Thursday, September 21, 2017

A solar cell you can put in the wash



Scientists from RIKEN and the University of Tokyo have developed a new type of ultra-thin photovoltaic device, coated on both sides with stretchable and waterproof films, which can continue to provide electricity from sunlight even after being soaked in water or being stretched and compressed. The work, published in Nature Energy, could open the way to wearable solar cells, which will provide power to devices such as health monitors incorporated into clothing. One of the requirements of the Internet of Things -- referring to a world where devices of all sorts are connected to the Internet -- is the development of power sources for a host of devices, including devices that can be worn on the body.

According to Takao Someya, the leader of the research group, these could include sensors that record heartbeats and body temperature, for example, providing early warning of medical problems. In the past, attempts have been made to create photovoltaics that could be incorporated into textiles, but typically they lacked at least one of the important properties -- long-term stability in both air and water, energy efficiency, and robustness including resistance to deformation -- that are key to successful devices.

For the present work, the members of the research group developed extremely thin and flexible organic photovoltaic cells (for example: SUNJACK 20W PORTABLE SOLAR CHARGER ) based on a material called PNTz4T, which they had developed in earlier work. They deposited the device in an inverse architecture, which they had previously developed, onto a 1-um-thick parylene film. The ultra-thin device was then placed onto acrylic-based elastomer and the top side of the device was coated with an identical elastomer, giving it a coating on both sides to prevent water infiltration.. The elastomer, while allowing light to enter, prevented water and air from leaking into the cells, making them more long-lasting than previous experiments.

The researchers then subjected the device to a variety of tests, finding first that it had a strong energy efficiency of 7.9 percent, producing a current of 7.86 milliwatts per square centimeter, as the current density was 13.8 milliamperes per square centimeter at 0.57 volts, based on a simulated sunlight of 100 milliwatts per square centimeter. To test its resistance to water, they soaked it in water for two hours, and found that the efficiency decreased by just 5.4 percent. And to test the durability, they subjected it to compression, and found that after compressing by nearly half for twenty cycles while placing drops of water on it, it still had 80 percent of the original efficiency.

According to Kenjiro Fukuda of the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science, "We were very gratified to find that our device has great environmental stability while simultaneously having a good efficiency and mechanical robustness. We very much hope that these washable, lightweight and stretchable organic photovoltaics will open a new avenue for use as a long-term power source system for wearable sensors and other devices."

Monday, July 10, 2017

GOAL ZERO GUIDE 10 PLUS





Introduction: These days it seems everything is going digital and even when we are on the water or hiking down a steam fishing we are never truly “unplugged,” as we rely on our smartphones, GPS or headlamps to keep us fishing and get us home safely. Goal Zero produces a variety of portable power devices and is a self-proclaimed leader in consumer solar power systems designed to power everything from your handheld devices to a complete mobile camp. One of their smaller and more affordable products is the GOAL ZERO GUIDE 10 PLUS which is a portable charging kit that can not only charge AA or AAA batteries but also support your small USB powered electronic devices on the go.

Impressions: All of Goal Zero’s products have a clean utilitarian design that also exhibits a rugged build quality. These products are designed to be employed in the harshest of environments and the company has been empowering people in third world countries since 2009 with a way to create sustainable power systems. Robert Workman, the company’s founder, originally thought of the idea to create solar powered systems back in 2007 when witnessing the first hand need for helping people out of poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His revelation led to the design of his first solar power packs and two years later Goal Zero was officially launched as a business. Their mission: to empower people by putting reliable power in the hands of every human being, based on a mantra of Zero Apathy, Zero Boundaries, and Zero Regrets.

The company is very involved in many humanitarian undertakings and has been there helping people through some of the most challenging natural disasters in recent history. Examples include providing Goal Zero batteries and lights to locals after the Haiti 2010 earthquake, donating hundreds of lighting kits and solar panels to families in Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and giving out over half a million dollars in portable power, solar panels and lights to Americans living in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The premise of most of the company’s systems is simple, use a solar panel or wall plug to collect power, and then utilizing a power pack device to store that power and ultimately plug it into your gear and power it. The Guide 10 Plus Recharger looks like a traditional battery recharger but there is no plug on the chassis. Instead the batteries are recharged via a special cable that plugs into the company’s portable solar panels or via a USB cable.

Real World Tests: We purchased two Guide 10 units direct from Tackle Warehouse, one as a standalone unit and another in what the company calls the Guide 10 Plus Adventure kit which comes with both the recharger and a Guide Zero Nomad 7 solar panel. To test the Guide 10 Plus Recharger we packed it with us on a range of activities ranging from long distance travel to fishing in the backcountry.

Operation: The Guide 10 is relatively compact at 2.5 x 4 inches in size and only .75 inch in width. It also feels solid but weighs .4lbs. when it is fully loaded up with batteries. This made it easy to stow the Guide 10 in a backpack but I found it is a little on the heavy side to stow in a jacket or vest pouch. Overall the unit does look and feel quite well built.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Legendary 'Bao Dai' Rolex Expected To Surpass $1.5 Million At Auction

Phillips auction house in association with Bacs & Russo will offer no fewer than seven rare used Rolex watches at its next auction in Geneva, to be held May 13 and 14 at the Hôtel La Réserve.

Used Rolex Watches

The sale is led by the iconic Rolex Reference 6062, “Bao Dai,” which the auction house says is among the “most valuable and desirable Rolexes” and the “most complicated and iconic Oyster-cased model” ever made by the Swiss watch manufacturer. In addition to its rarity, this particular model also has imperial provenance. It has a pre-sale estimate of more than $1.5 million.

