Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Gutter Cleaner Robot

Gutter cleaning: It’s a hassle, it’s dangerous and it’s expensive to farm out the job to a professional year after year. For a more high-tech solution to this difficult task, check out the iRobot Looj 330 gutter cleaning robot. It has a high-velocity, (as IROBOT SCOOBA ) four-stage auger to chew through and remove the toughest of wet leaf clogs, restoring your gutters’ proper function. It can clean a 30-foot section of gutter in about 5 minutes, and cleans up to 200 linear feet on a single charge.
It’s still up to you to get out a ladder to place the Looj in your gutters. Still, the Looj is safer than traditional cleaning methods, because you use the included remote control to clean out an entire linear stretch of gutters, or you can just set it on automatic pilot. There’s even a belt clip, so you don’t need to hold the device on your way up the ladder. Cleanup is easy – just spray it down with a hose once the job is done.

Friday, November 17, 2017


Will ebikes ever achieve mass adoption in these United States of America? It remains hard to say; to this day, in a country so enamored with seemingly any latest technological development, with the most collective spending power of any country in the world, only roughly 140,000 populate the U.S. streets (according to one estimate cited by Time). There can likely be cultural explanations behind the difficulty in marketing ebikes to the average consumer, as well as plain old human ones. American machismo can be unforgiving at anything it collectively perceives as unmasculine, a tag that electric bikes are unfortunately susceptible to in certain circles. The bikes are expensive, and the purchase represents a commitment to, in many circumstances, a change in lifestyle, a new way to ride to work. That simple act of change is something many of us find quite difficult.

But ebikes can actually be a very sensible decision for the many folks seeking to cut down on costs of vehicle upkeep, car insurance, and gasoline -- a considerable sum when totaled. Additionally, options like the Magnum Mi5 and the Pedego Step-Thru Interceptor seek to allay consumers concern over aesthetic-induced self consciousness, with their unadorned, classic attractiveness.

An excellent option for new riders is the HAIBIKE XDURO Fats, a bike which, like the E3 Sumo, bears the fat style which has come into favor in recent years. The Electric Bike Review lauds the FatSix as " the only Bosch powered fat bike I’ve seen with suspension", a feature which, in conjunction with the fat tire, make this a bike an ideal solution for rough terrain. The top speeds of low 20's in miles per hour and the 25-35 mile range make it a practical way to get many of the places the typical person goes in an average day.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What is a charge controller?

Charge controller is a device preventing batteries from overcharging and overdischarging. One of the most common problems of batteries is that they cannot be discharged excessively or recharged too often. A charge controller controls the charge by managing properly the battery voltage and current.

Charge controllers (like RENOGY 40 AMP MPPT CHARGE CONTROLLER ) are intended to protect the battery and to deliver it as longer life as possible, while keeping the photovoltaic system efficiency. It should be noted that charge controllers only control DC loads. AC loads are to be controlled (and disconnected, if needed) by an inverter.

The key functions of charge controllers are:
Protecting the battery from overcharging by limiting the charging voltage
Protecting the battery from deep and/or unwanted discharging. The charge controller automatically disconnects the loads from the battery when battery voltage falls below a certain depth of discharge value
Preventing the reverse current through PV modules at night
Providing information about battery state of charge

The main charge controller types available today are PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) and MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) ones. MPPT charge controllers are more expensive but they can boost the performance of the solar array. PWM charge controllers are less expensive but they can extend battery bank’s lifecycle at the expense of solar panels performing lower than in case of MPPT controller. Similar to inverters, charge controllers have a lifespan of about 15 years.

A charge controller costs between $500 and $1,000. (However, you can find some low grade PWM charge controllers for about $30-$50).

This is not a fortune but not choosing the proper charge controller for your system might results in series of problems. Your solar system might either underperform or not work at all. The worst however is that other system components might get damaged.

Therefore selecting charge controller should not be underestimated.

What kind of charge controller to choose depends on the specific case and is a tradeoff between getting more power from solar panels and extending battery life.

To get an idea what controller you need for your system you need neither dig into heavy science nor be a solar guru.

You just have to know some basic info such as:

– Which type of charge controller is recommended for a given solar system type

– What maintenance a charge controller needs and how much are its annual maintenance costs

– When you need a couple of charge controllers rather than a single one

– Which charge controller type is recommended for hot climates

– What controller to select for a small solar system

– What controller you need to connect a 48V-solar array to a 24V-battery bank

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Soft Costs 101: The Key to Achieving Cheaper Solar Energy

What are solar energy “soft costs” and why do they matter? Here we discuss how soft costs impact the price tag of solar energy systems and explore some of the innovative solutions being developed to cut soft costs and sustain solar energy’s meteoric rise in the United States.

