Červenec 2013

Millbury company goes all out to go green

15. července 2013 v 5:02 LED downlight
For companies big and small, going "green," or reducing their environmental footprint, is all the rage these days. In varying degrees and combinations, some are motivated by the environment, others by obtaining the green credibility that woos consumers, and all by the undeniable fact that being more efficient saves money.

Millbury-based Discover Marble and Granite, a 12-year-old company that imports, manufactures and installs stone counter tops in kitchens and bathrooms, has invested heavily in renewable energy, waste reduction efforts and energy efficiency improvements.

The company has saved thousands of dollars a month in operating costs, with more savings coming in the future as its investments continue to pay off.

The company's goal, according to co-founder and president Victor DeOliveira, is to get to zero waste; and it's well on its way, he said.

"There's some investment and a lot of work to be done to get everything set up," Mr. De-Oliveira said, adding, "But once you do, there's a return on that investment. Besides the fact that I just believe it's the right thing to do."

Its Millbury headquarters is housed in a 35,000-square-foot building, soon to expand by 8,000 square feet, so it consumes a considerable amount of power: $66,000 worth of electricity, per year.

The company decided to go solar in order to become energy neutral, explained Mr. Oliveira, which means it can generate all the energy it needs.

Last year, Discover worked with Solect Energy Development in Hopkinton to complete the first phase of a rooftop solar panel installation. Phase one covered 16,000 square feet of Discover's building, and is producing 30 percent of the company's energy needs, at an annual electricity savings of $20,000, according to Mr. DeOliveira.

He said that after federal and state incentives, Discover will spend nearly $1 million on the system, which is expected to last up to 25 years, with the payback due in the seventh or eighth year.

In the meantime, once the entire system is installed, Discover will likely generate more energy than it needs, earning money by selling the excess back to National Grid through a system of clean energy credit swapping called net metering.

On top of savings from solar, Discover is saving between $1,500 and $3,000 per month on wastewater treatment, recycling 100 percent of the 8,000 gallons of water it uses per hour, said Mr. DeOliveira.

Since 2005, Discover has been operating its own wastewater treatment system, which cost $250,000 to set up. This has eliminated a handful of costs (and hassles), particularly ones associated with transporting the wastewater to a treatment plant and dealing with state and federal wastewater regulations.

Additionally, the company has converted half of its fleet of vehicles to fuel-efficient ones; recycles its granite scraps and office waste; has gone nearly paper-free by using more sophisticated technologies to manage projects and customers; and converted to efficient lighting and equipment.

Although its investment has been sizeable, Discover got plenty of help from the state and federal governments and from National Grid, Mr. DeOliveira said.

This included various solar incentives and generous rebates for energy-efficient products and hybrid vehicles.

Energy efficiency incentives, particularly, have become widely available from state utilities as a result of Massachusetts' 2008 Green Communities Act, which, among other things, requires gas and electric utilities to boost energy efficiency.

After the law went into effect, state utilities banded together to launch Mass Save, a residential and commercial program that "harmonized incentive levels, services, and mechanisms through which people are able to participate," explained David Gibbons, principal of National Grid's energy efficiency group.

In 2012 alone, he said, the utility provided nearly $65 million in incentives to about 4,000 businesses.

"We are a very big supporter of our customers becoming sustainably competitive," Mr. Gibbons said. "What we don't want to see happen," he added, "is we don't want them to, in effect, make the wrong investment decisions. … If they make the wrong investments, it can cost them more money than it should have in the first place."

Philips has introduced a reliable

11. července 2013 v 9:18 led par light
In line with its initiative to further enhance lives in Africa, Royal Philips is currently undertaking its fourth pan-African Cape Town to Cairo roadshow. The roadshow, which visited Nigeria for the third time, made a stop in Lagos and Abuja recently.

Speaking at a press briefing during the roadshow in Lagos, Executive Vice President and Chief Market Leader of Royal Philips, Ronald de Jong, explained that with an Africa-relevant product portfolio and a strong historical presence on the continent, the road show, which will run in 18 cities across 17 countries between May 14 and September 23, will see Philips visit boost its commitment to significantly expand its business footprint in Africa in the coming years.

According to him, Philips entered Africa over a century ago and has a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of the African market as well as the key challenges facing Africa today.

