Renewable Energy Companies

Susan asks…

would you be upset if a major oil company discovers a new renewable energy source and makes billions off of it?

Windmill Farms answers:

Major oil companies are already invested in renewable energy. Read this article.


It says Exxon-Mobil committed $600 million toward fuel from algae. Another oil company, British Petroleum, is one of the largest manufacturers of solar panels. It doesn’t upset me one bit that oil companies are diversifying into other forms of energy. I hope they make lots of money from it because if it isn’t profitable they will stop and we will continue depending on foreign oil.

Ken asks…

Question on renewable energy?

Why do people say that at first renewable energy will be costly for us consumers (I guess in terms of cents/kWh, correct me if I’m wrong), but then in time the cost of renewable energy will come down and become as cheap as the cost of today’s non-renewable energy?


Windmill Farms answers:

As with any new technology, when they are first introduced they are very costly. Think of it like Blu-ray players. A few years ago there weren’t many companies making these players and they cost 900 bucks. Now you can get them for 200 bucks, so what happened?

As a technology grows in technology, it grows in volume and company interest. With higher volume, the parts that you buy to make it become cheaper as you are saving by buying “in bulk” so to speak. And with more companies making the players, you have competition that will drive down costs.

This applies just the same to Wind,Solar, and Hydro power. As more of these special turbines/panels are being made, cost can be driven out, meaning we purchase them for cheaper. At the same time, more companies become interested, increasing the capability and output as more minds are put to work on it.

Helen asks…

Feasibility of renewable energy?

It seems many on this forum are now pushing for a “renewables only” solution.

Are these individuals being played by big coal or could renewable energy alone actually power America? Is it now realistic to assume that renewables could provide baseload in the US?

Is refusing to deregulate nuclear energy exactly what the coal companies want?

Windmill Farms answers:

I’m not suggesting we should power the US on renewables alone, at least not in the near term. We already get about 20% of our power from nuclear plants, and I’m not suggesting we shut any down. It’s the construction (and decommissioning) costs that make nuclear power expensive. The plants that are already constructed are indeed cheap to run.

But the fact remains that right now, there are a lot of renewable options which are cheaper, cleaner, less financially risky, less dangerous, etc. Than nuclear power.


And yes, some of these like solar thermal and geothermal can produce baseload power.


When talking about building new power plants, why go with nuclear which takes a decade to build one plant, costs on the order of $8 billion, always goes over schedule and over budget, is a major financial liability, and still produces more CO2 at a higher energy cost than renewables? What’s to be gained?

Large solar thermal plants can be built in just a few years, produce cheaper energy with zero post-construction emissions, zero fuel consumption, zero concerns about terrorism and meltdowns and radioactive waste, etc. To me it’s the obvious choice, combined with other renewable sources like wind and geothermal, which are also cheaper than nuclear.

Jenny asks…

What green renewable energy companies are available on greenwich peninsula? Any other info about energy there?

I need this for my geography coursework….

Windmill Farms answers:

Green renewable energy companies are available on greenwich peninsula is poppy.

John asks…

Renewable energy?

What are the pro’s & con’s to renewable energies in general?

Windmill Farms answers:


source of energy may be free [solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal]

Will not foreseeably ever run out


Usually very expensive up front because of low-volume production

Does not make oil companies any money

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Wind Power Energy

Donna asks…

What are the basic element in wind energy conversion device?

I have to build a wind energy conversion device for my design subject. However, I can’t use toothed gears, gearboxes, energy storage systems (e.g. flywheels, batteries, pressurised fluids, etc), rolling
element bearings and existing (pre-made) fan impellers.

So I need rough ideas on what are the things that can replace those items which can make the device moving.

Windmill Farms answers:

Your basic design goal is to “Build a Wind Energy Conversion Device”. This is a broad goal as it does not specify if the end result needs to produce electrical or simply mechanical energy.

You are limited as you cannot use any rolling element bearings. This can cause a problem for horizontal wind turbines. To avoid this, you can use a vertical wind turbine similar to the following. Http://
The curved blades will “catch” the air flow no matter what the wind direction is.

To avoid the use of rolling element bearings, a vertical wind turbine can be supported at the bottom. Ensure both the spinning shaft and the housing are smooth and greased. Supports higher up will also be needed to keep the turbine level. These can be holes cut out of the frame which are close to the spinning shaft.

To transfer the power, use a pulley and belt system. This won’t violate the toothed gear rule. You will incure some efficiency losses as the belts and pulleys will slip.

On the other side of your pulley, you can hook it up to a small generator to generate power continuously as the wind blows, or you can attach if to some mechanical device to provide mechanical power. Just ensure the initial start-up torque isn’t too large.

Paul asks…

What order would you put these Energy Options in from most efficent to least?

I need help with my geography homework…!

They are:

Nuclear Power
Wind Turbines
Solar Power
Geothermal Energy
Hydrogen Fuel
Ethanol Fuel

Please help me!
It’s an essay, so its not the whole homework. I just need help getting started!
Well, the best energy option to the worst in environment, economic stability and where it comes from

Windmill Farms answers:

1.Solar Power
2.Wind Turbines
3.Nuclear Power
4.Hydrogen Fuel
7.Geothermal Energy
8.Ethanol Fuel

Betty asks…

How man’s search for energy is effecting the environment?

I need to know how our search for energy sources – wind power, coal, oil, etc. – is effecting the environment for a school project.

Detailed answers will be greatly appreciated.

Windmill Farms answers:

The verb you need to use is “Affecting” not “effecting”.

Effect is a noun. Always is, always will be.
Affect is the verb.

Laura asks…

Which of these fuels would you select for the generation of energy in the future?

Of these fuels/methods, which would you choose to use for generating energy (you can choose multiple)?

Fossil fuels
Solar power
Wind power
Hydroelectricity (water power)
Geothermal energy
Nuclear fuels

Please give reasons for your choice and also state the problems that might be apparent, but explain why this is the best option on balance.
Also, please give reasons against ones you didn’t choose.

Windmill Farms answers:

The best of these energy sources is solar power. It is, for all intensive purposes, unlimited, unlike fossil fuels and nuclear fuels (Yes, nuclear fuels are limited). Of all of the renewable sources of energy listed here (solar, wind, hydroelectricity, geothermal, and, I suppose, bio fuels), solar energy is one of the cheapest.
Geothermal energy is very expensive, and is not very efficient. Hydroelectricity may be relatively easy to get, but, in the process of harnessing it, we disrupt the rivers’ ecosystems. Wind turbines are eyesores, and require a large amount of area in order to harness any useful amount of energy.
Nuclear energy… Chernobyl, Fukushima, etc., anyone? Oh, and what do you do with the nuclear waste?
Bio-fuels are still in their infancy, but, as far as I can tell, they will just be a replacement for fossil fuels (meaning more pollution).
Fossil fuels, well, we’re going to run out of them within the next century, plus, the extraction of energy from them produces a lot of pollution.
The only potential problems for solar power are cloud cover and night time. However, this can be (largely) circumvented by using enormous rechargeable batteries (well, something akin to them) to store excess electricity produced.

Lizzie asks…

How will wind energy affect our future?

Any lists of website that talk about wind energy and how it will affect the future.
or any ideas you guys have ?

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind power or wind energy will affect our future with peace and wealth; since wind is everywhere and available for everybody, And when people know how to get profit from wind there will be free energy for everybody, you can always get your own wind power network at home for an average of $100 and forget paying your bills. Go to
you will get free courses on how to do it easy.

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Vertical Wind Power Generators

Lizzie asks…

What kind of alternator should i get for a small windmill?

I’m making a vertical- axis wind turbine for a physics project, low cost, and i need it to light a lightbulb at least, something just to show that it makes energy.

what kind of alternator should i get? what rpm? what wattage? we don’t get very intense winds.
Also, where can i get one of these alternators?

Windmill Farms answers:

You could take a small motor out of a battery powered toy, like a toy car or train, and use it as a generator. It will produce enough power to light up a flashlight bulb.

David asks…

good science fair ideas?

ok im in 7th grade gifted classes and i need a good science fair idea so please help come up with some so i can get a good grade please! thank you all! =D

Windmill Farms answers:

In China they are doing a lot of work to design wind powered generators. The key element in the new technology is ‘mag-lev’ bearings which support vertical turbine blades. They look sort of like a lamp shade made out of vertical blinds. The whole generator is suspended above a friction-free magnetic bearing. It makes electricity with a very small amount of wind. Have you noticed the solar panels which power some traffic lights? Those are pretty expensive. The new mag lev turbines are so efficient and cheap that they are thinking about putting small wind turbines along the highway to power a wide array of lights at night powered by the wind from cars going past.

So can you design a mag lev bearing and demonstrate a useful application? Ceramic magnets are strong, cheap and easy to get. Figuring out the self-balancing aspect will be a major accomplishment.
:-D Good luck!

Jenny asks…

Anybody in Finland know about this Finnish wind turbines? Any good? Long-term users, chime in, please.?

I’m interested in the Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) produced by a Findland company called “Windside”. Can anybody who has one, or knows of someone who operates one, actually attest to the viability of their low-RPM alternator/generators, and wind turbine designs?

