History of Solar Energy

Beginnings

Although solar power never really became a ‘thing’ until the 1980s, the wheels began turning a full hundred years prior, when in 1883, Charles Fritts created the first functional solar cell. It seemed like sheer sorcery at the time, capable of converting around 1% of sunlight that hit it into electricity. Unfortunately for Fritts, the cell was composed of gold-coated selenium – neither being particularly cheap or easy to come by at the time. Exorbitant production costs and horrendously poor efficiency gave Fritts no choice but to write them off as an interesting (but ultimately worthless) novelty. http://www.energysmart.com.au/

Breakthrough
Until 1954, when Daryl Chapin, Calvin Souther Fuller and Gerald Pearson, working at Bell Laboratories, made an interesting discovery: Fritts’ design could be replaced with a diffused silicon p-n junction to create a cell that run at approximately 4-5% efficiency (compared to Fritts’ 1%). Though immensely exciting, it soon became apparent that their cell had absolutely no chance of competing financially with coal fuel (with coal coming at $2-3 per watt as compared to the new solar cell’s $250 per watt).

The cells languished in obscurity for some years, until the suggestion was made to affix them to the sides of the

Vanguard I satellite that was launching in 1958. The cells would allow Vanguard I’s usefulness to be extended

considerably beyond its initial battery powered design, and despite skepticism, they worked precisely as intended. The success spurred a rush of similar designs, with Bell Laboratories’ own satellite, Telstar, foremost among them.

Downfall
Further development of the cells was crippled by their success as a power source for space-based applications. Efforts to make them more affordable seemed pointless when they were only marketable to those who could already afford their exorbitant price.

For the next ten years or so, the cells didn’t see much improvement. A reduction to their price was finally provided by unrelated breakthroughs in the semiconductor manufacturing process, providing more semiconductor for less money (and more solar cell for less money). By 1971, though, the cells were only down to roughly $100 per watt – still hardly ideal. Solar power was beginning to seem very much like a doomed pet project.

Big Oil?
Yes, you read that right – Exxon saved solar power from another hundred years in relative obscurity. Don’t panic! You’re not going insane – money was on their mind. Elliot Berman was, at around the same time, tinkering with a new method to manufacture silicon that would drastically lower costs. He lacked appropriate funding and had given up, but fate smiled on him. By coincidence, Elliot met an Exxon team who were scouting for projects that would be of great use in 30 years’ time (i.e., the 2000s). Foreseeing the dramatic price rise of electricity, they were looking to invest in ways to cut electricity generation costs. The team figured that dropping costs to $20 per watt would trigger a spike in solar power demand. With them funding Berman, he turned his mind away from his extremely time-consuming new manufacturing method and towards the problem of reducing solar cell costs with existing materials.

It turned out that was rather easy once Berman examined the cell schematics. He found enormous amounts of materials were being wasted in the manufacturing process. Not only were the reflective surfaces being attached to material that was already reflective but the cells were being made exclusively with high-grade electronics silicon, despite slightly flawed silicon working perfectly. They began to buy up ‘reject’ silicon, and Berman’s observations, when put into practice, brought costs down to $10 per watt by 1973. SPC (the splinter company formed by Berman and the Exxon team) were soon selling cells like hotcakes at the $20 per watt they hoped for. However, other oil companies had taken notice..

Solar Proliferation
After the 1973 oil crisis, Big Oil had only gotten bigger. Their profits had become gargantuan, but they were beginning to realize that any future profits were going to have to be coming at least partially from other energy sources. So it went that several huge oil companies started solar subdivisions, and became – for decades – the foremost manufacturers of solar cells. Solar technology began to come into its own, progressing at a remarkable rate. Today, costs are down to below $2 per watt and solar energy has established a firm foothold around the world.

Custom Fashions to Modernize Your Kitchener Window Needs!

