Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Use Trusted Density Meters for Contraband Detection

Campbell/Harris Security Equipment Company, known also as CSECO, makes the Buster Density Meter. We are aware of the difficulties and potential dangers interdiction officers face on a regular basis. We also understand that it can be difficult tracking down and seizing the hidden contraband would-be smugglers try to transport around the country. We realize it can be stressful. We are always on the lookout for ways to improve the tools many law enforcement groups use each day.

Law enforcement agencies, no matter if they are in the U.S. or around the world, want and needs tools that they can trust and that have the latest technology available. Their tools also need to be user-friendly as well as durable, perform quickly, and will provide accurate results, all while being safe to use and easy to handle. Today's law enforcement has access to tools they can trust including the Buster K910B Density Meter designed and manufactured by CSECO. This tool easily and positively detects the presence of contraband.

Tony Harris, CSECO's president, had this to say, "In the early 1980s, there wasn't much technology to help the Border Patrol to determine if someone was smuggling something inside a vehicle." He continued to say that the officers 30 years or more ago used whatever tools were available to them: often it was their hands, their intuition, and rudimentary tools. There wasn't much else they could rely on when trying to locate and seize contraband. The fact was, successfully detecting contraband was often hit-or-miss. Unfortunately, a good deal of contraband was hidden well enough that it went undetected.

The federal government, particularly the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, knew something needed to change if they hoped to win the 'war on drugs.' In 1984, they approached Patrick J. Campbell, founder of CSECO, and asked him to develop a tool that the CBP could use to accurately and quickly detect contraband. He agreed to design the tool as long as he was able to get direct feedback from the end-user – Custom and Border Protection agents. Working closely together, the Buster K910B Density Meter was designed and manufactured. The Buster uses back-scatter technology which enables users to locate the presence of hidden contraband.

This new technology resulted in the increase of contraband seizures as interdiction officers and CBP agents were able to easily determine where the hidden contraband was concealed. The Buster uses advanced technology that allows all users to quickly, accurately, and effectively detect contraband that is being smuggled.

The CSECO density meter uses low-intensity gamma radiation. This measures the density of what is being scanned and indicates if something is hidden behind the surface. The Buster detects the difference in the density of the item being scanned and alerts the user with both audible and visual alerts. The density meter quickly recognizes remarkable density changes and alerts to the possible presence of contraband. The Buster, because of its sophisticated technology, can scan metal, wood, rubber, reinforced plastic, concrete, and other materials without damaging them.

CBP officers along the border, at airports, and at ports along the coast have used the Buster successfully for years. Since it is their job to detect and seize illegal drugs including narcotics, stolen currency, gold, weapons, and hidden goods, they needed a tool that could do the job quickly and accurately no matter where they are hidden. It is important for the officers using the Buster to be able to trust the tool to positively alert them to possible smuggled items.

Along with detecting contraband, the Buster can also detect radioactive leaks or possible dirty-bomb detonation using RAD-Aware® technology. It allows first responders to establish a safe zone to keep civilians free from danger related to the leak or detonation.

Considering the Buster can detect a number of types of contraband through various surfaces, as well as detecting the presence of radiation, why would anyone choose to use anything less than the Buster? The Buster K910B Density Meter is one of the most highly trusted density meters, and also one that is recommended by law enforcement departments in the U.S. and all over the world.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Development of Solar Power: A Brief History

Not long ago, there was a television show where electrical power was no longer available throughout the world. The characters had to re-learn how to live and thrive without electrical power. It made wonder -- how we might react and adjust to it if ever that happened to us. The show also stressed that humans take so much for granted. This includes where we get the power that is so beneficial for all of us.

Most people may consider electricity as the only source of power. They don't often look up and see the sun as a source of power, but it can be. Mankind has relied on resources found on or in the earth for power and electricity needs. Many of these are made from fossil fuels -- which are a non-renewable source of energy and harmful to the environment. There are alternative ways to get energy but the technology needed to develop them is not quite highly developed.

Discovery of the power from the sun

In 1767, Swiss physicist Horace de Saussure invented a solar oven, and his invention is considered the first device of its kind built to capture and utilize the sun's energy.

In 1839, a 19-year old French physicist name Edmond Becquerel discovered what we know of today as the Photovoltaic Effect. This is the voltage created as a material is exposed to light. Another historical solar energy achievement came in 1873 when English electrical engineer Willoughby Smith discovered the selenium energy when collected from the sun could be converted into electricity.

Solar power for use in motor and steam engines

French inventor Augustin Mouchout helped move solar energy forward. During the mid-19th century he received funding from the French monarchy for his work with solar energy. Then he developed a motor which ran on solar energy. He also developed a steam engine that made ice. They were really remarkable inventions and truly amazing feats for that period in history.

In 1876 English science professor William Grylis Adams, and student Richard Evans Day, discovered that an electrical current could be created using selenium to connect two electrodes to a plate. Adams went on to develop a method of harnessing mirrors to power a steam engine. This method is still very much in use at present.

American inventor Charles Fritts carried his own research forward in 1883 and designed a way to use the selenium wafers to generate electricity, thus creating the first working selenium cell.

Storing solar energy

In 1904, American Henry Willsie found he could store solar energy he collected during the day so that it could be used during the evening. In 1908, William J. Bailey designed and then built a copper-based solar energy collector. Bailey's prototype has been very much emulated in modern science and technology but improvements have also been made. Around this time, famous scientist Albert Einstein published his research containing his theories regarding the photoelectric effect. He speculated that light could free electrons that were on a metal surface.

