Top Priorities for a Better World (www.myworld2015.org)

“Makkal Theerpae Mahesan Theerpu”, i.e., the judgement of the people is equivalent to God’s judgement. But, when it comes to what is good for our country and the world, it has been really difficult to reach consensus. This is changing, internet is making it possible. United Nations (via., http://www.myworld2015.org) is to get the voice of the people to support their top 6 priorities. Priorities are categorized. My top priorities based on what I think my country (India) needs are:

1. Honest and Responsive Government

2. Better infrastructure (Better Roads, Transport, and Power supply)

3. Access to clean water and sanitation

4. Security and Protection for the People against violent crimes.

5. Better Job Opportunities

6. Affordable and Nutritious Food

I have explained the reasoning for my choices below:

Honest and Responsive governments take care of the needs of the people. Our government is not perfect, so are most governments. However, we are not where we would like to be. So that is priority 1. I am not criticizing our government. I understand it is NOT an easy task to govern the worlds second most populated country. It is difficult, but not impossible. Change does not come overnight or even over a month, it takes years. The most important question is, is are we going int he right direction ?  The results of this United Nations survey will answer that and not for me to comment. However, I do believe, developed nations have done so, because of their governments. Their governments never lost sight of the big picture. They did what was best for the country and its people. I believe all we have to do is just follow the lead and adopt most of their policies, while adapting some to meet specific needs.

Better infrastructure (2. Roads, Transportation, Reliable Energy), that provides access to 3. clean water and sanitation. Better infrastructure increases the rate of progress and development. Proper choice of renewable energy will even take care of the world’s climate problem. The current transportation and energy sector does not meet the requirements of a substantial part of our population. We need to build a transportation and power industry that can serve the country for the next 25-30 years at the least. Right now we are 10 – 15 years behind, in this area.

4. Protection against crime and violence — India is seeing increasingly violent crimes against women and underprivileged. This needs to change. We need more policemen who are more honest, responsible, compassionate, and assertive to their duties.

5. Better Job Opportunities. With the rate of population growth, India has to be able to offer opportunities to its citizens. People are the resources of India, however other natural resources (6. affordable and nutritious food) are limited. We have to find a way to balance those. Again, it is not impossible, we just have to improvise new policies that can do it (more on this subject later.)

I have not selected important priorities like

7.  Education. I do agree that education needs to be reformed to make it affordable, teachers to be more qualified and well compensated) and other priorities. However, we do have an education system that addresses basic, life-saving skills. Still, we have to improve our college education system to be ranked among the top universities in the world. More on this topic, will soon follow. Stay tuned.

8. Better healthcare. India has one of the most affordable health care in the world even better than developed nations,

What do you folks think ? Comment below and go voice your priorities at http://www.myworld2015.org.

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Mass killings, Parenting, Society, Love, and Kindness

Mass killings in the United States have dominated the past four months. First the mass murder at the theater in Aurora OR, then the temple in Oak Creek WI, Now the mass-killing in Newtown CT. It is heartbreaking and scary. This brings us to two most important issues. 1. Identify the reason for such tragedies, so that we can take measures to prevent it in the future. This brings us to the second issue 2. What measures could we take to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Life is such a wonderful thing and that is why we cherish it so much. Sometimes we get tangled up in the swarms of work, worries, and disappointments and we forget the preciousness, that is life in general. It is only when we add the personal possessive trait to the picture, it gets worse. Yes, we all want to be happy, live a good life. Sometimes one can hit the lowest point, sometimes the fall might be so steep where one can forget the gift of life. One might then resort to basic animal instincts or go crazy as one may put it. But that gives us no reason to take the happiness and some instances where one goes to the extent of taking others lives in the process. We humans are  much more than just animals, we have a mind to think and a heart to keep us in the right direction. But the breaking point is different for different people. It is the role of the society to make sure everybody else in the society stays above this breaking point and make sure everybody else gets the help that they might need. Maybe it is the influence of his mother had on this kid or maybe it is something else; we might not know the exact reason that got Adam Lanza to commit such a heinous act. This is when the concept of a family and society is really important. A child is the sole responsibility of a parent. The society might have played a minor part, by ignoring.