I’d like to use a small VAWT on a condo roof, or to power an electric car or truck, like this one:

Thanks for all feedbacks.

Windside’s windmills:

Windmill Farms answers:

I think if you want a wind driven system to charge a heavy, conventional vehicle you are going to have to put out about $100,000 to put together a reliable system that can provide that much energy. VAWTs might be an elegant design, but you are looking at putting up at least one commercial unit, which likely won’t be permitted on the roof of your condo.

If you look at this wind chart from windside … Http:// …
You will see that bout 80 – 90% of the time the wind was between 2-5 m/s … Then you have to look on the performance data sheets to see how much power each model produces at those wind speeds … You are going to need at least a WS-4 and probably at least a WS-30 to get sufficient energy to charge up enough batteries to power a pickup truck.

Think small … Buy an electric scooter.

Linda asks…

New household wind turbine, VERY cool!?

Those who have read my Q/A before know that my husband works on the commercial wind turbines. You also know that we eventually plan to build our home totally off grid.

My husband is always doing research on homeowner sized wind turbines.

This is one my husband just learned about. It’s pretty darn cool! Basically it works a lot like the electric bullet trains. This allows the turbine to spin MUCH faster than most can withstand, because there is no friction due to the magnets!

Here’s the link:

Comments on this new wind turbine?
I’m going to have to have my husband answer some more specific items, since frankly I do not understand all of it.

I will say this, my husband learned about these turbines yesterday. He learned about them from a Swedish engineer who is currently at my husbands wind farm. The Swedish guy is brilliant, and has been working in the wind engery field for years.

If he (the Swedish engineer) is excited about these turbines, and plans to install one on his own home, I think they probably have a great deal of merrit.
D_Offio is my husband. Having him type a reply was WAY easier than me trying to re-type what he was explaining to me. So for more detailed answers to the question, be sure to check D_Offio’s comments. I’ll keep this question open a few more days in case anyone has more detailed questions or comments.

Windmill Farms answers:

In response to engineer’s comments:

It looks like a sophisticated Savonius rotor. I concur.

These rotors are not very efficient (they operate by drag, not lift) and they are both small and down low in relatively slow-moving air. They may look cool but they will not generate much energy. ~~My comment on this starts thus: what on this earth does LIFT have to do with a wind turbine???? MY background is aviation, lift is what allows an airplane or helicopter to fly, not turn a rotor on a wind turbine. There are 4 main factors in Aviation: Lift, Thrust, Drag, and Weight. Since we are not lifting anything off of the ground, weight is a moot point, as is lift. Thrust is what propels the plane, be it from a propeller or from a jet engine. Drag is the airplane’s resistance to the wind. Thrust must overcome drag, and lift must overcome weight. Everyone with me? Excellent!

Wind force is what turns a rotor on a wind turbine, be it a conventional horizontal axis wind generator, or a non conventional “s-rotor” vertical style.

Commercial scale wind generator manufacturers have not introduced a vertical turbine yet for one main reason. First some background information. Homeowner scale turbines can produce DC (Direct Current…what a car makes for example) power, commercial scale generators must produce AC (Alternating Current…house power). In the US, this power must be 60 HZ (Hertz, also referred to as 60 Cycle.) This is the frequency. By way of comparison, part of Japan is on 50 cycle, as are parts of Europe…if not all, on this I am unclear. Airplanes use 400 cycle power. Frequency is dependent on how fast you are spinning the generator to a large extent. Each manufacturer has their own system for keeping the power going out to the “grid” at 60 cycle…be it regulating the speed of the generator or “cleaning up” the power before it leaves the turbine.

Here is the reason: S-rotors are very hard to regulate the rotational speed on according to the engineers I have spoken to that have worked on these projects, as well as the few articles I have read on them. This makes them CURRENTLY impractical to use for utility scale wind generation.


Since homeowner systems can be used to generate DC current, this problem does not apply. Your car’s alternator does not care if your engine is turning 500 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) or 12,000 RPM. (note: other than Top Fuel Dragsters and some motorcycles, most engines will get nowhere near 12,000 RPM) So, the output off of this vertical style rotor can be used in a small scale system.

According to the information on the website, their cut-in speed, (the speed it starts to produce power) is under 5 MPH wind speed, most commercial machines do not start to produce power until wind is at least 12 MPH. The really interesting thing about it is that they are using magnetic levitation to cut friction by a large amount.

Commercial Scale wind turbines shut down at windspeeds of 50-75 MPH depending on the brand. These guys are claiming that it will run and hold together at over 100 MPH. That is pretty impressive.

I would really like to speak to someone that has used one..I am curious. For those of you that read this far, Yes, I am Garnet’s Husband!

A note to Engineer: Please try to keep your terminology straight, when people use the wrong terminology, it really makes them look…well, let us go with “Not so Bright.”

Hope this helps some folks,


Richard asks…

Why should we increase nuclear power use when geothermal and solar thermal are available?

Google announced today that it is investing $10.25 million in an energy technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). According to an MIT report on EGS, only 2% of the heat beneath the continental US between 3 and 10 kilometers (depths we can reach with current technology) is more than 2,500 the annual energy use of the United States.

Geothermal can provide baseload power just as well as nuclear, at much lower cost (5 cents per kWh as opposed to over 10 cents per kWh).

Similarly, many industry experts believe that solar thermal will likely deliver power for well under 10 cents per kWh fully installed in the next decade.

Geothermal and solar thermal plants can also be built much more quickly than new nuclear plants.

So why should we dramatically increase our use of nuclear power (as many have recently suggested) when it’s more expensive, has a greater environmental impact, takes longer to build, and is more dangerous than solar thermal and geothermal, which can also provide baseload power? What’s so great about nuclear?

Windmill Farms answers:

WE shouldn’t, I am not a great fan of nuclear energy, on A recent question I mentioned the waste from the nuclear plant and was told I needed to study nuclear waste because it was recyclable, well of course it is recyclable, into plutonium whit is still radioactive, and even those countries that are mixing it with inert ingredient so that it cannot be used in Atomic bombs, are still coming out with a radioactive product that can be converted back to plutonium.
Geothermal is a great way to go, where it is available, but is restricted to a few geological areas.
Solar power is limited to day light hours but can be stored for night time use, except in the northern hemisphere, where the only get a half hour of day light in the winter,
And you forgot to mention Wind generation, with the Vertical wind generators that are being developed, but do need wind speeds of 4 to 6 miles an hour to produce power.
By combining those 3 sources, we can come up with a balance of electric output that would supply all of our power needs.

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Does Wind Power Create Greenhouse Gases

Joseph asks…

What evidence is there that significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions will cripple the economy?

A common argument we see against addressing global warming is that reducing our greenhouse gas emissions significantly will cost way too much and cripple our economy.

But according to the IPCC, “Bottom-up studies suggest that mitigation opportunities with net negative costs have the potential to reduce emissions by around 6 GtCO2-eq/yr in 2030, realising which requires dealing with implementation barriers.”

That’s a 20% decrease in worldwide emissions, and we save money in the process!

“Both bottom-up and top-down studies indicate that there is high agreement and much evidence of substantial economic potential for the mitigation of global GHG emissions over the coming decades that could offset the projected growth of global emissions or reduce emissions below current levels”

“In 2050, global average macro-economic costs for mitigation towards stabilisation between 710 and 445ppm CO2-eq are between a 1% gain and 5.5% decrease of global GDP (Table SPM.7). This corresponds to slowing average annual global GDP growth by less than 0.12 percentage points.”

Pages 14 and 21:

So clearly the IPCC thinks we can significantly reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions with little impact on global economies. So where’s the evidence that they’re wrong?

Windmill Farms answers:

There is no such evidence (just like there is no real evidence “against” global warming).

But the IPCC is flat wrong, nevertheless. Their model asumes an essentially stacic technology component. Everything pooints to the exact opposite. That break s down into two economic effects–one direct, the other indirect.

Investment in new technology that either produces clean energy cost-effectively (as wind power already does) or cuts fossil fuel conumption will create new jobs as the companies producing those products expand. That means improved buiness, more jobs means more consumer spending and increased tax revenues. All promote economic growth.

Expensive? Sure.But the expense is in the form of investment-and that returns a profit. The iPCC model treats the expense simply as a cost.

From an economic perspective, significantly cutting energy costs leaves more money in consumers pockets (ultimately we are talking hundreds of billions of dollars annually. That money will then go to buying other goods and services, stimulationg economic growth and also creating jobs.

The IPCC model is correct as far as it goes. But we are entering a technological shift–and they do not take that into account. Historically, EVERY time a major technology shift takes place (and this is going to be one fof the biggest of all time) you get a surge of economic growth as a reslt. That has happened with every major technology.

Daniel asks…

What would happen positively if natural gas was decreased?

would this be correct? Natural gas is a byproduct of petroleum so by decreasing petroleum, natural gas is also decreased.

