Take the hybrid Chevrolet Silverado, which gets the same 19 miles per gallon on the highway as a regular Silverado. On city streets it gets 17 mpg, 2 mpg more than the nonhybrid. The Silverado is among six hybrids either available or being designed by GM, the world’s largest automaker. All but one is an SUV or truck. GM says small improvements make a big difference. Upping an SUV’s performance from 10 mpg to 11 mpg will save 110 gallons of gas every 12,000 miles, points out GM engineer Tim Grewe. That’s more than the 100 gallons saved by increasing a sedan’s fuel economy from 30 to 40 mpg and driving it the same distance. Grewe’s formula works only because SUVs use so much more gas. The 11-mpg SUV needs 1,090 gallons to go 12,000 miles; the 40-mpg sedan needs only 300 gallons. Lawrence Dewey, 78, is among those not getting the mileage he expected from a hybrid. Dewey and his wife love the plush interior, moving headlights, and “get up and go” of their new Lexus RX 400h hybrid. The only problem, he says, is that it only averages 25 mpg, about what he used to get in a nonhybrid Volvo Cross Country SUV. The disappointing mileage has caused him to drive less. “We look at that figure and go, do we need to go now?” said Dewey, who lives just outside Madison, Wis. “We’ll combine it with another trip.” Dewey’s other quarrel is with the Environmental Protection Agency, which rated the vehicle at 31 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. The agency’s mileage figures for new cars often are inflated because testing conditions yield better efficiency than real-world driving. Dewey doesn’t come close to saving enough gas to make up the price difference between the $46,060 400h and the $37,770 nonhybrid Lexus RX 330. The hybrid does measure up in other areas: It goes from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds and has 268 horsepower. That’s nearly one second faster and 45 horsepower better than the RX 330. “A lot of people, whether they have size needs or need to carry more cargo … they like to have a bigger car; in order to reach out to those folks you have to offer them performance,” said Lexus spokesman Greg Thome said. “Otherwise they wouldn’t even look at buying a hybrid.” An estimated 220,000 hybrids will be sold domestically this year, about 1.3 percent of the market, according to car-industry analyst J. D. Power & Associates. That’s a major jump from last year, when 87,000 hybrids accounted for 0.5 percent of domestic car sales. Some cutting-edge hybrid researchers believe consumers shouldn’t have to choose between performance and efficiency. At San Diego State University, engineering professor Jim Burns led a student team that built the Enigma – a diesel hybrid convertible that goes from zero to 60 mpg in 4.3 seconds while getting 80 mpg. A close performance equivalent is a Dodge Viper, which gets about 12 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. Burns, who says he would consider mass-marketing Enigmas for $60,000 if he could get 1,000 orders, says it will take flash, not just good mileage, to make the public fall in love with hybrids. Some environmentalists are experimenting with the same pragmatic approach. Earlier this year, the Sierra Club handed out its first praise for a hybrid SUV, Ford’s Mercury Mariner, which gets an EPA-rated 33 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. “I think it would be vastly preferable for everyone to drive a 45- or 55-mpg vehicle and the technology exists to do that,” said Becker, the organization’s global warming specialist. “But not everyone wants to buy a sedan. … If they’re going to buy an SUV, it’s better that they buy one that gets over 30 mpg than under 20.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals The focus on performance sacrifices the kind of jaw-dropping efficiency that got hybrids noticed in the first place. Environmentalists say automakers are squandering gas-scrimping technology that reduces air pollution as well as the nation’s reliance on foreign oil. “Consumers are enthralled by hybrids because they sip gas and don’t guzzle it, and they pollute less,” said Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club’s global warming program. “So if you have a hybrid that guzzles and doesn’t pollute less, then what are you doing?” Though SUV sales have dropped amid erratic gas prices, half of the roughly 30 hybrids that are now available or that automakers plan to mass-market are either pickup trucks or sport utility vehicles. Automakers say gas guzzlers have the most room for improvement. But some new hybrids barely get better mileage than their nonhybrid counterparts. SAN DIEGO – When automakers rolled out the first hybrid cars, drivers who wanted their spectacular fuel economy had to settle for weird shapes and a lack of luxury options. Now it seems the high-mileage, low-frills trend in hybrid automaking may prove shorter than a Hummer’s trips between fill-ups. Newer hybrids are using the added boost from their gas-electric engines for more acceleration and power. But more mean equals less green. To attract drivers looking for large and luxurious vehicles, automakers such as Lexus and General Motors Corp. are building hybrids with the looks and size of regular cars.
