Alternative Energy NetworkAlternative Energy Info & Resources

If you are considering alternative fuel, you are already on the right track you are getting away from fossil fuels which have left permanent damage on the environment. How do you know the best sources of alternative fuels though? What do you consider before you buy?

Think about emissions

The fact that it is alternative fuel does not mean that it will not have emissions. There are many different kinds of alternative fuels and some of them, although better than fossil fuels, may have emissions. Since the whole point is to cut down on pollution, you should look for alternatives that give them at a minimum.

Is it a renewable resource

Coal was not a renewable resource, and when in was used in the industrial era in the 19th century, it got depleted, forcing the world to move to oil. Oil is fast running out as well. You see a trend here the fuels that most damage the environment seem to run out. Your source of alternative fuel should as much as possible not deplete.

Biodiesel, for example, is a great alternative fuel because of minimum emissions, but look at its source. Large tracts of land that are currently dedicated to food would have to be turned into biodiesel farms not a good source because it takes away. Solar, on the other hand can never be depleted. The amount of solar that the earth receives in a single hour is equivalent to all the energy that the world uses in two years. This means that even if our energy needs were 10 times as high as they are now, solar would still be a source that we could never use up.

How much does it cost

Alternative fuels can be expensive. Biodiesel, a good alternative fuel, is costly to produce. Alternative fuels will also affect your machinery and equipment. Your car, for example, would have to change. You household equipment would have to change as well depending on your new source of fuel. Solar energy happens to make it really easy to convert to. So long as it is set up right, the equipment in your house will not have to change. Take all these things into account because although the energy itself may not be that expensive to produce, the resultant cost may be quite significant.

Of all the alternative fuel sources available, solar remains the best. It cannot be depleted, it is easily available and it is cheap to convert to. It may be expensive to make an intial installation, but calculations show that this initial cost is covered by the savings you make from not using fossil fuels.

Bookmark and Share

Do You Believe These Myths About Solar Energy Facts?

There are many things said today about solar energy, particularly because more and more people are looking at it as a way to power their lives. Do you believe any of the things below? Well, read on to see what the truth really is.

  • Solar power is expensive

This is a blanket statement that is made when people look at the installation cost of solar power. It is not true. The truth is that initially, because of the equipment and labor charges, solar power will be quite expensive. After the installation however, your power bill is nil. You will be saving huge amounts of money over the years.

  • Solar power cannot work in cold places

It can and in fact, some of the worlds largest solar power installations are in climates that are cold almost all year round. The truth is that to generate solar power, you need only light from the sun and not heat. This means that so long as there are daylight hours, and solar panels are positioned to get the most of the light, you will be able to generate solar power.

  • Solar power wont work in a big house

This is not true. Whether big or small, what matters is the number of panels that are installed. A professional will tell you how many you need to buy to power up your big house.

  • A solar installation will ruin my roof

Not at all. Your roof will be just fine so long as you get a professional installation. Call up your local solar company to do it for you so that in case of any damage, you can be compensated.

  • The value of my house will depreciate

A big myth, this one. The value of your house will appreciate by up to 20% in the first year alone. Think of how much it will be worth after 5 or 10 years. All you have to do is make sure that the installation is professionally done and is regularly maintained.

  • Once you are on solar, you lose your grid rights

Not at all. In fact, its the rare occasion when a home will go directly from it grid to relying completely on solar. Most migrate gradually, relying on both solar and the grid. If you are not sure that solar will work for you, this is one way of testing it in your home. Ask your electricity company to keep you on grid and have a solar installation professionally done.

Of all renewable energy sources, solar has the most advantages. It is abundant, it is cheap and it will work just as well as electricity. Now that the myths have been debunked, go ahead and install solar for your heating and lighting needs at home.

Bookmark and Share

Are you interested in learning about how solar energy works? Thats great, because you can start to make a difference right away by encouraging those around you to turn to solar energy. Lets quickly see what its all about.

Solar energy is basically using the light from the sun to generate energy or power. This is just like the same energy or power that we have in our home to light the house up, to cook, to heat water and to keep the house warm.

To get solar energy, you need to have solar panels. These are installed on the roof of the house and then they collect the energy that is generated and take it into the house through wires.

There are many benefits of using solar energy

  • You use the sun which can never get finished unlike fossil fuels. The energy that the sun sends down to earth in one hour is equivalent to the amount of energy that the whole world uses in 2 years. That means that in a month, we have enough energy from the sun to last thousands and thousands of years.
  • Solar energy has no pollution. It releases nitrogen, sulphur and carbon dioxide in small amounts that cannot be compared to what we get today from burning fossil fuels. This means that if we turn to solar energy today, we have a chance to reduce the pollution in the environment.
  • Solar energy is cheap. Although a lot of money is required to buy and install the panels, once they are up and running, they cost virtually nothing to power up your house. All you need to do is clean them once in a while.

