Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) was conceived of by the French engineer Jacques D’Arsonval in 1881. However, at the time of this writing the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii is home to the only operating experimental OTEC plant on the face of the earth. OTEC is a potential alternative energy source that needs to be funded and explored much more than it presently is. The great hurdle to get over with OTEC implementation on a wide and practically useful level is cost. It is difficult to get the costs down to a reasonable level because of the processes presently utilized to drive OTEC. Ocean thermal energy would be very clean burning and not add pollutants into the air. However, as it presently would need to be set up with our current technologies, OTEC plants would have the capacity for disrupting and perhaps damaging the local environment.
There are three kinds of OTEC.
“Closed Cycle OTEC” uses a low-boiling point liquid such as, for example, propane to act as an intermediate fluid. The OTEC plant pumps the warm sea water into the reaction chamber and boils the intermediate fluid. This results in the intermediate fluid’s vapor pushing the turbine of the engine, which thus generates electricity. The vapor is then cooled down by putting in cold sea water.
“Open Cycle OTEC” is not that different from closed cycling, except in the Open Cycle there is no intermediate fluid. The sea water itself is the driver of the turbine engine in this OTEC format. Warm sea water found on the surface of the ocean is turned into a low-pressure vapor under the constraint of a vacuum. The low-pressure vapor is released in a focused area and it has the power to drive the turbine. To cool down the vapor and create desalinated water for human consumption, the deeper ocean’s cold waters are added to the vapor after it has generated sufficient electricity.
“Hybrid Cycle OTEC” is really just a theory for the time being. It seeks to describe the way that we could make maximum usage of the thermal energy of the ocean’s waters. There are actually two sub-theories to the theory of Hybrid Cycling. The first involves using a closed cycling to generate electricity. This electricity is in turn used to create the vacuum environment needed for open cycling. The second component is the integration of two open cyclings such that twice the amount of desalinated, potable water is created that with just one open cycle.
In addition to being used for producing electricity, a closed cycle OTEC plant can be utilized for treating chemicals. OTEC plants, both open cycling and close cycling kinds, are also able to be utilized for pumping up cold deep sea water which can then be used for refrigeration and air conditioning. Furthermore, during the moderation period when the sea water is surrounding the plant, the enclosed are can be used for mariculture and aquaculture projects such as fish farming. There is clearly quite an array of products and services that we could derive from this alternative energy source.
The trend toward homes that are powered by alternative energy sources, ranging from wind turbines and solar collection cells to hydrogen fuel cells and biomass gases, is one that needs to continue into the 21st century and beyond. We have great need of becoming more energy independent, and not having to rely on the supplying of fossil fuels from unstable nations who are often hostile to us and our interests. But even beyond this factor, we as individuals need to get “off the grid” and also stop having to be so reliant on government-lobbying giant oil corporations who, while they are not really involved in any covert conspiracy, nevertheless have a stranglehold on people when it comes to heating their homes (and if not through oil, then heat usually supplied by grid-driven electricity, another stranglehold).
As Remi Wilkinson, Senior Analyst with Carbon Free, puts it, inevitably, the growth of distributed generation will lead to the restructuring of the retail electricity market and the generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. The power providers may have to diversify their business to make up for revenues lost through household energy microgeneration. She is referring to the conclusions by a group of UK analysts, herself included among them, who call themselves Carbon Free. Carbon Free has been studying the ever-growing trend toward alternative energy-using homes in England and the West. This trend is being driven by ever-more government recommendation and sometimes backing of alternative energy research and development, the rising cost of oil and other fossil fuels, concern about environmental degradation, and desires to be energy independent. Carbon Free concludes that, assuming traditional energy prices remain at their current level or rise, microgeneration (meeting all of one’s home’s energy needs by installing alternative energy technology such as solar panels or wind turbines) will become to home energy supply what the Internet became to home communications and data gathering, and eventually this will have deep effects on the businesses of the existing energy supply companies.
Carbon Free’s analyses also show that energy companies themselves have jumped in on the game and seek to leverage microgeneration to their own advantage for opening up new markets for themselves. Carbon Free cites the example of electricity companies (in the UK) reporting that they are seriously researching and developing ideas for new geothermal energy facilities, as these companies see geothermal energy production as a highly profitable wave of the future. Another conclusion of Carbon Free is that solar energy hot water heating technology is an efficient technology for reducing home water heating costs in the long run, although it is initially quite expensive to install. However, solar power is not yet cost-effective for corporations, as they require too much in the way of specialized plumbing to implement solar energy hot water heating. Lastly, Carbon Free tells us that installing wind turbines is an efficient way of reducing home electricity costs, while also being more independent. However, again this is initially a very expensive thing to have installed, and companies would do well to begin slashing their prices on these devices or they could find themselves losing market share.
