How Solar Hot Water Systems Work

The solar hot water system is a natural way of heating water without using electrical power or gas. The water only flows around glass tubes and is heated up by alternative energy – the natural heat outside. It is considered as one of the best methods since it does not pollute the environment. It is also cost effective as you don’t have to spend more money after your initial installation unlike the electrical heaters and the gas heaters. For the water to get heated up there is a process in which it has to follow. Below is detailed information on how solar hot water system works.

Solar Hot Water System

The Collector

The solar system is a combination of several units which must work together for the whole system to function. First is the collector. As the name implies, it is the part where the water stays and also where it gets heated up. It can be considered as the main part of the solar water heating process. There are two types of collectors.

  • Flat Plate Collectors

This is just a flat plate with running copper tubes that are connected to the water storage tanks. The tubes are covered with a glass plate. When the sun heats up the coppers tubes, the water inside the tubes gets heated.

  • Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors

There are two glass tubes that are fused at the top to bottom. The air inside is evacuated to form a vacuum. The vacuum helps by ensuring that the small amount of heat received by the copper tubes is not lost to the surrounding but it’s used to heat up the water. A heat pipe which is also known as copper wire is run through the centre of the vacuum glass tube. Unlike in flat plate solar collectors where the tank is placed above it, this one has its tank at the bottom. You therefore need to pump the water up to the collector.

Just like wind power and other forms of alternative energy, this system of water heating has a lot of advantage compared to the flat plate. Among the advantages is that it’s more superior when it comes to heating the water. This is because it’s able to extract the small amount of heat from the air without necessarily relying on the direct sunlight. Since the tank is placed inside the home the amount of heat lost is reduced. Your stored water remains warm for days, and hence you can use it even at night.

Solar Hot Water Storage TankThe Water Tank

This is the storage tank for the water. The hot water jets in the tank from the top while the cold water to the solar heating system is flown through the bottom outlet. The temperature of the water is regulated through the mixing of the cold and the hot water through a thermal mixer at the outlet.

How Does the System Works

As discussed in the different parts above, the solar water system has a process in which the water has to follow for it to be heated. Initially, water must be provided into the storage tank through pumps or any other means. The storage tank is connected to the collectors. This is the main area where the water gets heated. From the tank, the water flows into the heat pipes in which they absorb any amount of heat from the collector. Through convection, the hot water moves back to the storage tank, and the cold water flows into the heat pipes. After the continuous process, the water inside the tank gets heated up and be ready to be used.

To ensure that you enjoy the services of the solar water heating system, you should ensure that you have adequate knowledge on how each and every part works as stipulated in the points above. You should also pick the best solar heating system and solar panels with regards to the surrounding.

 

Benefits Of Vinyl Records Have Over MP3

Even with the advanced technology in the music industry, vinyl records have not changed a lot over the last six decades. What has been impressing about this format is the way it has withstood the test of time. Who would have thought that people would come to love vinyl records even with the modernised forms of music formats such as the mp3? This can be seen from the recent reports of vinyl sales in the Australian music market. In the year 2014, vinyl sales increased by a whopping 127 per cent. In the recent stats, the sales increased by more than 30 per cent. A good example of a global trend is that Aussie stores that sold 277,767 vinyl albums in 2014 and this increased to 374,097 in 2015. Vinyl record player sales are also increasing.

Vinyl Records Collection

But why are people opting for vinyl instead of modern form such as MP3?

Benefits of Vinyl Records have Over MP3

Sound Quality

There is a strong believe among the music lovers that sound from this old format is superior to the MP3. Some listener may not notice that there is a big difference in the quality of sound between the two formats. For the MP3, the technology used is its undoing when it comes to sound quality. It works by compressing the data to create more space. That is what interferes with the quality of the sound from this format. Even with its old technology, music sound better. It produces a smooth sound free of distortions. This has been one of the reasons why many people are opting for records.

