Renewable Energy vs. Nuclear Energy: What Is Better?

wind power, solar energy, renewable energy sources, alternative energy sources, nuclear energy, Sigmadoors

One of the most heated and vigorous debates in the contemporary academic domain is about renewable energy and nuclear energy. Both the efficient energy alternatives have garnered split global support, decades of research and billions in multi-currency investments. The question, however, still lingers whether nuclear energy should be the primary option. Or the alternative/renewable resources can cope with the overwhelming demands efficiently. The debate transcends mere statistics and plans. Furthermore, the sectors conforming to energy efficient standards are also looking to see the result of the seeming perpetual debate. However, the primary focus in this article would be on the application of the environment-friendly alternatives in the housing sector. It shall cover the usage of energy alternatives from the mere front doors to a more significant overall scenario. That is the scenario of an efficient and ‘green’ household.

wind power, solar energy, renewable energy sources, alternative energy sources, nuclear energy, SigmadoorsRenewable Energy or Nuclear

The current deplorable condition of the depleting and carbon-emitting resources is an extremely well-known fact around the world. The era when fossil fuels powered the large, boisterous industries and upcoming modern cities is approaching an end. The rising scale of carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases have merely rendered the fossil fuel alternative obsolete. The pollution, harmful emission, and global warming together have demanded a new, more efficient and less dangerous option.   

A few decades ago, the options came to light in the form of alternative energy. Countless scientists undertook long hauled research and bags full of money and contributed to the development of these alternative sources. They developed sources in the form of solar, wind, hydro and other significant forms of energy. Unsurprisingly, the results were revolutionary. The current scenario involves a large section of the global population conforming to these environmentally efficient methods.

However, the quest didn’t stop there. The next big revolution was the harnessing of nuclear energy. The results were impressive and significantly sustainable. However, the results took a massive monetary and economic toll.  

The debate then began regarding the overall credibility and sustainability of both the options. Various other scientific and economic factors were also taken into consideration. The result was mostly a tied-up situation; however, a more intricate look on a list of factors would shift the favor towards alternative energy sources-

  1. One of the most critical factors that discredit nuclear energy from becoming the primary energy source is the unpreparedness of the sector. Even after the significant investments and efforts, nuclear energy resources have not reached a level of adequate prominence. The current nuclear scenario consists of inefficient 2nd generation reactors which aren’t equipped to provide energy on a large scale. The 3rd generation reactors are efficient but not as efficient when compared to renewable sources. Moreover, the 3rd generation reactors are heavy on budget and still a work in progress.

Renewable resources on the other hand, like wind and solar energy sources, are effortlessly dominating. This is because of their cost-effective and efficient characteristics.

  1. Another undermined factor about nuclear energy is the amount of emission that takes place. For instance, during the mining of raw materials like uranium. The uranium deposits are further depleting. Thus in the future, the frequency of mining and the subsequent emission are expected to increase. This ultimately invalidates the very intention of efficient energy alternatives.
  2. In addition to the non-periodic energy supply and monetary inefficiency, the problems regarding the waste bi-product formed and its management is worth acknowledging. There are currently no waste management repositories in the whole world that can contain nuclear waste. Even if a project were to be initiated, the cost would be too high. To build a nuclear repository that is capable of over thousands of years of containment seems like a long shot.

Therefore, the notion is a bit more refined than the alternative energy resources are still holding the edge over their nuclear counterparts.

What requires attention next is the housing sector now. It is dependent and factorable into the renewable energy domain. Various housing products like aluminium windows and doors, glass doors, etc. and even more concepts have emerged these days. Hence, it’s now possible to make households energy efficient.

Energy Efficient Housing

Renewable energy resources have played an integral role in a lot of industries and sectors. Housing sectors are one of the major sectors which have benefited from renewable energy concepts in numerous ways.

The concept of making the house energy efficient is not only just an option but a growing necessity. People all over the world have already taken steps to do so. With the use of efficient aluminium windows, aluminium doors, better-equipped shower doors, etc. people make many housing changes for efficiency.

wind power, solar energy, renewable energy sources, alternative energy sources, nuclear energy, SigmadoorsThe need for making one’s home energy efficient comes merely from the fact that it’s cost-efficient. In addition to that, alleviated the comfort gradient, adds value to the resale number, and foremostly it’s environment-friendly. Windows and doors contribute extensively in making a house efficient. The right products and information can transform a home into an efficient, safely insured and comfortable living space.