He explained that the Philips team engaged in dialogue with customers, governments, NGOs and media on the key challenges facing Africa today during the roadshow and noted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 aimed at reducing child mortality rates and improving maternal health as a main focus of this year's roadshow.
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He said: "With clinical education and training programs for African healthcare professionals and through large scale healthcare revitalisation projects, Philips helps to improve standards of care.

"In Lagos, during a course of two days, Philips will train over 100 local healthcare professionals at LASUTH on fetal monitoring, infant warming, jaundice management and clinical ultrasound. The aim is to provide ongoing training to midwives, maternity nurses, obstetricians and ultrasound practitioners to provide equitable and sustainable basic health services to all - particularly mothers and children."

He added that Philips has introduced a reliable, innovative technology for safer childbirths; an ultrasound and infant warming/ thermo regulation solutions specifically designed for care providers across the wide variety of clinical environments in Africa.

The new 110-acre business park, which sits right behind the Cambridge Toyota plant, will be full serviced by the end of October. Early in the design process, a workshop was held to collect ideas on how to incorporate green or sustainable features into the infrastructure and building design.

Those features included things like LED street lighting, trails for hiking and biking, improved storm water management, special regard to the site's natural features and accommodation for solar gain through the way the streets were oriented.

He further noted that Philips has also introduced the ClearVue 650, a new advanced imaging ultrasound system with Auto Face Reveal facilitating the visualisation of the baby's face, possibly enhancing parental-fetal bonding.

Speaking further, the Senior Vice President & CEO Philips Africa, Van Dongen, explained that the need for energy-efficient lighting, mother and child care and the revitalisation of African healthcare infrastructure are key pillars along which Philips develops meaningful innovations for its African customers.

According to him, the roadshow highlighted the benefits of Philips' LED lighting and solar solutions which offer energy efficient, cost effective and reliable on- and off-grid illumination. "Philips will be introducing its new solar powered LED Street and Area lighting solutions in Lagos this year", he added. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.indoorlite.com.

Graphene provides efficient electronics cooling

9. července 2013 v 8:01 Led ceiling light
A layer of graphene can reduce the working temperature in hotspots inside a processor by up to 25 percent - which can significantly extend the working life of computers and other electronics.

An international group of researchers, headed by Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, are the first in the world to show that graphene has a heat dissipating effect on silicon based electronics.

?"This discovery opens the door to increased functionality and continues to push the boundaries when it comes to miniaturising electronics," said Chalmers Professor Johan Liu who heads the international research project.

Modern electronic systems generate a great deal of heat,

above all due to the constantly increasing demand for more and more functionality. It is important to be able to remove the heat generated in an efficient way to maintain the long life of the system.
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One rule of thumb is that a 10-degree Celsius increase in working temperature halves the working life of an electronics system.

During the study, the researchers focused on reducing the temperature in the small area where the electronics work most intensively such as inside a processor, for instance.

These tiny hotspots are found in all electronics. Size wise, they are on a micro or nano scale, in other words a thousandth of a millimetre or smaller.

The normal working temperature in the hotspots we have cooled with a graphene layer has ranged from 55 to 115 degrees Celsius. We have been able to reduce this by up to 13 degrees, which not only improves energy efficiency, it also extends the working life of the electronics.

Efficient cooling is a major challenge in many different applications, such as automotive electronics, power electronics, computers, radio base stations and in various light emitting diodes, or LED downlight.

In automotive electronics systems, any single device in the ignition system can pump out up to 80 W continuously and in transient stage up to 300 W (within 10 nanoseconds). LED devices can have a thermal intensity almost on a par with the sun, up to 600 W/cm2 due to their extremely small size.

Superior cooling of electronics can deliver tremendous advantages. According to a recent study in the US based on data from 2006, around 50 percent of the total electricity used to run data servers goes on cooling the systems.

The research, that has been undertaken in partnership with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Shanghai University in China and Swedish company SHT Smart High Tech AB, has been published in the scientific publication Carbon.

Indium tin oxide (ITO) has become a standard material in light-emitting diodes, flat panel plasma displays, electronic ink and other applications because of its high performance, moisture resistance, and capacity for being finely etched.

But indium is also rare and expensive, and it requires a costly deposition process to make opto-electronic devices and makes for a brittle electrode. Replacing indium as the default material in transparent electrodes is a high priority for the electronics industry.

The TiO2/Ag/TiO2 composite electrode multilayer film the researchers studied has been well characterised in the literature, but the team optimised both the thickness of the silver layer and the manufacturing process so that the multilayer film has a low sheet resistance and high optical transmittance, both properties necessary for highperformance.