Did you know that you can build your own solar panels at home today? There are websites that tell you what you need to buy and then how to put it together. Ask an adult to look at them with you and then decide on which is the best. The adult will have to do the shopping with you as well.

The solar panel that you make will generate some electricity, so get a light bulb or something else that is small that you need to power up and see how solar works.

To power up a house, you need many more solar panels. A professional usually comes and measures the size of the house and then decides on the power needs. He also looks at how much electricity you are currently using so that he can know the number of solar panels that will be required.

If more and more people move to using solar, it will be cheaper on all the world, there will be less pollution and we will be using a renewable source of energy

Bookmark and Share

Hydroelectric energy is the cheapest form of energy ever invented because the raw material is water which is readily available. The biggest drawback over the years has been the cost of set up which is relatively high. Private investment into the sector has been on the low for this reason. The costs include securing a large piece of land and buying construction materials as well as hiring contractors to build the plant.

A hydroelectric power plant must be set on a course of water like a river for continuous water supply. Getting such a place can be hard especially due to the current environmental and land laws. A water reservoir is required for holding the water and giving it a head. The water falls from a height and the kinetic energy is used to drive turbines. The mechanical power generated by the turbines is then converted to electricity in the power house. The electricity is then supplied to consumers through a national grid.

Dams must be constructed on the rivers course to help hold enough water to give it enough head and for use when the natural supply runs out. The dams have gates which open when the supply of water exceeds dam capacity and flooding starts. The gates are built as a form of protection against the force of water which can be very dangerous. The pressure build up can be so much and can even damage the dam. The water held in the dams can also be used to supply the people living nearby with water for irrigating farms.

Qualified staffs are required when setting up but once the hydroelectric energy plant starts running then only a few experts will be required to keep in operation. The running costs are very little compared to the amount of power given out in return. Globally, 16% of power production comes from hydroelectric energy which is the highest percentage compared to all other sources.

Once it has been set up, the guarantee is usually over 25 years of service before you might require to repair or move to new grounds. Due to the large cost of set up, most hydroelectric power plants are owned by the government of the respective country. The best thing about the power plants is that the supply can be regulated according to how the demand rises or drops and therefore no resources go to waste because they are only used when required.

Some innovative people have gone ahead to set up micro hydroelectric energy plants for personal uses. The power is enough to cover all their needs like even running some low powered machines. This is the best form of energy because it is very environmental friendly. It does not pollute the environment with carbon emissions associated with other sources like diesel power.

Bookmark and Share

The best way to learn about Hydroelectric Energy is simply getting in mind all that it entails. This includes the facts, benefits as well as its demerits. There’s a lot to know about when it comes to any form of renewable energy. Hydroelectric power is a form of energy that is generated from flowing or falling water, usually a waterfall or man-made dam. This is the extensively used form of renewable energy all over the world. It contributed to around 19% of overall electricity consumed globally.

 

There are various methods of generating hydroelectricity. The conventional method, which involves dams, is the most applied one. The dammed water is used to drive some generators and water turbines to produce power. Other generating methods include the pumped-storage method, underground, run-of-the-river and the tide method. All these methods involve different principals to generate hydro energy.

 

Hydroelectric facilities can range in size and capacity, which is usually from large to medium and small plants. The difference between these facilities is defined by the amount of electricity each can produce. Large plants are considered ones that are capable of producing up to 10 GW and are used in serving big areas such as countries and cities. Small hydro facilities are capable of serving an industry or community while a Micro-hydro can serve a home or a small community. The smallest hydroelectric energy plant is known as a Pico, which produces 5 KW or less. This serves remote areas that require little electricity.

 

The other important area to learn about hydroelectricity is on its benefits. This is one of the cheapest forms of renewable power available. The cost of constructing hydroelectric plants is minimal compared to others while consumers get it at affordable costs. Hydroelectricity is also flexible and reliable as it does not rely on infinite natural resources like fossil fuels. The most convincing factor is that hydro power is friendly to the environment. It causes no pollution as it does not emit harmful gases to the atmosphere. There are way many other benefits involved with this form of energy.

 

Hydroelectric energy suffers some disadvantages as well. One of the most frustrating factors is that of damage of sceneries and loss of land. This is usually when constructing large dams which require quite a big space. In some cases, it leads to distraction of wildlife and people and affects marine life. The cost of building a dam is high in most cases. Such factors as diverting rivers, material required and safety measures while constructing lead to increased cost. Generally, impact to the environment is simply the greatest disadvantage associated with hydroelectric plants.