Lifestyle presents to you our California Shutters Easy Flow system that is sure to satisfy every single home owner! These gorgeous indoor shutters for windows are offered in an assortment of dimensions and frame styles to fit any decor. We custom design our Easy Flow Shutters to fit any dimension and they become a permanent architectural improvement that actually increases the value and appeal of your house. For carpet in Melbourne, check out Office Carpets at http://www.officecarpets.com.au/

Our Easy Flow Shutters work to manage airflow, sun light, noise, privacy, and temperature. Each louvre may easily be adjusted in unison by using our branded direct-drive system, which takes away unsightly tilt bars for a genuine panoramic view.

Hinged on either side of a window opening, our Easy Flow Shutters are supported top-to-bottom by an industry leading anti-flex pocket. This eliminates “racking”, a frequent problem found in most Shutter systems.

A regular misconception about California Shutters is that they are for the outside of your home only. Interior California shutters, like outside shutters, can help maintain the cold during the hot months and keep it out during the colder months.

They are an effortless way to control light while keeping your energy bill low. Installing interior shutters in your residence has several other unique advantages.

Traditional tilt-bar, or hidden rear-tilt louver systems hinder your view and your homes decor. Our Panavision Internal direct-drive California Shutters system can provide an alternative to window blinds or draperies and considerably improve the aesthetics of every room in your house!

Whether you are looking to create a focal point for your room or add a special finishing touch, we have a product range that offers something to suit all tastes. With total light control and complete privacy, Lifestyle’s California shutters will give your home the finishing touch.

California shutters are available in many paint and stain colors and are assembled from easy-to-clean synthetic materials like faux wood. Because over time natural wood shutters comes in contact with humidity and it causes the Shutters to be difficult and stiff to open due to expansion and contraction, this is.

Fabricated materials are more resistant to warping and cracking in high humidity and heat, which makes them a superb choice for your home. The posh appearance sets the perfect tone for any room in your Kitchener home!

Our Enviro-Green Easy Flow Shutters for windows are made with 100 % UPVC virgin vinyl which is guaranteed for life. Trust a leader in the indoor window shutters industry to shield you and your family from the elements!

Successful Product Development Strategies

Product development is a crucial stage that many companies have to go through, frequently time and time again, and with it comes development of manufacturing techniques. Firms have to make it right first time or they will have to Buying a cafe in Melbourne face increased costs, lost sales, lost time, and lost share of the market. The outcome of this process can actually bring huge success or failure to a company.

But why is there a need to go through the product development stage? Is it a one time process that a company should undergo, and once developed surely a product is just that: a product? In fact, any business that does not invest in improving its products will find itself in serious trouble and lagging behind its competitors.

Nothing stands still, and this is particularly true of the needs of the public. What was cutting edge yesterday is a standard product today and will be obsolete tomorrow. In fact many businesses design obsolescence in their products as part of their product development. What future is there for a business that makes products that last forever? However, that aside, constant development is important because you cannot launch new products unless you develop them, and if you don’t launch new products, your company will die.

What should be done to develop a product? First, you can make goods that will generate a new market, or what people call a niche. You can introduce something new that will cater to a specific group. This can be quite a risk, because if your target market sees your product as a waste of money, you will incur big losses. But if the consumers support your new product and render it commercially viable then you will make big profits.

Another strategy you can consider is to add products to the existing line. This can mean new flavors, new colors, and new sizes, depending on the current products that you are offering to the market. This will encourage present buyers to patronize your new products, and it will expand your existing market to bring in more sales.

Product improvement is also part of product development. Once a product has been launched, its development can continue with improvements in cost, aesthetics and performance. With the increasing competition nowadays, there will always be something better in the market, or worse, something similar to your current products or services. A cheaper way to develop products is to improve the current ones so that they can stand out among your competitors. Continuous improvement of a product must be done so that you can constantly satisfy your customers. Through intensive marketing strategies, improved products can kick-off well in the market.