The researchers created films with a sheet resistance as low as one sixth of that achieved by previous studies, while maintaining approximately 90 percent optical transmittance.

With the choice of an underlying substrate made of polyethylene napthalate (PEN) -- a sturdy polymer used in a variety of applications from bottling carbonated beverages to manufacturing flexible electronics -- the researchers added additional durability.

Sony Xperia SP Australian

8. července 2013 v 8:38 LED downlight
The Sony Xperia SP is powered by a dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and features a 4.6-inch 1280×720 (319 ppi) screen, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a 2370mAh battery, 4G antenna, 8-megapixel camera and 8GB of internal storage.

Compare that to the flagship Sony Xperia Z and you find that the SP's processor has less cores but a faster clock speed, half the RAM, half the storage and a lower resolution screen.

One of our greatest complaints with Xperia handsets previous to the Z and the SP has been the fact that Sony loads a phone with brilliant hardware before handing it off to the folks in the software department to ruin it. That's always been a huge shame: look at the Sony Xperia TX (better known as the Bond Phone) as an example.

The Xperia SP runs pretty much the same Android UI as the Z, which means it's fast, light, beautiful and gets out of your way as much as possible. It doesn't slow down the experience of using Android, while helping to tie Sony's features in nicely.

The Xperia SP isn't the world's most special phone to look at, but one feature that really stands out is a transparent strip at the base of the handset. Intriguingly, that's where the RGB led lives. It's an idea nicked from an earlier Xperia and perfected for the SP. It has different gradients of red to white when it recharges and different apps light up different colours on the strip. Facebook lights up blue, for example. It's a great take on an old trick.

Furthermore, the Xperia SP's specs mean that it's fast. There's no menu lag and it's the fastest-booting Sony we think we've ever seen. More than that, though, the SP blitzes GeekBench 2 benchmarking tests, clocking in with a score of 2117. To put that in perspective, it's faster than a Galaxy Note II and it just edges out the LG Nexus 4. Interestingly, it scored two points higher than the Nexus and just two points lower than the Xperia Z. Weird. Just goes to show that the amount of cores you have in your device really makes no difference whatsoever.

Finally, it's really nice to see Sony sticking with the Stamina Mode battery tweaks that let your phone last longer on standby. When Stamina Mode is active, components like the 4G antenna, data services, push notifications and background-GPS all fade away so your battery can last longer. You can make exceptions to these rules in the menu, but either way, it's saving you precious power.

This thing is heavy. Like Nokia Lumia 920-heavy. It's not unwieldy, but like the Lumia you pick it up and slide it into your pocket and wonder where all that weight is actually coming from. There are worse things on the SP, but that's the most immediate.

Stamina Mode technology aside, the battery leaves a bit to be desired. We had it on heavy use and struggled to get a full day out of it. Stamina Mode supposedly doubles the standby time, but once you unlock the device and actually start using it, you notice your juice drain away fast.

Meanwhile, the SP is packing an integrated battery for some reason, so that when your power does eventually pack it in, you need to find a charger instead of just pulling an additional battery out of your bag. That's just needlessly frustrating.

The camera is also rubbish, especially in low-light. Images are noisy, out of focus and look awful on the screen. Never mind about blowing them up. You should only use the camera on the SP as a primary shooter if a reclamation destroys all the other dedicated point-and-shoots in the world.

The worst thing about the camera on the SP is that it feels like it has been needlessly nerfed to make the Z look better. It's slow to find a focal point, slow to boot and slow to take the first shot. It's a fast phone: it just shouldn't take that long.

LED firm sheds light

5. července 2013 v 8:19 Led ceiling light
Today, its latest products can floodlight a football pitch.

The Ulverston firm, a pioneer of the led par light revolution, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The business has now supplied more than 500 million LEDs, many in assemblies designed and manufactured by its 100-strong British engineering and manufacturing team based in Ulverston.

Marl was formed in Ulverston in 1973 and originally distributed medical equipment and manufactured safety systems for the chemical industry.

It began design and manufacture of LED assemblies in the late 1970s when the products were required by the telecom and defence industries.

Some of the world's first solid state light bulbs were made by Marl in the 1980s.

Managing director Adrian Rawlinson said: "Marl, a pioneer in the technology, is ideally positioned to ride the crest of the LED wave.