The Irish are currently pursuing energy independence and the further development of their robust economy through the implementation of research and development into alternative energy sources. At the time of this writing, nearly 90% of Ireland’s energy needs are met through importation—the highest level of foreign product dependence in the nation’s entire history. This is a very precarious situation to be in, and the need for developing alternative energy sources in Ireland is sharply perceived. Ireland also seeks to conserve and rejuvenate its naturally beautiful environment and to clean up its atmosphere through the implementation of alternative energy supplies. The European Union has mandated a reduction in sulphuric and nitric oxide emissions for all member nations. Green energy is needed to meet these objectives. Hydroelectric power has been utilized in Ireland in some areas since the 1930s and has been very effective; however, more of it needs to be installed. Ireland also needs to harness the wave power of the Atlantic Ocean, which on its west coast is a potential energy supply that the nation has in great store.
Ireland actually has the potential to become an energy exporter, rather than a nation so heavily dependent on energy importation. This energy potential resides in Ireland’s substantial wind, ocean wave, and biomass-producing alternative energy potentials. Ireland could become a supplier of ocean wave-produced electricity and biomass-fueled energy to continental Europe and, as they say, “make a killing”. At the present time, Ireland is most closely focused on reaching the point where it can produce 15% of the nation’s electricity through wind farms, which the government has set as a national objective to be reached by 2010. But universities, research institutes, and government personnel in Ireland have been saying that the development of ocean wave energy technology would be a true driving force for the nation’s economy and one which would greatly help to make Ireland energy independent. A test site for developing wave ocean energy has been established in Ireland, less than two miles off the coast of An Spideal in County Galway Bay. This experimental ocean wave harnessing site is known as “Wavebob”. The most energetic waves in the world are located off the West coast of Ireland, says Ireland’s Marine Institute CEO Dr. Peter Heffernan. The technology to harness the power of the ocean is only just emerging and Ireland has the chance to become a market leader in this sector. David Taylor, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Initiative,or SEI, tells us that SEI is committed to innovation in the renewable energy sector. Wave energy is a promising new renewable energy resource which could one day make a significant contribution to Ireland’s electricity generation mix thereby further reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
Padraig Walshe, the president of the Irish Farmers Association, tells us that with the closure of the sugar beet industry, an increasing amount of Irish land resources will become available for alternative uses, including bioenergy production. Today, renewable energy sources meet only 2% of Ireland’s total energy consumption. From a farming perspective, growing energy crops will only have a viable future if they provide an economic return on investment and labour, and if the prospect of this return is secure into the future. Currently the return from energy crops is marginal and is hampering the development of the industry. Biomass energies need to be further researched by Ireland.
There has been much debate about what is often called “free” energy—energy that can supposedly, with the right technology, be drawn straight out of the atmosphere, and in very abundant supply. The debates are about whether the stuff actually exists or not, what it would actually cost were it to be harnessed, and if it does exist is it truly as abundant and efficient as it’s being made out to be by proponents of research and development into this potential alternative energy source.
When one hears the phrase “free energy device”, one might be hearing about one of several different concepts. This might mean a device for collecting and transmitting energy from some source that orthodox science does not recognize; a device which collects energy at absolutely no cost; or an example of the legendary perpetual motion machine. Needless to say, a perpetual motion machine—a machine which drives itself, forever, once turned on, therefore needing no energy input ever again and never running out of energy—is impossible. However, it is not so simple to say that a new technology for harnessing the energy “floating” in the atmosphere is impossible. New technologies replace old ones all the time with abilities that had just been “impossible”. Harnessing the power of the atom for providing huge amounts of energy was “impossible” until the 1940s. Flying human beings were an “impossible” thing until the turn of the 20th century and the Wright Brothers’ flight.
The biggest claim of the proponents of “free” energy is that enormous amounts of energy can be drawn from the Zero Point Field. This is a quantum mechanical state of matter for a defined system which is attained when the system is at the lowest possible energy state that it can be in. This is called the “ground state” of the system. Zero Point Energy (ZPE) is sometimes referred to as “residual” energy and it was first proposed to be usable as an alternative form of energy way back in 1913 by Otto Stern and Albert Einstein. It is also referred to as “vacuum energy” in studies of quantum mechanics, and it is supposed to represent the energy of totally empty space. This energy field within the vacuum has been likened to the froth at the base of a waterfall by one of the principal researchers into and proponents of Hal Puthof. Puthof also explains, the term ‘zero-point’ simply means that if the universe were cooled down to absolute zero where all thermal agitation effects would be frozen out, this energy would still remain. What is not as well known, however, even among practicing physicists, are all the implications that derive from this known aspect o quantum physics. However, there are a group of physicists—myself and colleagues at several research labs and universities—who are examining the details, we ask such questions as whether it might be possible to ‘mine’ this reservoir of energy for use as an alternative energy source, or whether this background energy field might be responsible for inertia and gravity. These questions are of interest because it is known that this energy can be manipulated, and therefore there is the possibility that the control of this energy, and possibly inertia and gravity, might yield to engineering solutions. Some progress has been made in a subcategory of this field (cavity quantum electrodynamics) with regard to controlling the emission rates of excited atoms and molecules, of interest in laser research and elsewhere.
