Saturday, January 31, 2015

Is this tree the future of electricity?

From a distance this may look like an ordinary tree, but get closer and you will discover it is actually a power generator.

French company NewWind has created the "Arbre a Vent" or "Wind Tree," a 3-meter-tall generator designed for urban environments which makes the most of smaller air currents.

Operating in near complete silence, the wind tree consists of 72 micro turbine "aeroleaves" that rotate in the wind, generating an estimated 3.1. kW of power.
While this isn't much compared to industrial-sized turbines, which typically generate in the region of 1 - 3MW, having multiple smaller turbines has its uses.

"Urban wind is not very strong, but it is very turbulent," says "Arbre à Vent" engineer Julia Revuz. "These turbines need less wind to get started and produce around 3kW of energy, which could heat a small home, fuel lights or charge an electric car."

New wind was founded by Jérôme Michaud-Larivière three years ago when he had the idea for the Wind Tree while taking a walk. He saw the leaves on a tree moving in the wind and started thinking about the possibility of turning that kinetic energy into electricity.
The current prototype of the tree is steel and the energy made from it goes into the electricity grid and is used locally.
"We haven't yet optimized the structure," says Revuz. "We are hoping to make the leaves out of eco-friendly materials and for the tree to have as a low a carbon footprint as possible."
A 12-meter tall prototype of the tree will be on display from March 12 for two months at Place de la Concorde, a major public square in Paris.
This prototype, which weighs around 5 tons and costs roughly $35,000, is to be used as an educational tool and will aim to show the public the technology behind the structure. The wind tree will be mass produced for sale from March 2015 and newwind says it has raised €1.15 million ($1.34 million) to begin pre-production.
"The reaction has been very positive so far," explains Revuz. "People don't know how it works but they like it, they find it magical.
"There is a very negative view of wind energy, people think it's ugly and it ruins their landscapes. Then they see the wind tree and they think differently."
Newwind has had interest from local government in France and Europe, as well as real estate agents and businesses that want to have the tree on their land. There are even talks about another demonstration tree in London next year.
The Wind Tree may not be affordable and practical for everyone, but there are other applications that could be more accessible.
"Our technology is in the mini wind turbines (the aeroleaves)," says Revuz. "So we are developing other applications for them.
"Architects have been in touch and are interested in using them in their work, perhaps on the roofs of buildings. Mini turbines are cheaper to produce and buy than the wind tree."
Other ideas for the aeroleaves include rooftop foliage installed on buildings, foliage on roadsides and the smart balcony -- where the mini turbines are attached to balcony railings.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Do you want to know the calorie counts of your drinks, before you go partying?

Going for a party, worried about what to wear? Nah! I guess more people are now a days worried about how much calories they would be taking along with their drinks. Always worried how your strict diet plans are going to go in vain because of this one hell of a party. Well lets see how much calories do your favourite drinks carry. From a range of alcoholic drinks, cocktails and mocktails at your service, choose wisely and at your own rick.
As rightly said, in wine there is wisdom and in beer there is freedom. Wine is a favourite among the older crowd with a glass of red packing the most calories, followed by white wine whereas, a shot of whiskey has only 97 calories. Beer is highly popular among the younger generation as it is less alcoholic and also light on one’s pocket. A light beer is more helpful while watching your calories as a can of it only packs around 102.7 calories whereas, a regular beer has 153.1 calories.
Check them out:

Whiskey (1 jigger/shot/44 ml approx)97 cal
Beer – Regular (1 can)153.1 cal
Beer – Light (1 can)102.7 cal
Rum (1 jigger/shot/44 ml approx)97 cal
Tequila (1 peg)69 cal
Bacardi Rum (1 shot)65 cal
Red Wine (1 serving, 147 ml)125 cal
White Wine (1 serving, 147 ml)120.5 cal
Whiskey Sour Mix – Bottled (1 ml)0.9 cal
Brandy  (1 peg)65 cal
Bacardi Breezer, Orange (100 ml)55 cal
Bacardi Breezer, Lemon (100 ml)58 cal
Bacardi Breezer, Watermelon (100 ml)36 cal
Bacardi Breezer, Pineapple (100 ml)36 cal
Bacardi Breezer, Mango (100 ml)36 cal
Take life with a grain of salt, a wedge of lime and a shot of Tequila, which has 69 calories. No wonder, it is called a polite drink as it tells you when you can’t have more. Another favourite is the breezer, variety of flavours, light on alcohol and great in taste and an average of 44 calories.
These blends of different alcohols are a hit at any New Year party. Blended with some liqueur and sugar syrup, poured over some crushed ice, a glass of Margarita has a whopping  562.3 calories. Followed by a crowd favourite, the Pina Colada, made with pineapple juice and coconut milk, all contributing to its calorie content of 526.1 calories. A Martini or the humble Bloody Mary made from tomato juice are the best options with only 62.4 and 23.2 calories, respectively. Choose these drinks wisely and limit their consumption because they might give you a bad hangover. If you don’t want to wake up with the worst hangover the next day, avoid these  alcohols, whiskey, wine, rum, etc.

Long Island Iced Tea (1 glass)226.1 cal
Bloody Mary (1 peg)23.2 cal
Pina Colada (1 can, 200 ml)526.1 cal
Mojito (1  glass)102.8 cal
Martini  (1 peg)62.4 cal
Margarita (1 glass)562.3 cal
Sangria (1 glass)288.1 cal
Shirley Temple (1 glass)58.9 cal
Daiquiri (1 can, 200 ml)258.8 cal
Tequila Sunrise (1 can,  200 ml)232.1 cal
For all those teetotallers or those who don’t want to get drunk but still want have fun on New Year’s eve, there are a variety of not-so-high-on-calories drinks. Giving your taste buds a surprise is the ginger fizz, which only adds 40.7 calories to your waistline. Another drink, favourite among the crowd, is fruit beer. It not only gives you that fizzy, beer-y taste but also adds 130 calories to your calorie intake. If you are planning a house party, here are some easy mocktail recipes that will surely make your party a hit.

Ginger Fizz (1 glass)40.7 cal
Lemonade (1 glass)106.5 cal
Peach Satin (1 glass)113.2 cal
Bael Fruit Punch (1 glass)97.7 cal
Fruit Beer (1 bottle )130 cal
Virgin Mary (1 glass)51.7 cal
Virgin Mojito (1 glass)120 cal
Now you can party hard without being doubtful about the calories in your spirits. Choose wisely so you don’t end up with a with a hangover or a lot more calories in your kitty.