Monday, December 31, 2007

CFL v/s Filament Bulbs


Here is one of a series

of comparison articles
on CFL Bulbs

I thought that photographing two bulbs lit up side by side might be a simple and graphical way of demonstrating the differences between types.

In the above photograph you see, on the left, a 9 watt CFL bulb from AvocaLite, and on the right is a regular filament bulb rated at 25 watts.

The CFL bulb is using approximately one third of the power of the filament lamp but it is obvious, at a glance, that it is giving out 2 to 3 times more light.

After a few minutes running, the cfl bulb was warm but not hot to the touch, while the filament bulb was a bit too hot to handle with ease.


  • CFL brighter by far for much less power.
  • CFL bulb much cooler and therefore safer.
  • Colour of light very yellow in filament bulb while the CFL had a pleasing soft white colour of light.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

AirOption CoreTech Comment on Comment


Comment on AirOption / CoreTech Claim

Commenting on the phenomenal heating efficiency claim made by AirOption / CoreTech outlined in "Heating a Room with a 100 watt Bulb"
"brian t" said...

Sure, you can heat a room with low amounts of power... with certain assumptions. They haven't said anything about the room itself: well-insulated? The amount of heat lost through the walls and ceiling are central to this question. I think they're also assuming that no-one ever enters or leaves the room...

Editorial Comment on comment!!

I would agree with you Brian completly on a basic science level. However, I have found that science has a weird way of contradicting itself with new discoveries from time to time. These guys might just have stumbled on something right on the edge. Then again, they might not.

One thing for sure, they are VERY sensitive to publicity, other than their own version. In fact, they have WARNED me off asking them any further questions. Sounds like their letter was written by a solicitot does it not??

Here is their contribution to the art of communication, and to the understanding of science, as experienced by this blogger:

... it appears that we are attracting the type of notice we don’t want. In view of this we will be making no further statements whatsoever in relation to our product or technology until such time as we see fit.

All information or other matters given are strictly proprietary and their publication or misrepresentation are forbidden.

We would thank you therefore to be careful in how you may represent or misrepresent all matters relating to
Airoption Ltd.

Thank you,
Airoption Ltd


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

CFL Bulbs - comments


A Comment
CFL Bulbs

Blogger "cflblues" in a comment on "Lady of the CFL Lamps" which was posted by me on December 10th last. Link below:


It is inaccurate to say that 95%of the energy generated by a traditional light bulb is wasted, this is heat that is dispersed around your home the same as any other heat source, so if you remove this you have to replace it using more of your oil, gas, etc. in winter.

Also cfl bulbs in my experience do not last nearly as long as the manufacturers claim even under normal working conditions, this should be the focus for debate, the quality of the product and the price not just sweeping statements about energy saving light bulbs, I have a house full of these bulbs but I think we are being conned by the manufacturers.

Editorial Comment:

"cflblues" is assuming you already have calculated in the need for several hundred watts of extra heat from light bulbs into your heat loss calculations. He/She has also conveniently forgotten that in summertime you could do without those extra heat sources. In fact you might be using extra power, by way of air conditioning, to get rid of the surplus heat.

My calculated experience with CFL bulbs is that they last well up to the manufacturers specifications. I date a cfl bulb with a pencil mark on the white plastic base, so when it fails, I have an exact days in use, plus a reasonably accurate calculation of hours in usetime.

I fear that "sweeping statements" without much scientific basis, is exactly what "cflblues" is indulging in him/herself while appearing to blame others for it.

Finally, I have NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that CFL Bulbs save money, time, and carbon emissions. They also give a superior quality of light, and are safer in use, they will not cause a fire if a curtain should blow over a lighted lamp. I say go for them and save yourself a packet and the environment at the same time.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Electric Cars with a 2000Km Range?


