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Comment Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score 1) 767

Some mercury will get into the air, especially over long time periods. However, studies show that the level of mercury released especially if the CFL has been used for a long time before it is discarded, is low. Notwithstanding, it is always a good idea to recycle CFLs. Lots of stores take them back, like Lowe's or Home Depot.

Study about mercury release from CFLs:
If you clean up the broken CFL immediately and you air out the room properly, there is no real danger. Less than 0.1 mg of mercury should be released. Even less if you break an old CFL.
specifically page 4 and figure 2

Comment Re:There must be a very good reason... (Score 1) 579

Overvoltages at the point of connection are not an issue if the inverter is at least somewhat recent and has a minimum of intelligence built in. Nowadays inverters measure the voltage and use reactive power to enable the injection of real power without causing overvoltages.

Voltage control with reactive power - In order to keep line voltage constant, SMA inverters supply lagging or leading reactive power to the grid. The grid operator specifies whether the reactive power value is fixed or dynamic. The SMA Power Plant Controller is used to analyze and manage the process. The reactive power, or displacement factor, can also be controlled along a characteristic curve in relation to the supplied active power, the line voltage or an absolute value.

Further reading:

Comment Re:Makes 'em Feel Good (Score 2) 1146

Forgot the link to the study I got that information from:

Li, Y., & Jin, L. (2011). Environmental release of mercury from broken compact fluorescent lamps.
Environmental Engineering Science, 28(10), 687–691.

Follow for PDF of complete article:

Comment Re:Solutions are simple, executing them is hard (Score 1) 453

2) Stop prescribing antibiotics in novel classes for routine things like ear infections and sinus infections. Studies show that most of those will clear up on their own without antibiotic treatment, but nobody wants to be the guy who feels miserable but doesn't get a Z-Pak or some fluroquinolones as treatment.

Recurring sinus and ear infections can lead to permanent hearing loss. Source:
That's actually a good example when the usage of antibiotics is appropriate. Not for the first infection or for a mild one. However, a grandmother of mine lost her hearing after an ear-infection on one side which hampered her for the rest of her life. That infection occurred in the time before antibiotics were invented.

Comment Re:Solar panels are cheaper but the rest isn't (Score 1) 735

Batteries are expensive but just having enough power during the day to recharge and keep at least some level of refrigeration would be nice. In Japan it is mandatory for inverters to provide a power outlet for emergencies.


SMA Solar Technology AG (ETR:S92) will begin limited shipments of the transformerless Sunny Boy 3000/4000/5000TL-US-22 inverter series for 3 to 5 kiloWatt rated AC power PV systems in 4Q12. The TL-US series has added a unique Emergency Power Supply feature providing daytime power to a dedicated power socket in the event of a grid power outage. The power socket is isolated from the grid during the outage and supplies up to 12 Amps so long as the PV system is generating. Grid tied inverters without battery storage support are supposed to shutdown during grid power outages to prevent islanding. SMA developed the feature in accordance with solar inverter specifications required to enter the Japanese market after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

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The bogosity meter just pegged.