It’s best to skim through the varying options provided by mere doors and windows provide. This is to understand the role of renewable energy in the housing spectrum –

  • Doors

Doors to a house are the undebatable defining factors. Not only do they carry an esteemed aesthetic value, but also the maiden protection responsibility. A change of front doors can have a profound effect on the structure of the house. Doors are a major factor of the overall design of any house. Not only does it provide security, but it is also responsible for factors like thermal performance, moisture protection, daylighting and aesthetics. A door plays an essential role in the overall design and performance.  

For the house to become more efficient, a change of doors can help.

Newer entrance doors have a better insulation effect and thus lower heating effect and prolonged cooling.

To have this augmented thermal effect, the use of aluminium doors or aluminium folding doors is advised. aluminium doors have glass layering which prevents conduction of heat and reduce air permeability. This glass layering is called glazing and is often used to make the house more efficient.

Furthermore, the use of aluminium sliding doors offers enhanced protection in case of heavy winds and storms. The heavy-duty sliding structure of an aluminium sliding door makes sure the door stays intact in aggressive scenarios.

Another great addition to an efficient house is that of folding doors. Especially, aluminium folding doors are an efficient way to alleviate the housing standards. The foldable doors, when closed, are a canvas of glass which allows a panoramic view of the outdoors. This also enables incorporation of flooding natural light which is quite essential. As compared to aluminium window French doors, folding doors offer more security. Their compressed panels also make sure the thermal and air permeability is in check. The ventilation through the widely spaced folding doors is utterly sufficient too.

Furthermore, aluminium doors are much more credible than wooden doors. In addition to energy efficiency, aluminium doors are much easier to maintain, more cost effective and highly durable. They also spruce up the entrance with a modernized and bright look.  

With a cost range of R6000-R30000 aluminium doors, the house is not only more protected but also more thermally efficient.

  • Windows

Another factor that plays a vital role in augmenting thermal efficiency and making the house more energy efficient are windows. Windows are an essential part of the overall structure of the house. Windows are a source of natural light. However, they also decide the level of permeability and thermal exchange a house should have.

Windows are primarily used as a barrier in the house. The main component of the window that decides the majority of the factors is the frame used.  

Primarily, aluminium window frames are widely used now because of many reasons. The frames are used extensively because of their insulation properties and added protection. Not only is aluminium a durable material but the glazed surface prevents unneeded air and thermal exchange. aluminium is also used extensively because the material is highly flexible in availability. This allows a large variety in standard aluminium window sizes. The use of aluminium frames also allows wider and clearer screen installation. This, therefore, allows more daylight and subsequently enhances the clarity of the outdoor vision.

A better option for an efficient home is also the use of compression seal windows like the awning windows. These windows offer better water resistance and filtration of the air. Since these windows can be opened entirely, they also provide an efficient ventilation option.

Another thing to keep in mind is the maintenance of the aluminium windows. The best way to maintain aluminium frame windows is to anodize the aluminium frames. This protects it from environmental factors such as moisture and humidity. Furthermore, the glass window panes require regular cleansing with normal water.

aluminium windows also serve as efficient replacement windows. In events of a storm or other natural calamity, they are easily replaced. That is only if they are not able to withhold the cause, which they usually do.

aluminium window prices are furthermore cost efficient than the wooden counterparts. The range is usually limited from R100-R150 per square meter.

For further modernized guides, various forums and blogs can be referred to.

To gain access to this wide range of products, it’s best to have credible sources. The availability of these aluminium doors and windows is always an issue. However, various well stocked online entities can be referred to for help. Companies like Sigmadoors, etc. are known for their diverse catalog of efficient and quality products.

 

These are the factors that contribute to the overall energy efficiency in household scenarios. In addition to these cases, renewable energy resources like solar panels, hydro generators, etc., are used in industrial situations efficiently.

According to various reports and surveys, the use of renewable energy in the industrial sectors has seen an upgrade of up to 5%. The increased use is countered by nuclear use of 3%. Even though renewable energy sources are leading the statistics, the use of energy efficient alternatives is a positive sign.

