1733Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

Stratospheric ozone depletion refers to thinning of the ozone layer located in the upper atmosphere by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other anthropogenic ozone depleting chemicals (ODCs). The ozone layer shields organisms from solar ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer. It also assists in trapping infrared radiation (i.e., heat), thus maintaining the earth's heat balance. The primary sources of ODCs are (1) refrigerators, (2) heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, (3) foam packaging, and (4) certain cleaning solvents. Given the importance of stratospheric ozone depletion as a global environmental problem, several legal instruments have been established which will force the elimination of ODCs. These include the 1990 CAA Amendments and the 1992 Montreal Protocol.

Using a co-generation configuration, several distributed generation technologies (e.g., microturbines) have the potential to include an innovative ODC emission reduction strategy for HVAC systems; the waste heat from kinetic energy pathways can be captured for space heating or absorptive cooling purposes. Absorptive cooling is a well established HVAC strategy that obviates ODCs for cooling. This ODC reduction strategy may have national or state policy implications as (1) a possible "environmental credit" for trading purposes, (2) an incentive to promote distributed generation technologies, or (3) an environmental offset strategy that may aid in the solution of other intractable environmental policy issues associated with distributed generation technologies.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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