Friday, January 29, 2010
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
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.
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 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 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
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
- 41. Arkansas
- 42. Missouri
- 43. Louisiana
- 44. Georgia
- 45. Alaska
- 46. West Virginia
- 47. Nebraska
- 48. Alabama
- 49. Mississippi
- 50. North Dakota
- 51. Wyoming
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.
For more information, check out this website: http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes./2009/10/21/main-rhode-island-rise%20in%20efficiency-ranks/