Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Therapy

Around 13 percent of the world population is afflicted by mental health issues, and psychotherapy has emerged as a saviour for many people.  Psychotherapy can treat a wide range of mental illnesses, such as, depression, personality disorders, drug addiction, personal loss, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Psychotherapy can be one-on-one or can be a group session. Some forms of psychotherapy last only a few sessions, while others may continue for weeks.

However, the coronavirus outbreak has made it difficult for people to find a therapist, due to travel restrictions and frequent lockdowns at many places.  In these trying times, virtual therapy has been a blessing in disguise for mental health patients, and has proven to be as effective as a face-to-face therapy session. Due to the stigma attached to mental health, online therapy is extremely useful for people with mental disorders.

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In virtual psychotherapy, the therapist remotely addresses the patient’s symptoms remotely through a video chat or phone call. The remote interaction can take place on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC, whereby the therapist will ask relevant questions related to your mental health, and advise on how to overcome them using psychotherapy techniques and medication.

Benefits of Virtual Therapy

Let us examine how virtual therapy is a boon for mental health patients:

1. A friendly home environment

Virtual therapy encourages mental health patients to self-manage their symptoms in the comfortable and friendly home environment, thus fostering self-independence. You can monitor your progress and gain self-confidence by following a personalized therapeutic plan for mental wellbeing. Online therapy sessions are a huge benefit for disabled people as it reduces the stress associated with regular trips to the therapy clinic.

2. Personalized interaction with the therapist

The online communication with your psychotherapist to address your symptoms and answer your mental health-related queries is a major advantage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual therapy can also offset unpredictable situations, like bad weather and commuting issues, and may come handy for those folks who are too busy and want to get therapy on their own terms.

3. More privacy

Many people prefer a more private setting when going for mental health treatment, primarily due to the social stigma attached with mental illnesses. A virtual physiotherapist will not only ensure your privacy but also provide quality therapeutic treatment without the need for you to step out of your cozy home or waiting for hours in a therapist’s waiting room. Virtual psychotherapy sessions are conducted through a secure and encrypted connection.

4. Timely care

Online therapy has made it possible for people with mental disorders to seek an appointment with the therapist and get timely care when they it the most. You do not have to worry about the travel time, location, traffic situation or mobility problems. The therapist will assess your mental health symptoms, observe your issues and diagnose your problems promptly, thus ensuring timeliness of care.

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5. Overall health improvement

Online therapy helps you to connect with a qualified professional who is genuinely concerned about your mental wellbeing. The restrictions imposed by the pandemic has made it difficult for many people to interact with others, and the online face-to-face communication with a trained therapist will be helpful in reducing the stress levels.

Bottom Line

Online therapy is an effective and proven alternative to traditional therapy sessions. A virtual therapist provides practical and personalized treatment to mental health patients using a stable Internet connection and a smartphone or tablet, and ensures timeliness of care and patient satisfaction, similar to that a traditional therapist provides. To sum up, virtual therapists can help mental health patents to live a healthier and joyful life.

Innovative Technologies to Help a Start-Up in Beverage Industry

For businesses trying to make a name for themselves in the beverage industry, the challenges are vast and varied. Yes, the sector can be a profitable one – it’s predicted that the global market will be worth $1.86 trillion by 2024 – but that does not mean there are any guarantees of success.

There are a wide range of difficulties facing start-ups of all kinds, and being able to make an impression within the drinks industry is certainly no different. Of course, not every enterprise will start out hoping to become the next Coca Cola, Heineken or Starbucks, but having a solid business plan and a clearly defined set of goals is likely to offer a greater chance for success.

Part of that planning involves identifying which tools and processes are going to help your organisation compete against its rivals. Advances are being made all the time, but which technologies might be most effective in launching a beverage business. Read on to know more:

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1. Flow-through systems

Automated systems can prove invaluable in terms of streamlining the processes of sorting, packaging, labelling and distributing produce. Flow-through systems utilise robots to do the vast majority of this work, using proximity sensors in order to detect the presence of other objects and repeat the same movements. Operating in this way can help to reduce the risk of human error while simultaneously lowering running costs and increasing productivity and efficiency.

2. Industrial Internet of Things

This is where devices in an industrial setting are connected on a network in order to communicate with one another. The IIoT can enable machines involved in the manufacturing process to log data and identify any faults in the production line, which means each drink is turned out to a greater level of consistency.

3. Voice technology

Another development that is assisting beverage businesses – and those in other industries – is the emergence of voice technology. Warehouse operators can now harness this concept to issue voice commands that will be picked up by the relevant pieces of machinery, which subsequently carry out the action. This means tasks can be completed in a safer, more time-efficient manner, while it also makes training of new employees easier in that there are fewer manual skills for them to learn.