Solar cells – Commercially produced

In 1954, Bell Labs scientists Daryl Chapin, Gerald Pearson, and Calvin Fuller diffused boron into silicon to capture the sun's power, thus creating the first commercially viable solar cell. Their "solar cell" was able to convert the sun's light directly into electrical power. Since that time, their designs have been improved. The efficiency and life span of these solar cells continues to improve.

The growing demand for clean and "green" energy continues to rise. This is out of concern over global warming and other environmental issues, as well as the growing need for access to power in remote areas. The solar power industry is poised to help. As a result, solar power development continues to gain in popularity. If enough people choose to go solar, there won't be as much of a concern if traditional electricity is no longer available.

Save Money Using Solar Power

When you have a solar energy system in your home, you have the advantage of not having to rely on the electric grid, therefore saving yourself from exorbitant power bills. In addition to those things, you help to keep the environment clean and safe.

When you hire a solar power installation firm, they will install the solar energy system for your home. Before long you will be able to see the savings. Here are the common reasons why people choose to install a solar power system at their home:

  1. Solar power increases the home's value
    Installing a solar power system at your home will increase the value of your home and property. It may even add to your home's curb appeal. When your property value increases because of the solar power system, it will move you way ahead of your competitors in the property resellers' marketplace which is a benefit when you try to sell your home. A licensed solar energy company will advise you concerning the additional value to your home once a solar power system is installed.
  2. Reducing electricity bill costs
    One of the common reasons why many people want to install a solar energy system is the cost. Having a home solar power system can reduce the monthly bill for the electricity which uses traditional sources like fossil fuels. It is important to get the right kind of solar system that will exactly fit your needs. A licensed solar energy company will visit your home to discuss your current monthly electricity consumption and determine the right size system for your home. Reduce your electricity bills and paying the electric company a fraction your average monthly bill. With the right solar energy system installed in your home, your bill may be eliminated entirely. Some electrical companies across the country will "bank" any excess electrical power from your solar system. This means your bill will not increase, even in the cloudy days or during the winter season, for instance.
  3. Credits for solar energy from the government or other organizations
    There are other great bonuses from installing a solar power system at your home. Apart from helping slash your electricity costs, you will also be helping the environment. Using "green energy" at your home may also enable you to receive credits and incentives from state or federal government agencies or other organizations. Of course, you know having this source of clean, "green" energy is rewarding all on its own.
  4. Freedom from fluctuations in price
    Another great thing from having a solar energy system installed at your home is that you'll be exempt from future price fluctuations set by the energy companies. It is because most traditional energy companies face increasing energy demands and this may cause them to hike their power rates. When you have a solar energy system, your electricity consumption won't be governed by sudden price increases set by the electric company. That's one great advantage you have by owning a solar power system over other households who don't have one.

Having a solar power system installed at your home can help you keep our environment clean. It will also increase your home's resale value. By using solar energy in your home not only can you save money on costly electricity bills but may also help you receive incentives from the state or federal government.

Installing Solar Panels – Where Is the Best Place?

It's time to decide the best location to place solar panels at your home. This comes after the laborious assessment of your current electric usage and determining the solar energy needs for your home. You cannot just put a solar panel in any place you wish. Knowing the right location is still the most important thing to be aware of before deciding to install solar panels.

Compare solar panels to flowering plants. Flowering plants should be placed where there is an adequate amount of sunlight in order for them to grow and bloom. It all goes down to the right location, position, and placement which are all important for these plants to thrive. The same situation goes with solar panels. They should receive an adequate amount of energy from the sun, under excellent conditions, to provide the power we need.

All solar panels are indeed expensive investments. So after you've spent a good deal of your money, they are supposed to return great benefits and value to you. As implied, you cannot just put a solar panel any where based on your preference. Even just thinking about where to put your solar panels requires time and work indeed. Thorough and painstaking analyzing should be done when deciding where to install the solar panels. It is also definitely recommended that you contact a professional solar panels installer. They will help you decide the right place to install your solar panels.

Solar panel installation options

Solar panels are usually seen mounted on rooftops; however, that is not only the option. They can be also installed on the ground, outside corridors, and even beside the walls. It's all about placing them under the right settings to receive the most sunlight.

The appropriate positions enable the solar panels to gather as much sunlight as possible. This will then be converted into usable energy that a household needs for its own use.

If you find that the top of your house is the most appropriate place to install your solar panels, consider these factors that may affect their installation:

  • Which direction the roof is facing can impact choosing the rooftop for installation
  • Solar panels are pretty heavy, so your roof should be strong enough to take their weight
  • You should also know what your roof was made of. If it is not strong enough to handle the weight, it will be best to look for another location
  • The type of weather like rain, hail, and snow that your area experiences during the year might affect your installation of solar panels.
  • Any kind of blockage like tall trees or lampposts which could shade the panels during several hours throughout the day

Some reminders, though...

Considering these factors above, it seems that rooftops are the optimum location for solar power panels. However, they may not be the best and most practical option because of other negating factors like space restrictions or too much shading. That's why some homes install solar panels on the ground, in a tilted position, instead.

You may think the panels will get more than enough sunlight when the solar panels are installed on your house's rooftop. But you may not be aware that even a small amount of shading can greatly reduce the solar panel's ability to convert sunlight into usable power. Your property may be clear and treeless, but your neighbor's tall trees may cause a shadow over your house during the day, even if it isn't too near your property.

Hiring professionals to install solar panels

Even though you may think you can save money by installing a solar panel system, you really cannot do it on your own. Sure, you can study and observe where others place them, but it's best to consult professionals. They will be able to tell you about the amount of shadow or any other obscurities that might cast over your property during the day.

The right place to install your solar panel system depends on a number of factors. However, you want to find the perfect spot. The good news is that installation will never be difficult when you hire a licensed professional to assist you and help you make your decision.