This Rolex triple calendar with moonphase in yellow gold is one of three black dial models known to exist with diamond markers, the auction house said in a statement. Of the three, the Bao Dai, is the only one to feature diamond markers at the even hours.


3 Tips for New Contractors to Grow Their Business



Contracting can be a very profitable business. A good contractor can make a lot of money once they have established a solid customer base. However, establishing yourself takes lot of time and effort. You have to gain the trust of your customers and maintain high standards to be able to generate repeat customers and get new ones through word-of-mouth. Taking care of these basic steps is necessary, but not sufficient to succeed in the contracting business. Here are additional tips you can use to grow customer base and expand your business.

Market Yourself

In the age of the internet, you might think that business cards and flyers are a bit redundant. You won’t get a new customer from every single one you hand out so you do need to invest time in handing out large numbers, but you will see a healthy return. It is also a very cost effective solution as there are a lot of low-cost options online. It is best to hand out flyers during periods when people are most likely to be considering having work done. In the months leading up to Christmas, and at the beginning of Summer, are the best times. You could also try leaving business cards in DIY shops, or any other public place with a free noticeboard.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Potency of SEO Service in Modern Digital Marketing



day, the success of a website can directly translate to the success of the people and sometimes entire business behind it. The current swing dictates that websites and overall online marketing represent the best public reach available. This is because the internet is a place where people from all over the world, from all social ranks and background, can gather in one place. It is the perfect marketing opportunity for any business or website looking to gather a following.

These are the reasons why SEO has such a powerful impact for those that use it. Applying SEO strategies now is more beneficial than ever. But why deploy SEO strategies, to begin with? For those unconvinced of the benefits of SEO, or that would like some more information before looking into affordable SEO services, here are the benefits of this modern marketing approach:

1. Exposure


SEO works through altering the search engine result listings. Through quality SEO, a website can get on Google’s first page, which is a huge deal. The higher up the ladder the website is, the more have access to it.

This is based on the assumption that most people just look at the first page on Google for solutions, and only a very small amount go through the trouble of checking out the second page or what’s beyond. A healthy SEO plan can significantly boost a website’s exposure and introduce it to a lot more people.

2. Name familiarization


The difference between a normal website and a website that people know the name of or even bookmark is astounding. The latter enjoys the benefits of developing a fan base which comes with loyalty perks. The former however is not yet well enough known to develop its name as a recognizable symbol.

Popular websites are far easier to spread the word about because it’s just a matter of people letting others know how good the quality of the site’s services is. In the case in which the website is more obscure, people have a harder time promoting it, therefore, most times they don’t bother.

3. Reach


The internet is like a doorway in the sense that it opens up opportunities for marketing and also reaching the public. Public awareness is something that many strive to achieve, but it’s easier said than done. However, through SEO it is possible to exponentially increase a website’s popularity and thus indirectly its reach. The more popular a website is, the more people it has the opportunity of reaching and promoting its message.

Conclusion


SEO has turned from an innovative concept meant to boost website rankings to a “must have” operation written on the first page of the modern day’s website manager’s handbook. Proper SEO is able to achieve many things in the favor of a website or represented venture.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top 3 Areas You Need to Invest in to Grow Your Business


The age-old question in business is should you split the profits after a job well done, or should you reinvest that money, strengthening the business? Although it’s always tempting to give yourself a nice big bonus at the end of the month, it could be to the detriment of your company in the long run. If you have a long-term business plan in place, these are the top three areas you should look to reinvest that hard-earned cash.

Social media


The sheer power of social media as a marketing tool cannot be underestimated. With just a few clicks, you can reach a global audience and far more customers than some simple fliers or business cards ever would. It’s without a doubt the fastest way to build your brand, as well as the best way to respond to customer issues. People are far more likely to reach out to you via channels they feel more comfortable with, and it’s a well-established idea amongst the public that they’ll get a much faster response. Whether it’s allocating a specific member or staff to this task, or a whole team depending on the size of your business, it’s well worth the investment.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Rolex Sky-Dweller Rolesor Watches For 2017 With More Accessible Prices

Along with this year's new releases for Baselworld 2017, Rolex is introducing some tweaks to the Rolex Sky-Dweller watch with "Rolesor" model options. Introduced in 2012, the Rolex Sky-Dweller only came in precious metals for near or above $40,000. While an all-steel version is still frustratingly unavailable, these two-tone gold and steel models represent a relatively more budget option. It's a step in the right direction, at least. As even the slightest stir from Rolex is apparently headline-worthy, let's take the loupe to this 2017 Rolex Sky-Dweller, beginning with the new hands and indexes.


These new Rolex Sky-Dweller models are characterized by the blocky, rectangular indexes and longer hands. Previous models have all been Roman or Arabic numerals that could even be viewed as quirky in a Rolex context, so this adds a significantly more standard and conservative option to the collection. Further, it will allow Rolex savants to distinguish at a glance, say, an all-white-gold model from a two-tone steel and white gold model. Longer hands, as we saw on the Rolex Explorer last year, are always a welcome improvement to legibility and aesthetic balance.

Between a few dial color options, these features debut on a range of about six Rolex Sky-Dweller models, with two variations of a "Rolesor" case. If you've been living under a rock (or have a life outside of watches), "Rolesor" is Rolex's special term for a two-tone case, meaning steel and gold. In this release, we are talking about steel plus yellow gold or white gold. Owners, at least, of two-tone steel and white gold models will hopefully know which parts of their expensive used men Rolex watches are which material.