4. NFC tags

Moving away from the manufacturing side of the business, near field communication (NFC) tags can help to improve the customer experience once the product has been put to market. NFC technology is what’s used in contactless payment devices, and the concept has been adapted by the beverage industry in order to add another dimension to the product that consumers purchase.

They can be added to the label or packaging and scanned with a smartphone to unlock a range of additional information about the drink.

5. Cloud service

For businesses in any field, the challenge of data storage is one that can be difficult to overcome. Giants of the industry will have the available resources to own and run their own infrastructures, but others may not be in a position to do so or may wish to focus their spending in different areas.

As a solution, there are cloud service providers who offer rented access to certain software at a lower cost, which frees up funds for beverage companies to commit more capital towards the likes of R&D, production and marketing.

The Role of Bioengineering in Sustainable Food Supply Chain

Every year, the production of food around the world accounts for almost a third of all global emissions of greenhouse gases. Deforestation, grazing livestock, and the use of fertilizers all contribute to climate change. Finding ways to minimize the damage that food production causes is becoming a priority in the fight against global warming. In addition, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that every year, the world produces enough food waste to feed 2 billion people.

To address these problems, the field of bioengineering has found ways to recycle scrap food, reduce the amount thrown away, and find alternative ways to produce sufficient food to feed the world more sustainably and with less waste.

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Engineering Sustainable Food

A degree in bioengineering, or a masters in biomedical engineering online, involves the study of a range of scientific fields from computational biology and physiological systems to mechanical engineering and material sciences. This multidisciplinary approach lends itself well to improving the sustainability of food production. For many years, the genetic engineering of plants has created the potential of increasing production in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way, and more recently, progress has been made in creating synthetic meat.

Now, without the use of genetic engineering, biomedical engineers have created the first bioprinted steak from cattle cells. The qualities of real meat are replicated by allowing living cells to grow and interact in the same way as they would in nature. The result is the creation of an authentic-tasting steak produced without the extensive environmental damage caused by farming livestock.

Converting Food Into Fuel

Every year in the US alone, 80 billion pounds of food is thrown away without being eaten. An increasing number of scientific projects are working on harnessing the valuable energy from food waste and converting it into renewable fuel. This can then be used to power a range of vehicles from privately owned cars to planes and trains.

In communities where food waste is collected along with other recyclable materials, anaerobic digestion can also be used to convert the high fat content of food waste into green electricity, which is put back into the grid to power households.

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Reducing Food Waste

Some food scraps are unavoidable, but now bioengineering is being applied to reduce some of the waste from over consumerism. Shoppers often buy excess food and leave fresh fruit and vegetables to go mouldy before they are eaten. Using plant derived-technology, the protective peels of fruit and vegetables can now be enhanced, allowing them to stay fresh for triple the amount of time of regularly grown produce. As the freshness of the products is protected for longer, the logistical costs of a strictly controlled refrigerated supply chain are reduced, and in the long-term, food waste is minimized.

As it exists at the moment, the food supply chain is environmentally damaging. From growing meat in a lab to extending the lifespan of fresh food, bioengineers are now finding ways to improve sustainability in food production.

Why You Should Buy a Home Weather Station

With the huge innovation and advancement in home technology, weather stations have become a popular purchase and are something that many homeowners are incorporating in their homes. There are numerous reasons why people are opting for these devices, and the huge array of options available, picking the right one is easier than ever as you can cut out a lot of the work by reading these reviews by Temperaturesensei.

Although there are many people who already have weather stations in their homes, there are still some who are uncertain about this technology and do not know whether they should incorporate it or not. In this post, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about home weather stations, including the benefits.

What is a Weather Station

A weather station is a relatively small gadget that has various tools that enable it to discern the surrounding weather. It is equipped with an array of temperature monitors and sensors, which give you information about the climate around you and the environment that you might be in. Not long ago, this was technology that was primarily utilized in meteorological departments to gather weather data.

However, innovation in technology has led to the creation of smaller versions while maintaining the same functionality. These gadgets are designed to give localized information regarding the weather conditions around the house or nearby areas. They have proven to be pretty accurate and very efficient in proving the readings you want.

Applications of a Weather Station

These devices have an array of uses that have made them quite popular. Professionally, weather stations are utilized to garner data and provide weather information of a certain area. However, home weather stations take a more practical approach and provide information that you would need.

For instance, a home weather station can give you information on the temperature so that you can dress accordingly. If you’re planning a BBQ party on the weekend, you can use the device to know whether the weather will be conducive that day. There are numerous applications of these gadgets and all can help you be better prepared for any kind of weather condition.

Benefits of Home Weather Station

With the numerous uses of these devices, there are many benefits associated with them. If you are on the fence about purchasing one, then it would help to know the advantages of home weather stations.

1. Accurate Readings

Chances are the meteorological department is located far from your house. In such a case, the weather predictions you get may not be the most precise. That’s because the weather in that region may not be the same as where you reside. This is where home weather stations become more advantageous. These gadgets provide the exact details regarding the temperature of where you live. That’s because the readings are centered around your residence.