"The secret of our success is that our products are designed, assembled, tested and shipped from one manufacturing complex in Ulverston.
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"Marl continues to invest in its business, recently spending 270,000 to double manufacturing output and speed up the delivery of prototypes.

"Our manufacturing strength is such that customers are now asking us to design and build other electronic systems for them that don't include an LED light."

Marl's recent successes include a 100,000 project to install feature LED lighting at The Alnwick Garden, one of the UK's top visitor attractions adjoining Alnwick Castle - the home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland.

Clients include Amtrak, Eastman Kodak, British Energy and London Underground. And it has developed products for use on the Euro Fighter and Boeing 777 programmes.

Reflecting on the growth of the LED market, Mr Rawlinson said: "With 19 per cent of current global energy used for artificial light, we have to turn to more energy efficient sources.

"LEDs can now match any other available lighting technology for light output, and are greatly more efficient than incandescent, halogen and other lighting technologies.

"They at least match fluorescent and low energy CCFL lights for efficiency but are more robust, more controllable, have no warm-up period and can last two or three times as long.

"A well designed LED light fitting can provide 25 years' continuous illumination, becoming essentially a fit and forget item."

Plessey lights up Plymouth City Council with GaN-on-Si LEDs

4. července 2013 v 7:43 LED downlight
Plessey is working closely with Plymouth City Council, UK, to help achieve the Council's ambitious carbon reduction strategy for all their managed buildings and infrastructure.

The firm is replacing the existing fluorescent lighting in Douglass House with solid-state LED luminaires that combine design and lighting excellence with extraordinary energy savings.

Plessey recently launched what it claims is the first commercially available GaN-on-silicon LEDs. Grown on 6 inch silicon substrates, and utilising the firm's MAGIC technology, they emit up to 350mW.

Cheaper than LEDs grown on sapphire or SiC, Plessey says its GaN-on-silicon LEDs use a much thinner GaN layer at only 2.5μm compared to 6 to 8μm in other GaN-on-silicon technologies. The technology was transferred from Colin Humphrey's group at Cambridge University.

These HB LEDs are being designed into replacement products as well as architectural lighting, street lighting, commercial lighting and medical applications Plessey's MAGIC technology delivers industry-standard performance at a dramatically reduced cost of manufacture.

For next generation products, Plessey intends to integrate its MAGIC HBLED products with its EPIC sensor technology to provide smart lighting solutions for even greater energy savings and carbon footprint reductions.

Plessey's latest solid-state LED lighting solution to be employed in Plymouth, will enable carbon reduction through energy efficiency as well as eliminating replacement costs with fixtures with a 30 year life. The new lighting solutions will create a better working environment for employees and visitors to experience at Douglass House.

Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Mark Lowry, says, "Plessey Semiconductors is a local business pioneering a new innovative product which has huge growth potential. We are keen to support their research into their latest lighting product, which is designed to reduce carbon emissions and save money, by providing a test bed for them. If successful, this could bring with it huge investment and job opportunities into the city."

Neil Harper, Plessey's LED business unit director, adds "We are excited to be able to work with Plymouth City Council and to play a key role in this first pilot project. Our solid-state Led ceiling light solution helps Plymouth City Council create a better working environment as well as contributing aggressively towards achieving their ambitious targets for cost and performance efficiencies. We are looking forward to continuing the development programme with our partners at Plymouth City Council."

This breakthrough will enable much faster adoption of LED implementation in both commercial and residential market segments. The joint development programme with Plymouth City Council is a cornerstone of Plessey's pledge to help create better use of the limited resources available on our planet.


Low-energy usage makes new 'blue lights' special

3. července 2013 v 6:01 Led ceiling light
On this campus boasting of red, you'll see a slew of new blue lights that green the environment.

To further promote energy conservation, Cornell has been switching all of its approximately 120 campus-safety "blue lights" this summer from energy-hogging incandescent to a light-emitting diode (LED) technology, which sips power at one-tenth the rate.

With incandescent technology - as ancient as inventor Thomas Edison - the metal halide bulbs enjoyed a typical lifespan of two years at best, and the bulb usually dimmed significantly the second year. LED technology is brighter and can be seen in daylight. In addition the new lights are easier to maintain and have a 100,000-hour lifespan.

