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Posts Tagged ‘Residential’

On April 1st, 2012, “60 Minutes” reported that sugar, as it’s currently consumed, is a toxin that drives several diseases, including obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. In today’s blog, SpiroFlo breaks down the major findings of that report.

Brand new report: Everything is still bad for you.

Today’s suspect: Sugar.

On Sunday night, “60 Minutes” posed the question, “Is sugar toxic?” In knowing that they wouldn’t air the report if the results came back as, “Huh, it’s like most things: If you have too much of it, it isn’t good for you,” I assumed they’d come back with “Yes.” It was just a matter of how big that yes was. Despite airing on April Fool’s Day, this was no joke:

According to the report, the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar each year.

Yikes. That’s a supermodel-and-a-half right there. The tough part is that much of this two-fifths-of-a-pound of sugar a day is hidden in yogurt, sauces and bread.

Dr. Robert Lustig, a California endocrinologist, believes that sugar (as it is currently consumed) is a toxic driver of many diseases, including obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Thankfully, when the interviewer, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, asked, “Do you ever worry that… it just sounds a little bit over the top?” Dr. Lustig had enough sense to respond with, “Sure. All the time. But it’s the truth.”

After the government mandated lowering fat consumption in the 1970s, Dr. Lustig says that in knowing that food loses its flavor without fat, the food industry replaced that fat with sugar. Although sugar consumption is down 40% since then, Lustig also argues that the switch to high fructose corn syrup hasn’t helped, as it’s basically the same thing.

While his views of sugar as a toxin used to be considered on the fringe, Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional biologist at the University of California, is one of the many voices backing him up. “She’s in the middle of a groundbreaking, five-year study which has already shown strong evidence linking excess high fructose corn syrup consumption to an increase in risk factors for heart disease and stroke. That suggests calories from added sugars are different than calories from other foods.”

The report continues, “when a person consumes too much sweet stuff, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and converts some of it into fat. Some of that fat ends up in the bloodstream and helps generate a dangerous kind of cholesterol called small dense LDL. These particles are known to lodge in blood vessels, form plaque and are associated with heart attacks.”

Another expert, Eric Stice—a neuroscientist at the Oregon Research Institute—used MRI scanners to observe how the brain responds to sugars and sweeteners. The results? Your brain responds the same way to sugar as it does to cocaine—by releasing the pleasure chemical: dopamine. The more you eat sugary foods, the less you feel the rewards. Much like a junkie, it takes more and more to feel it.

How much do you think I can get for this on the street?

Lewis Cantley, a Harvard professor and the head of the Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center, believes high-sugar consumption is a catalyst that fuels certain types of cancers—including breast and colon cancer—as they, like the cells of body, need glucose to survive (and grow). Apparently the tumors learned this behavior. Sugar fiends the lot of ‘em!

Of course, like most investigative reports, you must have one lone detractor to balance things out. A member on the sugar board, Jim Simon, predictably disagreed with the findings, saying, “the science isn’t completely clear here.” (To be fair, he’s right. Give it six months and some other experts from another study will likely find something different.) He argued that vilifying the sugar industry by trying to get people to eliminate sugar isn’t enough. Simon says it’s more about reducing calories and increasing exercise (and since Simon says so, we have to do it).

In closing the segment, “60 Minutes” noted that Dr. Lustig co-authored a paper with the American Heart Association on the daily recommended amount of added sugar. The recommendation? No more than 150 calories of added sugar for men and 100 calories for women. That’s less than one can of soda a day (and I’m guessing maybe, just maybe, a notch shy of that disturbing 130 pounds of sugar consumed by the average American in a year).

Watch the report below:

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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Last week, SpiroFlo had a graphic on why you should care about water conservation. This time, we’re looking at what we recycle, what we throw away, and how long it’ll take for all of it to decompose:

So this means skinny people are less wasteful? Something like that, right?

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

 

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Here’s why we work hard to promote residential hot water savings with the patented, cost-effective SpiroFlo device:

That beer and chocolate better be really good…

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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SpiroFlo discusses the struggle of marketing a green technology to the hardcore green crowd and how it’s important to find the Baby Bear of environmentalists: Those who are green enough to value everyday resource savings, but not so green that they aren’t widely accessible (by their beliefs about business or their frugal lifestyles).

SpiroFlo was recently invited to buy ad space on a general green living forum, but declined.

The main reason: The hardcore green crowd often doesn’t personally financially support businesses.

