Solar Cells – Innovations in Tapping Solar Energy

In 2012, Scientists developed photovoltaic cells that produce energy 9 meters under water. Most of us are aware of the rooftop solar systems and the rapid pace at which Australian homeowners are adopting solar power for their homes. More recently, we have also seen reports that the Victorian state government is planning to run the tram system in Melbourne wholly using solar energy by the year 2018. A common factor that links all these is the solar panels being exposed to sunlight either from the rooftop or other industrial scale installations. But, what we may not have noticed is that research on tapping solar energy is not limited to conventional uses and explores an array of other possibilities.

High bandgap solar cells

Some time ago, researchers at the NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) developed what is known as high bandgap solar cells that could produce adequate power for operating electronic gadgetry at a depth of 9 meters from the surface of the sea. This development is considered particularly significant because sensor platforms and autonomous systems working underwater are severely impacted by the absence of power source with long endurance. Up till now, these systems had to rely exclusively on power from on-shore sources, solar energy from a platform above the surface of the water of batteries. Earlier efforts to deploy photovoltaic cells were only partially successful primarily because the sunlight could not penetrate through water and solar cells that were optimised towards terrestrial solar spectrums.

Converting underwater photons

Philip Jenkins, who heads the Imagers and Detectors Section at NRL says that there is an acceleration in using autonomous systems for providing long-term environmental monitoring and situational awareness in underwater regions. He added further that as sunlight is absorbed by water, developing solar cells that could efficiently convert the underwater photons into electrical energy was the technical challenge.
Concerning absolute intensity, in marine conditions, solar radiation tends to be lower with narrow spectral content. When solar cells are matched well with the wavelength range, the conversion efficiency can be significantly higher on account of the narrow spectral content and lower solar radiation. Previously, the effort to employ solar cells in underwater environments focused on crystalline solar cells (silicone) though amorphous silicon cells were used in recent times.

Gallium indium phosphide

High-quality GalnP (Gallium indium phosphide) cells are better suited for operations underwater. These cells provide high quantum efficiency in the 400-700 nanometers wavelengths and dark current that is intrinsically low which is a critical factor to get higher levels of efficiency in conditions of low light.
Underwater, the filtered spectrum of sun rays have a bias towards green/blue portion, and therefore, the higher bandgap cells like GalnP can perform significantly better compared to the convention silicon cells, says Jenkins.
The world is indeed focusing increasingly on many more innovative ways to tap solar energy in the medium as well as large scale.
Solar panels on top of the 19,000-kilometre canal network of the Narmada canal project in the Indian state of Gujarat is considered an exceptional effort. Both, regarding its innovativeness as well as its ability to save large tracts of land, and water which would otherwise have been lost due to evaporation, by utilising the canal top for installing the solar panels over such a large length. While those are the quantifiable benefits, the project also brings along tertiary benefits like reduced carbon emission, an ability to create clean lung space for the local population, etc. This project has also received global accolades for the innovative measures adopted including, from the UN chief.
Another exciting innovation is floating solar power generation systems. This method involves installation of solar panels that float on lagoons, ponds or lakes. The performance of these panels is better regarding energy produced because they are naturally cooled. Additionally, the panels act as a shade for the water limiting the growth of algae and help reduce evaporation. This system has already been put to use in many environments where water bodies were readily available for installation of solar panels. Consequently, the owners could use valuable space which would otherwise have been taken up by the solar panels.

Solar energy gaining at the cost of fossil fuels

According to EuroSolar Group, a common thread running between these innovations is the fact that solar energy is receiving more and more attention globally. As we all do know, the raw material for solar energy – sun rays are available free of any cost and can last as long as this universe does. On the flip side, however, the proliferation of solar energy would potentially deal a body blow to those engaged in everything concerning fossil fuels. The Australian coal industry, for one, is already facing the prospects of stymied growth

Pallet Racking – Easy and Fast To Organised Your Warehouse

pallet live storageMoving into a new warehouse is exciting and yet challenging. Real estate is pricey in most neighbourhoods that are convenient for doing business. The price factor, particularly at the ground level makes it essential to optimise the use of available space. Therefore, space utilisation must be optimal regarding cubic feet rather than square feet. In a warehouse, nearly anything can occupy the vertical space that is available and with some knowledge of pallet racking and planning, the task can be easier than what most people think. There are multiple types of pallet live storage available in and there is no dearth of vendors who undertake a turnkey job. The kind of pallet racking will depend on the type of goods to be stored, a height of the warehouse, moving equipment used and specific attributes or constraints, if any.

