The sun is the solar system’s largest and most significant source of energy in by far, with a powerful fusion reaction continually churning out vast quantities of heat and electromagnetic radiation. While only a small portion of that energy ever reaches the earth, it remains a huge amount even relative to the power consumption needs … Continue reading “Searching for More Affordable Ways to Capture and Convert the Sun’s Energy”
The sun is the solar system’s largest and most significant source of energy in by far, with a powerful fusion reaction continually churning out vast quantities of heat and electromagnetic radiation. While only a small portion of that energy ever reaches the earth, it remains a huge amount even relative to the power consumption needs of the entire human species. In recent years, solar panels that include arrays of photovoltaic cells have increasingly been used to capture sunlight and turn it directly into electricity. When photons of the right frequencies make their way from the sun across the emptiness of space to eventually fall upon these earthbound panels, each carries and deposits a small portion of the energy that results from the sun’s ongoing fusion reaction.
Being able to harness that energy is an undeniably impressive feat, particularly considering the way that this enables lessened usage of limited and sometimes problematic resources like fossil fuels as part of the bargain. For many years, however, solar panels were simply too expensive to produce and buy to justify their widespread deployment. Fortunately, that has changed quite a bit since, and those who read an interesting report online here will see that there are good reasons to hope for a good deal more progress on this front.
One of the lingering costs faced by solar panel manufacturers, for instance, relates to the need to incorporate a variety of relatively expensive materials into the photovoltaic cells that each contains. While some of these are only required in relatively small quantities, the tab still adds up, and these expenditures now account for a significant portion of the cost of the average solar panel. While other means of cutting prices have been pursued and enabled over the years, this particular cost center has not yet received much attention.
That is starting to change, however. As the report points out, for example, some researchers are now exploring ways by which extremely common and inexpensive materials like iron might someday be used in place of much costlier ones. Should they meet with success, being able to harness some of the sun’s energy in even more affordable fashion could well become a reality.
Colorado is known all across the country as a place where the Rocky Mountains truly come into their own. Rocky Mountain National Park helps to support this perception, with peaks that top out at over 14,000 feet making for especially dramatic and beautiful scenes. While the Rocky Mountains undeniably contribute a great deal to the unique character and feeling of Colorado, the state is also quite a bit more varied than many people from elsewhere assume. As a result, Colorado ranches cover a wide range of ground themselves, with properties of many different purposes and basic natures being found all over the state.
In the eastern part of Colorado, for example, the terrain looks much like in the prairie states nearby. In fact, ranches and farms that focus on growing prairie-land staples like corn and wheat are common. With some of these agricultural operations having done steady business for many decades or longer, property buyers who are interested in such activities of their own often do well to stay east of the Rockies entirely.
On the opposite side of the state, agricultural of markedly different kinds is common. With the western slope of the Rocky Mountain System giving way not to gently rolling plains but rougher terrain, in many cases, crops that thrive in such conditions find a natural home in this part of Colorado. Some of the best vineyards in the Intermountain Region, for instance, are tended on ranches and farms in this area.
Of course, many ranches in Colorado focus not on agriculture at all but on animals instead. Colorado remains a top source of the beef that so many Americans and people elsewhere in the world enjoy, with a great many highly productive ranches raising or finishing cattle. The state is also a place where world-class big game hunting is found in abundance, and quite a few ranches within its borders are devoted entirely or mostly to this sport, as well.
Colorado’s variety is therefore reflected well in many of the ranches that help make it such an interesting place. For property buyers who wish to combine a love of the outdoors with practical, functional features, it therefore often turns out to be one of the most appealing places to focus of all.
When remodeling a bathroom, homeowners often upgrade the shower. Instead of the traditional tub-and-shower combo, more and more master baths these days have shower enclosures that are separate from the tub. In a small bathroom, a new shower may replace a tub altogether. A new shower enclosure can really update a bathroom and make it a more attractive space, especially if it complements the room well. The main choices to make in selecting a shower enclosure are the door style and the enclosure shape.
Pivot doors are especially common with all-glass enclosures because they add to the stream-lined modern aesthetic of glass. These doors are attached by very small hinges at the top and bottom, and they swing a full 180 degrees outward or inward. This type of door works well in small spaces and especially with a small shower entrance. Hinged doors also swing open, usually outward.
Sliding doors are a traditional style, and they are definitely the best choice for a small bathroom since movement is confined to a single plane. With sliding doors, two glass panels slide past each other on tracks. The disadvantage of this type of door is that the tracks can be hard to clean. A curved sliding door is an elegant way to enclose a shower that is set into a corner.
A neo-angle shower enclosure fits into a corner and has a center hinged door. This is the preferred shape for small and narrow bathrooms, but some homeowners have cautioned that a neo-angle shower is more vulnerable to the impact of steam and may be more likely to leak than other shower types. Consequently, it’s important to get a well-made, high-quality enclosure to minimize the chances of a leak.
A rectangular enclosure is more spacious than the neo-angle, and it also allows for a wider variety of door styles. It is the most common style, so it’s easy to find, and it has a traditional look.
Another choice bathroom renovators have to make is whether to go with a framed or a frameless enclosure. The latter is the more expensive option, but many consider it the more attractive since its lines are very clean. To see a variety of shower enclosures, visit www.coram.co.uk.