Top 50 Environmental Engineering Blogs

GROG is on this LIST at number 13 as an “Industry Insider”

They even wrote a little summery:

“GROG: green tech blog The main focus of this blog is Green Technology. Get reviews of the newest developments in sustainable design and renewable energy, and certain technologies that will promote energy independence and a cleaner environment.”

The list is a resource for engineering students and has a lot of good blogs on it.

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Kite Power

kite-power2

So I will have to do some more research on the physics of wind generation but I was under the impression that the capture of wind was perfected by sailors in the last few centuries.  Who says windmills as they are designed today is the best way to harness the wind’s energy?

We are about to put some significant investment into wind energy and I wonder if it really is the best way or just tradition.

http://nextbigfuture.com/2007/10/kitegen-follow-up.html

Green Gadgets part two

Here are some good examples of green design done right vs. completely misguided.

A computer made from light weight reusable and recyclable materials.  Also if you are tech savvy at all you can just buy new components instead of a whole new system.

The Takeup:

takeup

A computer made out of cardboard.  It’s true cardboard is easily recyclable but how long can a cardboard computer last?  I certainly wouldn’t buy a computer that can be turned into mush by water.

Cardboardcase:

cardboard-case

Blight the lighting shades

Today was the annual Green Gadgets Design competition.  I think it’s fantastic that people are excited about being innovative for a positive purpose.  Many of these products will contribute to a better world and others will simply waste time and money.  We should be skeptical of these new inventions because while they all have good motives, some may do more harm than good.

Blight.  I’m not behind the idea. 

Taking the sunlight that shines on high tech venetian blinds and turning the shades into lamps at night seems like a great idea until we consider the cost of producing these complicated machines.  Motors, circuitry, mini solar panels, paper thin lights are just a few of the things that go into the design.

I can also tell you based on long experience selling and owning Venetian blinds that they break easily, particularly when rolled up and down every day (yes even the high quality blinds).

These would do well marketed to the wealthy chic as an interesting lamp and conversation piece.  I don’t think it should be widely implemented because the construction would be a waste of resources for incomparable gain.

Imprimer

LED lights, Theory vs Practice

LED technology is the current favorite for lighting in the future. They use less energy than fluorescent lights and can emit more pleasing light.  They also in theory do not need to be replaced for many years.

I worked at a hardware and furniture store when I was in college and we carried many different LED desk lamps over the years.  That experience showed me that LED light bulbs break all the time and are often very difficult to replace.

Now it is certainly possible that these were cheap lights not on par with the LEDs of today but given the simple construction of the diode, I don’t think it should matter.

I understand why in theory these light would last longer, IE there is no filament to burn out etc.   So are some types just better than others?

led

Steel Insulated Panels

 current-proj-image

My father is building a house in Mass out of steel. The walls are made of super insulated steel panels supported by a steel fram and jointed with foam.

He was a little delayed in getting the heating system going but apparently all he need is four space heaters to heat a five thousand suare foot house to 60 degrres while it is -2 F outside.

This was amazing to me because I used to spend enormous amounts of money on oil heat and space heaters and I was still not that warm. 

Here is some general info about these panels: PATH Case Study

Here is the blog on the steel house: Strategy to Design

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