This damn Ugly Subaru could run for 2000Km on a Charge

Stanford University New Centre have announced a new type of Lithium Ion Battery with 10 times the storage capacity of current types. It uses Nano Technology to achieve these impressive capacity figures. Nano Technology is starting to change a lot of things. it could well be this age will be called the nano technology Age!!

The implication of these new batteries are that your laptop that now runs for 2 hours on a charge, would last for 20 hours instead.

The biggest breakthrough however might be in electric cars. The main problem has long been one of a good enough battery that would take sufficient charge for long journeys. Most electric cars are fast and fairly powerful but can make only 150 to 200Km journeys at most before needing to be re-charged.

With one of these new batteries fitted, a similar car could run for up to 2000Km before re-charging. This would put the electric car into a completely new category, making it attractive to a much wider customer base.

Exciting stuff this Nano technology. Nano Nano!!!!

Here is a link to the Stanford site:


New Study on Wind Power Stability


Wind Energy more Reliable that First Thought

A new study published by Stanford University Press has shown that large-scale wind-farm grid interlinking helps to balance out local power fluctuations and gives a stability of power nearly as good as that provided by other generation methods.

The finding would suggest that there would be no great need for battery or other storage methods, as the varying winds conditions over larger areas would balance out the power generated to the grid.

The power fluctuation of wind has long been an argument against its wider use in national grids. This study however would suggest the opposite and may hopefully open some doors to wider use of this excellent clean power source in the halls of power throughout the world.

Here is a link to the original article:


Monday, December 17, 2007

Heating a Room with a 100watt Bulb??


Heating a Room with a 100watt Bulb??

Just had it pointed out to me that I again did not give an address for AirOption and CoreTech. And, oh yes, it is the same company that is in the article on turbine prices.

Here is the CoreTech address:

Here is the general address for AirOption:


Phenomenal Heating Claim by AirOption


Heating a Room with a 100 watt Bulb???

A small Irish company in Ireland has made a very dramatic and sensational claim for a heating system which they have developed. If they are correct in their claim, the system is more efficient than geo-thermal heating systems, and yet is a fraction of the cost and almost maintenance free.

The phenomenal claim by AirOption –CortTech on their Website states that it is a new concept in heating which has been in development over a 5 years period, and has been under test for 2 years. AirOption state that the systems have “shown some astonishing results”.

  • The Coretech system is an electrical under floor heating system
  • It is ON 24/7 for 8 months of the year.
  • CoreTech state regarding the comfort level of the systems; “no other heating system can boast such levels of comfort and control.”

Case Studies:

CoreTech state that:
  • the test house was built 2 years ago
  • and has been using CoreTech heating connected to the ESB mains.

The stated efficiecies.

  • For an 1800 square foot house
  • provided with 8 months of heating
  • switched on for 24/7, and producing levels of comfort above any other heating system, “no other heating system can boast such levels of comfort and control.”
  • The usage is only 3572 Kw/Hours for 8 months of 24hours a day heating to above average comfort levels.

The Maths
  • 8 months or say 240 days
  • x 24 hours per day = 5760 hours
  • 3572 Kilo Watt Hours divided by 5760 hours
  • That's an average of only 620 Watts per hour to heat a complete house!!!!!!!!!!
That is like saying an average equivalent of a 100-watt bulb in each room will keep the house at an above average level of comfort. This is either one of the mot important discoveries ever in heating efficiency or it is a load of rubbish produced by faulty science.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Wind Turbine Prices


A Look at Wind Turbine Prices

I have been looking at some prices for wind turbines recently and making some comparisons.

One turbine I looked at is the UNITRON 3.3 Kw Grid Connect Turbine made in India AFAIK. The address etc. Address: Air Port Road, Pune, Maharashtra India 411 O32. Telephone: +91-20-2668 4399. FAX: +91-20-2668 7006. Web Site:

Irish Price.

AirOption Ireland offer this turbine as a complete package at €9,200 ex. VAT and Delivery - I am not sure if the "Complete Package" actually inclused installation costs this is not clear from the web site, somehow I think not, because they then add on delivery costs and that would not really be a complete package would it? You then have to add in the delivery costs to the above price.

