Archive for the ‘energy efficiency’ Category

Congress gives you a choice: CFL or LED (but no light bulb)

02/10/2011

“If broken indoors, compact fluorescent (CF) light bulbs release 20 times the maximum acceptable mercury concentration into the air, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute for German’s Federal Environment Agency.  …

When broken, the bulbs released roughly 7 micrograms of mercury into the air, 20 times the British government’s recommended maximum exposure of 0.35 micrograms. Mercury levels remained elevated at floor levels for up to five hours after breakage.

There is no safe level of exposure to mercury.”  “CF light bulbs a serious health hazard to women and children due to mercury content

“Those light-emitting diodes marketed as safe, environmentally preferable alternatives to traditional lightbulbs actually contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially hazardous substances, according to newly published research.  …

Low-intensity red lights contained up to eight times the amount of lead allowed under California law, but in general, high-intensity, brighter bulbs had more contaminants than lower ones. White bulbs had the least lead, but contained high amounts of nickel.

“We find the low-intensity red LEDs exhibit significant cancer and noncancer potentials due to the high content of arsenic and lead,” the team wrote in the January 2011 issue of Environmental Science & Technology, referring to the holiday lights.  …

Lead, arsenic and many additional metals discovered in the bulbs or their related parts have been linked in hundreds of studies to different cancers, neurological damage, kidney disease, hypertension, skin rashes and other illnesses. The copper used in some LEDs also poses an ecological threat to fish, rivers and lakes.  …

When bulbs break at home, residents should sweep them up with a special broom while wearing gloves and a mask, he advised. Crews dispatched to clean up car crashes or broken traffic fixtures should don protective gear and handle the material as hazardous waste.”  “LED products billed as eco-friendly contain toxic metals, study finds

Regulatory blocks to energy efficiency

07/12/2008

“The US today converts fossil fuel into electricity at 33% efficiency, throwing away two-thirds of every unit of fuel we burn in cooling towers and smoke stacks. That’s the same conversion efficiency we had last year. That’s the same efficiency we had in 1980. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 1957 to find a year when the electric sector wasted more energy than they do today.

During the same period, we’ve seen automobile fuel economy skyrocket (especially on a horsepower-adjusted basis). We’ve seen massive increases in the efficiency of our electric appliances. We’ve even seen boring old steam boiler efficiency increases with modern controls, recuperators and preheaters. And yet the efficiency of electricity generation is stagnant.

It’s not stagnant because we’ve hit any fundamental limit. Indeed, studies by the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency have identified a whopping 200,000 MW of potential (that’s 20% of the peak power demand of the US) for proven technologies that either recover waste energy from industrials and/or cogenerate heat and electricity from a single fuel source.

The worst of these technologies is twice as fuel efficient as the current electric grid. Fully deploying that potential would not only cut CO2 emissions by 20% — about the same as if we took every passenger car off the road — but would also cut our energy costs, simply by burning less fuel. And those are just the technologies we’ve taken the time to quantify.

So what’s holding these technologies back? Nothing more than our regulatory paradigm.” “Power plant efficiency hasn’t improved since 1957

Regulatory blocks to energy efficiency

07/12/2008

“The US today converts fossil fuel into electricity at 33% efficiency, throwing away two-thirds of every unit of fuel we burn in cooling towers and smoke stacks. That’s the same conversion efficiency we had last year. That’s the same efficiency we had in 1980. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 1957 to find a year when the electric sector wasted more energy than they do today.

During the same period, we’ve seen automobile fuel economy skyrocket (especially on a horsepower-adjusted basis). We’ve seen massive increases in the efficiency of our electric appliances. We’ve even seen boring old steam boiler efficiency increases with modern controls, recuperators and preheaters. And yet the efficiency of electricity generation is stagnant.

It’s not stagnant because we’ve hit any fundamental limit. Indeed, studies by the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency have identified a whopping 200,000 MW of potential (that’s 20% of the peak power demand of the US) for proven technologies that either recover waste energy from industrials and/or cogenerate heat and electricity from a single fuel source.

The worst of these technologies is twice as fuel efficient as the current electric grid. Fully deploying that potential would not only cut CO2 emissions by 20% — about the same as if we took every passenger car off the road — but would also cut our energy costs, simply by burning less fuel. And those are just the technologies we’ve taken the time to quantify.

So what’s holding these technologies back? Nothing more than our regulatory paradigm.” “Power plant efficiency hasn’t improved since 1957

As the Earth cools

05/05/2008

Marc Sheppard at American Thinker: “Now consider this — it remains an alarmist imperative to disassociate falling global temperatures and speculation of a possible impending “little ice age” with the yellow dwarf star we orbit in general and the late start of Solar Cycle 24 specifically. For indeed, if we are moving into another solar minimum cycle and global temperatures continue to plummet while atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise, attendance at Al Gore’s Scare-Story-Slide-Shows would quickly drop to close friends and family only. And with boat loads of very bad wealth-redistribution “climate change” legislation to pass in coming the years, a sympathetically alarmed press and populace remain essential during that time.” “Are Global Warmists Pulling a Cool Fast One?

As the Earth cools

05/05/2008

Marc Sheppard at American Thinker: “Now consider this — it remains an alarmist imperative to disassociate falling global temperatures and speculation of a possible impending “little ice age” with the yellow dwarf star we orbit in general and the late start of Solar Cycle 24 specifically. For indeed, if we are moving into another solar minimum cycle and global temperatures continue to plummet while atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise, attendance at Al Gore’s Scare-Story-Slide-Shows would quickly drop to close friends and family only. And with boat loads of very bad wealth-redistribution “climate change” legislation to pass in coming the years, a sympathetically alarmed press and populace remain essential during that time.” “Are Global Warmists Pulling a Cool Fast One?

BMW beats Prius

03/17/2008
Toyota Prius proves a gas guzzler in a race with the BMW 520d

BMW beats Prius

03/17/2008
Toyota Prius proves a gas guzzler in a race with the BMW 520d