Solar power plant in India becomes the largest in the world

solar power system

At the end of 2016, the Tamil Nadu project in Kamuthi, India took the lead as the largest solar power plant in the world. Previously, this spot went to Topaz Solar in California.

The Tamil Nadu project took 8 months of construction, an incredibly fast timeline for a plant that spans about 2,500 acres of land. Reports say that at some points during construction, there were a total of 8,500 workers split between three shifts who worked with construction crews to install more than forty thousand solar panels a day.

Upon it’s completion, the plant boasts a 648 megawatt capacity, which gave it the title of largest in the world when compared to Topaz Solar’s 550 megawatt plant.

To the average person, this may seem very confusing, so for clarity, here are a few watt comparisons. Think of your standard lightbulb, perhaps a 40 watt bulb. A ‘watt’ is a unit of power measuring the amount of electricity being drawn from the system at any point in time the bulb is turned on. The average kitchen blender is about 400 watts while the average microwave is about 1100 watts (though they can range fairly significantly.) In the case of power plants, power is measured in megawatts (MW). One megawatt is equivalent to one million watts. To put this in perspective, the Tamil Nadu project comes in at 648MW capacity, about 6.5 billion watts. That’s a lot of power.

So what exactly does a solar plant do? Solar plants essentially “collect” and store energy from the sun for use in a power grid system. Solar plants come in two main varieties: photovoltaic plants (like the Tamil Nadu project in India or Topaz Solar in California) or solar thermal plants. A photovoltaic plant can also be called a solar park, and its purpose is to supply a large power grid with power. It converts sunlight directly into electricity, meaning that solar power harnessed here will go through utility companies, rather than directly to the end user. India hopes to achieve a system with 20,000MW of power by the year 2020. Though the Tamil Nadu project is a only a small fraction of this number, its quick construction time bodes well for numerous other plant projects around the country.

The other type of solar plant is a solar thermal plant. In a solar thermal plant, rather than converting sunlight directly into electricity, the sunlight is collected and used to heat a liquid substance, which in turn produces steam. This steam is then used to power generators that produce electricity. This extra step in the process is the big differentiator between the two types of plants, though both are highly effective and environmentally friendly.

Regardless of the type of plant, these additions to the solar power system of the world are bringing about sustainable ways to produce energy safely, efficiently and at a lower cost than ever before. With more and more countries joining the solar power movement, it becomes increasingly likely that a decent percentage of the world’s power supply could soon come from the sun.

 

 

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Learn to handle bed bugs as part of your pest control strategy

bed bug control

Bed bug bites can happen anytime, anywhere but a few places have a bad reputation for spreading bed bug outbreaks. Places like summer camps, hostels, apartment buildings and college dorms get a bad reputation because there are usually numerous people in a smaller space, meaning it is easier for an infestation to travel. Think about it this way: in a college dorm, rooms are often inhabited by two roommates. If one roommate somehow has bed bugs, whether from themselves or perhaps even from the mattresses that get reused every year in many dorms, the bed bugs can easily find their way to the roommates bed. If that roommate goes to the room next door to visit a friend, perhaps a small bed bug or more are clinging to the roommates clothes, where they can then jump off onto the next person’s bed and so on. This is the same for places like camp, hostels, etc. It’s a scary thing to think about, but doesn’t mean you are a dirty person or bad housekeeper. In fact, bed bugs can even travel in luggage. Let’s say you went on a backpacking trip and stayed in numerous hostels. It’s possible for bed bugs to travel back with you and infest your bed back home.

Rather than worrying about all the ways bed bugs can infest areas, it’s a good idea to know a few ways to treat any irritation in case you ever do deal with any type of bed bug control.

First, know that it is common to see a rash or skin irritation after being bitten by a bed bug. This could look like a cluster of small red dots or even more spread out pink dots across your body. You may find your skin to be itchy and irritated. This is normal. Many people are actually allergic to bed bugs and the skin presents this allergy with a rash or irritation. Bed bugs do not carry disease, so you don’t need to worry about catching anything.

It will likely help you to first, strip your bed sheets and examine your bed. Look for small, dark brown bugs about the size of an apple seed. They could be in the mattress or the box spring. Put your sheets and blanket and pillowcases in the wash at the hottest setting. You may also want to take a shower yourself. This will help you feel clean and soothe some of the irritation.

