Renewable Energy - Practical Home Options

As a homeowner, you may be using renewable energy sources. Let's look at a few of these important, powerful sources.

If you use solar powered lights to brighten your walkway, a solar cover on your swimming pool or hang your clothes out to dry, you are already making use of the sun's renewable energy. There are many other renewable energy home options you can take advantage of, and by doing so, help preserve our environment.

The most practical of renewable energy options for the home consist of space heating and domestic hot water. This is over 50% of a household's energy usage. In using renewable energy we can experience cost saving benefits.

Perhaps the best way to take advantage of renewable energy home options is when designing a new house. A southern wall taking advantage of an appropriate amount of windows can take full use of the low sun in the winter. Adding a roof overhang over these windows allow the higher summer sun to be blocked. Also, on a cool day you can open your windows to let a breeze cool off the house and make use of wind energy. You have achieved adding heat in the winter and coolness in the summer, thereby lowering your heating and cooling costs naturally. This is called passive solar heating since it is integrated with no extra costs. You can also do day lighting by taking full advantage of the sunlight during the day to take care of your daytime lighting needs.

Wood stoves can also be advantageous, if using only dead wood, diseased wood or small pellets made from wood chips, crop waste and other organic material for burning. This is a renewable source of heat through the use of space heating. Modern wood burning stoves are highly efficient, making it a more practical option.

A homeowner can also utilize active solar heating. A solar water heater can use renewable solar energy to heat water for a house. This would use solar collector panels placed on a roof. Water runs through pipes under these panels and is heated by the sun. The water travels to a water tank in your home for your use. Electricity can also be produced for a home using the photovoltaic technology. This runs on the same idea as a solar calculator. Solar electricity is ideal for rural homes where it would be difficult to run an electric line to.

Geothermal heat pumps use the heat from the Earth to move heat from one area to another. This system uses a series of underground pipes to move a heat exchange fluid. The heat pump moves this fluid, heated from the earth and transfers it to buildings for use. Initial installation costs are much the same as traditional heating systems, but operational costs are lower.

If you live in a windy part of the country and have quite a bit of land, wind can power a wind turbine to produce electricity for your household. But your location must be ideal to catch wind and you must be able to capture a certain amount for this to work.

These are some home options for renewable energy sources. By trying to utilize some of them we are preparing for our future by using clean energy that does not affect air quality or harm the environment.

More Renewable Energy Articles at Learn how to operate a Successful Niche Website Network with eWebCreator, profitable Adsense Software

Digg Technorati Stumbleupon Reddit Blinklist Furl Spurl Yahoo Simpy

The Endless Possibilities with Renewable Energy for an Individual Homeowner

Have you ever experienced power outages where you live? If you have you must know what a terrible experience that is. If you working on your computer and you haven't saved your hard work you feel like the world is against you when the power dies. You will have no choice but to start over again if you can remember all the hard work you put in. If the power outages last longer that can be a disaster for the food in your fridge. If the power doesn't come up soon you can start throwing food away. All and all the power outages can cause painful problems.

There is a simple solution for power outages and it can be found in renewable energy system. These renewable energy systems are suitable for home owners just like you and me not only for businesses. So, what are the advantages of using renewable energy as the primary source in our energy needs as an individual homeowner? There are several ways to profit from renewable energy.

Flexibility for specific needs

When you decide to purchase a total system solution you should consult a trustworthy business that specializes in renewable energy. When consulting these businesses they can design a total system that is suitable for your specific needs. If you have a home based business you probable have different energy needs then if you have regular job outside your home.
There are different systems to choose from. Be sure to consult a trustworthy business that can really offer you a good service and has been on business for several years. Almost every country or state in the US has specific tax reduction to profit from. These rules differ from country to country and state to state. You will to do a proper research or consult a professional to really profit from a renewable energy system.

Cutting Cost

With the use of renewable energy you can cut your cost dramatically. Of course you need to make sure that you use a system that is suitable for your needs. If you live in a sunny state than go solar, if you live in a windy state go with wind energy. If possible combine the different energy sources for an optimal solution.
You have to realize that the electricity charges are based on the prices of imported crude oil which are the primary fuel of our power plants. Once its prices soar high, expect that generation charges in your electric bill will increase. It is an advantage that you will just spend for an independent renewable energy system and its low monthly maintenance cost and the rest is history.

