Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sweden Has No Enough Garbage!

You have read the title right! Sweden is indeed importing garbage from its neighbors. As the whole worlds are struggling to cut down the amount of garbage piling up in the landfills, Sweden is facing an entirely opposite challenge.

Swedes on average recycle about 96% of the garbage they produce. The remaining will be used in the waste-to-energy incineration program to produce electricity. Ironically, their super efficient recycle program has led to shortage of garbage that could threaten their energy production capacity.

What's now? Importing 800,000 tons of garbage every year from the rest of Europe to fulfill their energy needs.

Perhaps the best part of all is that, in solving their energy problem, Sweden also makes profit from its neighbors. For example, Norway is paying Sweden to take their waste.

I wonder by when we Malaysian could even get half, or quarter, as efficient as Swedes? A little search in internet shows that we averagely produce 1.2 kg of waste per day per Malaysian.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S3 Not Charging Problem Solved

My wife got her Samsung Galaxy S3 back in June and has been happily using it since. Few days ago I noticed her S3 stopped charging when plugged into the Samsung original AC power plug. After a whole night charging the battery remained the same as before plugged into the charger.

Weird thing was that when using the car charger or my HTC charger, the S3 charged properly. So, you would guess that the S3 charger was bad. STOP! When I used the S3 charger to charge my HTC Desire S it charged nicely.

WAIT WAIT WAIT!!! What was going on??? The S3 charged nicely using other chargers. The S3 charger charged my HTC phone nicely.

Hmmmm!!! After Googling around, I found out this was a known bug for S3. Not sure whether it was hardware or software related.

SOLUTION: connect your S3 to any PC or laptop using the USB cable of the S3 power plug. Let it charge for few minutes. Now plug the S3 and the USB cable back to the AC charger. PROBLEM SOLVED!

I just did this half an hour ago before I write this blog. The S3 battery level is nicely coming up from 61% to 74% since plugged into the AC plug.

Would You Trade Your Prada For This?

Can you guess what is this purse made from??? It is made from the soda pop tab tied together with yarn string. It is fully recycled materials.

Check out this site for how to make one yourself,

Sigh! Where is the limit of our imagination?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Energy-Efficiency Of Different Lighting Technologies

Source: Precision & Paragon (P2) Lighting

Light Sources: HID, Fluorescent, Induction & LED

How They Work

Quick Comparison

Stacking Up The Features

Fixture Efficacy

Typical Lifespan (Hours)

Ideal Application

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Car Powered By Compressed Air

Tata Motors, a India-based car manufacturer, has signed a licence agreement with Motor Development International (MDI), a French design firm, in 2007 to build a car that could run on compressed air. Now Tata says it has tested two cars with the engines and the next step is setting up the manufacturing plants to actually build them.

The working theory of compressed air car engine is similar to the internal combustion engine. Conventionally the combusted gasoline forces pistons to turn a crankshaft and run the car. In compressed air car the pistons are moved by air instead of gasoline. According to Tata/MDI, the car could reach the speed of 80km/h with traveling range between 150km and 200km.

The another good thing about this car is that it only costs about Euro$7,500, besides being zero-emission.

Before this car can be on the Malaysia road, the safety of the high-pressure compressed air has to be addressed. The car needs more than 4,000 psi of compressed air to run. This pressure will make the car like a moving bomb. Any rupture in the storage tank will be devastating.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Testing a 30-Year-Old Solar Photovoltaic Module

Martin Holladay, a green building designer, purchased his very first solar photovoltaic (PV) panel back in 1980 after living in the wood without electricity for 5 years. The Arco Solar panel (model 16-2000) was designed to charge a 12-volt battery at a maximum voltage of about 16 VDC. When new, the 33-watt panel produced 2.0 amps in full sunlight.

After being in the field for 30 years, Martin decided to test the panel in 2010. He first connected a DC 35-watt incandescent light bulb to the panel in his backyard, on a sunny day with temperature about 10°C. The bulb lit with his Fluke multimeter showed 2.015 amps and voltage of 14.93 volts.