2. Real-Time Data

This is probably the reason why most people are opting for the home weather station. The ability to get real-time information makes this device worth the purchase. In the past, people used to rely on weather reports on the news for predictions or reports from the meteorological departments. Well, you no longer have to depend on these sources and get your own precise data on the weather much faster, thus allowing to make plans in a more convenient manner.

3. Real-Time Alerts

The weather changes every time and it can take an unexpected turn that’s not ideal, especially in regions that are prone to hurricanes and storms. Owning a weather station can help you and your loved ones in such situations, stay safe when weather changes are detected. With real-time data and alerts, you will be informed about the weather all the time, thus helping you stay safer.

4. Share Data

Home weather stations can ideally run on multiple devices simultaneously, meaning every family member can be able to use them. This makes it easy to share information regarding weather conditions, thus helping everyone stay up to date and prepared. This is again extremely helpful in regions that experience harsh weather conditions and need to warn each other.

5. Ease of Use

Home weather stations are designed with ease of use and efficiency in mind. They are meant to provide precise weather information in a simple way. If you’re looking for a gadget that’s easy to read and does not bombard you with jargon, then a home weather station is the answer. It is a simple and efficient gadget that’s easy to use even for older people. It is also easy to install, which adds to the advantages.

6. Creates a Smarter Home

Smart homes are the in thing today. Installing a home weather station is certainly a great way to make your home more efficient. The devices were designed with the needs of people who need instant information about the weather in mind and they do a great job at satisfying those needs. If you are looking to create a smarter home that will be efficient for years to come, then this something that you should incorporate today.

7. Precise Forecasting

Knowing the current weather conditions around your residence is just not enough. There are times when you want to know about the weather forecast for the next several days. Well, these gadgets are designed to deliver just that. A weather station can help you prepare better for the weather in the next few days and help you plan your activities better.

8. Helps in Home Maintenance

Protecting your home from weather damage is imperative, particularly if you reside in places that experience drastic weather changes and harsh conditions. Heat, rain and snow can cause substantial damage to your home, causing you to spend thousands of dollars on repairs and replacements. A simple weather station can help you better maintain your house throughout the seasons and even safeguard your house from weather damage.

Tips for Buying a Home Weather Station

To enjoy the benefits of a home weather station, you need to choose the right device. When it comes to picking one, there are two primary things to consider; the sensors and the price.

When purchasing a home weather station, do not lean towards the cheapest in order to save a little money. The more you spend on a device, the more reliable and accurate it will be. Cheaper models are less precise with data, and this defeats the purpose of owning one.

An ideal weather station should have a thermometer for temperature measurement, a barometer for atmospheric pressure, anemometer for wind speed and direction, humidity sensor for humidity levels and rain gauge for rainfall and precipitation.

The Ultimate Guide To Convert Your Home Into A Smart Home

With more and more brands and companies launching a variety of different smart lighting systems, speakers, sensors, it is easier than ever to convert your home into a smart home. If you have no prior experience in creating a smart home, it can be a confusing task to choose the right kind of devices. Moreover, you might not even know the solutions available to convert your home into a smart home. That is why it is vital to first understand how to transform your home into a smart home.

If you’re worried about the expenses, there are many ways in which you can create a smart home within your budget. It will allow you to control the various aspects of your home without having to spend a significant amount of money.

Moreover, the products available these days are becoming more and more affordable. As a result, it is easier to build a smart home. We will today list a step-by-step guide which will allow you to convert your home into a smart home.

1. Smart lighting

Lighting systems are the best way to control the appearance of your home. Moreover, when you opt for a smart lighting system, you can easily control the ambiance of the house with the help of a Wi-Fi connection. Most of them offer a mobile application through which, you can efficiently manage the entire lighting system. Every light on the lighting system connects to the central hub.

Therefore, controlling it is easier than ever. When you’re looking at the individual bulbs which you can buy and integrate with the Wi-Fi connection at home, you can opt for the ones from TP-Link and LIFX. These products are not only compatible with the Wi-Fi connection, but many of them work along with Bluetooth as well.

Some of the other well-known companies who sell such smart bulbs include Philips Hue, Sengled Element. These, however, can be controlled by Zigbee signals which in turn work along with the Wi-Fi signal. Ultimately, A router can control them. You can manage these with the help of the app on your smartphone. The app will work on any Android-based device. As a result, programming the light according to the theme selected in the app is not a problem at all.

In case, you want to automate your existing lighting system you can change the switches and replaced them with smart switches and cameras. You can use smartphone applications to control them. Some of the companies which sell the smart switches are TP-LINK, Ecobee, Leviton, etc. these switches are directly controllable through Wi-Fi. It will not require a central hub.

