Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Science Fair Project- Efficiency of a Generator

By Chris

Recently, I participated in the Fruita 8/9 Science Fair, and won Best in Show. I also won second place and received a special award from the Air Force Academy in the Mesa State College Regional Science Fair. My project? I built a small hydroelectric generator from a design I found on the Internet. After I made improvements, I tested how the distance from the rotor (magnets) to the stator (coils) affected the amount of electricity the generator produced when I ran it underneath my sink. (A generator produces electricity when magnets move the electrons in coils of water). My results were that the closer the magnets were to the coils the more volts and amps it produced. From this experience, I learned many things, including how electricity is created. In the future, I would like to continue testing with electricity.

Mesa State Regional Science Fair

By Chris

This weekend, Mesa State College hosted its 52nd Annual Science Fair. I participated in the competition so I was around many projects, and I was pleased to discover that there were many projects that dealt with renewable energy. The projects included solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind energy. I also saw a biodiesel project and many dealing with pollution. It is great to see youth concerned with renewable energy, because these teens are the future of America. Keep up the great work!

Renewable Energy In Our Future (2020)

By Wyatt

The United States House of Representatives has passed a law stating that all energy companies are required to produce more alternative energy .15 % of their overall energy must be produced by alternative sources such as wind and solar. This law will not come into action until the year 2020. This bill was passed on a 241-172 vote. Since the White House has a string of objections against this new law they are threatening a veto. One of the Lizard Capital Markets's senior analysts described this bill as a positive step towards better energy cosumption. This bill also requires better efficiency standards for energy companies.

To see more about this law visit

Friday, February 22, 2008

Club 20 meets in April

by Garrett

The Club 20 energy and natural resources commitees split the resolution advising Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commision on some new rules. Charles Derr of the Western Colorado Congress said that there could be a good reasons to delay drilling permits to give standing to residents 500 feet from a proposed drilling site. Current Law represents rights of people living within 300 feet. Club 20's full board meets next April.


Blackle was created by Heap Media to remind us all of the need to take small steps in our everyday lives to save energy. Blackle searches are powered by Google Custom Search.
Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. "Image displayed is primarily a function of the user's color settings and desktop graphics, as well as the color and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen." Roberson et al, 2002
In January 2007 a blog post titled Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year proposed the theory that a black version of the Google search engine would save a fair bit of energy due to the popularity of the search engine. Since then there has been skepticism about the significance of the energy savings that can be achieved and the cost in terms of readability of black web pages.
We believe that there is value in the concept because even if the energy savings are small, they all add up. Secondly we feel that seeing Blackle every time we load our web browser reminds us that we need to keep taking small steps to save energy.
How can you help?
We encourage you to set Blackle as your home page ( set ). This way every time you load your Internet browser you will save a little bit of energy. Remember every bit counts! You will also be reminded about the need to save energy each time you see the Blackle page load.
Help us spread the word about Blackle by telling your friends and family to set it as their home page. If you have a blog then give us a mention. Or put the following text in your email signature: " - Saving energy one search at a time".
Have a look at our energy saving tips page for ideas on steps you can take to save energy.
There are a lot of great web sites about saving energy and being more environmentally friendly. They are full of great tips covering the little things that we can all do to make a difference today. Try Blackling "energy saving tips" or visit a great blog dedicated to environmental awareness.

Contact Blackle - Blackle FAQ
© 2007 Heap Media

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wind energy from middle of the ocean??

by Vinny

For years, tourists and those who live by oceans have complained about the turbines "spoiling the view". Well, no more, since a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created a way to put the turbines in the middle of the ocean. They will do this by putting cement blocks tied to the bottom of it, and a cable running so the turbine can still be above the water. The best part is, Hurricanes and strong winds can't take them down! For more information, go here.

Pebble Bed

Pebble bed is another type nuclear energy. This design of the reactor is for more fuel efficiency and lower risks. Instead of using water, pebble bed uses gases such as helium, nitrogen, and CO2. This doesn't require the steam management process that other nuclear techniques need. This also increases thermal output by 30 - 50%. Pebble bed is used is Germany, China, and Southern Africa. The safety feature of pebble bed is that it produces 1000 times less radioactive gas into our atmosphere. Pebble bed is a greener version of nuclear power.