Windmill Farms answers:

No, natural gas is not really a byproduct of petroleum, but sometimes it is a coproduct. In some geologic systems organic material is converted directly to natural gas, either by thermogenic processes (heat) or more often by biological processes. Considerable amounts of natural gas in shallower reservoirs is produced by bacteria. Those bacteria have no role in making oil. Even in deeper natural gas reservoirs, there are many that contain only natural gas. In the past natural gas was considered a byproduct of petroleum as many petroleum reservoirs have gas caps or associated gas, but most gas producers today deliberately drill for natural gas or what is known as natural gas liquids, which includes ethane, propane, butane, and pentane. There are still places in the world where natural gas is considered a waste product and is burnt at the wellsite, such as northern Russia (which is the brightest spot in the night sky), but most oil producers capture the natural gas and either sell it or reinject it into the reservoir in order to enhance production of oil.

In the thermogenic process of creating oil known as catagenesis, at higher temperatures oil is broken down into natural gas, and at even higher temperatures the natural gas is converted to graphite.

Using less petroleum, or even producing less petroleum on a world scale generally implies the greater use of natural gas. Even the adaptation of solar and wind power will require more use of natural gas. Electric utilities openly state that they have to build power plants with generation capacities equal to any amount of solar or wind power on their grid because they must have a way to quickly replace the power generated by the solar and wind energy when it stops generating, as it does frequently. Natural gas fired power plants are the only type that can quickly fire up and begin generating to help this peaking demand. If anything, the less petroleum we use, the more natural gas that will be needed to replace it.

Natural gas usage also has environmental benefits. It releases less carbon per therm of energy than any other type of hydrocarbon fuel, including biofuels like ethanol which actually require natural gas in their manufacturing process. Using natural gas to replace gasoline, heating oil, diesel fuel, ethanol, biodiesel, coal, petroleum coke, and other hydrocarbons will reduce the amount of carbon being put into the atmosphere.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that has about an eight year half-life. It doesn’t stay in the atmosphere for long before it is broken down. However, the major sources of natural gas in the atmosphere are biological, and not related to natural gas production. Cows, sheep, goats, and other animals emit the most methane into our atmosphere. Methane is also produced in the soil by soil organisms, and some of this escapes into the atmosphere. Methane also seeps upward constantly from oil and gas reservoirs through natural pathways, and in places like the California coastline the sea can bubble vigorously over the large methane seeps like those offshore Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. In one place offshore Santa Barbara an oil company actually lowered a metal structure over a natural seep and now captures that methane for commercial use so it is no longer emitted into the atmosphere.

Maria asks…

What is a popular view point on Nuclear Energy?

Just wondering what a popular viewpoint was on Nuclear energy??? Whats your viewpoint on it?

Windmill Farms answers:

Every energy source has problems and advantages associated with it. Nuclear plants don’t require oil or coal or gas, don’t create greenhouse gases, and can generate power regardless of wind and sun availability. Modern designs are much safer than the Chernobyl one, and the only technical issue is waster storage. That can be managed with buried, protected sites.

An even better nuclear source would be fusion reactors, but technical problems for the high temperatures needed have not yet been solved.

Mark asks…

What do environmentalists want?

nuclear power creates nuclear waste.
coal power creates greenhouse gas emissions and open mines.
wind turbines kill low flying birds.
hydroelectric impedes the migration of certain species of fish.
petroleum creates greenhouse gas emissions
these are the big 5, environmentalists wine about them all.
what is the environmentalist solution for energy?
(please, do not tell me SOLAR, i live in the Northwest and Mr. Sun doesn’t like to come out and play during the winter.)

Windmill Farms answers:

I grew up in the NW…ever notice that it’s REALLY green there? That’s because of sunlight and (enormous amounts of) rain. Solar permeates through the clouds or you (and all the other Starbucks sippin’ treehuggers) would be dead.

Carol asks…

Why has a Nuclear Power plant not been built in almost 30 years?

Especially since it is the safest, most efficient, cheapest, and cleanest technology available? No one has ever died from a Nuclear Power Plant…….hundreds are killed each year mining for polluting coal mines.

No how many people died on 3 mile island…….NONE. Most people think Nuclear is dangerous because they are ignorant to the facts.
Actually Chernobyl killed 56 people. But you thought…thousands. And this was due to a bankrupt country that did not care about safety. US has had …..NO deaths. But hundreds every year mining coal or drilling for oil.

Over 50,000 people die a year in car accidents….there is an adherant risk in everything. But no one is banning cars.
The waste goes will go to Yucca Mountain. Very safe. Even transporting nuclear waste is as close to fool proof statistically as anything your mind can understand.

TheChin…..Your absolutely incorrect. Here are some facts for you to enjoy.

Windmill Farms answers:

The answer(s) are complex but it boils (pardon the puns) down to fear of radiation. The public has no sense of proportion when it comes to radiation (not detectable by the senses, scientific stuff, can cause cancer, etc). Of course everyone has much more radioactivity coming from them (potassium-40′s gamma rays) than they will absorb from nuclear power.

There are two types of waste being produced in nuclear power plants: low-level short half-life and the longer lived stuff. The short half-life waste has about a 30 year (maximum) half-life. In 30 years half of it will be gone. So in 210 years, we will have less that 1% remaining. Most of the waste is this sort and most of it really is shorter lived.

The second type is found in the fuel rods. The nuclides in it are very long lived, thousands of years, and dominated by Plutonium and Americium. A terrorist could not 1) just use the plutonium to make a bomb — it takes lots of careful chemistry to sort that out without being killed from the dose rate, or 2) just drive up to the storage facility to get it. Nuclear plants have enormous and well-trained security forces. Hey, where do you think veterans are finding employment?

The long-term waste can be handled in a few ways: the best is to purify the plutonium and use it in the reactors again. The next best is to just embed it in glass and bury it underground. Both are doable.

Nuclear power plants do not create the greenhouse gases that burning fossil fuel does. It does not kill tremendous amounts of migrating birds like windmills do (and the wind does not blow that strongly often enough – go to see a windfarm sometime). It does not release sulfur, arsenic, and radon like geothermal plants (and few places are good for geothermal). It does not have the enormous impact on the shoreline like a tidal powered station. It does not have the high cost and toxic byproducts like solar electric.

Those of you who want hydrogen, how are you going to get it? You need electricity to split the water. Electrcity has to come from somewhere.

Fortunately, a few new plants are being sited around the US. I hope some of the younger folks are preparing for a career in nuclear power. The average age of the workforce is now around 50. We will especially need those who can safeguard the environment from radiation and chemistry pollution.

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Uses Of Wind Energy In Everyday Life

Ken asks…

Explain Hydroelectricity in homes.?

We are doing a project on alternative energy and we need help, desperately.
Can you give me some information on how its used in everyday lives.

Windmill Farms answers:

Hydroelectricity is just electricity that was produced by running water through a turbine. It’s no different than electricity produced by coal, nuclear power, wind power, natural gas, etc.

Almost all electricity is made by making a turbine spin, which then turns a generator, regardless of where the energy for making it spin comes from. For hydroelectric generation, water is held by a dam. When it is released, it is forced through the turbines so the energy of the falling water is converted to electricity. So the gravity that makes water flow to the ocean is used to run the turbine and generator.

Wind power obviously uses wind to turn windmill blades, which are attached to a turbine.

Fossil fuels and nuclear power are used to boil water. The force of the steam is used to turn turbines.

See the link for more.

Carol asks…

Please help my grammar?

Transcendental/ Transportersonal Project make me a wonderful experience for the future. They showed me a lot of events and adventurer! Also I just realized we need use the biology in everyday life. Biology is perhaps the most diverse subject out there and therefore it is used in so many aspects of life on a daily basis but to summaries: gardeners use their knowledge of plants; biology is used in medicine everyday and so on. Also, The food you eat was produced using biological processes. There are quadrillions of biochemical reactions going on in your body at any given moment. Your environment is affected by biological processes, many organisms and chemicals found in your environment affect you.
For my major as Electrical Engineering, Yes it does because we need use the solar energy for it helps the environment. Also, a solar energy project is primarily electrical and structural. When clouds suddenly shade the sun, the energy of the solar array is immediately reduced and needs to be backed up by other sources. If solar energy, wind energy, etc. become a large part of the power on the grid, problems with fluctuating supply become significant. So I would like to be an Engineering with the solar energy.

Windmill Farms answers:

The Transcendental and Transportersonal Project can create a wonderful experience for the future. They have shown me many events and adventurers! I have realized that we need and use biology in everyday life. Biology is perhaps the most diverse subject out there and is used in so many aspects of life on a daily basis for example, gardeners have a wide range of knowledge that they use on plants; biology is used in medicine everyday, the food you eat was produced using biological processes. There are quadrillions of biochemical reactions occurring in your body at any given moment. Your environment is affected by biological processes, many organisms and chemicals found in your environment affect you.
For Electrical Engineering, We need it because it uses solar energy and is safe for the environment. Also, a solar energy project is primarily electrical and structural. When clouds suddenly shade the sun, the energy of the solar array is immediately reduced and needs to be backed up by other sources. If solar energy, wind energy, etc. Become a large part of the power on the grid, problems with fluctuating supply become significant. So I would like to be Engineering with the use of solar energy.

Thomas asks…

Please help my grammer?