And lastly, if your current products are known for a particular use but they can actually do other things that can benefit other consumers then you should try to reposition them. For example, you have a food product that is popular for its delicious taste, but it also has health benefits which are not known to all. In this case, you can market the health benefits of the food instead of its taste alone. This can lead to an expansion of your target market, since the product will be repositioned to appeal to those who love food as well as health conscious people.

A company can choose one or a combination of these product development strategies. Just remember the main objectives of your product development process:

1. To be prominent compared to your competitors.
2. To continuously satisfy customers.
3. To expand your current market.

1+2+3=Growth! Growth through an increased market base, increased sales and increased profit. The full term is R&D: Research and Development. You research the market and also your competitors’ products. You use the results of that research to develop products that meets the market demand, and beats anything your competition has to offer.

Your competitors then do the same thing, and you then have to follow – ad infinitum.

However, it is not only product development that is important in a business but development of everything else that makes a business special. You should develop your sales techniques, your marketing strategies, your manufacturing processes and your office procedures. Products, processes, procedures, strategies and techniques, all of these can be researched and developed until they are all cutting edge.

You should do all that you can to make sure that your products are what your customers want and will continue to be so well into the future. That involves long-sighted product development strategies that will keep your business in the forefront of its field, and always one step ahead of the competition.

Don’t be a ‘me too’ company, but a ‘cutting edge’ company through well thought out and planned product development strategies.

3 Things You Need to Know

Kitchen pantry cabinets are most likely the most worn out cabinet in the house. home extensions Melbourne Why? This is because you always open and close them plus normally, it is quite a mess in the kitchen with all the spills and the oil scatter from the food or drinks that you prepare. So what do you do to keep your kitchen cabinets still be in tip top form? Well, you can of course start remodeling.

Most individuals now do not really have the money in the world to actually buy new cabinets even if these are the ready to assemble cheap ones. water damage So what do you do if you cannot buy something new? First of all, you have to look which part of the cabinet needs a lot of fixing. Definitely, the outside portion of the cabinet would be the ones you really need to focus on. Concentrate first on the kitchen cabinet doors since these are the ones that are probably overused. What will you do to make your kitchen cabinet doors function like new again?

First, you have to remove the doors from the hinges. Unscrew the doors from the hinges using a screwdriver. Once you have unscrewed the doors, you can do kitchen cabinets design if you want a new look for the cabinet. If not, you can always polish the door with sand paper or you can always repaint it if you want to. Painting is the easiest way to make your kitchen cabinets look new even if it is not. In this way, you are able to conceal the cracks of the cabinets. Another way wherein you can make your kitchen cabinets look new would be to laminate cabinets.

Second, if you are now done with all the repainting, polishing and laminating of your cabinets, you have to take care of the hinges. Make sure that before you put back the cabinet doors, you have already cleaned the hinges. How will you do this? To clean the hinges wherein you will attach the kitchen cabinet doors, you have to wipe the hinges with cloth or you can also buff the hinges so that it will regain its pliability.

However, it would be better if you buy new hinges so that your cabinets will perform at its finest function. office fitout Cabinets will also look much better if the hardware is new as well. If you are to buy new hardware, make sure that you buy the similar hinge like the one you used before.

Lastly, you have to make sure that the insides of your cabinets are clean as well. Clean the cabinets with a damp cloth or you can also sweep the cabinets using a small sweeper to remove all the dusts, dirt and even the spider webs that have accumulate throughout the years. You should also learn to reorganize your cabinets. Throw away the things you do not need anymore to make your cabinet more spacious. In this way, you are only keeping the things that you really need and throwing away those that are simply clutters.

Why You Should Not Refinance Your Home

Going through the home refinance process may seem like a good idea to save money or to get money for home improvements or other purposes, but there are some instances when you should not refinance your home. lån utan uc By understanding the situations where getting a refinancing loan is not such a good idea, you can better understand when you should look into the home refinance process. What are some of the reasons why you should not refinance your home?

