Category Archives: Wind

Careers in Renewable Energy

More companies are making the move into green energy and with those move comes the need for more employees. Those who have a concern for the environment and the future of our energy sources are making the move to companies who share their ideals.

Wind, marine and solar energy are three of the most common forms of renewable energy and those with which most people are familiar. With a real push toward doing the right thing and with many business grants and loans available to those interested in renewable energy research and companies, there are many jobs being created in the renewable energy sector.

There is no substantial difference in the performance of jobs but rather the fuels that power the equipment which operates those jobs. Even web hosting services are using renewable energy sources to run the servers that provide Internet access to millions of companies and individuals on a daily basis.

Green energy is not only safer for the environment but also for those who live, work and play around those energy sources. Instead of the fumes that surround natural gas and oil we can use the sun’s energy.

The Amish have the right idea with many still creating their own source of energy using wind mills. After seeing how successful the wind energy methods can be, many new companies are hitting the scene trying to properly harness wind power and with them they are bringing many new research and operational jobs with them.

Overall, with the government still on board to help those who wish to enter the renewable energy sector, it’s expected more jobs will continue to open up in the industry.

Examples of Renewable Energy Projects Current Underway

Concerns about the future of our environment are causing many companies to look into renewable energy sources. Utility companies in many areas are making concentrated efforts to use renewable energy sources for the power they provide to customers.

They are building new power plants that operate on solar or wind power instead of fossil fuels. While this conversion is quite expensive to undergo, it will provide clean and inexpensive power sources when the projects are completed.

Of course, the government offers many grants and financial options for companies interested in converting. This fact alone can help renewable energy projects continue to grow in number and in success. After all, it only makes sense for companies to convert their operations to renewable energy processes if they will be reimbursed or even compensated by the government for doing so.

In these cases, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. The world benefits and the company can benefit as well. They don’t have to pay for conversion, they can do their part and they often get tax credits for agreeing to do so.

Other companies are taking the initiative to convert to solar or wind power as well. These changes will not affect the way they operate; they simply need to convert their present equipment to accommodate these renewable energy sources.

Colorado State University is working with experts in Denver to develop new and innovative ways to use wind energy. These efforts will not be overnight by any means but they will have a definite effect on the future of our world and its current non-renewable energy sources. There are many other efforts currently in the planning stages throughout the world.

Tidal And Wave Power – The Forgotten Energy Source

There is so much talk about solar energy and even wind energy, it is surprising the idea of tidal and wave power is going by the wayside. Granted, tidal and wave power is not of major interest to those communities which are located on islands.

But, for coastal residents, this could be a prime source of alternative energy. Nevertheless, with the focus being primarily on solar energy, the other kinds of energy generation appear to have been forgotten.

Perhaps it is the fact the federal government is currently looking for the kind of energy generation which will benefit the country as whole, as opposed to the kind of energy creating technology which only benefits small segments of the population. Nevertheless, this step does in many ways discount the contributions tidal and wave power would make, if given half a chance.

Of course, considering it would take significant fiscal infusions to set up a workable plan of energy harnessing, generation and distribution, it makes fiscally a lot of sense to focus on the program which benefits the most number of people.

On the flipside, it is this very need which might just open up the door to private enterprise. If allowed to explore the viability of tidal and wave power as opposed to solar energy, a new industry could take control of a potentially small portion of the overall energy market.

This step would necessitate a company willing to take a huge fiscal risk, able to follow through with technology and innovation, and then possess the right business model to make tidal and wave power and affordable energy product for the consumer.

Small Wind Turbine Options For The Home

Homeowners are looking into alternative energy sources for powering their homes. Solar energy has been around for a while, and if you drive through residential neighborhoods, you are sure to find solar panels on a good many homes.

Yet recently, small wind turbine options have begun to generate some interest, in part because they are considered to be a lot less intrusive than the solar panel options. In simplest terms, the wind turbine is installed on a sufficiently high pole to garner the maximum amount of wind.

Although small wind turbine options have the ultimate goal of lending self sufficiency to a home, the reality holds that homeowners are not yet quite ready to get off the grid. Instead, in areas where the wind frequently goes below seven to 10 miles per hour, the grid is required to supplement the energy required by the home. The more wind there is in the area, the more energy is produced, and the less electricity must be purchased.

