What is a Solar Pond?

A salinity gradient solar pond is an integral collection and storage device of solar energy. By virtue of having built-in thermal energy storage, it can be used irrespective of time and season. In an ordinary pond or lake, when the sun’s rays heat up the water this heated water, being lighter, rises to the surface…

Pilo, the 100X Better Battery

The classic AA batteries are bordering disuse in our everyday appliances, but there are those few devices that still rely on that good old battery. However, buying new batteries all the time became such a pain that they invented rechargeable batteries, that have since become a pain as well since we always have to charge…

Energy Source Comparison

Energy Source  Pros Cons Solar Energy» Nonpolluting Most abundant energy source available Systems last 15-30 years High initial investment Dependent on sunny weather Supplemental energy may be needed in low sunlight areas Requires large physical space for PV cell panels Limited availability of polysilicon for panels Wind Energy» No emissions Affordable Little disruption of ecosystems…

Hydropower

Hydropower is the energy captured from moving water. It is often used to make electricity, usually at dams. A renewable energy source, hydropower produced 6% of the United States’ total electricity and 67% of generation from renewables in 2008. Hydropower produces about 20% of the electricity used worldwide, according to the US Energy Information Administration.…

Geothermal

Geothermal energy comes from the heat stored in the Earth’s core, about 1,864 miles/3,000 kilometers below the surface, and heat from the sun warming the Earth. The word geothermal originates from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat). The ground is a good insulator and stores the heat as energy. Pipes are run through…

Energy Sources

Energy is essential. It is embodied in everything we use. To compare sources of energy effectively, we need to understand what it is and how it works. What is Energy? It comes from many sources and in many forms. The forms of energy are classified in two general categories: potential and kinetic. Potential energy is…

Biodiesel

Introduction “Biodiesel” – diesel fuel made from animal or vegetable materials – is an alternative fuel that has been used in motor vehicles since the beginnings of the automobile industry. It can be substituted for petroleum-based diesel fuel (“petrodiesel”) in diesel engines. Vehicles using biodiesel emit fewer pollutants than petrodiesel, although they also generally get…

Ethanol

Introduction Ethanol (ethyl or grain alcohol) is a renewable fuel used to power vehicles and other internal combustion engines. Ethanol is currently made from feedstock crops such as corn, barley and sugarcane that contain significant amounts of sugar, or materials that can be converted into sugar, such as starch. About 90 percent of ethanol in…

Biomass

Biomass is any plant or animal matter used to produce energy. Many plants and plant-derived materials can be used for energy production; the most common is wood. Other sources include food crops, grasses, agricultural residues, manure and methane from landfills. As an agricultural state, Texas has many resources for biomass energy production. As an agricultural…