Rising Commodity Prices Causing New Turmoil Through The Mining Sector

Rising Commodity Prices Causing New Turmoil Through The Mining Sector

The Gold and Silver Index (XAU) is holding steady above 120, having reached a high above 156 in January, a level it had not seen since September 18, 1987.
The spot uranium price is higher than it’s been since January 1980. Crude oil? Filling up your gas tank should remind you that oil prices are still painfully high. So all of this must mean mining companies are thrilled with their good fortune? WRONG! There’s a snowballing crisis in the mining sector, which has been kept off the typical investor’s radar screen. This new emergency could drive commodity prices to even higher levels over the coming months, and possibly until the end of the decade.

The two-decade long bear market drove many geologists out of the mining sector. Drilling companies went bankrupt. Even with the recent explosion of activity in the mining sector, exploration in the sector is less than one-third of its peak in 1981, when more than 5,500 drill rigs were running.

The mining sector’s labor and drill rig shortage has gone past the “we’re in a crisis” stage. Without qualified geological staff and drill rigs for exploration and development programs, companies may fail to get their projects online fast enough to satisfy the worldwide demand for their metals, whether it is gold, silver, copper, or uranium. The Baker Hughes North American rotary rig count is a good barometer of how strongly the commodities boom has impacted the sector. In 1999, the U.S. and Canadian drill rig count reached its nadir of 488. On March 17th, the number stood at 1546 and climbing. Over the past seven years, the count jumped 316 percent. Compared to a year ago, the North American Rotary Rig Count is up by nearly 20 percent.

During the course of our three-month investigation, we found the labor and equipment shortage applied not only to uranium but also to coal, oil and gas, coal bed methane and precious metals exploration. Ed Calvert, who runs Nucor Drilling Inc in Wyoming, exclaimed, “There just aren’t any rigs available in the U.S. You may find one, but it’s a problem finding the right rig at the right time.” His company began searching for a drill rig in September for drilling scheduled to commence June 1st. Calvert explained that the big oil companies had signed up rig contracts so they wouldn’t get caught short, adding, “Whether the rigs are being used daily or not, they are paying the fees to hold them.”

Vancouver-based Max Resources announced in early January of this year they had received permits to drill on their Thomas Mountain uranium prospect in Utah. They hoped to drill in late January, depending upon drill rig availability. Max Resources recently announced it planned to start drilling on or about the middle of March. Norman Burmeister planned more wisely, announcing in mid January Kilgore Minerals would drill the company’s Idaho gold property in July.

The drill rig shortage pales when compared to the frighteningly tight labor market in the mining sector. According to the February 2006 Employment Situation Summary, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, “Mining continued its upward trend in February, adding 5,000 jobs.” Cynthia Pomeroy, Director of Wyoming’s Department of Employment confirmed the crisis, “There is definitely a labor shortage.”

Matt Grant, assistant director of the Wyoming Mining Association adamantly announced, “There are 800 direct job openings in the mining business that could be filled today.” He quickly noted another 2400 indirect jobs to service the mining industry remain empty, begging for bodies to satisfy those positions. Starting geologists make between $35,000 and $50,000 annually. Top geologists command $200,000 and higher. Mining consultants get $800-1000/day. Even day helpers on drill rigs can charge $22/hour or more. Wyoming state and county development associations have attended job fairs in Michigan earnestly trying to fill the growing job vacancy by recruiting laid-off auto workers.

David Michaud, president of TheJobPit.com, finds jobs for geologists, metallurgists and others in the mining sector. A mining engineer and consulting metallurgist, having graduated from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, and until recently the operations manager for Corriente Resources in Ecuador, he began his internet employment agency for the mining sector because the demand was overwhelming. “Headhunters who have been around for twenty years say they’ve never seen a market like this,” Michaud stressed. “For the last ten years, the mining industry fed mining graduates to the wolves. Now they need them. All are busy with no takers to those far away places.” Michaud lambasted the mining companies for their lack of foresight, “Mining companies have to expect the demand for professionals, such as production geologists, will go up with the price of metals. There were no jobs for the past eight years.” He added, “It takes two to five years to train them.”

For example, Michaud is desperately trying to fill a South American mining company’s job opening for an experienced metallurgist. “Free housing, two cars, four weeks off annually, two plane tickets, basically no living expenses, and a salary starting at US$150, 000,” Michaud sadly explained because no one has jumped at the offer. “In the field of metallurgy, including mill managers, metallurgical engineers, techs and operators, about 150 new jobs are offered each month.” Only about one-half will be filled. Michaud warned the copper mining companies were in especially dire straits to fill new job openings.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration announced in its most recently published annual report, “The U.S. uranium production industry initiated a turnaround in 2004. All U.S. uranium drilling, mining, production, and employment activities increased for the first time since 1998. More companies conducted exploration and development drilling than in the prior 2 years. Employment in the U.S. uranium production industry totaled 420 person-years, an increase of 31 percent from the 2003 total. Wyoming accounted for 33 percent of the total 2004 employment, while Colorado and Texas employment almost tripled since 2003. Overall, $86.9 million went to drilling, production, land, exploration, reclamation and restoration activities in 2004.”

