Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh Yea…., No Surprise: Another Water Main Break, This Time in Gloucester, Mass.

December 23rd, 2010


Oh yea, I almost forgot to blog this latest one that I heard. Not like it’s any surprise, but, there was another somewhat major water main break. This time the [un-] lucky town was Gloucester, Massachusetts. According to the reports of New England Cable News (NECN) of the A.M of December 21st, 2010 (as I recall), a water main broke in Gloucester causing the need for an order to be issued to boil drinking water and such mandated the closing of a public school – as the school then had no water to make lunches for the students, etc.

One has to wonder if the town had been in the process of replacing any of its, no doubt, antiquated water main system or if the water folks of that town merely wait for colossal failures before replacing any components of its water systems – in keeping with the apparent line of thought of most of the other water companies in our nation.

No school, no water, and surely no hot showers on the first day of winter. Is this what our taxes now pay for in this nation: unreliable and crumbling infrastructure systems? Apparently so, huh?


Adam Trotter P.E. / AVT

Monday, December 20, 2010

“Good Job” to WNYW Fox 5 Investigates: Nassau County, NY, Water Companies

December 20th, 2010

Two nights ago (Saturday), New York’s Fox Television Channel 5 investigated the status of New York’s Nassau County (Long Island) water companies. The investigation revealed well in excess of twenty water companies for this single New York county – a county that has one of the highest costs of living in the United States. As we all know, the public water companies are typically small government-sanctioned monopolies. And, as confirmed by a public watchdog group during the investigation, all these water companies are providing water to the county residents from the same water source. So, the investigation asked, why does Nassau county need more than twenty water companies for a single county especially when the water is all coming from the same source? Furthermore, the investigation displayed these water companies as being typically bastions of nepotism and apparently often an example of the wasting of government funds as well. For example, each of these water companies have a superintendent/director that makes $130,000 to $200,000 (+/-) per year plus tens of thousands in per diem expenses for attending meetings of the water company (per diem policies such as in keeping with the mode of corrupt, ousted, investigated, and recently arrested city officials from Bell, California).

As I have longed asked in this blog: what is with the dysfunctional manner of operations of the water systems in our nation, this Fox 5 Investigates has displayed the other side of the coin which clearly illuminates at least a potential reason why our public utilities are so screwed-up in our nation – at least assuming Nassau county is any example of what is happening in the rest of the nation.

“Thumbs up” and “good job” to WNYW’s Fox 5 Investigates for such a socially-relevant expose. The nation clearly needs more of these types of investigations for the current times in which we are trying to reign in our massive, expensive, and out of control government entities which seem to care little for the financial well-being of the taxpayer. Again, kudos to WNYW’s Fox 5 Investigates!


Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More Water Main Breaks: Chelsea, Mass. and Kansas City, Mo.

December 15th, 2010

According to CBS Evening News of yesterday there was a massive water main break in Kansas City, Missouri, which left several residences inaccessible. And, according to WBZ Boston, today there was a massive water main break today in Chelsea, Mass. Both breaks were likely results of the freezing cold weather. The break in Chelsea was determined to be the failure of a one-hundred year old water main pipe.

So, as I have repeatedly asked, when are our governments going to whole-heartedly address the aging and failing infrastructure of our nation?

Adam V. Trotter P.E. / AVT

Friday, December 10, 2010

Politicians Bumble While the Nation’s Infrastructure Crumbles. Water Main Break Boston MA. Thoroughfare Bridge Closed Portsmouth NH/Kittery ME.

December 9th, 2010


While the politicians have been debating on how much of the taxpayers' dollars to give away, the nation’s infrastructure continues to crumble and decay.



In Boston's South End, a forty year old water main broke and left many with no water and no power in the abnormally bitter cold of this December morning. Temperatures were less than twenty degrees Fahrenheit.


http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/12002958473214/water-main-break-causes-sinkhole-in-boston-south-end/


http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/south_end/2010/12/water_restored_in_south_end_af.html




While in nearby Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the ninety year old Memorial Bridge which carries U.S. Highway Route 1 across the Piscataqua River to Kittery, Maine has been declared unsafe for vehicular traffic. Though the bridge was scheduled to be demolished and replaced sometime over the next three years, due to recently discovered excessive decay and the cost of repairing the doomed bridge as it stands, the span has been closed to vehicular traffic – much to the chagrin of nearby merchants. Though, NH DoT appears to be fairly competent and was able to catch this decay prior to any catastrophic consequences - so 'good job' to that agency.


http://www.wabi.tv/news/16290/kittery-portsmouth-nh-bridge-closed






So, again I ask, do the government-endorsed public utilities and other agencies that maintain our infrastructure still honestly believe it is in the nation’s best interest to wait until our infrastructure collapses before they will allocate the money to bring our infrastructure up to date? I bet those in San Bruno, California would have preferred their politicians to show any amount of concern regarding their infrastructure systems and had mandated the replacement of antiquated system components prior to the catastrophic natural gas system explosion that killed many innocent civilians in their town.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/09/09/large-explosion-reported-california-hillside/


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/08/AR2010120800158.html



Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Earthquake Off Long Island, New York. Build to Earthquake Building Code Specifications Everywhere in U.S.!!

