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An Insight into the Principle of Hybrid Cars

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Electric Car Charging Pavement Marking by Paul Krueger via Flickr

Are you planning to buy a new car? Which brand would you like to go for? Is it going to be Toyota’s Prius, Ford’s Fusion, Chevrolet’s Volt, or Porsche’s Cayenne? When I mentioned all these cars, did you notice that all of those car models have something in common? Let me tell you what that feature is. Each of these cars has a hybrid power train, which is nothing but a propulsion system and is quite famous because of the Prius.

From a consumer’s point of view, the feature provides the automakers with a means of meeting the ever-tightening CAFÉ (i.e. Corporate Average Fuel Economy) requirements. This also supports them to meet the anticipated limits of CO2 discharge. If we dig deep into the history of hybrid cars, then we get to know that the United States of America (USA) market has already been hosting them since 1999 and they have been in demand over the years. In fact, people have been looking for fuel-efficient cars, provided they are affordable for them.

What is Hybrid?

You must have wondering what exactly Hybrid is, especially in terms of cars. Well, it’s nothing but a technology that utilized more than one form of fuel or energy to propel. If we talk about a hybrid car, then we can mention that if a car utilized two or more forms of energy for propulsion, then that is a Hybrid Car. More precisely, the car will have a traditional fuel tank and an internal combustion engine along with a battery pack in association with multiple electric motors.

The Principle of Hybrid Cars

The term Hybrid cars are often confused with Electric cars due to the inability of individuals to interpret the difference between the operating principle. Let me tell you that Hybrid cars mostly are machines that burn gasoline and utilize electric bits in order to collect and recycle energy, which the standard cars do not use at all. If we talk about practicality and fuel efficiency, a Diesel-Electric hybrid car is way too much efficient. However, this combination of hybrid system and Diesel Engine is quite costly.

Not all hybrids operate the same way since they do not possess hybrid attributes in equal standards. Instead, it’s all the layout system that counts. Below are various hybrid layout systems:

Series Hybrids

Being the first-ever hybrid type, this type of cars utilize ship and locomotive a layout that was found in the previous century. This hybrid type must have large motors installed since the motors turn the drive wheels. However, this is not a pure electric type of vehicle, as it burns the fuel because of a dedicated engine. The electricity onboard is produced by the engine that powers a generator.

Parallel Hybrids

These are the least expensive hybrid variants used in automotive. The engine’s output is blended together with the electric motor, upstream of the transmission, thereby propelling the vehicle after the engine dominates. The installation of the electric motor displays an additional cost, which may be adjusted because it may be the only source of propulsion of the vehicle when we talk about short distances.

Hybrids using Start/Stop Systems

Another class of vehicles inspired by hybrids available in the market, which utilizes the start and stop system. Practically, these systems were ideal for hybrids, whereas these vehicles were not pure hybrids because they did not utilize the hybrid principle, i.e. the mechanism based on two or more power sources. In fact, they were preferably called micro-hybrids. A beefed-up starter motor in combination with a capacitor or battery was used for the start/stop functionality.

You may not find your car running non-stop; it may ditch you anytime. An assurance of roadside assistance can be of a great help if you do have it, irrespective of your geographical location. For assurance assistance, make sure you have a valid insurance cover. Do compare insurance quotes online to get the best deal on insurance.

Concluding

Even though hybrid cars are recommended over conventional petrol or diesel cars, they do cost you an additional amount of money. Since once cannot overlook the cost always, it’s therefore, your decision which car you would like to purchase or afford, in particular.

 

 

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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An Insight into the Principle of Hybrid Cars

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electric-car-charging-pavement-marking-by-paul-krueger-via-flickr

Which car would you like to go for if you are planning to buy one? Is it going to be Toyota’s Prius, Ford’s Fusion, Chevrolet’s Volt, or Porsche’s Cayenne? When I mention all these cars, I would like you to notice that all of them have something in common. Let me tell you what that common feature is. Each of these cars has a hybrid power train, which is nothing but a propulsion system that is quite famous because of the Prius.

From a consumer’s point of view, the feature provides automakers with a means of meeting the ever-tightening CAFE (an acronym for Corporate Average Fuel Economy) requirements. It also supports them to meet the anticipated limits of CO2 discharge. In case we dig deep into the history of hybrid cars, we figure out that the market of the United States of America (USA) has been hosting them since 1999. In fact, people have been looking for fuel-efficient cars, provided they are affordable.

What is Hybrid?

You must be wondering what exactly Hybrid in terms of cars is. Well, it’s nothing but a technology that utilizes more than one form of fuel or energy for propulsion. If a car utilizes two or more forms of energy for propulsion, then it is a Hybrid Car. More precisely, the car will have a traditional fuel tank and an internal combustion engine along with a battery pack associated with multiple electric motors.

The Principle of Hybrid Cars

The term Hybrid Cars is often confused with Electric cars due to the inability of individuals to interpret the difference between the operating principles of both. Let me tell you that Hybrid Cars, mostly, are machines that burn gasoline and utilize electric bits in order to collect and recycle energy, which the standard cars do not use at all. If we talk about practicality and fuel efficiency, a Diesel-Electric hybrid car is way too much efficient. However, the combination of hybrid system and Diesel Engine is quite costly.

Remember: Not all hybrids operate the same way since they do not possess hybrid attributes in similar standards. Instead, it’s the layout system that counts.

Below are various hybrid layout systems:

Series Hybrids

Being the first-ever hybrid type, these cars utilize ship, and locomotive a layout that was founded in the previous century. This hybrid type must have large motors installed since the motors turn the drive wheels. However, this is not a pure electric type of vehicle, as it burns the fuel because of a dedicated engine. The electricity onboard is produced by the engine that powers the generator.