"The new fixtures are expected to last over 10 years before needing maintenance, and the light level will be nearly 'new' the whole time," said Lanny Joyce, director of energy management in Facilities Services. "Being that these light fixtures provide a beacon to safety phones directly connected to Cornell Police for any campus emergency, the added visibility and reliability the LED provides - along with the huge reduction in electricity usage - are quite amazing.

Mark Howe, senior energy engineer, says the payback in energy costs is less than three years. The old 150-watt bulbs used 1,300 kilowatt hours each annually, at a cost of $100 per bulb per year. Systemwide, it cost the university about $12,500 in electricity. The new 15-watt LEDs have reduced energy usage by 90 percent, and now the energy cost will be $1,200 a year. Beyond energy savings, these blue lights get green in other ways, since they are mercury- and ultraviolet-free, and Restriction of Hazardous Substances compliant.

Campus blue lights indicate a special telephone directly connected to the Cornell Police. Find a blue light, and you'll find a phone. If you are lost, having car problems, want to report a suspicious incident or a medical emergency, or for any other kind of assistance, lift the receiver or push the button.

The team working on the project includes: electric shop superintendent Jim O'Brien; assistant superintendent Heather Mulks; foreperson Nate Deeley; electricians Dave Pawelczyk and Jon Ryan; project engineer Brian Watson; Howe and Joyce.

A new project is beginning in Bristol this month which will allow people to converse with objects throughout the city via text message, reports The Guardian. The project encourages visitors and visitors to communicate with objects such as lamp posts by using repair numbers found on the objects as SMS codes.

Once they wake up the object, it will then ask a series of questions via text messaging and then the next person to sign in with the object will learn about previous replies, creating a conversation.

The project has refuelled the idea of an intelligent home, in which separate objects fitted with the relevant sensors can be formed into useful information networks. This could mean that switching on a bedside lamp in the morning would trigger something else to start such as a coffee machine or kettle.

Technology is already becoming increasingly prevalent in the lighting industry, with new intelligent LED dimmable being linked to smartphones to create optimum lighting via applications or turning on a set times.

Downtown Longmont sidewalks become a dismount zone

1. července 2013 v 4:57 LED downlight
That might be the best way to describe the implementation of a downtown "dismount zone" for bicyclists and skateboarders.

Discussions that have gone on for a couple of years have led to the installation of small, blue-and-white signs tacked onto street-lamp poles on the sidewalks at the entrance to each block between Third and Sixth avenues. The signs read, "Pedestrian Zone; Please Walk Your Wheels."

"The consensus of the merchants was that this was a problem," said Kimberlee McKee, the executive director of the Longmont Downtown Development Authority.

She said that the idea of making downtown a dismount zone had come up from time to time ever since she took her position in early 2011.

"The question was, did we want an ordinance or not?" McKee said.

After consulting with city officials and the bicycle advocacy group Bicycle Longmont, it was decided that a formal city ordinance, which could have carried a fine with it, was not necessary. Instead, the signs will stay up for a year and the LDDA will monitor merchants' observations on whether incidents of close calls between pedestrians and shop owners and people on bikes or skateboards continue.

Several dozen people responded to an online public survey that the LDDA put up late last year, and 60 percent of respondents favored making downtown a dismount zone, McKee said. Thirty-one percent reported that they themselves had had a close call.
"Really, all they need to do is, when you have an incident, send us an email and we'll keep a file of those," McKee said of the merchants.

If the signs prove ineffective, then she and other city officials will revisit the issue next year, she said.

Also in the works are adding up to 40 bike racks in the downtown area, and the LDDA is putting together a brochure explaining the dismount zone.

"We're going to work with the LDDA to find out the best way to put the word out on the street," said Bicycle Longmont president Ryan Kragerud, adding that his group will give input on where the bike racks will go.

Kragerud has said that he understands the concerns of merchants about people riding on the sidewalks downtown, but he still wants to keep downtown both pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

To that end, he would like to see the alleys be designated as detours that could take people off Main Street, something that McKee said is not being planned.

"For safety and confusion issues, it was decided that the alleys should remain one-way," she said.

"I think we'd like to revisit that," Kragerud said. "The east side (alley) is clearly very bike-friendly."

He'll continue to lobby for the alleys to get designated as bikeways, he said.

As it stands now, the small blue signs are the sole indicator that the Main Street sidewalks are a dismount zone. McKee said there are no plans to paint any markings on the sidewalk, where they might be more likely to be seen by people riding bikes, but she and others will continue to evaluate the situation. Read the full story at www.indoorlite.com web.