December 1st, 2010


Yesterday's earthquake off the coast of Long Island, New York has prompted me to repost my suggestion that all new construction buildings in the United States should be built to meet / in accordance with earthquake building codes.


My previous blog on this subject:

http://engineeringandcommerce.blogspot.com/2010/01/build-to-earthquake-building-codes-in.html



See also:
http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/long_island/earthquake-off-eastern-long-island-20101130-KC

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/earthquake-off-long-island-i-felt-it-did-you/


Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Minor Rains and Winds Leaves Thousands with No Electricity, Massive Water Main Break in Canoga Park.

October 5th, 2010


Over the last two days or so, the greater Los Angeles area has received a few fractions of an inch of rain. As a result, tens of thousands of homes have reportedly lost electrical power for some period of time. Furthermore, though no one is absolutely sure if such is related, a massive water main break this evening in the San Fernando Valley’s Canoga Park area has closed roadways and threatens the structural integrity of nearby buildings which house several businesses.

As taxpayers, how long must we repeatedly endure seeing the ever-increasing decay of our nation’s infrastructure with little apparent concern over the matter from our elected officials who oversee the cognizant utility companies???? I AGAIN SAY, REBUILD OUR NATION’S INFRASTRUCTURE!!! If such takes the election of an entirely new breed of politician, well so be it. If any typical politician has been in office for several decades to witness the decay of the nation’s infrastructure [and workforce], I say:

VOTE THE TYPICALLY SELF-SERVING BUMS OUT OF OFFICE!!! Let’s get some politicians in office that truly care for the well-being of the nation more than they care for their own self-centered desires.

Adam Trotter / AVT


See also:
http://engineeringandcommerce.blogspot.com/2010/09/hottest-day-ever-recorded-in-downtown.html

http://engineeringandcommerce.blogspot.com/2010/07/water-main-break-jersey-city-nj.html

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hottest Day Ever Recorded in Downtown L.A. 113 Degrees Fahrenheit Leaves Many Without Electricity in Sweltering Heat.

September 29th, 2010

Yesterday reportedly witnessed the highest temperature ever recorded in Downtown Los Angeles since temperatures have been recorded dating back to 1877. Today, it was widely reported that approximately 25,000 homes in the greater Los Angeles area are without electrical power as a result of the excessive heat of yesterday (including many of which in LA-DWP and SoCal Edison territories). I have not heard any reported or specific reasons for the excessive number of power outages. Also, I have yet to actually research the matter for specific reasons for the outages. However, I assume that the outages are due to the antiquated electrical power grid being over-taxed and faulty component failures.

Nevertheless, I wonder if the electrical grid is similar the municipal water systems that repeatedly fail throughout our nation. As with the water systems and water companies, we have small government-sanctioned monopolies which have been in business for a long time. Apparently, even though these monopolies have been getting paid for their efforts, they typically appear to have decided against making any significant capital upgrades or overall system improvements until the existing systems experience catastrophic failures.

Are we to suppose that the aging electrical grid of our nation is subject this same infrastructure logic as well? That is, where we have many government-blessed monopolies that prefer to pocket their earnings with minimal reinvestment shown to the electrical transmission system grid from which they make their earnings? Even if these sanctioned monopolies only maintain these systems and do not actually own them, why is it that they are typically immediately able to cover the costs of repairing catastrophic system failures but appear unable to proactively invest in the infrastructure to prevent catastrophic failures? I suspect because the utility companies would rather wait until a system fails before replacing any antiquated relics in the systems and claim that such makes better economic sense to do so. I, of course, would disagree with any such claimed economic sense that waits until a catastrophic failure to perform system upgrades.

I would counter with the following economic sense:

Maybe its time to rid the nation of these often-times ineffectual yet sanctioned monopolies that are blessed with special treatment from our governments and replace them with a better system. Maybe more competition (or something) is needed to ensure our utility systems are more rugged and operating regardless of the occasional catastrophic weather occurrences. As a result of the utility monopolies’ self-centered and short-sighted quest for profits, maybe the firms we know as our electrical and water companies (as with many other utilities) are, in fact, the true relics and antiques that require replacement; as the paradigms of these firms are what appear to actually impede utility system upgrades necessary to withstand any weather conditions to which the systems are subjected.