While the spot uranium price continues rising, exploration companies may find it harder to recruit veteran uranium geologists, to sign contracts for drill rigs, and to operate those rigs. Nucor’s Calvert laughed, “Finding and keeping employees is definitely a problem.” Michaud explained, “Finding a metallurgist is hard enough. Finding one with uranium experience is almost impossible.” David Miller, president of Strathmore Minerals, lamented, “Expertise in the uranium industry started with geologists who made discoveries in the late 1940s through the late 1970s. They trained the next generation, which coincided with the 1970s uranium boom. That boom was short lived and fizzled out by 1981. A very small number of professionals continued in the uranium industry, during the twenty-year bear market. Now that the number of uranium companies has skyrocketed to more than 420, there is a potentially catastrophic shortage of uranium expertise.” The generation gap has come to haunt the industry.

What’s the solution? Many, such as Michaud, believe, “Retired baby boomers are coming out of retirement to fill the generational gap and ride their last metal rush into the sunset.” Bloomberg News ran a story on December 8th discussing developments in the oil sector, “U.S. producers and contractors such as Ryder Scott, which assesses drilling projects and oil and natural-gas reserves, are working harder to keep their oldest employees and recruit college graduates because there aren’t enough new engineers to go around. Engineers who help find petroleum deposits are in demand…”

Aging talent has found its way back into the uranium sector. Aging geologists such as Dr. Boen Tan, who helped discover two of the Key Lake uranium deposits in Canada’s uranium-rich Athabasca Basin in the early 1970s, is now helping Forum Development explore for new uranium deposits at its Costigan Lake, Key Lake Road and Maurice Point projects in Athabasca. Uranerz Energy’s entire advisory board consists of former Uranerz professionals, including top geologists, Dr. Franz Dahlkamp and Dr. Gerhard Ruhrmann. Respectively, they have 45 and nearly 30 years experience in the sector. Strathmore Minerals geological team includes former Pathfinder Mines employees, a subsidiary of Cogema, including board member Dieter Krewedl, President David Miller, and vice president of technical services, John DeJoia. Some of these companies bring more than 200 years of experience, collectively, to their new ventures. But without sufficient new mining school graduates to mentor under them, future exploration and development may become stalled.

What is troubling about the uranium market, in particular, is that the soaring spot uranium price shows no signs of abating. The crisis comes at a time when President Bush announced his nuclear initiative, as more U.S. utilities plan to add to the country’s nuclear fleet, and as China and India clamor for a reliable source of uranium to fuel their aggressive nuclear energy programs. Without uranium for those reactors, the power plants won’t produce the electricity required to meet their demand. As an aside, uranium mining is the stage in the nuclear fuel cycle where the environmentalist fanatics are baring their teeth. This past November, an office manager at Albuquerque’s Southwest Research and Information Center, an anti-nuclear activist group reportedly funded by Mott’s Applesauce and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, told us when we went undercover, “We want to stop the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle, which is uranium mining.”

Don’t say the warnings weren’t made well in advance. At the World Nuclear Association (WNA) Symposium in 2004, Dr Moukhtar Dzhakishev, a Russian physicist and a former deputy minister of energy and mineral resources, presented his conclusions, “Firstly, natural uranium mining capacities cannot satisfy reactor requirements. Secondly, accumulated uranium inventories will be exhausted sooner or later. Thirdly, the spot price does not reflect the actual problems and, on the contrary, is capable of misleading all of us about the urgency of investments to be made in the development of new mining facilities.”

In his speech, Dr. Dzhakishev emphasized to the WNA, “Judging by these facts, the conclusion is evident: one day nuclear power plants will face a natural uranium shortage and it is not necessary to be a prophet to foresee this. It is clear today that the key to the solution of the major problems of the uranium market lies with the development of the potential of the uranium producers.”

This past August, Angela Jameson reported in the online version of The London Times, “A GLOBAL shortage of uranium could jeopardise plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain… a recent report by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada said that there was likely to be a 45,000-tonne shortage of uranium in the next decade, largely because of growing Chinese demand for the metal.”

The upward spiral of the commodities boom is racing ahead at full speed. Depending upon whom you talk to, the labor and drill rig shortage is either very bad or worse than you can possibly imagine. If there are commodity inventory shortages right now, what happens by the end of this year, or later this decade, if current exploration efforts get grounded because companies lack the trained personnel, the proper equipment and the expertise to explore and/or develop their properties? You can’t run a drill rig if you can’t get your hands on one. You can’t drill the property if you can’t find drillers to run the rig. While commodities prices soar to levels not seen in twenty or thirty years, the tight labor and equipment market could ratchet prices to much higher levels. And junior uranium development companies, with proven pounds-in-the-ground assets, should become sought-after acquisition targets by those who have the staff and drill rigs to bring the projects online.