New South African Transfusion MedicineTraining Centre, key to the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa. (Image: Nosimilo Ramela) MEDIA CONTACTS • Justice Mohale South African national Blood Service +27 11 761 9301 +27 82 459 3642 RELATED ARTICLES • New research key to HIV treatment • SA surgeon new head of ISS • HIV in South Africa stabilising • SA scientist leads cancer fightNosimilo RamelaA transfusion medicine training centre has been set up in Johannesburg, South Africa to ensure South Africans receive HIV-safe supply of blood.Funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) of the US the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) and the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS) have established the modern Transfusion Medicine Training Centre (TMTC).The training centre was officially opened by the South African health minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, at the SANBS Headquarters on 22 February. Speaking at the opening, Motsoaledi said, “The issue of blood safety in our country is an important component of our fight to defeat the scourge of HIV/AIDS in our communities.”The centre, the first state-of-the-art facility of its kind in Africa will train blood-nursing staff in donor selection education, recruitment, and retention. It will also train blood banking and transfusion medicine practitioners in regulatory framework, risk management, quality assurance, standard operating procedures, systems for documentation of donations, and the information and communication technologies (ICTs) aspects of transfusion medicine.“Education and training is fundamental to every aspect of blood safety as well as successful utilisation of blood and blood products in saving lives,” said Motsoaledi. He said few healthcare providers receive advance training on transfusion medicine during their formal medical or nursing education. “This lack of training sometimes results in avoidable death and complications of the use of blood and blood products.”The centre has lecture rooms, video conferencing facilities, training laboratories for technical and donor training, and a computer-training centre. The facility will enable the linkage of the two blood services (SANBS and WPBTS) to share e-Learning and distance learning educational materials and programmes. It will also provide training related to blood banking and transfusion to staff members of the blood services and health organisations of other African countries.“The centre will enable health professionals across the country and the Southern Africa region to share knowledge and expertise in various aspects of blood transfusion. We believe that this sharing of expertise and aiding with training programmes for African countries may well be the most important contribution that South Africa can make to improve the quality of blood banking and transfusion services in Africa,” said Motsoaledi.Changing with the timesThe world of blood banking and transfusion medicine is continually changing as new technology evolves to further reduce risks associated with the use of blood and blood products.The technology of the e-Learning Solution acquired for the centre makes it possible to implement a web-based e-learning and distance learning programme to blood transfusion staff located anywhere in South Africa or in the Southern Africa region. The TMTC Network will be composed of a hub-and-spokes system with central and satellite sites. The hub will be located in Johannesburg and Cape Town with spoke (satellite) sites located in each of the provincial zones.The SANBS and WPBTS transfusion education and training programme is also collaboratiing with partners in the national and provincial departments of health, academic institutions, healthcare, and biotechnology industries at the national and international levels.The initiative was approved by the national department of health as part of its HIV/AIDS National Strategic Plan.Blood safetyAccording to the World Health Organisation (WHO), education and training is fundamental to every aspect of blood safety. However evidence from the WHO Global Database on Blood Safety 1998 – 1999 indicates that 72% of countries are unable to meet their identified training needs, even though many of the factors threatening the safety of the global blood supply can be attributed to inadequate training.This is due to limited budgets, inadequate facilities and insufficient numbers of experienced trainers. This makes it impossible to meet the training needs of large numbers of staff who may be scattered over wide geographical areas.Recognising the practical constraints facing countries that wish to expand their training programmes but do not have the resources or facilities to do so by conventional means, the WHO Blood Transfusion Safety team has included distance learning as a key element in its strategy to support national training initiatives.WHO has done this to support training in blood safety because it offers blood transfusion services a cost effective way of expanding their training activities when resources and facilities are limited.