Next, you should call bed bug exterminators. Professionals will be able to handle the situation and give you confidence that your bed and home are clean again.

Finally, you may want to purchase new sheets or bedding. Though it’s unlikely bedbugs survived a hot washing and drying, you may feel better and sleep more soundly knowing that you have rid yourself completely of the infestation. Sometimes the brain can over think and make you feel itchy, even when you aren’t. This can cause interrupted sleep and overall stress. If you commit to a comprehensive pest control strategy, you can ensure that you always feel safe, clean and comfortable in your home.

 

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More people are buying up ranches for sale

There is a trend for American’s with deep pockets to invest in ranch land. Ranches for sale are always going to be a property type that drawn in the wealthy. In this article we are going to examine why ranches are a hot commodity and what ranches can offer besides an investment opportunity.

“Ranches are a great way for people to keep their money safely invested,” says a real estate agent we interviewed for this piece. “A lot of people who have extra money are looking for places to put it other then in banks or in stocks, investing in property is a great way to keep money safe and many people enjoy doing that by purchasing ranch land.”

So what is it about ranch land that drives people to seek out ranches for sale to make a financial investment? Well, there are many benefits to owning ranch land over other types of property. Ranch land can be used for many different purposes. One can use it to start a business, like a commercial farm or dude ranch; you can start some type of boutique business; or you can use it purely for recreation. Either way, the farm land that you buy will have a good resale value and good resale opportunities because of the many things that people can do with the land.

“People buy ranch land for an investment, but they also enjoy the freedom that comes with owning a ranch.”

As much as businessmen may say that they only bought a ranch because it was a good investment opportunity, the reality is that many hard working American’s crave the freedom of the outdoors. There isn’t much that can beat sitting on a ranch deck and watching the sun rise or sunset over the open land. This is something that many people crave and are not able to experience in their busy lives.

So how does one going about searching ranches for sale and purchasing the right one?

“There are many things to consider when looking into purchasing a ranch,” says the real estate agent, “location, use of the land, size, and cost are all things you should carefully consider.”

Luckily, there are many great resources that can help one to determine where they want to buy ranch land and the type of ranch land they want to buy. Also, things like location and the type of ranch you want are decisions that should come easily to you if you have ever thought about owning a ranch.

So if you’re tired of your hectic life or life in the city and have the money available to make an investment, consider looking into ranches for sale. A ranch can provide you with a place to escape, a chance to truly disconnect from a hectic life, and at the same time provide you with a good investment opportunity for your future. Contact Mason and Morse Ranch company today to learn about their selection of Colorado ranches for sale, Texas ranches for sale, as well as ranches for sale in other areas.

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Three unique auto repair marketing tips

Putting together an auto repair marketing plan is a unique style of marketing and advertising compared to marketing or advertising for other types of businesses. Here are some of the ways to create a marketing plan for an auto repair shop that is unique:

1) You have to think about customer retention, while simultaneously trying to find new clients. This is something that needs to be carefully planned out when you are thinking about auto repair marketing and auto repair advertising. Some people make the mistake of putting all the effort into bringing in new clients through promotions, ads in newspapers, and other advertising techniques, but neglect their current customers. It is important to think about both, since returning customers are a huge part of an auto repair business. Therefore a good auto repair marketing plan will not only attract new customers, but will also have a plan to ensure a good percentage of customer retention. There are many ways you can do this:

  • Offer both promotions to new customers: Offering promotions to people who come in for the first time is a great way to get people to visit your auto repair shop. This is the first step, now you need to make them stay.
  • Offer incentives to customers who come back: While you do not want to always offer discounts, you do need to give returning customers a reason to come back. You could offer a free car wash on their 3rd visit, or do every 10th oil change at 50% off. There are the small gestures that will make people choose your shop over others.
  • Offer great services: While you can always pull people in by offering promotions and giveaways, having great service and doing a great job on car repair is what will really cause people to come back. Nobody wants a discounted oil change if the quality of work is not good. Make sure that you have great service and customers will come!

2) Check out what your competition is doing: Auto repair shops are common, which means that you will inevitably have a lot of competition. A good auto repair marketing plan needs to take into account who the competition is, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to stand apart from them.