I will go ahead and say in quotes “Every act that a child commits is the sole responsibility of his / her parent.” It is only in the western culture, have I seen that in the process of figuring out ones happiness one can neglect his / her own child. I am not saying the way of bringing up one’s kid in the western culture is wrong. There are a multitude of things that I admire about it. But, what good is a parent or a society if he / she cannot be there for their kid when they need it the most ?

Today’s world places so much emphases on individuality and self-respect that it hurts. As someone said “Too much of anything is almost as good as nothing.” The role of a society on an individual is as important as is the role of the individual on the society. The deterioration of one individual will have an impact on its society. Again, what good is a society when it is not able to provide for its individual when he / she needs it the most. It is and will be hypocritical to ask for an individual to grow on his / her own. The society that is America might be one of the best and I have to say I do admire and revere it. It is able to provide free education for kids, healthcare, welfare to the poor and what not. Apart from the government provided healthcare and education, we have millionaires giving back. In addition, small act of kindness could go a long long way has been proven time and again from the “Caine’s Arcade” to “The 26 Acts of Kindness“. All though overwhelming, at times like these, it is important to remember the good that is in this society. I am not saying that these acts can bring the 26 lives, including 20 kids back to their parents and loved ones (May god help them to overcome the loss). This reminds us of the million other kids in some corner of the world who are hoping for a life.

So how could we avert such an incident in the future:

Yes gun control could be the only way to drastically reduce gun related murders by mentally volatile people. Maybe statistics might show that it has no effect on mass murders. But I believe it would make a difference. It is as simple as no or difficult access to weapons means no or difficult to complete violence involving weapons. It used to be here in the United States before. Yet for some reason it seems so daunting to bring it back. Maybe it involves industries that create jobs and pay taxes to the government. Kudos, to Obama for bringing the issue on the table and delegating it to Joe Biden. However that does not mean the solution is in the vicinity. It depends on the republicans in the house controlling as are many other things.

Until the congress reaches a consensus, A “band-aid solution” could be increasing security in every public place Schools, Theaters, Malls, Workplace, Churches, Temples everywhere. However the means implementing this is paramount for the security of this country. I am sure everybody would be willing to pay the extra buck for the security of their lives.

However the real solution, as mentioned before, would be: increasing the standards for living for the deprived would be a means to reducing the need for a crime. This is a difficult path to tread as everybody is different. I am not saying it is impossible, I am just saying it will take time. For it is not war but only love, and kindness that will take this world forward together.

Posted in Kindness, Life, Love, Parenting, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Understanding The Reason for Republicans Loss in the Presidential Elections and its Relevance to the Current Financial Crisis

It is important for the Republicans to know why they lost in this past presidential elections. It is important for John Boehner and the other Republicans in the house to know, as they could save this country from the looming “fiscal-cliff”.

Though a lot of news organizations,mostly run by the supporters of the Right wing, were ranting about how this was the year of the Republicans, they lost to the Democrats whose time wasn’t supposedly now. The only plausible, non-obvious (to Republicans) explanation to this oxymoron, put in one sentence, would be they thought this was the 1850’s. In other words, they are still in the past and forgot grow with the society. I am not trying to take-away the win from the Democrats. I mean, Obama dozed through a whole debate and still won the elections. Come-on, lets face it, the Republican’s were that bad. They either did not know what present-day issues are or they did not know the solutions to the issues or they did not care for the issues. All of the above equates only to failure.

Clearly the issue of the elections this year was the economy. We have to give credit to the fact that they got that part right. However their solution: “cut funding to all programs, let people starve ?” It is still strange to me, that Forbes whose bastion is supposedly how to make money, argue how Keynes would have done things differently than what the Obama and the Democrats are proposing to get off the “fiscal-cliff”, arguing for not raising the tax for the rich.