Parallel Hybrids

These are the least expensive hybrid variants used in automotives. The engine’s output is blended together with the electric motor, upstream of the transmission, thereby propelling the vehicle after the engine dominates. The installation of the electric motor displays an additional cost, which may be adjusted later because it may be the only source of propulsion of the vehicle, when we talk about short distances.

Hybrids using Start/Stop Systems

This is another class of vehicles inspired by hybrids available in the market, which utilizes the start and stop system. Practically, these systems are ideal for hybrids, whereas these vehicles are not pure hybrids because they do not utilize the hybrid principle, i.e. the mechanism based on two or more power sources. In fact, they are preferably called micro-hybrids. A beefed-up starter motor in combination with a capacitor or battery is used for the start/stop functionality.

Well, you may not find your car running non-stop; it may ditch you anytime. An assurance of roadside assistance can be of a great help, irrespective of your geographical location. For assured assistance, make sure you have a valid insurance cover. Do compare insurance quotes online to get the best deal on insurance.

Concluding

Even though hybrid cars are recommended over conventional petrol or diesel cars, they do cost you an additional amount of money. Since you cannot overlook the cost always, it’s therefore your decision which car you would like to purchase or afford, in particular.

 

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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on

Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

Continue Reading

Environment

Two Ancient Japanese Philosophies Are the Future of Eco-Living

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Eco-Living
Shutterstock Photos - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Our obsession with all things new has blighted the planet. We have a waste crisis, particularly when it comes to plastic. US scientists have calculated the total amount of plastic ever made – 8.3 billion tons! Unfortunately, only 9% of this is estimated to have been recycled. And current global trends point to there being 12 billion tons of plastic waste by 2050.

However, two ancient Japanese philosophies are providing an antidote to the excesses of modern life. By emphasizing the elimination of waste and the acceptance of the old and imperfect, the concepts of Mottainai and Wabi-Sabi have positively influenced Japanese life for centuries.

They are now making their way into the consciousness of the Western mainstream, with an increasing influence in the UK and US. By encouraging us to be frugal with our possessions, (i.e. using natural materials for interior design) these concepts can be the future of eco-living.

What is Wabi-Sabi and Mottainai??

Wabi-Sabi emphasizes an acceptance of transience and imperfection. Although Wabi had the original meaning of sad and lonely, it has come to describe those that are simple, unmaterialistic and at one with nature. The term Sabi is defined as the “the bloom of time”, and has evolved into a new meaning: taking pleasure and seeing beauty in things that are old and faded. 

Any flaws in objects, like cracks or marks, are cherished because they illustrate the passage of time. Wear and tear is seen as a representation of their loving use. This makes it intrinsically linked to Wabi, due to its emphasis on simplicity and rejection of materialism.

In the West, Wabi-Sabi has infiltrated many elements of daily life, from cuisine to interior design. Specialist Japanese homeware companies, like Sansho, source handmade products that embody the Wabi-Sabi philosophy. Their products, largely made from natural materials, are handcrafted by traditional Japanese artisans – meaning no two pieces are the same and no two pieces are “perfect” in size or shape.

Mottainai

Mottainai is a term expressing a feeling of regret concerning waste, translating roughly in English to either “what a waste!” or “Don’t waste!”. The philosophy emphasizes the intrinsic value of a resource or object, and is linked to hinto animism, the notion that all objects have a spirit, or ‘kami’. The idea that we are part of nature is a key part of Japanese psychology.

Mottainai also has origins in Buddhist philosophy. The Buddhist monastic tradition emphasizes a life of frugality, to allow us to concentrate on attaining enlightenment. It is from this move towards frugality that a link to Mottainai as a concept of waste can be made.

How have Wabi-Sabi and Mottainai promoted eco living?

Wabi-Sabi is still a prominent feature of Japanese life today, and has remained instrumental in the way people design their homes. The ideas of imperfection and frugality are hugely influential.

For example, instead of buying a brand-new kitchen table, many Japanese people instead retain a table that has been passed through the generations. Although its long use can be seen by various marks and scratches, Wabi-Sabi has taught people that they should value it because of its imperfect nature. Those scratches and marks are a story and signify the passage of time. This is a far cry from what we typically associate with the Western World.

Like Wabi Sabi, Mottainai is manifested throughout Japanese life, creating a great respect for Japanese resources. This has had a major impact on home design. For example, the Japanese prefer natural materials in their homes, such as using soil and dried grass as thermal insulation.

Their influence in the UK

The UK appears to be increasingly influenced by thes two concepts. Some new reports indicate that Wabi Sabi has been labelled as ‘the trend of 2018’. For example, Japanese ofuro baths inspired the project that won the New London Architecture’s 2017 Don’t Move, Improve award. Ofuro baths are smaller than typical baths, use less water, and are usually made out of natural materials, like hinoki wood.

Many other UK properties have also been influenced by these philosophies, such as natural Kebony wood being applied to the external cladding of a Victorian property in Hampstead; or a house in Lancaster Gate using rice paper partitions as sub-dividers. These examples embody the spirit of both philosophies. They are representative of Mottainai because of their use of natural resources to discourage waste. And they’re reflective of Wabi-Sabi because they accept imperfect materials that have not been engineered or modified.

In a world that is plagued by mass over-consumption and an incessant need for novelty, the ancient concepts of Mottainai and Wabi-Sabi provide a blueprint for living a more sustainable life. They help us to reduce consumption and put less of a strain on the planet. This refreshing mindset can help us transform the way we go about our day to day lives.

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