Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ooh Power

Before i start writing on Power let me remind those people who know about me a bit, that this post if has positive correlation with my work then it should be considered spurious.
For those who dont, I joined UBS Service Center-India (ISC) last year as a off-shore support team for the European Power & Gas Desk of UBS located at London.
It is a separate story that the desk got scrapped thanks to the "Sub-Prime".
Well itz strange but i was almost losing my job in India, for "Sub-Prime" in USA, because the notional-losses from it of UBS till date is approx 50B USD.
But this story deserves a post of it own.

Power now, is one of the necessity's of life.
Like Water or Air we can-not live with-out it.
We definitely have a come a long way from the methods of cooking developed by the cave-women (i am not being feminist) over a fire kept burning for days to the latest MICROWAVE Oven.
The effort definitely has diminished but i would add the complication has been more.
It summer months now & my flat-mate & myself complain every-weekend afternoon that we should have a air-cooler if not a air-conditioner.
& today who can live with-out a refrigerator.
ooh i missed out the TV, WashingMachine, Computer,......... the list goes on.
I think i have made my-self clear that we have shifted to a life where we can-not live without power.

The generation of Power or Electricity takes place at the Power Plants using Coal. Though not popular in India but some plants use Heavy Oil, Natural Gas, Bio-Fuels as inputs. Hydro-Power-Plants is another source. Nuclear, Wind are the 2 undependable sources.
There are some more innovative Power generation techniques of which i will tell you one. I dont know who came up with this idea but i must say this was brilliant.
In UK the Power is a free-market commodity. Hence the cost of per unit electricity varies over the day. The demand & the price rises steadily from early 7:00 till 9:00. stays steady for the rest of the morning & early afternoon. Then from late afternoon around 17:00 it climbs again till 19:30-20:00 & drops off till 23:00. where from it remains steady till early morning.
This extraordinary Power Generation unit buys electricity in the Off-Peak Hours & uses the electricity to pump up water from the base of a hillock to a reservoir at the top of it. & when the price climbs to a certain high he lets the water flow down & generates electricity which he sells off right then.
This method though innovative, shows the opportunity-capture by some intelligent & street-wise individual, who could see that there is a arbitrage & how to generate profit from it. But this technique only transfers the generation from 1 time-point to another. It does not create.
The wind power plants are considered to be the most un-reliable source of electricity. There has to be an steady wind-force of minimum 10KMPH. & if there isn't then there is no supply. No-one would like to be dependent on such a source.
The nuclear power plants come with its unique difficulties. One of which is if there is some disruption in 1 then all the similar plants have to be switched off until the cause is found & rectified in all if necessary. The other is even more interesting. The nuclear plants produce electricity at a steady rate. So at off-peak times the generation might supersede the amount required. France is a country with such situation. But Europe now has one common grid. Hence it can sell off the electricity to other neighbouring countries.
The cost of Crude-Oil (though mainly driven by speculation than by supply shortages) is significantly high to not think of Heavy-Oil as a source.
Natural-Gas power plants is yet to be popular. Mainly because of the huge volume that needs to be transported. Though LNG tankers have made things easier.
Coal Power Plants are the most abundantly found. The technology has been near-perfected (though there may be many avenues to track). But these plants are one of the major source of industrial pollution. & the alarming way the world-temperature is increasing we need to be bit more concerned.
Hydro-electricity is at the first look the best. But again huge dams & are a major source of controversy with major ecological change (& ignoring the villages). Also a dam creates water-supply disruption further down-stream. And perennial rivers is not very commonly seen.

Indian standpoint: Coal-Pollution a constrain though most abundant. Oil-Too Pricey, Gas-Supply limited currently. & Iran-Pakistan-India LNG Pipeline still seems a dream, Nuclear-Risky & demand problem(we are not yet in a position to distribute to huge distances) ignoring the current Left issue, Hydro- Perennial river are limited & amount of rain-fall not consistent.

This brings us to the standard question what should we do.
What i believe is that like most necessary things in life this is also something which every-one of us would have to make a effort.
Saving electricity in every small ways possible. Switching off monitor when not in use. Switching off power-plug-points when not in use. There are more small simple ways which all of us have heard of.
Personally i would suggest that we install Power-inverters & if possible solar-panels on the roof-top. A Solar-Panel on the roof would augment the supply of electricity & coupled with inverters would ensure a significant reduction is demand for electricity.
The government can also try to incorporate solar-power as much as it can. A suitable study & execution of the whole thing would reduce the power demand. & for India to keep growing as dramatically as we have been doing with keeping our power bills within justified levels SOLAR ENERGY is perhaps a direction we would have to look into. We definitely need more persuasive practical & meaningful research in this.

I would like to end this extra-long blog with a wish
May the people of India & the world in total see the folly of the ways we are steaming ahead & rectify our-self to save the world & make life easy & more enriching than it currently is.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why blogging

i expect someday i would have to answer why did i take to writing blogs.
& especially the question would be more regarding the sudden-ness of the start.

Truthfully speaking there is no reason.
Was bored to my bones. Didn't want to do anything specific. Thought why dont i join the bandwagon of blog writers.
Pour out some of the random thoughts that i have. It would be a good exercise in typing & attempted writing while compiling what i want to write.

Believe me when i promise in-numerable spelling mistakes & the most dreaded grammatical ones.
I just hope that the views/thoughts/nothing at times get conveyed.
I do intend to put in a effort. But those who know me would have already realized what effort it would be.
I dont promise anything. No quantity. No quality. & definitely no regularity.

This place is going to be as random as my life is.