That is why; you can save a significant amount of money by going for the switches. If you want a centralized system, you can go with Noon Home’s system. It is comparatively expensive, but it allows you to have complete control over the lighting system. Thus, when it comes to smart lighting, there are a wide variety of options available.

2. Smart speakers

Smart speakers play a significant role in a smart-home. You can control the various functions of the house using the voice commands. As a result, they work as an assistant to control every aspect of your home. You can go with the Google home speaker or the Amazon Echo speaker. The choice is entirely up to you. If you want a single speaker to control the various options, you can go with Amazon Echo speaker.

On the other hand, if you’re going to create a series of such points in your home, you can go with the Google home series. Google series works on the fact that you can install multiple speakers throughout your home and one in each room to control every aspect of your home. That is why, if you want to create a network of smart devices, Google home is the perfect option for you.

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Google home is controlled using Google assistant. Amazon Echo devices are controlled using Amazon Alexa. Even Lenovo sells quick display series which work using Google home.

Lenovo is not alone, which is integrating these devices along with its offerings. Various other device manufacturers are doing the same. That is why, when you want to incorporate the smart speakers in your home, it is easier to do so. You can create the entire ecosystem of smart devices and control TVs, lights, thermostats, and a variety of other functions of your home with the help of these speakers.

3. Smart thermostats

Climate control systems in our home consume the maximum amount of energy. Moreover, when the weather is at extremes, they make sure that the ambiance in your home is entirely comfortable. You can go a step further and save even more energy with the help of smart thermostats. These ensure that you can easily control the ambiance of your home. These thermostats have a predictive system which means that they can set the temperature of the house conveniently and on their own.

When you look at the basic working of these thermostats, they require you to set up sensors everywhere in your home. They control the temperature precisely in the part of the house where you are present. They also keep the rest of the home like the passageways at a comfortable temperature. However, precise control is in the area in which the individuals are present. HVAC companies recommend pairing your system with smart vents for optimal efficiency. Hence, there is a significant amount of energy saving.Thus, when you want to control the temperature of your home efficiently, smart thermostats are the perfect option.

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4. Home Security Cameras

When converting your home into a smart one, it is also essential to make it more secure. The smart-homes are easy to secure as they rely on sensors and devices rather than individuals. It is even more affordable as compared to hiring security guards. The best tool which you have got to handle the security of your home in a smarter way is the smart camera. With the help of the smart-camera, it is easier to monitor your home.

Moreover, when there is any unusual activity in your home, you can get alert easily. Also, the smart cameras which we are speaking about are not just helpful for detecting intrusions or burglary, but also can help you in monitoring your children and pets. They are multipurpose which means that you can use them for the application which you prefer.

Some of the options which you have when it comes to smart cameras are:

  • Ring
  • Netatmo
  • Maximum

The advantage of smart cameras is that they incorporate lights and a variety of different motion sensors into the security system. They also integrate the doorbell so that you can easily monitor the entry and exit points of your home. You can communicate with the individuals at the entrance and exit points without having to open the door at all. You can do so remotely as well. As a result, you can control the access to your home remotely or from your smartphone without any problem. Video doorbells are very popular these days not only for security reasons but also for smart features.

The motion sensors ensure that you get an alert whenever there is unusual activity in the monitored area. As a result, you always get alerts about any intrusion or unfriendly individuals even before they enter your home. The smart cameras are easy to install and do not require any unique fixtures which ensures that you can make the security of your home smarter by merely installing these cameras and connecting them with the Wi-Fi system.

5. Smart audio systems

The multi-room audio systems ensure that you can get that you get entertainment in every room. There are options to choose from like:

  • Sonos
  • Yamaha
  • HEOS

These are self-contained speakers. You can keep them in every room and connect them with the Wi-Fi. They will help you to stream the music. Moreover, they can stream music from a variety of different services like Spotify. You can also select the tracks through your smartphone.

The difference between the speakers and something like Amazon Echo or Google home systems is that these speakers have a much better audio quality. They are not just for listening to commands, but actually up the entertainment quotient. Moreover, they can be integrated with TV and enhance your music watching experience. You can control them with the help of the tablet or the smartphone without any problem.

When speaking about something like Sonos, it works with the help of Amazon Alexa digital assistant. As a result, you can integrate it into your smartphone without any problem. Thus, when looking up the entertainment question and make your entertainment devices smarter, these are the speakers which you should choose.

6. Smart sensors

The sensors play the role of eyes and ears in any smart-home system. Without sensors, it will be challenging to control the functions of a smart-home. The smart sensors ensure that they detect motion inside and outside the home. Inside the house, they correct the climate control system to make the ambiance more habitable. Also, they can switch on and off the lights depending on whether a room is vacant or not. Hence, it becomes easier for you to automate the climate control system.

