ecoexist store

Green kid cuisine

Posted by admin on Nov 11th, 2008
2008
Nov 11

Looking for some good food alternatives to feed your offspring? Here’s a site that has some quick, easy, and healthy vegetarian alternatives to hamburgers or canned soup.


I suppose I should divulge it was written by my wife back when she went vegetarian for a while. She still keeps her pledge to keep “pork off your fork”, but she just couldn’t give up chicken.

What is a fuel cell?

Posted by admin on Nov 11th, 2008
2008
Nov 11

We hear about them all the time in all types of mediums. “Fuel cells are the future!”, “fuel cells will save the environment”, “fuel cells are…” well – where are they? Better yet, what *exactly* are they? If we pay any attention to the media at any level then we all have, at least, a very basic understanding of them. They are some type of container that holds a water like solution that reacts with hydrogen molecules to produce (dc) electricity. We also know that the only supposed byproduct of the process is water.


In my quest to learn more about fuel cells I came across some interesting web sites, two of which stood out above the rest in value in my opinion. One explains what a fuel cell is in basic terms, and the other is a product which enables people to build their own fuel cell vehicle (toy sized, of course) to learn about the whole process. Pretty cool stuff. I’m saving my money for the car kit!

Idle power control – phase 1 complete

Posted by admin on Nov 11th, 2008
2008
Nov 11

After a week (172.5 hours to be exact, or 7 days 4 hours and 30 minutes) I finally have my results of my phantom power test. The total phantom power used in that time was 0.30 kW total – or 300 watts, almost 1/3rd of a kilowatt. Here’s more math for you:


Hours in a year = 8736.00
Test hours = 172
kW used = 0.30
8736 / 172 = 50.79 time measurement units
50.79 x 0.30 = 15.24 kW of phantom power used in one year by the XBox


As of 1am PST on Nov. 11th, I’ve got the X10 appliance module plugged into the Kill-a-watt, the XBox plugged into the appliance module, and the module is “on”. I’ll need to figure out a good way to power on and off the module. I have two basic options. I can manually use the X10 remote used with the modules and turn off the unit before I go to work (@8:30am), and then turn it on after I get home (@around 8:30pm). The other option is to put my laptop out in the garage (where the test is being conducted), and set up a cron job to automatically turn the module on/off. I’m leaning towards the laptop option, but I’m not certain yet.


The main purpose of this part of the test is to see if using the module to totally cut power to the XBox actually saves any electricity or if the module itself will use as much, or more, power. I’m guessing it will actually use more since the module will always be in a powered state – and the amount of electricity saved by cutting the power to the XBox will be overridden and amplified by the constant draw of the module. We’ll find out in a week.


UPDATE: I’ve changed my mind about using the module to regulate the power flow to the XBox. Instead, I’m going to leave everything just the way it is but leave the module in the “on” mode for the entire week. That way we can see how much additional power the module utilizes in addition to the XBox.