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Renewable Energy Rundown: Biomass

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...

Renewable Energy Rundown: Geothermal Energy

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...

Renewable Energy Rundown: Hydropower

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...

Renewable Energy Rundown: Wind Energy

This is the second part in a SaveOnEnergy series discussing the ins and outs of different forms of renewable energy. Harnessing the power of the wind is not a new idea. In fact, humans have been using wind power for hundreds of years. From filling the sails of massive ships to the classic windmills powering grain mills, wind power has...

Renewable Energy Rundown: Solar Energy

This is the first part in a new SaveOnEnergy series discussing the ins and outs of different forms of renewable energy. Solar energy has grown in popularity across the country, from massive solar farms to single panels powering residential homes. This is especially true in Texas – which is fifth...

Standards and Requirements for Solar Systems

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...

Why Fuel Cells Lead The Road to Long-Term Sustainability for Vehicles

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...

What’s So Good About Hydrogen?

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...

Science and Engineering Careers & Basic Science Experiments for Kids

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...

Become a Renewable Energy Expert

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...

Determining the Best Location for a PV System

This post will help you to determine the best location for a photovoltaic (PV) system. After you have sized your PV system based upon the calculated the power requirements, you will have to select a location that has maximum sun exposure and limited shading throughout the year. PV arrays can be...

How to Estimate Electricity Requirements

When you receive your energy bill each month, you may not understand exactly how the total amount has been calculated. Every device or appliance in your household contributes to the total sum of the bill. To figure out which appliances and devices are using the most energy, you can estimate the...

Battery Energy Storage for the PV System

Batteries store and produce energy as needed. In PV systems, they capture surplus energy generated by your PV system to allow you to store energy for use later in the day. Like technologies such as fuel cells, a battery converts chemical energy to electrical energy. Rechargeable batteries also...

Photovoltaic System Sizing

This post will help you to determine how to size a photovoltaic (PV) system. By calculating the power, current, and voltage output required, the size and the number of photovoltaic panels can be estimated. Also, the voltage and current requirements will determine how the solar panels in...

Components of a Photovoltaic System

Photovoltaic (PV) panels are comprised of individual cells known as solar cells. Each solar cell generates a small amount of electricity. When you connect many solar cells together, a solar panel is created that creates a substantial amount of electricity. PV systems vary in...