Additionally, some of the sensors are used for smoke detection as well. The smoke detection sensors alert the smartphone numbers which you input as well. You can authorize a contact to get an alert with the help of the smart sensors. As a result, whenever there is a problem at your home, the authorized contacts will get an instant alert as well. When those contacts get a warning, they can act accordingly and arrange for the emergency services to reach your home as well. The sensors are not just available for fire detection.

There are the sensors which monitor the air quality of your home as well. These sensors, especially monitor the carbon monoxide levels. Accordingly, it instructs the climate control system to filter the air or the air purifier to activate. The more the number of sensors the more precisely each smart device can operate.

Also, there are smart smoke alarms available. The Nest Protect is such a smoke alarm system. It has emergency lights as well to show you the way out. Moreover, it sends an alert to your contacts as well. When it comes to sensors, they can accomplish a wide variety of factors. It is wise to use such sensors in your home to make your home smarter and safer.

7. Smart irrigation system

Technology is available to automate every system of your home. That is why, if you’re worried about manually doing the lawn and garden irrigation, you don’t need to worry anymore. The smart irrigation systems can automatically detect the moisture in your lawn or your garden. As a result, they can use the irrigation devices to ensure that you can water the garden or backyard. They also take into account the type of plants which you have.

Moreover, if you do not want to automate them, you can control them through your app. You can install duplicators or sprinkle indicators. When you manage them with the help of the app, they will start and stop according to your commands. As a result, without having to control the irrigation devices manually, you can efficiently manage your garden or your lawn. When you do that, you can be sure that the plants or the garden will always be in proper condition.

The advantage of smartphone app control is that even when traveling, you can water your lawn as well as your garden without any problem. It will ensure that you don’t need to hire anyone else to take care of the lawn or garden irrigation.

Final Words

So, when it comes to converting your home into a smart home, these are the seven steps which you need to follow. Each of the above steps deals with a different system. With the help of these seven smart home systems, it is easier than ever to automate various aspects of your home. According to VIP Realty, homes will also sell faster and for more money.

You can control them from your mobile application as well which will ensure that you can customize each element of your home remotely. In the process, you can also save a significant amount of resources and utilities. With smart systems becoming more and more affordable, now there is no reason why you should not convert your home into a smart home.

Role of Gas Turbines in Power Plant Reliability

Gas turbines play a huge role in power plant reliability. In most cases—whether it be simple-cycle or combined-cycle applications for gas turbines—the gas turbine is the first major piece of equipment in the process that needs to start. So, without a reliable control system or a well-maintained and cared-for control system, your primary piece of major equipment is out of the game or unavailable.

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In this article, we will explain the role of gas turbines a little more, and why they so important for the reliability of your power plant.

Start Permissives: Ready to Start or Not?

Typically, when most frames 7FA, 6FA, 5A, or any industrial frame size gas turbine owner starts the plant with the gas turbine control system, there is typically a page with start permissives, indicating the system is ready to start or not ready to start. Start permissives are conditions on the unit that need to be met before it can start.

In many cases, the rest of the equipment at the plant depends on the gas turbine control system because it is often the first thing that plant managers will start before the other equipment. 

Therefore, if you receive the “not ready to start” indication, then you won’t be able to start your gas turbine—or the rest of your plant at all, especially if there are other drivers behind the gas turbine. 

How the Control System Works

A control system is made up of a bunch of subsystems, pretty much like everything in a power plant. So, the control system as a whole has subsystems under it, and that can kind of be broken down and analyzed in an engineering mind state. 

The primary parts of the control system are the software and logic, which are really reliable. They don’t typically break; they are just computer code that is programmed.

Typically when we see problems, malfunctions, abnormalities in logic or software, it’s because of some type of human interaction. Most control systems or any other equipment for that matter don’t fail on their own. Of course, failures without human interaction can happen, but they are rare.  

The relays in the system that bring the logic from the software are typically control cards and other communication devices. These devices can fail. In these cases, when the devices can fail, the logic and software fails as well.

Why Reliability is So Important

If you don’t have a reliable gas turbine control system, then you usually can’t even get the plane off the ground, so to speak. You can’t even really gain any momentum!

Therefore, it is important to perform check out and regular inspections of your control system equipment. To put it simply, it involves a clean and inspect of the system to check the control system, clean it out, perform some file management, and ensure that there aren’t any warning lights and that everything looks healthy and functional.

Contact our team today to learn more about our reliability assessments and what we can do to help ensure your plant’s reliability. 

How Renewable Energy Manufacturing Has Become More Efficient

The world knows renewable energy offers extensive, far-reaching benefits that can help mitigate climate change. If we want to make progress, we need to move away from fossil fuels permanently. That’s an issue where most people agree. It is now evident there is another argument for renewable energy besides sustainability. This option has become much more efficient, both production- and cost-wise. Let us explore how renewable energy manufacturing has become more efficient in recent years:

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Production Innovations Boost Effectiveness

Consider how renewable energy was received publicly 10 or 15 years ago. It wasn’t exactly an avenue that most individuals or businesses knew existed. There have been various challenges regarding implementation across America. Hurdles like government support and wide-spread education are examples.