& to those who still are thinking why blogs..... buddy believe me i have too many thoughts in my mind. I am not in a position to share them with my
friends directly. I would not be marketing this blog. I have put only one hint in my orkut account. If people notice they would read else........
I just wanted to save some of the feelings that i have.

Hope i have answered your queries.
If you have more feel free to put them up. There is a section called comments.
But please dont expect immediate ans. I am not good at answering questions.

Anyways happy reading randomness.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

A bit about Me

here goes some points which are very close to my heart...
love is...whn some1 breaks ur heart...n the most amazing part is tat u still love the person wth every broken piece

plz dont ask the reason of this. Just a quote which i feel captures the essence of LOVE very well
1 Chinese proverb

if a man knows not that he knows not, then he is a FOOL. SHUN him
if a man knows that he knows not, then he is MODEST. ENLIGHTEN him
if a man knows not that he knows, then he is ASLEEP. AWAKEN him
if a man knows that he knows, then he is WISE. FOLLOW him
Friendship is a priceless giftthat cannot be bought or sold,But its value is far greaterthan a mountain made of gold.
For gold is cold and lifeless,it can neither see nor hearAnd in the time of troubleit is powerless to cheer...
It has no ears to listenNor heart to understand,It cannot bring you comfortor reach out a helping hand.
So when you ask for a giftbe thankful if i sendnot diamonds, pearls or richesbut the love as a real true friendcoz tatz all i hav 2 offer

Typically i would say about myself that i am a happy go lucky guy with out a care in this world But has far 2 many responsibilities to shoulder than what he can bear.... but would complete all jobs he has in hand at all costs

About friends i firmly beleive that
Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.

And i also request

Dont walk in front of me, I may not follow.Dont walk behind me, I may not lead.Walk beside me and be my friend. ....


If i were allowed to change my name..... (not that i have any desire for it. Mine is a good enough though i often wonder if i can live up to it) i would love to take LUCIFER INCARNATE

And for those who have been a bit of confusion abt the name Lucifer.... Lucifer in latin means bearer of light. i hope to bring a bit of light in any form (preferably as a smile) to all those ppl i come across.i also consider Lucifer as a character made famous by Milton & the Bible not as the synonym of evil, but some1 who asked questions against the rules & is ready 2 think out for himself than accept watevr he is order 2 do....

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Auto Ride

The Indian "Auto-Rickshaw" is unique in it's many ways.
For those who have no idea what an "Auto-Rickshaw" is.... It is actually a mechanized contraption on 3 wheels. Used primarily for transporting people. & here lies it's uniqueness.
A small-sized car in India wold comfortably seat 4 people (including the driver) & 5 uncomfortably.
A "Auto-Rickshaw" on the other-hand would seat at-least 4. Yes i am using the word at-least. It has been designed to seat 3 people in the back seat & 1 driver. But typically a auto-rickshaw on the Indian roads would have 2-3 extra people in the front along with the driver. The person on the either extreme would hanging on for dear life while screaming at the driver to get going faster.
Ok Ok..... I know every-one reading this knows what i am talking about. Or would be computer-literate enough to do a Google.

What i have sat down to pen(type) is a auto-ride i took last saturday.
It was over-overwhelmingly hot at Hyderabad (where i am working currently) & me & my flat-mate was in no mood to cook. So we took-off to try out the Mexican joint which we have been eying for a couple of months.
After a near-perfect meal (we were too stuffed to actually walk out but had to leave) we were standing at the cross-road with the hope to get a auto-rickshaw to get back home.
We did get lucky to get on the back-seat of one. 3 possible back seats taken by myself, my flatmate & another middle-aged guy. The burly Auto-driver had another passenger on his right.
When we got to the next cross-road a well-dressed guy showed his hand for the Auto-driver to stop. We come to an halt. It is not normal till there is a 5th "Passenger" on the driver's left. This guy walks over & gives all the people seated at the back a hard stare & looks at the driver.
"Hum 3 log hain" (We are 3 people). His tone was saying "I don't care who else is seating I have 2 more friends & we are going to honour you by allowing you to takes us where we want to go. Hence get your other passengers out of our way"
Thankfully the Auto-driver commented "Kaise!!!". It was more sarcastic than questioning.
The guy gives a frustrated look & we continue our journey.

A little ahead the person sitting on the right of the driver gets down, pulls out a Rs100 note for a Rs5 trip.
It's nearly 10:30 in the night. The Auto-driver is making his last trip of the day.
And this bugger who looks as though he has never had any-less/more money than Rs100 notes waits patiently. Obviously the Auto-Driver looks at us & we dutifully shrug our shoulders, indicating we too dont have so much change.
The Auto-Driver pushes off. He can do with-out a Rs5. Calling the passenger a thousand names in his mind he must have been trying to figure out how he could have confronted the passenger. The man looked as though he had at-least 5 Rs10 notes along with Rs10 worth of loose change on him. He simply took a free ride home.

A couple of km ahead we stop to pick up 2 people. but they are actually a group of 4 people. Typically the Auto-Driver would accommodate 2 passengers on his left & one on his right. But how to get the 4th person in. The group pointed out that the lightest of the lot can sit on the lap of some-one at the back-seat. & with-out waiting for some1 to respond he actually climbs over.
Here with 8 people on a contraption on 3 wheels we were traveling which was supposed to carry only 4.
& the Auto-Driver was actually racing with the snazzy cars.

And as luck would have it, there was a police check on the route.
The Hawildars rounded the auto. The Sergant demanded to see papers. & the Auto-Driver took his money-bag along with his papers. And we were on our way again.

The trip was pretty interesting. Damn funny at times.
But it also got me thinking.

next posts would hopefully be on the thoughts