Sunday, September 29, 2013

Energy 101: Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy

See how marine and hydrokinetic technologies harness the energy of the ocean's waves, tides, and currents and convert it into electricity to power our homes, buildings and cities.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Industrial Automation Technology

Industrial Automation Technology refers to the control of industrial machinery and its various processes thus reducing the need for human intervention. Industrial automation technology makes use of various control systems such as programmable logic control, industrial control and numerical control systems. These applications are usually used in concert with information technology systems such as computer technologies that control the automated machinery.

Automation is a step up from mechanization because it greatly reduces the human mental and sensory requirements, whereas mechanization assists human operators with the muscular requirements for the work.

Industrial automation plays a large part in the global economy, and engineers work hard to combine mathematical tools with automated devices to produce better and more complex systems for the expanding applications and range of human activities.

The automation of machines and other technologies has a big impact on a wide range of industries, for example; telephone operators have been mostly replaced by automated switchboards and answering machines, and automated teller machines now make money transactions much easier and help cut down visits to the bank.

Industrial automation is used in a wide range of industries for many different types of application and some of these can include:

o Mechanical engineering

o Industrial controls

o Electronic engineering

o Integrated circuit design
o Motion control and fluid control

o Data acquisition software

There are many advantages and disadvantages in the scope of industrialization and some of these advantages are:

o Economy improvement

o Can be used to carry out dangerous tasks

o Can replace tedious human tasks

Some of the main disadvantages are:

o Automation has its limits and at present is unable to replace all human tasks

o Development costs can be unpredictable

o Initial set-up costs are usually high

It is thought by some critics that automation will lead to higher unemployment, yet others argue that the opposite is true and that automation has led to higher employment.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Energy 101: Concentrating Solar Power

From towers to dishes to linear mirrors to troughs, concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies reflect and collect solar heat to generate electricity. A single CSP plant can generate enough power for about 90,000 homes. This video explains what CSP is, how it works, and how systems like parabolic troughs produce renewable power.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Importance of a Feasibility Study

Almost everyone would like to have their own business at one point in time for different personal reasons. Almost everyone has an idea of what kind of business they would like to have. It is however a common truth that not all ideas are guaranteed to succeed in the field of business. Going into business means risk. Nobody would like to start a business and see it go down the drain because their idea didn't work. When planning to start a business you would want to be on the safe side. You want to make sure that your business idea would work and will turn in a profit. That's the mean reason you wanted to start a business anyway, to earn.

Over the years I've seen a number of friends venture into business. Some of them succeeded, the others however didn't fair so well and had to give up their venture due to a number of reasons. Some of them found out that there was no viable market for what they had to offer, others didn't realize that the market was already heavily saturated until it was too late and they were unable to compete with other similar businesses, there were those who ran out of financial capital because they had no idea how much it would cause to start their business, and there were those who were unable to cope with the challenges of having to own and run a business. All of those who failed had one thing in common; they did not conduct a feasibility study.

You have an idea and you believe that you can make a business out of it, that's fine. But before you decide to go ahead with your plan, conduct a feasibility study first. A feasibility study is a research than an individual conducts to make sure that his idea would work. It's your first line of defense against project failure. A feasibility study is a research that you would like to conduct first before going into the actual project development. It is conducted during the planning stage. If done correctly, a good feasibility study could tell you if there is a viable market for your product. It would tell you if that market has growth potential or if that market is already heavily saturated. Your feasibility study could indicate how much risk is involved if you were to push through with your plans. It could also indicate whether the risk is within acceptable levels or too much. A good feasibility study could also indicate if your proposed budget for the project is enough for what you need or not. Pretty much, your feasibility study will indicate whether your project will succeed or not; allowing you the chance to realign your plans in order to be sure that it will have better chances of succeeding.

If you have plans to get into business at any point in your life, before you do anything else make sure that you conduct an in-depth feasibility study before you commit; especially if your plan involves a substantial amount for capitalization. This way you'll know what you're getting yourself into. You wouldn't want to see your money go down the drain for nothing.

Neoko Cortwell is a freelance writer and web designer. If you want to start your own creative journey to becoming a freelance designer yourself, see these video tutorials.
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Energy 101: Lighting Choices

In this edition of Energy 101, we discuss lighting choices. People have been using the same light bulb since Thomas Edison invented it about 130 years ago. Today, there are more lighting options in stores that will save you energy and money.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Energy 101: Hydropower

Learn how hydropower captures the kinetic energy of flowing water and turns it into electricity for our homes and businesses.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Important Factors to Consider During a Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is conducted to identify if a project is worth pursuing till completion. Feasibility studies are often conducted prior to project commencement; however in some instances, the project managers may decide to conduct parts of feasibility studies parallel after the project has begun due to time constraints.

Organizational and cultural feasibility determines if a project is suited for the existing and future organizational culture. This study will look into finding data on overall impact on organization, employees, structure and motivation. As the all employees should be satisfied with the project work that they get involved in, a new project should not bring unwanted risks to the whole organization.
Even though most modern organizations are moving with the fast changing technology trends, it is not possible to keep track of all of them. Technology feasibility determines if the organization has the necessary resources to complete the project. If not the ways of acquiring that knowledge and resources are investigated within the budget limits.

It is a fact that many projects often fail to meet their initial deadlines. Schedule feasibility evaluates if a company or department can allocate necessary resources for a project for a set period of time. Some of the deadlines will be mission critical such launching a new terminal at an airport or opening a new faculty at a university. In such situations, the schedule feasibility plays a critical role.

Resource feasibility identifies the overall resources required for a project. Some projects such as IT and Engineering design will require a lot of human resources. Manufacturing and production projects will require more physical resources. Based on the needs of the projects, the resources needed, methods of procurement, recruitment, allocated budget the end result may differ.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Energy 101: Geothermal Heat Pumps

An energy-efficient heating and cooling alternative, the geothermal heat pump system moves heat from the ground to a building (or from a building to the ground) through a series of flexible pipe "loops" containing water. This edition of Energy 101 explores the benefits Geothermal and the science behind how it all comes together.

Monday, September 2, 2013

3 Differences Between a Feasibility Study and a Business Plan

There seems to be a mix up between a feasibility report and a business blueprint or plan. While some say they are the same, others argue they are not. So I want to use this medium to draw a line between a feasibility study and a business plan.

Though the process involved in developing feasibility report and a business plan are similar, I will reveal to you some basic differences:

1) Feasibility is carried out with the aim of finding out the workability and profitability of a business venture. Before anything is invested in a new business venture, a feasibility study is carried out to know if the business venture is worth the time, effort and resources.

On the other hand, a biz plan is developed only after it has been established that a business opportunity exist. This simply means that a biz plan is prepared after a feasibility study has been conducted.

2) A feasibility report is filled with calculations, analysis and estimated projections while a business blueprint or plan is made up of mostly tactics and strategies to be implemented in other to grow the business.

3) Feasibility is all about business idea viability while a business plan deals with business growth and sustainability.

I hope this few words I have written has been able to point out the key differences between a feasibility study and a business blueprint or plan. I feel it's also worthwhile to know that a feasibility report or study can readily be converted to a business plan.

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