Friday, January 29, 2010

Smart Strips

By: Chaaya

One of the best ways to save energy is to use a smart power strip. We actually installed them in our school to make it more energy efficient. Personally installing them I know that it's easy to plug daily essentials to it. For instance, you could plug in your computer, phone charger, printer, a fax machine etc. there are endless possibilities. When your not using the computer it basically puts it in sleeping mode and uses less energy. On the strip there are 2 "always hot" outlets where it will keep the object on. Then there is a blue areas this is used for controlling the other switched outlets. By using the smart power strip you cut off the phantom power usage. That way when you are not using you phone charger it will cut off all the power being drained from the charger. This new power strip will make a little effort to saving energy and money!

The Power Of Wind Turbines

By Xena

Wind Turbines are like huge windmills but they are used to generate electricity from the wind. They come in all sorts of sizes and some of them are bigger than Iowa's State Capital which is 84 meters tall. They're rotors can also get to 94 meters in diameter. They take up lots of space; each wind turbine can take up between 10 to 30 acres. In some places like Wyoming there are lots of wind turbine farms because Wyoming is one of the less populated states in The United States. Although they are really big, wind turbines can cost from 2 to 3 million dollars each.

Even though they cost a lot they still generate a lot of renewable energy. It helps the world go green.

So how do they work?

1. Wind blows the blades of the wind turbines

2. The blades are attached to a hub mounted on a turning shaft

3. The wind then goes through a gear transmission box

4. Thet box is attached to a high speed shaft

5. That then generates energy.

What are the possitive things about wind turbines?

1. They generate clean energy

2. It doesn't pollute the air

3. It reduces costs associated with air pollutions

What are the negative things about wind turbines?

1. They're non-dispatchable which means you can't move them to another location

2. They could break down.

3. The wind turbines are so big that in very populated areas they don't have enough room for wind turbines.

Underfloor Heating Devices

By: Deputy Johnson

Underfloor heating is a very efficient way of heating your house in the colder weather. It is cheap to install and no radiators or heaters show. It is easy to install and the heat is dispursed evenly throught the rooms. With typical radiators most of the energy is wasted heating the air towards the roof of the house. The underfloor heating system is unique because it heats the air just above the floor. Then the air cools as it rises to ceiling height so no energy is wasted. Underfloor heating systems are most commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, conservatories, or rooms with tile, wooden, or laminate flooring. It is floor insulation. This underfloor heating system will have a reduced effect on carpeted floors. It is radiant heat so little heat will escape throught the roof or walls.

Geothermal Energy

By Grace

In times when we are becoming more and more conscious of our energy usage and its impact on the environment, geothermal energy is growing in the US and other countries. It is an all-natural, non-polluting energy source. It can be used to heat water, and power some homes.

Below the surface of the earth, hot liquid magma heats up water, which then shoots through the crust in the form of geysers and hot springs, or in geothermal power plants. When the steam shoots up, it causes a turbine to spin, which generates electricity.

We can naturally make geothermal power through geysers. Geothermal power plants are another way to get it. In geothermal power plants, concrete cylinders are injected into the mantle of the earth. Then, workers pour water into the cylinders, and when the water reaches temperatures high enough to boil, it creates steam, which is generated into power.

One drawback is that geothermal power is scarce. In the US, it is only available in California. Although it isn't widely available, it is a useful supplement to other energy sources, and is also useful alone. In Colorado, geothermal power is used to heat the Glenwood Hot Springs Pools.

Energy Tax Credits

By Marengo,

Tax credits for energy are great breaks. There's many ways to receive these credits. All you need to do is purchase a energy-efficient product or a renewable energy system for your home.

The first way to receive tax credits is a biomass stove. This stove burns biomass fuel to heat your home and heat your water. The biomass stove burns agricultural crops or trees, wood and wood waste, human and animal waste, plants, residues, and fibers. This stove's fuel is as natural as it gets and is a great way to manage trash and waste.

Another way to receive tax credit is an advanced main air circulating fan. This fan is a very efficient fan that blows the air that the furnace of your home heats up through the duct system. This needs to use only 2% of the furnace's heat. Air source heat pumps are an efficient alternative to heaters and coolers. These make the warm space warmer and the cold space colder. During the cold seasons this pulls the cold air outside and make the warm air inside warmer and the opposite for the warm season. Since this moves the heat instead of generate it, this pump can produce 4 times the energy they consume.

