Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Clean power for technology, self-sufficiency for all

Okay, so, you charge and use your phone, and charge it again.  You usually pay for charging your own battery through your car or home outlet.

What about all that media you use?

As much as I criticize Apple, they've done some good to reduce their energy demands on the grid.

For Earth Day, they took a poke at someone with this advertising and also had a video about their accomplishments.

If you remember the rolling blackouts in California not so long ago, you know how bad the energy demand can be.  It got to the point where the Standby mode for electronics became a problem, and people were unplugging their electronics, and waiting for them to be powered again when they wanted to use them--like the old days.

I remember working at a hospital outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (before and) after a new shopping center with Best Buy and Barnes & Noble had opened.  It was hot and the extra drain from the shopping center and the air conditioning caused brownouts.  Since our main computer system was on a generator and a battery back up, there should have been no problem but the people who sold the system never considered a voltage regulator and when things were switched, the computer system crashed, due to bad power.  Hospital systems aren't supposed to crash--ever.

So, being self-sufficient is so important.  Obviously, the day is coming (slowly) that every house or apartment complex will have alternative energy sources.  Not every area is right for solar panels, or wind turbines, or hydroelectric generation.

Even when solar panels work, they're not quite efficient enough.  I've recently seen some technology to turn heat into energy, which would work in conjunction with solar panels.  I could also imagine capturing other radiation to use as energy.

If none of these techniques work, we'll have to get Gilligan (Gilligan's Island) to ride the bicycle to generate electricity.

What would happen if every company in the U.S.A. would take the cost and effort to make themselves self-sufficient in energy usage?  Would there be a glut of energy?  Could coal usage drop to minimal levels and only natural gas be used?  Could the air be less toxic?

I'm not an activist, but maybe I should be--maybe we all should be.  The more we put the planet right, the better off it will be for everyone.

Update 2014.05.08: I noticed a Tweet this morning that had India acknowledging that New Delhi was no more polluted than Beijing, but they disagreed with the UN's WHO's report about it.  Maybe these people could look at standards already in place for California, as the brown cloud over Los Angeles is much smaller than it used to be.

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