The statistics also point to the fact that the use of alternative resources has increased in double margins since the beginning of the last decade. Bio-mass, hydroelectricity, solar energy, etc. are been used extensively throughout the world.

The nuclear energy, however, is dealing with other problematic factors — the only efficient grade reactors, that it, the 3rd generation and the 3rd+ generation are not available for extensive use. The former is only available in 3 countries while the latter is still not in existence and is constructed. Even if nuclear energy is an innovative and efficient alternative, it is not yet equipped with the practical tendencies to provide on a global scale.

In conclusion, renewable energy resources are holding the edge in the contemporary energy scenario. The nuclear energy sources are offering their contribution but still lack the refined capabilities to accommodate the efficient energy demands on a global scale. However, as we have seen, both have their own upsides as well as downsides. It is all about the requirements and the planning that we have in mind.

Furthermore, they are numerous ways to use alternative concepts and techniques to make one’s house energy efficient. The various uses of aluminium in aluminium doors and windows, etc., can alleviate a house’s energy efficiency and make it environment-friendly which is the least contribution one can make in the increasing necessity of environment-friendly acts. Ensure that all your actions are with the thought of the environment in mind. Your actions will lay the path for the younger generation as well. The choices that you make in terms of saving the environment today will eventually lead to them having a safe and secure future.  

What Kind Of Damage Can High Wind Speeds Do To A House?

aluminium windows and doors, hurricane damage, wind speed damage, tornado, sigmadoors

hurricane damage, wind speed damage, sigmadoorsA heart is happy when the house you have built is happy.  A happy house is characterized by how satisfied you are with it. Contentment can be measured by the comfort in the design and utility of the house, not just by the styles of your glass doors and awning windows. It is necessary you care for the structure and protect it as your own. By not treating it as a different entity, you will be ensuring the safety of the house and your family. The possible threats the building is likely to face are mostly uncontrollable and involuntary. Nature’s forces like the wind and water are not under the guidance or control of any man. Thus, it is essential for you to safeguard your house with insurance. Damaging wind speeds are detrimental since they take shape in various categories and forms. Awareness against all these odds will help in tackling these hazards smartly. The following is a detailed study of the same.

What are the winds and why are they harmful?

Wind, in its most comprehensive meaning, refers to a collection of gases. Winds flow faster than a regular breeze and tend to last for a longer duration. At a velocity, winds carry with them a certain amount of pressure which determines the direction of the wind flow. This velocity is also called wind speed. It is interesting to mention that on the following basis, winds transpire into various categories:

  1. Spatial scale-  The spatial scale shows the amount of intensity of an object over a fixed distance, time and area.
  2. Wind speed- Wind speed is a noteworthy discussion that determines the damage and utility quotient of the wind.
  3. The region- Because winds all have differential pressures and directions at different points of time, the locational influence is an eloquent amplification.
  4. The forces- The forces refer to the ignition of climatic changes that generate differentiated winds.

A few winds are harmless while another few are highly damaging. Every wind has three aspects to it- the cause, the area of effect and the effects. On this basis, damaging winds are calculated and predicted. This analogy acts as an helpful precaution against impending horrors of nature that will affect your house.

The cause

Winds are generated across various locations due to the disparity in atmospheric pressure. This thermal difference in temperatures and pressures gives rise to various forces. These forces accumulate towards a common center, thanks to a centrifugal force.  The friction at the eye of the winds slows the pace of the wind. It moves towards a gradient pressure area and starts collecting a similar army of winds which, as a result, increases the speed.

The area of effect

At the area of effect, the accumulated winds tend to cause havoc. The speed of the wind is alarmingly high. Since winds host moisture and collect humidity from the nearby air, water is a well-known companion of such high-speed winds. Soon after this, the storm starts to develop an eye. At this point, the winds start their action in dilapidating the region tormented with the storm. Coastal regions are the most suffered areas of damage. The sea and land breezes aid the winds which may cause widespread damage to your roof coverings, windows and front doors. This damage is inclusive of significant damage to houses and the community at large. The damage caused by these winds depend on the speed of the winds aroused in the region.