Mineral Revenue

Posted by Garrett

Rio Blanco and Garfield counties of Colorado, are seeing more obstacles in the natural gas drilling of north west Colorado. County officials are hoping to bring together the two senators of Garfield and Rio Blanco. The federal government is holding money for the natural gas drilling, and both Senators Wayne Allard (R) and Ken Salazar (D) are opposed to the government holding the money for the drilling even though they both have separate ways of doing the drilling. Allard wants the split money to be used in the state's share of mineral royalties, sending it to the state legislature to be used to deal with the effects of the energy boom in Colorado. Salazar wants the money to go specifically to Rio Blanco and Garfield counties.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cool Europe Alternate Energy Map!

by Vinny

I was using a tool called stumbleupon, which searches for sites under your topic of choice. It brought me to a really cool picture that shows where each renewable source would work best in Europe and North Africa. It shows that in the oceans is where the best wind energy would come from, and deserts where solar would come from. Also, it includes some of the other sources, but they aren't as focused as those two, pretty cool!

Holy Bubble, Batman!

By Brandon

Video Clip #2. This is kind of science fiction, but still would be amazing if it could happen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Gasoline + Diesel Prices


Biofuels, also known as agrofuel, consist of three forms: solids, liquids, and gases. Some types of biofuels are: vegtable oil, ethanol, and algae fuel. Some solar energy is captured using vegtable oil because plants capture sunlight for their photosynthesis. Ethanol is based off of the crop: corn. Ethanol is an alcohol that can be found in alcoholic beverages. Ethanol is a substitute for gasoline and it can power such things as cars. Algae fuel is farmed algae that is held under certain conditions to later be turned into fuel.

Texas Oil explosion

In Big Spring, Texas, Monday, an explosion of an oil refinery injured four. The explosion shook buildings at least two miles away. One employee was hospitalized for burns, the other three were treated for burns and released. All workers are accounted for an hour after the explosion. Interstate 20 was shut down near the plant, and 2 elementary schools were evacuated and closed. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

By: Garrett

Solar Satellite

by Rachael
Most people set up solar panels outside and in the daytime store energy but few set up a solar panels to satellites. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Osaka University Institute of Laser Engineering have created a way to capture solar rays in space and transport the energy to be used here on earth. A single unit placed in space would enerate enough energy to power 500,000 homes. The satellite would be launched into stationary orbit 22,400 miles above the equator that would collect solar energy and convert it to a laser beam to them be sent a earth-based station. This way solar energy can be collected 24/7. Testing will start on Feb. 20 and the project is scheduled to be completed in 2030. For the whole story visit

Gulf Stream energy

By Rachael
Most people have heard of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal. But few people have heard about using natural rivers to power turbines. In Flordia, researchers are pondering the possiblilty of using the Gulf Stream to power turbines set up under water about 30-40 feet below the surface where the stream is strongest. Researchers are installing a small test turbine in a couple of months and if all goes well they could be putting more in. They are seeing the possibility of 24/7 power that could furnish 1/3 of all of Florida’s energy. For more information about Gulf Stream power check out

Fast Ways to Save Energy

By Rachael
When I was searching for easy ways to save energy I found a great website. This website has easy ways to cut down your electricity use and cost. Most of the things on the list can take a few seconds and make a huge difference in your electricity use for example by closing your curtains at night it helps keep the cold air out which then means it doesn’t take so much energy to heat your house during the night. Then during the day to leave your blinds open so the sun can help heat your house.
Another great idea that they suggested was to plant a tree in such a location that the shade helps cool your house. Not only is this great for the environment but it’s also a fantastic way to save energy.
Here’s the websites URL if you wanted to find some other great ideas on saving energy throughout your house.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Solar Sailor

By Landon

One of the most awesome sights in the Sidney Harbor is the fully solar-powered ferry known as the "Solar Sailor." This boat, designed by Robert Dane, uses both solar power and wind to reduce it's emissions to half of standard ferries. This Ferry uses a flexible solar sail, Which is almost like a pair of wings. When the weather is good, the solar panels on the wings can travel by the rays of the sun. Likewise, when there is a storm, the wings can "fly solo." The wind will push the ferry along.

