Wind Energy Basics

May 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

This video provides an overview of the National Wind Technology Center and its research. Video produced for NREL by Fireside Production. We have been harnessing the wind’s energy for hundreds of years. From old Holland to farms in the United States, windmills have been used for pumping water or grinding grain. Today, the windmill’s modern equivalent—a wind turbine—can use the wind’s energy to generate electricity. How It Works Wind turbines, like windmills, are mounted on a tower to capture the most energy. At 100 feet (30 meters) or more aboveground, they can take advantage of the faster and less turbulent wind. Turbines catch the wind’s energy with their propeller-like blades. Usually, two or three blades are mounted on a shaft to form a rotor. A blade acts much like an airplane wing. When the wind blows, a pocket of low-pressure air forms on the downwind side of the blade. The low-pressure air pocket then pulls the blade toward it, causing the rotor to turn. This is called lift. The force of the lift is actually much stronger than the wind’s force against the front side of the blade, which is called drag. The combination of lift and drag causes the rotor to spin like a propeller, and the turning shaft spins a generator to make electricity.

Solar Panels – How to Make a Homemade Solar Panel

May 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar – How to Make a Homemade Solar Panel Solar panels, unlike before, are cheap and easy to install with great efficiency. With this advent, you can save big money as well as help save the environment. A DIY kit is available and has an easy to follow instruction with them. What you need is some simple tools and you’re done. Here is your guide to make a homemade solar panel 1. First, you must know the loads of your solar panel and the package that is affordable to you. One watt of solar panel module will coast you about and a 200 watts module is around 00. If you need more power, you can connect this to form a collector to produce your desired power needs. Electrical connections are made in series to achieve a desired output voltage and/or in parallel to provide a desired amount of current capability. 2. After selecting the solar panel modules, you need a charge controller which is an important system component that regulates the voltage generated by the solar panel. This will regulate your power and provide protection to the batteries from being over or under-charged. 3. Next, you need a solar inverter this will convert 12 volt DC (direct current) from solar panel to 125 volts AC (alternating current) which will feed your appliances. Some high end inverters combine an inverter, battery charger and dual transfer switch in one package. 4. Batteries are needed if there is no sun or there is a blackout in your area. Typically, lead acid batteries are

A Look at Floating Wind Farms: Harnessing Offshore Energy

May 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Complete Premium video at: Habib Dagher, Structural Engineering Professor at the University of Maine, describes the concept of offshore wind turbines that float in deep water. Currently, the only fully operational floating wind turbine in the world is located in Norway and serves as a model for a planned offshore wind farm in Maine. Ironically, engineers borrowed the design from floating oil and gas rigs. —– Habib Dagher, the Bath Iron Works Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Maine, is the founding director of the AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Established by the National Science Foundation in 1996, the interdisciplinary AEWC Center is a world leader in the development of cost-effective, high performance hybrid composite materials for construction applications. The center recently received million in funding from the Department of Energy for the development of offshore wind energy off Maine’s coast. – Chautauqua Institution Dr. Habib Dagher is Professor of Civil/Structural Engineering at the University of Maine, Bath Iron Works Professor of Structural Engineering, and founding Director of the AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center.

Wind turbines and health problems

May 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Windmills may be an environmentally friendly alternative energy source but they also cause debilitating health problems, say people who live near them. Wind turbines are popping up in rural communities around the world, including Canada, in the hope that they will reduce reliance on coal and other sources for power. Currently, there are about 1500 turbines across Canada and there are plans to build another 1000 to 1500 in the next year. But some residents who live near wind farms complain the turbines cause a number of adverse health effects, such as crippling headaches, nose bleeds and a constant ringing in the ears. Helen and Bill Fraser initially supported the nearby wind farm in Melancthon, Ont. One turbine sat close to the Fraser’s kitchen window. “We thought, more green energy, this is great,” Helen told CTV News.However, Helen says she developed headaches, body aches and she had trouble sleeping. The dog began wetting the floor at night.

West Wing Week: 4/8/11 or “Windmills? Call Them Wind Turbines!”

April 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

This week, President Obama focused on securing our nation’s clean energy future, making stops at facilities in Maryland and Pennsylvania; met with Congressional leadership, hoping to avoid a government shutdown in the face of budget disagreements; and kept his eye on foreign policy, discussing world events with foreign heads of state.