Thursday, September 21, 2017

UK’s Quercus plans €500m solar power farm in Iran

A UK company plans to build one of the world’s largest solar power farms in Iran, highlighting European investor enthusiasm for the country despite its renewed diplomatic tensions with the US. Quercus, a green investment company in London, said it had reached agreement with Iran’s energy ministry on plans for a 600-megawatt plant in central Iran that would rival the largest solar projects so far built in China, India and the US. Diego Biasi, Quercus chief executive, said the €500m deal showed Iran was “open for business” and represented a “huge opportunity” for investors in renewable energy. Iran has set a target to install 5 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity — equivalent to about five nuclear reactors — by 2020 as part of efforts to meet rising demand for electricity while cutting air pollution and carbon emissions. The country’s sunny climate makes it especially suited to solar power generation. Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s ambassador to the UK, said the deal with Quercus would support Tehran’s goal to become a “major hub of solar energy serving the region and beyond”. The falling cost of solar panels (for example: GOAL ZERO NOMAD 13 ) and wind turbines is making renewable power a more attractive option in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, accelerating the global shift away from fossil fuels. The Quercus investment was welcomed by Lord Lamont, the former UK chancellor and now trade envoy to Iran, who said it underlined “the importance of developing improved trading relations between the UK and Iran”. International relations with Iran have been thrown into uncertainty by the sceptical attitude of Donald Trump towards a historic nuclear deal in 2015 that led to the partial lifting of sanctions. The US president told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that the deal — designed to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons — was the “worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into”. Despite the diplomatic risks, Mr Biasi said Quercus had been “inundated” with requests from private and institutional investors to look for opportunities in Iran. “Since the lifting of international sanctions, Iran has made fast progress in creating a positive business and regulatory environment for global companies,” he said. The Quercus project would put Britain at the forefront of developing Iran’s renewable energy industry, Mr Biasi said, but UK investors risked falling behind in other sectors. “At Tehran's airport, you will see Italians, French, Germans, Swiss and Americans, all vying for a share of the Iranian pie,” he said. “If anything, Britain has been slow off the mark, but there’s still time to make up ground.” The Iranian project will be the first outside Europe for Quercus, which has invested more than €500m in about 40 renewable projects since its founding in 2010, many of them in the UK and Italy. Quercus will be responsible for building and operating the Iranian solar farm, with construction expected to take three years to complete.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Reliability is in the gate, not the gate opener

After serving a decade as a lead gate opener (for example: MIGHTY MULE FM200 ) technician across a dozen different brands of gate openers one idea has been posed to me during tech calls multiple times. “Why can’t a gate opener just be reliable like my garage door opener? That thing never fails.” If you step back and look at this question and weigh the variables involved it is a wonder that most gate openers are as reliable as they are.
Lets first look at garage doors. You may have noticed two large coils above the garage door. The tension on these coils keep your garage door perfectly balanced. If your coils are set properly you should be able to lift your garage door fairly easily and if you let go of the door it will neither rise nor fall. This is important to understand because if your coils ever go out of balance the first thing you will notice is your garage door opener will malfunction. But of course it is not really the garage door opener malfunctioning – the door just needs to be rebalanced. The garage door opener cannot force the door open or closed if there is resistance. Second the garage door runs on side tracks that are kept well lubricated and out of the weather. This is another scenario if the garage door malfunctions the lubrication of the door wheels would be a good starting area. On the note of out of the weather this also includes not having wind pushing against the door in the direction it is trying to open, yet another advantage of garage automation. Lastly garage doors are all built to relatively similar specifications in terms of size, weight and stability.

So looking at the above it is fairly obvious that the garage door opener has it made in the world of automation. And second to that people are fairly understanding that when there is an issue with the garage door opener, the garage door itself could very well be the cause.