Some of them hate capitalism; others think if you’ve got a product that benefits the environment you should give it away (or stick a government entity with the bill). Regardless of the reasoning, it often seems like that crowd is more likely to jury-rig their own energy-saving devices than buy from a business. (Please don’t electrocute yourself installing your own tin foil solar panels.)

Granted, I don’t expect the everyday citizens to buy an oil and gas well improvement tool or an industrial biofilm removal tool from us, but for residential hot water savings, Average Joes can bring green benefits into their home with one SpiroFlo device installed at the outset of the hot water tank. Getting a better, eco-friendly shower faster, all while improving your morning routine (by not waiting so long for hot water at the shower) seems like a no-brainer, but Average Joe water saving benefits don’t necessarily apply to fringe green groups.

Note: Saying “fringe group” conjures up images of terrorism. I’m not suggesting fringe green groups are attacking people with organic fruit and solar-powered weaponry, rather just acknowledging that they are, in fact, way in the minority.

http://www.wayfaring.info/2009/03/20/ivrea-carnival/

They even have fruit fighter outfits!

Additionally, often times, unconventional people have unconventional homes. From the tiny house trend to the build-your-own-humanure-toilet crowd, sometimes the upheave-your-life green fringe crowd doesn’t even have the type of living space that could benefit from minor green savings. If they’ve already made a major shift to green living, a cost-effective, easy green device like SpiroFlo is in a different league. I mean, why own a shower when you bathe in the previously wasted fountain water at the park?

I kid, but I can tell you this much: a good chunk of the people who are actively involved in general green living forums—as in, the kinds of people who would see our advertisement there—are likelier to fall into the above categories, making the marketing dollars wasted dollars. Perhaps if the green forums were more specific to residential water savings, the ad would pay back its cost, but at this stage, there’s still a difference between marketing to a niche than an inaccessible fringe.

The key is to find people who are just green enough—with enough green awareness to care about environmental impact/resource savings (along with a better shower), but not so much that they’re beyond the benefits of the everyman water-saving SpiroFlo device—but guess what? Average people don’t hang out all in one universal area.

Whether it’s a small fringe group or the white noise of a large, carry-all home supply chain store, sometimes it’s hard to know where to speak your marketing voice let alone what to say with it. Regardless, good, simple green products need to get out there somehow.

Time for Occupy Home Depot?

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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So you tell me, is Texas in a drought?

*Ag = agriculture

Considering one SpiroFlo device saves a household thousands of gallons of water a year and a lot more states are looking like Texas, those savings are looking pretty good right about now.

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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SpiroFlo explores why it’s always 4 out of 5 experts who agree on anything and how that magical number often winds up being true, even when you wish it wasn’t.

Oh, 4 out of 5 experts, you can’t recommend every product, can you? Let’s look at some of the ways marketing sometimes skews that number:

1. The Statement is Dishonest

Oh, fifth dentist, have you no heart?

Take a marketing statement that’s been explored a little: 4 out of 5 dentists recommend sugar-free gum.

Turns out there was actually the added caveat of, If your patients insist on chewing gum, which type of gum would you recommend? That’s not the same as recommending the product with no strings attached. Now regardless of whether this fifth dentist is the kind of candy Scrooge who hands out toothbrushes on Halloween and dental floss at Christmas, even when they phrased the question in a way that was likely to win over sugar-laden gum, this fifth dentist still wouldn’t recommend their sugar-free product. Which brings us to our next point:

2. Someone Always Agrees / Disagrees With You

I’ve heard it said that when it comes to dealing with large groups, barring an extreme option, 20% of people will always support you. Likewise, 20% of people will go against anything, too, so you’re really only trying to sway 60% of the room. Here’s where my amazing math skills come into play: That 1 out of 5 who disagrees — yup, there’s your 20% right there.

3. They Literally Asked Five Experts

The old infomercial statement was “9 out of 10 doctors agree…” but apparently that number became too risky.

Things is, whether it’s 4 out of 5 or 9 out of 10 experts, you would hope they asked hundreds or thousands of experts (enough to get a meaningful consensus) so that the statistic actually equates to an 80-90% approval rating, but those numbers are really difficult to attain, so much so, that 70% is an overwhelming majority. I mean, you tell me: When was the last time 70% of congress agreed on anything?  As a result, sometimes marketing groups use less data points to imply a much stronger statement.

4. Nobody Believes 100% of People Like Your Product

Even with the above points, I think this one is a gimme: You can’t please everyone all the time, so in a sense, people inherently know that a 100% approval rating is bogus. With 4 out of 5 though, there may be a myriad of reasons for those rare detractors (or one detractor if you went with a mere five experts).