Many business owners who opt to try email marketing make the mistake of believing any type of email marketing is beneficial. This is simply not true; there are a number of mistakes business owners can make when they organize an email marketing campaign. Examples of these types of mistakes may include allowing promotional materials to be tagged as spam, not following up with promotional emails, not being prepared for an influx of customers after an email marketing effort and not marketing specifically to the target audience.
We will begin our discussion on email marketing mistakes with spam. Spam is a problem which is reaching endemic proportions. Each day Internet users are bombarded with spam from around the world. This may include a host of unsolicited emails which are promoting products or services the recipients may or may not be interested in purchasing. A critical mistake business owners can make in email marketing is to issue emails which are likely to be construed to be spam. This may result in the emails never reaching the recipient or the emails being deleted, without being read, by the recipient. Avoiding the potential of falling into the spam category is not very difficult. It basically involves ensuring your promotional emails contain more useful copy than blatant advertising. This will make it more likely for your emails to be taken seriously.
Another email marketing mistake often made is failure to follow up on promotional emails. Sending out emails to interested parties can be very beneficial but it is even more beneficial to contact these email recipients by other methods such as mail or telephone to answer any questions they may have and offer any additional information they may require. This type of follow up can be much more effective than simply sending an email and allowing it to fall into the abyss of an overcrowded email inbox.
Business owners may also run into the mistake of not preparing themselves for an influx of customers after an email marketing effort. The express purpose of email marketing is to generate increased interest in your products or services. Therefore it is critical for business owners to anticipate an increase in business and be prepared to accommodate this increased demand for products and services. This is important because potential customers who have to wait for products or services may seek out your competitors who are better prepared to provide them with products or services immediately.
Finally a critical mistake made by business owners is to not tailor an email marketing campaign to their specific target audience. This can be a problem because it may result in the email marketing being less effective. Business owners typically make this mistake because they fall into the trap of believing that it is more important to reach a large audience than it is to reach a target audience. You may blindly send your email marketing materials to millions of recipients and only generate a few leads. However, you could send the same email marketing materials to a smaller group of only a thousand recipients who all have an interest in your products and services and will likely generate more leads from this smaller email distribution list. It is not only important to send your message to members of your target audience but to also tailor your message to suit this audience. Creating an email message which will appeal to a variety of individuals is not as important as creating a message which will appeal to members of your target audience.
Email marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of Internet advertising. This is because there are many distinct advantages to the concept of email marketing. However, email marketing does have some disadvantages as well. In this article we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing and will also provide some insight into how to plan and execute an effective email marketing campaign.
Email marketing certainly has a set of unique advantages over other types of marketing both online and offline. Perhaps one of the most significant advantages to email marketing is the ability to reach a worldwide audience with minimal effort. It is certainly possible to reach a worldwide audience with other types of advertising but traditional types of advertising such as television, radio and the print media are not nearly as effective for reaching potential customers around the world all at once.
Another major advantage to email marketing is it is extremely affordable. This is significant because there are many other types of marketing, including Internet marketing, which are significantly more expensive than email marketing. The costs associated with email marketing are minimal. Ideally you will already have a list of email recipients who are interested in your products and services so there is no cost associated with obtaining a list of email addresses. Additionally the cost to send out emails is minimal and can be considered part of your regular operating costs. All of these factors already make email marketing extremely cost effective.
However, there is some cost involved in email marketing. Primarily this is the costs associated with writing the advertisements and creating any graphics which will accompany the email advertisements. This will require hiring a writer to write the copy for the advertisement and a designer to create and implements the graphics. The cost of these services will vary pretty widely but in general you will pay more for writers and designers with more experience. This is because these writers and designers are expected to be able to produce a higher quality of work than those with less experience could produce.
The most obvious disadvantage to email marketing is the possibility of having your email marketing viewed as spam. This is a very important problem because it could prove to be quite costly in terms of the profit margin for your business. Each day Internet users are bombarded with unsolicited emails serving as advertisements. This problem has reached epic proportions and the abundance of spam infiltrating the email boxes of innocent Internet users has to be cautious and suspicious about any email they receive which is unsolicited and appears to be promoting a particular product or service.
Emails which contain subject lines or content which appear to be similar to spam may be automatically transferred to a spam email folder by the email system. Emails which are not automatically deleted may be deleted without being opened simply because the recipient does not recognize the sender of the email. Both of these problems can result in essentially wasted time for the business owner because the recipients are not even viewing the emails advertising the products and services offered by the business. Additionally, they may result in complaints being lodged against the company for being a purveyor of spam.
Now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing, you might wonder how you can maximize the advantages to use email marketing to your advantage. The most important factor to consider is your email distribution list. This should consist of former customers who have expressed a desire to receive emails with information and advertisements as well as potential customers who have also expressed interest in more information.
The content of the emails should also be carefully considered. They should certainly highlight the products and services you offer but should do so without appearing to be a hard sales pitch. A writer with experience in writing this type of copy should be able to assist you in providing insightful and accurate copy which also entices the reader to find out more about your products and services. Finally your emails should provide the readers with a call to action. This should be a statement urging the reader to take a specific action such as making a purchase or researching a product.