My previous experience as a warehouse manager came in very handy in getting my storage organised. Undoubtedly my first thoughts gravitated towards pallet racking because that was the most durable and economical way of optimising vertical storage. With much of the options in pallet racking already available to me, I decided to focus on my specific needs.
warehouse
My business dealt with steel sections of varying dimensions and weight. Compared to many other products steel was heavier regarding load per cubic feet of space occupied. The floor itself was therefore adequately hardened before I moved in. While planning pallet racking and other forms of vertical storage, many people tend to forget this important factor of weight per square feet of space. When the racks remain fully stocked up for several days, the floor would also be taking the maximum designed load or perhaps even more. Though we do expect inventory to keep moving regularly, there are times when everything may not happen according to our design. What if most stocks remain in the warehouse for over a week? It is one question we must find the answer for a while planning pallet racking in any store.

On looking at my options more closely, I also noticed that one type of pallet racking for all my SKUs might not be the most practical solution. Although most of my stores constituted long sections of steel, I also had at least 25% SKUs which were traditional boxes of varying dimensions and weight. That prompted me to think in terms two different types of pallet racking instead of going for a one size fits all. Yes, if I had to maintain my focus on cubic velocity for all the SKUs I had, I must look at two different pallet racking systems instead of one.

I finally chose cantilever racking and wide aisle racking for my warehouse. This decision was aided by the following factors for the respective types of pallet racking chosen.

Cantilever racking


I found this system to be very versatile because it offered flexible installation i.e. fixed installation and flexible installation. This system used upright supports housed at the rear end of the installation providing an impressive storage space with zero obstruction. For my steel pipes and sections, I found this to be an ideal solution. Forklifts could also access all materials with a considerable ease because there were no obstructions in the middle. Similarly, the significantly higher weight per SKU was also comfortably accommodated without any challenges. Apart from these benefits, the system also afforded handpicking when necessary. By far, the system addressed all that I needed for storing and retrieving my steel sections, pipes and allied material.

Wide Aisle Racking

After settling the pallet racking system for the steel tubes and parts, now it was time to turn to the other SKUs which needed lesser space per SKU. The answer was full aisle racking. I could also effortlessly use a standard forklift in conjunction with the full aisle racking, and that potentially adds to the productivity. I was also advised to align the top shelf of the wide aisle racking to the height up to which the forklift can reach. That turned out to be a bright idea, and the installation cost was also affordable. As you might have guessed, there was a little compromise on storage density, but that was not a huge concern for me.

The final blueprint showed that all my storage needs could be met in about 1,200 square feet of floor space. I still had about 600 sq ft which I could use to set up a small office and staff room. There was enough room for three people to sit and work and still have a spare cabin for meetings or other needs that came up in the course of business.

Finding the right vendor

When I started sending out my request for a quote to right vendors, I found that all the ground work I did came in very handy. The Vendors had little regarding making suggestions, offering things that I did not want or straying from my particular needs. Some vendors did show signs of unhappiness because they could not have their way with the deal. Finally, I zeroed on two vendors, and everything was set up to start in about a week.

Inspecting similar warehouses did by the vendor

One last thing I was particular was inspecting some of the installations by the vendors I chose. Both of them were happy to take me around and go through this exercise. I noticed certain shortcomings in one of the installations that I visited. That gave me the opportunity to take necessary corrective action and the vendor readily agreed.

The work started the following week and thankfully, the vendor completed the installation in 5 days though we had agreed on seven days excluding the weekend. As things turned out, those bonus days came in very handy, and my new warehouse was operational the following Monday.

Writer’s Guide: Essential Tips for Business Blogging

Is your blog not getting you the traffic it promised? Are you just writing content for your blog that doesn’t add up to much and is not engaging your visitors? If yes, then you need business blogging skills to get your content management on track! Business Blogging skills would help to get you more and more visitors and thereby more and more conversions.
Blogs are an effective way of creating a brand image for your business, and you will do good if you can do this well. When combined with social media, business blogging talks directly to visitors on your web page on a one to one basis and creates an impact like no other. If you are trying to design a social media campaign for your website or online business, business blogging is something you just can’t ignore. The thing about blogging is that everyone can do it, but only a few can do it well. Also, business blogging is a whole different ball game from casual or personal blogging.

Business Blogging

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to blogging for your business:

  • Being casual and friendly in the writing style of a business blog is okay, as long as one knows what exactly is being written about in a post and what kind of impact one wants to create in the mind of a reader.
  • Attacking someone or a certain business personally in the blog is just not the right thing to do as it creates a negative impression.
  • Creating a positive impression throughout the blog is always a plus point. No one likes being sad or dark, right?
  • Replying to comments as soon as possible showcases the blog owner’s interest in his readers and what they have to say.
  • Asking readers questions and encouraging them to start a conversation is important when it comes to business blogs.
  • Write scintillating content for your business blog that is going to create unprecedented interest among readers you never thought possible.

Following is a list of tips for Business Blogging:

  • Generating the ideas for creating a unique business blog
  • Writing unique content for the blog targeting the specific niche of readers for your business
  • Making sure that the blog is regularly updated to ensure that readers don’t get disinterested by the lack of content
  • Promote your blog on social media networks
  • Focus on the right keywords for your business
  • Generating monthly reports of your business blogs will help you track the traffic.