For investors, the labor and drill rig shortage has a silver lining. As inventories dwindle lower, commodity prices will continue rising. For junior uranium investors, this might someday be realized as the “hidden reason” why spot uranium prices continued rising past $40/pound. If you don’t drill for the commodity, you can’t find it and develop it. This strengthens the case for $50/pound uranium in the near future. Now we understand why Strathmore Minerals’ David Miller warned us in November, “I wouldn’t be surprised to see uranium prices double again.”

Solar Power- How Does It Save The Environment

Solar Power- How Does It Save The Environment

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Source: Flickr

You’ve probably heard a lot about solar energy and how efficient it is. Moreover, over the last few years, there have been several moves to see how effectively we can use solar power in an attempt to alleviate the energy crisis that the world faces. So, how does using solar energy fit into the bigger picture of protecting our environment? The point is that even small changes in the way we do things go a long way in terms of saving our environment.

Solar energy is a renewable energy source
The sun offers us a great source of renewable energy; it’s been around for over four billion years and is likely to stay around for another five billion years, during its life it will supply us with a steady stream of energy. So, apart from the obvious fact of solar energy is in abundance, people who are environmentally conscious find that using solar energy is an excellent way to help protect the environment.
But what makes solar energy an attractive option is the fact that unlike polluting fossil fuels, its availability is not governed by the oil industry, an industry that is riddled with capitalistic individuals, and influenced heavily by several geographic and political factors that invariably affect the supply.
Solar Energy on the other hand is a clean environmentally friendly energy resource and a very viable alternative to existing fossil fuels that pollute our lands, water and air, threaten our health, and contribute substantially to global warming.

Solar energy transformed into thermal (or heat) energy can be used to:
* Cook food – Using Solar Cookers
* Heat water – in Houses, Office Buildings, or Swimming Pools.
* Heat closed spaces – a Greenhouse, a House or even other Buildings.

Solar energy can also be converted to electricity by using:
* Photovoltaic devices or “solar cells” that transforms sunlight into electricity. These systems are often used in areas with no regular electricity supply. Some common devices that are sometimes powered by these solar cells include, street lights, road signs and some gadgets like watches and even calculators.
* Solar Power Plants are electricity generating plants that use thermal energy obtained from the suns radiation to super heat liquids that in turn become steam and rotate the turbines of a generator to generate electricity.

How can solar power rescue the environment?
For starters, switching over to solar power would help cut back our dependence on organic fuels. This in itself is a huge saving, reduced hydrocarbons and emissions in the air, mean fresh cleaner air. Some ripple down effects would be, controlling the global warming, less acid rain, no smog the list can go on and on, however, let me elaborate some of the better know environmental benefits.
Decrease air pollution

The most commonly obvious benefit is the fact that by using solar energy we are able to reduce the levels of pollution. As we reduce the amount of fossil fuels being burnt and switch over instead to solar power from our needs there is a corresponding decrease in the amount of pollution produced. Solar electrification in some rural areas also decreases the dependence of the electricity grid and generators that run on petrol or diesel.

Offsets greenhouse gases
Solar Cell (PV systems) generates electricity with absolutely no carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. This in turn plays a significant step in reducing the overall greenhouse effect that we face. Apparently studies show that approximately six tons of carbon emissions are offset through the use of a single Solar cell over a period of twenty five years.
Conserve energy

The world over, and especially the third world countries have begun to embrace the conservation and use of solar electricity through several conservations programs to help conserve power for urban areas, city lighting as well as commercial and industrial needs. While solar plants and other forms of decentralised solar generated energy is used to serve the basic power consumption needs in the majority of the developing areas.

Reduces discarding dry cell batteries
People in several countries around the world rely heavily on the use of small dry-cell batteries for various gadgets, like flashlights and radio’s. These batteries are primarily composed of lead acid and sometimes other materials that can be toxic to us. When the battery is improperly disposed off, they start leaking; toxic chemical contents seep into the surroundings and contaminate the soil, water or air around it. By switching over to the use of solar energy the dependence on dry cells batteries reduces drastically and consequently all issues associated with its disposal.

Low cost energy alternative
Using solar energy at home substantially reduces the need for dependence on electricity or gas. Solar panels placed on your roof top collect the solar energy and store them away in batteries for later use. This power can be used to power up lights around the house in the evenings or when it is dark. Solar thermal converts can be used to heat water that or even your home again offering substantial savings on those fronts. Solar cooking ovens could be used during the day for baking and cooking meals.