Now we look at driveway gate automation. Similar to having your coils perfectly balanced on a garage door, a swing or slide gate must be able to swing or roll easily and if you let go it should neither swing or slide one way or the other. Meaning it should be perfectly balanced. This is very dependent on the posts and the type of hinges (or for slide gates the levelness of the ground/track). Yet in the gate business we have yet to see much consistency to this at all. We recommend ball bearing hinges yet still see different type of pin hinges or butterfly door hinges all the time. But even when we see ball bearing sometime the hinges are not sized properly or are mounted incorrectly. The posts also lack consistency. Sometimes they are wood, sometimes metal. Sometimes the gate hinges are bolted to the side of a house or column, sometimes the posts are not in cement in the ground but rather strapped to another post. We even once saw a gate with the hinges lag bolted to a tree (please note this is a bad idea, trees grow, your gate will be forever changing height and levelness). Next is the gate itself. Unlike the consistency in garage door design, with driveway gates you could have many different materials, weights and designs. We see wood gates, vinyl gates, steel gate frames with wood planking, aluminum decorative gates, chain link, ranch style 3 rail, and many others especially in the realm of home-made gates. And even with the materials above there are many styles and grades of those materials. Lastly is the outdoor factor. Wind, rain, and snow can all affect how your gate swings. Wind is an especially difficult factor. Every gate opener is designed to stop before crushing something. There is no way for the gate opener to tell the difference between the gate pushing against wind versus pushing against a human. And it does not matter how powerful the motor, the safety controls are all built to be sensitive to this and not crush something. After comparing the challenges that a driveway gate contends with in terms of automation versus a garage door it is always surprising to us that the ease of opening of a garage door gets far more scrutiny than the ease of opening a driveway gate. Gates that are being automated endure many justifications and compromises when being analyzed; rationalizations about swinging only slightly off level or the gate swings, just takes a little force but not a lot. Or it sags slightly. Or the hinges are old and pin style but the gates are small so it is ignored. Or the gate is longer than it should be but can be pushed open with one finger on the end of the gate so it should be fine (note: gate length is very important, the whipping action once the gate is in motion created by too long of a gate for specification of a particular gate opener can cause obstruction).

Understanding these challenges if you are a home owner with driveway gate automation will eliminate a lot of your frustration. If you lubricate your garage door once a year, do it once a month for your poor weather beaten gate. If your gate is leaning, reinforce it. If your gate is old, very heavy or a wind sail of a design; replace it with alight weight decorative aluminum gate. Also check out our upcoming video on easy DIY ways to judge your gate for being automation friendly.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Local author sets date for next release

Local author sets date for next release


Amanda Flower of Tallmadge, author of the Agatha Award-nominated “Maid of Murder,” will release her third Living History Museum Mystery novel, “The Final Vow,” on May 8.

The novel is set in the Civil War era, and follows the character Kelsey Cambridge as she tries to prove her ex-husband’s fiancee is innocent for a death that occurs before their wedding, but she begins to wonder to herself if the bride-to-be is innocent.

Flower is an academic librarian and the author of Appleseed Creek Mysteries, India Hayes Mysteries, and Amish Quilts Shop Mysteries under the pen name Isabella Alan.

“The Final Vow” will be available from Midnight Ink Books for $14.99.

Discussion group will meet at library


“The Book Unknown Americans,” by Cristina Henriquez, is the topic of the book discussion group that will meet from 7 to 8 p.m. May 23 in the Quaker Room at Salem Public Library, 821 E. State St.

The book follows the fictional lives of several Latin American immigrants, and why they chose to come to the United States. It is available for rent from the Adult Services Department of the library.

- See more at:

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Basics About Roofing

At some point, you may need to get your roof replaced. In most cases, shingles wear away over time or fall off, although in extreme cases, disaster may strike and damage the surface of a roof, such as during a hurricane or tornado. In all instances, a roof will need repairs or to be replaced completely. On a local level, various outdoor home improvement companies offer roof repair and replacement services, as well as a few types of shingles, for you to choose from. But before your roof caves in from wear or has patchy shingles, you should notice when your roof may need to be replaced by a new set of shingles.

Replacing a roof isn't as simple as taking the new shingles off and replacing them with the new. Instead, roofing is a three-part process that results in a polished and new exterior to your home. The first part any New York roofer will do is remove the shingles on your home, but under the shingles is typically roofing felt and sheathing. All of these older parts need to be removed and newer ones need to be added. Sheathing, a plywood or wafer board covering of 3/8 to 3/4 of an inch thick, is added first. On top of this goes the roofing felt, or tar paper, to act as a waterproof barrier between the sheathing and shingles. However, when adding roofing felt, make sure that the sheathing is completely dry first. After, the shingles are applied on top to both with a nail gun powered by an air compressor.

Brand new shingles can change the appearance of a home. The two most popular types are wood shingles, usually called "shake," and asphalt shingles. Shake is made from real wood or a substitute like plywood or particle board, while asphalt shingles are the dark colored squares seen on many homes. When adding roofing to your home, keep in mind that neither type of shingle should be added in wet or cold weather. Asphalt shingles, for example, will crack or become brittle in the cold. Although in northern and New England states, like Connecticut and Maine, this leaves part of the year unfit for roofing, it's advised to do any roofing work in warmer or dry weather.

But at what point do you need a new roof? In some areas, such as in the South, this may occur when a hurricane damages your roof. Areas without hurricanes, such as New England, don't need to worry about severe damage, but if shingles have been coming off a roof or the material looks worn, these are indicators that the roofing material needs to be changed. While New York or Connecticut roofing may not suffer from severe and immediate roof damage, planning out when to do roofing is advised.

