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Solar energy and some of its uses

April 11, 2014

 

The use of solar energy is getting very popular in most countries due to huge longer-term benefits, which includes increasing countries’ energy security through reliance on an indigenous, inexhaustible and mostly import-independent resource, enhance sustainability, reduce pollution, lower the costs of mitigating climate change, and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise. 

 

Solar energy or heat from the sun is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity, solar architecture and artificial photosynthesis. Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air. 

 

In Urban Planning

Sunlight has influenced building design since the beginning of architectural history.

The common features of passive solar architecture are orientation relative to the Sun, compact proportion (a low surface area to volume ratio), selective shading (overhangs) and thermal mass. When these features are tailored to the local climate and environment they can produce well-lit spaces that stay in a comfortable temperature range. Socrates' Megaron House is a classic example of passive solar design. The most recent approaches to solar design use computer modeling tying together solar lighting, heating and ventilation systems in an integrated solar design package. Active solar equipment such as pumps, fans and switchable windows can complement passive design and improve system performance.

 

In Agriculture

Agriculture and horticulture seek to optimize the capture of solar energy in order to optimize the productivity of plants. Techniques such as timed planting cycles, tailored row orientation, staggered heights between rows and the mixing of plant varieties can improve crop yields. While sunlight is generally considered a plentiful resource, the exceptions highlight the importance of solar energy to agriculture. During the short growing seasons of the Little Ice Age, French and English farmers employed fruit walls to maximize the collection of solar energy. These walls acted as thermal masses and accelerated ripening by keeping plants warm. Early fruit walls were built perpendicular to the ground and facing south, but over time, sloping walls were developed to make better use of sunlight. Greenhouses convert solar light to heat, enabling year-round production and the growth (in enclosed environments) of specialty crops and other plants not naturally suited to the local climate. Primitive greenhouses were first used during Roman times to produce cucumbers year-round for the Roman emperor Tiberius. The first modern greenhouses were built in Europe in the 16th century to keep exotic plants brought back from explorations abroad. Greenhouses remain an important part of horticulture today, and plastic transparent materials have also been used to similar effect in polytunnels and row covers.

 

In Transport

Development of a solar-powered car has been an engineering goal since the 1980s.

Some vehicles use solar panels for auxiliary power, such as for air conditioning, to keep the interior cool, thus reducing fuel consumption. In 1975, the first practical solar boat was constructed in England. By 1995, passenger boats incorporating PV panels began appearing and are now used extensively. In 1980, the Gossamer Penguin made the first piloted flights powered solely by photovoltaics. The Zephyr, developed by BAE Systems, is the latest in a line of record-breaking solar aircraft, making a 54-hour flight in 2007.

 

Solar Thermal

Solar thermal technologies can be used for water heating, space heating, space cooling and process heat generation. Solar hot water systems use sunlight to heat water. In low geographical latitudes (below 40 degrees) from 60 to 70% of the domestic hot water use with temperatures up to 60 °C can be provided by solar heating systems. The most common types of solar water heaters are evacuated tube collectors (44%) and glazed flat plate collectors (34%) generally used for domestic hot water; and unglazed plastic collectors (21%) used mainly to heat swimming pools.

As of 2007, the total installed capacity of solar hot water systems is approximately 154 GW. China is the world leader in their deployment with 70 GW installed as of 2006 and a long term goal of 210 GW by 2020. Israel and Cyprus are the per capita leaders in the use of solar hot water systems with over 90% of homes using them. 

 

Water Treatment

Solar distillation can be used to make saline or brackish water potable.

Solar water disinfection (SODIS) involves exposing water-filled plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles to sunlight for several hours. Exposure times vary depending on weather and climate from a minimum of six hours to two days during fully overcast conditions. It is recommended by the World Health Organization as a viable method for household water treatment and safe storage. Over two million people in developing countries use this method for their daily drinking water.

Solar energy may be used in a water stabilization pond to treat waste water without chemicals or electricity. A further environmental advantage is that algae grow in such ponds and consume carbon dioxide in photosynthesis, although algae may produce toxic chemicals that make the water unusable

 

 

 

10 Attractions in Jamaica

April 8, 2014

 

Dunn's River Falls

Dunn's River Falls is a spectacular waterfall near Ocho Rios, where cold mountain water cascades 1,000 feet (300 meters) down naturally terraced steps. Visitors can climb the fa...


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Samsung S5

April 7, 2014

 

The Samsung S5 release date is almost here and i know for a fact that Jamaicans are huge fans of the Samsung brand. On the other hand i don't like to follow the crowd...i like unusual and uncommon things plus i don't see any major changes that the Samsung S5 is bringing to the table it only has the most recent updates that all android phones are implementing and the camera features are not so impressive coming from a S4 I9506 Galaxy perspective.

 

Main Differences


-The S5 is a bit heavi...


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All about Depression

April 5, 2014

 
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. Depressed people can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, and may contemplate, attempt, or commi...
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Adidja Palmer - Vbyz Kartel

April 4, 2014

 

Despite been sentenced to life in prison for the August, 2011 murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams, this biography shows how he started and rose to stardom showing less controversy.


Adidja Palmer started his career as a teenager in 1993 with his first recording "Love Fat Woman", released on Alvin Reid's label "One Heart", using the moniker "Adi Banton", an homage to Buju Banton. Palmer was later part of the three-member group "Vybez Kartel", keeping the slightly altered name after group spl...


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Tsunami - Effects and Mitigation

April 3, 2014

 

After watching the Impossible a 2012 disaster drama film based on the experience of María Belón and her family in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami i had to publish some information regarding a Tsunami. 

 

A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, generally an ocean or a large lake. Disturbances above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami for example earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater expl...


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Skin Bleaching

April 2, 2014

 

Skin whitening, skin lightening, and skin bleaching refer to the practice of using chemical substances in an attempt to lighten skin tone or provide an even skin complexion by lessening the concentration of melanin. This is very common in Jamaica and despite people knowing the danger of this practice there seems to be an increase island wide. The first person that will come to Jamaicans mind when they hear about skin bleaching is vybz kartel but this has been going on long before he s...


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Aprils Fool Day

April 1, 2014

 

April Fools' Day aka All Fools' Day is an informal holiday celebrated every year on April 1. It is widely recognized and celebrated in various countries as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. Some jokes are mild while some can be very serious because incidence have occurred where people actually get into fights over humor that has been taken a little bit too far.

United Kingdom

In the UK, an April fool joke is revealed by shouting "April fool!" at the recip...


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Masters Degree Vs Doctoral (Ph.d)

March 31, 2014

 

When students attend college they mainly stop at the bachelors degree level because some might not see the importance of a masters or doctoral degree or they might feel its too expensive and hard to attain. Well the choice is up to you and it should not be too difficult to decide, once you understand the differences among the two major degree types and how it will aid your future. When considering the merits of a masters versus a doctoral degree, bear in mind that both will give you...


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Meat Vs Vegetarian Diet

March 29, 2014

 

People everywhere tend to be trying the vegetarian diet because of the importance of veggies over meat. If you listen to the radio or even turn on the TV, most commercials are focusing on weight loss through proper dieting and exercise but is there any weight to either of these eating ways? Is one better than the other? . 

 

All-meat pros 

Meat is the best source of protein, which the body needs to function optimally. Red meat is also a good source of iron, vitamin B, riboflavin, thiami...


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