Next is the geothermal heat pumps. These pumps are similar to ordinary heat pumps, but use the ground to get heat instead of outside air, air conditioning, and most commonly to heat water. Since these use the earth's natural heat, they are among the most efficient heating and cooling systems out there.

Small wind turbines are another way to recieve tax credits. A wind turbine collects kinetic energy from wind and convert that to electricity. This electricity is compatible to a home's electrical system. But these are very expensive and need to be managed regulary.

Last is solar energy. Solar energy can be solar water heaters and just solar panels for all home power. Solar water heaters have several designs and have a collector and a storage tank. It uses the sun's thermal energy to heat water. Regular solar panels are solar cells capture heat from the sun. It then converts that to electricity. These also are very expensive but a great way to get power for if you create more power than you use energy companies will but the extra amount.

All of these are great ways to create energy and get tax credits.

Insulated Curtains

By: Deputy Johnson

If you live in colder climate areas these insulated curtains are a smart inexpensive way to keep your house heated. Insulated curtains are a long term investment, a one time buy that doesn't send the heating bill through the roof. Utility bills are rising and these insulated curtains will save you some money that doesn't need to be spent. These insulated curtains save five times more heat than normal curtains. They use thermaldynamics to keep the heat trapped in and the cold trapped out. Windows are a major source of heat loss in your house. The window deteriorates and leaves small gaps, but these small gaps are enough to cool your whole house. The insulated curtains are a barrier to the different temperatures. Typical curtains provide little protection from the weather. Glass is the poorest way of keeping heat inside and cold outside.

Pipe Insulation

by Greg Ortiz

Pipe Insulation is a great way to reduce heat loss. It increases the initial temperature of the water by 2-4 degrees Farenheit. This allows you to turn your water tenperature settings down. Also if the pipes burst the pipes are contained which doesn't alow as much water to leak everywhere in your house.

Tankless Water Heaters

by Greg Ortiz

Tankless water heaters are a great way to save energy. What they do is instead of regular water heaters is they heat water as it flows through it and not heat water that's in it. My family got a tankless water heater and now we are not using as much water for say showers because before we were having to wait till the water got hot. So we were actually wasting a lot of water and gas becasue it took longer to heat the water because there was so much water in the tank. It not also saves energy but regular water heaters would run out of hot water and you had to wait for more water to enter the tank and heat up. But one thing that you have to be careful of is not to over indulge and take 20 minute showers because you're not really saving water if you do that.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Carpooling a way to save money and Earth by Hezikia

Are you looking for ways to go green and save a little money on the side. Carpooling is an excellent way to do this. The steps to this energy saving techinique are easily done. First you contact everybody who wants to be part of your group then find someone who has a relatively large car like a SUV. Or you take turns using the car. This way everybody is losing a little bit of money vs. one person losing a lot.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wind Energy


Wind energy is a becoming more and more known to the world. It's said that one turbine would take up 2 to 3 acres of land. Transporting the turbines and the all the materials would take a lot of energy but could be a possible thing to save energy and earth in the future. The turbines are spun by the wind which in turn makes the gernerator work. In the generator there is a magnetic feild that spins around a conductor (like a piece of copper). This in turn creates electricity which can be distributied from a wind farm to houses. For an average house if you'd need a 10 Kw generator and it would cost about $35,000 to $50,000. It has actually been around for many years now. Some of the pros of wind energy is that it doesn't pollute the air, renewible, and doesn't use fossil fuels. But just as there are good things there are some that are bad. Wind turbines take up a lot of space, the cost is substancial, and produces noise pollution. Here is a site that shows how wind turbine work if you need more information.

How Fruita 8/9 Reduced Energy Costs By Philip Frank

Here at Fruita 8/9 School, we are also taking steps to reduce energy usage and cost. In order to do this, we have installed two energy saving devices. These are theBits Limited Smartstrip and the Woods Indoor Wireless Remote Outlets. With the Smartstrips, we used them rather than the conventional power strips. These strips had 1 control outlet, 2 constant hot outlets, and 4 automatically switched outlets. We plugged the computer tower into the control outlet, so when it's turned off, it senses it and turns the automatically switched outlets off. The constant hots are exactly what they sound like. You plug the rest of the things involved with the computer, like speakers, monitor, printer, etc. These all turn off when the control outlet turns off. So this is basically like unplugging the switched outlets. In order to show the savings, here are some different elictricity billings from each year.

