How Efficient are Today’s solar panels, anyway?

Are you thinking about switching over to photovoltaic (solar) energy? You’ve come to the right guide! We think that solar technology is incredible, but the public really doesn’t have a lot of information. Most people that are open about switching to solar come off as fringe folks that are distrusting, rather than people simply focused on a better world for all of us. The truth is that the old ways of getting energy to power our lives may not always be around. Wouldn’t it be better to convert energy from the sun, which is a renewable resource, rather than simply fall back on tradition, which could be depleted in our lifetimes?

So let’s talk about what solar panels really are. They are a group of solar cells. Each cell has energy producing abilities, but when you put them together you get a panel. The panel can handle a lot more than a mere cell, of course.

solar technology

The efficiency of solar energy is something that people speculate on. Generally speaking, most popular solar packages on the market can convert around 15% of the total energy available from the sun. Now, that’s going to be a low number to a lot of people. But one area that people are looking at would be the concentration of solar panels. This is exciting because it means that we could harness up to 40-50%, rather than the normal 15%. Read more

How do modern wheelchair accessible taxis work

Being wheelchair bound can sometimes be limiting. It may mean having to wait on relatives or friends or making arrangements well in advance if you do not have your own specially adapted automobile. However, the advent of wheelchair access taxis has changed all that. Nowadays if you are wheelchair bound and need to get around town on a moment’s notice, all it takes is a quick call and a wheelchair accessible taxi will be there in minutes. This type of taxi service has made life a lot easier for people that are wheelchair bound.

taxi service bristol

Wheelchair accessible taxis first became available about a decade ago. Since that time the vehicles have become safer, more comfortable, and more accessible. These days there are quite a few taxi companies which offer wheelchair accessible vehicles. All the vehicles in some taxi company fleets are wheelchair accessible. This means now it takes only a few minutes for a wheelchair bound person to get a taxi. This offers a feeling of liberation to a growing number of people. Plus the specially equipped taxis are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

See an indepth guide to how wheelchair taxis work by A Taxis of Bristol.

The use of Wheelchair Taxis

These wheelchair accessible taxis are available to take wheelchair bound people anywhere they need to go. They can use the taxis to go to work, school, medical appointments, shopping, or a quaint café. Many of the wheelchair accessible taxis can hold two people and their wheel chairs along with 2 to 6 other passengers. The drivers of the taxis are specially trained to ensure they can quickly deploy and store the ramp for the chair. Plus they must understand and master the steps necessary to usher the wheelchair bound rider into the taxi and secure them properly with wheelchair restraint straps.

The taxis have been modified to ensure people with mobility issues can easily get their wheelchairs into and out of them. These new wheelchair accessible taxis use a number of different technologies to get the ramp out of and back into the taxi with ease. In some cases the ramp must be manually put in place and removed. Other taxis use push button technology to move the ramp. In either case, the process is fast, smooth, and safe. Some taxis have swivel seats which extend outside the vehicle to make it easier for people with mobility issues to get on board. Fares in wheelchair accessible taxis are the same as standard taxis.


Addressing Recharging Needs of the Electric Car

Interested in electromobility? The ultimate goal would be getting an electric car. When we talk about electric vehicles with people, they instantly start imagining all of their troubles fading away. No more gas stations! No more stinky gas! No more risk of fire! Everything will be just perfect. The truth is that electric vehicles bring a lot of benefits to the table, but there are still some drawbacks. One of the biggest things that you will have to think about if you’re serious about getting an electric vehicle is that you’ll have to think about where you can charge the car. You can charge your car at home but what about when you go on the road? You’re basically at the mercy of charging stations that you find along the way. More cities are rolling out charging stations, but there may be some problems as you go from the city into a more rural area.

Recharging Electric Car

When it comes to electric vehicles, the amount of miles that you can go is determined by a few factors.

First and foremost, you have to think about the weather. While you’re probably used to thinking about the weather because of driving conditions, you need to think about the weather in terms of how it’s going to affect your battery life on the vehicle. When the weather is very hot, you’re going to have problems with the total range that you can go on a single charge. The battery will wear down much faster in extreme heat or when it’s super cold compared to a moderate day with just a little bit of rain. Humidity can also play a factor in battery life. If you’re planning a trip, make sure that you plan accordingly.

Next, you want to look at how you drive. If you tend to be a gas pedal hog, you’re going to burn up a lot of the battery’s energy. Same with braking really hard. Some electric vehicles let you recapture some of the energy as you go with gentle breaks. Gentle handling of your vehicle prevents losing the large driving range that you’ve come to depend on.

