Category Archives: Green Devices

Which should you buy – LED or CFL, and why?

When we consider home or office lighting, all of us are keen to save power and go green. So, switching from age old incandescent bulbs is a necessity. However, today, we have two alternatives to saving energy and going green – CFLs and LEDs. Hereon, let us see which should we switch to and why?

When we visit a home improvement store to source bulbs, the argument of CFL Vs LED is always at the forefront. This argument goes neither way since LEDs are more efficient than CFLs, but CFLs are comparatively much cheaper than LEDs. LEDs will pay for themselves over time, but many of us are not willing to invest today, at least not as much the difference that there is.

In the real world, the scenario is a little different. We need to understand that all of the above mentioned facts are true; however these are based on optimized laboratory environments. In real life, they do translate to truth; however, most of the stated efficiencies may not be as much.

As an example, a LED manufacturer claims to have developed an LED chip that can deliver 230+ lumens per watt. The same manufacturer does not sell LED bulbs in the market that are rated above 75 lumens per watt. Why? Because, the development was in a controlled environment and under entirely different conditions, far different from reality.



The above comparison chart shows that LEDs are far more efficient, however, some real world factor come in play here.

  1. Price: This is the clinching factor for the CFL. Though, it does not last as long, the cost of a CFL is about 33% of an LED. So, for replacement, a consumer might consider the end-of-life of a CFL before opting for an LED. Hereon opting for an LED will be a better choice although the price is three times since the cost of operation and the life of the LED beat the CFL hands down.
  2. Maintenance: In this scenario, LED bulbs are recommended since they come with zero maintenance costs and need to be replaced at the end of their life which is considerable at 25,000 hours.

Also, consider that an LED is non-toxic and gives out much cooler light compared to the CFL. LED is technical marvel and is the future of domestic as well as commercial lighting considering that it is an eco-lighting solution in addition to being cost effective and efficient.

All in all, the price of an LED lamp may deter the best of customers, but once they stop and think in terms of energy savings and shelf-life, the decision would certainly go in favour of the LED.

Penn State develops CPV system for rooftops

Researchers at Penn State have developed a concentrating photovoltaic system that is small enough and light enough to be mounted on a building’s roof. "Concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems leverage the cost of high efficiency multi-junction solar cells by using inexpensive optics to concentrate sunlight onto them," explained Noel C. Giebink, assistant professor of electrical engineering, Penn State. "Current CPV systems are the size of billboards and have to be pointed very accurately...

New battery uses old batteries for greener energy storage

Energizer has developed the world’s first high-performance battery made with recycled batteries. The Energizer EcoAdvanced is a AA battery that is four percent made from recycled batteries. It is also Energizer’s highest performing alkaline battery, allowing users to power their devices with less impact on the planet. “Industry experts long believed it was impossible to create a battery made with recycled batteries while maintaining performance,” said Michelle Atkinson, chief marketing officer...

Advantage of green cloud computing

Green computing is the usage of computing resources in an energy- and resource-efficient manner. Part of it is using computers that have been Energy Star certified, which are designed to reduce electricity usage and also reduce the amount of harmful emissions into the environment. Another part is the adoption of practices, which contribute to green computing, under which cloud computing falls. 1. Seamless expansion Cloud computing can be used to re-provision resources within a business, so that the business doesn’t have to buy any more infras...

Bacteria producing sweet-smelling compound for greener fuels

A sweet-smelling chemical compound primarily used in fragrances and flavoring is being studied for its potential as a clean and green biofuel. Methyl ketones, used to provide scents to essential oils and flavoring in foods such as cheese, are naturally occurring compounds four in the aromatic evergreen plant known as rue. They have also been found in tomatoes and other plants, as well as in certain insects and microorganisms.Methyl ketones can also be used as a blending agent for cleaner and greener diesel fuel. The E.coli bacterium also creates methyl...

New polymer materials developed for better solar cells

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have developed new materials for more efficient polymer solar cells. The researchers found that temperature-controlled aggregation in a family of new semi-conducting polymers is the key to create flexible and lightweight organic solar cells that have a high solar efficiency and can be cheaply mass produced.NC State physicist Harald Ade and postdoctoral researcher Wei Ma had previously studied the morphology of polymer solar cells...

New oxygen-removing catalyst developed for better biofuel production

Researchers from Washington State University have developed a new catalyst that can remove oxygen from plant-based materials for a more efficient biofuel process. The researchers mix inexpensive iron with a tiny amount of rare palladium to make their catalysts. The new catalyst addresses one of the challenges in biofuel production which is grabbing carbon for fuel while removing oxygen. Too much oxygen, which is naturally found in plant material...

More ethanol-tolerant yeast for more biofuel production

Yeast is an important component in the ethanol production process; however, high concentrations of ethanol are toxic to yeast. In order to improve the ethanol production process, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working to boost yeast tolerance to ethanol. “Toxicity is probably the single most important problem in cost-effective biofuels production,” said George Stephanopoulos, the Willard Henry Dow Profes...

Increasing oil in plant leaves for better biofuels

Solar power could overtake all other sources of electricity by 2050, according to two reports released by the International Energy Agency. Based on the two documents released by I.E.A., solar photovoltaic systems could generate up to 16 percent of the world’s electricity by 2050, while solar thermal electricity from concentrating solar power plants could provide an additional 11 percent to the energy mix. Combined these solar energy technolo...

New solar absorber can harness solar radiation for heat and energy

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a material that can absorb more of the sun’s wavelengths for better conversion of the suns energy to heat. The material is a two-dimensional metallic dielectric photonic crystal that can absorb sunlight from a wide range of angles and withstand extremely high temperatures. It is also cheap and easy to make in large scales. The material was developed to work as part...