Archive | May 2016

Being Economical With Renewable Power

It’s a much better idea to use renewable energy sources, or live “off the grid.” This can seem scary or radical, but it is a great way to save money. It is also a good way to help save the environment, as fossil fuels are damaging both when they are extracted, and when there are in use. Caring about the planet, and your wallet, is definitely a good motivator to make use of renewable power like solar and wind power.

In fact, solar and wind power are the two most common options. Many people who live in windier areas are able to create wind turbines to generate power. These are also commonly referred to as windmills in many cases. These can be large, or small depending on how much power they need to emit. The downside to these is that you need a large area to build them that is free from obstruction of the wind.

Solar power is also incredibly common, and is a good alternative for those who do not live in an area that is windy enough. These make use of photovoltaic panels in order to convert the solar energy into energy you can use to power items. You have to keep in mind that solar energy can be limited, and not as powerful. Still, it is fairly reliable and very popular for a reason.

Now, you can certainly purchase a wind power generator or solar power panels through companies who make them. You will end up spending thousands of dollars, which can be difficult to swallow. It is becoming a much better option to make these items yourself! This can seem overwhelming, but it is actually easier than you think. In fact, most of the materials are available at your local hardware store. Others are available online — and you can even get certain components for free, or for a massive discount.

It’s time to ditch your utility bill and become more economical by using renewable power. You’ll be helping to save the earth, and saving money over the long run by using one of these choices.

Make Your Home Energy-efficient Before Installing Your Own Wind/solar Power System

So you’ve been looking into creating your own electricity for your home? That’s Great! There are renewable energy sources all around you that you can easily tap into. Whether you are considering this option to save money on your utility bill, or doing your part to reduce your individual use of non-renewable fossil fuels, you will ultimately accomplish both!
There are a few steps, however that you must follow to be certain your home is energy-efficient for the coming Winter. Otherwise, what’s the point?

– Seal Duct Work

The number one way to conserve energy is to seal all duct work. Go crawl up into your attic or crawl space and check for leaks at joints and intersections. Then seal ’em up with foil-backed tape or silicon caulking. Be careful! Don’t go fallin’ through your ceiling…

– Check your Thermostat!

Duh! Of course keeping your home all nice and toasty would be wonderful, but what’s wrong with wearing a comfy sweatshirt or somethin’? Lower your thermostat to around 60 degrees or so when no one’s home, and keep it at 65-70 otherwise. Also turn it down when ya go to bed. Ah, I love sleeping under my thick down comforter in Winter. That’s some good sleepin’!

– Fireplace are nice, but…

Fireplace are nice and romantic, aren’t they? Yeah, having a fire lit, sippin’ on a glass of wine, enjoying a nice conversation, or reading a book is somethin’ we all enjoy, but impractical for home heating purposes. The open flume allows cold air in even while fire is goin’! Seal it up after the moment passes!

– Weather Stripping!

Be sure to check around all doors and windows for air coming in and escaping as well. Use weather stripping to seal it up. If your around your windows leaks pretty bad, you might want to use that canned foam insulation stuff, and/or put up plastic window weather sheeting.

– Other Entry/Exit Points to check

More places to check and seal up are around plumbing pipes going through the wall, electrical outlets, light fixtures, etc. Use the proper insulation product! Check your hardware store and just ask your friendly clerk!

– Lower Water Heater Temperature

Lower your water heater to around 120 degrees and you will dramatically reduce the amount of fuel needed to keep the water heated. I mean, do you really need scorching hot water? Also, insulate the water pipes coming out of the water heater a few feet at least.

– Unplug All That Stuff!!!

Turn off all things like televisions, computers, etc…when not in use, Obviously. But also unplug all kitchen appliances such as toaster, coffee maker, microwave, whatever. They drain energy all day long sittin’ there unused. Plug ’em into a power strip. It makes it alot easier. Just flip a switch! Oh yeah, about those out-dated light bulbs: What’s wrong with you? Use the new, energy-saving types. They last longer and use less power. True, they cost a heck of a lot more, but last so much longer, it’s actually saving you money in the long run. Almost forgot to mention that!

I have put considerable effort into weather-proofing my home. But that was just a start, because then I built my own homemade solar panels and even a small wind turbine proudly sits in my backyard! I couldn’t believe how easy it was to build and install my system. But you must follow these steps to help make your home as energy-efficient as possible, before you even think about building your own solar or wind power plant! And welcome to the Renewable Energy Revolution!

How Wind Energy Works: All The Facts

In reality, wind energy is a form of energy from the sun, as winds arise when the surface of the earth is heated by rays coming from the sun. The earth’s surface is irregular and consists of flat land, hills and mountains with masses of water and oceans. These are impacted by the solar rays in different ways. The heating effect is therefore different according to different areas.

The differential of warm air and colder air causes wind flows. Wind flows are in effect wind energy. The wind energy was used in times gone by sailing ships in order to propel them across the ocean, for pumping water from wells and also for grinding corn and wheat. Although some of these uses persist, power generation through wind turbines is the focus of modern wind energy.

The wind turbine can be likened to an electric fan, although the working principle is exactly the reverse. Electricity is used to make the blades of the fan turn around, but it is wind that turns the blades of the wind turbine, which then produces electricity. The wind turbine blades are in fact connected to a shaft, which in turn turns a wind generator to produce electric current.

Today’s wind turbines are typically in one of two categories: either vertical-axis type or the horizontal-axis type. It is the horizontal-axis type, which is more common in terms of machines for generating electricity. The assembly in general of a wind turbine is done by putting together the following parts. Firstly an anemometer which is responsible for measuring the speed of the wind and transmitting this information to a controller. Thereafter, the controller which will operate the turbine in speed ranges of winds from 9 to 18mph and which will shut it off if it goes beyond 55 mph as higher speeds could cause damage to the system.

Wind turbines function by the wind blowing on blades and there are typically two or three for each turbine. The wind power lifts and rotates the blades as it blows over them. Brakes are often supplied for turbines which can be applied either hydraulically or mechanically to stop the entire rotor assembly if required. The rotor assembly includes both the blades and hub. Within the turbine, the low speed shaft is turned by the rotor at revolutions from 30 to 60 RPM. The high-speed shaft drives the generator, which it is typically a standard model producing 60-cycle AC current.

Wind turbines also have the possibility of further components such as a gearbox to connect the low speed shaft to the high-speed shaft. In doing this the high speed shaft can increase its rotational speed to 1000-1800 RPM. However gear boxes can be expensive items and design trends are now to replace a systems direct drive generators that can produce as much power but at lower rotational speeds.

It is the nacelle, which is mounted on top of the tower, which contains the gearbox, the controller, the low speed and high-speed shafts, and the brakes. This can sometimes be a very sizable assembly, large enough for a helicopter to land on. Turbines are also provided with pitch control, which allows the angle of the blades to be changed while they are turning. The tower itself is made from tubular steel, steel lattice or reinforced concrete to keep the entire assembly secure and functional.

Several variations of the system can be found and further variations are being designed, in order for example to produce more electricity at lower rotational speeds. The fundamentals however remain the same, and it should also be noticed that wind turbine power generation is still in any case dependent on wind availability and wind speed. Otherwise stated, if you don’t have any wind you won’t have any energy.

Getting the most out of a wind energy system is simple if you have the right information. You’ll need to find out where best to locate it, and also how to procure the parts and the batteries without spending too much on them. Wiring the installation correctly is also important. A good guide will tell you all of these things and also advise you about the safety precautions to be taken.