The use of “Solar Energy”, a fresh, clean, free and abundant source of renewable energy will over the course of time reduce our dependence on other sources of energy that aren’t as helpful to our environment. If you want to make a difference to the world you live in, this is a wonderful place to start.

The Little Web Hosting Service That Shouldn’t

The Little Web Hosting Service That Shouldn’t

William Otoole on Twitter:
Source: Flickr

Is bigger better?

Everyone has their own opinion on that, including web hosting companies. They say it is. That’s why when you look at their hosting packages, the feature list goes on and on and on. You’d think they cover their customers in gold with how much they apparently give away. Mail accounts, shopping carts, disk space, diesel generators – the works! But wait, along with that huge list of items you get, comes that huge price. Maybe you think you need all that stuff, though, so the price is justified. I mean why else would they include all this stuff if you didn’t actually need it, right? You might not like the answer. The unfortunate but TRUE answer is that they believe the more features you see, the more likely you are to PURCHASE.

How do you fight back? By actually evaluating what it is they offer and figuring out if you’ll actually NEED it. Why pay for something you won’t use? If you’re going to do that then, please – I need a new pair of shoes!

What you DON’T need.
Ok, let’s look at some of the commonly useless items found on these lists.

Bandwidth. Basically that means “action” or “traffic”. How much “action” do you think your site is going to get per month? Here’s a great tip: if this is your first time, start out expecting less traffic. Most companies can give you that upgrade if you need it with a click of the button. Most people, though, are paying for bandwidth they NEVER use.

SSL. It stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and it means you have a secure server. It’s a great thing to have IF you plan to accept credit card payments. You may also see shopping cart software, also useful if you have an Internet business. However, there are well over a billion Internet pages and the vast majority of them are not there to accept payments. Most of the Internet is simply about free information – giving it out and searching for it. Again, don’t pay for something you simply don’t need.

Search Engine Submissions. Sounds great, except most of the search engines are free to be a part of anyway. And if you are really looking to be ranked in the top 10 or 20, you’re going to need to hire a professional. Don’t think that because it says “free search engine submissions” that it will help your site rank higher. That’s a business of its own.

Scripts. A script is a type of computer language like ASP, JSP, PHP, etc… If you could just pick the ones that you plan to use, that would be nice. But -whether you use 1, 2, or 4 – you’re going to pay for all 12 every month. It is more wasted money that most people just don’t pay attention to.

Catch-all Email accounts. Here’s how they work: I want to spam your website so I type in webhost@yourdomain.com. You think you won’t receive my spam email because you never created an account called “webhost”. Well, if you DIDN’T have a catch-all email account, you wouldn’t get my spam, but since you do have a catch-all email account – who knows what I can dump into that bin. If someone can’t get even the first part of your email address correct, do you really want to receive that email?

Be Smart.
This small list is just a part of the actual list. The full list of useless material you pay for would at least double this one. Imagine how that affects your bill. So, as you are shopping around for your web host, first understand what you NEED and then find a trusted company that matches that. Because anything else is just flushing your money away.

Learn About Fuel Catalysts

Learn About Fuel Catalysts

What would you say if I told you there’s a product you could use that would increase your car’s horsepower, decrease its emissions, and get you better gas mileage? You’d probably be totally for it or think I was completely insane. Well, I know of a product that does all the above. Fuel catalysts are simply chemicals, usually in liquid or pill form, that you add into your gas tank. After a short time, you’ll get better gas mileage, more power, and be helping the environment. And fuel catalysts not only work in cars, vans, and SUVs; they also work in motorcycles, boats, RVs, farm equipment, generators, and pretty much anything that uses petroleum based fuels. If these products sound like something you’re interesting in, just read on.

I’ve already told you what these fuel catalysts can do, but you’re also probably wondering what they are and how they work. A catalyst in a reaction is an extra ingredient that makes the reaction go faster or more efficiently. In the case of fuel catalysts, they make the reaction of burning fuel more efficient. They don’t actually mix with your gasoline; they chemically alter in to a different substance. This new type of fuel burns better than regular gasoline, making it more efficient.

So, how does this make your vehicle run better? When your vehicle runs normally, 85% of the energy produced by the reaction is heat. This means that only 15% of the energy is actually going into running your engine. Also, there are a lot of byproducts produced that build up in your engine, making it even less efficient. When you add a fuel catalyst, the burning of gasoline or diesel becomes more efficient. This makes the engine operate at a lower temperature; meaning that less of the energy is being lost as heat and more of the energy is being used to power your car. This increases your car’s horsepower and gas mileage. Adding a catalyst also produces fewer byproducts because of the increased efficiency of the reaction, meaning less buildup in your engine and even more efficiency. A cleaner engine also means that you’ll have fewer breakdowns and need fewer tune-ups. This saves you even more money!

