Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Energy labels and The green value = ?

Some time ago i was conducting a small deskresearch on finding a topic for some researching within my bachalorprogram. At one point in time we (me and a fellow student) became interested by the various energy labels that exist to attend consumers on the energy consumption off various products. In Europe these products include Cars, most white goods and light bulbs. Most of these ratings are constructed like this;

The rating of a product is determited by a standarised test, it the case of a washing machine this is a 6 kg cycle cotton at 60*C (140*F
). A power meter is set up between the power cable and the electrical outlet and power consumption is calculated. Thus giving the particular machine a B label for example.

However this method only takes into account the power consumption while in working order. What about constructing the machine? and transportation? and what about reclycling?
None of these variables seem to be applied to the testing method.

What actuale got me thinking was a guy who told me a Toyota Prius is actually more energy inefficient than a modern reasonable priced petrol car. He said the battery's in these vehicles only last for several years and building en reclycling them takes a big toll on the environment.

I do not know if his story is true, though i did saw a research of some kind recently that if 20% of german car owners switched to hybrids, the greenhouse gasses emitted by the energy plants would actually decrease the situation over nowadays. ( i recon Germany has many coal plants that are not very green)

What about the following model?:

Description of factor's:







Mass*Volume*Number of Kilometers




Precentage of whole product that is re-usable ea. possible to reclycle



Energy consumption for production

Sommage of total energy needed to produce single product.



Life expectancy

Life expectancy of product given normal use



Energy consumption

Mean energy consumption, compensated for electrical phase and normal use of product.


The equation fully writen out;

If i am not mistaken, this sums up all the elements whom are at play from production to end of life and reclycling of a product. The output of the equation is a value which can be directly compared to any other product. Even if Ev is zero (ea. the product is non electric) the value is useable!

Technorati tags: #energylabel #green #greenhouse #innovation

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hello_world, the internet and fighting poverty

4 Years ago in my first succesfull attempt at making a self programed microC (an Atmel Atmega) work. I put something up on an old Nokia 3210 screen; Hello_World. Just like the manual that i found off the internet told me to...

Nowadays i mostly forgot all about programming (not that i was ever any good) and aint that much into electronics anymore, but i remember clearly was in the position to make it work because the internet was loaded with info and how-to's to make this work. Before the internet you would have to buy a book covering the subject, do a study electronics etc..

The internet opened up a lot of possibility's for us, lucky connected people. There is so many information out there covered in websites, forums, blogs, tweets, mailings, newsgroups about all the things you could imagine (and more). Not even google is able to keep track of the amount of information that is published on the internet on a daily basis. (probably this post is one of them)

All this info is not for everyone, neglect language and you'll see that roughly 20% of the info on the web is mainstream. For everyone with general interest, particulary news sites and social communities. The other 80% is made out of niches, information and data about a particular subject, a niche. For more info see 'The long tail, by Chris Anderson'.

According to 'Jeff Jarvis', the author of 'What whould Google do?' the existence of alle these (open)- niches on the internet make for a new sort of learning. No need to spend hours going through books, just fire up google and you're ready to go and learn all about the subject. This makes for easy learning, and can be a weapon against poverty. In 'This TED talk' Hector Ruiz talks about AMD's project to increase connectivity in the world. This is hard needed and a great opportunity for projects like 'hole in the wall'. This project by 'Sugata Mitra' (video) concludes that in area's where education levels are low a single computer without a teacher can have tremendous inpact on the learning possibility's and future prospects of local children.

With the right equipment they too would be sending 'Hello_world' to an old Nokia 3210 screen and could become technical engineers without any need for expensive teachers...

Technorati tags: #poverty #TED #The long tail #web #education