Finding a roofing company and learning about their services is as easy as opening a telephone book or doing an online search.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Little Remarkable Device Helps Small Business get Online in No Time

Brick and Mortar retail business has undergone remarkable transformation in the last few years. The rise of eCommerce and the success of Amazon and other online retailers has put all the brick and mortar retailers in precarious situation. Even the giant retailers like Walmart are not immune from this significant change happening right now. Reading the headlines about the struggle of JC Penney and Macy’s makes anyone think that the brick and mortar retail business is going to die soon. While it may be somewhat exaggeration the reality is that if the big box retailers do not have online strategy to combat with the likes of Amazon they may face extinction in a long haul.

If the likes of Walmart and Macy’s are having such a difficult time dealing with the onslaught of eCommerce think about those small businesses who do not have the wherewithal or resources. Their survival largely depends on finding creative ways to get the customers in the door while at the time going to customers where they shop – online.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Vintage Seiko: a Short History

Seiko started out as a watch repair company, started by K. Hattori in Tokyo, Japan. Eleven years after it was founded, they made the first wall clock and also started manufacturing pocket timepieces and in the year 1924, Seiko Watches started as a mega watch company. Seiko is Japan's official national railway timepiece since the year 1929, and today Seiko is a company that has magnified globally and has reached great heights.

The list of the various kinds of time pieces by Seiko is highly impressive. Seiko Watches is the preferred choice for those interested in trendy, durable and high-quality timepieces. Seiko always aims at creating new dimensions in watch-making. They have watches for men and women at delightful prices including number of designs, with a mix of technology and finesse.

In 1969, used Seiko Watches manufactured the first six quartz timepiece which was called 'Seiko Astron'. This marked the start of an era in watch-making. Seiko Timepieces are also known for their high performance and low costs. They launched the first LCD six-digit display watch as well. They have made a number of technological advances like launching the first television watch, watches with computerized functions and recently they made history by launching a timepiece that can be used in space.

Used Seiko Watches for Men are always stylish. They have the latest state-of-the-art technologies like calendars, GMT hand, water resistance etc. which make the timepieces trendy and exciting for tech-savvy men. Seiko Timepieces are made of stainless steel and pure leather. These timepieces can be used for different occasions like a party, in the office, at the gym etc.

Used Seiko Watches for women are creative and up to date. The watches for women come in different styles and colors, they are diamond or crystal-studded and yet very affordable. The bracelet of these Seiko Timepieces is woven and looks classy with different sized dials. They go well with any social gathering, as the watches look stunning. They also manufacture sporty watches for women. There are other various collections of time-pieces for men and women.

Buyers can choose from a range of technological collections of watches, namely Kinetic watches, Analog Watches, Digital Watches, Chronograph Watches, USA Sport Watches etc. with each having various other designs, colors and styles. In order to enhance their market value, Seiko has collaborated with the Hero Honda F1 team, and this has led to the creation of special motor racing themed watches for men and women since 2006.

Used Seiko Watches are used in many global events like the Olympics to keep the track of time, and this proves the iconic growth and importance of the brand.

Seiko believes that today, watches make a fashion statement and they go beyond the title of just an accessory. Hence, all their time-pieces have a stylish and personalized touch, with an extremely good quality of the latest technologies and guaranteed durability. Used Seiko Watches are out of the world and highly qualified, and easily the most perfect watch for everyone.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Your Guide to Setting up an Online Business

So you want to set up an online business. Many do it these days, where the entire business is conducted online with no physical customer facing areas. It works! Just look at Amazon, who has completely dominated online retail. There are certain things you need to remember to keep your online business safe and excelling. You are at a disadvantage to other businesses with a physical front because that is a whole different side to the business, meaning they don’t have to pay as much time to their online area compared to you. But, don’t let it get you down because you can still make it. Here are some tips you need to think of to ensure your online business is nothing but a huge success.

Website Design

You need to focus on your website design. Give it all the time in the world. It needs to be amazing, because essentially it is all you have. The only medium from which to sell your products or services. Get a plan, and take it to a web developer. You can’t afford to make it on your own, even if you have some skill doing it. It needs to be good and run well and only by asking professionals to do it will you really make a significant impact. There can’t be any glitches or errors which can hurt your publicity and you also need a website that is easy to navigate otherwise people are just going to get frustrated and leave your site for another one they feel is easier to use. The colouring needs to be in line with your branding. Make it bespoke and unique. Design a business logo and put it on your site. Everything like this gives your website a professional slant which can give people trust in your business.