Transcendental/ Transportersonal Project make me a wonderful experience for the future. They showed me a lot of events and adventurer! Also I just realized we need use the biology in everyday life. Biology is perhaps the most diverse subject out there and therefore it is used in so many aspects of life on a daily basis but to summaries: gardeners use their knowledge of plants; biology is used in medicine everyday and so on. Also, The food you eat was produced using biological processes. There are quadrillions of biochemical reactions going on in your body at any given moment. Your environment is affected by biological processes, many organisms and chemicals found in your environment affect you.
For my major as Electrical Engineering, Yes it does because we need use the solar energy for it helps the environment. Also, a solar energy project is primarily electrical and structural. When clouds suddenly shade the sun, the energy of the solar array is immediately reduced and needs to be backed up by other sources. If solar energy, wind energy, etc. become a large part of the power on the grid, problems with fluctuating supply become significant. So I would like to be an Engineering with the solar energy.

Windmill Farms answers:

… Okay…

First of all, it’s “grammar”, not “grammer”.

To your essay thingy — REVISED VERSION:

The Transcendental/Transportersonal Project was a wonderful experience for my future. I attended many events and adventures, and I realized that Biology was a necessary part of everyday life. It is, perhaps, the most diverse subject out there, which is why it is used in so many aspects of life on a daily basis. For example, gardeners use their knowledge of plants, and researchers use Biology in medicine. Even the food you just ate was produced using biological processes. There are so tons of biochemical reactions going on in your body every second of the day, from the environment around you to what’s in you.

For my major, Electrical Engineering, we help biological processes with things such as solar energy. Using the sun to power things helps with energy needs. I would like to be an engineer to help with solar energy.



- Very redundant about how important Biology is. I mean, seriously, I think the reader gets it.
- Some things were hard to correct as I was trying to make sense of it.
- The subject change threw me off a bit.
- I tried not to take out/add in too much to your paragraph thing, but I did when it seemed necessary.

I’m guessing you’re an English learner? Learn when to capitalize things, because that’s important. Good luck :)

Michael asks…

What is a good ALTERNATIVE energy source?

What is a good viable, usable alternative energy source?

Coal has problems with the minors getting trapped and buried.
Oil has problem with greedy ass companies, untrustworthy speculators, spills and alliances with unstable nations.

Nuclear is a bio-hazard and tricky to dispose of the waste.
Wind is apparently no where near powerful enough to supply energy to big populations.

Hydroelectric could work but only on very powerful rivers, lot’s of space and at an hugely immense size. (not everyone has a river that could accommodate a Dam.)

Wind power just doesn’t seem to cut it. The wind doesn’t blow everyday.(duh)
And solar just isn’t an option. The only place that might benefit from solar energy plants would be the Sahara desert and

A. virtually no one lives there and
B. Even the Sahara(largest desert in the planet) get’s wind, clouds and rain which would obstruct the solar panels light to electricity conversion.

So what is a new energy that we can use for the future? All these energies have too many flaws. And the flaws seem to become more and more evident over
A. TIME and
B. Human population growth.

So what is an efficient, viable, usable, renewable, powerful new energy source that can be brought to human beings and even replace most of the energy sources we use today? What could it be and where would we get it from?

Windmill Farms answers:

Open Cut (pit) coal mines do not place the workers at any where near the level of risk of underground mining. Australia has open cut coal mines and thus has a vastly superior safety record to most of the rest of the world for electricity generation.

Hydroelectricity can actually effectively be generated on much smaller rivers than you would expect. Furthermore on sufficiently large rivers the power generation capacity can be massive. Look at the three gorges dam in china, sure the Yangtze is a big river, but that plant will have a capacity of 22 GW when it is complete, which considering their capacity factors is probably generating as much energy as the entire wind generation industry globally.

Ruth asks…

I’m stress and thinking about leaving my life behind?

I am 30 years old with a 14 and a 9 month old I live with my boyfriend who has not worked for a year. I work and go to school. I only receive 350.00 a week my rent is 625.00, car 350.00, insurance 125.00, lights and gas so I normally have money for nothing else. I ended up miss managing the money and now I have no money in the bank…our daughter needs diapers and she only has enough milk for one more bottle. I told him and he called me names and beat me..I really do everything I pay for everything she does nothing he sleeps until 3pm..I’m tired stressed and I pray to die everyday.
Sorry I have a 14 year old and a 9 month old

Windmill Farms answers:

Follow these steps:

1) Avoid negative, angry people, or people who want to steal your energy and control you.
2) Avoid people who are against Light and Love.
3) Don´t drink alcohol, don’t smoke anything. Avoid places with smokers, because they are filled with negative entities.
4) Change the room you are living. Hang only beautiful posters and pictures on the wall, with bright colours. No dark , depressive pictures.
5) Don´t wear dark clothes, use colours or white.
6) Don´t listen to evil music like Heavy metal or worst.
Listen to harmonious music, like meditation music or happy music. Music with a high frequency, music with Love.
7) Go often to nature to clean your energy and charge it with new clear energy.
8) Use a good smelling room-perfume. Light beings like angels, like only things which are smelling good.
9) Try to play sometimes. You can also use a computer game for that. Of course only a funny game. Not a killing game. Games like Jump and run are fun. Or you play outside ping pong.
10) Make sometimes gifts to your self. Show yourself that you have Selflove. Tell to your self in the mirror that you love yourself. Hang a paper on the door or on the mirror and write on it “I LOVE MY SELF”
11) Don´t watch negative, evil, horror movies on TV. Watch funny Movies, comics, or exciting movies which trigger your imagination for the universe and a brightful future.
12) Try to paint a picture. Painting is a form of healing and meditation. Use Colourful, bright colours. Not dirty, depressive colours.
13) Play an instrument, make music.
14) Take Vitamins and St. John’s wort.
15) Don´t eat meat.
If you do all this, you will see positive changes in your life.
Start with SELF LOVE.

Everything is a lesson for you to learn, everything is what your soul has chosen for you to experience. You are here to learn how to stay positive even in such a negative world. I see he is beating you, take your children and move somewhere else. Find someone who can show you LOVE. Do not be afraid. Go to a park or somewhere, try to meditate. Many people is going through the same thing that you are going through now, this is the secret above that I am telling you. Everybody knows this information, it is their decision whether to choose to live for love or live for the dark side. Everybody makes his choice. Try to meditate, and focus on positive emotions, try it at least. The people who are treating you badly are eating your life energy and are trying to keep you primitive as they are. Live for love, leave if you must and go with the wind, let the energy flow through you. Be a channel for love. You have always a choice, whether to live for the light or the darkness, love or hate.

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Wind Energy Facts

Paul asks…

What is wind energies future?

I am doing a power point for school and i needed to know about wind energies past and future. Some examples of wind energy is windmills, sailboats, ect. please let me know if you know anything about its future. thankss

Windmill Farms answers:

In the near future, wind energy will be the most cost effective source of electrical power. In fact, a good case can be made for saying that it already has achieved this status. The actual life cycle cost of fossil fuels (from mining and extraction to transport to use technology to environmental impact to political costs and impacts, etc.) is not really known, but it is certainly far more than the current wholesale rates. The eventual depletion of these energy sources will entail rapid escalations in price which — averaged over the brief period of their use — will result in postponed actual costs that would be unacceptable by present standards. And this doesn’t even consider the environmental and political costs of fossil fuels use that are silently and not-so-silently mounting every day.

The major technology developments enabling wind power commercialization have already been made. There will be infinite refinements and improvements, of course. One can guess (based on experience with other technologies) that the eventual push to full commercialization and deployment of the technology will happen in a manner that no one can imagine today. There will be a “weather change” in the marketplace, or a “killer application” somewhere that will put several key companies or financial organizations in a position to profit. They will take advantage of public interest, the political and economic climate, and emotional or marketing factors to position wind energy technology (developed in a long lineage from the Chinese and the Persians to the present wind energy researchers and developers) for its next round of development.

Robert asks…

Solar vs Wind energy?

Ok so for a class im taking we have debate groups and the topic was energy‘s. Well my group picked Solar energy and we are going to debate with wind energy to see who’s energy is the better one. I already have some good reasons on why Solar is better the wind and how wind could be bad but i feel like i really need more very good strong true facts on how SOLAR is BETTER then wind energy. I really need someones help. If my group wins the debate then we can get a good grade. Find really bad things about wind that we can use in the debate that they WONT be able to fight back and some good things about solar they cant fight. PLEASE HELP ME..thank you so much for anyone for helping me..thank u.

Windmill Farms answers:

It is truly not a case of one or the other. Neither is efficient enough to solve the world’s energy problem and save us from the looming catastrophy. Our energy problem is a complex problem, driven by a wide variety of factors. And solving that problem will require a combination of solutions, which will undoubtable include both wind and solar energy.
I wish you luck in your debate, but your energies would be better used in solving the problem, rather than be distracted by petty questions such as “Which Is Better”.
These are serious times and you need to be debating serious subjects. I question the judgement of the individual who picked the subject for your debate. Was it a fellow student?

Chris asks…

Uses of wind energy for science project.?

I am in science class and we are reseaching how to use and hold wind energy. Can anyone give me links to sites i can use?