3) Do market research: Along with checking out who your competition is, you will also want to do some market research to see what works in terms of auto repair marketing. Look at other auto repair shops that seem to be successful and look at their websites, check out their social media profiles, and see what types of advertising tricks they are using to grow their business. The shops that you check out online do not need to be in your area, take a look at other shops in other locations to get a sense of what people are doing. Another great thing to check out is car dealership websites to get a sense of what marketing techniques they are using. This will help you put together a marketing plan that works.

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The top ten reasons parents choose homeschooling programs

Home schooling is growing in popularity for a number of reasons. In fact, current estimates by the United States Department of Education show that close to four percent of school aged children are being schooled at home. There are many advantages to home schooling, and as a concerned parent, you may want to consider this educational avenue for your children. The following is a discussion of the top ten reasons many parents choose a homeschooling program.

1) Homeschooling keeps your children safe from harm. Public schools, especially those located in inner city areas, can present potentially dangerous situations for your children. By keeping your children in the home for school, you can ensure their safety and well being.

2) Homeschooling allows you to control the educational curriculum. Public school curriculum is mandated by political forces, most of which are outside your control. As a concerned parent, it is important for you to be able to choose the type of materials used in your child’s education.

3) Homeschooling reduces your children’s exposure to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, underage sex, and other unwanted elements. Public schools are notorious for introducing children to many unwanted forces. Help limit your children’s exposure to these forces by schooling at home.

4) Homeschooling programs offer a ton of flexibility for your busy schedule. This allows your children to attend school at irregular hours, whenever is most convenient for your family.

5) Homeschooling allows for plenty of family time. Many parents complain that they do not get to spend as much time as they would like with their children. When you homeschool your children, class time technically is family time, allowing for an enormous amount of quality time spent with your kids.

6) Homeschooling allows your children to help more around the house. This may be especially important if you own a farm, ranch, or have a family business. Keeping the kids at home for school offers the flexible schedule necessary for your children to help with this family business, without infringing on their ability to have a quality education. If you do not have a family business, homeschooling will allow your children more time to do chores around the house, such as mowing the lawn, other yard work, laundry, and cleaning.

7) There are many online homeschooling resources available that can aid in your homeschooling. Make use of the vast wealth of information on the Internet, including supplemental homeschooling resources to develop a curriculum that works for your family.

8) You children can learn from one another. When homeschooling, there is a distinct advantage to having students of different ages. The older students can help teach and tutor the younger ones, which will refresh their knowledge over time.

9) Homeschooling your children will create lasting bonds between them. Many people say that children who are homeschooled forge close and lifelong friendships with their siblings. Ensure a close knit family unit by schooling your children together at home.

10) Homeschooling, in some ways, offers a higher quality education for your children than traditional schooling. Homeschooling ensures that your children have the best possible education, and that they will be successful in life.

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Ten essential items for a survival kit

If there is a natural disaster or other emergency, it is important to make sure you needs are met, you are able to treat any injuries, you have tools for communication, and that you will be able to ensure the safety of the people that you are responsible for. Aside from the basics (water, and food), here are ten items which every good survival kit must have:

1) Matches: Being able to start a fire will help in many situations. You will be able to keep warm, you will be able to prepare food, and you can also use a fire to let people know where you are if you need to be found. A good tip is to stock your kit with waterproof matches. You never know what could happen during an emergency situation, and you want to be prepared for everything.

2) A multipurpose tool: A multipurpose tool will come in handy. This till should have a variety of tools including can opener, tweezers, small scissors, and a knife. You will be amazed at how happy you are you have stocked this small tool in with your survival kit. It will quickly prove indispensable.

3) A headlamp: Headlamps are great for navigating around in the dark, and since you can attach them to your head, it frees up your hands for clearing debris or carrying items.

4) Map and a compass: While these may not be used, there is no harm in packing a map of your area and a compass.

5) Bottles for water: Have some extra bottles for water on hand. These will prove useful if you need to relocate and need to stock up on water for the trip. Remember that if you need to move, you may be going somewhere that has no access to water at the time, so bring as much with you as you can.

6) Emergency blankets: Emergency blankets can make a temporary shelter, or be used to keep people warm. They pack up small, so they will take up a very small amount of room in your survival kit, yet will be very handy if the time comes when you need to use them.

7) Extra batteries: Extra batteries are crucial. If you run out of batteries, you will no longer have the ability to use any of your battery operated devices.

8) A hand cranked light: If all else fails, having a hand cranked light can truley be a life saver. Toss one of these in your survival kit to ensure that you will always have access to a light source when you need it.

