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?

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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