Overcoming (high) obstacles

first_imgSome climbing caches are more accessible than others. Those that require ropes, harnesses and other gear can be fantastic, but may be beyond the reach of non-technical climbers. However, geocaches in trees are often suitable for a wide variety of ages and abilities. So what makes for a great tree climbing geocache experience? For many people, tree climbing is a childhood hobby that becomes less attractive as they grow older (and more risk averse). For me, (Rock Chalk) the opposite happened. I grew up in an area without big trees, and played games that kept my feet on the ground. As an adult, I discovered geocaching and the thrill of trying something new: tree climbing caches. I could talk all day about my personal favorite tree climbing experiences, but just a few that come to mind are “Bird House” (Fort Myers, FL) and Secret Squirrel Society (Seattle, WA). I’ve only been up in a few trees outside North America, and the most spectacular of those required special equipment. That’s an entirely different blog post! SharePrint RelatedReach new geocaching heights!March 15, 2016In “Community”Climbing for a SmileyMarch 25, 2014In “Community”Kuş Evi / Bird House (GC4W8G4) — Geocache of the WeekDecember 9, 2015In “Geocache of the Week” Have you ever climbed for a smiley? Share with your Friends:More Tree climbing geocaches are a blast. For me, it’s a combination of adrenaline rush and natural beauty that’s hard to beat. On that note, I can’t stress enough the importance of safety in your pursuit. If at any point you feel you’re taking an unnecessary risk, just stop and return to terra firma. The right tree: It should be sturdy enough for an adult to climb. If the limbs are too thin, it can be hazardous for the geocacher and the tree. (Never damage a tree or other wildlife while attempting to find a geocache.) The right equipment: Even if you don’t need ropes or harnesses, you must wear the correct footwear and other apparel. Flip-flops are a no-no! The right day: Don’t attempt to climb in wet, icy or otherwise dangerous conditions. And be sure to bring a friend. Not just to keep an eye on you, but to take great pictures!last_img read more

Saudi Arabia Embraces Solar Energy

first_imgThe production of solar electricity is about to get a big boost in a country sitting on some of the richest oil reserves on the planet. According to an article in The Atlantic, the Saudi Arabian government is set to get into the photovoltaics (PV) business in a big way by beginning construction of solar projects around the country and by opening a commercial-scale PV module factory of its own. Although it has since pushed back the target date, the government announced three years ago that it would have 41 gigawatts of solar capacity online by 2032, besting the output of the current No. 1 solar country in the world, Germany. It also sees an international market for the solar panels it produces as the global market for PV continues to expand.The root of the Saudi push for solar energy has nothing to do with concerns about lowering the country’s carbon footprint, the article says, and everything to do with self-preservation.With a population of just 30 million people, Saudi Arabia is the sixth largest consumer of oil in the world. The country burns about one-quarter of the oil it produces, and consumption has been rising by 7% per year, three times the rate of population growth. If the trend continues, a 2011 report predicted, domestic consumption would eat into exports in another six years, and turn the kingdom into a net importer of oil by 2038.Unless its use of oil can be trimmed, the country faces an alarming future. Great potential for solar growthOn the production side, the Saudis are planning to open a big solar panel factory near Riyadh. On the coast of the Persian Gulf, another factory will soon begin producing large quantities of polysilicon, a key raw material for PV cells, Ball reports.Saudi Arabia not only has huge oil reserves, but also some of the best solar potential on earth. Next year, two state-owned companies plan to break ground on 10 PV projects around the country.There are still many difficulties ahead, Ball says, including bureaucratic infighting that pits entrenched oil interests against the nascent renewables industry, dust and sandstorms that can blot out the sun and cut the production of electricity quickly, and a lack of public interest in conserving oil.The threat posed by unchecked consumption at home is a powerful incentive. Aramco sells oil to the Saudi Electric Company for about $4 a barrel, and with global prices now about $60 a barrel it means that the kingdom forfeits some $56 for every barrel of oil it uses at home and doesn’t send to market.More domestic oil consumption also lowers the country’s ability to keep competitors like the U.S. shale oil industry from gaining too much power.But moving to a solar future will be difficult. Skeptics think even the revised 2040 target date for the 41 GW of solar capacity is impossible.“Proving them wrong would require reshuffling an economic deck that the kingdom’s leaders have stacked for decades to favor petroleum,” Ball writes. “In that sense, Saudi Arabia’s energy challenge is a more extreme version of the one that faces the rest of the world. But if the kingdom’s leaders can find the political courage to act decisively, Saudi Arabia, of all nations, could become a model for other countries trying to shift away from oil.” Great reserves means great wasteIts huge reserves of oil make it easy for Saudi Arabia to put energy conservation on a back burner.“The government sells gasoline to consumers for about 50 cents a gallon and electricity for as little as 1 cent a kilowatt-hour, a fraction of the lowest prices in the United States,” Jeffrey Ball writes in The Atlantic. “As a result, the highways buzz with Cadillacs, Lincolns, and monster SUVs; few buildings have insulation; and people keep their home air conditioners running — often at temperatures that require sweaters — even when they go on vacation.”Air conditioning consumes about 70% of all electricity in the kingdom, much of which is produced by burning oil. Power plants are inefficient.If this trend continues, the outcome would be “cataclysmic” for the kingdom, Ball says. Oil exports underwrite the generous benefits available to Saudi citizens — not only cheap energy at home, but extensive social services (all in a country without income taxes). If oil exports decline, so does the income that pays for all of that.last_img read more