 

Considering hydroelectric energy is though good for a better future. This form of renewable energy is surrounded by great benefits for consumers and generating companies. Hydroelectricity is among the oldest forms of energy yet very productive up to now.

Bookmark and Share

Are you thinking about different kinds of alternative energy and cannot make up your mind about electricity? Well, look at some of the common misconceptions below to see what is and what is not.

  • Small streams cannot be used to generate power

Not really because to produce energy, you need water to run fast or from a height so that it can turn the turbines. No matter how small a stream is, if it has sufficient water flow or has a drop that gives the water speed, it can be used to generate electricity.

  • You need a reservoir to generate electricity

This is not true. An open stream can generate electricity so long as the water is flowing with the required force. The water will run into the generator and out back into the stream. If electricity requirements are not very high, this is a great way of generating small quantities with minimum impact on the environment.

  • Hydro power plants damage the environment

It is true that the construction of power plants will do some damage to the environment, especially the fish stocks in the water. To combat this, there are regulations requiring that water is kept at certain levels. There may also be the problem of the actual construction, the dumping of the soil. This is also combated using regulation.

  • The electrical charge produced from rubbing something on your hair can charge your battery

Not at all true. Your hair will generate some electricity if you rub something plastic in it, but it is so little that it is of no use really. Phone batteries are charges using the king of power that you find in the regular electrical system.

  • Small hydro power plants are not reliable

Only if they are put up using substandard equipment or if maintenance is not done regularly. It can also be unreliable if water levels fluctuate downwards all the time. Otherwise, a small power plant is just as reliable as a big one, and even comes recommended in remote areas where the main power generation stations have problems with access.

  • The water running from your tap can power your lights

This is not true. You need much more than that, and at higher velocity. A micro turbine would not even turn with the water from your faucet.

As you can see, there are many myths about hydro power, but it still continues to be the number one source of alternative fuels in the world. The only problem though, a kind of irony, is that it needs fossil fuels for it to be generated. All the equipment runs on diesel, and you can therefore not have it without using fossil fuels first.

 

Bookmark and Share

Today, plenty of alternative energy sources are coming out and being promoted to the public. Of course there are still many who are hesitant because they are not used to the alternative kinds. Most of them are asking, “Why use alternative energy?”

There are several reasons that support the importance of going for alternative energy especially in our modern world

1. People nowadays are beginning to experience the negative effects of climate change. Were you aware that in the United States alone, car emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide make up 27% of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the country? When petrol is burned, we also release sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon monoxide up into the air. These substances contribute to air pollution and are detrimental to our health and to the environment. If we do not take action now regarding the current condition of Mother Earth, it will not be long before climate change causes different forms of destruction to our planet which we cannot control in any way.

2. Generally, petrol as car fuel is not good for the environment. The same goes for the power plants that are commonly used for electricity. This is why at the moment, there are already some homes and physical structures making use of solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal power systems in order to help save our planet and to eventually lead to healthier surroundings for everyone.

3. The oil reserves of the world will not last forever. Oil is a finite resource, which is why it is essential for us to start using alternative types of fuel and energy. For instance, when it comes to driving cars, there may come a time when the ordinary or popular type of fuel cannot be produced anymore because of its lack. Take note that as time goes by, the oil reserves are lessening while the number of cars in increasing.

3. Another important consideration is the monetary cost of energy. Why use alternative energy? Simple. It is cheaper in the long haul. Imagine the savings you could generate if you had solar panels in your steel building office instead of regular electric power. Imagine if your car, which you use daily, ran on ammonia which is less expensive than gas. Certainly, you will be able to scrimp on expenditures and instead allot your funds for something else.

So why use alternative energy? These are just some of the main reasons for it. What’s important is for us to begin now than be sorry later for the adverse effects of not going for alternative energy.

Bookmark and Share

The traditional sources of energy are generally non renewable and suffer a threat of depletion. This has been evident with deforestation occurring at a very high rate since most of the people have been using wood and charcoal as their source of energy for centuries. If man does not renew this energy source through planting other trees in place of the ones cut, this will be detrimental to the earth since it will destabilize the ecological balance. Coal is also non renewable and so is oil.

This realization has made the world try and look for ways in which it can substitute these traditional sources of energy with the alternative sources. One such source that has been in use for several decades is geothermal energy .Geo stands for earth while thermal stands for heat so geothermal energy is the type of energy that is generated from the earth. For the generation of this energy to be possible, two things are required water and heat.