Such small wind turbine options are very attractive in coastal regions or areas where wind is a common occurrence. Savings are estimated to be right around 50%-90% of the overall electricity bill, but only if there is sufficient wind.

There is, of course, a downside to the technology. To really realize the full savings possible, the installation of a bigger wind turbine is required, making this a less than useful item for a densely populated urban area. Some homeowners have decided to couple their solar panels with a small wind turbine, thereby maximizing on the space they do have available.

Homebuilt Wind Power Generators

If you’re interested in homemade methods of producing power, you’ll be excited to know a homebuilt wind power generator is not as difficult to build as it sounds. Because the rising energy costs and repercussions are likely here to stay, wind power is very attractive to everyone.

With commercial wind farms being set up all over the world, there is reason to believe the wind power industry is growing continuously. The good news is you can build your very own wind power generator, without commercial instruction.

People have been using power generators for years, to generate electricity. For example, in a car’s alternator the wind turns the blades, they rotate the dynamo and electricity is created. Wind power works in a similar way. The science behind the two is identical but the process is a bit different.

Before building your own homebuilt wind power generator, you’ll need to be sure to gather great instructions. While it’s not difficult to build one, you want to be sure you’re building a good one from the start.

Various instructional manuals will tell you how to build different systems and it will all depend on if you want to build a generator for practical use, efficient wind or for artistic purposes. You likely want to get the maximum power possible.

You can find instruction manuals online or in home improvement stores for very little cost. Once you invest in the instructions and build your own generator, you’ll be excited about the possibilities available to you regarding “green” choices.


Air Breeze Marine Wind Turbine

From: GoGreenSolar.com

Selling Power Back to the Utilities

Selling power back to your utility company can be easy. Essentially you use a solar or wind powered source for energy during the day and it supplies energy back to a grid, causing your utility meter to run backwards.

Then, when it is dark outside or windy, the meter starts to roll forward again. This helps to save hundreds or thousands of dollars each year in electrical bills.

Before you can start to use this type of system, you must contact your local utility company and file an interconnection agreement with them. This gives you the rights and regulations you have to abide by in order to use your solar or wind powered source for energy.

Currently over 40 states have laws in affect stating utility companies must allow some kind of interconnection agreement with its users. Most utilities companies will not mail you a check if you produce more energy than they do.

But, they may agree to roll over the dollar amount you saved towards the next month or a future month when you experience more usage. The government has recently started giving tax breaks to those using solar or wind power as electricity, giving them another great chance to save money.

The problem many people are encountering is solar powering is not stable. With a grid, solar power is transferred into energy. In most cases, only 10 to 15 percent of solar power has the ability to be transferred into use-able energy for sustaining a household.

Wind Power May be the Energy Preference of the Future

Centuries ago large ships successfully utilized wind power for their sea adventures. However, today there are many critics who argue wind power is not consistent enough to power much more than a leisure ship vessel. Thus, it can’t be argued there are many benefits to considering wind power, along with its disadvantages as well.

Being a renewable energy source, wind power is sometimes preferred over solar power. In fact, there are clear lines drawn in the sand between wind power enthusiasts and solar power believers.  With wind being free, available and able to be harnessed it is an ideal source for energy applications.

The major disadvantage when studying wind power as a power source is the unpredictability of wind itself. By nature, wind is unpredictable and inconsistent. There are times where there may not be any wind present at all, which can be difficult to work with when talking about consistent power options.

Another disadvantage to wind power is the manner in which wind power could be harnessed. To harness wind power, mills would be required. Thus, there are many critics arguing wind power mills would damage land much more than the wind power would benefit it.

With enormous clear fields being needed, those who oppose wind power are claiming land would be damaged and littered with the unattractive mills.  In addition, the impact that the creation of wind harnessing mills has on the environment is somewhat questionable.

Lastly, the projected cost for operating a large wind mill is often debated as being more expensive than the cost saved by using wind power.

Skystream 3.7 Grid Tie 1.8kW Wind Power System
Skystream 3.7 Grid Tie 1.8kW Wind Power System

From: GoGreenSolar.com

Pros and Cons of Wind Power

Wind power is derided by those critical of the idea as the kind of power used a couple of centuries ago to power the big sail ships that discovered the American continent to begin. Granted, this is a reasoning which at face value is hard to argue. But, there are also other considerations to keep in mind. The pros and cons of wind power are hardly simplistic.