Style and Presentation

Stencil on Beatles Vinyl RecordOne thing that is exciting about the vinyl records is how they are presented. If it is anything about style, it cannot compare to any. They are beautifully presented in nice cardboard sleeves with a large and detailed photo of the artist and a great sense of artwork. If you order the record, it may be delivered with your details on it. These are features that excite some of the vinyl listeners. When compared to MP3 or the digital formats, there is no sense of style to excite the listener. There is nothing physical apart from a picture on the screen while playing.

Physical Copies

This is one of the biggest benefits of vinyl records over wireless technologies like MP3 or digital files. One of the main flaws of the digital files is that they can get lost any time. It is very easy to erase a file by mistake on the computer. Similar, you can lose your digital storage such as the USB or the USD-cards very easily. What if your computer system crashes? It will go together with your music files. These are some of the reasons why listeners are opting for the physical copies. With a vinyl record, your music collection is safe from such damages. In fact, you are guaranteed decades of music as long as the disc is properly kept and maintained.

Fun and Coolness Factor

It feels great to listen to the old format. There is that fun and cool factor about playing this music, particularly cuing it up and watching as it spins in the background. A lot of the listeners describe it as warm and satisfying music. In fact, this is the kind of the music that will give you that magic feel, especially when listening alone.

These are the main factors that are informing the rise in vinyl record demand in Australia and world at large. They are benefits that are making the 6-decade technology popular even with the young generation. In Australia, vinyl market is also expected to rise as the turntables make a massive comeback into the market.

New Inventions to change the Future of Dentistry

Technology is advancing and at a very fast rate. Just 30 years ago the inventions we enjoy today seemed too unbelievable to exist so soon. It didn’t however take us long to get to where we are today. Dentistry has not been left behind when it comes to new inventions.

There have been a number of recent groundbreaking dental inventions that have greatly improved the way people take care of their teeth. However, there are still a number of challenges the dentistry field face to bring the benefits of these inventions to the masses. We discussed the future of dentistry with Boronia’s most renowned dentist – Dr. Dorairajan Kulandaivel.

Below are just a few of the incredible advances in dentistry that are set to change the future of dentistry.

teeth laserLaser Dentistry

The majority of people fear going to the dentist for one primary reason: the drill. This fear doesn’t really even make sense because when dentists use a drill, the patient under anesthesia is not able to feel any pain. The vibrations can still be felt however and this may be part of the reason why many people are terrified of dentists.

Laser dentistry will solve this problem. With this technology, the drill will be able to be done away with. This technology is able to prepare the outside parts of the teeth better for filling or crowning so the filling is able to stay on the tooth longer. The challenge that comes with this technology advancement however is cost. It is an expensive form of treatment. This is something that should be changed so that everyone can afford to access this service.

Digital Radiography

Radiography is a necessity in the medical field. However, large amounts of radiation pose a great risk to human health as these can lead to cell damage. For this reason it is very important for dentists to minimize the amount of radiation they expose to their patients.

New technologies are focusing on digital radiography. This is a type of technology that utilizes a miniscule amount of radiation but does not in any way compromise on the quality of scans that are achieved. This will not only pose less risk to the patients’ health but it will make dentist’s work easier as they will only be required to get one scan for their analysis.

dental xrayDigital Records

The other example of the advances in technology that may really help in dentistry is the use of digital records. Today, patients need a place where they can access their dental records in a matter of seconds either through email, on a website or even on social media. This is something that can only be achieved through digitization of records. Gone are the days when patients waited for hours for their records on paper to be located in order for them to receive treatment. With digital records, things are able to move faster for both the dentists and the patients.

Conclusion

Some of these advances in technology have already been integrated in some dental facilities while others have not. Cost is usually the deciding factor and in many smaller clinics or in poorer areas technology is lagging.

To ensure everyone has access to the latest in technology it will be necessary for the cost of implementing these new technologies to be reduced. We can only hope that this happens sooner rather than later to ensure the best dental care for patients all over the globe.