Excess rainwater seeps down the earth and reaches far down the earth/s surface. The heat that is present in the interior of the earth may sometimes heat this water that has sipped into these interior surfaces of the earth and if this water that is heated finds its way to the surface of the earth through fissures, it may be in form of steam or hot water.

The energy from this heated water or steam is the one that will be used to drive a turbine which will in turn spin the generator to produce energy.

This energy from the earth is referred to as a natural source of energy since both the heat from the earth and the water from the rain is naturally occurring. Water is naturally renewed by the rain and the heat from the earth is naturally renewed by being continuously produced from the earths interior.

The world is being continuously encouraged to use this type of geothermal alternative energy in a bid to reduce the pollution that occurs from the use of the other non renewable sources of energy and also for the reduction of production of greenhouse gases.

When the generation of geothermal energy is done in the right manner, it gives clean energy free from any pollutants. Although the initial investment of constructing a geothermal power plant is high, the returns are quite high also since it is self sustaining and it does not require a lot of money to operate it.

Bookmark and Share

There are a lot of good alternative fuel sources for automobiles out there.  Corn based ethanol and E-85 may be one of the most controversial alternative fuel sources for automobiles out there.  The truth is though that E-85 and corn based ethanol fuel pumps may be the most readily available alternative fuel source for a person’s car.  The push is to put in these pumps was lead by farmers and alternative fuel advocates who did see some potential wealth coming their way through this process. People certainly like the concept of the electric car as well, they like the fact that the car is so quiet and people can really enjoy the fact that the car has very few emissions.  The one major con associated with the electric car is the miles per recharge issue, but people continue to make different adjustments with those forms of technology. The Midwestern United Stats is certainly ahead of many parts of the world when it comes to alternative fuel sources for cars. The number of biofuels that can be developed in the Midwestern United States is something that can make a huge difference, many people are focused on the development of biomass and biodiesel for example.  People are starting to learn more about the environment and the entanglements that people get involved in on an overseas basis so they end looking for these alternative fuel sources for cars as a way to help solve these issues. People have to understand that the basic infrastructure is simply not available when it comes to fueling up hydrogen fuel cell technology based vehicles.  Someone has to take the time to set up the gas stations, most people are still going to set up fossil fuel related gas stations because the fossil fuels are still so prevalent and cheap to put together. Alternative fuel sources for automobiles are being developed as people are changing the batteries associated with their cars.  A lot of consumers out there like the technology that has been attached to the Volt, this is not a car that a consumer fuels up in a traditional fashion. Some of the alternative battery technology that people are using within automobiles is something that researchers are even using when it comes to missile guidance technology. People who also focus on alternative battery technology and storage are doing drivers a big favor when it comes to alternative fuel sources for automobile.  The number of alternative fuel sources for automobiles certainly needs to grow.   Certain states and municipalities are in desperate need of new manufacturing plants associated with alternative fuels.

Bookmark and Share

People are still working on good storage sources when they are talking about hydrogen alternative fuel.  The truth is that most people seem to really enjoy learning about how hydrogen can advance in the future and they even learning that hydrogen has some similar properties in comparison to gasoline.   A lot of high pressure systems are being put together because people are still learning about different forms of chemical hydrides and how exactly those properties can fit into the storage process.

One of the biggest problems that the hydrogen industry is running into happens to be the fact that there are very few hydrogen filling stations out there where people can get their cars properly filled up.  The United States has some hydrogen filling stations out on the West Coast. The infrastructure out on the West Coast is still largely tied to petroleum based fuel sources.  The Midwestern United States where there happens to be a large amount of rivers and water sources still happens to be heavily geared to oil and petroleum based sources, this is true even in towns where people can find success with the lock and dam system.

Hydrogen is a renewable energy source.  The truth of the matter is that hydrogen is all around us, we just have to find a way to harness the technology.   The engines within most vehicles are still not conducive to the concept of using hydrogen as an alternative fuel source.  Consumers have to have confidence that if they invest in something that the technology will be in place for them to benefit off of their energy source.

The truth is that hydrogen as an alternative fuel source is something that may take a major investment from governments around the world in order to become truly viable.  The concept of public-private partnerships is something that many people can use in order to properly invest in many alternative fuel sources.   Tax credits are something that some hydrogen and fuel cell companies will end up attempting to take advantage of, but the truth is that these tax credits can be difficult to find and a company may have to hire tax attorneys in order to be able to find these necessary tax credits.

Feedstocks are something that people can use in order to create different alternative fuels.  People often do not associate biomass with hydrogen.  Hydrogen is something that will gain more popularity as more people find the need to use biofuels as well.  Alternative energy can feed off of one another to be perfectly honest.

Bookmark and Share