November 29, 2006
CHEYENNE, Wyo., Nov. 28 /PRNewswire/ — Tierra Energy, LLC announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Happy Jack Windpower, LLC, has executed a 20-year renewable energy purchase agreement with Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of Black Hills Corporation (NYSE: BKH – News). The 30-megawatt (MW) Happy Jack Windpower Project will be the first generating project of its kind for Cheyenne Light, providing the region with a reliable source of environmentally friendly renewable energy.
On becoming fully operational in 2008, the project will provide Cheyenne and the surrounding community with roughly 100,000,000 kilowatt-hours per year of safe, reliable wind energy at a competitive price.
Happy Jack will benefit the local community by creating opportunities for area businesses, contributing to the local tax base, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil consumption, while reducing air pollution.
David Marks, president of Tierra Energy, said Tierra Energy is excited to bring wind power to Cheyenne and to support growing local demand for power supply. “Wind power is a rapidly growing and reliable power resource throughout the nation,” Marks said. “The ample wind resource available near Cheyenne makes it an ideal location for the operation of a wind-powered renewable energy project.” Entire story
November 28, 2006
LEWISTON, Idaho – A University of Idaho professor is devising a new form of solar cell she says could lead to a breakthrough that would make solar energy commercially feasible.
Chemist Pam Shapiro, her graduate students and her colleagues at the university are working on creating better materials and combining them in new ways that could more than double the efficiency of present solar cells. If successful, she said the new technology could help the U.S. break its oil dependency.
“People are trying to make solar cells that are more efficient,” Shapiro told The Lewiston Tribune. “But it’s so much cheaper to use fossil fuels, despite all the obvious advantages of solar cell technology.”
So far, Shapiro’s team has created a compound called a “quantum dot” that is made of elements that include copper, indium and selenium. Shapiro said that the quantum dots would be embedded between layers of a solar cell and would absorb energy that is otherwise wasted due to overheating. Entire story
November 27, 2006
Where would the do-it-yourselfer be without tools, both hand and power? Try pounding nails with your boot or cutting wires with your teeth and you will appreciate the benefits of good tools that make your projects fly to completion. With the use of these tools, though, comes the potential for accidents and injury. Power tools should be approached with respect and used as they are intended by their manufacturers. Here are some tips for the safe use of both hand and power tools.
- Use the right tool for the job.
- Do not use impact tools with burns or mushroomed heads.
- Use only properly insulated tools when working around electricity and electrical equipment.
- Do not use tools with broken or splintered handles.
- When handling sharp pointed tools or tools with sharp cutting edges, points and cutting edges should always be pointed away from persons handling them.
- Do not use screwdrivers as pry bars (see rule #1)
- Return tools to their proper storage location after use.
- Persons using or working near others using hammers, shisels, punches or wedges should use eye protection.
- Electrically powered tools designed for use with a three wire grounded plug end must only be used with a grounded receptacle. Do not alter equipment or plugs, use adapters or two wire / ungrounded extensions cords.
- Electrical tools and equipment should be repaired by a qualified technician.
- Guards, switches and safety devices must not be removed, altered or made ineffective.
- Eye protection is recommended during grinding, chipping, drilling, cutting or any other activity that may create danger to the eyes from flying particles.
- Use hearing protection during activities where noise is at a high level.
- Electrical cords should be protected from oils and acids and from damage dur to heat, cuts, pinches, kinks and stress at end terminals.
- Visually inspect electrical tools for proper ground connections and sound cord insulation before each use.
- Never overload electrical tools.
- Disconnect the power cord before making adjustments, changing bits or blades and clearing jams.
- Remove adjustment / tightening keys and wrenches before starting tools.
- Do not leave portable electric tools unattended while plugged in. Do not carry energized tools with your finger on the switch.
- Regularly inspect circular blades, grinding wheels, abrasive cutting wheels and flanges for damage. Off center mounting and cracks can cause disintegration or wheels.
Power and hand tools can assist us in accomplishing many of our homeowner responsibilities and “honey-do” lists. Be sure you are using your tools responsibly so that you can enjoy the completion of your home projects.