Adam Trotter / AVT

Friday, September 3, 2010

L.A. Dodgers’ Theory of Business Management

September 2nd, 2010

According to the article in today’s Los Angeles Times (“Dodger Blue Running Deep in Red,” by Bill Shaikin and E.Scott Reckard), The Los Angeles Dodgers franchise of the Major League Baseball monopoly seems to have subscribed to the likely misguided yet seemingly prevailing thought of Corporate America. It would seem that the prevailing thought in the American corporate world as well as the Dodger organization is to view debt as a good thing – after all, the reasoning apparently goes for such a viewpoint, that debt is a positive cash flow and the greater the debt, the greater the positive cash flow from this debt. Add to this perception, that through recent ‘reform’ legislation, the U.S. Federal Government has apparently agreed to bolster any “too large to fail” corporation through tax-payer funds and would thereby prevent the failure of any major corporate entity that was determined to be vital to the nation’s economy, one can surmise that we will see many other major corporation’s follow this L.A. Dodgers’ Theory of Business Management and leverage their corporations to the maximum level possible; knowing all the while that the U.S. government and tax-payer is holding a safety net for any major corporation’s financial recklessness and ineptitude (regardless of anti-trust status and not to mention bankruptcy possibilities which typically only ‘screw’ those owed money and not the company seeking bankruptcy protection - stock holders not withstanding, of course). Not to insinuate that the Federal government would save the Dodger organization from financial ruin; but the point being that there appears only minimal repercussions to those corporate entities that care not about balance sheets, maintain unrealistic debt levels, and only appear to care about lining their pockets with cash, regardless of whether the cash emanates from a cannibalization of assets which subsequently leads to the demise of their corporation.

Adam Trotter / AVT

The New Jersey Turnpike Theory of Business Management

See:

http://theultimateroadtripamericac2c.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-jersey-and-new-jersey-turnpike.html

Monday, July 19, 2010

Water Main Break, Jersey City, NJ

July 19th, 2010

According to New York city AM radio news (such as WCBS 880 AM), last night and this morning, there was a water main break in Jersey City, NJ. This water main break was “…causing all kinds of problems…” to the tunnel approaches to NYC from New Jersey. As I’ve been blogging for a long time, REBUILD THE NATION’S WATER MAIN SYSTEMS!!!

Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT


See also: http://engineeringandcommerce.blogspot.com/2010/05/another-water-main-break.html

Friday, June 18, 2010

On Doubling the Efficiency of Electrical Generators and Motors…..

June 18th, 2010

I believe I may have a valid design that could lead to possibly doubling [or even quadrupling – or more] the output/efficiency of the typical electrical generator and armature motor, should the design prove to be successful. I need to do a bit more research first, however, before I can be certain this particular design has not been tried and failed in the past, if such is possible.


Shoot…, you know wha’? The design could even be a lead-in to the physically elusive phenomena of perpetual motion. Or…, then again, maybe not – of course. As we all know, theories don’t always work as good in real-life practice. But it is a simplistic idea that could be easily manufactured – or so it would seem anyhow. I must say, however, that the matter would be much more feasible if I were to have a forthright corporation, agency, or university supporting the effort.

Maybe someday before all too long, I’ll be able to let you know.

Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT

Concerning the Armature Motor and Electrical Generator We Commonly Know as the Moon Orbiting the Earth….

For anyone that is interested, cares, or is paying any attention [or not], I believe I have gained insight concerning the puzzling phenomenon of the naturally occurring electrical armature motor/generator we know as the moon orbiting around the earth. This electrical motor consisting of the moon in orbit around the earth - no doubt - generates most likely unfathomable and as yet unquantifiable electrical force / potential. Of course, to date, neither has this unquantifiable electrical force been knowingly captured [per se] for usage by mankind.

Regardless, I believe I have may have determined how this electrical force / potential generated by the moon-earth armature motor/generator is represented from a physical viewpoint. I also believe I have likely ascertained how this electrical force / potential commonly and repeatedly manifests itself in the earth’s environment. And, believe it or not, we may already know how to harness the manifestation of this electrical force / potential by utilizing its effective appearance.

So, anyone out there interested? I often wonder if there would be any forward thinking universities out there that are not too encumbered by their paradigms for such a basic research study?

Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Deepwater Horizon, BP, U.S. MMS Agency: Why No Double Redundant Systems in Deepwater Oil Wells?

June 16th, 2010

Hey Deepwater Horizon, BP, US MMS Agency,
For deepwater oil wells, why don’t you require double redundant systems in case of a catastrophic failure such as with the emergency shut-off valve for this deepwater oil well system that is currently leaking massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico? I mean, I always thought that anything that was done at a depth of five thousand feet underwater always had double redundant systems for nearly everything. Apparently this is not the case with your systems and these wells? It’s not like the wells don’t generate the cash flows to cover the costs of double redundant systems, right?

Adam Trotter P.E. / AVT


PS. In my professional opinion, if they are responsible for the cognizance of these off-shore wells, everyone - except maybe the support workers - at the US MMS Agency (Minerals Management Service, Dept. of Interior) should be fired/terminated from government service. The White House should ‘clean house’ with that simpleton agency – from what I am hearing in the news reports. Get rid of them! Apparently, we won’t miss them at all! Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Volunteer Information from BP

Horizonsupport@oegllc.com
to .....@gmail.com
date Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 12:35 PM
subject Horizon Call Center


Adam Trotter,

Thank you for registering with the BP Horizon Response Center. BP is working with state organizations to coordinate volunteer efforts in affected Gulf of Mexico states.

As a volunteer you will not come into contact with oil contaminated materials, but may perform mitigation activities in non-oil contaminated areas such as pre-cleaning beaches.

Volunteers will be allowed to work in wildlife recovery and rehabilitation facilities; however, volunteers who do not have federal / state wildlife licenses cannot handle the wildlife. If you are interested in working in these facilities your name will be passed along to the wildlife recovery and rehabilitation coordinators so they can contact you when they need assistance.

If you are interested in this type of role, please contact one of the following organizations:
• Louisiana: http://www.volunteerlouisiana.gov/ or call 2-1-1 or 1-800-755-5175
• Mississippi: http://www.mcvs.org
• Florida: http://www.volunteerflorida.org/ (verify registration is open)
• Alabama: http://www.servealabama.gov/ – or call 2-1-1 or 1-888-421-1266

After registering with the state to volunteer, they may contact you if and when your support is needed. Following activation, you will be provided safety training at the beginning of your work assignment at the location you are advised to report to begin work. Please write down this information and do not lose it as the Horizon Response Center will not have your assignment information.

All oil-contaminated materials will only be handled by Qualified Community Responders (QCR) and not by volunteers. BP is providing training through PEC / Premier Safety Management. However, the BP training modules are of use primarily to individuals interested in employment and not volunteers.

Please note that, in general, volunteers must be 18 years of age or older to participate. Please refer to state websites for more details on any age restrictions.

Regards,
BP Horizon Response Center

Where are the Jobs?

June 5th, 2010

So where are all the jobs? Where is the recovery from the recession? Why is the government not immediately hiring folks to clean the beaches as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - or are they? They apparently only want volunteers to 'pre-clean' the beaches? Has not the oil washed ashore? Is there nothing to be done to catch the oil at sea which would include hiring of individuals?

AVT

Oil Spill Affected Areas and Lack of Federal Government Support for Clean Up.

June 5th, 2010

Is it just me or does it also appear to others that not much is being done on the Federal level to help the regions affected by the recent oil-spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico? I mean, it almost appears as though someone is trying to prove a point about the pit falls of off-shore drilling for oil. To leave everything in the hands of BP seems as though such might not be the most productive solution. Why is not several of our hundreds of Navy ships working the clean-up efforts too - or are they? Why are not volunteers being enlisted/hired to try and catch the oil at sea - or are they? Is it believed that any proactive clean-up at sea would be a waste of time? Does all this appear as odd to anyone other than me? Am I misinformed here?

Adam Trotter / AVT

The White House - Presidential Correspondence / Response to my note.

The White House - Presidential Correspondence

to ......@gmail.com
date Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 1:28 PM
subject Thank you for your message
mailed-by whitehouse.gov


Dear Friend:

Thank you for writing to me about the oil spill in
the Gulf of Mexico. I appreciate your perspective as we
continue to do everything we can to address this crisis.

The Gulf is one of the richest and most beautiful
ecosystems on the planet. For centuries, its residents have
enjoyed and made a living off the fish that swim in its
waters and the wildlife that inhabit its shores. The Gulf is
also the heartbeat of the region's economic life. We are
going to do everything in our power to protect our natural
resources, compensate those who have been harmed,
rebuild what has been damaged, and help this region
persevere like it has done so many times before.

