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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Off to chennai we go

We have been invited to put up a dynamic display and make a presentation on the techno-commercial aspects of using WLED's in offgrid applications at Anna University @ chennai. The dept of crystal growth is sponsoring an international symposium on the same topic. Will update on the proceedings....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This is a write only blog

A funny thing this morning. My Blog ( would not come up on my broswer. Appears that for some reason the Dept of telecommunication decided to block off the whole of So since the editing interface is at, i can write to the blog but not read it. Way to go GOI. India is the only country where we can pass right to information acts and block public blogs simultaneously. The most condemnable behavior displayed most casually by our still imperialist babudom...

Catch the action at Bloggers Against Censorship

Monday, July 17, 2006

Alternative Energy Polls

The BBC has poll results across 19 countries that seem to indicate a groundswell of support for Alternate Energy. Will the powers that be give some credance to vox populi ?

In depth : Fueling your lifestyle

Mathew Vea has this in depth article on the nuts and bolts of automotive data capture. Even a Jeep Wrangler can be made more efficient.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cow power

Central Vermont Public Service customers who want to support renewable energy and Vermont dairy farms have a new energy choice – CVPS Cow Power™. The Vermont Public Service Board has approved CVPS Cow Power™, which is intended to help promote development and reliance on renewable energy in Vermont by creating a market for energy generated by burning methane from cow manure.

By enrolling in CVPS Cow Power™, customers will help support Vermont dairy farms that develop generators that run on methane from cow manure, renewable generation in the region, or incentives to farmers to get into the business. Read more here.

Friday, July 07, 2006

End of cheap oil : Dr Vandana Shiva's Commentary

Dr.Vandana has this down to earth perspective on oil, climate change and sustainability. An excerpt below.
"The fossil fuel economy is based on two illusions - one, that we can keep up our oil addiction, and two, that substituting renewable energy with fossil fuel has only benefits, no costs. Climate change is very high cost of an economy based on oil. We are starting to eat oil and drink oil. Oil is at the heart of industrial food production and processing, and long distance food transport. The wheat, India is importing is not just bringing weeds, pests and pesticides. It is also carrying thousands of "food miles". Imagine a Tsunami or cyclone if our food supplies become dependent on wheat from U.S and Australia. And imagine the cost of wheat as oil prices rise, and wheat embodies more oil than nutrition.

We are also drinking oil, not water. When Coca Cola and Pepsi pump 1.5 to 2 million a day to fill their soft drink and water bottles, and transport them to the remotest part of India, water embodies oil both in its extraction and transport. It is increasingly impossible to find clean water in our wells and springs. But Aqua Fina and Kinley has reached every village, selling water which has become oil, packaged in a plastic bottle made from oil. "

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Energy: Geopolitical shifts

The Frontline has a piece on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which has been described by a western academic as "OPEC with the bomb". The imporance of India's low key presence as an observer country can be interpreted as either making up for the current shift towards the US with its Asian partners or as a fifth column for US interests. Given the fact that the Petroleum minister Deora attended instead of Head of state Dr.Singh, the latter sounds plausible. Especially as Deora is seen to be close to US interests. However it could be a bit of both as India has stated its intent in joining this grouping. Being part of the SCO with Russia and China is very important for India's energy security and the importance of this cannot be overstated. It must be remembered that Deora is a new hand at the ministry who was brought in to appease (my opinion) the US as Mani shankar iyer did the unthinkable by actually cutting a strategic deal with the chinese to cooperate instead of compete on equity oil. It is my concidered opinion that Dr.Singh had to lose Mani to show that India is serious about the Nuclear deal. The joint agreement is now a dead letter. While the US can scare India or for that matter anyone else away from equity oil, china is a different kettle of fish when it comes to intimidation.

The prize at stake here is the central asian oil reserve that is being eyed by both the SCO (including observers :) and the US as the strategic reserve of the 21st century. Iran and Pakistan (also observer nations) are lobbying hard to get into this grouping. With Iran in the fold this could be the biggest emerging cartel and have major ramifications on how central asian oil will be exploited and for whose benefit.

If Iran, Pakistan and India join this grouping (as they should) the SCO will provide the foundation for an Asian Energy Framework, that will compete head on with the west for oil reserves. With Venezuela and the South American block already showing interest in selling equity oil to India and China, a Mercosur-SCO + IPI block will change the energy map of the world. Watch this space for lots of action.

Some more voices on the same issue.