Windmill Farms answers:

These are the benefits or uses of wind energy:

Humans already recognized the many advantages of wind energy in their livelihood since history embarked. From the earliest civilizations up to now, people are harnessing the forces of nature like wind energy which they found to be very useful. They were able to mechanize it through the use of big furnaces for cooking, windmills in grinding grains and pumping up water, sails to steer their sailboats and now leveled up to the power-generating machines called wind turbines.

From homes and residential areas, to business and government infrastructures, wind turbines can be found almost everywhere and are now widely used today. Why so? It is because of an ample importance they found from using wind turbines like the following:

A low-cost alternative energy source

If compared to many other forms of energy, such as fossil fuels, solar panels or nuclear technology, wind turbines are a low-cost alternative. Small wind turbines producing five to fifteen kilowatts per hour and amounting from $6,000 to $22,000 can now be purchased and installed at home or residential areas. This makes an average home to save 50 to 90 percent off its electric bill each month, according to the American Wind Energy Association. In fact, many people who build wind turbines earned more from selling excess electricity to the power company every month. Commercial and industrial companies take more advantage from using this technology. According to the Windustry Organization, the cost for a commercial-scale wind turbine was roughly $3.5 million installed in the year 2007. This means that these wind turbines produce 2 megawatts of electricity per hour which is more than enough to power 1,400 homes for one year.

A completely renewable resource

Among the many benefits, the greatest advantage in using wind power is its attribute of being a completely renewable resource. Although the need and usage of this technology is varying in degree in different countries around the world, wind is always present and a permanent phenomenon on earth. When the radiation from the sun creates a convection cycle in the air that flows upward, it causes the blowing wind. And since wind power can be harnessed through this very natural process, the volume of electricity is limited only by the speed and recurrence of the wind. This actually means that as long as the sun exists, wind power can be perpetually harnessed.

Free from drawback of toxic gas emission

Another great advantage of using wind energy is that it produces no waste product unlike other energy sources like fossil fuels and nuclear power. According to the United States Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the burning of fossil fuels to generate energy triggers an enormous production of carbon and sulfur dioxide emissions that are polluting the atmosphere and contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer. Reports from the World Energy Council said that these emissions have been too hazardous and are responsible for global climate change and its adverse effects.

Risk-free from radioactive reactions

Using wind energy is always said to be environment friendly, unlike the nuclear power that has the drawback of waste disposal. Nuclear power plants generate nuclear reactions that create radioactive materials as a byproduct which are very hard to dispose. Specialized vaults need to be constructed to house the spent fuel rods and used radiation suits in order to prevent contamination of water and soil, as well as people from intoxicated byproducts of nuclear plants. Without carbon emissions or radiation being produced, wind energy has the advantage of being harnessed and used.

Almost infinitely sustainable

Wind turbines are invented to realize the advantage of using wind energy for sustainability. In fact, many consider that one great quality of wind energy is that it is almost infinitely sustainable. Fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas will eventually be completely mined from the earth. Geothermal energy uses the stored heat energy accumulated from years of solar radiation. This will eventually be used to its maximum as well. But wind will never stop as long as there is life on the earth and the sun still exists.

A potential source to power the entire planet

Many in-depth engineering and scientific research report that wind energy is a very promising energy source by having the potential of powering the entire planet and sustaining the need of the growing population. Most of us know that wind turbines can be placed essentially anywhere – on flat lands, above the ocean or on mountains. This gives wind the advantage of being a universal energy source used by every country in the world. The World Energy Council reported that wind energy supplies one percent of the world’s power. However, many European countries, such as Denmark, obtain nearly twenty percent of their country’s needs.

Sandra asks…

If the US growth rate for wind energy continued at 20% per year, how long would it take for all our electricit?

If the US growth rate for wind energy continued at 20% per year, how long
would it take for all our electricity be provided by wind?

Windmill Farms answers:

Hey Cam, Raymond has some good figures there as far as growth being exponential, it has been the last 4 years or so. But we are nowhere near 50% now, last check, at the end of 2010 we were at just under 4% wind power. It’s a bit of a moving target with seasonal wind changes and utilities bringing more online each day. But if we were at 6% at the beginning of 2012, then adding 20%, or multiplying that figure by 1.2 each year, it would take 14.5 years.

We will never reach even half that far however. A really good parallel to this is hydropower. Back in the depression, the government was busy hiring people to put in really large power stations, like Hoover Dam and the Columbia River Project. There were numbers thrown around in the late 30′s that estimated we would be totally hydro powered by the year 1944. Well we never made it past 20%, and in fact that number is falling today, not because we are losing hydro power stations, but our grid usage continues to trend slowly upward as we add more people to the globe. Hydropower station output is relatively flat. The main reason for this is all the really good places to put a dam are already used up. The next one we build will be in a place a bit harder to get to, and that produces less power than the last one. Each subsequent one will be even less attractive. It’s like a farmer making use of his acreage, he will certainly plant corn in the high, dry but easily irrigated plot first. As his farm expands, he begins to make use of land that is less fertile, or more swampy than the last, until at the end the only land he has left is almost useless for agriculture.

Wind is no different, we certainly put the first turbines in good windy locations, that were not far from the power grid and not in peoples backyards. As time wears on, we are putting more and more turbines up, each one in a slightly less attractive location than the last. In just a couple years, the 20% growth rate will begin to fade slowly as fewer and fewer good windy locations are left, and the power companies are left to decide between the ones that don’t offer as good of a payback, and paying for more natural gas stations instead. The market forces will decide these things for us. There was an interesting study done in the Netherlands a couple years ago looking only at the economic ramifications of wind turbines versus other power sources. Obviously, the other sources have moving economic targets as well, but basically, it said once the globe reaches around 22% wind power, it would not be economically attractive to build more. I didn’t say not economically feasible, just not attractive. There might be other reasons to spend slightly more on wind, such as environmental or security reasons, but it will come at a price.

You could look at our home as another example. We have the grid where we live, but still we spent the time and money 12 years ago to install a solar array and wind turbine. Now our home produces about 94% of its own electricity. It’s nice, but to be honest, we would probably have been slightly further ahead in dollar terms if we put that $12,000 USD in long term bonds back then instead of against our electric bill. There is the fact that our home has not been without power for even a minute the last 12 years, while our community probably faces 2 to 3 outages per year, each lasting from several hours to several days. It’s hard to put a price on that, and in most cases people don’t even try, they only look at the financial payback of such a system. Wouldn’t it be nice the next time a war started in the Middle East if our country got most of its power from local sources. It would be even nicer still if they didn’t have to burn coal, oil or natural gas to make it. Those would be environmental and security benefits, and they don’t generally factor in when people, be they home owners or politicians, make decisions. The question is, what would you do if you were King? Take care Cam, Rudydoo

Jenny asks…

how does wind energy system work?

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind is a reliable energy source and the studies of its use is taking off. Wind energy system converts the power of the wind into turning a turbine which generates electricity.

Wind energy is starting to be more economical based on the conversion factor. It is growing at a rate of 37%. The cost of wind power has dropped 5 times over a period of about 8yr’s.
Truly a very good source of energy which can replace fossil fuel.

Read the following for all the facts and figures on Wind Power.

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Renewable Energy

William asks…

what is the importance of renewable energy?


Windmill Farms answers:

Environmental Benefits

Renewable energy technologies are clean sources of energy that have a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy technologies.

Energy for our children’s children’s children

Renewable energy will not run out. Ever. Other sources of energy are finite and will some day be depleted.

Jobs and the Economy

Most renewable energy investments are spent on materials and workmanship to build and maintain the facilities, rather than on costly energy imports. Renewable energy investments are usually spent within the United States, frequently in the same state, and often in the same town. This means your energy dollars stay home to create jobs and fuel local economies, rather than going overseas.

Meanwhile, renewable energy technologies developed and built in the United States are being sold overseas, providing a boost to the U.S. Trade deficit.

Energy Security

After the oil supply disruptions of the early 1970s, our nation has increased its dependence on foreign oil supplies instead of decreasing it. This increased dependence impacts more than just our national energy policy.

Lizzie asks…

distinguish between renewable and non- renewable energy?

Windmill Farms answers:

Renewable energy will not be used up.Renewable energy sources include wind energy,solar energy.
Non-renewable energy will be used up some day.

Donald asks…

If energy can’t be created, what’s renewable energy?

All over the internet it says how energy can’t be made, only transformed.

So where does the sun’s thermal energy, the tidal energy, the light energy and all the other forms of RENEWABLE energy come from in the first place, if it’s renewable?

Windmill Farms answers:

Renewable energy is just a name for an energy that comes from renewable sources. Renewable sources are the ones that replenish naturally such as sunlight, or wind, etc; and unlike oil (although it actually does replenish itself, it is over millions and millions of years so it really isn’t worth taking into account) or coal.

The solar energy and the tidal forces come from one of the 4 basic laws of nature, gravity. The energy source for gravity is theorized to be gauge bosons called gravitons through which gravity interacts with rolled up dimensions, but that is beyond this question; the basic idea of gravity is that mass attracts mass but I’m drifting away from the original question. If you still want to know, this gauge bosons simply come into existence for very brief instances of time creating the force and therefore the energy (work (energy)= force x displacement).

Chris asks…

Why should we switch to renewable energy?

