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This is the fifth and final part in a SaveOnEnergy series discussing the ins and outs of different forms of renewable energy. In this series, we’ve covered a range of renewable power sources. Some, such as geothermal power, have been commonly used for decades. Others, including solar power, have recently risen in popularity due to...
This is the fourth part in a SaveOnEnergy series discussing the ins and outs of different forms of renewable energy. Wind, solar, and water are all forces of nature that can provide renewable energy, but did you know we can also draw power from the earth itself? We call this geothermal energy – a power source collected from...
This is the third part in a SaveOnEnergy series discussing the ins and outs of different forms of renewable energy. Much like the history of wind power, people have been harnessing the power of water for centuries – a form of energy now known as hydropower. In fact, up until 2019, hydropower was the largest source of total U.S. renewable...
If you are considering the installation of a solar system (by yourself or by a solar company), there are several codes and regulations that need to be adhered to. These include the National Electrical Code (NEC), local permits, building codes, fire codes, and grounding systems. In addition, every component in a...
Fuel cells have now been under development for several decades. Since I first became interested in fuel cells in the 1990’s, I have seen waves of excitement and investment followed by periods of skepticism and disillusionment. Only a few companies have stayed in the game, with Ballard in Canada and the large automakers such as Toyota being a critical and essential part for...
Many automotive manufacturers have chosen fuel cell technology as the long-term solution to replace combustion engines when the oil stops flowing -- but that’s not expected to happen for at least another 15 years (even if we keep using it at our current rate). So why are we...
I was getting my haircut last week, and my hairdresser told me that her daughters are interested in science. She then asked me, “What should I tell them about science-based careers?” “I really do not know what scientists and engineers do?” I could see my hairdresser’s point-of-view though, I really did not know much about engineering or...
Many years ago, there was a great guy that used to sit next to me at work. We used to laugh a lot when people called themselves “experts.” When it was really true -- we didn’t laugh; however, it often was not true. Our fast-paced culture breeds this mentality because many individuals think that if they do something...
When a PV cell is exposed to sunlight, the photons of the absorbed sunlight dislodge the electrons from the atoms of the cell. The free electrons then move through the cell, creating and filling in holes. It is this movement of electrons and holes that generate electricity. The process of converting...
Most of us are familiar with solar cells because we encounter them every day – in calculators, street lamps, and traffic road signs. If these devices have enough light, they can theoretically work forever. Solar or photovoltaic (PV) cells are made up of many individuals cell stacked together. The cell material is a...
Electricity for residential and business use can be produced using a combination of wind, solar, and hydrogen fuel cells. There also needs to be cooperation between corporations, utility companies, and individuals to successfully transition to a renewable energy economy. Corporations will have to manufacture...
Despite the recent negative publicity surrounding fossil fuels, crude oil, and natural gas have been beneficial for the growth of the modern world. It has allowed us to have life after dark, transport goods all over the world, and enabled technology to advance. However, the use of fossil fuels has also resulted in...