I feel bad for the poor guy bestowed with the rare grace of 100% of people enjoying his product, because he probably has to adjust his statistics for the worse to be believable. Additionally, even if it’s not based on opinion — it’s just something that works or does not work — nothing can work all the time in all situations. Which brings us to our final point:

5. Sometimes It’s Actually Just What It Is

SpiroFlo received a grant from the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office to test its water saving device in homes around the Denver Metro Area. After getting 100 SpiroFlo devices for installation — man, we should’ve gone with five: would’ve been quicker, cheaper and easier — and spending seven months on the project, we got our results. Although every home received up to a 5% water volume savings on every hot water outlet, 78% received hot water an average of 35% faster at their shower. One install received hot water 67% faster with SpiroFlo, but it was an anomaly and thrown out as a data point.

Of course, 78% isn’t a pretty number, even if it’s statistically impressive. 78% is good enough for an average grade in school and maybe it’s that marketing groups have hiked up expectations or that people expect too much (see any star rating system where anything less than 100% is often considered majorly flawed), but yup, now SpiroFlo gets to say it, too: 4 out of 5 households will receive a faster, more efficient shower from the SpiroFlo device. Who cares if every housing unit in the U.S. had a SpiroFlo device, the total amount of water conserved in a year would be over 500 billion gallons (and that’s before the electrical savings from not heating as much water)?

I hate marketing sometimes.

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with a 3.5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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SpiroFlo looks at some of the marketing strategies in business, how they’ve expanded to green technologies, and when a selling point crosses the line to become an outright lie. With the savings listed on the energy-efficient shower head provided by Xcel Energy, it appears they’ve crossed that line.

When my daughter was in sixth grade, the local energy company, Xcel, handed out a LivingWise kit — basically a box full of energy-efficient devices, including an air filter alarm, a high-efficiency light bulb and a high-efficiency shower head. While I have zero qualms with free stuff — even free stuff with an agenda (side note: anyone with a “free nachos” agenda is welcome to contact me at any time) — I do take issue with blatantly false data; so when I saw the weekly water savings listed on the shower head, I was immediately irritated.

LivingWise kit: Free at school or $5 on Ebay

Most people have seen the diet pill commercial where the girl in the bikini brags about losing dozens of pounds while standing side-by-side with a black-and-white photo of her much larger self from six months back. There’s a chance her frail frame is holding out her old, giant pants, but one thing’s for sure: Most people know those results aren’t typical, and sure enough, when your eyeballs squint at all the tiny words along the bottom of the TV screen, you usually find that the average weight loss on the fad diet pill (which will likely wind up banned by the FDA) is less than 15 pounds — weight that is likely to return.

Thing is, even if you assume these numbers are bogus, you can usually find out the truth (often that the advertised success story is an anomaly and not the norm). With many green technologies, however, I find that the truthful fine print is never available and some of the savings don’t add up. For anyone with even modest experience in household water savings, one glance will tell you that any showerhead claiming to save 770 gallons of water a week is bogus, but that’s what the flyer for the LivingWise shower head from Oxgenics and Xcel Energy claims. I was curious about exactly how false the numbers were.

With any data, you have to decide which averages you’re going to use — since different researchers have been known to find different data — and then make certain assumptions. With this in mind, I am using the EPA‘s average numbers for shower use, assuming that each person (out of an average 2.4 person home) is taking one shower a day. I am also assuming that the Xcel/Oxygenics shower head is in compliance with the 1.5 gallons per minute low-flow standard. Finally, given that the apocalypse has not yet happened, I am assuming there are still seven days in a week. Risky territory, I know, but now you know the foundation I’m working with. So, here we go:

2.4 showers a day times 8 minutes per shower times 7 days in week with a standard 2.5 gallon per minute shower head only uses 336 gallons in a week total. There aren’t even 770 gallons a week to save.

In order to save 770 gallons a week, still using the other averages, you’d have to save 5.73 gallons per minute off every shower. This means that in order for the Xcel/Oxygenics 1.5 gallons/minute high-efficiency shower head to save that huge amount of water, what they consider an average-flow shower head has to be above 7.2 gallons/minute. Problem is, the max flow shower head you can get since 1992 is a 2.5 gallon/minute shower head and the EPA estimates that 10% of the remaining big ol’ shower heads are getting replaced every year. So unless you’re using those giant, frying pan shower heads from a 1970s swinger pad as your average, you are lying.