Even in other issues such as: “Gay marriage”, “Global Warming”, “Education” they got everything wrong. They don’t believe gay folks are people too. They don’t believe in Global warming. Romney during his campaign, even went to the extent to tell he wouldn’t do a darn thing to cut the burden for college-going kids raking up debt. All they were for is rich people and finding ways to give more tax breaks for them. Clearly they were out-of-touch with the majority and their problems. They did not know that the present society is inevitably interdependent. I am no financial expert, but some simple thinking tells me the following:

1. Not raising taxes = No money to govern = No government.

While a normal working man does not get any tax credits on his hard-earned paycheck, it is only fair for him to expect one who is making millions more to not get any tax credit. The only argument they make for not raising the taxes for the rich, will lead to reduction in the business = job losses. So they need tax breaks. Maybe it is only fair enough for the job creators to get some tax credits so they can create more jobs. This might sound very tempting as it is. The loop-hole that they do not talk about is most of the profits made by the rich are by employing fewer people or not employing cheap labor from outside the country. Kudos to the democrats for making this clear. Maybe they should make it clear, how many jobs one should create to get the tax break they want. Just to put some number should create a 1 million jobs if they want a tax break of 3%. Now it will not be just the working class working hard.

However, now since the Republicans control the house-majority. One must instill some common sense in them to support the fact that not extending the tax credits for the rich (from the Bush administration) will put more money into the government. The much-needed money to bail the government off the high debt that they are currently facing.

Posted in Democrats, Fiscal Cliff, Job Growth, Jobs, John Boehner, Politics, Republicans, Tax, Tax Cut, Unemployment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Application for Anode Hydrogen Exhaust for a DFC-300 Fuel Cell – Bit I did for the Student Hydrogen Design Contest

1. Basis:

The total hydrogen produced by the DFC300 and Water Gas Shift (WGS) reactor is estimated to be 138.72 kg/day.

2. Current Scenario and Future Prospect

A major part of the current hydrogen market includes ammonia synthesis, methanol synthesis, and petroleum refining. Praxair, the major controller of the hydrogen market in North America, boasts application in all the above mentioned areas as well as fueling aircrafts, welding application, food-oil hydrogenation, manufacturing sorbitol, and semiconductor production.

Hydrogen is used in fuel cells to produce power for both residential and vehicular applications. In addition giant corporations such as Walmart, Google, Microsoft® all have installed some sort of fuel cells to power their buildings within the past five years which would require a regular supply of hydrogen. On the other hand Honda, Nissan, and Mercedez have declared huge improvements in their Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle’s (FCEV). The FCEV market has a tremendous potential for growth until the year 2050 and display a sustained demand thereafter, based on a S-curve reported by National Academy of Sciences in 2004 [1].

Hydrogen storage and distribution has been one of the major bottle-neck for this technology. Based on a recent DOE report, it has been identified that hydrogen distribution through hydrogen fueling station is determined to be the most suitable application for the required rate of hydrogen [2, 3].  The various modes of storage (compressed, liquefied, and cryogenic ) and transport (tube trucks, rail, and pipelines) have been extensively researched. Hydrogen production rates and distance to be transported are major factors that figure the transportation cost [1-3].

The hydrogen generated by the DFC 300 is strategically between the current fueling capacity of most HFS’s ranges from 12 – 20 kg / day and the calculated optimum capacity at 100 – 200 kg / day. A fueling station with this capacity is estimated to fuel around 3000 Fuel Cell Vehicles. For small scale hydrogen production less than 500 kg / day and distances less than 200 miles, the ideal mode of transportation was via tube trucks which can carry hydrogen upto 558 kg at a medium compression of 250 bar for a single delivery [3, 4].

Currently the only hydrogen fueling station in Ohio is in Ohio State University (OSU) campus, at 930 Kinnear Road at Columbus Ohio. The demand for hydrogen and fueling capacity of this station is met by Praxair hydrogen generation facility at Whiting, Indiana about 350 miles from the station, which is twice the distance for efficiently transporting compressed hydrogen. Hence with the hydrogen produced from the DFC-300 is proposed to supplement the hydrogen fueling station at OSU.

3. Process Description

The application process and its specifications are described in Figure 1  and Table 1 respectively.