5 of the Coolest Inventions of 2016

Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or are looking to purchase a gift for a loved one, discover some of the coolest inventions of 2016 below. From high-tech gadgetry to smart new designs of old products, below are our choice for some of the best products to come out so far this year.

someone lying in an airchairAirChair

The AirChair is a large, inflatable lounge, which can be made ready within seconds. No pump needed! Better yet, the AirChair folds up into a handy, portable carry bag, so you can take it with you camping or to the beach. It can also be used as a pool float. Best of all, the AirChair is as large and as comfortable as a hammock, so you can comfortably lie back and relax, anywhere you like, or even just in your own backyard. With instant inflation technology and almost unlimited versatility the AirChair is definitely on our Christmas wishlist this year. If you envisage yourself spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, you may want to look into purchasing one of these yourself.

Swift Hair Straightening Brush

For our female readers – if you’re looking for a way to save yourself time in the morning, you may want to invest in the Swift. This revolutionary ceramic hair straightening brush will make your old hair straightener obsolete. Unlike a traditional hair straightener, such as flat iron, the Swift won’t damage your locks. If you’ve burnt yourself with a hair straightener in the past, you’ll love the fact that the Swift boasts an innovative heat proof design, which ensures that you’ll never burn yourself while straightening your hair again. It also brushes at the same time it straightens, which saves you precious time when you need it most.

samsung welt beltSamsung Welt Smart Belt

samsung welt beltThe Welt, which was designed by tech giants Samsung, will monitor your waist size, your eating habits and the amount of steps that you take each day. The Welt will even track how many minutes you spend sitting per day. Best of all, all of your data will be sent from your Welt to an application on your smart watch or your smart phone. So if you’re looking for a unique way to track your health, you may be interested in trying out Samsung’s new Welt Belt. Best of all the Welt, is a lot more low key than fitness bands or watches, that are worn on your wrist.

The LG Signature Refrigerator

The LG Signature Refrigerator automatically opens when you approach it. This is a handy feature if you’re carrying a bag full of groceries. All you have to do is step on a smart sensor which is projected onto your kitchen floor. You can even view the contents of your fridge without opening your fridge’s door by simply knocking on the refrigerator’s door. This space age refrigerator even boasts a high tech fresh guard wall, which ensures that your food stays fresh.

The Fisher Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar

codapillar toyThe Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar is an innovative toy, which will teach young children aged 3-6, the basics of coding. The Code-a-Pillar encourages young kids to connect segments in endless combinations in order to solve problems. Whilst the Code-a-Pillar is fun to play with it also helps develops the skills that kids need to learn about computer programing. So, if you’re a parent or are looking for a gift for a loved one’s child, you can’t go wrong purchasing the Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar.

Why You Should Swap Your Daily Commute For A Swegway

The Swegway, or segway hoverboard as the internet has affectionately named them are the latest craze in a rapidly growing industry called eco-tech. Since their introduction to the market earlier this year, they have generated hundreds if not thousands of sales from all across the world. Apart from being stylish and having superior functionality, the scooters are planet friendly. Here are some of the eco benefits of Swegways that you should know and why you should ditch your morning commute for one of these bad boys!

Swegway Australia

Taking a break from Swegway cruising.

 

Swegways are powered by a rechargable lithium-ion battery which powers two independent gyroscopic motors. The user controls each motor through pressure sensor pedals located on the top of the board. By simply tipping your feet forward or backward the rider is able to move comfortably in each direction. Turning is just as easy with more pressure being applied to one foot than the other which initiates a turn. While quality can vary dramatically depending on parts, most swegway suppliers claim they have a range of 20km and can reach top speeds of 12-15km p/h. Some swegways also come with energy efficient LED lights for night riding, and even Bluetooth speakers! With such an impressive range, the swegway is perfect for inner city residents who may currently drive the short distance to work. No traffic, no stress trying to find a park, and best of all, no pollution!

No Emission of Pollutant Gases

Other modes of transport such as cars and buses emit harmful chemicals into the environment and this causes massive environmental degradation. This is because they rely on natural fossil fuel such as diesel and petrol. Despite the fact that new technological innovation have led to development of fuels that are more efficient, they still cause environmental pollution but at a lesser magnitude. On the other hand, Swegways run on batteries and do not emit any gases into the atmosphere no matter the amount of weight on it.