That’s changed as more information has been released about how fossil fuels negatively affect our planet. It’s now evident that renewable energy prospects continue to grow annually — even during COVID-19. That’s largely due to how production methods have transformed over the past several years.

The renewable energy industry can now manufacture sources through smarter means. For example, we used to harness wind power from land-based turbines. Those opportunities have expanded as offshore capabilities are now more mainstream. This innovative progress has become applicable to other sources, too.

These new ideas are significantly responsible for how renewable energy has become more efficient. If we never changed our manufacturing processes, we couldn’t produce renewable energy on a large enough scale. There’s no denying that continuous innovations will make choices like solar, hydro and geothermal increasingly accessible.

As a result, we can enjoy more options as consumers. There’s also cost to consider — which unquestionably determines how efficiently people view renewable energy. They need to be even cheaper than fossil fuels.

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Costs Are Lower Than Ever Before

It is important to highlight how renewable energy has turned into an affordable alternative. This cost-efficiency will be necessary to help people choose renewable energy sources over fossil fuels. There are many reasons why prices for eco-friendly power have fallen.

1. Subsidies

The most significant components are subsidies. These government-backed incentives help manufacturers switch to alternative energy sources for less money. It’s also evident that options exist for individuals and businesses. People can access tax incentives to support their sustainable power pursuits financially.

2. Non-Profit Organizations

There’s also help from green non-profit organizations. Take GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic as an example. They provide free solar panel installation to households that can’t otherwise afford renewable energy. That’s a useful resource to help drive accessibility to these alternatives.

3. Investments

What about renewable energy investments? These endeavors are more prevalent than ever. If our country’s most influential figures put their money in renewable energy, we can expect to pay less for green power. Texas has the lowest energy costs in America — and they also use the most wind power. That’s not a coincidence.

These three points ensure that renewable energy becomes more affordable yearly. Various entities need to work together to ensure that sustainable options are accessible. They need to be more available than fossil fuels to ensure they catch on as alternatives.

Future of Renewable Energy Manufacturing

There’s a bright future for renewable energy. As a result of innovative and cost-effective manufacturing progress, Americans now have access to various eco-friendly power sources. If we can keep making strides regarding production, we should be able to create renewable energy on a far-reaching scale.

This process won’t happen overnight. It’s taken decades for renewable energy to be seen as even a viable alternative to harmful fossil fuels. But we’re in an ideal place right now. It shouldn’t be long before renewable energy becomes even more efficient. There’ll then be no excuse for people to keep using fossil fuels.

7 Energy Efficiency Innovations That Can Help Homeowners

Domestic energy efficiency has advanced a long way over the last few decades. Despite our overall energy consumption increasing by just over a third since 1980, on average our homes consume around 10% less overall. How can this be the case when we have so many more electrical appliances? Back in 1980, not many homes had more than a single TV, and computers and mobile phones were essentially non-existent. Yet somehow they used more electricity!

The answer to this question comes down to one simple principle. Energy efficiency. Government regulations and technical advances led by the private sector have resulted in appliances that are simply more sustainable. Throw in a better public understanding of the importance of reducing carbon emissions, and also the use of money expert comparison sites to track the expense of powering a home, and it the picture becomes a little clearer.

Expect to see this trend become ever more prevalent in the near future, as sustainability has become a huge industry that continues to rapidly expand.

Here’s a selection of the most recent energy efficiency innovations that are already helping homeowners save money that we can expect to become common place over the coming years.

1. Smart Homes

At first glance, you may wonder what the point is in buying a new domestic appliance that is advertised as ‘internet connected/ready’. After all, who is going to need a web compatible refrigerator or air conditioning unit? It is increasingly common for newly released appliances to boast this feature because in the coming years, our homes are going to be much more connected than at present. Being able to monitor and control energy expenditure remotely via smartphone is a tech that is already with us – but these are still the early days.

The next big step forward is going to be the implementation of wireless sensors throughout the home. These will connect all the appliances in the home to a centralized control panel which will automatically instruct how they interact with the energy supply.

For instance, appliances not in use, but on ‘standby’ mode will be entirely disconnected from the power supply when nobody is at home. Heating and air conditioning use will be precisely measured according to the ambient temperature. Just these two examples – and there are many more in the pipeline – are set to shave a considerable amount of household energy consumption in the very near future.

2. Next Generation Home Insulation

The US Industrial Science & Technology Network takes the approach that heating and cooling costs can best be reduced by simply developing superior insulation. While still at the development stage, these are promised to be far more efficient at preventing heat from escaping.