Very Strange issues
Informed Dissent

Boeing 787 Dreamliner deploys LED lighting

LED's Magazine reports that "Aircraft such as the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner represent a significant opportunity to replace traditional light sources with LED lighting systems. These offer longer lifetimes, reduced maintenance downtime and lower power consumption, as well as benefits to passengers.
Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, expected to enter service in 2008, features many examples of LED lighting systems throughout its interior as well as for exterior position and anti-collision lighting.
For example, Boeing has selected Goodrich to supply a white LED-based lighting system for the 787’s flight deck, while Germany's Diehl Luftfahrt Elektronik (DLE) is supplying color-changing LED-based lighting systems for the main cabin.

A spokesperson for Boeing told LEDs Magazine that the 787 utilizes LEDs in many systems throughout the airplane, but there are certain major areas where LEDs are significantly contributing to the value of the aircraft.

Air pollution : Better Anthropophagus evolution

Rampant use of insectecides, air pollution and pot holders have apparently selected a new emerging sub species of mosquito in Athens the capital of Greece and the cradle of western civilization.

Yahoo reports that "Cramped housing conditions and air pollution in Athens have given rise to a "super breed" of mosquito that is larger, faster and more adept at locating human prey, a Greek daily has reported.

Athens-based mosquitoes can detect humans at a distance of 25-30 metres (yards) and also distinguish colours, unlike their colour-blind counterparts elsewhere in the country that only smell blood at 15-20 metres, Ta Nea daily reported.

The "super mosquitoes" of the Greek capital also beat their wings up to 500 times a second -- compared to 350 beats for other variations -- and are larger by 0.3 microgrammes on average, the paper said, citing a study conducted by Aristotelio University in the northern city of Salonika.

According to the study, the mosquitoes of Athens have adapted to deal with air pollution and insect repellents, and overpopulation in the Greek capital of over four million has provided them with a healthy food supply.

"Mosquitoes can lay their eggs even inside the trays placed beneath thousands of balcony flowerpots," Athens University professor of zoology Anastassios Legakis told the daily.

The end of formula 1 ?

Recent reports suggest that FIA made M$ the sole supplier of ECU's and related electronics. Expect to see sleek F1's sieze up mid race and drivers getting off to do a ctrl-alt-del. However as all the teams are inflicted with the same gizmo the playing field is sort of levelled. The term firewall in the automotive context will now take a new meaning :-)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Dravid's India win away test series

India recorded their first away series win after the 1986 victory in England (not counting the ones in the subcontinent and distractions like winning in Zimbabwe). The high priests of India's only national religion have won the 4 match series against the West Indies 1-0. This was a wierd tour as far as the pitch conditions go. It is noteworthy on how much West indian cricket has slowed down since the day of Marshall and Roberts. Kumble lived up to his title of 'Deadly Assasin' and Sreesanth has shown great prominse this tour. As ever bowlers who can take 20 wickets in a match take home the cup ! Jai Hind!

Philips, Novaled Announce White OLED Record

Royal Philips Electronics and Novaled recently announced the achievement of a record combination for efficiency and lifetime of high-brightness OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes.)

Philips Lighting, Philips Research and Novaled collaborated on the research effort that produced the breakthrough.

The new record for a white OLED's power efficiency was 32 lm/W with color coordinates of 0.47/0.45 and a CRI of 88 at a brightness of 1,000 cd per meter-squared.

That same device structure shows a lifetime of more than 20,000 hours, which is promising for future commercialization of the OLED technology for lighting applications.

The efficiency of the device was measured with an integrating sphere using only the forward emission cone of the OLED device, without attaching any lens or any other volume type luminaire to the OLED device. This is the only method to reliably predict power efficiency values for large area lighting tiles.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

IEA Publication: Light's Labour lost

The International Energy Agency has a new publication on policy for energy efficient lighting. this is a good step forward as the entire lighting pie is analyzed and solutions including use of HB LED's for lighting is concidered and projected. Some extracts below.
When William Shakepeare wrote Love’s Labour’s Lost he would have used light from tallow candles at a cost (today) of £12,000 per million-lumen hours. The same amount of light from electric lamps now costs only £2! But today’s low-cost illumination still has a dark side. Globally, lighting consumes more electricity than is produced by either hydro or nuclear power and results in CO2 emissions equivalent to two thirds of the world’s cars.

A standard incandescent lamp may be much more efficient than a tallow candle, but it is far less efficient than a high-pressure sodium lamp. Were inefficient light sources to be replaced by the equivalent efficient ones, global lighting energy demand would be up to 40% less at a lower overall cost. Larger savings still could be realised through the intelligent use of controls, lighting levels and daylight.

But achieving efficient lighting is not just a question of technology; it requires policies to transform current practice. This book documents the broad range of policy measures to stimulate efficient lighting that have already been implemented around the world and suggests new ways these could be strengthened to prevent light’s labour’s from being lost.