Swegway City

Riding swegway in the city

Reduces Carbon Footprint

According to a recent study conducted by EPA, over 900 million car journeys are done per day. Surprisingly, most of these journeys are less than five miles or even shorter and cars release carbons into the environment every time. By investing in a self-balancing scooter, you will reduce your carbon footprint, as you will not have to drive your car around as often as you are used to. They are ideal for short journeys such as going to the shopping centre. Plus if you have solar panels on your home where you charge your swegway, you can claim 100% sustainable travel as you don’t have to rely on coal power plants to generate charge for your battery!

Uses Renewable Energy

Unknown to most people is the fact that not only cars and industries emit carbons and other harmful gases into the atmosphere. Energy manufacturing plants that rely on fossils such as coal release a huge chunk of pollutant gases that aggravate the current effect of global warming and climate change. One of the best ways of preventing this is by investing in gadgets that will not only make your life easier but also promote environmental wellness. Swegways rely on renewable energy; the batteries can be recharged repeatedly before been disposed. There are also companies with the technology required to recycle the batteries instead of disposing them ensuring any wasted materials can be recovered.

Finally, Swegways have a compact design that make it possible for users to pack it almost anywhere and avoid traffic jams. If everyone was to use it, the common traffic jams that cause massive pollution in cities would be a thing of the past, plus you get to turn the boring daily routine into something a bit more fun! Start promoting environmental wellness today by investing in this state-of-the-art self-balancing scooter.

Advances in Dental Implant Technologies

surgically installed dental implantsWith all the advances in dental surgery, you’d be surprised to hear that there’s a lot to chew on!

Like any other sphere of life, technology has also greatly impacted health care. And Australians are probably seeing more of such technological advances in use during regular visits to their dentist. More specifically, the use of technology in the field of dental implants is astonishing!

History of dental implants

More than 2,000 years ago, our ancestors in the Mediterranean, Middle Asia, and North and South America laid the foundation for dental implants. There is excavated evidence that ancient Egyptians used stones or carved sea-shells to replace missing teeth. Other discoveries, dating back to 600 AD, show that the Mayans also used dental implants effectively on their population.

It was not until World War II though that army doctor Dr. Norman Goldberg, and subsequently in 1948 in association with colleague Dr. Aaron Gershkoff, successfully produced the first sub-periosteal implant.

Dental implantology had its most important breakthrough in 1965 when an orthopedic surgeon from Sweden, Per-Ingvar Brenemark, placed the first Titanium (Ti) implant in a patient. With the US Food and Drug Administration approving the use of Ti implants, the world of implantology was set on a new course of innovation and discovery.

Technology used in implant surgery

The most significant technological breakthrough in implantology came in 1983, with the development of the Procera precision-guided CAD/CAM software by Dr. Matts Andersson. Today, technology is used at every stage in order to make dental implants safe and successful.

Brisbane, Queensland-based Teeth on Implants specializes in dental bone grafts, which requires a form of dental implant surgery to enhance bone density ahead of dental implants. Using latest medical technologies, dental surgeons are able to reconstruct jaw lines through grafting procedures such as Autogenous, Allograt,Xenograft and Alloplast.

Another area where technology has assisted in the successful deployment of implants is the restoration of gum lines. Alexandra NSW-based BioHorizons provides dental surgeons with breakthrough regenerative tissue technology called AlloDerm.

Using the latest in grafting technology, this surgical process helps restore the gum line in such a way that it addresses the challenge of gum recession and makes for a more desirable dental implant outcome. Alternately, soft tissue/diode lasers may be used to sculpt gum contours in advance of implant procedures.

New technologies that are used in dental implants

Technological revolution in engineering and bio-chemistry has made newer materials, used in manufacturing dental implants, available to dental implant designers. Today?s ?bio-materials? are created to ensure better and more longer-lasting implant outcomes. Used in conjunction with other new-age materials, such as Titanium, they are also easier to use and produce lower-maintenance solutions for the patient.

Most dental implants involve careful pre-assessments before suitable procedures are prescribed. The use of x-ray and CT Scanning technology is paramount at this stage. Werribee,VIC-based Lentini Dental uses Digital X-Ray machines for intra-oral and extra-oral examinations, Intra-Oral Cameras and Diagodent (Laser Diagnostic probes) to assist in these pre-assessments and diagnostic efforts.

