Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Well it seems whilst the guys over at Navitron were installing the worlds largest solar powered shower unit for the Big Green Gathering back in 2007 that the ‘Little Green Men’ were keeping a watchful eye over the installation!

I noticed this picture late last night and decided I would mention it to my fellow readers.

Navitron UFO Captured

I will leave it to my readers to decide if this is a UFO or not but the fact remains that the picture is on their website for all to see! I wonder if Ivan (The Director) of Navitron knows about the picture??

LINK to actual page at Navitron

Monday, 23 November 2009



Thoughts on a cleaner greener Christmas for 2009

Well it is actually 'that' time of year again where we are all thinking about what to buy for our children and loved ones this Christmas, for me it that time of year to worry about all the excess and waste that goes on during the Christmas festive period. Excessive plastic bags usage, packaging galore and heating and lighting on all day long. My largest worry is the amount of plastic products are used in gifts and toys, plastic is made from crude oil which is a fossil fuel, it does not biodegrade for 100's of years and is toxic when burned.

What we can do this Christmas to be more Eco Friendly

After all Christmas is about giving so I am not about to suggest that we stop giving gifts away, there are things we can all do to be more Earth Friendly this Christmas 2009, below are some ideas you may want to try out.

1. When you go Christmas shopping this year, take with you re usable bags to bring your presents & gifts back with you.
2. Try doing your Christmas shopping all at the same time so you are only traveling once. It will save you travel costs as well.
3. Why not make your friends & children some carbon neutral gifts. You could make them something from Wood, which is a renewable source, or how about making a 2011 Eco Calendar from recycled paper?
4. How about wrapping all your presents and gifts in used newspaper? Sounds cheap but if you take your time it looks really nice!
5. Buy your children or loved ones a bicycle for Christmas, sounds simple but not enough people get out these days and exercise, go on do them a favor and why not get yourself one while you are at it?
6. On Christmas day, once all the present opening is done with, spend 20 minutes with your friends and family collecting all the paper, cardboard and empty boxes and flat packing them for your recycle bins. This may sound obvious but if it is left until after your Christmas meal then it is more likely to all get thrown in the waste bin and becoming land fill. You know what it feels like when you have indulged in more than your share of Christmas lunch, pudding and trifle then started on the sherry! Recycling will be the last thing on your mind.
7. Get yourself some LED Christmas lights, they are more energy efficient than traditional filament lamp ones.
8. If your family are over for the festive season then the central heating will be on all day. Why not go into the bedrooms and turn down the radiator control valves (TRV's) a little bit?
9. If you are all sat around having fun and chatting away, turn the television off at the wall, if you like background noise then pop on the radio instead, it consumes much less power than a television does.
10. If you insist on a large outdoor display of lighting for all to see then why not at least put them on a 24 Hour timer? Who will be there to see them at 3AM!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very Merry Eco Christmas 2009.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


A common question I come across is...

How Can I Calculate the Amount of Power Available at a Given Wind Speed?

Since air has mass and it moves to form wind, it has kinetic energy. You may remember from college that:
kinetic energy (joules) = 0.5 x m x V2

where:m = mass (kg) (1 kg = 2.2 pounds)V = velocity (meters/second) (meter = 3.281 feet = 39.37 inches)

Usually, we're more interested in power than energy. Since energy = power x time and density is a more convenient way to express the mass of flowing air, the kinetic energy equation can be converted into a flow equation as below:

Power in the area swept by the wind turbine rotor:
P = 0.5 x rho x A x V3
where:P = power in watts (746 watts = 1 hp) (1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt)rho = air density (about 1.225 kg/m3 at sea level, less higher up)A = rotor swept area, exposed to the wind (m2)V = wind speed in meters/sec (20 mph = 9 m/s) (mph/2.24 = m/s)

This yields the power in a free flowing stream of wind. Of course, it is impossible to extract all the power from the wind because some flow must be maintained through the rotor (otherwise a solid wall would be a 100% efficient wind power extractor). So, we need to include some additional terms to get a practical equation for a wind turbine.

Wind Turbine Power:
P = 0.5 x rho x A x Cp x V3 x Ng x Nb
where:P = power in watts (746 watts = 1 hp) (1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt)rho = air density (about 1.225 kg/m3 at sea level, less higher up)A = rotor swept area, exposed to the wind (m2)Cp = Coefficient of performance (.59 {Betz limit} is the maximum thoretically possible, .35 for a good design) V = wind speed in meters/sec (20 mph = 9 m/s)Ng = generator efficiency (50% for car alternator, 80% or possibly more for a permanent magnet generator or grid-connected induction generator)Nb = gearbox/bearings efficiency (depends, could be as high as 95% if good)

Friday, 20 November 2009


Climate Depot seems to have all the climate issue answers!