Create business blogs that ensure that they get noticed by the specific niche audience they target. Make sure that you get only targeted traffic to your blog which again leads to conversions.

Interstate removalists – Why it makes sense to work with the professionals

Moving out of your state permanently, either for work or other reasons can be interesting. But while the prospect of starting life afresh and exploring new terrains can be exciting, moving your valuables and other household belongings can be a nerve racking thought. If you have had an earlier experience, that could make the task relatively easy, because you already know the basics.

removalist

Before embarking an interstate relocation, you can buy plenty of peace of mind by considering the following aspects.

Quarantine restrictions on interstate movement
The first task before considering an interstate movement is to understand quarantine restrictions that apply to the state to which you are moving. A Certain type of animals and plants may be affected by these restrictions. Remember that many people have got into avoidable inconveniences because these restrictions applicable to the state from where you are moving out and the state into which you are moving in were not factored. You can learn more by visiting the Australian Government’s Quarantine (domestic) website or speak to a professional interstate removalist(https://www.metromovers.com.au/removalists/interstate-moving/).

Distance adds additional risk
In many situations, moving from one state to another involves considerable distance. This brings an added risk to your valuables that need transportation. Protecting them from potential damages with proper packing, therefore, becomes vital. You can rely on the experience and expertise of professionals in handling this because they have handled several thousand movements and know what is best suited for carrying your belongings over long distances. Transit protection insurance is also recommended, and in some instances, your professional removalist may include this in their quote.

Factoring in unexpected bottlenecks
Opposed to short distance movements within the state, interstate movements can be hindered by several factors affecting the time consumed and the process of transit. This may not happen too often, but we cannot control weather problems, restrictions on driver’s logbook, road closures, vehicle breakdown, etc. Even when you choose one of the best removalists, these problems, when they do happen, may be beyond anyone’s control. Therefore, factoring inadequate time is a good idea to overcome the challenges.
Most service providers may agree on a particular date for delivering your belongings at the destination when adequate time is provided. Remember, however, that this could involve unloading the truck at the destination at a warehouse and then moving your belongings using a local truck when you are ready to receive them.

Importance of constant communication
When you plan an interstate movement, it is important that you keep your communication lines open at all times. Your service providers will update you at regular intervals on the status of interstate move that you have entrusted to them. This way, you will also have adequate knowledge of any bottlenecks en-route and when your belongings are likely to arrive at the destination. The following measures will further strengthen the communication lines for you:-

  • Make sure that your mobile phone is always charged and switched on (do not activate the silent mode) all through the process of moving from one end to the other
  • Provide alternate contact numbers to the service provider, as an abundant measure of precaution
  • Provide other contact information like WhatsApp, chat, and email so that the vendor can still reach you if other communication systems fail.

Other aspects to focus on

  • Ensure that all packages have appropriate handling instructions and labels apparently pasted outside the package. Putting these instructions in a polyethene cover and stitching them securely to the package will ensure that they remain intact till unpacked.
  • Number the packages and keep a list of contents for each package
  • Ask for tracking details from the service provider so that you can know the exact status of your belongings while in transit.
  • Keep the customer service contact information of the service provider handy at all times.
  • Choose a reputed interstate removal service so that you have complete peace of mind throughout the process of movement and delivery at the destination.

movers

Avoid common mistakes

Some of the common mistakes that people tend to make while moving home can be avoided when you hire a professional service provider. These could include:-

  • Deciding to over stuff your car with items like television, computers, laptop and other delicate electronic goods. Remember, when you are moving interstate, you will be spending a fair bit of time on the road, and a heavily stuffed car can impact your comfort levels which are crucial. Professionals have the ability to offer specialised packaging for this type of belongings and allow you the freedom of driving down with only bare essentials for the journey.
  • Should you drive the car down or use a truck instead
    The distance involved will primarily answer this question. If the drive involves anything more than 5 hours, you are better off getting your car moved through a truck and taking a flight to your destination.
  • Temporary accommodation at the destination: Even when everything is working to clockwork precision, establishing your new home at a different location takes a while. It is an excellent idea to have an alternate accommodation or a hotel accommodation for a couple of days till everything gets settled and you can commence your life at the new city.

Unpacking

Most service providers include unpacking and re-arranging your household at the destination. But, you cannot leave this to a surmise and ensure that your contract clearly includes this task. If packing is an overwhelming task, unpacking and putting stuff back in their respective places is even more challenging. Therefore, when known help is available at the destination, it takes a huge load off your mind.

Moving interstate can be fun and enjoyable when you embark on the task with adequate knowledge of all aspects that impact the process. Choosing the best service provider is pretty easy when you spend some quality time scouring the internet. Or, your friends/relatives can recommend a service that they have already used.