Finally, think about your comfort level in the vehicle itself. If you’re driving in the winter, chances are good that you’re going to want to run the heat to stay warm. Same with the summer: the air conditioner inside the vehicle will become your best friend. These things are going to affect the range you get out of the battery. The windshield wipers and headlights are also going to play a role in how long your battery lasts, as these are all systems that will tap into the battery.

Does this mean that electric vehicles aren’t useful? Not at all. If anything, itís good to see how effective electric vehicles can be. Also, as there are more and more charging stations being built, you will not have to worry as much about running on a single charge than you were in the beginning.

Germany’s 2020 Electromobility Plan Is Amazing

Germany’s certainly trying to lead the world in terms of electromobility, and one way to do that is to have a clear vision of the technology and its applications in society. Reducing energy emissions is a good thing, and we need to look at any and all solutions that will allow us to get things done. Instead of pouring through all of the official documents yourself, we created a guide for you that breaks down exactly what Germany plans to have in place by 2020. Given how massive electromobility has become, it’s interesting that these goals are estimated to be completed in a little less than 5 years time. Amazing!

The first thing you should know is that this plan was not created in a vacuum. It is a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Building and Urban Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, and the Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety group. The idea for this started back in 2007, to address the problem of energy emissions as well as more efficient vehicles.

Electromobility Plan

The National Electromobility Development Plan covers nearly 500 million Euros worth of incentives to promote better vehicles, as well as the energy storage devices that these vehicles need. Given the scope of this project and the desire to have a million e-vehicles on the road by 2020, the plan has been expanded with an addition one billion Euros.

One of the main points of the plan is to support the batteries that will run these electric vehicles. The new generation of batteries will need to have a larger capacity, as most drivers go very long distances. Charging stations along the way are ideal, but it will take some time before the full infrastructure is in place. There’s no reason that we have to wait until every single charging station is in place, of course. With larger battery arrays, the vehicles can go longer on a single charge.

The plan calls for 500 million Euros of funding for a national innovation program just to account for this issue. Germany is set on reducing over 34 million tons of CO2 by 2020. Auto manufacturers have been following hits news carefully and responding to the challenge very well. The German Association of the Automotive Industry indicates that there are already over 250 cars in production that meet the CO2 target level. It is assumed that there are additional cars to follow. Read more

Green Energy – 3 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bills

There are so many different benefits to green energy, but one of the most important is reducing your bills. Simply by paying a little more attention to the energy in your home can play a major role in the money you spend each month. However, some of the examples here today take longer to get an ROI.

#1 Sealing “Drafty” Areas

Take a look around your home and you will most likely find air seeping in or out of your home. One of the first places to check is your front door. It’s always been a major culprit in older homes, and just by putting a blanket in front of it, you could save tons of money on your energy bill. However, if you want to purchase something a little more “stylish,” then we recommend a rubber seal made for the bottom of your door. When company comes over they won’t even notice it’s a separate piece from the door.


Other areas you might consider checking are:

* The Garage – If you own an older home, there could be holes in your garage that lead to the basement. Anytime you open the basement door, you could be letting cold air in the home. You can eliminate this by filling the holes with caulking foam.

* The Windows – Another major energy killer, older windows always seem to let in some type of air. During the winter you can seal the windows with plastic. When the plastic bubbles, you know there is a leak in that window. You could also replace the window(s), but this could cost thousands of dollars. The return on your investment could take a long time to recuperate.

#2 Green Energy Lighting

You won’t notice the benefits right away, but purchasing different lighting for your home can be a big money saver. Depending on how many lights you have in your house (or apartment), will depend on the length of time it takes to get your money back. Most energy saving lights today will last double to quadruple the hours of an old-fashioned light bulb.

We recommend purchasing enough for the entire home in order to receive the biggest savings.

#3 Major Appliances w/Energy Star

Appliances with the Energy Star tag came out back in the late 1980s-early 1990s. These are built specifically to help save you money. These items are a little more expensive than buying plastic or caulking foam, but the overall benefits are much higher on a financial level.

Some of the appliances to consider are:

* Dishwasher

* Dryer

* Hot Water Heater

* Microwave

* Refrigerator

* Washer

It seems like an oxy-moron to tell you to spend money in order to save it, but the big picture is more important. Just by taking advantage of the three suggestions above, any household will save thousands of dollars over the next decade. If you truly want to enjoy the savings, and then put away all the money you save on the energy bills each month. Over time this money will visibly build and can be spent in other financial areas, or maybe a vacation.