Some think it is gossip, others say fact but may I present you with the website and let you, my readers, decide what you think of Climate Depot.

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Sunday, 15 November 2009


Home Truths

Energy Saving Week content
Home Truths videos from Energy Saving Week 2009
In 2009 we recruited up to 50 families across the UK to help us identify how we waste energy in the home. Capturing these wasteful acts were Undercover Reporters who created a video capturing their families wasteful habits.

You can see all five Home Truths videos here.

The Barry family

The Sime family

The Arnold family

The McKeown family

The Manning family

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Geothermal – just add water

With a $25 million influx of federal stimulus money, two companies are planning to try a different way of generating geothermal power just west of Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
But to test this method, Newberry Geothermal and AltaRock will need to add something more to the equation — an estimated 77 million gallons of water or more.

“The water question is clearly one that we all know is there, and that we will have to address,” said Doug Perry, the president of Newberry Geothermal.

In a traditional geothermal system, a company drills a deep well and taps into a pent up supply of water or steam, heated by the surrounding rocks. But when Newberry Geothermal drilled test wells in 2008, they found hot rocks but no water or steam.
So the idea with the new method, called enhanced geothermal systems, is to pump outside water down into a system of hairline fractures, have the rocks heat up the water, then pump it back to the surface. The hot water or steam will be harnessed to turn turbines, then cooled a bit and sent back down to be heated up again.
But the rocks could be leaky, said Asante Riverwind, with the local chapter of the Sierra Club, and people don't yet know how much water one of these plants would consume to generate power.
“Where would they get this water, given the water concerns already existent here?” Riverwind said.
Newberry Geothermal already has a temporary OK to use up to 100 gallons of water a minute, which it can get from any of four groundwater wells.

The company had to make up for the water it removed from the groundwater aquifer by buying mitigation credits, which pay for other projects that put water back into streams and rivers of the Deschutes Basin.
“Some farmer, someplace in Deschutes County or the Deschutes basin, is not irrigating, and in return the groundwater mitigation buyer is using that water instead,” said Scott McCaulou, program director with the Deschutes River Conservancy.
The Newberry project doesn't need to mitigate for that much water, compared with irrigators and other water users, he said — it's about the equivalent of watering 2 or 3 acres of alfalfa.
If the company needed to use more water, it could either apply for a new temporary license to do so, which would require more mitigation credits, McCaulou said, or buy up new water rights.
And the geothermal project will probably need to use more water, Perry said.

Water is needed for several steps in the enhanced geothermal system. Crews use water to drill a well, and then pump pressurized water down into that well to fracture a network of tiny cracks in the rocks thousands of feet below the surface.
“It takes a lot of water for a short period of time” to create that network of cracks, Perry said.
The company will also use water to drill another well or two that will eventually bring hot water back to the surface. And it will use more water to test how well the whole system works — how easily the water flows from the original well, through the network of cracks, and back up to the surface.
Because this is a relatively new way of doing things, especially in the United States, geologists don't know exactly how much water this will take, Perry said.

But based on a similar project in France, Perry estimated that drilling the wells, creating the cracks and testing the system would take between 77 million and 121 million gallons of water — more than the 53 million gallons they currently have the OK for.
In comparison, on the peak summer day in 2007, the city of Bend used 27 million gallons of water, according to a city publication.
Creating the cracks would also take an OK from water officials to use more than 100 gallons a minute, he said.
Perry added that most of the water used in these tests remains in the different rock layers. Some of the fluid, however, is lost to evaporation — and that has to be mitigated for.
After the testing phase for enhanced geothermal systems, if the company decides to build a power plant, additional water would be needed to keep flow circulating through the system.
Project planners don't yet have an estimate for that volume, Perry said, noting that a lot depends on how leaky the rocks are and how much water needs to be replaced.

There could be alternatives to groundwater as well, he said. Project designers could end up piping in gray water, or treated wastewater, and cycling that through the underground reservoir. Or, some new technology uses liquefied carbon dioxide instead of water, he said.
But it will be several years before Newberry gets to the power plant stage, he said, and the company hopes by that time the enhanced geothermal tests will reveal more about how much water would be necessary.

“We'll know enough so it will be a lot more factual based, (rather) than by analogy,” Perry said.
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Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Solar Electricity Handbook

The Solar Electricity Handbook is a simple, practical guide to using electric solar panels and designing and installing photovoltaic PV systems.

The Solar Electricity Handbook assumes no previous knowledge of solar electric systems, it explains how panels work, how they can be used and explains the steps you need to take to successfully design and install a electric photovoltaic system from scratch.

