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Energy Saving Parking Solution July 5, 2009

Posted by OldGuy in Alternatives, building green.
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Energy savings is not just about better fuel choices or smaller cars. Companies are also introducing innovation in building design and development. Robotic Parking is one way to reduce auto fuel usage and reduce emissions by building parking structures with fewer materials and less stress on the environment.

With a robotic garage, the operator can park twice the number of cars in the same space as a conventional garage – or use half the space to park the same number of cars. It does this by removing the ramps and aisles needed to self-park.

According to William A. Berry & Son, Inc, a Boston-based building construction firm that does installations,

“patrons pull into an entry/exit portal that resembles a garage door and stop on a pallet system. Patrons then turn off their car, take their keys and exit their vehicle. Inside the portal is a computer system where patrons scan their card (either a credit card or parking card) and watch as their vehicle is transferred from the pallet onto a lift. Orchestrated by a master computer system, this lift moves the vehicle and parks it in an assigned space. To exit, the patron enters a well-lit lobby, where they scan their card and wait safely as their vehicle is retrieved and delivered to them facing out and ready to go. With its patented pallet system, robotic parking retrieves the vehicle in approximately two minutes.”

Imaging trading fuel of three hundred cars rolling up or down the ramps for an efficient electric motor.  Imaging the fuel and materials savings erecting a structure that is half the size and one quarter the weight.  Fewer construction vehicles working fewer days.

We’re not getting rid of autos for many of our cities – they just aren’t designed for public transportation to the suburbs.  But having a more efficient place to put all those autos during the daytime when their owners are working can produce aggregate energy savings.

For more information on Robotic Parking, visit their website.

Simple Ways to Reduce Energy Usage April 7, 2008

Posted by OldGuy in energy conservation.
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Did you know that you could save money on your energy bill by simply unplugging the charger after you’ve removed your cell phone? Wall warts — or small transformers with plugs attached, like cell phone chargers, that hang from electrical outlets — account for up to 4% of electrical comsumption.  They continue to pull electricity, even after the device they were powering has been disconnected.

USAF Conversion to F-T Syngas Continues March 21, 2008

Posted by OldGuy in Fischer-Tropsch.
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Progress continues in certifying Fischer-Tropsch process of producing synthetic fuels. 

On Wednesday, March 19, a B1 bomber became the US Air Force’s first aircraft to fly at supersonic speed using a 50/50 blend of synthetic and petroleum fuel. The flight occurred over the White Sands Missile Range airspace in south-central New Mexico but took off from Dyess AFB, Abilene , Texas .The certification process so far has detected no significant differences in performance, flight safety, durability, ground handling or storage between synfuel and conventional JP-8. 

This is the fourth USAF aircraft to be certified to use syngas, and keeps them on schedule to convert the entire fleet to the 50/50 blend by 2011. 

In other news, the U.S. Air Force team that has developed this blend of petroleum and synthetic fuel for the B-52 Bomber received the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2007 Excellence in Aviation Research Award at a ceremony March 14.

Barry Scott, director of the FAA Research and Technology Development Office, said that “in the 10 years we’ve given it, this was the first unanimous choice.”

Development of synfuel is a significant effort in the Air Force’s quest to find a source of domestically produced, assured fuels, which would be sufficient for the Air Force to perform its national defense mission if current, overseas petroleum sources are threatened. Other motivations include fuel prices and environmental concerns. (FT syngas burns cleaner and is cheaper to make than JP-8.) The research and certifications are also useful for certifying commercial jet engines.  The long-range effects should be cleaner airwaves and more stable energy prices.