9) First aid supplies: No survival kit is complete without first aid supplies. Make sure you have a stocked first aid kit with your survival kit at all times.

10) Portable radio: In a disaster, we may no longer have access to cellular phones and other devices. A portable radio may be your only tool for communication.

Having these emergency essentials in your survival kit will ensure that you have the tools you need to survive a disaster situation.

 

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Window shutters vs. window blinds- how to decide on the best window treatments for your home

When you are getting new window treatments for your home, there are five main things you should consider. We will look at each of these and give you some ideas of different types of window treatments in each category. The five main things to consider when installing new window treatments in your home include: light control, insulation, cost, look/design, and making sure it fits the window shape. This should be your checklist for purchasing new window treatments for your home.

1) Light control: Do you want blackout blinds, or do you want blinds that allow light to seep through? This will determine the way your search for the perfect window treatment begins. Here, you will decide between two different types of treatments, which serve a different purpose. Blackout blinds will be able to be opened to let in the light when wanted, but when closed, they will keep light from the home. People who enjoy to keep their home dark at certain times of the day will enjoy black out blinds. Many people also enjoy having them in their bedrooms to keep the sun out in the morning when they are trying to sleep.

2) Insulation: Did you know 25% of your homes energy can escape through your windows? That is a lot, and essentially it means that if you properly insulate your home with nice window treatments, you could save 25% on your electric bills. There are some types of blinds and window treatments designed specifically to be energy efficient and insulate your home. Honeycomb blinds, for example, have a sesign that optimizes them for this task.

3) Cost: Is cost a big issue for you? If so, you will quickly be able to narrow down your options. There are still many great cost effective window treatment options, from faux wood shutters, to pleated shades. You also do not want to break your bank on installing your window treatments. There is no reason why installing new window treatments cannot be a cost effective way to improve your home.

4) Look and design: Of course the look and design of your window treatments should not be overlooked. New window treatments can transform your home, you should embrace that and think carefully about what look you are going for with your window treatments. There are many different types of window treatments and you can get them in different colors and different materials. Find something that will complement your home, let in the right amount of light, and meets your other criteria as well.

5) Think about window shape: If you are only trying to cover standard square windows, then this last piece will not apply to you. Many homes, however, have several stubbornly shaped windows, which can be hard to cover with a window treatment. Through some digging you should be able to find a window covering which will work for any window shape or size. Many places, like Direct Buy Blinds that sell window treatments will have solutions for any window shape or size, you just need to ask.

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Custom drink coasters are a fun gift for a bride to be

One of my good friends has a collection of drink coasters.  It seems like a strange thing to collect, but it is actually a kind of interesting collection.  She has traveled all over the world and has a variety of drink coasters (or things that can work as drink coasters from all corners of the world.  Some of them are tourist oriented drink coasters, others are very unique coasters used locally in different places.  She is adamant about using coasters on her tables, so it always leads to an interesting conversation about her travels and where particular coasters came from.

When she got engaged, we were all thrilled.  As her bachelorette party approached, I tried to come up with a unique but funny gift to get for her, and after a night at her home and a discussion over her collection of custom drink coasters, an idea started forming in my mind. I went home that night and did a quick search for custom drink coasters, and realized that this would be an easy, funny, and relatively inexpensive thing for me to get her for her bachelorette party.

I worked with a local company who makes custom drink coasters to design and order the drink coasters for her.  I only got her a small set, since the whole thing was kind of a joke.  I had them printed with both of their names on a cork material, and to make it extra funny, I had a picture of the two of their faces printed on them as well. I had them shipped to me at my home several weeks before the party. When I opened them, they were better than I expected.  It was the perfect mix of sweet and thoughtful and hilarious, as their faces would peer up through the bottom of a glass when you were using them.  I wrapped them up with a few other small things and was ready for the big night!  When she opened them, she was very surprised, but really loved them!  She said that they were the best gift she could have imagined for a bachelorette party.  Everyone laughed and joked about them, but I knew that in reality they would be put to good use.

Sure enough, the next time I went to her house she had two cups of coffee waiting, and when I lifted the cup, I saw that I was using one of the custom made drink coasters I had bought for her.  She said that they were a hit with her fiance as well and that they had been using them when people came over and they constantly made people laugh when they lifted their drink to see the happy couples smiling faces looking up at them. I am so pleased that I came up with the idea to order custom made drink coasters for her and her fiance.  I know that it is a gift that they enjoyed and will have for many years to come!  It is now a great new inside joke that the three of us can share.