Image

Figure 1. Process flow diagram for hydrogen exhaust from DFC300 post purification

 

  Image

Table 1. Equipment costs and specifications

Hydrogen at a flow rate of 5.78 kg/ hr is allowed to enter a buffer tank to stabilize the flow rate. A two stage diaphragm compressor rated at is used to compress the hydrogen from 1 bar to 350 bar. The hydrogen flow-rate required by the compressor is maintained at 5.8 kg / hr [4].

Image

 Figure 2. Two stage hydrogen compressor as sold by PDC [4].

Gaseous hydrogen will be compressed to 5000 psi (350 bar) using a two-stage compressor, including an initial booster compressor as shown in Figure 2. In addition to the low compression cost at 5000 psi (350 bar), hydrogen behaves as an ideal gas and can be conveniently be transported by trucks.

Tubular trailer trucks from Praxair would be scheduled to pick up 555 kg of hydrogen from the facility every 4 days as these trucks are designed to carry a useable loading capacity of 558 kg of hydrogen at 250 bar as shown in Table 8 [3]. Therefore the storage capacity at the production site was designed to store additional 3 days’ worth of hydrogen, an additional 33%.  The hydrogen was stored at 350 bar in Type IV composite tanks as shown in figure  .

 Image

Figure 3. Schematic of Hydrogen Tanks Purchased from Quantum Technologies

  Major suppliers of hydrogen storage tanks in the U.S. are Structural Composites Inc., Quantum Technologies, Dynetek and Lincon Composites. The hydrogen storage tanks will be purchased from Quantum Technologies as they were able to meet custom design specifications.

The equipment and operating costs were calculated by HDSAM version V 2.0 [1]. This software has come to be a standard for estimating and optimizing the cost of storing and delivering hydrogen for different scenarios. The capital costs and specifications for the equipment are shown in Table 1. The cost of hydrogen is reported to be sold at 9.60 $ kg-1 based on the cost of compression, storage, and distribution, bringing in a revenue of 486074.90 $ year-1, assuming 365 days of operation.

Compressed GH2 Trucks

Tube Water Volume (m3) 8.5
Tube maximum pressure (atm) 250
Tube minimum pressure (atm) 15
Tube operating temperature (degrees C) 25
H2 Capacity (kg)/ tube 173.7
Number of Tubes/ trailer 4
H2 Trailer Capacity (kg) 695
Truck Yearly Availability (%) 98%
Total truck Capital cost ($) 570,000
Trailer ($) 495,000
Cab Cost ($) 75,000

 

Table 2. Assumptions for Tube trailer tractor.

 

References:

[1] M. Mintz, J. Gillette, A. Elgowainy, M. Paster, M. Ringer, D. Brown, J. Li, Trb, Hydrogen delivery scenario analysis model for hydrogen distribution options, in:  Energy and Environmental Concerns 2006: Including 2006 Thomas B. Deen Distinguished Lecture, Natl Acad Sci, Washington, 2006, pp. 114-120.

[2] T.Q. Hua, R.K. Ahluwalia, J.K. Peng, M. Kromer, S. Lasher, K. McKenney, K. Law, J. Sinha, Int. J. Hydrog. Energy, 36 (2011) 3037-3049.

[3] M. Mintz, A. Elgowainy, M. Gardiner, Transp. Res. Record, (2009) 46-54.

[4] V. Mohan, A. Shah, J.W. Sheffield, K.B. Martin, Int. J. Hydrog. Energy, 37 (2012) 1214-1219.

Posted in Applications, Engineering, Hydrogen | Leave a comment

Global Warming a.k.a Reap What You Sow

Global warming has been here for a while now. We are feeling the heat and it is getting hotter as days go by. Longer summers and shorter winters are here. Yet, it is amazing how many politicians believe that it is a hoax. That is a different discussion for a different day.

The looming issue is an article “Chilling Effect: Relief in Every Window, but Global Worry Too” published today in the NYT. The article clearly points out the main source of the problem – the exponential rise of A.C. use in developing nations. It even goes to the extent of pointing out the solution – a technology developed by DuPont and Daiken. So the problem that remains is how do you regulate or enforce the use of a technology for the better of the world.