Monday, 9 November 2009


I found a great urban homestead all about self sufficiency and just had to share it with all my readers.

A Family in the City An Urban Homestead A Homegrown Revolution

Path to Freedom is a grassroots, family operated, original urban homestead located in the midst of Pasadena
Surrounded by urban sprawl and just a short distance from a freeway, the Dervaes Family have steadily worked at transforming this ordinary city lot into an organic and sustainable micro-farm.

This website documents the many steps the Dervaeses have taken and hopes to inspire fellow travelers on their own life-changing journey. Be inspired to take the first step...

Lots of inspiration on Renewable Energy Types & Uses.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


Cool: Fridge Without Using Electricity!

This is incredible idea is an extension of the pottery water cooling vessels used though the millennia.

Cool: Fridge Without Using Electricity!

This is Mohammed Bah Abba's Pot-in-pot invention. In northern Nigeria, where Mohammed is from, over 90% of the villages have no electricity. His invention, which he won a Rolex Award for (and $100,000), is a refrigerator than runs without electricity.
Here's how it works. You take a smaller pot and put it inside a larger pot. Fill the space in between them with wet sand, and cover the top with a wet cloth. When the water evaporates, it pulls the heat out with it, making the inside cold. It's a natural, cheap, easy-to-make refrigerator.

So, instead of perishable foods rotting after only three days, they can last up to three weeks. Obviously, this has the potential to change their lives. And it already has -- there are more girls attending school, for example, as their families no longer need them to sell food in the market.

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Saturday, 7 November 2009


Here are 100 Ways to help save our planet and it's fragile enviroment.......Before it is too late.

In Your Home – Conserve Energy

Clean or replace air filters on your air conditioning unit at least once a month.
If you have central air conditioning, do not close vents in unused rooms.
Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120.
Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket.
Turn down or shut off your water heater when you will be away for extended periods.
Turn off unneeded lights even when leaving a room for a short time.
Set your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 and your freezer at 0 to 5 .
When using an oven, minimize door opening while it is in use; it reduces oven temperature by 25 to 30 every time you open the door.
Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load so that it uses less energy.
Unplug seldom used appliances.
Use a microwave when- ever you can instead of a conventional oven or stove.
Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot.
Reverse your indoor ceiling fans for summer and winter operations as recommended.
Turn off lights, computers and other appliances when not in use.
Purchase appliances and office equipment with the Energy Star Label; old refridgerators, for example, use up to 50 more electricity than newer models.
Only use electric appliances when you need them.
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and energy.
Keep your thermostat at 68 in winter and 78 in summer.
Keep your thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter when you are away
Insulate your home as best as you can.
Install weather stripping around all doors and windows.
Shut off electrical equipment in the evening when you leave work.
Plant trees to shade your home.
Shade outside air conditioning units by trees or other means.
Replace old windows with energy efficient ones.
Use cold water instead of warm or hot water when possible.
Connect your outdoor lights to a timer.
Buy green electricity - electricity produced by low - or even zero-pollution facilities (NC Greenpower for North Carolina - In your home-reduce toxicity.

In Your Home – Reduce Toxicity

Eliminate mercury from your home by purchasing items without mercury, and dispose of items containing mercury at an appropriate drop-off facility when necessary (e.g. old thermometers).
Learn about alternatives to household cleaning items that do not use hazardous chemicals.
Buy the right amount of paint for the job.
Review labels of household cleaners you use. Consider alternatives like baking soda, scouring pads, water or a little more elbow grease.
When no good alternatives exist to a toxic item, find the least amount required for an effective, sanitary result.
If you have an older home, have paint in your home tested for lead. If you have lead-based paint, cover it with wall paper or other material instead of sanding it or burning it off.
Use traps instead of rat and mouse poisons and insect killers.
Have your home tested for radon.
Use cedar chips or aromatic herbs instead of mothballs. In Your Yard
Avoid using leaf blowers and other dust-producing equipment.
Use an electric lawn- mower instead of a gas-powered one.
Leave grass clippings on the yard-they decompose and return nutrients to the soil.
Use recycled wood chips as mulch to keep weeds down, retain moisture and prevent erosion.
Use only the required amount of fertilizer.
Minimize pesticide use.
Create a wildlife habitat in your yard.
Water grass early in the morning.
Rent or borrow items like ladders, chain saws, party decorations and others that are seldom used.
Take actions that use non hazardous components (e.g., to ward off pests, plant marigolds in a garden instead of using pesticide).
Put leaves in a compost heap instead of burning them or throwing them away. Yard debris too large for your compost bin should be taken to a yard-debris recycler.

