Friday, June 11, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ASHRAE Report Confirms Funk in Cooling Towers

ATLANTA –New research supported by ASHRAE indicates that non-chemical devices (NCD) marketed to control the growth of biological agents, such as Legionella in cooling towers, may not materially reduce biological growth.

Research project No. 1361, Biological Control in Cooling Towers Using Non-Chemical Water Treatment Devices, a two-year project recently completed by Dr. Radisav Vidic at the University of Pittsburgh, evaluated  five  non-chemical devices using different technologies to control biological activity in a model cooling-tower system.  The devices studied included a hydrodynamic cavitation device, pulsed and static electric field devices, an ultra-sonic device and a magnetic device.

In Dr. Vidic’s research, none of the non-chemical devices measurably reduced planktonic or sessile microbial populations in comparison to no-treatment tests and to a conventional chemical microbial control treatment protocol.  The findings appear to be inconsistent with previous research by non-chemical device manufacturers and some independent researchers on some of the same devices tested in the ASHRAE study.  Those other studies reported measurable degrees of biological control within the parameters of testing conducted.

“These results suggest that equipment operators, building owners and engineers should consider taking more frequent water sample tests for their systems that rely on NCDs for biological control. If the testing shows an issue, one possible measure is to add  chemical treatment capability to their system to prevent a potential health hazard from developing until additional research and field testing can resolve this question,” according to  Dr. Vidic .

The study results are still subject to final approval by the sponsoring technical committee, TC 3.6 – Water Treatment.  ASHRAE anticipates formal approval and the release of the final report for this project at its 2010 Annual Meeting Conference in June. Original link here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Full iPad Coverage: Nobel Prize, Blenderizing, Fake Steve Jobs Letter

iPad™ Wins Nobel Peace Prize, 
First Electronic Device to Win, Experts Say

OSLO, NORWAY (The Borowitz Report) – In a remarkable break with tradition, the committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize chose today to bestow that coveted honor on the Apple iPad™.

It was believed to be the first time an electronic device has won the Peace Prize, which is usually awarded to a human being, experts say.

“We didn’t want to fall prey to all of the hype surrounding the iPad™,” said Nobel committee chairperson Gustav Traavik, who waited at the Apple store in Oslo for over two hours to buy the device. “But it is sweet.”

In the twenty-four hours since it was released, the iPad™ has been credited with an impressive list of accomplishments, including saving the newspaper industry, the publishing business, and Tiger Woods’ marriage.

In other news...

And finally, an open letter to the people of the world from Fake Steve Jobs.

Friday, March 19, 2010

ZERO Charger a Stake Through the Heart of Vampire Power

By BC Upham | Triple Pundit
No, it’s not an euphemism for a two-year-old cellphone battery. The new ZERO Charger from AT&T, in stores in May, automatically cuts off the electrical circuit when not charging, eliminating wasted electricity, also known as “vampire power.”

The US Department of Energy estimates internal and external adapters burn through about 120 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) per year of electricity wasted as heat, costing consumers more than $12 billion in electric bills.

Why don’t we have these already?

The ZERO charger, which AT&T calls a “global first,” incorporates a circuit which senses when the charged device is disconnected and breaks the electrical circuit. The “block and cable” design gives it universal compatibility, and AT&T said the ZERO will cost the same as existing replacement chargers.
The ZERO will come in recycled paper packaging, part of AT&T efforts to reduce the amount of waste in its product packaging.

More good news on the charger front

In February, the GSMA announced a deal with major cellphone manufacturers to introduce a single standard for power adapters by 2012, eliminating the need to have a different adapter for each brand of handset. The new standard could have a huge positive environmental impact, reducing the amount of plastic wasted on those little black boxes worldwide.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Earthquake in Chile Knocks Earth Rotation, May Have Shortened Days

The Feb. 27 magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile may have shortened the length of each Earth day.
JPL research scientist Richard Gross computed how Earth's rotation should have changed as a result of the Feb. 27 quake. Using a complex model, he and fellow scientists came up with a preliminary calculation that the quake should have shortened the length of an Earth day by about 1.26 microseconds (a microsecond is one millionth of a second).
Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis. Gross calculates the quake should have moved Earth's figure axis (the axis about which Earth's mass is balanced) by 2.7 milliarcseconds (about 8 centimeters, or 3 inches). Earth’s figure axis is not the same as its north-south axis; they are offset by about 10 meters (about 33 feet).
By comparison, Gross said the same model estimated the 2004 magnitude 9.1 Sumatran earthquake should have shortened the length of day by 6.8 microseconds and shifted Earth's axis by 2.32 milliarcseconds (about 7 centimeters, or 2.76 inches).
Gross said that even though the Chilean earthquake is much smaller than the Sumatran quake, it is predicted to have changed the position of the figure axis by a bit more for two reasons. First, unlike the 2004 Sumatran earthquake, which was located near the equator, the 2010 Chilean earthquake was located in Earth's mid-latitudes, which makes it more effective in shifting Earth's figure axis. Second, the fault responsible for the 2010 Chiliean earthquake dips into Earth at a slightly steeper angle than does the fault responsible for the 2004 Sumatran earthquake. This makes the Chile fault more effective in moving Earth's mass vertically and hence more effective in shifting Earth's figure axis.
Gross said the Chile predictions will likely change as data on the quake are further refined.
Alan Buis

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Andromeda in blue

NASA has just released the first images from its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). WISE's primary mission is to survey the entire sky in infrared, though it's also tasked with tracking asteroids, comets, and other objects.
Here the shortest-wavelength camera on WISE highlights the Andromeda galaxy's older stellar population in blue.