RELATED ARTICLES Retrofits versus ReductionsAn Introduction to Photovoltaic SystemsSolar Hot WaterSolar Hot Water System Maintenance Costs It took a bit of courage asking my spouse for one more full summer of mess and less play time, but she knew what it meant to me to live in a world we chose to make.The winter of 2013-2014 was one of the coldest in a long time. I logged over 15 days riding the bike to work at -17°F. Inside, on the ceiling where the wall meets the top plate in the two north rooms, I saw frost clinging to the paint.After a full winter of planning and knowing the house could feel warmer if I just added more insulation, I started searching for used EPS. By March I had found two loads of recycled insulation for one-tenth the price of new: 35 sheets of 4-inch and 40 sheets of 2 1/2-inch and enough XPS to add an additional 4 inches around the perimeter of the foundation (this time only 2 feet below grade).Seven years had now passed since I had added 2 inches of insulation to the upper 4 feet of basement wall and exterior house walls. The nightmares of sealing the tight attic and blowing 16 inches of cellulose up there had faded. This is the fourth and last in a series of blogs by Paul Kuenn describing energy-efficiency improvements to his home in Appleton, Wisconsin. To read the first blog in the series, click here. Adding more wall insulationTo keep all of the rigid foam courses lined up around the entire house, I snapped a line at 12 inches down from the top plate. I wanted the most difficult and time-consuming work done first, so I decided to add the two new layers of EPS at the top plate. This meant careful measuring and cutting out rafter slots into each layer. Any gaps would be filled in with the foam gun. Knowing that there was a very thin layer of foam sprayed directly above the top plate, I hoped that these additional exterior side layers would warm the upper part of the wall.At the bottom of the wall, I was able to remove nails and lift out the 2-inch EPS layer from 2007 just enough to nail in an insect screen which would be folded up and outward to be attached to the outer furring strips to minimize insect invasion. I also added a customized “Z” shaped galvanized steel drip pan over the basement EPS layers. To protect the basement insulation, the 2007 gray-colored fiberglass over-layer would be replaced.There were many unplanned improvements that I did just so things would look and work better than they did in the past. That ate up some precious time early in the process but I began to speed ahead once the first 4-inch layer of EPS was attached to the outside walls.New window jambs. The author made new window jamb extensions with pieces of Trex trim.I had taken the time to measure all 127 stud locations very accurately and marked them with a story board on the ground and above on the soffit. With two or three 7-inch screws per panel and large roofing fender washers (to address the 2 inches of EPS in 2006 plus 4 new inches of EPS now) temporarily holding on the first layer, I was gearing up for the 12-inch screws to come that would hold the 3/4-inch plywood furring strips over all three layers of EPS.By August I was installing my pre-cut plywood furring strips to hold down all the layers of insulation while building out the windows and patio doors. We needed a break, so we took off for a two-week bike ride knowing things were tight enough to endure any big summer storms.This time around, I decided to insert the one solar hot air panel we had on the south wall in the last outer 2 1/2-inch layer of EPS. With trim, it would be more efficient and easy to remove if need be.As I dislike the cheap look of “J” channel, we decided to use a molding around the deep new window jambs to hide the siding edges. Snow and cold lingered into late April, so I started digging on the warmest sides of the house first. But I noticed that the ground was not frozen under the 2-inch XPS frost protection layer laid down in 2007. This allowed digging the whole perimeter even while it snowed and rained into mid-May.It remained busy at work, so as a one-man team I was glad that I had laid out the entire plan with a rigid schedule. I did want this done by December — of the same year!I found a supplier of Trex recycled content board stock for extending the window jambs and door jambs.I also purchased a pair of Lunos E2 heat-recovery ventilators, as I was going to be sealing the house even better than I did in 2006. In 2012 I had a blower-door test done and got 1.2 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals. Not bad, but that was with the shrink plastic over the windows and a patio door. I had since made my own airtight window inserts out of recycled screen window frames and shrink plastic from past winters.Since my new project required me to remove the siding again, I could do a better job of sealing around windows and doors. I would need better air exchange without sacrificing our precious heat. Increasing the foam thickness on the exterior wallsIn seven years I had already forgotten my methods for working around windows and doors, back when I installed the first 2 inches of insulation. But all went well with stripping off the siding and previous extension jambs. I tried to mock up one window and door to show what it would look like with the windows 8 1/2 inches deep. The 2×4 walls, with cavities insulated with 3 inches of fiberglass batts, would have a total of 8 1/2 inches of exterior EPS insulation (R-34).Making room