– To pay for a vacation, car, or other consumable purchase.

If you are going to refinance your home to take a vacation or to pay for a car or other purchase, this may not be such a good idea. When you refinance your home, you are taking out a loan for a time period of 15 to 30 years. If you use the money for a vacation or other purchase, then you are in essence paying for it for the entire length of the loan. That is not a smart move, simply because it is throwing money down the drain, because it is a purchase that will not last.

– You will not break even with closing costs and interest rate.

Make sure that you are going to stay in the home long enough to recoup your closing costs and refinancing fees that you have to pay. By considering the lower monthly payment and how long it will take to make up the closing costs that you are going to pay, you can make sure that you will stay in the home long enough to recoup the costs of refinancing. Evaluate this carefully to ensure that it will be worth the money that you will have to spend to refinance your home.

– To pay off credit card debt without addressing the spending problem.

Refinancing your home to pay off your credit cards, only to rack up the debt again is not a reason to refinance. If you do not address the spending issues that you and/or your spouse have, you will not do any good in the long run. You are putting your home at risk and are possibly setting yourself up for bankruptcy in the future. You are exchanging your short-term debt for long term debt that you are going to have to pay for up to 30 years. Addressing the spending issues that you have will help your refinancing decision to be a sound one, rather than just a quick fix. Cut up the credit cards or make other changes that will keep you out of this situation in the future.

A home refinance loan may sound like a good idea, but it is important to evaluate why you are getting the loan to ensure that it is best for your long term goals. Make sure that it is a sound financial decision that will help you in the future, rather than make your financial situation more tenuous. By considering the reasons why you should not refinance your home, you can better determine if your reasons are financially sound for you and your family.

Honda Odyssey 2012

Consumers can look forward to the release of the Honda Odyssey 2012 during the fall of 2011. Building upon the features consumers have come to know and love in the previous Odyssey models, model of 2012 saw the move from the second row seat allows the vehicle to increase Mobile car detailing Melbourne the maximum capacity of eight adults or as many as five seats properly secured child safety. Model 2012 will also feature a newly redesigned dashboard that will have a shelf to store various media devices like iPods, and some reorganization of existing controls.

2012 Honda Odyssey Perks
Honda Odyssey has an established reputation for performance, reliability and style. Model 2012 has all the standard features consumers have come to expect: front-wheel drive, colored rear window for extra privacy, cruise control, power windows, doors and locks, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, an additional plug for media devices, and CD player . While estimates for the price and gas mileage has not been available, they are not expected to change much from last year. Consumers can expect an average 18 City / Hwy 27 miles per gallon. It continues in a tight competition with some of the most fuel efficient minivan on the market today.

2012 Honda Odyssey Body Features
In an effort to create an Odyssey minivan, 2012, less stereotypical boring that everyone, not just the mother, would love to drive, Honda efficient exterior looks more like a sleek shape of the aircraft. Honda wanted to revolutionize the concept of the minivan and make it a vehicle that everyone will be proud to own.

 

2012 Honda Odyssey Against its Competitors
For consumers interested in a minivan, functional style, fuel economy, some other options on the market that offer competitive features to those of the Honda Odyssey 2012. The competitors are:

  • Toyota Sienna – The most features for the Toyota Sienna quite comparable with those of the Honda Odyssey, the second-row bucket seats lying and optional rear entertainment display. Perhaps one of the biggest selling-point for this vehicle is that today is the only minivan on the market that offers all-wheel drive.
  • Dodge Grand Caravan – The Dodge Grand Caravan is a minivan, more basic cost-effective with fewer accessories than the other models of similar luxury. Available second row Stow n ‘Go seating is a major selling point for those who need extra cargo space.
  • Chrysler Town & Country – The Chrysler Town & Country minivan is a luxury model more similar in style and functionality for the Honda Odyssey. It also features comfortable second row Stow n ‘Go seating.