The Velkess Flywheel A more flexible energy storage technology

first_img More information: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1 … kess-energy-storage#velkess.com/www.google.com/patents/EP2232680A1 (Phys.org) —A new Kickstarter project called Velkess (Very Large Kinetic Energy Storage System) has recently gotten underway to bring an inexpensive flywheel to market. The project is headed by Bill Gray, who has taken a unique approach to flywheel design—a flexible rotor made of “E-glass,” a common fiberglass used in everything from sporting goods to shower doors. Rather than use advanced carbon-fiber composites manufactured to exact tolerances, Gray’s soft rotor flexes in response to destabilizing forces. It is thereby able to adjust to speed transitions that confound other designs. With the memory of other flywheel venture failures, like Beacon, fresh in mind, Gray has cast the issues a little differently. While carbon fiber reinforced polymer is 6 to 8 times stronger than E-glass, he notes that E-glass is 10 to 20 times stronger per dollar. Similarly, E-glass will store 10 to 20 times more energy per dollar. The current prototype floats on a magnetic bearing assembly that can handle 2kW of power, and store 0.5 kWh of energy. Their final device will need storage closer to 15kWh to meet the first projected 48-volt off-grid power backup.This scale up means replacing the 25lb flywheel rotor used for the video footage with a 750lb rotor. Scale-up creates new issues including special production runs for magnets able to support that load, and also equipment to safely handle all that magnetic force floating around. Details of the bearing-motor assembly are still not publicly available. Since the rotor design is essentially cantilevered from the motor in the vertical plane, anything here is possible. For example it appears that the rotor has a low-end speed of 9000 RPM. That would be where it is not even transitioning power. To get to the 15kWh regime, we are probably talking about a max RPM on the order of that of a jet engine. Jet engine speeds are well above even the fastest comparable electric motor speeds. For example, high-speed spindles for machine tools, that might put out anything approaching say 30kW, would probably max out below 10,000 RPM—and these motors can cost over $50,000. Probably some fancy gearing is involved here, and therefore ample opportunity for unique combinations of bearings to be employed throughout the system. Where mechanical bearings are to be used, they can have thermal sensors to detect any rise in temperature that would indicate a failure may be about to occur. The possibility for catastrophe due to fracture in one of the silicon nitride bearings can be therefore be greatly reduced. In an off-grid shutdown, the device would dissipate its energy in the form of exhausted hot air. As the rotor slowed over the course of ten hours, this would be a similar flow as a 1500-watt hair dryer might put out.Gray expects the final units to be comparable in price to lead acid batteries while having a much improved lifetime. Also, the construction materials will be environmentally friendly. The rotor will operate in a vacuum and it is expected that only about 2 percent of its stored power will be lost to friction each day. These numbers make the new flywheel design look like it could be a viable alternative not just to batteries but also to other green schemes like compressed air storage, or pumping water uphill. If the Velkess project can get backing on a scale similar to what these technologies have attracted, flywheels may have finally come of age. Velkess Flywheel © 2013 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Tilting at wind farms Citation: The Velkess Flywheel: A more flexible energy storage technology (2013, April 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-velkess-flywheel-flexible-energy-storage.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Delhi flexes green fingers for kitchen gardens