September 2007/ $12,924

October 2007/ $11,685

September 2008/ $11,620

October 2008/ $11,288

September 2009/ $10,888

October 2009/ $9,933

As you can see from these prices, there has been a $2036 price drop from Sept. 07 to Sept. 09. We also have had a $1752 price drop from Oct. 07 to Oct. 09. This shows that between the power strip, the Remote control shut offs, and other things, we have done a lot to save electricity here at Fruita 8/9 school.

Solar Water Heaters

By Xena
Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems, or Solar Water Heaters are used to generate hot water in your home in a cost efficent way. Like Solar Panels, Solar Water Heaters are generated by sunlight, so it's totally free!
According to "Energy Savers: Solar Water Heaters", the Solar Water Heaters can be used in any climate, weather it'd be in Death Valley, or somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. There are many different kinds of Solar Water Heaters, but there are 2 main kinds, active and passive. But there are many different kinds of active and passive Solar Water Heaters. Either kind of Solar Water Heater you have, they are all energy efficient which means they use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, or Carbon Dioxide. So you could even reduce your electricity bill just by getting a Solar Water Heater. Lend a hand and help the earth go green, simply by getting a solar water Heater.

Biomass: Source for Many Different Energies

By Marengo

Biomass is becoming a popular way to create energy. Biomass is made of lots of things. It is dead crops, tree bark, tree limbs, garbage, sawdust, and animal waste. Biomass gets its energy from the sun. Plants store their energy in their roots and leaves. When we eat Biomass we get energy to move and function. When we burn Biomass we create heat. Also, we can change Biomass into gas and liquid fuels.
Biomass is renewable. We can make Biomass now and grow more plants later. As long as every time we plant trees when we cut them Biomass will always be available. Also, just take care of the crops we grow.
Biomass can produce electricity also. Many towns burn their garbage for energy. Burning the garbage and making electricity is better than having all that trash go into a landfill. Burning trash doesn't pollute as bad as coal or oil burning.
Biomass can also make biogas. Biomass can create an energy rich gas called biogas. Biogas is like the natural gas we use for our stoves and furnances. In China, many people use all of their Biomass (animal waste and garbage) and turn it into biogas. They then put the gas into huge tanks with no air. This gas can be used to cook food and light homes.
Biomass can produce ethanol. Ethanol is a lot like gasoline and is used for vehicles. Like how apples can be made into cider corn and wheat can be made into ethanol. Ethanol cost more than gasoline, but is a lot cleaner and healthier for the air. If people that could afford the ethanol use it, that could help the environment that much. Lastly, gasoline and ethanol can be mixed for a fuel any vehicle can use.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Most Energy Efficient States

Once again, the place at the top of this list is another that I absolutely wouldn't have guessed as the Number 1 state in the country, but it is. At this moment, California takes the spot out of all the states in the country.
Some of the factors considered when "judging" the states were things like utility efficiency programs, building-code policies, appliance standards, and transportation just to name a few.

Following California in the race towards efficiency are:

  • 2. Massachusetts
  • 3. Conneticut
  • 4. Oregon
  • 5. New York
  • 6. Vermont
  • 7. Washington (state)
  • 8. Minnesota
  • 9. Rhode Island
  • 10. Maine
Now, the states at the opposite end of the spectrum are:
  • 41. Arkansas
  • 42. Missouri
  • 43. Louisiana
  • 44. Georgia
  • 45. Alaska
  • 46. West Virginia
  • 47. Nebraska
  • 48. Alabama
  • 49. Mississippi
  • 50. North Dakota
  • 51. Wyoming
And, yes, I am aware that there are only 50 states in the U.S. However, Washington D.C. was included in this ranking, putting the numbers at 51.
Here's a little extra information:
  • Some of the states noted as "most improved" were Delaware, Colorado (Ranked at 16! We're getting there!), Tennessee, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia
  • Some of the states that dropped significantly were Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Georgia and Alaska.
  • Massachusetts seems to be set to try and take away the top spot from California, as they have decided to use $1.1 billion dollars over the next three years to improve their energy efficiency, twice as much as what California is doing and the largest amount in the country.
Here are the rest of the states, rankings shown in the graph below.

For more information, check out this website: http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes./2009/10/21/main-rhode-island-rise%20in%20efficiency-ranks/

By Ninja and Shaneekwa