for insulation: In order to install two new layers of rigid insulation on exterior walls, the author moved electrical boxes away from the wall temporarily — no mean feat with so many panels to contend with.I was forced to find a close matching vinyl siding because the style we had on the house was no longer made. We only needed one side to be completely refinished as the rest would make up for the enlargement of the house on the other three sides. We decided that the new siding for the house would go on the west wall, which can’t be seen from any other direction.I took off all Mondays from May 15 to early December and gave up many weekends of play to get the job done. On a few days, family and friends joined me when the work required a third hand. Moving electrical connections for the house, performing all of the solar disconnects, and installing the meters took two full days. I needed to mount everything away from the wall so I could get insulation behind.Luckily, I knew the local utility crew and they had no problem with my ability to get it done right. They gave me five hours to refit the extended conduit for the meter and came back in the evening to reattach our main breaker panel to the grid.It wasn’t until three weeks later when we received a utility bill that I realized with some embarrassment I had inadvertently shut down the inverter and all the solar had been wasted. Ughh! Better a month than a whole lifetime though, so I got over it. Paul Kuenn lives in Appleton, Wisconsin. He is a past owner of a climbing school and guide service who has studied environmentally sound building practices, along with plumbing and electrical. He’s a graduate of solar thermal and photovoltaic installation programs at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. In the last eight years Paul also has worked as a third-party inspector for fire and rescue apparatus. In his spare time, he helps homeowners use the least amount of fossil fuel energy possible. How does it work?After two years of minor changes and tweaks, both the domestic hot water and floor-heating systems are efficient and effective. Solar fluid from the collectors first passes through the external heat exchanger to produce domestic hot water. Then the fluid proceeds to the storage tanks devoted to space heating; first, to the internal heat exchanger in the 80-gallon tank (tank #1) and then to the external heat exchanger for the 50-gallon tank (tank #2).Our solar isolation is about 4.7 hours per day. The target for our location (45° latitude) is 1.5 gallons of storage per square foot of collector. We have 180 gallons of storage and 128 square feet of collector surface — about 1.4 gallons per square foot, to ensure heating of the tanks in winter. The solar collectors are tilted at 60° for better winter heating.I added R-25 of foil-faced fiberglass insulation around all tanks. With the 50-gallon domestic hot water tank, it takes about two days of washing clothes, washing dishes, and showers to activate the heat pump. (That happens when the water temperature drops below 120°F.)New city water comes into tank #2 for floor heating, so the temperature of that tank drops the fastest when floor heating is called for and we are using domestic hot water. This is really a buffer tank that is useful when sunlight is abundant; the tank pre-warms the domestic hot water and the #1 floor-heating tank.As floor heat circulates around the house at 90°F to 120°F (depending on the storage water temperature) it first passes through the electric boiler. The boiler has three elements and only uses what energy is needed to warm the water to 110°F — our setting for comfortable floors. The water returns to the manifold at around 85°F to 90°F, so tank #1’s temperature never drops radically.If tank #1’s temperature drops below the temperature of tank #2 (for example, when little domestic water is used after a sunny day), the temperature-differential sensors will turn on a pump to circulate water in another external heat exchanger to warm up the water coming from tank #1 before it enters the boiler.During the coldest days — it’s been down to -24°F — the incoming glycol/water solar fluid enters the system at 135°F and returns to the collectors at 90°F in the late morning. That’s when the heating demand is greatest after warming the house. As with all solar thermal systems, the higher the temperature of the water in the storage tanks, the less heat is extracted from the solar fluid. It is a fine line between capturing heat and wasting heat.With a house like ours, which was not designed passively to capture the sun (our windows and longest side face east and west following the street plan), it is best to heat the house most when the sun is out to capture as many BTUs as possible from the collectors. If I know it’s going to be sunny, I change the programmable thermostats before leaving for work to a higher temperature. If there’s a doubt about sunshine, I will leave it at the cooler daytime setting, as I don’t want to pay the higher time-of-use kilowatt hours from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to heat the house with the on-demand boiler.We left the heating completely off for a 24-hour test in January 2011. At -17°F, with partly cloudy skies, the house never fell below 