I also mentioned earlier that these fuel additives help reduce pollution. When a catalyst is added to a reaction, this means more of the final product in produced and byproducts are reduced. The muck in your engine is one bad byproduct, but it’s not the only one. When fuel burns more efficiently, it produces more carbon dioxide and less carbon monoxide. You may think “but isn’t carbon dioxide bad?” Well, yes, but carbon monoxide is more toxic. Plus, even though you’re getting more carbon dioxide from each gallon; you’re burning fewer gallons overall, so it’s not really bad.

I’ve given you as much information about these products as I can, but I understand you may still be skeptical. The best way to find out if these products really work is to try them yourself. What I must warn you against is trying one dose of one of these products and then saying that it doesn’t work because there was little improvement. Depending on the age of your vehicle, there may be a whole lot of gunk inside it that needs to be cleaned out. It may take using one of these products several times to see noticeable results. So, if you’re really serious about saving money on gas and repairs, or on helping the environment; then you should stick with it before you decide this isn’t working for you.

Alternative Energy Sources – The Best Aid in Times of Crisis

Alternative Energy Sources – The Best Aid in Times of Crisis

You have been hearing all about it. It seems to be a big problem now all around the globe. Energy crisis is something that people can be blamed for. But it is too late now to point fingers to whoever committed the biggest mistake. What you can do to do your share in helping to solve the root of the problem is by finding and using available alternative energy sources.

Look around you. Amidst all the technological advancements, you will still be amazed at how nature provides for all the needs of mankind. But through the years, this has been overlooked and taken advantage of. This resulted to the energy crisis that we have now. But you cannot turn back the time to undo the damage. The best thing that you can do is to help resolve the problem or reduce it even with your own little means.

But first, do you know the available renewable sources of energy that surrounds you. It is everywhere. Look up and there is the sun that produces solar power. The sun’s rays are converted into electricity through solar cells, solar thermal panels, parabolic mirrors and other medium.

Look underneath. Did you know that the heat coming from the ground can also be turned into energy resources? There are holes that are being drilled in certain regions to find steam that are being produced by the heat underneath. The steam is purified to be used as power to electric generators.

Feel the air. The wind can also create energy as this drives the blades of the wind turbines. This rotation produces electrical current that can be utilized through electrical generator. In 2005, it was reported that the capacity of the wind-powered generators reaches up to 58,982 megawatts.

Hydroelectric energy comes from water. The later can be used for its kinetic energy or the tidal power to produce the energy. It can also be contained in a dam that harness the gravitational fall of a river to become the energy source.

Crisis Alert Now more than ever is the time to act to make use of the available renewable energy resource like the abovementioned. Aside from the fact that they are free, they will be available as long as you know how to care for your environment.

There are methods and studies being conducted by experts worldwide to find ways on how to improve on the utilization of these available sources of energy. People must learn to slowly detach themselves on being too dependent on the use of energy sources that are non-renewable. In a matter of years, the latter will decrease until they slowly diminish. Are you going to wait for that time to come when all along, if you will only look around, you will discover how nature provided for everything that you need. All you have to do is to find ways on how to use them wisely.

Time to Care Upon finding the means on how you can make use of the available resources around you, the next thing that you have to make certain of is how you will care for such. Once in a while, it will be okay to pause from your busy life to look back and give gratitude to where it is due.

You can do your share of caring for these available alternative energy sources by being a good citizen who cares for your environment. You can start in your own simple ways like not adding up to the pollution, planting plants and trees and supporting products that do not contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

What Electricians Can Do

What Electricians Can Do

If we did not have electricians then there would be no lights, computers or TV’s in our homes anywhere. Electricians are skilled professionals that bring electricity in to our homes and make everything operate and work properly. They safely install wires that carry all the electricity through our homes, offices and also the factories we work in. Electricians are able to fix any kind of electrical problems we have in our homes and our businesses. They are skilled workers that have been trained to know how to deal with all electrical problems and fix them properly and safely.

Electricians may start off by reading blueprints that shows just how electricity flows. These blueprints will show them where to put in wiring, electrical equipment and even outlets for the plugs. If electricians get a job where they work on new buildings they draw up new blueprints. Electricians install pipes and tubes inside of the walls. And put boxes up on the walls to hold all the switches and outlets for the walls. They pull wiring through the tubes to connect up to the boxes. This makes a path that the electricity will be able to follow. And this path is called a circuit.

The electrician will add circuit breakers, transformers and other items to control the flow of the electricity. Electricians always make sure that the right amount of electricity runs to the machines that use it. Electricians have to follow strict rules when they are going to wire a building. When the electrician is done with their wiring, they use instruments like ohmmeters, voltmeters, and oscilloscopes in order to measure how much electricity is running through the system.