There is no question, immediate action is required to save the earth from its demise. The article also does its part in pointing out the goal to counter the problem, which is to stabilize HCFC emission by Jan 1 and reduce it by 2015. Knowing the solution is three-fourths battle won. But, it ain’t a victory unless we win the war. The war against global warming.

It is as important to look at the cause of this predicament as it is to counter it. This is a result of people of the developing nations quest for a better quality of life, close to the standards set by developing nations.  No question, the quality of life in developing nations is poor to o.k. at best.  As the UN chief for the Montreal Protocol and Chemicals Unit points out, it was not a problem when developed nations used the A.C., it is only a problem when the other nations have access to it. In addition it could be strongly reasoned that for the industrial revolution and subsequent current moving of all the manufacturing sector from developed nations as a result of stringent pollution reforms is one of the primary causes for the poor standard of living in these countries.

To summarize, the cause for the current climatic disaster the world is posed is due to the choices made by the powerful developed nation to aid their luxurious living. Unless, the developing nations choose to adopt this newer technology, it would be safe to say the life in earth will be extinct in another 50 years or so. It is only surprising to see that this much protected reality of theirs is now at the mercy of the choice of developing nations. The title would also be apt as “Global Warming: Revenge of the Sith” .

It is sad to see that most of the nations are caught up with war, sometimes even petty internal disputes to conquer, dominate and suppress. If only everyone could see what a miniscule act of love can do, this world a better place to live in.

“Eliminating global warming” should be the primary goal of every country. But, the developing nations, have so many immediate looming problems they can hardly focus on something that has its effects 50 years down the line. The developed nations have the capacity to eradicate the current dire-strait the world is faced-with, by installing this newer technology in every house of the developing nation at no cost at the least, if they want to continue to enjoy the privileges they have. In simple terms: help develop the part of the world, they destroyed previously.

As in the words of Maximus from Gladiator: “We have a better chance of survival, if we STAY TOGETHER.”

Posted in Brazil, CFC, China, Europe, Global Warming, HCFC, India, United States | 1 Comment

NBA Finals – 2012, What’s wrong with LeBron, D-Wade and the Heats !?!?!

They need no rotation, they need no awesome self-imposing coach, they need nothing. They have all it takes to win it. Yet they still lose again, why ? I reinstate. Yes nothing or none can beat the deadly LeBron / D-Wade except the crazy-detestable complacency that they posses. It is true they play best when their backs are against the wall. At the same time it is a loathsome attitude, that poses to be a debacle for this mighty Heat team.

We saw how D-Wade won the finals against the big D in 2006, Lebron single-handedly won many games with the Cavs and more recently in game 6 in Boston. It is only the thought that they don’t see the need to win each game, which came back to haunt them in the finals last year. It is time they understand that they could be fooled into the trap that they can play better only when ‘their backs-against-the-wall’ as they keep saying. They just have to come out that mirage, unleash the beasts-within and relish being dominant and invincible all the way, which they are.

I say the backs are already against the wall. It is a team that was built to win many championships. So let’s go do what was promised. Go do justice to the talent given and stop at nothing short.

Let’s Go King James. Let’s go D-Wade.

I will also have to agree that a little more discipline and management from the coaching staff could make this great team invincible. Come on Spoelestra, that was easily one of the worst game management I have ever seen in a NBA final. No player-rotation, same iso-play,  same pick and roll. It’s like Spo’s playbook has just 5 plays.

Posted in D-Wade, Heats, LeBron, NBA | Leave a comment

Better India… The Purpose, The Need, The Journey…

(Hello Everyone, this is my first post. Subjective and objective criticism are welcome.)

Change is inevitable. Not only is this common knowledge but this is a universal truth. Accepting it or not, does not change it. So, I am not going to try to prove / disprove it. Disbelievers and pessimists can think about it. Denying it or the unwillingness to change only puts one in a dark hole (or a fool’s paradise). It is truth that India needs to change, not just in one but several areas. In every way that would help the living standards 1.21 billion (source: Wikipedia) people.