61°F. More insulation over the top plate in the atticMeanwhile, as if I didn’t have enough going on with the exterior walls, I found a trustworthy contractor who understood my need to insulate the top plate of the wall where there was so little space to work with. His team would spray the entire perimeter of the attic with polyurethane foam.I was not looking forward to working again in the tight attic, especially in June when things begin to heat up in Wisconsin. Martin Holladay had recommended that I spray closed-cell foam over the top plate inward over the ceiling to where cellulose could reach at least 16 inches in depth. I still wanted ventilation under the roof, so I made my own very stiff EPS vent channels, which extended from the top wall plate 5 feet inward directly under the roof sheathing. They would not collapse under the foam expansion as it cured.Back to the attic: Beefing up the attic insulation meant more work in a very tight space. After clearing away the insulation at the perimeter of the attic, the author invited in an insulation crew to apply a layer of closed-cell polyurethane foam to the top plate and inward until there was enough room to transition back to cellulose.I wanted a minimum of R-12 (only 2 inches left free between top plate and vents), with the R-value growing as the available height increased, moving inward. At 1 foot inward, the spray foam would totally encapsulate the depth of the 6-inch ceiling joists. Cellulose on top of that would increase the R-value to over R-50, 4 feet inward from the wall. That was the best I do under the circumstances.To accomplish this, I had to vacuum out all of the 1960s blown-in fiberglass insulation along with some of my 2007 cellulose in a 6-foot-wide strip around the perimeter of the attic. This was after I shoveled most of the cellulose I had previously placed into the center of the attic. Working in a protective suit and breathing mask at 90°F can be very exhausting. It took three days and two late nights to have the attic ready for the spray foam crew.At the corners of this hip roof I first had to drill vent holes in the hip jacks on each side of the hip rafters. This was a contortionist’s worst nightmare, to say the least, and it would take me hours to walk upright again when I’d come down out of the attic. Installers spraying the foam would have to be very careful in these tight spaces not to block what little ventilation was available.Once up in the hot and very tight attic, the “experts” just wanted out. They ended up spraying way more inches of foam than they had planned to charge me for. I bought them lots of beer for their efforts. I was already facing burn-out with this project, so I paid them to blow in the added cellulose to fill in any voids on top of their foam and my work areas.I left all the cellulose I had shoveled to a depth of 32 inches over the 75% remaining middle attic space. At least the ceiling in the center of the house would be very warm with approximately R-115 overhead.Once again, they did a great job and added more than requested for the bid price. Better yet, it took them only two hours. It would have taken a full day for me, and one other if I had to rent the equipment.Cleaning the house was easy this time around compared to what I had been through in the past. BLOGS BY PAUL KUENN One Man’s Quest for Energy Independence — Part 1One Man’s Quest for Energy Independence — Part 2One Man’s Quest for Energy Independence — Part 3 The siding goes back onBy September, I was working after work with lights and a headlamp. Cold rains became more of a nuisance and biking back and forth to work became slower and used up more time. I pressed on with the beginnings of the siding work. I had to temporarily add recycled wire mesh to keep the birds off the EPS and out of the soffit.By October, the siding was going up and the new deep window jambs were looking good. As soon as the north and east walls were finished, I began cutting and replacing the soffit vents. As the cold season approached, the house was already noticeably warmer.The cold came very early, with lows around zero by mid-November. I had to be careful nailing the siding so it wouldn’t explode into pieces. Working with bare hands was next to impossible.With all trim completed, and only a few remaining items that could wait until spring, I was very happy to be finished.
Chelsea manager Lampard: Hudson-Odoi, James not ready for returnby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea manager Frank Lampard says Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James need more time in the U23s.The teenage duo are expected to be utilised in Lampard’s first-team squad after returning to action with the U23 side last week.But Lampard wants to see them gain more fitness before returning to be considered for selection.”They are fit but not match fit,” said Lampard ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Valencia. “Callum is getting extra work in and with Reece, he played in the Under-23s and they may need another game in the Under-23s in them before they are ready for action. N’Golo similarly. “Although not to play in Under-23s, he will have more training to do just because the injury has been bothering him.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say