Category Archives for "Alternative Energy"

Wind generator power rating missing the point?

Alternative Energy

With the push to go green, also in micro markets, much has been made of wind power. Media outlets attentive to the wind energy development have focused attention on the industry and many homeowners have followed suit.

The emergence of many upstart wind companies has advertisers scrambling to gain the attention of would-be consumers in a relatively new market. To this point, advertising has focused mostly on a maximum “output figure.” This to a certain extent has confused consumers, many of which being new to wind energy.

To further confuse matters most companies are purposefully inflating these figures in an apparently deliberate attempt to mislead consumers. In our opinion, the maximum output figures of a wind generator most people are focusing on does very little to describe the efficiency of a particular unit.

That figure does little to relay a conceptual idea to the customer that is useful in making a decision on purchasing a wind generator. Maximum output figures of wind generators in many cases give a snapshot of an expected output at a given moment at the peak of a power curve.

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Sustainability – Solar Energy

Alternative Energy

Solar Is Beating Fossil Fuels

Sometimes it gets a little frustrating to hear opponents of solar energy say continuously that sustainable energy is not ready to be competitive with fossil fuels to deliver all the power our country requires. Well, I know that the solar sector is expanding enormously year after year and that fossil fuels keep on being eliminated.

The solar industry has long ago left behind the cottage industry mentality it had decades ago. Spectacular developments in production technology and funding have helped bring the solar industry to the playing field with coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power. Here are some reasons why solar is already succeeding in beating fossil fuels.

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Green solution for your home

Alternative Energy

The ability to control consumption of electric power, though, may have the biggest impact. One approach is to let utility companies (with the homeowner’s consent, of course) cut back heating or air conditioning, or turn off other equipment, during power emergencies, either over the public Internet or through a direct connection to the utility company’s data network. In compensation, homeowners might receive discounts on their monthly electricity bills.

Or, in a more imaginative scenario, the appliances could regulate themselves as the utility company varies the cost of electricity from day to day or even hour to hour. Either way, the potential for energy saving is substantial.

It’s already starting to happen overseas. Italy’s Enel, the largest publicly traded utility company in the world, expects this year to begin wiring the 27 million homes it serves to allow such remote demand management and other services, using equipment supplied by Echelon, a Sunnyvale, Calif., supplier of building automation equipment and software.

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Renewable Resources

Alternative Energy

Renewable energy comes from sources that may be continuously renewed by nature. Consequently, we will never be running out of these energy sources, that is, for as long the Sun’s nuclear fusion processes continue to provide the Earth with energy.

Here are a few examples:

Solar Power: Solar power is seen as renewable energy as expectations are that nuclear fusion processes that are powering the Sun will continue to generate sunlight for billions of years.

We are capturing the light of the Sun to:

  • Drive steam turbines to produce electricity (the concentration of Solar Power),
  • Heat  homes (via so-called Passive Solar Design or via an Active Solar Heating System),
  • Make hot water (via an Active or Passive Solar Hot Water System),
  • Cook (on a Solar Oven),
  • Distill water
  • Generate electricity by using solar electric (or photovoltaic) cells

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Understanding Global Warming

Alternative Energy

The most debated topic on earth is the issue of climate change. This a universally accepted statement. The system of the seasons is changing, and climatic conditions have become unpredictable.

Nonseasonal rains are being experienced, the earth is getting warmer, glaciers are melting down, and the sea levels are rising. Fertile lands are becoming infertile and diseases are spreading, some fear that life as we know it will be ending soon, just imagine what actions must be taken now to save our planet for next generations.

Who do you think is the culprit of these current situations? Well, in fact, it is us, as we are all humans, aren’t we? It is our own activities that have resulted in the current situation.

So the following questions might come to everybody’s mind:

1. What is it that we have done?
2. What are the effects on our environment?
3. How do environmental changes relate to Climate Change?
4. Can we do anything about it?

To answer the above questions, we need to identify and understand the causes, says Ales Rades from MyCareerTools.com. This will help people appreciate the real problem and allows us to work on solutions.Continue reading

How Will Solar PV Businesses Benefit From The New Incentives?

Alternative Energy

The Claymore MAC Global Solar Energy Index ETF, TAN, had fallen 78% over the past years, but they’re back. Most listed solar companies had fallen from 50% to 87% over that period, but a bright spark, however, was the passed economic stimulus bill which started boosting demand once again. With the extension of the Federal 30% tax credit and the removal of the $2000 cap, homeowners will see the price of solar PV get much more affordable.

And, for commercial developers of solar facilities, the new bill has provisions that would allow them to take the 30% tax credit as a grant instead. Some of the companies best positioned to ride out the challenges of this year are the big market-leading companies with adequate cash in hand. US manufacturer First Solar is one of these companies.

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Wave Energy

Alternative Energy

Wave energy is produced when electricity generators are placed on the surface of the ocean. The energy provided is most often used in desalination plants, power plants, and water pumps. Energy output is determined by wave height, wave speed, wavelength, and water density.

To date, there are only a handful of experimental wave generator plants in operation around the world. The articles on this page explore the world of wave energy and its possible applications.

PowerBuoy

The PowerBuoy is the wave energy device designed by Ocean Power Technologies (OPT). There are two larger scale PowerBuoys currently in development. They are known as the PB40ES and the PB150.

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Wind Turbines – What Are They and What Can They Do for You?

Alternative Energy

When you hear the words wind turbine, you probably think of gigantic structures that generate electricity for big companies. Wind turbines actually come in a variety of different sizes and types. You could use a smaller version of the huge ones in order to generate electricity for your own home or business. There are tons of different ones to choose from and depending on how much electricity you need, you may be able to find the right one for you for less than you think.

So how does a wind turbine work? They generate electricity from the wind. Wind turbines most often come in the form of a windmill and are able to seemingly make electricity from thin air. In fact, they do! With a geared power train, wind turbines are able to generate lots of electricity. Some people favor these machines more than solar panels. They are cost effective and able to pay for themselves within a few short years.

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How Solar Panels Work and What They Cost

Alternative Energy

Basically, the solar panel is a device used to generate energy. Energy that doesn’t require raw materials and, even better, it’s free and renewable.

Going into further details, solar panels are means of capturing and using solar energy. There are two big types of solar panels:

  • Solar panels used for heating
  • Solar panels which use photovoltaic (PV) cells for producing electricity

Solar Panels Used For Heating

These types of solar panels are used for warming the water or the house. Their working process, very much simplified, is the following: the panels capture solar heat and transfer it with the help of tubes to a water flow.Continue reading

Green Living for Beginners

Alternative Energy

Now here are a few ideas for how you can check yourself, without wrecking yourself – or others. And please, if you simply cannot manage to disabuse yourself of your bad habits of thinking, do us all a favor and keep your damn opinion to yourself. When we want to hear from you, we’ll ask you to chime in, but let’s be clear about one thing: this here energy, environment and resource thing is MY generation’s problem to fix, and the same people who got us into the mess will not be the ones to get us out of it. That much we know for certain. So my suggestions:

1. Support the development of clean energy technology. If you feel so inclined, work to get a job in this sector yourself so you can actively contribute to the building of real solutions. Energy efficiency and using less energy is all fine and good, but ultimately we need to have renewable sources of energy, transportation systems that don’t rely on rapidly depleting resources, and ways of managing our garbage and other inevitable excrement of society that doesn’t foul up the air we all breathe and the water we all drink. The only way these jobs, the ones we really need, are going to come into existence, is if we work as hard as we possibly can to create them ourselves.

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