There are a lot of alternative energy resources that are continually being developed and improved, but here are 5 that you can currently get in on and use for your electricity needs that will also save you money.
Solar is one of the renewable energy resources that’s most associated with going green, perhaps because it allows for a lot of control by the energy user.
Solar systems can be installed on rooftops, shared by a community or built and managed by utility companies.
Although solar power does have an upfront cost if you install your own rooftop panels, switching to solar could save you somewhere between $7,000 to $30,000 over 20 years.
Wind energy could save you money too. The U.S. produces enough energy from wind each year to power 1.6 million homes. As the wind energy industry continues to grow, you can get in on the action by getting your power from the wind.
A study by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) found that, while electricity prices increased by 7.79 percent in most states, the top wind energy producing states saw a price reduction of about 0.37 percent.
Geothermal energy resources tap into the natural heat located beneath the earth’s surface. We can access that energy by piping hot water from hot springs, pumping fluid through underground pipes and pulling hot water up from underground.
The initial cost of installation can be high, but the reliability and efficiency are high. Geothermal energy can end up saving you between 30 and 60 percent on energy costs each year.
Biomass is another common renewable energy source that’s also relatively simple and very old. Depending on how biomass is used, it can be both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.Biomass energy is produced simply by burning organic materials such as wood, crops, algae and other things.
A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that replacing biomass with coal led to savings of between $50 and $150, as well as a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Hydroelectric Power Energy
Hydroelectric power is one of the most commonly used and oldest renewable resources. The most common type of hydro facility is the dam, which releases water from a reservoir that turns a turbines and produces power.
Another type is pumped hydro, which consists of an upper and lower reservoir and is capable of storing energy for later use.
If there’s a suitable water source nearby, a small-scale hydroelectric power station can even be installed in a stream to produce power for a single home, business or small community.
Does the Free Energy Really Exist?
Much has been discussed over the subject of “free energy” because this definition is supposed to stand for energy that can be directly extracted from atmosphere and in vast quantities, without affecting the environment.
The debates have concentrated over whether free energy exists or not and how much it would cost to be used for large scale production; also, controversy has arisen over the terms abundant and efficient; how much do you need to be abundant? How much do you need to become efficient?
The potential in research in this area needs to be exploited to its full maximum, therefore new things need to be uncovered before using free energy.
Free Energy Devices
The term “free energy devices” has been coined to serve for multiple purposes. People use this term to describe a device used to collect and transmit energy from one source to another; it is also used to describe something that collects energy without requiring any fees or even to name machine with perpetual motion.
Though it is needless to say, recall that the machine that produced perpetual motion by using only energy produced by itself was and is fiction, an impossible concept to put into practice. There is no possible machine on earth that is capable of being turned on and then starting to produce its own energy until infinity, without using any resources from the exterior.
Progress in Technology
Technology, however, has advanced over the course of time and new ones have replaced the old technologies, thus giving rise to more efficient devices and less energy consuming approaches.
Nonetheless, no one can until now, come up with the technology to exploit all the free energy in the space and this idea is also something that hasn’t been put into practice until now.
Therefore, we needed to exploit the potential of atoms to create huge energy amounts. This fact become possible in the ’40s when nuclear power proved to all that we can create incredulous amounts of energy. Flying was also fiction until the Wright Brothers were able to fly for the first time at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Zero Point Energy
Those who support the ideas of “free energy” argue that mankind can utilize large amounts of energy coming from the Field named Zero Point. This represents the states where a defined system enters the mechanical state and then reaches a point in which the lowest energy points is located.
Otherwise known as the “ground state”, the Zero Point Energy is also known as “residual energy” because you are using an alternative to generate energy. This idea was initially coined by Albert Einstein together with Otto Stern.