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November 26, 2006
With such a variety of chandeliers available today there is always that perfect one for any home. With a range of styles, designs and finishes to choose from selecting a chandelier can be as much of a creative process as you would like it to be. Each chandelier adds a touch of class to any room and warmth or vibrancy into any atmosphere. Styles can range from elaborate and large to modern and aesthetically pleasing. Chandeliers complement other lighting well and will add value to your home.
When choosing a chandelier for a dining room, the Victorian style is highly recommended as this popular design will add tranquillity and calm to a room that can be chaotic at even the best of times. There are always popular choices to choose from with Wrought Iron and Crystal styles at the top of the list. Some chandeliers can be hung alone as a center piece feature that will dress up any room. Choose from the vast array of finishes and shade styles to find a design that will create a room of modern style with a touch of love for art. Chandeliers can range decorative styles to create a modern, dramatic, simple, elegant and formal look.
The styles of chandeliers available include Tiffany, Victorian, Art deco, South western, Tropical, Crystal, Transitional, Early American, Lodge style, Whimsical, Old world, Oriental, Traditional classics, Country cottage, Architectural and mission style. Each chandelier style can work best in it’s own setting whether for a modern look, shimmering elegance, relaxed or sleek and shiny. Find the perfect finish for your room and it will work wonders with existing furniture and style. The finishes range from white or beige, multi-coloured, polished gold or brass, crystal, polished nickel or chrome, wood, rattan, iron, brick, bronze, rust and antique or satin brass. The type of chandeliers can include centre bowl, no shade, pot racks, crystal and shaded candles.
Before you begin the installation check the ceiling electrical box to ensure a new light will be securely supported. If the new light is around the same weight as the old light, then the electric box should be able to support the new light fixture. When hanging over a dining table, centre the light in the middle of the table with 30″ distance between the tabletop and the light, to prevent any bumped heads. When buying bulbs, you should decrease the bulb wattage when larger numbers of bulbs are required. For example, a 2 socket light could be fitted with two 60 watt bulbs, whereas a chandelier with three or more light sockets is probably more suited to 40 watt bulbs. Once correct bulbs are installed, the chandelier should give off sufficient light coverage without blinding anyone. Dimmers are helpful as they allow you to adjust the light to your requirements.
It is always a good idea to clean your chandelier at least once a year to keep it looking clean and shiny. Before you start, turn the lights of at least 10 minutes before you begin so the bulbs can cool down. Never clean the chandelier while the lights are on, this could lead to a burnt hand. If you are going to remove the pieces then separate the light in sections or draw up a picture of how the light fits together so you won’t be frustrated and confused later when trying to put the pieces back together. Place a blanket or duvet under the light to catch any pieces of the light that may fall. Keep the fixture in the same place as you clean and do not turn it around as this may strain the power cable.
When you are ready to begin, remove the trimming such as pendants and place in container. Clean with mild detergent and then rinse in hot water. The hotter the water the less spots. When cleaning festoons, place under water at arm length to stop from intertwining. Always use mild detergents as harsh cleaning products can make the pendants brittle and blackened. Many darken with age but it is always good to delay this as long as possible. When cleaning the body of the light, it is recommended to use a dry, lint free cloth for the best possible result. Remember to dust the bulbs as well as these are give away to cleanliness of the light. Replace all light pieces on the chandelier and lightly polish it to remove any remaining spots.
November 21, 2006
SHANGHAI (AFP) – China intends to build one of the world’s biggest solar power stations at a cost of 765 million dollars, state press have reported.
The 100-megawatt facility, to be built in Dunhuang, an oasis town in northwest China’s Gansu province, will be a collaborative effort between the local government and Beijing’s Zhonghao New Energy Investment, Xinhua news said Tuesday.
The project will take five-years to construct, it added.
The report followed plans announced by Australia last month to build the world’s biggest solar power station, a 154 megawatt behemoth, which the builder said could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 400,000 tonnes a year.
Australia, like the United States, has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, and the station is part of Australia’s rethink on national environmental policies that are under sharp criticism at home and abroad. Entire story