My essay topic is on green energy, I can’t seem to think of an ethical reasons to why we should make the switch.
What are some reasons(ethical, logical,and emotional) to why we should switch to renewable/green/efficient energy?

Windmill Farms answers:

We should swtich to renewable energies – a wise combination of solar, wind, and water power because renewables are:
A) sustainable – energy that wont deplete (= energy security / the end of the power struggle)
B) Doesn’t cost the earth to acquire
(EG. There’s no drilling into the Earth’s core…)
C) Once equipment is paid for, the energy is FREE.
(Ah! Freedom from bills!)
D) It is truly SAFE
E) It is CLEAN / non-polluting (no carbon emissions!)
F) NO power cuts! (With adverse weather / global warming, no risk, or threat, of having no power)
G) Homes that have handy energy generation kits installed, become self-sufficient / don’t have to rely on the national grid
(which needs replacing at huge expense) (if that money was saved and spent on fitting devices in every building – WOW!)

(= Energy Security)

Joseph asks…

what does renewable energy mean?

solar energy

Windmill Farms answers:

Renewable energy effectively uses natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished. Renewable energy technologies range from solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity/micro hydro, biomass and biofuels for transportation.

In 2006, about 18 percent of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, like wood-burning. Hydropower was the next largest renewable source, providing 3%, followed by hot water/heating which contributed 1.3%. Modern technologies, such as geothermal, wind, solar, and ocean energy together provided some 0.8% of final energy consumption. The technical potential for their use is very large, exceeding all other readily available sources.

Renewable energy technologies are sometimes criticised for being unreliable or unsightly, yet the market is growing for many forms of renewable energy. Wind power has a worldwide installed capacity of 74,223 MW and is widely used in several European countries and the USA. The manufacturing output of the photovoltaics industry reached more than 2,000 MW per year in 2006,and PV power plants are particularly popular in Germany. Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain, and the largest of these is the 354 MW SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert. The world’s largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California, with a rated capacity of 750 MW. Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane, and ethanol now provides 18 percent of the country’s automotive fuel. Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA.

While there are many large-scale renewable energy projects, renewable technologies are also suited to small off-grid applications, sometimes in rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. Kenya has the world’s highest household solar ownership rate with roughly 30,000 small (20–100 watt) solar power systems sold per year.

Climate change concerns coupled with high oil prices, peak oil and increasing government support are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization. European Union leaders reached an agreement in principle in March 2007 that 20 percent of their nations’ energy should be produced from renewable fuels by 2020, as part of its drive to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, blamed in part for global warming. Investment capital flowing into renewable energy climbed from $80 billion in 2005 to a record $100 billion in 2006. This level of investment combined with continuing double digit percentage increases each year has moved what once was considered alternative energy to mainstream. Wind was the first to provide 1% of electricity, but solar is not far behind. Some very large corporations such as BP, General Electric, Sharp, and Royal Dutch Shell are investing in the renewable energy sector

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Wind Powered Car

Mark asks…

What appliances or electronics can I take apart to find a good DC motor to use in wind power experiments?

I am wondering if I could pick up some piece of trash appliance or electronic gadget at a garage sale and pull a good DC motor out of it to use in experimental wind power projects. The motor would need to contain magnets, and generate a current at relatively low RPM. Do VCR’s or blenders or tape decks or vacuums or shavers or ??? have any good DC motors in them for this kind of application?
Bigger is better…

? (to a point.)
I appreciate the answers received so far, excellent ideas! Toy cars, cordless drills and alternators all sound like they are worth experimenting with. I’ve also been reading about treadmill motors, which are a bit bigger and capable of producing more juice! I intend to leave this question up and open until the answers stop coming in, thanks to all contributers.

Windmill Farms answers:

One good source would be to go to an auto junkyard and get a permanent-magnet motor from a car.
Power window or power seat motors are fairly large, low speed permanent-magnet motors. However, they are not designed for continuous duty and cooling may be a problem if you try to run anything close to their rated current for more than a few minutes.

A blender or vacuum cleaner will not have a permanent-magnet motor; these have so-called “universal” motors which use the current that drives the motor to also create the magnetic field. You could in principle use one, but you would have to re-wire it with a separate field.

Tape decks, VCRs, etc do have DC motors but they are small. You will have a hard time getting more than a couple of watts. If that’s all you want then they will work, but don’t think, you are going to be powering a reading lamp or any significant fraction of household power demand.

You didn’t ask about it, but for what it’s worth, I think your best plan would be to get an alternator from an auto junkyard, preferably from a police car or a luxury car or SUV. (These tend to have heavy-duty alternators that often will put out 100 amps or more.) You will have to supply a field current here as well, but it comes pre-wired for it. It will be easier to have voltage control over your output if you use this rather than a permanent-magnet motor. Also an alternator will come with a built-in cooling fan. To get the maximum output, you will need to drive it at 3000~4000 rpm, but the good news is, if you can get this speed, you can get over a kilowatt of power, and it’s designed to have adequate cooling and a reasonable life at rated output.

Maria asks…

How to make a 2 axle, 4 wheel rubber band powered car?

For my science class, I have to make a rubber band powered car with 2 rubber band, 2 axles, and 4 wheels. I have an idea already, I just need ideas for how to tie the rubber band around the 2 axles.

Windmill Farms answers:

Here’s what I did back in engineering class in high school:

My car was technically rubber band powered, but the rubber band was not on the car. I built a separate catapult for it (which was like a T, the car straddled the long part of the T, with the shorter part being a backstop. I stretched the rubber band from the front of the launcher to the car, then had a release to send the car. It was technically powered by a rubber band, but had much more speed than you could probably get by simply having the car. Ours had to go as close to 10M as possible (but under 11M), so what you do for that is get enough string and wind from axle to axle, so that it runs out right at the desired distance and stops the car.

I used 2 CDs for each wheel, and put a rubber band around each wheel for traction for it to stop. If your car doesn’t have to stop though, only use one CD and no rubber band, since you would want less friction.

Ken asks…

What are some steps to make a simple wind powered car?

Im doing a project for school where we build a car that fan be pushed by a fan. Could anyone give me some steps on how to do this?

Windmill Farms answers:

Use a sail.

Steven asks…

Is it possible to use a car starter as a wind generator?

Hi; Car and wind power experts,
Is it possible to use a car starter as a wind generator? if it is, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Many people use treadmill DC motors as wind generators, I guess that a car starter is DC motor also, so can be used as a wind generator, I could be completely wrong.

Windmill Farms answers:

Slinky, Ric F answered your question and his answer is valid, but a car alternator can be used to generate wind power, but without a makeover it can’t do a very good job, a Wind Belt will do as good, with less wind.

There are very few good, cheap HVAT’s out there because of their need to be placed in a high, stable wind environment over 10mph on average. (HAWT=Horizontal Axis)

A VAWT on the other hand, can start up with as little as a 4.4 mph wind and start generating electricity with only 5.5 to 6 mph. (VAWT=Vertical Axis)

Any armature/field motor, starters and generators/alternators, used to build a wind generator, will require a lot of wind to power the blades/vanes to get it to turning fast enough so it can generate any usable current. This can be a real problem because of the rpm’s, and wind speed/power necessary to get some meaningful energy from this kind of motor.

A permanent magnet motor, some have magnetic levitation to reduce drag and heat, can do a lot for a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, but not as much for a Horizontal one.

William asks…

Does charging electric cars use more energy than if you used a gas powered car?

a lot of people have been saying that electric cars use just as much energy to charge them up as you would just using a gas powered car. Is this true?

Windmill Farms answers:

Most electric cars still use less net energy than a conventional auto. Many electric cars have mile-per-gallon equivalent ratings to enable comparisons between energy use. The Nissan Leaf has a 99 mpg equivalent. The lower-speed Zap Xebra has a 150 mpg equivalent rating. So the electrics use quite a bit less net energy than gasoline cars.

Electric cars also have the advantage of great renewable energy potential. If you were to have a solar or wind electric charging station for your electric car, you would be using nearly free and limitless energy and producing effectively no emissions.

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Vertical Wind Power Systems

James asks…

how do typhoons form?

Windmill Farms answers:

A typhoon is the same thing as a hurricane or Tropical Cylone.

A tropical cyclone is a warm-core, low pressure system without any “front” attached, that develops over the tropical or subtropical waters, and has an organized circulation. Depending upon location, tropical cyclones have different names around the world. In the:

Atlantic/Eastern Pacific Oceans – hurricanes
Western Pacific – typhoons
Indian Ocean – cyclones
Regardless of what they are called, there are several favorable environmental conditions that must be in place before a tropical cyclone can form. They are:

Warm ocean waters (at least 80°F / 27°C) throughout a depth of about 150 ft. (46 m).
An atmosphere which cools fast enough with height such that it is potentially unstable to moist convection.
Relatively moist air near the mid-level of the troposphere (16,000 ft. / 4,900 m).
Generally a minimum distance of at least 300 miles (480 km) from the equator.
A pre-existing near-surface disturbance.
Low values (less than about 23 mph / 37 kph) of vertical wind shear between the surface and the upper troposphere. Vertical wind shear is the change in wind speed with height.