African Price.

The same turbine is available in Nigeria from The quoted price is in dollars, US dollars, I presume. Turbine price is $5,500 or €3,746 Euros. The total installed price $11,074 or €7,541 Euro. That is €1659 or almost 20% cheaper than the Irish price, that's assuming the Irish price is inclusive of all installation costs. If the installation costs are extra on the AirOption price then the Irish price would be way dearer.

The Unitron Nigerian web site is:


Sun Tower


Just a reminder of how beautiful solar power can be.
The solar tower at SanLukar La Mayor east of Seville


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

7000 Wind Turbines at Sea


7000 Wind Turbines at Sea for UK

UK Business Secretary John Hutton has plans to allow 7000 new wind turbines around the coastline of the UK. Power enough to keep every UK home going.

"It is going to change our coastline", but said the issue of climate change was "not going away". Now that’s what I call an energy plan. About time someone took the energy crisis seriously.

Overlooking the Biggest Source of Energy??

This lot may be overlooking the fact that the single biggest source of energy some 3850 Zeta Joules of it per year in fact – is the local nuclear furnace none other than the sun. Even in cold old Blighty or Ireland, the sun puts down masses of energy every day, even in mid winter. We only need to capture a tiny proportion of it to fill all our energy needs forever more.

We only need .013% of this Energy

The total energy used by humans in 2004 was .471 Zeta Joules. With 3850 zeta Joules hitting the planet we would need to capture only .013% of that energy to supply every toaster, fridge, washing machine, and heater on the planet.

So how do we do that? Solar Electricity is the main upcoming idea. PV Solar cells used to cost $7.50 a watt in 1990. That came down to around $4.00 a watt in 2005. Now the figure is looking like 40 cents per watt or less. At that price it would really pay to cover every roof in a city with solar cells. That city then could be largely self-powering.

What would it take? It would take balls on the part of the politicians to call the shots. It would take a lot of money, and it would take willingness on the part of the people.

That is all it would take.




I did it again - Sorry!!
I neglected to give the Web Address for AvocaLite
Here it is:


Monday, December 10, 2007

Lady of the CFL Lamps


The Lady of the Lamps

Jennifer Mc Clurg is from South Africa and has been living in Ireland now for 7 years. She has a real interest in the environment and sustainable energy. She runs a very helpful and highly ethical small business called Avocalite, situated in the village of Avoca in County Wicklow, selling CFL and LED low powered and environmentally friendly light bulbs. (Hence the title) I found Jennifer to be very open, honest, and communicative about her business, something that is not common enough in the business world today. AvocaLite is a business whose time has come.

Jennifer’s light emporium offers very good prices indeed, better than most stores in Ireland, a high quality product, and additionally offers advice and assistance. That is why I am happy to focus this Blogs little positive spotlight on AvocaLite.

I recently spoke to Jennifer and asked some question about her business and how she felt about the recent Greenish Irish Budget.

Here is the outcome of that conversation:

Q. Jennifer can you tell me a bit about how you got into selling CFL bulbs?
A. Firstly perhaps I should draw your readers attention to the fact that you and your blog have no association whatsoever with AvocaLite. We do however share a concern for the environment and of course the need to conserve energy and dwindling energy resources.

You asked how AvocaLite came about. Well - after moving into our house in Avoca village my husband and I began replacing the old bulbs with CFL bulbs. Our rationale for the change was to benefit from reduced energy consumption and the resultant drop in electricity costs. Interestingly enough, we found it hard to buy bulbs that looked good, functioned well and were reasonably priced - so we started AvocaLite.

That was easier said than done as reliable suppliers of good quality, affordable products had to be put in place, as well as a mechanism for distributing goods to buyers. Fortunately CFL and LED bulbs are a lot more robust than conventional bulbs so delivery through the mail allowed us to save on more traditional retail distribution methods. With time and research we have managed to secure a line of bulbs that are of excellent quality and give an instant light.