Electricians do a number of things like installing wires for a telephone, computer, fire alarm and a lot of other things in your home. Maintenance electricians can fix electrical machines and also broken wiring. Some electricians focus only on houses. They can rewire homes and can also replace an old fuse box if needed. By replacing a old fuse box it upgrades the electric in the house where more appliances can be ran.

Some electricians work mainly in factories. Fixing such items like motors and generators. It is also the electricians job to inspect equipment and repair it before it breaks down. They will inform managers on when to replace old equipment. And will install all the new electrical equipment back again. Electricians may use tools like wire strippers, knives, hacksaws and several power tools. Electricians tend to do a lot of standing and climb ladders. Electricians work in all weather conditions. They often work in dirty conditions with hot temperatures. And then sometimes they will work in clean conditions with comfortable temperatures.

All electricians everywhere should be careful on the job to avoid falls, cuts and electrical shock. They need to have good hand eye coordination and must be good at seeing the different colors of wiring. Some electricians often work during the night and also on weekends. Some electricians travel far distances to get to different jobs they are doing.

The Benefits of Solar Energy

The Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy will benefit a lot of people and not only the rich.
This is why some governments have increased funding for this type of technology because they are aware of its many benefits.

For one, solar energy is very cheap compared to other technologies. It is also renewable unlike coal or the rest which are non-renewable and hard to maintain.

It also improves the health of people since it does not produce any carbon dioxide emissions unlike kerosene lamps that give out fumes which are just as deadly as smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. It also reduces the incidents of fire that are often associated with the use of kerosene, candles, diesel fuel and gasoline for generators.

Solar energy is almost maintenance free because the solar cells used will last for 20 years or more before it has to be replaced. You just have to keep the panels clean so it is able to absorb sunlight and convert that into electricity.

These are also very useful in remote locations where power lines are not yet available. Some examples of these include fish houses, highway signs, marine applications, remote lighting and telecommunication.

If countries focus on solar energy and other renewable techniques, they will be able to conserve their foreign exchange because they no longer have to use it to pay for foreign oil. This money can then be used for other things such as health care, infrastructure projects and education.

Solar energy will also reduce your electricity bills because you are no longer dependent on electricity coming from the power company. The only downside to solar energy is the initial cost in setting it up.

Yes you will have to buy a lot of solar panels which are quite expensive but in the long run, you will be able to save more because you don’t have to pay for anything else to keep them running. Should the cost of solar cells be beyond your budget, you can probably invest in used systems first then try to acquire the brand new ones later on.

Another benefit of using solar energy is that you get to conserve fossil fuels and other natural resources that are quickly diminishing as a direct result of an increase in the world’s population which could compromise the needs of the future generations.

So should people get into solar energy? The answer is yes because it is safe, cheap and good for the environment. You only have to worry when the sun isn’t shining because when this happens, rays from the sun won’t be able to produce electricity so you have to rely on other means to get power. The same also goes when there is a blackout or brownout because you will soon lose power from your solar system.

The demand for solar energy is increasing and you should join in. Aside from reducing your electric bill, homeowners who use solar energy may claim up to $2,000 in federal investment tax credit in the first year while businesses may claim a 30% federal investment tax credit.

Believe it or not, solar energy has one other benefit and that it increases the value of your home. According to home appraisers, a dollar decrease in your energy bill results in a $20 increase in its property value so do the math and you can easily figure out how much your home will be worth after you decide to invest in solar energy.

Water for Gas: Raison D’etre

William Otoole on Twitter:
Source: Flickr

There has been a lot of buzz lately about converting your car to run on water, supplementing gas.
This water to gas technology has been proven true for a long time already. But this technology is just starting to capture the market. Using water to supplement gas is also called Brown’s Gas or Hydroxy. Who would not be interested? With the prices of gasoline reaching as much as $6.48 per gallon internationally, everyone seems to be looking for other ways to cut down their expenses.

Most of the people who tried this technology has cited specific reasons why they have decided to use this innovation. The main reason will be definitely to save on gas. Since the car will be running on an alternative kind of fuel, it is therefore no affected by the rise and fall of gas prices to the same degree when using an ordinary car powered by gasoline. It works with diesel or gas powered cars, vans, trucks and SUVs. Reports showed that converting your car to run on water and gas can save you up to $200 a month, this adds up to $2400 a year.

Since this is environmental friendly innovation, customers are said to feel happy and proud to be able to produce cleaner emissions and help in preventing global warming. That would be aside from the fact that IRS will be giving refunds according to the law because of using green technology for your vehicle.

Purchasing the parts and installation is inexpensive and easy. In the market, there would be five big sites to check. These would be Water4Gas, runyourcaronwater, Fueltrips, drivewithwaterfuel, and wam-a-bam. Their prices range from $60 to $120. That would include the kit or equipment like the electrolyzer, sensor enhancer, vaporizer, fuel heater, PCV Enhancer, Fuse holder and wiring, vacuum T-connector, vacuum hoses, mechanical installation hardware and the catalyst.