In Your Office

Copy and print on both sides of paper.
Reuse items like envelopes, folders and paper clips.
Use mailer sheets for interoffice mail instead of an envelope.Use mailer sheets for interoffice mail instead of an envelope.
Set up a bulletin board for memos instead of sending a copy to each employee.
Use e-mail instead of paper correspondence.
Use recycled paper.
Use discarded paper for scrap paper.
Encourage your school and/or company to print documents with soy-based inks, which are less toxic.
Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of a disposable cup. Ways To Protect Our Air
Ask your employer to consider flexible work schedules or telecommuting.
Recycle printer cartridges.
Shut off electrical equipment in the evening when you leave work.
Report smoking vehicles to your local air agency.
Don't use your wood stove or fireplace when air quality is poor.
Avoid slow-burning, smoldering fires. They produce the largest amount of pollution.
Burn seasoned wood - it burns cleaner than green wood.
Use solar power for home and water heating.
Use low-VOC or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers.
Purchase radial tires and keep them properly inflated for your vehicle.
Paint with brushes or rollers instead of using spray paints to minimize harmful emissions.
Ignite charcoal barbecues with an electric probe or other alternative to lighter fluid.
If you use a wood stove, use one sold after 1990. They are required to meet federal emissions standards and are more efficient and cleaner burning.
Walk or ride your bike instead of driving, whenever possible.
Join a carpool or vanpool to get to work.

Ways to Use Less Water

Check and fix any water leaks.
Install water-saving devices on your faucets and toilets.
Don't wash dishes with the water running continuously.
Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and dishes.
Follow your community's water use restrictions or guidelines.
Install a low-flow shower head.
Replace old toilets with new ones that use a lot less water.
Turn off washing machine's water supply to prevent leaks. Ways to Protect Our Water
Revegetate or mulch disturbed soil as soon as possible.
Never dump anything down a storm drain.
Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly.
Check your car for oil or other leaks, and recycle motor oil.
Take your car to a car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.
Learn about your watershed.

Create Less Rubbish
Buy items in bulk from loose bins when possible to reduce the packaging wasted.
Avoid products with several layers of packaging when only one is sufficient. About 33 of what we throw away is packaging.
Buy products that you can reuse.
Maintain and repair durable products instead of buying new ones.
Check reports for products that are easily repaired and have low breakdown rates.
Reuse items like bags and containers when possible.
Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones.
Use reusable plates and utensils instead of disposable ones.
Use reusable containers to store food instead of aluminum foil and cling wrap.
Shop with a canvas bag instead of using paper and plastic bags.
Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently.
Reuse packaging cartons and shipping materials. Old newspapers make great packaging material.
Compost your vegetable scraps.
Buy used furniture - there is a surplus of it, and it is much cheaper than new furniture.


Not just America, we all should think green and do something that makes a difference to the world for the better
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Friday, 6 November 2009



A one kilowatt PV system each month:
Prevents 150 lbs. of coal from being mined
Prevents 300 lbs. of CO 2 from entering the atmosphere
Keeps 105 gallons of water from being consumed
Keeps NO and SO 2 from being released into the environment or an equivalent system that produces 150 kWh per month

It's more than just a luxury, you are helping look after our planet by reducing your carbon footprint whilst living a more sustainable lifestyle.
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If you are considering saving energy or becoming more self sufficient then I strongly suggest that you pay Sust-It a visit. This website is great for those of us living Off-Grid on either Solar, Wind Generator and or a combination of them. You can browse appliances by category and it gives you the following information:

1. Power used in KWH/Per year (Kilo Watt Hours)
2. Co2 Emissions in KG Co2/Year (Kilo Grams Of Carbon Dioxide)
3. Cost Per Year in £ to run.

If you require more detailed information you can simply click the more info tab and find out more about that particular appliance.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


Here is a nice Christmas present for that special person who loves looking after the planet.

I have ordered one for myself!

Monday, 2 November 2009


Make a DIY solar air heater from soda cans for next to nothing.

Pictured above is a simple small passive solar heater made from recycled aluminium drinks cans and used to heat a room.

If the building to be heated is well insultated, a solar heater such as this can lift the temperature by a significant number of degrees. A larger heater or a number of similar heaters can be used to heat larger spaces, or to heat smaller spaces to a higher temperature.Offcuts of 2 x 4 and a sheet of plywood were used to build a box to tightly hold 5 rows of 10 black-painted aluminium drinks cans.

The inside of the box was then sealed using silicone to prevent hot air from escaping.

Cold air is drawn in from a hole at the bottom of the box, and the heated air emerges from the top passing through a pipe into the room to be heated. A perspex sheet was glued to the box to let sunlight in but not let the hot air escape.