The winds that have attained the speed of 50-60 miles per hour (mph) are denominated as straight-line winds. These winds can easily reach up to 100 mph in the blink of an eye. The worst the winds have speeded across an area is 300 mph. Moreover, these accumulated winds have slight outbursts called microburst and macroburst. They are significant contributors to house damage to entrance doors, aluminium windows, and aluminium doors. Such high-speed winds are accompanied by previously uprooted flying debris, wind-driven hail and damage from a tornado. This debris includes replacement windows pieces, vehicle junk, and numerous splinters.

The scale used to determine the speed of the winds and the damage caused by them is the below-mentioned table.

 

Scale ( Fujita ) Wind speed (mph) Damage
EF0 68-85 Mediocre
EF1 86-110 Moderate
EF2 111-135 Considerable
EF3 and above >135 Total destruction

 

The effect

The intensity of damage caused by these winds is highly detrimental. The damage of such winds is ancillary to the wind speed, the direction of the wind and duration over which the storm persists. The debris comprises of broken pieces from glass doors, aluminium windows and more. This debris-storm causes more damage than the winds themselves.

Different wind speeds cause various levels of damage. Minimal speed winds which rage at 50-60 mph do not cause noteworthy damage. The most it can do to your house is to uproot the trees in your backyards and shatter the shingles of your roof. They are also capable of overturning a few light vehicles or fences. A regular house that has a foundation can withstand 120-140 mph winds easily. Trouble occurs when the winds go over the mentioned speed range. At this speed, the roof begins to fall off or blow away. The winds blow towards your house with a severe intensity that will pass through the unfinished ends and edges. This will weaken the wall and cause its destruction. Doors and windows have always been the weakest points of interest. Heavier pieces of previously stable aluminium folding doors and broken splinters and slivers of standard aluminium window sizes are nothing less than harmful.

Home damage of aluminium doors and aluminium windows

Coastal and disaster-prone areas are the most common sufferers of these hazards. The tropical depression that is created by the winds is of extreme concern to many construction workers and home designers.

  • At a modest speed of 50-60 mph, the shingles of the roof or slight breakage in the fence can be observed.
  • When the speeds reach to about 70-80 mph, building materials start of wear off slowly and steadily. At this rate of a wind change, the glass of the glass doors and windows and of other equipment would be shattered. Older and traditional methods of construction are weak and unadvanced. They will not be able to withstand the effects of the high-speed winds that are ravaging the community.
  • At a speed of 150 mph, trees and lampposts are uprooted mercilessly and, the foundation of the house is ripped beyond repair.
  • Manmade structures and buildings fall off at the wind speed of 210 mph. It is highly unlikely that any artificial structure can hold its strength against such damaging winds.
  • For instances, one of the most damaging kinds of winds hit Barrow Island with a speed of 253 mph. The costliest of hurricanes were Sandy, Katrina, and Andrew in the US that had a recovery expense of $125 billion.

Precautions to take

These are seven best precautionary measures which can help in preventing extensive damage to your house:

  1. Manufacturer addressed concerns – when a storm with high-speed winds hits the region, many houses are overturned or completely destroyed. The wind can easily overpower the strength of your construction. Thus, it is advisable for you to use those materials that offer permanent solutions to home-based queries. For example, if the doors of your house were likely to cause a break down during an upcoming storm, how are going to handle it? The material in question should be top notch and available.
  2. Extra add-ons- The most vulnerable parts of your home are the windows and doors. They are the main causes of flying debris entering the house. If the construction material had no significant specification for the door, then use an add-on. Equipment such as shutters, panel systems, and screens can be used to ward off debris. Moreover, this additional protection cannot easily be penetrated by debris (unless the object is heavy such as aluminium sliding doors). These systems provide an extra layer of safety to the windows and doors.
  3. Glass advancement- Using glass doors and windows is nice. They are tinted or transparent in their usage, but during high-speed wind crusade, these very glassdoors cause the highest amount of damage. Glass shattering is not only painful to the building, but the debris after the shattering of glass is extremely fatal. In a preventive measure, glass can be manufactured to be made impact resistant. This can be achieved by heat hardening the glass and chemically treating it. This involves the method of serious compression that limits the jerking of the glass doors.
  4. Leakage-resistant techniques- Doors and aluminium windows, despite being the best alternative, do not completely kee off trouble. They are very delicate and easily prone to damage. They are also habitats of water intrusion. Storms are often accompanied by water and debris. The debris will cause damage to the aluminium window and will allow the water to flow in and through it. This seepage will eliminate the remaining strength of the wall, and it will slowly succumb to the wind and water pressure. Thus, the use of certain extra tools like screens or shutter can be invariably helpful.
  5. Siding- Siding is a shielding material attached to the outlying side of a wall. Along with the roof, it forms the first line of defense against the natural forces. Therefore, it gives rise to a stable, and a really worriless interior. It also helps in reducing the interior temperature when it too high. Siding to houses should be looked after and taken as a piece of advice. Fibre cement siding is a material used to build one of the most powerful and strong holdings and long lasting walls. Can hold itself against ferocious coastal winds. Siding must be designed to withstand a minimum of 130-150 mph of winds.
  6. To build a home, you should consider wind load classifications and types of building materials that can withstand the winds.
    1. Age factor- the older the house, the less likely it is to withstand the wrath of the winds. Newer houses are equipped with more stabilized techniques which are preferable.
    2. Your home can withstand the air pressure if it is one-storied. Extra precautionary measures need to be taken in order to protect the house from such high-speed winds.
    3. The strength of your walls can be a known factor. Many homes use concrete block than wood framing to build their walls. A few houses even use a combination of the both.
    4. The type of roof is a dependent factor on which the health of the house is relied on. There are two types of roof structures- gable roof and hip-roof. The materials used in building a roof are significant to understand. Dimensional lumber is old and unfavorable. The problem with Dimensional lumber is that this wood is sharp across all edges and turns. That creates wind resistance. Dimensional lumber can be the reason why high-speed winds are capable of toppling your home. OSB or plywood is a recommended alternative to such wood.  Despite being the least used housing material, concrete is still recommended.
  7. Insurance is the undisputable necessity among all other precautions. In order to ensure your home’s safety and recover the lost funds, insurance can help you to do that. Here’s a general list of questions to skim through when you’re deciding on your insurance:
    1. How to buy insurance for your homes:
    2. Home Insurance Overview
    3. What Does Home Insurance Cover?
    4. Storm Damage Insurance Buyers Guide
    5. Home Insurance Terms and Definitions
    6. Storm Damage Insurance FAQs
    7. Flood Insurance: What You Need to Know and How to Purchase Coverage
    8. How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim after Storm Damage

This list is as per the NSDC. Property owners can safeguard their entities by obtaining a good insurance policy to combat the after-effects of a storm.

It should be noted that winds are a topic of utmost importance. They do not cause the damage that amounts to that of a child’s play. Be it your fancy double sliding glass doors for entrance doors, and nothing is a match to high-speed winds. Only awareness and safety tricks are the measures for a healthier approach to human and house safety, at the least.

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Tips For Vanity Mirrors

Most people do not realize it but mirrors play a crucial role in home décor. Many a times, the smallest details bring about the biggest impact.  One such detail would be the manner in which one decides to place their mirrors. If properly set up, mirrors not only help add on to the room’s aesthetic value but also play a major role in creating space in the room. Whether one decides to use a black mirror or the traditional kind, changing things up will help create a whole different feel to the home.

Mirrors and Glass

The big deal with mirrors is the fact that no matter how much one can hate using them, they are a must have in each home.

mirrors, vanity mirrors, bathroom mirrors, frameless showers, shower doors

As such, it is vital that one understands how best to create and manipulate space using them.

One of the ways through which this can be done is by combining lighting, window openings and mirrors in complimentary way. It is this combination that produces an illusion of space in a room.

Moreover, mirrors are extremely elegant and brighten up all sorts of spaces.

Another way through which one can help create intrigue of any kind is by using a lot of glass and mirror surfaces in rather small spaces. Depending on the framing used and type of mirror, a lot of natural light is allowed into the room which creates the illusion of ample space even in small spaces. For such, framed mirrors would be a perfect fit given their sleek and sturdy nature. Another scenario where such a technique would come in handy is in tiny bathroom spaces.  This is where vanity mirrors and frameless showers can come in handy. Given the dingy and dark condition of most bathrooms, it is important to create this illusion of space. Therefore, a frameless shower would also help to allow a lot more space to become visible. With frameless showers, the bathroom space is also made visible which adds on to the remaining area. This in turn allows the room to be illuminated even when lights are turned off. However, there needs to be ample natural lighting for this to work perfectly.

 

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