Thursday, 8 December 2011

Conserve Electricity - Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Electricity costs for lighting in the typical home can reach 12% or more in terms of your annual energy costs. So if you would like to know how to save electricity, you can conserve just by focusing on lighting. Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s) are the right energy saving light bulbs to save money on electricity bills and conserve electricity in the home.

To put this into perspective, that percentage is about the same that the average home uses for cooling and electronic appliances. We seem to spend more and more time reminding people in the house to turn off the lights when they are not in the room, etc.

Essentially they combine the energy efficiency of fluorescent lighting into energy saving light bulbs that can fit into incandescent fixtures. Energy star qualified CFL’s use approximately 75% less electricity that standard incandescent bulbs. These low energy light bulbs have a lifespan that is up to 10 times longer than standard bulbs. Therefore when you install energy efficient light bulb in your home, the resulting energy savings (electricity) is compounded over a longer period of time.

Where is energy saving CFL’s appropriate?

They are most energy efficient when used in locations requiring lighting for extended periods of time. So the first place to for installing them would be in the living room, bedrooms, kitchen, etc. You may not want to install them in a location where lights are only turned on for a few minutes (closet). You can do so; however the payback on efficiency (electricity savings) will be slower in comparison to other areas. If you are not sure, ENERGY STAR recommends using qualified CFL’s in lighting fixtures that are typically used at least 15 minutes at a time.

It is important to mention that CFL’s are sensitive to temperature ranges (specified normally on packaging) in which they work more optimal. Most common CFL’s are for indoor usage. There are models applicable for outdoor usage; in this case it is suggested to enclose them in fixtures in order to minimize the effect of the temperature sensitivity. This is not a must although you just need to check if they are weatherproof and can resists cold outside temperatures.

To conclude, introducing energy saving light bulbs in your home will allow you to conserve electricity and save money on electricity bills. Think about this the next time you need to replace a bulb, start conserving electricity and then reduce your energy costs!

Article Courtesy: Electricity Conservation

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Olden days of Electricity – See The Light

Electricity is known as the crusade or flow of electrically powered instruments. In the most common form used daily, it is generated by other energy sources (primary) therefore it is considered a secondary energy source. Today electricity signifies one of the most widely used forms of energy. Understanding its history helps us to recognize the importance of electricity conservation. 

When was electricity created?
The invention of electricity as we know it today dates back to a series of improvements or discoveries mainly back into the 1800’s. There were several key interpretations starting with static electricity as of 600 BC. From there multiple innovations took place which ultimately led to the creation and distribution of electricity that we have all become adapted to.

History of Electricity – Timeline Leading to Multiple Discoveries and Key Innovations
  • Around 600 BC a Greek named Thales discovered static electricity, notion that objects can become electrically charged.
  • In 1660 a machine was invented by Otto von Guericke that demonstrated static electricity.
  • During 1745-46, Georg Von Kleist developed the first electric capacitor, which stored electricity.
  • In 1752, Ben Franklin proved that static electricity and lightning were one of the same. This experiment is known as key tied to a kite string during a thunderstorm.
  • In 1800, Alessandro Volta invented the first electric battery. His name was used in creation of the notion of voltage (volt).
  • In 1821, the principle of electro-magnetic rotation was discovered by which later is essential for developing the electric motor.
  • In 1826, the relationship between power, voltage, current and resistance was defined by Georg Ohm which is now known as Ohms Law.
  • In 1831, Michael Faraday led experiments which proved that electricity can be induced by changes in an electromagnetic field. These experiments about how (electricity) current led to understanding of electrical transformers and motors.
  • In 1837, the electric motor was invented by Thomas Davenport which is now common in many electrical appliances.
  • In 1878-79, the Edison Electric Light Co. was founded by Thomas Edison, which after purchasing several patents, began experiments which led to the creation of a long lasting incandescent light bulb which originally lasted for about 40 hours. As of 1880, they were lasting for about 1200 hours.
  • In 1879, the California Electric Light Company was founded which is known as the first company providing and selling electricity to households in San Francisco.
  • In 1882, the Pearl Street Power Station in New York City was opened by Thomas Edison, which could power about 5,000 lights using direct current (DC). During the same period, the first hydroelectric station was opened in Wisconsin.
  • In 1884, an electric alternator for producing alternating current (AC) was invented by Nikola Tesla. During the same period a steam turbine generator was invented by Sir Charles Algernon Parsons.
  • In 1893, an alternating current (AC) system to light the Chicago World's Fair was put into place by The Westinghouse Electric Company.
  • During 1895-1896, The Niagara Falls hydro-power station opened in the US.
  • In 1935, the Roosevelt Administration passed the “New Deal" legislation designed to regulate public utilities and bring electricity to rural America.

Sources: US Department of Energy & Electricity Conservation Blog