Is your home passive?

9 07 2009

With increasing energy consumption and its cost, it has become important to do some radical changes in our lifestyle. Passive home is one such concept that has come up in European countries like Sweden, Germany, Austria.

Some interesting ideas behind a passive home are:

1. To keep the house tightly insulated. Hence, using wood over concrete as main building material, which is a better insulator. Also, using very thick insulation like 40 cm thick walls and 30 cm thick floors, 50 cm thick roofs.

2. To trap and reuse the heat generated by house inhabitants and appliances. Heat exchange system in a  passive home keeps it properly ventilated and warms the incoming air with trapped heat.

Results: 90% less energy costs as a compared normal houses.

Swedish Government is constructing buildings based on this concept and trying to commercialize it, so that the cost of construction can be made competitive. Also, scientists have come up with viable plans to convert an existing home to passive home.

Since internally generated heat is an important element in keeping passive homes warm, they say it is important that the inhabitants are active in a passive home 🙂

Do watch this CNN video to get some idea about passive home technology.

Sources:

1. Image: http://www.yourhome.gov.au/technical/fs45.html

2. Link to Video: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2009/07/09/gg.boulden.sweden.passive.houses.cnn

3. http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/designing_remodeling/index.cfm/mytopic=10250

PS:  I don’t like WordPress for not letting me embed external scripts in a post. I really want to move out from WordPress to Blogger. Any suggestions that would enable painless and seamless migration?





Store for ideas!

11 09 2008

Ever thought something out-of-the-box and wondered whether that is possible or not?

Well, I am sure that happens with everybody. I guess thinking out-of-the-box is something peculiar to mankind.

Here’s a thought: Why don’t we have sensors in parking lots that could tell us the location of a free parking spot, if available. Imagine how much time & fuel (this one is very important now a days) we could save if we didn’t have to make endless rounds of parking lot just to find out that it was full.

Future Parking Lots

On googling a bit, I found some serious research going on in this field at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Also, I found a very interesting site that allows its users to publish such ideas & to vote on present ideas. Here is the link.

Actually, I was not expecting to find any site like this, so it was a pleasant surprise for me too.

Sources:

1. http://tinyurl.com/research-proposal

2. http://kimskorner.zed1.net/blog/wp-content/parking-for-the-future.jpg

3. http://www.whynot.net/





Particle Accelerator & UTA

10 09 2008

Large Hardon Collider

My university – University of Texas at Arlington, is a part of the much talked physics experiment – Large Hardon Collider, happening at CERN, Switzerland.  Here is a news article about it. This experiment is supposed to biggest particle physics experiment by far. Its purpose is to validate & explore current theoretical claims about particle physics. Here’s the list of questions that might be answered with this experiment.

University’s physics department was actively involved in building the particle detector – ATLAS. Now, the department is instrumental in building PanDA – the software for managing the computer grid that will handle enormous amount of data  generated by particle detectors. These Experiments are believed to generate 1 petabyte (10^15 bytes) of data in the first year.

The experiment kicked off today – September 10, 2009. You might have noticed the Google Doodle for the same.

First results of these experiments are expected to come out by late 2009 or early 2010. As I write this blog, experiments have already started successfully.

Sources:

1. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/bigphotos/3205477.html

2.  http://www.fwweekly.com/content.asp?article=6963

3. http://atlasexperiment.org/

4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider

5. https://twiki.cern.ch/twiki/bin/view/Atlas/Panda





SOAP or REST

8 02 2008

For the uninitiated, SOAP & REST are web service development standards ( REST is more of a style than a standard)

I have been working on REST based web services for past 2 months now. Here’s an article that talks about suitability of a particular web standard depending on application.

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/webservices/library/ws-restvsoap/

I personally find REST pretty cool over SOAP. Its simple, no need of libraries, and is stateless. Authentication and authorization is URL based. Its more like HTTP.

Anyways, both have their pros & cons and both are suitable for different requirements. SOAP works great for a complex web service like bank transaction. Whereas REST is good for resource based push & pull services. In my case, the later was true. So, opting for REST was obvious choice for me.





sun SPOT

24 12 2007

Currently I am working on Sun’s latest Wireless Sensors kit called sun SPOT. It is pretty cool thing. It contains couple of sensor nodes with one base station node. All of them have motion, temperature, light sensors built in. And most fascinating part about it is you can program them in Standard Java. No embedded programming and all. You can do lot of funky stuff with it. Go to YouTube and search for “sun SPOT” .

Pretty cool, huh???

For me, its nice way to kill time in vacations ;). Lets hope I come up with something constructive and useful.