Availability and Abundance

A major advantage of renewable energy is that it is abundant and available in our environment. The state of Colorado in the US has a climate that is perfect in utilizing solar power by the use of photovoltaic panels complemented with wind generators. If your residence is situated in an area where there is good running water, you can install your own micro-hydro power system which can provide you reliable source of energy around the clock. As you can see there are enough possibilities to choose from.

In addition, these renewable energies are abundant in nature. As long as the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and the water in the river is flowing, expect that you can have unlimited supply of energy.

Above are just a few advantages listed for renewable energy listed. Of course renewable energy is also very environmental friendly. Investing in renewable energy is not only about saving money it is more about making this world a better place to live in for years to come.

Bryan Wong is the owner of the renewable-energy information website - A great website that shares quality Info, News and TIPS on Renewable energy.

Digg Technorati Stumbleupon Reddit Blinklist Furl Spurl Yahoo Simpy

How sweet: Revolutionary process points to sugar-fueled cars

Contact: Charmayne Marsh Michael Bernstein
504-670-5115 (New Orleans, April 6-10) 504-670-5115 (New Orleans, April 6-10)
202-872-4400 (Washington, DC) 202-872-4400 (Washington, DC)
American Chemical Society

NEW ORLEANS, April 9, 2008 — Chemists are describing development of a “revolutionary” process for converting plant sugars into hydrogen, which could be used to cheaply and efficiently power vehicles equipped with hydrogen fuel cells without producing any pollutants.

The process involves combining plant sugars, water, and a cocktail of powerful enzymes to produce hydrogen and carbon dioxide under mild reaction conditions. They reported on the system, described as the world’s most efficient method for producing hydrogen, at the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

The new system helps solve the three major technical barriers to the so-called “hydrogen economy,” researchers said. Those roadblocks involve how to produce low-cost sustainable hydrogen, how to store hydrogen, and how to distribute it efficiently, the researchers say.

“This is revolutionary work,” says lead researcher Y.-H. Percival Zhang, Ph.D., a biochemical engineer at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. “This has opened up a whole new direction in hydrogen research. With technology improvement, sugar-powered vehicles could come true eventually.”

While recognized a clean, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, hydrogen production is expensive and inefficient. Most traditional commercial production methods rely on fossil fuels, such as natural gas, while innovations like microbial fuel cells still yield low levels of hydrogen. Researchers worldwide thus are urgently looking for better way to produce the gas from renewable resources.

Zhang and colleagues believe they have found the most promising hydrogen-producing system to date from plant biomass. The researchers also believe they can produce hydrogen from cellulose, which has a similar chemical formula to starch but is far more difficult to break down.

In laboratory studies, the scientists collected 13 different, well-known enzymes and combined them with water and starches. Inside a specially designed reactor and under mild conditions (approximately 86 degrees Fahrenheit), the resulting broth reacted to produce only carbon dioxide and hydrogen with no leftover pollutants.

The method, called “in vitro synthetic biology,” produced three times more hydrogen than the theoretical yield of anaerobic fermentation methods. However, the amount of hydrogen produced was still too low for commercial use and the speed of the reactions isn’t optimal, Zhang notes.

The researchers are now working on making the system faster and more efficient. One approach includes looking for enzymes that work at higher temperatures, which would speed hydrogen production rates. The researchers also hope to produce hydrogen from cellulose, which has similar chemical formula to starch, by replacing several enzymes in the enzyme cocktail.

Zhang envisions that one day people will be able to go to their local grocery store and buy packets of solid starch or cellulose and pack it into the gas tank of their fuel-cell car. Then it’s a pollution-free drive to their destination — cheaper, cleaner, and more efficiently than even the most fuel-stingy gasoline-based car. And unlike cars that burn fossil fuel, the new system would not produce any odors, he says. Also, such a system will be safe because the hydrogen produced is consumed immediately, the researcher notes.

Alternatively, the new plant-based technology could even be used to develop an infrastructure of hydrogen-filling stations or even home-based filling stations, Zhang says. But consumers probably won’t be able to take advantage of this automotive technology any time soon: He estimates that it may take as many as 8 to 10 years to optimize the efficiency of the system so that it is suitable for use in vehicles.

A scaled-down version of the same technology could conceivably be used to create more powerful, longer lasting sugar batteries for portable music players, laptops, and cell phones, Zhang says. That advance could take place in as few as 3 to 5 years, the researcher estimates.


Please visit for our press briefings schedule.

The study, which is funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science of Virginia Tech, is a collaborative project between Va. Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.

The American Chemical Society — the world’s largest scientific society — is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Digg Technorati Stumbleupon Reddit Blinklist Furl Spurl Yahoo Simpy