For information about response efforts, how to help,
or available assistance, please visit
www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon or www.epa.gov/bpspill.

Thank you again for contacting me. I encourage
you to visit WhiteHouse.gov to learn more about my
Administration or to contact me in the future.


Sincerely,

Barack Obama


To be a part of our agenda for change, join us at www.WhiteHouse.gov

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Recent Note to the White House Concerning the Oil Spill Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

May 28th, 2010

President Obama,
With all due respect and concerning the current environmental disaster of the oil well leak in the Gulf of Mexico, I have several ideas to curtail the damage, assist the affected regions, and limit the political exposure of all entities involved. Furthermore, if properly done, I believe this disaster could create entire new industries, create a surge in manufacturing orders, and create employment for a significant amount of people. For your review, I have pasted my resume below. Please contact me if you wish to further discuss this matter and my ideas for a solution.

Thank you,
Adam Trotter, P.E.

Build Another Crossing of the Hudson River!!!!!!

May 27th, 2010

On a recent sojourn from Southern New Jersey to Boston during New York City commuter rush hour, I was faced with the quandary of which route to cross the Hudson River to get to Connecticut. Of course, because of the amount of traffic and the severely under designed roads in the greater NYC/Gotham metroplex, one must stay as far away from the city as possible when driving during rush hour – otherwise, one will likely spend most of their time sitting in traffic going nowhere fast. Anyway, I had already decided to cross the Hudson at Newburgh, NY. But as I came to the point where I was forced to make my decision whether to cross the river at the Tappan Zee Bridge or proceed the additional distance out of the way to cross at Newburgh, there appeared a colossal traffic jam that essentially blocked the approach to the Tappan Zee. As I was going all the way to Boston, to traverse the extra distance to cross somewhere else was not so inconvenient for me. However, I felt sympathy for the local commuters that had no alternative but to sit in the traffic – with the possible exception of heading south though New Jersey to NYC to cross the river, because Newburgh probably would be ridiculously out of the way for most of them. I saw them all sitting frustrated in the traffic on the alternate routes trying to avoid the massive traffic jam approaching the Tappan Zee heading to Westchester County, NY.

SO, I RELAY ALL THIS TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING POINT:::

BUILD ANOTHER CROSSING OF THE HUDSON RIVER. I mean, are the people who make roadway construction decisions mentally deficient, or what?!?!? If the nation can afford to spend a billion dollars a day fighting extremist idiots and rebuilding schools in Iraq and Afghanistan, the nation can afford to build another bridge or tunnel to cross the Hudson River to replace the relics and antiques that are currently utilized to cross the river!!!!!!!

Adam Trotter, P.E.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another Water Main Break

May 25th, 2010

Yet another water main break closes commuter roadway during drive-home rush hour. Do you think it was cheaper to wait till until catastrophic system failure before rebuilding this water main system?


On May 19th or so, WFME Radio 94.7 FM in the New York City Area briefly reported a water main break in some township in northern New Jersey. The water main catastrophic break was only minimal news, of course – as water main failures are quite common these days. However, this water main break forced the closure of a main commuter route whereby the traffic was forced to be rerouted on alternative roadways. So I wonder, in keeping with the apparent general consensus of the public works departments of our nations, was this water main better to wait for catastrophic failure as it displayed or would it have been better to rebuild this main on our own terms and at a predetermined time? Rebuild all the water main systems (and city streets)!!!!! NOW!!!

See also: http://engineeringandcommerce.blogspot.com/2010/05/colossal-water-main-break-western.html


http://engineeringandcommerce.blogspot.com/2010/02/rebuild-nations-water-mains-and-sewer.html




Adam Trotter, P.E.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Colossal Water Main Break Western Boston Suburbs - Boil Drinking Water Ordered

May 3rd, 2010

A couple of days ago, May 1st - I believe, there was a colossal water main break in a suburb west of Boston. The main was apparently a major valve for the most of the water supply to most of the Boston suburbs. The affected Boston suburbs are now under a standing order / advisory to boil drinking water. Most all the stores immediately sold-out of bottled water inventories.

Barring any unusual circumstances such as terrorism or new equipment failure, do you suppose it was better to wait for a catastrophic failure to repair this water main system? I doubt it. (See also: http://engineeringandcommerce.blogspot.com/2010/03/rebuild-nations-water-mains-and-sewer.html)

Adam Trotter / AVT

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rebuild the Nation’s Water Mains and Sewer Systems and City Streets!