Next, Martin connected up a 54-watt blower directly to the panel. The blower started spinning at a fast clip. The multimeter showed the blower was drawing 2.5 amps from the panel - more power than would be expected from the factory specs.

He called up the manufacturer and described his experiment to them. According to the manufacturer the cool temperature could boost the panel output by 10%. So, 33-watt panel would get 36.3 watts, divided by 14.6 volts is 2.48 amps. That explains his results. The panel was definitely still performing to factory specifications - or perhaps a little better, even after 30-YEAR.

Solar panel warranties generally cover up to 20 to 25 years at 80% nominal output. Over the years, all panels will degrade somewhat. Even when some older panels may not reach that 80% mark of the rated peak output, they can continue to produce smaller amounts of energy for years after their warranties are up.

The Arco solar panel, however, far outlived its warranty and is certainly working well into its old age.

Image Credits:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Honda Electric Vehicle Prototype

Spotted a cool electric car prototype from Honda in the 2012 IGEM (International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference Malaysia) in KLCC. Enjoy!


A Bike Built From Cardboard That Only Costs $9 And Supports Weight Up To 485lb

Have you ever imagined that one day we could ride on a bike that made out of cardboard! If anyone ever told me about this I would probably thought they were crazy.

However, an Israeli inventor, Izhar Gafni, a bike enthusiast, has been working on a cardboard prototype bike for several years and in this month, he finally announced that his bike is ready for mass production.

The bike is called Alfa. Weighted only 20lbs, yet supports riders up to 24 times its weight. It’s mostly cardboard and 100% recycled materials. The bike uses a belt-driven pedal system and tires made from old reconstituted tire that never get a puncture or deflate and can last up to 10 years. These practically make it maintenance free.

What makes the bike so revolutionary is its cost-efficiency to be mass production. With all parts included, the bike can be mass produced for $9 to $12. This could be a cost-effective transportation alternative for those poor folks in the developing and under-developing countries.

At the moment, Gafni is working with a company to raise fund to finalize the manufacturing processes for the bikes. Hopefully soon that we could be buying one of this environmentally friendly and cost-effective bike from the local bike stores.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Newsweek's 2012 Green Rankings Of Global Top Companies

The latest Green Rankings from Newsweek are out. Each year, the magazine, in partnership with Trucost and Sustainalytics, assesses the 500 largest U.S. and global companies and assigns each a “Green Score".

Evaluation criteria

(1) An Environmental Impact Score (45%) compiled by Trucost, this is a comprehensive, quantitative, and standardized measurement of the overall environmental impact of a company’s global operations. More than 700 metrics—including emissions of nine key greenhouse gases, water use, solid-waste disposal, and emissions that contribute to acid rain and smog - are factored into the Environmental Impact Score.

(2) An Environmental Management Score (45%) compiled by Sustainalytics, the score is an assessment of how a company manages its environmental performance through policies, programs, targets, certifications, and the like.
(3) An Environmental Disclosure Score (10%), evaluating the quality of company sustainability reporting and involvement in key transparency initiatives such as the Global Reporting Initiative and Carbon Disclosure Project.

Top 10 US companies

The top 10 ranking U.S. companies include IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sprint Nextel, Dell, CA Technologies, Nvidia, Intel, Accenture, Office Depot, and Staples.

Top 10 global companies

The top 10 global companies include Santander Brasil (Brazil), Wipro (India), Bradesco (Brazil), IBM (U.S.), National Australia Bank (Australia), BT Group (U.K.), Munich Re (Germany), SAP (Germany), KPN (Netherlands), and Marks & Spencer Group (U.K.).

South-East Asia companies

There are 5 South-East Asia companies made to the top 500 list.

Malaysia: Sime Darby (495).
Singapore: SingTel (185), Jardine Cycle & Carriage (491), Wilmar (500).
Indonesia: Astra (412).

For more information