New Advances in Amtrak?

By Landon

Deep in the pages of President Bush's 2009, 3.1 trillion dollar budget lies a 40 percent cut in funding for Amtrak. He plans to only fund it with 800 million dollars of the money he is allowed. This cut is so deep that it could slow the quasi-government interstate passenger rail service to a halt. Many people can't afford this. The next president following in Bush's steps must not allow this to happen and provide more funding for this train service. A question comes from a previous article. Where is all of this money going? With all of this money going to who knows where, our economy will also slow to a stop. Somebody better step up and take control of the country!

Energy Forum and Expo

By Chris
If you are free Friday February 22, you may want to head down to Two Rivers Convention Center for Grand Junction's Third Annual Energy Forum and Expo, from 8am-4pm. Its purpose is to showcase and examine Western Colorado's role in moving towards renewable forms of energy as well as showcasing the latest innovations in the developement of hydrocarbons. Throughout the event, vendor exhibits and informational booths from local companies will be displayed. The public will leave the forum and expo with an increased awareness of what opportunities face Western Colorado as the epicenter and a key contributor to our nation's energy supply. Don't miss it!

Solar Vistas in Costa Rica

by Caden

In the small but beautiful country of Costa Rica, great luxurious houses that are extremely enery efficient are being built. These houses are called the Solar Vistas. Located in Malpais, these homes are being built on 12 acres of hilltop land. Along with the arcitectural beauty of these homes, they are completely powered by solar energy. The designs will maximize shade which will primarily cool the structures. These vistas will be a top location for American retirees looking to move out of the country. This is a great step in a greener world for all of us. To see more about these vistas go to the company website

Presidential Candidates Are Not Pushing for Alternative Energy

by Scott
By this time in the presidential race, the leading candidates are not focusing what- so-ever on the matter of renewable energy and new forms of energy. A few have only just touched on the subject. In my opinion, the candidate that starts on a larger push for alternative energy will catapult way into the lead of the race. The three leading candidates, Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, and John McCain are all senators, which gives them power in Congress. I think it would be a great idea for any of the candidates to bring up the idea for a large reward for the company or person who comes up with a fuel scource that completely gets America off of oil for good. This would give the candidates a good reputation with America.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Goodbye Gas Tax...Maybe?

by Caden

Every time that you fill up your tank with gasoline you are paying an average of 40 cents per gallon in just state taxes. Colorado republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has an idea to get rid of the state gas tax and replace it with a 1 cent sales tax increase. This idea sounds great or is it? For a gas-guzzling hummer driver it is a good idea but is it fair to increase tax for a hybrid car driver or somebody that doesn't even drive at all? If this bill were to be passed it would generate 30.5 precent more tax money than the current state gasoline tax revenues which would supposedly go to road improvements. This plan would not do anything to the 18.4 cent federal gas tax that is requiered for every gallon of gas sold in america. This plan would have to be aproved by voters so ask yourself, is it right?

Wind Energy

By Wyatt
Wind energy is air in motion. Uneven heating in the Earth’s air causes wind. Capturing this air and converting it into energy with turbines produces wind energy.
In a wind turbine wind makes the blades rotate. As these blades rotate, a generator is powered which creates energy that can be stored for later use.
Wind energy is environmentally safe because it uses natural resources that do not consist of burning fuels or gases to create energy. This energy type is easy to use and doesn’t require care. All that is needed is for someone to set it up then it can work from there.
The placement of a wind turbine is the most important step of all. Wind turbines need to be placed where they can receive large amounts of wind. However to much wind could destroy the blades of the turbine. Wind speeds exceeding 20mph can completely destroy wind turbines.

Sugar for new fuel?

by Vinny

In the near future, expect to see sugar being sold at gas stations more often, because this could be the next thing. Two scientists from the University of Massachusetts have made a battery that can gobble up sugar in order to convert the energy from it, into electricity for the battery. A little bit of sugar can keep the car running smoothly for a good 25 days, where you just put some more sugar in, and presto, your on your way. For more technical information, go here.