first_imgSouth Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Savita Gupta inaugurated today Delhi’s biggest two day Food and Nutrition show organised by All India Kitchen Garden Association (AIKGA) in A block Defence colony in South Delhi.While inaugurating the show Mayor Savita Gupta appealed to the citizens to plant maximum number of trees and nutritional plants so as to improve the environment of Delhi. So far SDMC has planted about one lakh trees and 2.7 lakh shrubs in the various parks of of SDMC. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘This year AIKGA has shifted the focus and theme of the show on gardening for health , nutrition and food preservation instead for usual display of fruit, vegetables and flowers. Various chapters of the association in Delhi and National Capital Region will be presenting whole range of nutrition food and related recipes to meet the needs of changing lifestyle ‘said Bella Gupta, Secretary, All India Kitchen Garden Association (AIKGA) while speaking on the occasion . Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Professional Nutritionists from various institutes including Lady Irwin, PUSA Institute of hotel management and catering and eminent clinical nutritionist Ishi Khosla are participating and have given demonstration, lectures and advice on Nutrition for health and related issues,’ says Gupta.‘The other highlights of the show are demonstration and workshop on salad preparation, Juice therapy, Ayurvedic cooking, vegetable carving, general nutrition and cooking tips. A painting competition on health and nutrition will be another major attraction during the during the show’ said Gupta. Pick up the tools and head over!last_img read more

Ahead of 2019 polls Modi to join 3 BJP rallies in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: Focusing on the 2019 general elections, the BJP will hold three massive rallies in the state which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards the end of this year, said West Bengal chief of the party Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday. Ghosh said apart from these three “Jansampark” (connecting with people) rallies, similar rallies will also be held in all the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha constituencies in Bengal, demanding reinstatement of democracy and speeding up the state’s development. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “There will be three or four ‘Jansampark Yatras’ in Bengal towards the end of this year, ahead of the 2019 general elections. The rallies will focus on reinstating democracy and speeding up the development of Bengal under the leadership of Modiji. The three big rallies will conclude in Kolkata in the presence of PM Modi,” he said. Claiming that a lot of people are joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state every day, the party leader said the party’s membership drive through missed-call on a cell phone number will be relaunched in the state from August to September this year. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed “There will be training sessions for the party’s grassroot level organisers. The activists and leaders who have joined BJP from other political parties will be given the opportunity to work for party’s betterment,” he said. Referring to the BJP’s success in the state rural body elections this year, he said the party is appointing several of the new joinees as observers in different districts to formulate strategies for the hung Panchayat seats. “Our party has won in 300 Gram Panchayat seats while it has the chance to formulate Panchayat boards in 100 more seats. Our aim will be to stop Trinamool Congress from forming the boards in the hung Panchayat seats. Either BJP will try to form the board, or we will look for suitable alternatives,” Ghosh said. The state BJP chief also stated that his party leadership is focusing more on the common people to join it rather than trying to lure heavyweight leaders in Bengal as that would help them build a robust party structure. He claimed that the BJP’s strategy to bank upon the masses rather than leaders without people’s backing will take them ahead of the state’s ruling party in the future. “Trinamool took some senior leaders, MLAs and MPs from other parties during their Martyr’s Day rally, but these leaders do not have backing and support of common people. The BJP is focusing on taking such leaders who can bring in hundreds of their supporters along with them. This basic difference between Trinamool and BJP’s strategies will be the deciding factor in Bengal politics,” Ghosh claimed. “We initially thought that without heavyweight leaders, the BJP will not be able to grow in Bengal. But now we can see that thousands of general workers are joining us every day which is leading to significant growth of the party. The CPI-M and the Congress’ support base are becoming hollow,” he added.last_img read more