Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Comfort And Energy Savings Your Home With Winterizing

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The winter months can be very hard on your home. Unfortunately, they can also be hard on your wallet if your home isn't prepared for the onslaught of winter weather. Are you and your family warm and toasty during the winter months or do you find you are searching for ghost-like cold spots and cursing the mailman for bringing you higher energy bills?

Don't stress. Late summer and early autumn is the perfect time for winterizing your home. Below are a few tips from Galaxie Home Remodeling that will help you in preparing your home for the cold winter months ahead.

Check Doors and Windows

Cold winter air can seep through doors and windows. Storm windows provide a good barrier, but installing double pane windows is preferred. Energy-efficient thermal vinyl windows not only increase your energy savings, but keeps precious heat inside your house. If your budget prevents you from installing energy-efficient thermal vinyl windows, then look into less expensive alternatives such as clear plastic insulator kits. These popular DIY kits are easy to install and easier on the pocketbook. At least until you can replace the windows.

Check entry doors for a tight seal. Doors should fit nice and snug so cold winter air doesn't sneak in. Checking for leaks is as simple as holding a lit candle near door and window fittings. The flickering flame is a tell-tale sign that cold winter air will creep in. Steel insulated doors are best to keep old man winter at bay, but for a quick fix, try blocking small leaks with caulk or spray foam insulation.

Insulation

The insulation in your attic should be a minimum of R-38. Unfaced fiberglass insulation can be added on top of your current insulation. Make sure there is no paper backing on it, as this will help keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Not to mention lowering your energy bill.

An insulation blanket around and on top of your hot water heater, will also add to energy savings. If you have a recirculating pump, consider installing a timer so that your warm water is in the faucet right away, rather than running the water waiting for it to get hot. You can also set the timer to work during the hours you are normally using the most water. This will prevent the water from recirculating during your off peak hours and waste energy.

It is also helpful to visually inspect your furnace duct work, then wrap it with insulation. Duct work residing in colder places such as the basement or attic result in cooler heating temperatures. Insulation will help maintain those ambient air temperatures as the air travels through the ducts.

Heating

Don't forget to replace the filters on your furnace once a month and have it inspected by a professional before the winter season starts. Regular service of your furnace leads to optimal performance. Keep the furnace clear of clutter and debris and lubricate the motor as needed.

A programmable thermostat can significantly reduce your energy bill during the cold winter months. These devices will lower the heating temperature during the hours that you're at work, then move to a slightly higher temperature before you get home. After all, if no one is home why have the house nice and toasty? Recent studies indicate you can save up to $200 on your energy bill in just one winter by installing a programmable thermostat. In our opinion, this is a must for every home.

Thinking ahead about winterizing your home before the cold winter winds blow, not only makes good sense, but can lead to much needed savings in your energy budget.

Gas Versus Diesel Generator

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When a generator is required many people choose a diesel generator over a gas one. There are several reasons for this. Firstly the diesel generator naturally uses diesel fuel which is much cheaper to buy than petrol, so they are saving on the cost of running the generator. Diesel fuel is also easy to access, being available almost worldwide, so no matter where you live you should find no problems in accessing the fuel.
Many people have to store quantities of fuel on site or somewhere nearby since they cannot be running into town every few days. They may live in remote areas where access is difficult or be cut off by snow or flood. Diesel storage is much safer since diesel almost never explodes. It does not release a significant amount of inflammable vapour, so it is safer to store and use than gas.

Diesel generators, while significantly more expensive to start with, are going to last a great deal longer than other types of generators due to the heavy quality of the parts. They are ideal for situations where extreme weather is experienced for this reason. And don't forget that the cheaper running costs will help to recover the cost of purchase.
They take minimal maintenance which is another big benefit in their favour. No one wants to be forever pulling down a generator to see why it is not working. When it comes to generators that provide power you need reliability above everything else and that is what you can expect with a diesel generator.

The quality of the parts and the size may mean that the diesel generator is very heavy to transport, to load and unload. Thus special arrangements may need to be made to ensure that the heavy lifting can be managed more easily. Most construction or industrial sites would not find this a difficult chore as they would be equipped with men and machines to take care of heavy lifting. If the generator is for private use then special arrangements may be needed.

If service or parts are needed, it is such a common type of generator that nearly every mechanic will be able to fix it easily and in addition there is no trouble in accessing parts. You would not have to wait for parts to come in from another country, for instance, as you may with certain car brands.

Diesel generators are extremely versatile as they can be used for both mechanical energy and electrical output. You can therefore get diesel generators that suit more than one need, thus saving costs.

There are a few disadvantages in diesel generators which may or may not be a bother. They are noisier than their petrol counterparts, but this may not worry those in remote locations, or in applications where it is installed away from the neighbours. More modern diesel generators are not quite as noisy as the older models. Pollution may worry some people as under light loads the generators may develop what is known as 'wet stacking' during which time they emit more smoke.

Heat Balance Diagram

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What is Heat Balance Diagram?

Heat Balance Diagram or HBD for Thermal Power Station is the basically schematic representation of the whole steam cycle from Boiler to High Pressure (HP) Turbines Intermediate Pressure (IP) Turbines and Low Pressure (LP) Turbines to condenser to pumps to re-heaters and again to boiler.

This diagram also contains some information of steam properties like Pressure Temperature, enthalpy and mass of the steam at every junction of the line.

What Information the HBD has?

As mentioned above, Heat Balance Diagram or HBD has the heat equation at points before and after every component. Considering the first point after the boiler, knowing the steam properties, pressure and temperatures, other properties like enthalpy of the steam can also be determined. Knowing the efficiencies and considerations like pressure drop across the control valves, these properties along the cycle can be determined, thus the heat rate of the system. With help of heat rate, the mass of steam required can be determined.

Why it is Important?

Heat Balance Diagram is generally one of the first produced diagrams and part of Process Control Diagrams(PCDs), by an engineering wing or consultancy while working on the specifications of the project (power plant). HBD helps to engineer the plant by way of providing the steam properties at different point across the steam cycle, thus providing vital information, helpful to design the whole system and supporting systems. In a way this diagram is critical to finalize the specifications of different components before initiating the bidding procedures by the consultants, especially working on EPC assignments.

HBD, in fact also helps in estimating the cost of the plant as well as it provides the heat rate, operational cost can also be estimated. Knowing the both costs, it is easier to decide on refining the specifications of components (comparing initial investments as well as the operational costs), before bidding process, as mentioned above.

Usually there has been no ways for the project owner to comment on the consultants decision about the specifications. Mostly it has to be dependent on individual discretion and experience and expertise. However, recently some software solutions have come to provide support to engineers, which can simulate the Heat Balance Diagram for engineers to understand the process in a better way and not only to comment over the design provided by consultants, but also provide an opportunity to increase the operating efficiencies, resulting into significant saving in operational costs.
Some of such commercial software which are based on Rankine cycle are "Simple Heat Balance", Thermoflow, FCycle (All from different vendors) are now available which are quite accurate and affordable.
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