The World Challenge For Renewable Green Energy Technology
You may think that this is the sort of thing that an engineer that works for JPL does on his time off. However, with all of the available information on the Internet today anyone that has ever been able to use a tape measure, and is proficient with a hammer and saw will be able to construct these items with a minimum of effort.
One of the most disconcerting things we face today is the uncertainty regarding our energy reserves. I often think about the future we are going to leave for our children and grandchildren.
The demand of the public for self reliance and cheap, clean, renewable energy have resulted in all kinds of projects and legislation aimed at encouraging the average citizen to take advantage of the technologies out there that will allow them to supplement their energy needs or to become outright independent. The laws that have been enacted even include provisions that force the utility companies to buy any excess energy generated by private citizens.
In this climate, and with the myriad of available materials today, the average person has the ability to construct high output solar cells and wind powered generators. For a relatively small initial investment the person can build a supplemental energy system that will return all of their initial investment in less than a year. Coupled with this incentive is also the fact that many counties offer special tax credits for homes and businesses that use solar, wind, hydroponic, or biomass energy. If you call your local city or county building department you can find all of the forms and information on what is available in your area. You can also find this information on line.
In addition we are also having to pay astronomically high electric energy bills. If you go back a few years you will see that the consumption of energy in American cities has increased exponentially and now the costs we pay for this energy are rising sharply.
However, this has changed in the face of developments on the world market that have forced cutbacks on available fuels used by the utilities in their power plants. Clean air regulation has sharply cut the ability of many of these plants to burn coal or burn high sulpher fuels, and the outrageous prices of oil have driven many of the gas fired power plants out of business.
The incredible fact is that there has been several solutions available to the average citizen for more than 50 years, however, these solutions have never been encouraged by the government and local utilities because of the obvious reasons that the utility companies do not want competition to their supply of power, and the government has usually had a stake in these companies and therefore gone along with their policies.
You may be starting a revolution – but in the end it will be for you and your family’s benefit. You will also be showing the all American notion of being independent and that spirit of enterprise that was in the pioneers that helped build this country. Think of the impact you could have in your community if you were the pathfinder and introduced your friends and neighbors to the benefits of generating your own energy.
As you make an audit of your energy needs you realize that if you remain on the grid you will be handing over a major amount of your hard earned money to the utility company in return for a few basic things like gas to heat up the hot water in the house, and electricity to power up things like your computer, television, or stereo. If you were to take a pair of scissors and cut your energy bill by half or more, you could use that saved money to invest in things like a new computer or a trip with the kids. Sound far fetched?
Do this quick test – get out your last 12 months utility bills and add up what you have spent on electricity and gas. Do the math! Now figure out what that amount would have been if you only paid 50% or even dare to think of 20%. That amount, which can easily be in the thousands of dollars, is a real number. What does it add up to? A week or two of your work salary? The amount it would cost for you and your wife to go out to Vegas for a weekend including some moderate gambling – and still something left over when you came back? Think about it.
Once you have established that you are basically giving your money away for free, then the construction and addition of a solar and/or wind generation system is a no – brainer. You will find that the construction and installation of your system will take you perhaps a weekend or two, but in the end you will have taken your first step towards energy independence and you will see tangible results of your efforts on your very next utility bill. Couple that with the tax credits and grants that may be available in your area and you will be laughing all the way to the bank!
You can be very creative as to what you can use your solar or wind energy to do. A friend of mine has made a solar array that just heats up the pool so that he has been able to disconnect the gas heater and use just the solar heater. Another person I know uses a windmill to keep his security system in his shop powered by way of the windmill charging the storage batteries full time. Even if the power is cut by intruders the system is still active since it is not connected to the power grid. Yet another uses a combination of solar cells and windmill for the batteries that he uses in his lighting system in the back of his barn.
The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. All you need is to take that first important step to energy independence and then let your imagination take wing. Just about any system you have hooked up to the power grid right now can be converted to either solar or wind energy or both. Once you change over to these alternative power sources you will have achieved a change to a reliable and clean energy that will not get cut off because of an unpaid bill.
When you think of your application you have to make the mindset that you are no longer bound by having to work around the constraints of what the utility company wants you to do. Most people end up having several independent systems working together in order to eliminate the possibility of a main system failing thus leaving the entire area without power. Having two or three systems running off of their own solar cells or windmills will allow the home or business owner to be able to stack the cards in his favor in the event of a natural disaster that cuts off the power to the adjoining residents.
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