Reposted here from another of my blogs:


February 10th, 2010

During a heavy rainstorm the other day, I was surprised to notice the massive amount of water flowing out of a storm drain and back onto the rapidly flooding street. A little later, as I was driving through the small lakes and streams that are normally shoddy city streets, I again began to reflect on the state of the nation’s infrastructure. I started to ponder why more infrastructure projects have not been undertaken to rebuild the nation’s often ancient sewer and water main systems as well as the antique city streets. I understand the rationale to wait until these systems break to begin any repairs or rebuilding efforts. But, maybe the best ‘bang for the buck’ or return on investment would not be to wait until these infrastructure systems demand immediate attention when they fail. Nevertheless, given the fact that the nation can afford to spend probably a billion dollars a day in Iraq and Afghanistan, and given the fact that the nation can afford to give trillions of dollars to our impoverished bankers and financial institutions, I found myself at a loss as to why the nation does not undertake the massive engineering and infrastructure projects required to rebuild the country’s water main and sewer systems before these systems catastrophically fail – with such failure likely only a matter of time. I mean…, we could create a lot of engineering-related jobs by investing more in our nation’s infrastructure.

Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT


PS. Should such engineering endeavors ever be undertaken by the nation as a whole, we could probably use to replace some of the ancient bridges as well, if not build more bridges to supplement the over-crowded ones that exist now.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Orange County Tsunami Warning System Offered No Warning? Does the Nation have an Undue Reliance on High-Tech Systems?

March 4th, 2010

As reported today on KCAL TV News, Channel 9 in Los Angeles, the tsunami warning system in place to warn portions of Southern California of incoming tsunamis failed to warn many of the relatively minor tsunami that came ashore as a result of the recent large earthquake in Chile. The system recognized the tsunami but the phone system became flooded and dysfunctional as warning calls went out and therefore the warning calls did not connect to the residents who may have otherwise been in harm’s way and awaiting such a warning.

An assuredly expensive high-tech system failed to perform as expected? Who would ever think such a thing was possible? Given our unequivocal and utter dependence on high-tech systems for every nearly every facet of our lives from pocket change to warning and safety systems, maybe, for times of emergency, we best start keeping a cookie jar full of money buried in the backyard or under the mattress too? Such an emergency plan assumes any of us to be in a position to fund such a cookie jar now-a-days, of course. ‘Cause who knows what other high tech systems that are vital to the nation’s well being may also fail when we need those systems the most.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Solar Electric Basics, Solar Photo-Voltaics

March 2nd, 2010


Crystalline Silicon PV Panel:
100 sq.ft. can create 1 kW, efficiency 15% to 22%


Thin film PV (like tiles):
200 sq.ft. can create 1 kW, efficiency 7% to 15%


Monocrystalline (single crystal): 75W, Polycrystalline (multi crystal): 80W,
Amorphous (Thin Film): 43W


PV Output drops with higher temperatures, say above 70 F / 20 C
- Percentage amount of drop with temperature increase is called Temperature Coefficient of Power. This number is less in thin film PV.


Inverter
- converts DC electricity to AC electricity
- should locate in a cool area


PV Panels can last 25+ years – used in space program

Net Metering – Electrical meter sins both ways, net amount is measured. Also, Net Time of Use Metering applies to time of day you are making electricity and when you are taking from the grid


On-grid vs. off-grid (off-grid requires battery)


On-grid requires electric grid. Electric grid goes down, on-grid system goes down too.


However, buying electricity is cheaper at night. Also, the less energy one uses, the less susceptible one will be to higher-charged electric rate upper tiers.


PG&E of California estimates that a proper figure for approximating costs to install PV systems is $9 per Watt installed (note this is per Watt, not kilowatt).

Payback on PV electric systems should be 8 to 18 years, according to PG&E.



Other Factors:

Solar Resource Potential (kWhours / sq. meter / day)
Monitoring Hardware Required?


PV Panel and mounting:

Shading (Trees, Buildings, etc., 2:1, two feet of horizontal distance to every
one foot above panel height of any potential shading element)

Southern Exposure (True south, not magnetic south)

Orientation of Panel (True south by southwest, SSW, is probably best)

Tilt of Panel (depends on your latitude, normal roof pitch is generally okay)

Cleanliness of Panel (dust, etc.)

Solar Window (when sun is best, usually 9 AM to 3 PM)

Adequate Roof Area (100 to 300 sq. ft. of roof area per kW, depending on type of
PV panels installed)

Roof Condition (shingle conditions and weight on roof)

Tracking Systems (to follow the sun through the sky and through the day)

Excessive Wind Loading Possible?