What are soft costs?

Soft costs are the non-hardware costs associated with going solar. These costs include permitting, financing, and installing solar, as well as the expenses solar companies incur to acquire new customers, pay suppliers, and cover their bottom line. These "soft costs" are tacked-on to the overall price a customer pays for a solar energy system (for example: GOAL ZERO NOMAD 100 )

It's no secret solar prices have fallen dramatically in the last five years. However, in order to meet the SunShot Initiative’s goal to make solar energy cost competitive with traditional forms of electricity by 2020, the price must continue to fall.

While studies show that increasing global production has reliably led to falling costs, non-hardware costs continue to add up, creating a barrier for many American families interested in solar energy. If we don’t reduce these soft costs in the near future, solar won't be able to reach a tipping point and move beyond early adopters.

Because there are so many contributing factors, these costs can be hard to pinpoint and require a variety of solutions.

SunShot Driving Solutions

Through diverse funding programs, the SunShot Soft Costs team works with stakeholders to find new ways to save money for solar customers and businesses.

The solar industry harnesses the creativity of American companies and budding entrepreneurs to improve operations and maximize returns. By creating software that helps solar companies improve sales leads, better manage their portfolios, and make financing more accessible, digital solutions make company operations more efficient. Greater efficiency means they're able to pass along savings to their customers.

From Permit-to-Plug-in

Because there are many jurisdictions, utilities, and differing state and local laws, there isn't a single process or system that businesses follow to get solar customers online. As a result, customers experience a lag time between when they buy a solar system and when it actually gets installed—a frustrating experience that also adds costs.

In addition, more support is needed for state and local governments new to solar. SunShot’s technical assistance programs engage experienced solar workers to give governing bodies the knowledge and tools they need to start their own programs. When there is a clearer path forward for customers, new solar businesses, and local leaders, solar has a much better chance of taking off.

That's why we've recently announced the SunShot Prize: The Race to 7-Day Solar, a national prize competition that encourages communities, utilities, and solar companies to work together to have solar systems active in as little as seven days.

Training the Workforce of the Future

In addition, solar companies can’t grow without highly skilled workers who are prepared to do their jobs on day one. Today, the solar industry is powered by more than 200,000 Americans and now grows faster than the U.S. economy. We need to minimize training gaps so solar companies can easily recruit new hires and expand at their own pace.

Solar also touches many working in neighboring industries—such as real estate agents, code officials and firefighters—who do not directly work in solar energy but still need to understand how it affects their day-to-day jobs. By educating these professionals as well, we're able to improve solar sales transactions, speed up installations, and lower expenses throughout the value chain.

Because soft costs stem from a variety of sources and contribute to the final cost of a solar system, we’re taking a cross-sector, multidisciplinary approach and enlisting a spectrum of experts across industry, academia and our national labs to bring them down. Innovation, collaboration, and engagement remain key to unlocking a future where solar is both cheap and abundant.

Learn more about the SunShot Soft Costs team and apply for their latest funding opportunity designed to increase knowledge of solar technology evolution and improve state energy planning practices.
What are "soft costs"?
Soft costs are those not related to hardware, including installation, buying permits and financing.
By lowering these costs, solar power becomes more affordable.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Preference of the Child in Child Custody Cases

Is there a particular age when a child can decide which parent they want to reside with, in a child visitation services Tacoma or Rhode Island Divorce case?

There is no set age when a child can decide to live with their mother or father in a Rhode Island Child Custody Case. In fact, theoretically, the child is not allowed to make the decision. In reality, older children have a very significant impact on child custody determinations by a Rhode Island Family Court Judge. In making a child custody determination, the Court makes a decision based on the "best interest of the child".

The preference of the child is only one of the factors that a Rhode Island Family Court Judge may consider in determining the best interest of the child. Please see below for all factors that the Rhode Island Family Court utilizes to determine Child Custody.

If an older child such as a 15, 16 or 17 year old has a preference and that opinion is expressed to the Judge, Court Investigator or Guardian ad Litem than the judge will usually respect the child's desire.