We have tried hard to inject good old-fashioned values into the business which gives us a great rapport with our customers, many of whom, especially in the accommodation arena, have proved themselves very aware of the ever increasing costs of electricity and the need to conserve power.

Q. How do you feel about the latest Budget and especially the banning of filament bulbs by January 2009?
A. We are of course very pleased about the recent announcement in the budget. First of all the timeframe, which some may see as overly generous, does allow consumers a good amount of time to exchange their lightbulbs to energy efficient bulbs. Secondly it demonstrates a growing awareness on the part of officialdom that something does need to be done at top level to protect our environment. Electricity production is a huge drain on our resources and any move to reduce consumption is to be welcomed. And in the case of lightbulbs, which in the conventional form are only around 5% effective, the end saving, both to the economy as a whole as well as to end-users, is likely to be significant.

Q. Why do you believe CFL bulbs are so important?
A. Compact fluorescent light bulbs up to 15 times longer than the traditional incandescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use only 20% of the electricity that a traditional light bulb does, 5% of the energy that a traditional light bulb uses is translated into light. A shocking 95% of the energy that is paid for is wasted.

EDITORS NOTE: Green Party’s Mr. Gormley said, CFL lighting will save ESB customers some €185,000,000 in electricity charges per year, and also result in carbon emissions being reduced by up to 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and all that from household lighting alone.

An average house with say ten 100watt bulbs going for say 8 hours a day during the winter would cost roughly €33.00 in a month. By fitting all CFL bulbs that electricity cost would be reduced immediately to only €6.60 a month a saving of €26.40 a month.

10 CFL bulbs, with the same light as 100watt ordinary bulbs, would cost from Avocalite €3.75 each or a total of €37.50. You would have the cost of fitting CFL bulbs back in energy savings in about 6 weeks of winter lighting costs.

Given that these CFL bulbs last between 6 and 15 times longer than ordinary bulbs, your savings will increase still further on the replacement cost of bulbs. On top of that, you will save the time, work, and hassle of buying and fitting bulbs every few months.

Q. Any final remarks about the Budget or CFL Bulbs?
A. Remember when changing lightbulbs make sure that the correct bulb is selected, taking into account the shape and size that is needed as well as the correct base. Avocalite sells globes with the Edison Screw Cap base and the Bayonet Cap base. Some lamps or chandaliers may require a smaller base size - referred to as a SES (Small Edison Screw) or SBC (Small Bayonet Cap). These are also readily available which means that any of the traditional shaped incandescant globes can be replaced without difficulty. The costs of replacement, so often looked on as a reason for not doing so, are not that significant and generally can be recovered after a few months use of the replacement CFL bulbs which also have the added advantage of a considerably longer in-use life.

As our response to the budget announcement and as a way of extending Season's wishes to your readers we would like to offer a 5% discount on all products bought up until the end of December 2007. Use the discount voucher code HappyChristmas

Jennifer also has high power 30 watt CFL bulbs that give the same light as 150 watt filqament bulbs, CFL spot lamps, and there are the new Micro CFL bulbs which are very compact and suitable for special lamps and other fittings.

There you have it folks top quality CFL bulbs at bargain prices and a 5% discount for readers of this blog.


WoodPellet Prices v/s Oil Prices


WoodPellet Prices v/s Oil Prices

The current price of wood pellets in Ireland varies a great deal from dealer to dealer. If you have bulk storage, you can take advantage of much lower prices. However, if you have to depend on bagged fuel you will pay a large premium.

One of the most expensive dealers I have found is They advertise bagged pellets delivered at €349 per tonne. Kerry Bio Fuels, on the other hand, have bagged pellets at €280 per tonne, and what they call bulk bagged, in very large sacks, at €245 per tonne.