Tools:

Solar Pathfinder
Solmetric SunEye


Incentive calculator (for California):
www.csi-epbb.com

Nationally, 30% Tax rebate on Federal Returns

National Rebate Information for Homeowners:
www.dsireusa.org


California Residential Systems must be OG-300 Certified to qualify for rebates.

California Commercial/Non-Residential/Multifamily Panels (only) must be OG-100 Certified to qualify for rebates.


Compare AC Watts with AC Watts, not AC with DC

Panel DC wattage X number of panels X inverter efficiency = number AC watts

Be suspicious if only given DC output of designed/installed PV system?

Normalize to price per AC watt or price per AC kilowatt



Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Can Help You Do an Energy Audit and Help You Choose an Installing PV/Solar Electric Contractor

February 24th, 2010


I Can Help You Do an Energy Audit and Help You Choose an Installing PV/Solar Electric Contractor


Adam Trotter P.E. / AVT

Grid-Tied Solar Photovoltaic Electric Systems.

February 24th, 2010

Isn’t it kind of humorous how the utility companies tell us how it is in our best interest for our solar-powered homes to remain tied to the grid? So, if the power goes down on the local grid, your solar electric systems will not power your house if the grid is down. The utilities claim such a reality to be a safety device – as if that is the only alternative for such a safety? But on the other hand, it is a nice fall-back to have the grid available to your house nevertheless. I think I would prefer to have the stand-alone off-grid system – batteries and all, if such were feasible or allowable for the application.

Adam Trotter P.E. / AVT

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Utilizing Tidal Energy, Creating Electricity from the Tides.

February 24th, 2010

Okay. Well maybe harnessing the electricity created by the moon and harnessing the electricity created by the earthly geomagnetics may still be decades – if not centuries – away into the future. The visible earthly effects of the moon: the tides of the earth’s waters may in deed promise some realistic and current applications for the productive use by mankind relevant to the harnessing of the earth’s existing and natural forces and never-ending natural power systems. Maybe tidal energy is where the real answer lies, other than merely harnessing solar power, that is.

Adam Trotter P.E. / AVT


Ok, add-on after thought (Feb 25th, 2010):
This subject has lead me to a possible revelation: I think I may have come up with an idea to possible double the electrical generation and any typical electrical generating device. And, for any of you who actually bother to read this blog, you heard it here first. :) Maybe now PhD. studies on doubling the output of electrical generators??



Also see:
http://engineeringandcommerce.blogspot.com/2010/02/use-moon-to-provide-electricity-to-all.html

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Use the Moon to Provide Electricity to All of the Earth?

February 17th, 2010


Can we not put an electrical-type of stator around the moon in such a fashion to see if the rotation of the moon would create electricity to power the earth (or even a light bulb)? Could we then transmit the accumulated voltage (or whatever) to the earth in the form of some sort of pulse technology or even some other form of energy storage devices such as flywheels? Do you think I could study this question for PhD. studies at your university? Is there not a university out there that is not confined by our earthly paradigms? (Or is the only real surviving paradigm that which delineates the taking of another's idea and to run with it?)

Adam Trotter / AVT


PS. Well, I think its kind’a cute, anyhow - assuming you pardon the slight negativity at the end. No? :)



Ok, add-on after thought (Feb 25th, 2010):
I think I figured this one out today too!!! The earth and the moon acting simultaneously as one big electrical generator. Can we tap into that energy source? Wha’d’ya think? And, for any of you who actually bother to read this blog, you heard it here first. Maybe? :)

The Lack of Internet Over the Electrical Utility Power Lines Helps to Broaden the Gap Between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have-Nots’ in the United States?

February 17th, 2010


Many may not be aware that the technology exists so that when one plugs the power cord to their computer into the electrical outlet on the wall, they could thereby be connected to the internet as well. This technology has been dubbed Broadband over Power Lines (BPL), or something to that extent. This technology is already in place and apparently in use in some places in our nation.

However, when I investigated this matter in an ad-hoc manner, the only reason I was ever given as to why BPL is not utilized in most regions is because the state and the utility companies have not determined how to divvy up the profits from such a venture. Or at least that is the answer I was given concerning the state of this technology in California. Furthermore, the electrical utility power companies are already working to utilize this technology for their own gain in measuring and reporting the amount of electricity utilized by the end user. And who knows what else the technology is good for monitoring?

Such an answer concerning divvying-up the profits brings up several troubling questions; not the least of which concerns who paid for the electrical utility power lines and why the never-ending need for profit at the expense of others and at the expense of the nation. By these questions I mean, first of all, did not the American people pay for the majority of utility lines in the United States, both electrical lines and telecommunications lines as well? I am confident that the American people paid for nearly all the utility lines through tax dollars. Granted the utility companies should be reimbursed for the maintenance of these lines. Also, I believe an answer behind the answer listed above includes the business models of the existing internet service providers who have long made gads of monies off of the public’s desire to be connected to one of the greatest technologies and learning tools of all mankind (i.e.: the internet).

