished projects. Sometimes, you have to let 90% of those go and focus on the ones that really matter. But remember that you only have to work on good enough. It will make you feel better in the end to get 10 things done at good enough rather than 1 thing done at near perfection.

I hope you gained some useful insights, and for more information visit me at www.thrivingwithbipolardisorder.com

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I wish you the best in all your pursuits.

Author: Cassandra L. Good, MA

Free Gps Tracking Software The User’s Guide

GPS-related devices are great tools for use with a wide variety of applications in diverse industries and professions. You can make use of GPS navigational devices to pinpoint your exact location on earth, or use a GPS tracking device to locate and track down the movements of another person, animal, vehicle or object. The availability of wholesale devices has lowered the pricing range for these devices and as a reseller you can take advantage of their popularity and get a fair share of the market.

However, wholesale GPS tracking devices are sold much cheaper than their branded counterparts because of the lack of pre-installed proprietary software when delivered. This may pose some problems for resellers as customers can complain about this lack. But there is one very viable alternative  using free, open source GPS tracking software  and this is your definitive guide.

Should You Use Open Source Software or Not?

Open source applications were developed by an open community of developers all taking part in designing, improving, testing and finalizing the application. No one owns the proprietary rights to these community-developed applications, making them available for use freely by the public. That is why most open source applications are free to use by you or anyone else needing such applications  as in the case of GPS tracking devices.

Free, however, does not mean the software is cheap or of low quality. Contrary to this fact, the community of developers has spent countless hours developing a product that they themselves would use, and would pour in their skills and knowledge to come up with a high-quality product that anyone in the community, including you, would be proud to use.

In fact, many open source applications are rated by industry experts as at par or even better than proprietary software. The only problem is the lack of customer service support that you can go to, should you encounter any problems or glitches during its use. There are however forums and community support groups that can help you in this area.

Open Source Software Options Available for Use

While proprietary GPS tracking software can be very expensive to procure, with some added features and functionalities that you would never use anyway, going the free alternative route might be the most viable way to take. There are a wide variety of open source applications that you can use for your GPS tracking device. Just make sure that the application is compatible to use with your device or not.

Once such application is the OpenGTS or Open GPS Tracking System, the first open source application available for use with GPS tracking devices. Not only is it free and runs on any platform that your GPS tracking device is compatible with, a community of developers continue to support further improvements in the application and have this available for you to download from their website.

Aside from that, there are other GPS-related open source applications which you can try out such as the ones listed below:

1.Free GPS Maps

*onstreetmap.org
*informationfreeway.org
*openstreetbrowser.org
*opencyclemap.org

2.Free GPS Mapping Tools

*Mapnik Mapmaking software
*maposmatic
*boulter.com

3.GPS Navigation Software

*GPS drive — Free open source GPS navigation software
*Lucky GPS
*Navit — Free open source GPS navigation software
*GPS MID Free GPS mapping software
*Traveling Salesman  a GPS route-planning and navigation system
*Rana  a Python based GPS route-planning and navigation system
*Gosmore  a GPS routing device
*OpenGTS (Open GPS Tracking System)  Free open source GPS Tracking software

Getting Support for Your Open Source Software

The only problem with open source software for your GPS tracking device is the lack of customer service  since no one owns their proprietary use. Aside from that, learning to use some of these software applications might require some time to get used to.

Several forums however, are available out there that can help you with any issues related to its use such as the ones listed below. These sites also offer the support documentations that youll need to get you going with your free GPS tracking software.

*GPS Passion
*GPS Discussion
*GPS Review
*Groundspeak