Are Wood Pellets a Saving over Oil?

In terms of heat output, 2 tonnes of wood pellets approximately equals 1000 litres of heating oil.

Heating oil prices are currently running at between €680 and €710 per 1000 litres.

If you had to buy your pellets from EcoPellets, it would be costing you as much or even some more than oil to heat your home. €349 x 2 tonnes = €698. At Kerry Bio Fuels prices €280 x 2 tonnes €560 you would be saving €120 against the price of a 1000 litres of oil.

Most homes will use one and a half fills of oil in a season 1500 Litres the cost of that is approximately €1020. If the same house was using wood pellets from EcoPellets, the bill would come to €1047. And if the home used Kerry Bio Fuels pellets the bill would be €840 for the season.

On the basis of these figures – it would not make economic sense to switch from oil heating to wood pellet heating. You would have an outlay of about €3000 to €6000 on top of the SEI grant. On the basis of the modest savings from Kerry Bio Fuels prices at €180 per season, it would take you 16 years to recover your investment at current fuel prices.

You would have to be a really committed “Green” to make the hefty investment in the equipment; the grant is well diluted by the higher Irish prices, and then end up paying more for the fuel as a result of your good intentions and investment in the environment.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Budget and Bulbs Ireland


Ireland to ban Old-type Light Bulbs by 2009

Is Ireland beginning to wake up to energy issues?? The recent budget had two small signs of intelligent life in it. 1. A car purchase tax based on emissions, and 2. The banning of filament bulbs by 2009.

Well done Brian Cowen!! But what about grant aided insulation in older buildings - that would save much more than CFL bulbs.

What about a massive investment, say 10% GDP, in nationally owned, wind, solar, wave, and bio-mass energy production to buffer the looming oil crisis?? Now that would be a budget to write up about.


Monday, December 03, 2007

InnovaLight & Great Solar Race


InnovaLight in the Great Solar Race

Conrad Burke CEO InnovaLight and Arnie Oct 2007

I have had further contact with Conrad Burke CEO of InnovaLight. He has been kind enough to send me some material for publication and to answer some direct questions on the position of their technology in the big race.

Here are the questions I sent him and the answers:

Q. InnovaLight, I understand, uses Silicone in small quantities on nanotubes - has this advantages over NanoSolar's dye based technology? i.e Efficiency, length of life, stability, heat coefficient, electrical properties, etc.?
A. Just to clarify, it is silicon (not silicone; big difference). NanoSolar is using CIGS technology which is fundamentally different (it is a blend of 5 elements - Copper, Indium, Galium and Selenium and some Cadmium. Silicon (which is 95% of market today) has shown itself to have higher efficiencies. The only other technology with higher efficiencies are GaAs (concentrators and space applications).

Q. How does the projected end-cost of InnovaLight Nano-Silicone compare to NanoSolar’s materials? NanoSolar are suggesting prices as low as 30c US per watt.
A. Again Silicon (not silicone). I cannot comment on Nanosolar’s claims as I don’t know what they are doing.

Q. Has InnovaLight got working test projects in the field?
A. No, we are in development still.

Q. Roughly, what will the final product look like?? Flexible, Plastic-based?, Metal-based?, Thickness?, How tough?
A. It will be drop in replacement for what is in market today.

Q. What market place does InnovaLigt see it's product mainly aimed at?
A. Commercial and residential – that is 95 percent of market.

InnovaLight would appear to be running with the long-term proven, and higher efficiency technology of “Silicon” (got it right this time!). By using only tiny quantities of this expensive element, they will make the savings on the final production cost. With higher output efficiencies, the panels will take up less area for the same power output.

InnovaLight are going to be slower out of the starting traps in the big race but one to watch because their product is based on the very well proven technology of silicon.

I want to thank InnovaLight and especially Conrad Burke for being so helpful, open, and accomodating in their communications, and I wish them every success in the Big Solar Cell Race.