As may be expected, they are also going to be environmentally sound and most likely comprised of recycled foam materials. Should these be proven to work, there is a very good chance they will become the industry norm for new build and redeveloped housing in the years to come.

home-insulation

3. Reflective Roofing Materials

While insulation is ideal for maintaining an ambient temperature what about those who live in warmer climes? Everyone knows how expensive it is to run air conditioning 24 hours a day, but there have been considerable recent advances in reflective rooftop materials. Currently, these work by using special pigments that are coated onto the roof in order to reflect sunlight and heat.

The next generation in development will use fluorescent pigments that look likely to be up to four times more efficient. So for those who reside in areas where effective air conditioning is essential around the year, these new materials may well be an absolute godsend.

4. Magnetocaloric Refrigerators

A fridge powered by magnets? Close, but not quite. Refrigeration technology has barely changed or advanced since they were first introduced. Modern fridges still rely on vapor compression, which unfortunately requires chemical coolants that are notoriously bad for the environment.

Next generation models are going to be able to make use of water-based coolants that make use of the magnetocaloric effect. In layperson’s terms, this is the use of magnets to alter the magnetic field which can provide an extremely energy efficient cooling effect. Expect this to become commonplace in the coming years, thanks to their potential in enormously reducing energy expenditure and carbon emissions.

5. Much More Efficient Heat Pumps

Considerable progress has been made by the US Building Technologies Office in developing heat pumps that essentially move heat throughout the home. There are three models in design that promise to considerably reduce expenditure on heating while also significantly reduce carbon emissions. Standard gas boilers/furnaces are notoriously expensive and inefficient.

  • A low-cost gas-based heating pump could massively increase efficiency and result in lowering heating costs by a staggering 45%.
  • Multiple function fuel based pumps designed for domestic use can still save an estimated 30% with the added bonus of also providing more efficient water heating.
  • Natural gas based heating pumps connected with air conditioners aim to use a very low emission boiler to cater for all domestic needs regardless of the season. Of all three options, this is the most complete package and the one most likely to become widespread in the coming years.

These styles of heat pumps are also going to be used to significantly reduce the energy used by clothes drying machines. General Electric has been already near completing their first gas pump compatible dryer. This is intended to reduce the energy consumption of perhaps the least efficient appliance in the home by up to 60%.

heating-radiator

6. Even Better LED Lighting

Energy saving lighting may have become the accepted norm in many households, and the good news is that it is set to become even better. At present these are up to 85% more efficient than old fashioned incandescent bulbs, but the next generation – scheduled for a few years time – promise to double their efficiency. An improvement up to 230 lumens (from the current 115) is forecast.

8% of all electricity consumption in the USA are due to lighting homes and businesses. Having that figure will make for a huge national saving and reduction of energy costs across the board.

LED-lighting-workplace

7. Advanced Window Insulation

While still in development this may not sound like a huge advance, but could well result in enormous net energy savings down the line. Using microprocessors and sensors to measure sunlight and radiant heat, these are going to automatically provide shading to assist with providing ideal natural lighting and also assist with heating. Expect these to be integrated with the general smart home system outlined above in due course.

Final Thoughts

So there we have seven of the most exciting and interesting energy efficiency innovations that we can expect to see in the home over the coming years. While some are already in production while others are just passing the prototype phase, the future is looking positive in terms of reducing emissions and better managing energy consumption.

Energy efficiency is here to stay and these developments will likely only be the tip of the iceberg compared to what we can look forward to over coming decades.

The Impact of Machine Learning on Renewable Energy

Machine learning, as well as its endgame, artificial intelligence, is proving its value in a wide variety of industries. Renewable energy is yet another sector that can benefit from machine learning’s smart data analysis, pattern recognition and other abilities. Here’s a look at why the two are a perfect match.

Predicting and Fine-Tuning Energy Production

One of the biggest misconceptions about solar power is that it’s only realistic in parts of the world known for year-round heat and intense sunshine. According to Google, around 80% of rooftops they’ve analyzed through their Sunroof mapping system “are technically viable for solar.” They define “viable” as having “enough unshaded area for solar panels.”

Even with this widespread viability, it’s useful to be able to predict and model the energy yield of a renewable energy project before work begins. This is where machine learning enters the equation.

Based on the season and time of day, machine learning can produce realistic and useful predictions for when a residence or building will be able to generate power and when it will have to draw power from the grid. This may prove even more useful over time as a budgeting tool as accuracy improves further. IBM says their forecasting system, powered by deep learning, can predict solar and wind yield up to 30 days in advance.

Machine learning also helps in the creation of solar installations with physical tracking systems, which intelligently follow the sun and angle the solar panels in order to maximize the amount of power they generate throughout the day.