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Some important things to know about energy investing

Investments in energy can be a great addition to a well rounded investment portfolio.  Energy, in the form of resources such as oil and gas, are a smart investment.  There is always going to be a demand for these resources regardless of the state of the economy, and there is more and more oil and gas being discovered on land all over the United States each and every day.  There are different ways to invest in energy, but royalty investing is a really great business opportunity and a way to get involved and invested in energy quickly.

People who are getting involved in energy investing are people who are looking for a good investment in a segment of the economy which is growing.  In this type of investment, people have the opportunity to invest in land, and get royalty fees for each time that land is used to drill or access oil and gas.  In a sense, you are the landlord and the tenants (oil companies) will pay you for use of the land.  More and more people are realizing the benefits of this type of investment, however there are still many opportunities to get involved.  If you are interested in energy investing, a good first step is to do some research and learn more about the investment opportunity.

There are some important things you should know before you decide on a royalty investment in energy.

The first thing that is important to know is about your liquidation needs.  If you need an investment which will quickly turn into cash income, this may not be the best opportunity for you.  Energy investments can be very profitable, but they do not generally offer instant liquidity.  This is a problem for some people if they are looking for an investment where they can receive their assets very quickly!

Another important thing to think about is location.  You want to make sure you are investing in a piece of land which will be a good place to ensure that your investment will be good.  For example, you want to make sure you land is seismically sound, and look into other things about the land to properly mitigate risk.  To ensure that your location is sound, you will need a team of people to help you.  You will want to make sure you have a good team who knows what they are doing and who can advise you to make the best energy investing decisions.

As with any investment, you should also make sure you have a sound exit strategy in place.  Before making your energy investment, set some goals for yourself.  What are you hoping to gain from this investment? At what point will you be content and want to consider selling the land?  You don’t want to stay invested so long that you end up loosing money if the market prices go down.

Now that you have some basic information on energy investing, you can make a decision about whether this type investing is the right choice for you.

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Oil diffusers can make your home smell great

When most people need a home air freshener, they will typically go to visit the cleaning aisle in their local grocery store and grab a cheap and powerfully scented air freshener which will make their home smell like, well, the cleaning aisle in the grocery store.  While this is a quick fix to a bad smell in your home, many people do not think about the impact of this decision.  Many cheap home air fresheners are made up of chemicals and other ingredients which are not good for you home, the environment, or for you!  Not to mention that while it may smell good to you, many visitors to your home will not appreciate the strong smell of an air freshener.

The great news is that there are many natural alternatives to store bought air fresheners that can make your home smell great and even help to purify the air in your home and naturally clean it.  The most popular option for a natural air freshener is to use an oil diffuser with essential oils to freshen your home!  There are many places where you can purchase oil diffusers, which will likely come with an assortment of essential oils which you can use in the diffuser to make your home smell great.

Essential oils are a great way to make your home smell good.  Essential oils are derived from plants, which means they are all natural and can freshen up your home without adding any toxic products.  If you choose to purchase an oil diffuser for your home, you can then start shopping around for different essential oils to add to it.  You can find a wide variety of essential oils are your local health store, or you can order them online.  Essential oils can seem expensive, but when you learn about all their great uses, the money will be very worth it!  Not only do essential oils smell great, but some of them actually have properties which can help clean the air in your home! Do your research to learn about all of the great benefits of essential oils before you begin to purchase them.  Once you get a big enough collection, you can alternate between your favorite scents and even combine them to create truly unique smells for your home.

If you don’t want to spend the money on an oil diffuser, you can easily make one in your own home.  Oil diffusers are basically a container which holds the oil, and diffuses the scent around a room.  To make one at home, you just need to gather a few quick supplies which you may have around your house.

1) Purchase some small glass or ceramic jars- these will serve as your holder for the oil.  You can find a good selection of these at goodwill or another second hand store

2) Rubbing alcohol

3) Carrier oil- safflower oil works well as a carrier oil.

4) Wooden reed sticks or bbq skewers

5) The essential oil of your choice.

Mix together the carrier oil, rubbing alcohol, and a few drips of essential oil into the glass jar, and arrange the wooden sticks, which will help diffuse the scent, and voila, you have a great all natural air freshener for your home.

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