Given that sea surface temperatures need to be at least 80°F (27°C) for tropical cyclones form, it is natural that they form near the equator. However, with only the rarest of occasions, these storms do not form within 5° latitude of the equator. This is due to the lack of sufficient Coriolis Force, the force that causes the cyclone to spin.

The seedlings of tropical cyclones, called “disturbances”, can come from:
Easterly Waves: Also called tropical waves, this is an inverted trough of low pressure moving generally westward in the tropical easterlies. A trough is defined as a region of relative low pressure. The majority of tropical cyclones form from easterly waves.

West African Disturbance Line (WADL): This is a line of convection (similar to a squall line) which forms over West Africa and moves into the Atlantic Ocean. WADL’s usually move faster than tropical waves.

TUTT: A TUTT (Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough) is a trough, or cold core low in the upper atmosphere, which produces convection. On occasion, one of these develops into a warm-core tropical cyclone.

Old Frontal Boundary: Remnants of a polar front can become lines of convection and occasionally generate a tropical cyclone. In the Atlantic Ocean storms, this will occur early or late in the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea.
Once a disturbance forms and sustained convection develops, it can become more organized under certain conditions. If the disturbance moves or stays over warm water (at least 80°F), and upper level winds remain weak, the disturbance can become more organized, forming a depression.

The warm water is one of the most important keys as it is water that powers the tropical cyclone (see image above right). As water vapor (water in the gaseous state) rises, it cools. This cooling causes the water vapor to condense into a liquid we see as clouds. In the process of condensation, heat is released. This heat warms the atmosphere making the air lighter still which then continues to rise into the atmosphere. As it does, more air moves in near the surface to take its place which is the strong wind we feel from these storms.

Therefore, once the eye of the storm moves over land will begin to weaken rapidly, not because of friction, but because the storm lacks the moisture and heat sources that the ocean provided. This depletion of moisture and heat hurts the tropical cyclone’s ability to produce thunderstorms near the storm center. Without this convection, the storm rapidly diminishes.

Daniel asks…

in what decade did elevators become automated, ( self-leveling), without the need of an operator?

Windmill Farms answers:


The history of power elevators in the U.S. Began in 1850, when a crude freight hoist operating between two adjacent floors was installed in a New York City building. In 1853, at the New York Crystal Palace exposition, the American inventor and manufacturer Elisha Otis exhibited an elevator equipped with a device called a safety to stop the fall of the car if the hoisting rope broke. In this event a spring would operate two pawls on the car, forcing them into engagement with racks at the sides of the shafts so as to support the car. This invention gave impetus to elevator construction. Three years later the first passenger elevator in the U.S., designed by Otis, was installed in a New York City store. In these early elevators, a steam engine was connected by belt and gears to a revolving drum on which the hoisting rope was wound. In 1859 an elevator raised and lowered by a vertical screw was installed in the Fifth Avenue Hotel in York City. In the 1870s the rope-geared hydraulic elevator was introduced. The plunger was replaced in this type by a relatively short piston moving in a cylinder that was mounted, either vertically or horizontally, within the building; the effective length of the stroke of the piston was multiplied by a system of ropes and sheaves. Because of its smoother operation and greater efficiency, the hydraulic elevator generally replaced the type with a rope wound on a revolving drum.

The electric motor was introduced in elevator construction in 1880 by the German inventor Werner von Siemens. His car, carrying the motor below, climbed its shaft by means of revolving pinion gears that engaged racks at the sides of the shaft. An electric elevator was constructed in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1887, operated by an electric motor turning a revolving drum on which the hoisting rope was wound. Within the next 12 years, electric elevators with worm gearing connecting the motor and drum came into general use except in tall buildings. In the drum elevator the length of the hoisting rope, and therefore the height to which the car can rise, are limited by the size of the drum; space limitations and manufacturing difficulties prevented the use of the drum mechanism in skyscrapers. The advantages of the electric elevator, however, including efficiency, relatively low installation costs, and virtually constant speed regardless of the load, spurred inventors to search for a way of using electric motive power in skyscrapers. Counterweights creating traction on electrically driven sheaves solved the problem. Since the introduction of electric motive power for elevators, various improvements have been made in motors and methods of control. At first, single-speed motors only were used. Because a second, lower speed was desirable to facilitate leveling the car with landings, low-speed auxiliary motors were introduced, but later several systems were devised for varying speed by varying the voltage supplied to the hoisting motor. In recent years devices for automatic leveling of cars at landings are commonly used. Originally the motor switch and the brakes were operated mechanically from the car by means of hand ropes. Soon electromagnets, controlled by operating switches in the car, were introduced to throw the motor switch and to release a spring brake. Push-button control was an early development, later supplemented by elaborate signal systems.

Donna asks…

If you know alot about tidal energy then you should should look at this ………………please?

Please tell me everything about tidal energy including does it work
2.locations many are in the world much energy does it produce
5.history of development
6.interesting facts
7.uses of electricity produced
8.what is the natural source of energy
If you can help me I will be so great full………i will defently give the person 5 stars and i will help them aswell with their questions

Windmill Farms answers:

It’s a big piece, but I hope you get all the info u need =)

1. The process of harnessing energy from the ocean’s tide is very similar to that of harnessing water through a hydroelectric dam. However, the dam needed for this process is much larger. Installed within the dam are turbines. The movement and flow of the tide in and out from the shore is then used to turn those turbines and create the power needed.

(2,3,4 question) There are two ways at present of using tidal power:

Barrage systems: This system, built like a dam across a river, holds back the water till the tide has gone out, then uses the potential energy of the water to turn turbines in the barrage. This is an expensive system with many disadvantages.

Tidal Stream systems. This consists of using turbines, rather like wind turbines, to use the kinetic power of the moving water to generate electricity. This is easier and cheaper to install.

There are three Barrage systems operating throughout the world.

One large 240 MW plant on the Rance River in France, and two small plants,

one in the Bay of Fundy in Canada, and

another in Kislaya Guba in Russia.
There is only one Tidal Stream system working commercially:

A fullsize turbine prototype, SeaGen, was installed in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland in 2008, with a capacity of 1.2 MW.
A large number of smaller tidal stream pilot schemes are being trialled.

-In Hammerfest, Norway a turbine, generating 300 kW, started in 2003.
-A 300 kW Periodflow marine current propeller type turbine was tested in Devon, England in 2003.
-Since April 2007 a prototype project in the East River in New York City has been running.
-An Open-Centre Turbine, has a prototype being tested at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), in Orkney, Scotland.
-A Gorlov turbine, an improved helical design, is being prototyped on a large scale in S. Korea.
-Neptune Renewable Energy has developed Proteus which uses a barrage of vertical axis crossflow turbines for use mainly in estuaries.
-During 2003 a 150kW oscillating hydroplane device, the Stingray, was tested off the Scottish coast.
-Successful commercial trials of highly efficient shrouded tidal turbines on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia in 2002.
-Shrouded turbines are being installed for a remote Australian community in northern Australia, two small turbines will provide 3.5 MW.
-Another larger 5 meter diameter turbine, capable of 800 kW in 4 m/s of flow, is planned as a tidal powered desalination showcase near Brisbane Australia in October 2008.
-The Hydro Venturi, is being tested in San Francisco Bay.
-In April 2008, a turbine-generator unit (TGU) prototype was successfully tested at Cobscook Bay and Western Passage tidal sites near Eastport, Maine.
-Trials in the Strait of Messina, Italy, started in 2001 of the Kobold concept.

(4,6,7) Tidal energy use harnesses the water flow created primarily by the moon orbiting the Earth. As water is pulled toward the gravity of the moon, currents are created that can turn generator turbines.

Volumes have been written about tides and their effects on our planet. This Wikipedia Tides article is a good primer on the subject. It is noteworthy that all tidal energy does not come from the moon. About a third of it comes from the gravitational influence of our sun.

The interplay of gravitational fields of the moon and the sun combined with the rotation of Earth, creates a twice a day ebb and flow of the tides of our world that varies in height and strength.

Those variations in height and strength are completely predictable. As we’ll see later, that predictability is an important aspect of tidal energy use.

Though renewable, practical tidal energy use will be limited. Tidal flows are global, but the key to using them economically is finding either natural high tidal flow areas, or large tidal basins that can be easily dammed to channel water through turbines. _________________________________________________________________


Tidal energy use involving dams creates many of the same environmental concerns as damming rivers. Tidal dams restrict fish migration and cause silt build up which affects tidal basin ecosystems in negative ways.

Systems that take advantage of natural narrow channels with high tidal flow rates have less negative environmental impact than dammed systems. But they are not without environmental problems.

Both systems use turbines that can cause fish kills. But these are being replaced by new, more fish friendly turbines. The art and science of environmentally friendly hydro engineering is well advanced and will certainly be applied to any tidal energy project.

But even with dams, the environmental impact of tidal energy projects may prove to be smaller than our use of any other energy resource. Economics will severely limit the number of tidal energy projects. ______________

Charles asks…

“How should we select different gears for different applications”?

Windmill Farms answers:

Spur Gear:
these gears are used mainly for slow speeds to avoid excessive noise and vibration.