Balancing the Smart Energy Grid

Predicting production is the first step in realizing other advantages of machine learning in clean energy. Next comes the construction of smart grids. A smart grid is a power delivery network that:

  • Is fully automated and requires little human intervention over time
  • Monitors the energy generation of every node and the flow of power to each client
  • Provides two-way energy and data mobility between energy producers and clients

A smart grid isn’t a “nice to have” — it’s necessary. The “traditional” approach to building energy grids doesn’t take into account the diversification of modern energy generation sources, including geothermal, wind, solar and hydroelectric. Tomorrow’s electric grid will feature thousands and millions of individual energy-generating nodes like solar-equipped homes and buildings. It will also, at least for a while, contain coal and natural gas power plants and homes powered by heating oil.

Machine learning provides an “intelligence” to sit at the heart of this diversified energy grid to balance supply and demand. In a smart grid, each energy producer and client is a node in the network, and each one produces a wealth of data that can help the entire system work together more harmoniously.

Together with energy yield predictions, machine learning can determine:

  • Where energy is needed most and where it is not
  • Where supply is booming and where it’s likely to fall short
  • Where blackouts are happening and where they are likely
  • When to supplement supplies by activating additional energy-generating infrastructure

Putting machine learning in the mix can also yield insights and actionable takeaways based on a client’s energy usage. Advanced metering tools help pinpoint which processes or appliances are drawing more power than they should. This helps energy clients make equipment upgrades and other changes to improve their own energy efficiency and further balance demand across the grid.

Automating Commercial and Residential Systems

The ability to re-balance the energy grid and respond more quickly to blackouts cannot be undersold. But machine learning is an ideal companion to renewable energy on the individual level as well. Machine learning is the underlying technology behind smart thermostats and automated climate control and lighting systems.

Achieving a sustainable future means we have to electrify everything and cut the fossil fuels cord once and for all. Electrifying everything means we need to make renewable energy products more accessible. More accessible renewable energy products means we need to make commercial and residential locations more energy-efficient than ever.

Machine learning gives us thermostats, lighting, and other products that learn from user preferences and patterns and fine-tune their own operation automatically. Smart home and automation products like these might seem like gimmicks at first, but they’re actually an incredibly important part of our renewable future. They help ensure we’re not burning through our generated power, renewable or otherwise, when we don’t need to be.

Bottom Line

To summarize all this, machine learning offers a way to analyze and draw actionable conclusions from energy sector data. It brings other gifts, too. Inspections powered by machine learning are substantially more accurate than inspections performed by hand, which is critical for timely maintenance and avoiding downtime at power-generating facilities.

Machine learning also helps us predict and identify factors that could result in blackouts and respond more quickly (and with pinpoint accuracy) to storm damage.

Given that the demand for energy is only expected to rise across the globe in the coming years, now is an ideal time to use every tool at our disposal to make our energy grids more resilient, productive and cost-effective. Machine learning provides the means to do it.

The Impact of Smart Homes on Generations

America is already feeling the impact of smart homes. A large industry based on this technology is forming. But, what is the effect of it on the different generations? Here you can find a brief discussion of the impact of smart homes on generations.

What is a Smart Home?

Smart homes consist of all the different smart products owned by the user. These products are interconnected. It makes use of the internet to connect to other products. This technical feature is called the Internet of Things (IoT).

There are all kinds of products. Every room or space in a home can be automated by smart home products. You can even install smart devices into your backyard like smart lawnmowers and irrigation systems.

Benefits for all generations

Smart home products are designed to benefit its users. The technology is developed for all generations. So there are benefits to its use that applies to everyone.

These benefits include:

  • An increase in comfort of the user’s lifestyle.
  • Increased life expectancy caused by the usage of these products (i.e. smart security products).

Impacts on different generations

Three larger generation groups have been defined for the purpose of this discussion. It’s been split into the retirees, the working force, and the youth.

Retirees

Smart home products can connect to all kinds of services and devices. Elderly people can enjoy minor medical check-ups from the comfort of their homes. Video calls and domestic smart medical equipment can supply all the information a doctor needs. Doctors can keep an eye on patients that are too far from their offices.

Retired people can make use of smart home technology to automate simple tasks. Grocery shopping and other basic services are accessible through these products. Retirees will enjoy the improved elderly care and greater access to basic services caused by smart homes.

The working force

Smart home products like smart thermostats have been known to save its users an average of 20% in yearly warming and cooling costs. According to a study conducted by SafeAtLast, 57% of American smart home owners save about 30 minutes per day. Automating your home will save you lots of time and effort in the process.

The working force who owns smart home products will be more productive. They will also have more cash on hand due to extra savings. Smart homes can help to create a wealthier economy by assisting the working force.

The youth

The youth of today is the promise for tomorrow. Smart home technology is indirectly designed to increase the life expectancy of its user. All these benefits will help to cultivate a better tomorrow. The youth who grow up with smart home technology will have an advantage over their lesser privileged youths. Though, the psychological effects of this technology (over the long term) is yet to be studied.

Conclusion

This technology wants to make your life better. It will benefit every generation. Give it a try to experience the benefits yourself. Read on to for interesting facts on smart homes.