There are some exceptions to an older child's decision being decisive. In some cases, despite the child's age, the child does not know what is in his best interest. If the child does not have a good reason for his decision then the judge can deny the child's request. If the other parent is not a fit and proper person to have placement of the child then the Judge can deny the request. The Judge can deny a child's request if the parent the child would like to reside with has a drug or alcohol problem or a criminal record. In some cases, RI Family Court Judges are hesitant to change placement if the child has behavioral issues and the child is merely rebelling against the imposition of rules and structure.

Children also may be given influence in Child Visitation services in Tacoma. Children may play a role in the determination of whether visitation should be overnight. Children often play a role in whether visitation should be supervised or unsupervised and the length of duration of visitation. Children also may be given influence when the parent with physical custody files a motion to relocate out of state.

Practical Tip: If you are aware that your children support your position regarding Visitation, Custody, Placement or Relocation out of state then have your children interviewed by the Judge, RI Family Services or a Guardian ad Litem.

Children ages 11, 12, 13 & 14 may also given significant influence over Rhode Island Child Custody, Visitation and Relocation cases.

Judges in Rhode Island have different philosophies on how they deal with children. Some judges will not interview children. They will have the Family Court investigators from Rhode Island Family services or the Guardian ad Litem interview the children. The Court Investigator or the Guardian ad Litem then will issue a report to the RI Family Court Judge or Magistrate handling the matter.

There are some judges who will bring the child into chambers for an interview. The Judge will usually bring the court reporter to transcribe the proceedings. Some judges will allow the attorneys to question the child in chambers in front of the judge.

Practical Tip: Don't coach your children. This is unfair to the child and puts unnecessary stress and pressure on the child. Also, the Child will usually tell the Judge or Family services about the coaching. If the Judge believes that you have engaged in coaching then there may be severe sanctions. The Sanctions may include the judge denying your request for placement, sole custody or relocation.

The older a child is, the more weight / influence the judge will give to the child's preferences regarding custody, placement, visitation and relocation out of state. Younger children usually have a greater influence on proving facts rather than making decisions. The child may tell the investigator or Judge that their parent abuses them or if they are afraid of their parent. The child may tell the investigator that the parent makes negative or disparaging comments about a parent in front of the child. The child may make allegations regarding parental alienation.

Children typically do not get to make the decision concerning legal custody. Legal custody pertains to who gets to make decisions concerning religion, education, social development, activities and medical decisions. Legal Custody will either be Sole Custody to one parent or Joint Custody to both parents.

Child Custody matters involving preference of the child may play a role in Rhode Island Divorce, Paternity, Miscellaneous Petitions for Custody, DCYF, Motions to modify Custody or placement and visitation disputes. Children have no real influence on Child Support cases.

Rhode Island Attorneys legal Notice per RI Rules of Professional Responsibility:

The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers / attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer or attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Polyurethane Coatings: The Best Floor Coating for Business

In the industrial world, there are many different uses for polymers. There are even more products all around us that use polymers you might haven’t notice. The reason for their popularity is the versatility this material provides. One common use for this type of material is for industrial flooring. Using polymers for industrial flooring provides number of benefits as can be seen below.

Rubber Substitute

Polyurethanes were first used as a substitute for rubber during World War 2, and have since become a hugely popular material to be used for floor coatings. One of the most attractive aspects of this type of floor surface is the ease of which you can apply it to your floor. Once you have finished preparing the floor surface correctly, you can spray the material onto the floor with ease, coating large areas in a short period. The material is also extremely versatile as you can use it on wood, plastic, metal, as well as concrete. The variety of different colours that you can have is also something which has led to the rise in popularity for this versatile floor coating.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Benefits of HR Software for Small Businesses

Many small business owners believe that when it comes to human resource management they do not need to pay much attention or spend money on processes and tools. After all, they have only a small team of employees to manage where everyone knows everyone else and you can take care of tasks without much burden. This could be a mistake. While it is true that small businesses do not have as much need as their larger counterparts when it comes to human resource management they can still benefit by deploying HR software. Here are number of ways in which HR software can help small business owners reduce cost, streamline process and improve the business.

Easier recruitment

For any company, regardless of its size, recruitment is a big headache. Putting together a job advert does not take long, but the rest of the process can be very time consuming.

Posting the vacancy on a range of job boards, and with local agencies is surprisingly time consuming. It can easily take you two or three hours to get the job done.

Gutter Cleaner Robot

Gutter cleaning: It’s a hassle, it’s dangerous and it’s expensive to farm out the job to a professional year after year. For a more hig...