The 2 Different Types of Critical Paths

Most people seem to have knowledge of only one type of Critical Path. Moreover, what critical path really is, many have incorrect understanding about it. In this guide, I will explain the two different types of critical paths and you will also learn which one is used in what circumstance.

The two types of Critical Paths are:

1. Longest Path

This type of Critical Path comprises activities which are longest in length than other activities in the project. Longest path could be made of independent activities, in which the one with the longest duration will be critical. Alternatively, the Longest Path could be made of different set of linked activities, the set with the longest duration is Critical in this case.

You might have wondered, why longest length matters and why does that make the activity to be called critical? Well, the answer is simple. The activities with the longest length require more cost, more resources, more time. Furthermore, these activities have more combined risk, more issues. Considering all this, the longest duration activity / set of activities are called critical activities, and these are also called critical path.

You might have heard that the Critical Path determines the length of the project. Well, it is not always the case. Imagine there is an activity that is neither has a predecessor, nor does it have a longest duration, but it falls at end of the project and is independent. Hence it gives you project finish date. Since this activity is not part of activities that finish before it that includes the Critical Path, we can now not say that your Critical Path is determining the total project duration because the last project activity is not part of your Critical Path.

This type of Critical Path is not often used since it is not very important to look for those activities with more no of resources or more cost/risk/issues, etc. The more realistic type of Critical Path is the one described below and that one should always be used.

2. Activities with 0 Total Float 

This type of Critical Path does not have a name but it is formed when one or more activities have Total Float equals to 0. Before I describe this Critical Path type further, first let me explain what Total Float it

Total Float is number of days an activity can be delayed without delaying the project finish date. In other words Total Float is how much you can move activity forward without letting it cross project Finish date.

So, if your project finish date is for example 31 March and you have an activity with finish date 31 March, it's Total Float will be 0 days because it can not be moved further now. Such an activity will become critical. Now, if that activity has one or more predecessor activities, all these will automatically have Total Float 0, since if any of these moves forward, it will push the last one also, and project finish date will be moved forward.

This type of Critical Path is mostly used and is more realistic than the Longest Path. The engineers and project monitoring staff should keep an eye on activities with Total Float 0, so as to ensure these do not delay, since delay in these activities mean your project will be delayed.

Tags: Different Types of Critical Paths, Critical Path in Project Management, What is Critical Path

Solar Powered Cars Information

Solar Powered Car History

The very first solar car was invented in 1955. It was a 15-inch vehicle that was created by William Cobb from General Motors. 

The first car which a person could drive was built in 1962. A car from 1912 was converted to run on solar energy. In 1977, Alabama University built a proper solar car which efficient and better quality. In 1980 the engineering department of Tel Aviv University created a solar car, which was even more powerful. In recent years, several automobile companies have started producing solar powered cars and these come in a variety of shapes, design and specs.

How Much Light Does a Solar Car Need?

Diffuse sunlight from a cloudy sky will normally provide enough energy for the car to run. However, solar radiation is very variable from place to place, time to time and season to season, which can affect how fast a battery can be charged and power the car. In a well assembled car kit given suitable lighting conditions the solar cell supplies more than enough electricity to spin the wheels and propel the car.

When Will We Finally Be Able To Use Solar Power Cars?

Solar powered cars, boats, racing cars are already there and being used globally. These care will more commonly be seen on roads in near future, and when world's oil will become scarce, production and demand of these cars will increase manifold.

What Types of Batteries are Used in Solar Powered Cars?

Most commonly used lead acid batteries are used in solar powered cars. There are other batteries that but are rarely used, such as Nicad (nickel cadmium), NiFe (nickel iron) and some other but these are much more costly than the lead acid batteries.

Also read:

Answering: What is Mark on Track in Microsoft Project?

Looking for information on the 'Mark on Track' button in MS Project? You're on the right page. Here I will explain what 'Mark on Track' is and in which situations we should use it.

What is 'Mark on Track'?

Sometimes, we are in situations that some of your tasks have progressed exactly as planned. Normally, the actual progression somewhat deviates with the target (baseline) but there may be one or more activity that has progressed 100% as planned till current date. For updating these activities, we have a simpler way. Instead of entering their progress in the normal way that takes a few steps i.e. entering '% Complete' / 'Actual Duration' / 'Remaining Duration', you can only click on 'Mark on Track'. By clicking this, you are telling MS Project to complete this activity till today exactly as it was planned. 

For example, you have a 10-day activity, starting on 1st of August and today is 5th of August. If you click on 'Mark on Track' on 5th, MS Project will complete this activity as 50%, and the remaining duration will be changed to 5 days.

That is a good feature of MS Project, which saves your time in updating activities, for the properly executed activities, which have progressed exactly as planned.

I hope this helps.

Solar Car Advantages and Disadvantages

Solar Car Advantages and Disadvantages

Solar powered cars have many similarities to the regular car. They have a motor, steering wheel, seats, brakes and more. Solar powered cars use solar panels to obtain energy from the sun, which is then converted into electric energy for the running of the car. If there is no sun or very little sun light, the car photovoltaic cells on the solar panel will not get energy and so the car will only operate for limited distances.

These cars were first built by some universities then its research and development continued from there. The research on solar powered cars was focused on solar cell design, car power requirement, air-conditioning and heating. The solar panel on a solar powered car contains hundreds of photovoltaic cells. They convert sunlight into electricity. Unlike objects that also use solar energy, solar cars can use different solar cell technologies that often involve monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon and gallium arsenide.

Solar powered cars usually are designed with distinctive shapes because designers' objective is to minimize drag and car weight and maximize the exposure to sun light. The design considerations also involve the safety of the car. Let's read on and find out solar car advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages Of Solar Cars

  • Unlike regular cars, solar energy powered cars are able to utilize their full power at any speed.
  • Solar powered cars do not require any expense for running.
  • Solar cars are quite.
  • Solar cars require very low maintenance.
  • Solar cars produces no harmful emissions.
These were advantages of solar powered cars.

Disadvantages Of Solar Cars

  • Solar cars don't have speed or power that regular cars have.
  • Solar powered cars can operate only for limited distances is there is no sun.
  • If it is dark out for many days, the car battery will not charge and you this can seem as a  problem to many problem. This is the main reason why people don't rely on solar cars.
  • A good solar powered car is expensive. It will cost $200,000 or more.
  • Parts used in solar cars are not produced in large quantity so they are expensive.

These were the solar car advantages and disadvantages. Also read: Components of a Solar Car

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