Lots of water to distract you from the alien invasion

The part that grates me the most is that energy companies (who should know better) are endorsing these numbers. Maybe they’re just trying to appear like good stewards of the environment, or maybe it’s that sad green trend of the ends justifying the means, but it’s hard enough to get people to take energy efficiency seriously without adding in misinformation.

If I get updated info, I’ll certainly visit this issue again and correct any assumptions I may have made (I’m watching you, apocalypse). That said, neither Xcel Energy nor Oxygenics returned my phone calls on the matter. I’ll have more in the comments (including a statement from an energy savings insider).

“Free nachos” agenda, I  still await your delicious propaganda.

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with a 3.5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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While this isn’t the most thrilling way to kick off a new blog (sorry, we were out of dynamite), people do get curious about what the SpiroFlo Holdings set of companies sell. With that in mind, here’s a brief rundown:

SpiroFlo, LLC (SpiroFlo) has a patented device for residential hot water savings and industrial water purification/filtration. In 2010, SpiroFlo was the recipient of the Innovative Funding for Energy Efficiency (IFEE) grant from the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO). This SpiroFlo device is often called “a tornado in a pipe.” With no moving parts, it is virtually maintenance free.

The SpiroFlo device releasing water to atmosphere

In industrial applications, the SpiroFlo device sets up a stable spiraling flow that scrapes biofilm (and other bacteria) from the boundary layer of the pipeline wall — an area that is consistently missed by chemical treatments alone. With that said, the SpiroFlo device can also work in conjunction with these chemical treatments (including Sterilex). The stable flow created by the SpiroFlo device helps keep chemicals suspended, thereby increasing their effectiveness throughout the pipe and reducing their required frequency, use and associated costs. Independent testing and adoption from a large, multi-national has proven that the SpiroFlo device alone drastically reduces biofilm concentration from “too many to count” down to less than 100 parts per million (a number that basically means: might as well be zero).

In residential applications, the SpiroFlo device delivers hot water an average of nearly 35% faster to hot water outlets (in 4 out of 5 households) while providing up to a 5% volume savings at every hot water outlet in the home. Installed at the outset of a hot water tank, one SpiroFlo device is a whole house system. Although the SpiroFlo device can work with tankless and recirculating water systems, it does not require any of the associated costly modifications. One SpiroFlo device saves a household thousands of gallons of water a year.

Vortex Tools, LLC (Vortex) has a patented series of surface and downhole tools to help extend the flowing life, efficiency and productivity of oil and gas wells. As of this date, nearly 1,500 tools have been sold into markets worldwide.

The surface vapor elimination (SX-VRU) tool

The Vortex surface (SX) tools set up a stable, spiraling flow that keeps liquids from dropping out, prevents freezing, reduces pressures and mitigates paraffin build-up. Key applications include increased natural gas liquid (NGL) recovery, replacing pigging/drip systems, paraffin mitigation, replacing vapor recovery units (VRUs) and reducing the time to get oil and gas to sales (instead of flare) on new well flowbacks. The effects of one Vortex tool have lasted over six miles.

The Vortex downhole (DX) tools enable wells to flow below the critical rate (often down to 75% of critical) as well as lowering the bottom hole pressures and reducing surfactant use by up to 50%. Key applications include wireline retrievable intervention on marginal and declining wells, keeping coal bed methane wells free-flowing, and clearing out liquids from horizontal and vertical installations. With no moving parts, all Vortex tools are virtually maintenance free.

Ecotechnology, Ltd. (Ecotech) specializes in the cost-effective, nonthermal drying of biosolids (and a myriad of granular materials) by adding a low-grade heat (150 degrees F). These Ecotech systems can also move  and sort materials — soda ash, potash, crumb rubber, copper fines, sugar beets, etc. — with minimal degradation and pipe wear.

Using the patented EcoVeyor, the Ecotech system has the ability to convey over long-distances and through significant (even vertical) changes in elevation, no moving parts for minimal maintenance, positive environmental effects through its closed-loop design, and boosted value from lower product attrition and lower line wear for longer pipe life.

All three of these companies are under the parent company, SpiroFlo Holdings, Inc. These products are the result of over a decade and millions of dollars in research, development and testing. Nine patents have been granted to these beneficial technologies and several more are in development. Testing partners include: Texas A&M University, Texas Tech, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC), the Stripper Well Consortium (SWC—Penn State), the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO), and several multi-national companies.

Don’t know what some of the above terms mean? Don’t worry; we’ll be covering a number of them as the blog goes on. Or, you know, you can Google it.

Got comments or applications? Feel free to chat with us at blog (at) spiroflo (dot) com

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