Used in:

+ hand or powered winches
+ wind up clocks
+ washing machine
Bevel Gears:
The most commonly used spiral beveled gear set is the ring and pinion gears used in heavy truck differentials. Bevel-type gears are also used for slow-speed applications that are not subject to high impact forces. Handwheel controls that must operate some remote device at an angle use straight bevel gears. A good example of bevel gears is seen as the main mechanism for a hand drill. As the handle of the drill is turned in a vertical direction, the bevel gears change the rotation of the chuck to a horizontal rotation. The bevel gears in a hand drill have the added advantage of increasing the speed of rotation of the chuck and this makes it possible to drill a range of materials.

The bevel gears find its application in locomotives, marine applications, automobiles, printing presses, cooling towers, power plants, steel plants, defence and also in railway track inspection machine. They are important components on all current rotorcraft drive system.

Spiral bevel gears are important components on all current rotorcraft drive systems. These components are required to operate at high speeds, high loads, and for an extremely large number of load cycles. In this application, spiral bevel gears are used to redirect the shaft from the horizontal gas turbine engine to the vertical rotor.

Worm Gear:
The most common use for the worm gear is in applications where the power source operates at high speed and the output is at slow speed with high torque. Many steering mechanisms use a worm gear connected to the steering shaft and wheel and a partial (sector) gear connected to the steering linkage. Small power hand tools frequently use a high-speed motor with a worm gear drive.

Helical Gear:
Helical spur gears are widely used in transmissions today because they are quieter at high speeds and are durable.

Rack And Pinion:
These gear sets can provide control of arbor presses and other devices where slow speed is involved. Rack and pinion gears also are commonly used in automotive steering boxes.

Internal Gears:
Planetary gears are widely used because each set is capable of more than one speed change. The gear load is spread over several gears, reducing stress and wear on any one gear.

Hypoid Gears:
The most common use for hypoid gears is in modern differentials. Here, they allow for lower body styles by lowering the transmission drive shaft.

Herringbone Gears:
Herringbone gears are best suited for quiet, high-speed, low-thrust applications where heavy loads are applied. Large turbines and generators frequently use herringbone gears because of their durability.

Crown wheel:
Crown wheels are used in motorcycle automotive gearboxes. It is also used in mechanical clocks. The clock consists of a crown wheel, rotated by a falling weight, whose teeth drive the pallets of a verge backward and forward. This verge is connected to an arm with a hammer on the end that struck the bell.

Steven asks…

How to build a drawbridge?

I need to build a drawbridge for a school project (modern ones, not the one used in the Middle Ages) that is powered by a hydraulics system and consists of at least one simple machine using only syringes and pieces of wood and popsicle sticks. Could someone please give me a few ideas?

Windmill Farms answers:

Here are a couple of sketches showing 2 different types of drawbridge.


I assume the syringes are the hydraulic cylinders, and that you’ll work the plunger on the master syringe manually.

The bascule type normally has a giant gear centered on the main pivot, and the motor has a smaller gear to drive it, but I’ve shown a lever arrangement (that’s your simple machine). You could use the rack and pinion arrangement, too.

The lift span might be easier to build, since you don’t have to get all the lever geometry right, but if you can only use popsicle sticks, you might have a hard time with the gears. You might also use a string wound around a drum instead of a rack and pinion. If you can’t use string, though, you can’t do the lift span at all.

A third type is the swing span, where there’s a center support with a span balanced on it (like a T), and the span rotates 90 degrees on a vertical axis. This could also be done with a lever, but the center support would have to be large in diameter to house the slave syringe, so it probably wouldn’t be practical.

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Is Wind Power Green Energy

Joseph asks…

I work for a power company that sells low cost green renewable energy.?

Even though everyone says they’re green, I’m having a very hard time getting people to switch to my company. They donate $1 from every bill to a charity the customer picks. They also are giving away $50 Visa gift cards to sign up. Why is this such a difficult product to sell?
The average customer is saving approx.10% off their monthly electric bill.

Windmill Farms answers:

Because people are afraid that the “green” power will stop flowing when the sun goes down.
Or the wind stops.

Nancy asks…

Other Green Energy Options..Suggestions?

Doing a research project on cost effectiveness of Solar, and Geo-Thermal compared to normal electricity and oil heating for prisons and or industries of similar size. I need to know if there are other methods of energy use and heating other than solar and geothermal?? If so I would like so see links posted so I can site my references properly. If not just give me the names of the methods and I can research myself. Thank you in advance people :-)

Windmill Farms answers:

Aeothermal = (air,water and earth)
Wind turbine
Trash to power

Mark asks…

Science/what energy resource would be suitable in these areas?

what energy resource would be suitable in these areas?
e.g. wind power, wave power, geothermal, coal methane gas bed, fossil fuel, biomass, green house gases, tidal power etc.

a small island nation
a large city in a developed country
a large city in a developing country
a remote island

i already figured out that wave and wind power would be suitable for a small island nation

help !

Windmill Farms answers:

Small island – wind, solar and small-scale gas, biomass and coal – they’re cheap to install, require limited specialist equipment to maintain and are low maintenance. Biomass, coal and gas are easy to get into an island (by ship, or installing a gas-line) and provide a reliable, cheap and low cost base power supply for the island. I would not use wave power as this is still under development and can often require specialist marine equipment (i.e. Lifting and diving equipment) to maintain, which is expensive and not financially viable for a small scale installation such as that for a small island nation.

Large city in developed country – wind (obviously dependent on location and hence wind density etc), solar, wave and tidal power is located near the sea, geothermal if appropriately located in a geographically compatible area, bio mass, nuclear, coal, gas. Basically, everything as there will be money available to develop, maintain these types. You also need to ensure there is a consistent base provision of energy that is able to cope with natural peaks in energy requirements in any weather. The focus for this location is a reliable, varied source of energy that can consistently meet all the needs of the city.

Large city, developing country – wind, solar, coal, gas, biomass – these would be my first choice as they are reliable, low cost sources that use established, proven technology to provide a reliable output. They are not particularly environmentally friendly, but this is not the focus of developing cities – their focus is to establish a power supply that will meet quickly growing needs for power. Often developing countries have reasonable coal and gas reserves, which helps keep cost of power production down and also boost their internal economy.

A remote island – You could also think about very small-scale hydro power (small waterwheels connected to generators if there is a river there). Also, would use solar and wind integrated with some form of battery power storage and backup diesel generators, so if weather is poor and solar and wind are not producing enough energy, then you can back up with reliable, low cost, easily maintainable diesel generators. Note that the population size on this island would obviously determine actual solution – I’ve assumed a relatively small population.

Note that the use of wind and solar are dependent on the available positions for the installations – i.e. There’s no point setting up a wind farm in a sheltered valley, or a solar farm in the far north where light levels are too low and they have long dark winters.

David asks…

Go Green, what does that mean?

I’m signed up with JustHost and I noticed an ad to Go Green… I clicked on it to see what it was about, but it just says Upgrade Your Account! Go Green! Just $0.97/Month. It also says:
- Energy Efficient Servers
- Green Badge For Your Website
- Become JustGreen eCertified
- Carbon Neutral Friendly
- Wind Powered
- Help Preserve The Environment

I’m sorry if I’m not “in tune” with the whole Go Green thing… but I’d like to know how this would all benefit me &/or my website???

Windmill Farms answers:

Go Green it’s a motto for Be more ecologic and respect more the nature, do something for it. But maybe the website you mentioned only wants to take advantage of this idea, because usually Go green it goes on the volunteer things, on giving something without asking something in return. Do more research about that website or that offer, on the internet.

Mary asks…

Is green energy wrong?

Do you oppose green energy in your community? Why?

Windmill Farms answers:

Not when it lowers my energy bills by 48%.

Green Energy is not an evil thing, nor is it expensive to carry out.

For example:

While community opposition often blocks or hampers new wind power projects, Sweden has managed to break ground for Europe’s largest wind park counting more than 1,000 giant turbines, with barely a whisper of protest.

The secret? The giant Markbygden wind farm — covering more than 500 square
kilometres, or the equivalent of five times the size of Paris — is being built
in a virtually uninhabited, desolate stretch of Sweden’s great north.

“If I were to try the same thing in Germany, it would take me 20 years to get
everyone’s agreement,” Wolfgang Kropp, the German head of the project, told AFP.

Standing on the shores of the Baltic Sea at the Piteaa harbour near the wind
park site, he added: “For the same area, you would have 10,000 land owners. Here
there are three.

“That’s why we came here to Sweden in search of a good location,” he said.

“In the south of the country, it is very difficult. There are farms, and
vacation homes. Here in the north, there is no one,” he said.

Kropp’s company Svevind, a client of German wind power giant Enercon, is leading
the construction of the park, with 1,101 wind turbines scheduled to be built by

They should then produce energy equivalent to the production of two nuclear

The site stretches across a vast area covered with dense pine forests
interspersed with scattered villages of just a handful of brightly painted
wooden houses.

Washington state has its own set of wind farms too. Some solar plants, and a hydroelectric dam being built that’s going to be operational by 2015.

Plus a tidal station as well. All in all–by 2030–we’ll be getting 20%-30% of our power needs from green energy.

And as time goes on, more and more projects will add to that quota and by 2075, we should be close to 70%.

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