This idea is also used to refer to vacuum energy, when studying quantum mechanics for instance. It is utilized in expressing the idea of empty space. The energy field generated inside the vacuum is attributed to the base of waterfall, according to the idea of one of those who proposed the idea, Hal Puthof. Puthof gives an explanation for the zero point, which basically means that provided that the universe is frozen completely, the energy from zero point would still remain there.
Even so, it is not quite well known whether these implications are merely derived from the fact that this belongs to quantum physics or whether this is the consequence of another phenomenon. Therefore, finding the reservoir for such a big amount of energy is extremely difficult to do and there are also question on how gravity or inertia affect this side of the discussion.
These questions remain to be answered and they generate a lot of interest along the academia because they prove to be enticing challenging to an ever changing world, where finding the right resources of energies would insure the survival or the demise of the environment.
Therefore, mankind needs to make some progress in the category of energy and be able to realistically advance with research. New engineering solutions might be coined in the future to help with the emission rates concerning atoms, molecules, laser research and other potential, interesting topics.
More on Solar Power
Solar power involves harnessing the power of the sun to produce light and heat for buildings and homes. With today’s rising fuel costs, many people are turning to this alternative source of power as a means of heating their homes.
The initial cost of setting up such as system may be more expensive, but the long- term costs are much less expensive.
You already have experience using solar power, even though you may not realize it. Calculators that will operate without batteries as long as they are close to a light source are very common examples.
Greenhouses rely on solar power to help the plants to grow. They are usually constricted of translucent plastic that harnesses the power of the sun and transforms it into the heat and light that plants need.
This use of the sun is not a modern idea. Thousands of years ago the Anasazi peoples used the same technology in their cliff dwelling homes. Adobe homes are another example of how people have used the power of the sun throughout history.
Today this age old technology is called passive solar heating. It simply means that the heat from the sun is collected and distributed throughout a home with using any means of pumping it through.
Different Methods of Solar Power
There are several different ways of collecting and using power from the sun for your daily needs:
1. Photovoltaic roof tiles
These are special tiles that are used on the roof of a house to take full advantage of sunlight. The tiles are the material used for the roof covering and the cells in these tiles trap the sunlight and transform it into electricity.
2. Specially designed buildings
Buildings can have a special design in order to collect the heat radiated by the sun. They usually face toward the sun in order to take full advantage of every second of daylight.
There are large glass windows in every room and in summer, balconies and large trees are used as shade to prevent the entry of too much of the sun’s heat during the day.
3. Heated Water Pipes
Using the heat from the sun to heat water pipes that run throughout the house is becoming the common method of using solar power. The pipes are painted black and placed in a type of greenhouse that will absorb the heat from the sun.
This helps to keep water hot without having to use electricity. Having the pipes running through each room allows the solar power to heat the house in a manner similar to radiation heating systems.
4. Solar panels
These are panels placed on the roof of a home to collect the heat from the sun. They are designed to maximize the light and the heat and in so doing cut down on fuel costs for the homeowner.
Many countries of the world are beginning to realize the effectiveness of solar power, not just in terms of fuel costs, but also in the fight against pollution. There are no fumes or pollutants being released into the air with using solar power.
More on Wind Power
Wind power is nothing but the successful conversion of wind energy into something other useful form, usually electricity by using wind turbines specially designed long blades, shaped such that they can capture the rushing wind and rotate providing for mechanical motion.
It was reported in the year 2005 that the world’s wind power capacity was about 60000 megawatts, constituting about 1% of the world’s present electric power usage. Although not much of this renewable energy is used in the U.S, countries like Denmark and Spain make use of this technology to contribute, in quite respectful doses, to their electrical energy needs.
Modern electric power is generated by converting the rotary motion of the turbines, caused by the wind, into electrical energy by the means of a electric generator. Wind power is used to provide electricity ranging from huge wind farms to stand-alone mills to provide energy for isolated places.
Cost of Producing
It also has to be noted that wind energy is renewable, abundant, mitigates the greenhouse effect, contributes nothing to the air pollution and is reasonable easy to produce. The cost of producing wind power has tumbled down considerably over the time.