Little maintenance is also one of the primary reasons why people are being attracted to use Brown’s Gas. For Water4Gas, maintenance could just be 5 minutes a week. You just have to add ½ cup of water weekly and 3 cups of distilled water every 3-6 weeks. You just also have to make sure to put1 teaspoon of baking soda weekly which you can grab from your kitchen. While drivewithwaterfuel.com and fueltrips.com, you can just use plain tap water.

Some customers would even say that they would notice their engines to run smoother and with more power. There are even some findings that with the water to gas technology customers were able to get better mileage on every tank of gas. Some would say that they would get 20% even up to 100% better mileage!

Now there would always be people who would worry if there would be safety hazards. Since what these vehicles are using are not pure Hydrogen it is not combustible and explosive. Since hydrogen is combines with oxygen and water vapour, it makes it safe. What these vehicles generate are HHO (2 Hydrogen + 1 Oxygen) or H2O, which is water. Also these hydrogen generators do not use other chemicals aside from the pure baking soda.

Based on all of these, a lot of people suddenly are becoming more aware of running vehicles with Brown’s Gas. Definitely, with this said technology, need for survival pushes man to discover and produce technology for his existence.

More Hybrid SUVs in 2005

More Hybrid SUVs in 2005

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Source: Flickr

It is common knowledge among car enthusiasts and car owners that the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the amount of fuel it consumes. With this in mind, several automobile producers have begun diverting a big chunk of their efforts to producing more hybrid 4x4s in the year 2005.
Taking on the Fleet First. The big three – Ford, Dodge and General Motors have seemed to agree that 2005 is the perfect opportunity to introduce the hybrid versions of some very popular vehicles.
Ford Introduces the Ford Escape Hybrid, the first vehicle to combine SUV capability with the outstanding fuel economy and low environmental impact of a full hybrid. “Full” hybrid means it automatically switches between pure electric power, pure gasoline or diesel engine power or a combined operation to optimize efficiency and performance. The no frills Escape Hybrid drives normally, performs superbly and offers all the features you’d expect from the SUV leader. The Hybrid Ford Escape features lots of room, comfortable seating for five, an adaptable cargo area, 1000-pound towing capacity, and an optional Intelligent 4WD System which produces the same all-weather grip and off-road competence available in conventional Escape models.
Full hybrids can achieve 50% or more improvement in fuel economy during traffic induced stop-and-go type of driving, wherein the electric motor is most efficient. The Escape Hybrid delivers more than 75% fuel economy improvement in city driving when weighed against a conventional V-6 powered Escape XLT. The Escape Hybrid can travel more than 400 miles in city driving on a single tank of gasoline.
Ford has already manufactured and sold the 4,000 units Ford Escape Hybrid in 2004 and its resounding success has prompted it to build a “modest” 20,000 more for 2005. Ford wants to make sure it is not just a fad and people would see the practical, economical and environmental impact a Hybrid vehicle can induce. The Escape Hybrid costs $3,300 more than the V-6 powered Escape.
Dodge and General Motors follow suit.
Ford has been the first to produce and set the bar in the large vehicle Hybrid market segment and Dodge and GM cannot afford to lag behind. General Motors and Dodge are not that far behind though. In the last quarter of 2004, General Motors introduced electric hybrid versions of its 2005 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The trucks were only available to those who are in Florida, California, Nevada, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. GM expects to produce about 2,500 units in 2005 – 1,875 Silverados and 625 Sierras – with the hopes of launching the vehicles on a national scale by 2006. Dodge manufactured only 100 diesel-electric 2005 RAM pickups, targeted for utility company fleets. The diesel will produce better fuel economy, with an additional 15% mpg boost over the conventional diesel Ram coming from the electric side. Diesels are generally considered more “environmentally disastrous” on the ecological front. The Dodge Ram Diesel Hybrid is expected to sell for around $40,000 a somewhat larger cost than the non-hybrid models.
Heftier Price Tags. Although the price tags may vary from state to state, the average increase for the cost for a Hybrid option may run well up to $3,000. The GM versions of the Hybrid engine are soft-hybrids, which mean that an electric motor provides a boost up on accelerations. The GM version of a hybrid large vehicle has a stop-start system that turns off the gasoline engine at traffic lights. It possesses a 120-volt, 2,400-watt generator system that can provide power for electrical equipments. The Silverado and Sierra hybrids also serves as power generators, with two conventional, three-prong plug-ins that can be found under the rear seat, two extra plug-ins can also be found in the rear bed of the trucks. The four 120-volt, 20 amp electrical supplementary power outlets can supply power for electric coolers, electric ranges, sound systems video consoles and other electrical equipments that can be lugged around. The power supply can be utilized while the engine is running or even after the engine is cut and the keys are taken out of the ignition. Ground fault detection systems are installed in the power supply circuits so that overloads and short circuits can be prevented. According to General Motors, the new hybrid pickups could sustain enough power to last for up to 32 hours non-stop before needing to fill the tank again. This function new feature proved to be very useful when GM loaned some of their new Hybrids’ to hurricane stricken Florida when they were used for some relief operations, they were vital in some areas were electricity was incapacitated. The hybrid models of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks are foreseen to develop fuel savings of up to 10% over analogous trucks without the hybrid benefit.
How exactly do Hybrids get such Fantastic Mileage?
HV’s (Hybrid Vehicles) are principally powered by an internal combustion engine, much like any ordinary vehicles. However, they also transform the energy that is normally wasted during stop and go operations into electricity, which is stored in a battery until the moment it is needed by the electric motor. The electric motor is utilized to support the engine when accelerating or doing some uphill driving and in low-speed driving operations where internal combustion engines are least efficient. Some Hybrid Vehicles also automatically shut off the engine when the vehicle is idling and restarts the internal combustion engine when the accelerator is depressed. This avoids exhausted fuel when the vehicle is not in motion. Unlike all-electric vehicles, HV’s that are being produced today do not need to be plugged into an external source of electricity to be recharged, the energy provided by the engine and the braking force charges the batteries.
Is it worth the fuss and the costs? It all boils down to one thing, Large Hybrid Vehicles cost more than their non-hybrid counterparts. Deciding on the advantages though is not that hard. You get better mileage, companies save on fuel consumption, electric motors are all the rage plus you get to help the environment. Also, the hybrid SUV’s pay for themselves in the long run, costs may be cut through tax incentives and decreased fuel consumption help to offset the price difference. Determining the cost-savings ratio would be one factor many car manufacturers will keep in mind while keeping close scrutiny in their products. Nevertheless a large hybrid vehicle may just be the thing the future needs.