As a renewable energy source, wind power is sometimes hailed as being the answer to those who are not sure where the solar power debate is going. After all, it is plentiful, available around the world, can be harnessed, and of course makes for extensive energy applications.

Sadly, this is where the list of positive attributes by and large stops. A listing of the pros and cons of wind power showcases that the itemization on the con side is a lot more plentiful. The predictability of the wind, for example, leaves a lot to be desired and it is entirely possible to not experience any wind during certain times.

In addition, the impact that the creation of wind harnessing mills has on the environment is somewhat questionable. There is the clearing of vast fields that must be discussed, the impact on animals caught in the turbines, and of course the aesthetics involved in seeing vast open spaces littered with these contraptions. The cost is also sometimes cited as being too high for the actual energy that may be obtained from the turbines being operated.


Air Breeze Land Wind Turbine

From: GoGreenSolar.com

The Top Four Renewable Power Options

Renewable Energy is energy created from resources that are regenerative - or renewable - meaning they cannot be depleted. These resources are safe for our environment and produce energy without the harmful pollutants and emissions associated with fossil-fuels.

Renewable energy utilizes natural cycles and systems such as sunlight, wind, tides, and geothermal heat to create energy in a form ready for human consumption. These sources differ from fossil fuels in that they can be replenished, and their use produces little, if any, greenhouse gases.

Renewable energy is not that cheap compared to conventional fossil fuel generating plants. The only real alternative to fossil fuels is nuclear energy. Renewable energy is naturally intermittent. Hydrogen provides a means to store renewable energy for times when the sun doesn't shine or the wind doesn't blow.

BioFuels

Biofuel is solid, liquid, or gas fuel made from recently dead biological material, most commonly plants. Biofuel can be theoretically produced from any organic carbon source. The most common by far is photosynthetic plants that capture solar energy. Many different plants and plant-derived materials are used for biofuels. The most widely recognized agri-fuel is corn, used to create ethanol.

Biomass energy is generated by the decay of large masses of plant or animal material or waste which forms methane and other combustible gases. These gases contain chemical energy, which when burned can be used to generate electricity.

Biomass and other combustible renewables and waste account for 11 percent, and nuclear energy accounts for 6.8 percent. Biomass, or the use of biologically derived materials for energy generation, is also considered a renewable-energy source and is carbon-neutral. Agricultural wastes are currently being explored as potential biomass feedstock.

Biomass pyrolysis gas and methane can be burned in reciprocating or gas turbine engines and the heat output readily integrated. Biodiesel and Ethanol production facilities can also become more feasible with integration into this system. The contributions from biofuels are expected to nearly quadruple, growing from 0.5 quads in 2006 to 1.87 quads in 2030.

Hydro

The power of moving water, generated by gravity, whether from damns or tidal waves, can also be considered a renewable resource. Hydro (moving water) accounts for 2.3 percent with all other renewable resources meeting .5 (five-tenths) of a percent of the world's total energy appetite.

Solar

Solar is the most popular renewable energy source in the USA. Solar electric (PV) systems typically do not require maintenance, other than periodic cleaning of the solar panels. PV panel life is typically 25 years. There are a variety of technologies that have been developed to take advantage of solar energy. These include concentrating solar power systems, passive solar heating and daylighting, photovoltaic systems, solar hot water, and solar process heat and space heating and cooling.

Wind

Wind turbines are usually constructed in the windiest areas, although there are many locations throughout the United States and the rest of the world that are suitable for wind power production. Wind energy is an intermittent source since wind does not blow at consistent speeds and times. Wind turbines use blades to collect the wind's kinetic energy. The wind flows over the airfoil shaped blades causing lift, like the effect on airplane wings, triggering them to turn.

The shortfall in the world’s energy needs can only be made up by renewable sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal, along with the other non-fossil, non-renewable fuel sources of energy, nuclear.

However, renewable energy sources will be unable to satisfy the predicted increased energy needs and certainly will not be able to replace fossil fuels entirely, even for electricity production alone.

Big Ideas for a Small Planet Video – Power

This episode explores the booming field of alternative energy as it introduces several individuals who are working to develop clean, renewable energy from resources like the sun... 25 Minute Video - A Very Good Overview of solar, wind and geothermal power options.