In the back of my potentially cynical mind, however, I have to wonder if there is not some desire afoot to try to further consolidate the access to information and thereby keep the learning tool that is the internet available only to those that have the money to pay for such. If the American people paid for most, if not all, of the utility transmission lines in the nation, should not these utility lines be utilized to the greatest benefit of the people? Imagine the potential productivity increase in the nation if all that was required to link to the internet was the power cable to a computer.

Am I again missing something here? Please let me know your thoughts on this subject, if you would be so kind.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rebuild the Nation’s Water Mains and Sewer Systems and City Streets!

February 10th, 2010

During a heavy rainstorm the other day, I was surprised to notice the massive amount of water flowing out of a storm drain and back onto the rapidly flooding street. A little later, as I was driving through the small lakes and streams that are normally shoddy city streets, I again began to reflect on the state of the nation’s infrastructure. I started to ponder why more infrastructure projects have not been undertaken to rebuild the nation’s often ancient sewer and water main systems as well as the antique city streets. I understand the rationale to wait until these systems break to begin any repairs or rebuilding efforts. But, maybe the best ‘bang for the buck’ or return on investment would not be to wait until these infrastructure systems demand immediate attention when they fail. Nevertheless, given the fact that the nation can afford to spend probably a billion dollars a day in Iraq and Afghanistan, and given the fact that the nation can afford to give trillions of dollars to our impoverished bankers and financial institutions, I found myself at a loss as to why the nation does not undertake the massive engineering and infrastructure projects required to rebuild the country’s water main and sewer systems before these systems catastrophically fail – with such failure likely only a matter of time. I mean…, we could create a lot of engineering-related jobs by investing more in our nation’s infrastructure.

Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT


PS. Should such engineering endeavors ever be undertaken by the nation as a whole, we could probably use to replace some of the ancient bridges as well, if not build more bridges to supplement the over-crowded ones that exist now.

Free Winter Heat for Your House? Free Hot Water?

February 10th, 2010

It’s winter time. Could you use to input some free solar heat into your house or into your hot water system? After initial installation costs, solar thermal systems could add free heat and hot water to your apartment, condominium complex, and business office. You can have free heat or free hot water, or both. Solar thermal systems can pay for themselves within a year, depending on your usage. Also, these systems still collect heat on cloudy days and in the middle of winter. Solar thermal systems burn no fuel, do not pollute, and can be weather-proofed for all climates. Furthermore, you can get up to third of the costs as an investment tax credit to your federal taxes and tax rebates on your state tax returns as well - as applicable to your state. Contact me if you are interested. When new state laws (such as in California) take effect there likely will be a significant consumer stampede to install these systems. So beat the rush and arrange for an estimate soon so that you can start saving immediately or you will be ready to install when the additional new laws and rebates take effect – as applicable. Best method to contact me is to leave comment to this blog. :)

Adam Trotter P.E. / AVT


PS. Any comment posted will not be seen by any others, btw.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Solar Thermal Heat and Hot Water for your Home or Office

February 1st, 2010

If you are interested in transferring some of the heat from the sun into your house, office, or condominium, ask me how. The initial cost of solar thermal systems amount to only a fraction of the cost of solar electricity / solar photovoltaics systems. Once installed, solar thermal systems can provide free heat to your residence and also provide free hot water as well.

Adam Trotter P.E. / AVT

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Build to Earthquake Building Codes in U.S., Regardless of Location

January 19th, 2010.

Given all the seismic fault lines in the United States (Ramapo, New Madrid, San Andreas, etc.), all buildings should be built in accordance with earthquake building codes, regardless of the building's location. Given the cost to do anything in the modern world, there is no excuse for any portion of the U.S. not to build in accordance with the generally accepted earthquake building safety standards.

I would suggest not buying any house or structure that is not built in accordance with these earthquake building codes - if such a purchase choice was an option.
AVT / Adam Trotter

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lethality of Typical Engineering Jobs in the United States…..

January 16th, 2010

I often wonder why it seems that if one were inclined to pursue engineering-type employment in the United States that the vast majority of all the available engineering jobs in the U.S. require the engineer to endeavor on projects, systems, and devices that are ultimately intended to kill or harm others – regardless of any potentially just cause for the invocation of the lethal devices.
AVT / Adam Trotter