Before I get into the specifics, I should acknowledge that there are many good things about India viz., the family oriented culture, the people, the food and so on. I should also agree to the fact that India has developed not just in one but in many ways. At the same time, this comes at a rate that is not enough to meet the basic needs of all its citizens. Now our much adored country is in the rubble. Half of our population is below the poverty line. There are millions who do not have and can not afford their basic needs. There is little or no infrastructure in many parts. To name a few poor roads, no proper water supply, lack of well equipped hospitals / clinics, and no electricity. There is power-cuts, traffic and open drainage everywhere. There are people who care. People who work towards changing this. Clearly this is not enough. Each one of us have to give back to the country which provides us the place to live. Now is the time to show our love for our nation.

We cannot lose hope. ‘Hope and Change’ the slogan of the Obama-2008 election campaign clearly wins. But what it does not say is that: in order for the change to be good, we need to act and act in the right way and direction. It requires more than just hope to develop oneself, let alone a nation. We need to act right and act now. But there is something very important that needs to be done before this, something that everybody knows is important but too busy to do. Think. Everyone of us are too wound up in what we are doing, we fail to stop for a moment to think, to think what we are doing, to think why we are doing, to think if it matters, to think if it creates a difference to anybody.

When the good is over-shadowed by the bad, it is time to find and eliminate them. So, I would like to mention a few obvious things, the little and the big which I consider major hurdles to the development of the nation:

1. One might more often use the excuse that he/she is too busy and does not have time. I would say, if you had the time to watch the cricket match or that favorite soap of yours, you have the time. You sure do have all the time to think about and do what is required for the development of this country.

2. The ‘chalta-hai‘ attitude. No nothing is chalta-hai if it hinders the progress of the nation. Yes, throwing that small piece of paper on the road hinders the growth of the nation. Every one of us have to be more serious and understand the seriousness of the issue. One might think, I am making a fuss. I guess I am, as I do not have a funny way to say it.

3. Vocal Pessimism. The ‘Nothing will change‘ saying. Yes nothing will change, for you, if you keep uttering those words. But everything will change, if you stop saying those and start acting relentlessly and unselfishly.

4. Blaming corrupt politicians and officials as a justified reason for the above mentioned pessimism. This is a hard one, it might even be genuine. I understand that corruption in India has reached never-before levels. But it is only an issue when you let it affect you.

5. This is a big one, probably the biggest after corruption. Tax-evasion. Using the excuse mentioned above as a reason. Finding loop-holes to do so. One should know that this leads to loss of billions of crores of rupees for the country, thereby preventing the much-needed infrastructure for the country.

6. Corruption. This is obvious and the biggest issue. In the light of the Bofors scandal, and the recent 2-G Scam, I can only be surprised at the extent to which the people with the power can be corrupt.  I would be a fool if I fail to take this seriously.  Frankly, I have no clue what one can do to stop this. I just hope that all the politicians in our country wake-up one day and realize the country is bigger than oneself and understand that they have the power to make these changes to make India a better place to live in.

7. Selfishness and Greed.  This I believe is the root-cause of issues 5 and 6. These two factors lead to all forms of treachery and hence the biggest of all. One must be crazy to believe loads of money and all the comforts. After all, how fast can you go in a Ferrari Enzo or a Bugatti Veyron on a road that is blocked by traffic or how luxurious can a Maybach  or a Rolce Royce be on a road filled with potholes. Maybe one has his ways. That is not the purpose of this blog. One has to understand that, to develop a nation, he/she has to be come over the small-minded satisfying pleasures the self and realize the country is bigger than oneself.

At the same time it has to be understood that making changes in a society which has been hardened on these issues cannot be made overnight or in weeks is crucial.  There has been plenty of excuses, finger-pointing, and bickering going to put us in a place where we are. It has not taken us anywhere.

The quote from Vinod Khosla “Try and fail, but do not fail to try. Every disadvantage in India is an opportunity to do something big” will be more apt here.  One must also understand that this is essential, think, plan, and act for the development of our country. Not once, not twice but hundreds of times as long as it is required.  We need to brush aside these minute hindrances keep trudging ahead. Only that will give the momentum we would need. Lets Go, India.

Posted in India | 1 Comment