It is worth mentioning the fact the amount of wind power being produced in the U.S alone has seen growth rates of about 15 to 20%.
About 1 to 4% of the solar energy is converted into wind energy, while most of it is again absorbed by the vegetation for photosynthesis; the rest of it keeps rushing about at high altitudes and low-altitudes with varying velocities and intensities.
How It Works?
The power of the wind is captured by letting it flow past the turbine blades which in turn induce a torque in the motor attached. The amount of power generated is proportional to the density of air, the area swept by the rotor and the cube of the speed of the wind.
Higher velocities of wind cause more power to be generated, however, all locations no not all always have winds blowing at the same speeds or velocities. It has been noticed that the power is averaged out and most of the windmills capture power in short wind bursts.
Wind power is quite a popular way to economize on the energy costs and most customers in the U.S can opt for some utility power service providers and subscribe to power from these forms of new alternative sources of energy mostly wind energy.
Perhaps one of the most effective ways through which young people can learn about alternative energies would be to use PicoTurbine kits, books or even projects.
This company, called PicoTurbine, is the main promoter of alternative energies, a company that has created awareness throughout the whole world of the numerous benefits of the large scale usage of such energies.
The environment needs to be protected and alternative energies definitely take into account this aspect. Therefore, if humanity wants to benefit from the environment in the future, then active steps of protection need to be enforced.
PicoTurbine devices work on several concepts; for instance, they actively incorporate the knowledge on alternative energies and make sure people are remembered once in a while, of this approach. The company receives a lot of feedback from customers, thus modifying its solutions to traditional energies in a way young people seem to find fit.
Therefore, young people get to put their hands directly on real life situation and be able to make a change. A suggestion the company has received was to conduct experiments on wind energy production, by using the common known picture wire necessary for the heating elements.
PicoTurbines has also noted that when people think about wind energy, they generally conjure up the image of cold energy and therefore, are surprised to see in reality the benefits of this technology.
Group Based Projects
A suggestion for the projects was to give the opportunity to young people to engage into group based projects and thus, conduct their own discoveries and pose their own questions to lead them to the creation of their own, virtual energy plant, capable of producing real time energy.
The groups will then be able to see whether the experiments were efficient and which one of them was able to produce the biggest amount of electricity or the smallest amount of electricity. They could be then able to modify the projects once again and come up with revised versions of what they are working on.
PicoTurbine has even been implemented in school curricula; teachers are now starting to instill in the senses for their pupils the appreciation for the environment and the awareness for alternative energies.
Children are being taught that alternative means solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric or biomass energies that can produce considerable quantities of electricity under given conditions. When combining alternative energies we are decreasing the dependence that countries have our traditional energy derived from fossil fuel.
Alternative Energies vs. Fossil Fuel Energies
Foreign oil supplies are getting more expensive by the day, therefore it would be much less costly to produce the nation’s own importer and if possible, then become the importer of energy. Judging from long terms effects, alternative energies are certainly less expensive that fossil fuel energies.
The company has also encouraged the sales of wind farms as well as solar arrays; these products are penetrating the market at growing rates and they are already becoming best sellers. To give you one example of how time has helped reduce the total cost for certain things, tale photo voltaic cells.
Twenty years ago, they were evaluated at one thousand dollars per cell; now, each one of those cells costs only four dollars. Therefore, economists and specialists in alternative energies have denoted that it is possible to have the kilowatt being sold at one dollar, in 2015. thus, one needs to imagine the extraordinary impact that alternative energies would have on the entire world.
Fossil fuels are starting to use their popularity, mainly because they damage to a large extent the environment and the air we are breathing. Thus, many cases of asthma attacks and pneumonias have been reported recently and the risks of developing allergies is extremely elevated.
Such long term effects can even lead to cancer, therefore, it is advisable to switch to the alternative because this would mean no pollution, more protection to the environment and less money spent on energy costs.