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Tom Raftery: On Blogging, Green Computing and other interesting topics

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Tom Raftery is blogger, podcaster and social media consultant. 

Tom consults to companies on social media (blogs, podcasts, wikis, etc) and how to use them for knowledge management, brand management, communications, etc. Tom is a director of a startup data centre in Cork - Cork Internet eXchange (cix.ie). CIX will open doors for business in January 08. Tom is also involved in an energy management startup called Synergy Module (synergymodule.com).

Here we talk about green computing, blogging and other interesting topics. Enjoy.

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  • jsampsonPCjsampsonPC SampsonBlog.​com Sampson​Videos.com
    These interviews would be so much better if Microsoft would pony up the cash to buy a lapel microphone or something that removes background-noise. It's so frustratingly painful to listen with all of the background distractions.
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    jsampsonPC wrote:
    These interviews would be so much better if Microsoft would pony up the cash to buy a lapel microphone or something that removes background-noise. It's so frustratingly painful to listen with all of the background distractions.


    We understand. I didn't think the sound was so bad in this one... At any rate, yes, we will be upgrading our audio set up for use in high noise situations.
    C
  • jsampsonPCjsampsonPC SampsonBlog.​com Sampson​Videos.com
    Charles wrote:
    
    jsampsonPC wrote:
    These interviews would be so much better if Microsoft would pony up the cash to buy a lapel microphone or something that removes background-noise. It's so frustratingly painful to listen with all of the background distractions.


    We understand. I didn't think the sound was so bad in this one... At any rate, yes, we will be upgrading our audio set up for use in high noise situations.
    C


    Awesome, I love it!
  • Regarding the problem of energy sources which produce a variable amount of energy during the day (Tom mentions wind which I think is a good example), could hydrogen be a good way of storing that energy for later use? Shouldn't be easier to store hydrogen in pressure vessels than electric energy in aging batteries? Just a thought.
  • giovanni wrote:
    Regarding the problem of energy sources which produce a variable amount of energy during the day (Tom mentions wind which I think is a good example), could hydrogen be a good way of storing that energy for later use? Shouldn't be easier to store hydrogen in pressure vessels than electric energy in aging batteries? Just a thought.


    Giovanni, absolutely hydrogen is better than batteries as a store. Batteries are expensive, have a short usable life (8-10 years typically), and are not particularly environmentally friendly.

    Hydrogen is not particularly efficient however either and while it may have its place, better options for now appear to be using cooling and heating as energy stores (think refrigeration plants, swimming pools, etc.).

    Another interesting option will be the ability to use plug-in hybrids as an energy store. If there is a high uptake of plug-in hybrids, they could make a real difference for uptake of renewables. A real win-win.
  • TomRaftery wrote:
    Hydrogen is not particularly efficient however either and while it may have its place, better options for now appear to be using cooling and heating as energy stores (think refrigeration plants, swimming pools, etc.).

    Another interesting option will be the ability to use plug-in hybrids as an energy store. If there is a high uptake of plug-in hybrids, they could make a real difference for uptake of renewables. A real win-win.


    Do you refer to the efficiency of fuel cells (which are made of not so eco friendly elements)? How about using hydrogen in combustion engines (like the BMW 7H), is efficiency higher?

    The problem with hybrids in general are batteries, which are improving a lot, but still are not perfect. As the owner of a Prius I know how much these things are far from ideal.
  • giovanni wrote:
    Do you refer to the efficiency of fuel cells (which are made of not so eco friendly elements)? How about using hydrogen in combustion engines (like the BMW 7H), is efficiency higher? The problem with hybrids in general are batteries, which are improving a lot, but still are not perfect. As the owner of a Prius I know how much these things are far from ideal.
    Giovanni, apologies, I wasn't very clear. I wasn't talking about fuel cells. When I was referring to Hydrogen, I was talking about the ability to create Hydrogen chemically when energy is cheap and then to burn that Hydrogen to make energy when Energy is expensive (this would often be within the same 24 hours). On the Prius front, Toyota have announced that the next version of the Prius will be a plug-in hybrid. This car will be able to serve as an energy store, able to take in and store energy when electricity is cheap, and sell energy back to the grid when electricity is expensive. If only 10s of plug-in hybrids are sold, this will make no significant contribution. But if 100,000's of plug-in hybrids are sold, the stabilising effect on the grid could be crucial.
  • An interesting thing to note when it comes to engines is that fuels such as gasoline or hydrogen have a far greater energy density than batteries, yet electric motors are so much more chemically efficient than combusion engines that it almost makes up for it.

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