A New Wave? The Rise Of All-On-4 Implants


Technological advances in dental implants have now also opened a new door for Australians who are missing a set of upper or lower teeth, and are grappling with the age old question: Dentures or Implants?

The solution: All-On-4 implants.

The increasingly popular ?All-On-4? implants are made possible thanks largely due to state of the art technologies perfected to support the procedure. 3D Computerised Tomography (C.T.) imaging technology, such as that used by Werribee,VIC-based Lentini Dental, enables dental practitioners to measure the density and quantity of a patients? jawbone, allowing the planning of optimal treatment options.

These technologies also add never-before-seen precision in planning of All-On-4 implants and, where needed, bone grafting procedures.

Reverse Osmosis Technology: Under The Sink vs. Whole House Systems (How Do You Choose?)

osmosis tap Every year a number of homeowners consider the question of how to treat their water. Whether this question is raised due to issues regarding the healthy and safety of the water, or a person just wants to ensure the quality, they will begin looking for a device that can purify quickly and effectively. Depending on how much of the house a person wants treated water for, they will purchase either a point of use purifier or a point of entry purifier. Lets take a moment to review what both of these are and how they differ from one another. In addition, we will review which one is best for you when considering a reverse osmosis water filter.

The technology behind this filtration

Homeowners across Australia are starting to see the benefits, both in costs savings and also in health gains, as a result of RO (reverse osmosis) system popularity. A series of fine particle filters are used as membranes in which unfiltered and potentially harmful water is forced through. The end result is clean, purified water on one side, and all the bad stuff on the other.

Behind renewable energy technology, water purification technology is fast becoming a popular topic in the construction industry within Australia and the rest of the world; ignore it and be left in the dark!

The Benefit Of Reverse Osmosis Water Filters

Forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane, reverse osmosis water filters can help to dramatically improve the quality of water by removing contamination. By installing one either under your sink or for your entire house, you can remove odors, metals, and other contaminations. The effectiveness of your reverse osmosis water filter will depend on its quality, on its size, and on the effectiveness of the individual water filters.

image 2 for triosmartcal

Point Of Use Verse Point Of Entry

If you are considering a reverse osmosis water filter, then the first thing you will have to consider is whether you want point of use or point of entry. Point of use refers to having a reverse osmosis water filter at a particular place in your house.

For example, one of the most common places to have a reverse osmosis water filter is under the kitchen sink. Used to wash dishes and for drinking water, many people see it only necessary to install one there. The reverse of point of use is point of entry. With point of entry, a larger reverse osmosis water filter is installed where water enters the house, guaranteeing that all water is well treated. More expensive, the point of entry method of treating water carries over a range of benefits and drawbacks that depend on your needs.

Your Particular Need

What do you need the water to be purified for? Do you want a source of water in your house that you can drink? If so, having a point of use is perfect. If you want your bathroom sink and kitchen sink to have a reverse osmosis water filter, then point of use still makes sense.

If you want your water to be purified for things like bathing, washing clothes, or for families larger then two people, then it is often suggested to get a point of entry reverse osmosis water filter. Whole house systems are more expensive meaning as a consumer you’ll want to do your research in order to find the best rated reverse osmosis system on the market, however it also guarantees a wider range of coverage that can be incredibly beneficial, especially if there is some contamination that may pose a health risk to you or your family. While it may come with a steeper price tag, the end result is that all water in your house will be cleaner.

Does the New $100 Light Phone Hail the End of our Tech Obsessed Culture?

While it seems the majority of the world have been becoming more and more obsessed with the latest in technology – specifically when it comes to smartphones – there is growing resistance to counter this trend. An increasing number of people are shunning the connected culture, uninterested in spending countless hours messaging friends from their cell, browsing Facebook on their iPhone, and being contactable via work email 24/7.

a prototype of the Light phoneA recent Kickstarter campaign by Light, to generate funds for their new mobile concept based on “old” technology, and it’s incredible success thus far, exemplifies this. The phone which is the size of a credit card and has a battery that last for up to 20 days, has easily surpassed its funding target with over  30 days left until the campaign ends.