Camper Accessories

Camper Accessories

Owning a camper doesn’t really mean just buying the vehicle. Sometimes it also means constant improvements and modifications to your camper when you start to use it and find out that it lacks some useful furnishings or needs additional things that would make it more comfortable and convenient for your long or short camping needs. Different camper accessories could answer to theses needs.

Here are some camper accessories that you may find useful for your camper:

37ft.-40ft Classic Deluxe RV Cover
This camper accessory is a triple layer polypropylene cover stops rain while venting moisture to protect RVs, campers, trailers and fifth wheels. It has a rugged UV-resistant fabric with elasticized corners for custom fit. Storage bag and tie-downs included.
Price: $299.99

Masterbuilt Hitch-Haul Triple Bike Rack Accessory
These camper accessories are designed for use with the Hitch-Haul cargo carrier Carry up to 3 bikes Features a tie-down strap and 3 U-shaped steel, stabilizing support arms.
Price: $24.99

Solar II Inside Windshield Cover
These high-quality protective covers camper accessories are available for many popular makes and models of motorhomes, to protect you from the blinding rays of the sun while driving your camper. Special Solar Guard Screen design lets in natural light, not the heat, and eliminates up to 85% of the sun’s harmful rays. It protects your motorhome’s dashboard and interior upholstery from fading, and keeps your motorhome cooler while allowing full vision from the inside, and allows privacy from the outside (daytime).
Price: $145.00 – $205.00

King Dome Automatic, Dual LNB – 12 (RV Satellite)
The King Dome Automatic satellite camper accessories are one of the most affordable dome covered RV satellite system available. A touch button lets the electronic controller position the internal dish for optimal reception of hundreds of available channels. No need to manually adjust the dish, the King-Dome quickly locates and locks on the correct signal automatically. The convenient on-screen program guide gets you up-to-the minute news, weather and sports as well as pay-per-view movies and events.
Price: $978.88

Camper Accessories -Yachtubs
One of the most luxurious experiences on vacation is your hot tub. Until now taking a hot tub with you has been impossible, but not any more. This camper accessory is an inflatable tub designed to be setup next to your motor coach, heated and ready to use in just 1-3 hours. The tub is heated via the motor coach’s diesel hydronic (hot water) heater, electric heat using the generator or propane.
Price: $2890.00

G-2000 Automatic Patio Awning
The Girard G-2000 awning offers you motorized operation with push button activation (and or remote control), giving you flexibility to open and close the awning as much or as little as you want, because of the lateral arm design, Girard awnings present no obstructions when walking underneath. Once closed the housing box completely protects the awning fabric from exposure to weather, hence greater product longevity is achieved.
Price: $3790.00

Other camper accessories would include RV generators, GPS navigations, power sources, security, shelters, towing protection, cameras, cleaners, safety products, screenrooms, and a lot more.