The phone has attracted so much attention due to is versatile nature, and the fact that it can help people disconnect from their digital worlds; something that a lot of people seem to want to do. The phone can connect with the users smart phones so ensure the users never miss a call, but don’t have any fancy gadgetry or complicated applications, so all you can really do with them is call. Being only millimeters thick and the size of a credit card, the light phones aren’t going to weigh you down either.

Take a look at this video from Light, to find out more about their new offering which is expected to be available for sale mid-2016.

The key selling points of the Light phone are obviously its size and the fact that it can help people disconnect from the mobile phone obsessed world while still allowing them to be contactable when necessary. The phone does not contain any really new technology, however it brings about something that people seem to really want, a phone that does just what cell phones were intended to do; make and receive calls.

Another new innovation to hit the cell phone market in recent times is the increase in mobile phone buyback or recycling stores. We’ve noticed a number of these second-hand mobile phone purchasing websites popping up. These sites offer a service where you can sell your old mobile phones for an instant cash rebate; some in-store but most online, for those of us eager to sell their old mobile device or just get rid of the smartphone that’s taking control of our lives to trade up for something like the Light phone.

sell iphone page of Sold My Device
The Sell iPhone page on the Sold My Device website. Sold My Device offered the best buyback prices of all the sites we tested.

These online stores will give a refund on most cell models, especially the newer ones. We reviewed a number of the sites and found the best average prices on a cross-section of 5 phones comprised of an iPhone 5, and 6, Samsung Galaxy S4and Note 3 and an LG G3 at Sold My Device.

Some of the buyback stores will not only take the latest smartphones but they’ll also give you a cash refund for your second-hand ipad, tablet or notebook as well! With the constant evolution in technology and the continual upgrading of devices that so many of us are inclined to partake in, it makes sense to recycle our old devices rather than throw them away or have them sitting around in a cupboard in our homes. So many of us have old mobile phones lying around at home, why not get something back for them and help other, less-fortunate people get connected as well.

If you’re in the market for a new phone, be it a Light phone or the latest from Apple, Samsung or LG, do yourself a favour and recycle your old cell phone. Not only will you end up with a bit of cash for your troubles, but you’ll also help to recycle and keep the world in better shape, and help someone else update their own mobile phone.

 

The Future of Wireless Technology

Wireless technology has always lagged behind wired technology somewhat. Slower internet speeds, frustrating mobile browsing experiences, cause many users and especially high-end gamers to adopt the ‘wired’ accessories due to concerns over lag issues. Will wireless ever catch up, or are we doomed to live in a world whereby the wired solution will always be one step ahead? Movies based in the future can often be scarily accurate, and how they portray future wireless technology is probably no exception.

Why has Wired Always been Better?

wirelessDuring a thunderstorm you’ll notice that you hear the thunder up to a few seconds after seeing the lightning. This is because sound travels slower than light. This is the basis of the problem we’re experiencing with wireless technology. Light always travels the fastest. This is why optical was such a big deal when they first came out – because they are based on data transmission using light technology in a cost efficient and reliable consumer product.

Much of computing technology today relies on electrical transmission of data, which moves at one tenth the speed of light. It’s widely believed that in the future we will be using computers based on light, and quantum technology. Optical (light) technology has been used for quite a while now, but only for relatively basic applications such as the simple transmission of data from one place to another.

Using this optical technology in more advanced areas is a different task altogether and involves the clever manipulation of light, effectively making the light behave how we choose.

What uses Optical Technology?

Computer mice are a great example of how we use optical technology today. They work using a diode that emits light to determine where the mouse is on your mouse pad, and which direction it’s moving in. This is how your mouse pointer moves across your computer screen.

Newer technology even includes a laser diode for enhanced resolution and precision. This is a selling point for high-end gaming mice which employ the use of ‘DPI’ or ‘dots per inch’. This number has recently gone over the 10,000 dots per inch mark, which effectively translates to 10,000 pieces of movement tracking data per inch. The reason that optical mice often don’t work on glass tables is that the light can’t be beamed back to the mouse, but simply goes through the table and the data is effectively lost.

It’s been around for quite a while too!

That’s right, optical data has been around longer than you may realize, and was even a basis for the way CD players gathered data from CDs to play back on a music. With every new area optical technology has been employed on a consumer grade level, it has changed the product entirely. From cassette tapes to CDs, video game cartridges to CDs and DVDs, and analog sound cables to optical sound cables.

Where is Wireless technology headed?

The University of Minnesota has engineers that have developed a chip which employs the use of sound waves, as well as light waves which are tightly confined together within the same space. This might not sound amazing on its own, but the breakthrough here is that the sound waves are able to control the light waves. This new technology could be used to improve wireless communication systems in the future, along with the possibility of being used with computation in quantum physics. Quantum computers have been considered one of the holy grails of technology and great progress has been made in recent years in making them a reality. There have been some workable models which could be applicable for very specific situations, but nothing that can yet be used on a consumer grade level.

This new chip uses a silicon coating, with a layer of aluminum nitrade. The aluminum is the part that conducts the electrical charge. An ‘earthquake’ like effect is then used to deform the material on the surface of the chip, thereby creating soundwaves which look like an earthquake. This has been done before, but the difference here is that the integration of optical circuits has made the harmony between sound and light much stronger.

What this boils down to, is the faster transmission of data due to the fact that sound and light are now working together and not against one another.

Engineers at the University of Minnesota have also begun looking closer at the possible applications for this chip in quantum devices. Photons are the smallest units of light, and phonons are the smallest unit of sound. In order to apply this chip to quantum devices, the interactions between photons and phonons needs to be better understood.

How Far Away is the Application of this Technology?

No one knows for sure, but progress is being made every day and wireless advancement is believed to be one of the great viable stepping stones by which progress can be made. You may have noticed the computing speed advancement has slowed down over the past couple of years. We’ve somewhat reached a limit in how fast computers can ‘think’ with our current technology. This is part of the reason why research and development is taking place in these areas, in order to overcome these restrictions and barriers currently holding us back.

Tilt Slab – A New Method means Faster Construction and Lower Costs

When it comes to big dollar industries like mining and construction, small improvements in efficiency can lead to massive overall savings. A recent advancement in concrete construction has helped to collectively save millions of man-hours on construction work and is reducing the costs of building commercial and large-scale residential projects around the world.

Tilt slab construction; also known as tilt up or tilt up slab is a relatively new technology when it comes to building with concrete. The slabs are manufactured on-site on a horizontal concrete slab. Once the concrete has cured the large solid panels are “tilted” to sit in their vertical positions using a crane and held there until other supporting panels or structural components are put into place.

Tilt slab panel being erectedThis technology is gaining popularity due to its economic and time benefits and is now being utilized regularly throughout North America, Australia and New Zealand. Many other areas of the world are embracing this new construction technology as well, however Europe and the majority of Asia have been slow on the uptake, and tilt slab construction is still fairly uncommon there.

One of Australia’s leading tilt up slab construction companies, Vati Projects, have been working on commercial developments using the technology since it was founded. We spoke with them about the benefits and problems associated with this sort of technology.

The biggest issue with tilt up is the need for significant organization and collaboration on the building site as the slabs are molded and positioned. In order for a tilt slab project to be completed successfully there are a number of steps that need to be taken. These are (in chronological order):

  1. Evaluation of the worksite
  2. Engineering
  3. Laying floor slabs and footings
  4. Construction of the tilt slab panels
  5. Placement of structural steel
  6. Embeds and inserts
  7. Placement of the panels
  8. Panel erection
  9. Finishing the panels

The completed panels can be extremely heavy, in some cases weighing as much as 150 tons. A skilled team of construction workers are always necessary to ensure the development and erection processes all run smoothly.

Early tilt-slab construction was boxy and boring, however newer methods have expanded the range of shapes and changed the aesthetic possibilities. As this technology improves even further we expect its use to increase throughout developing nations and into Europe reducing the cost of large commercial building.

For more information on tilt slab construction and its uses take a look at the variety of articles, case studies and photos at Tiltup.com.