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5 Of The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Wind Power

Wind power is the process in which mechanical and electrical power is captured and generated by the wind. Amazing right? If you are like most, you are likely to have plenty of questions about this renewable energy source.

To help you understand more about how this method of power generation can benefit users and the environment, we’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions about wind power and the most cohesive answers. Here’s what you need to know:

1. What Is Wind Energy And How Is It Captured?

Wind energy is captured through the use of wind turbines with massive propellers – similar to aircraft blades – that turn as they are blown by the wind. This turning movement powers an electric generator which collects and stores an electric current that will be used for energy distribution and consumer use.

These wind turbines resemble traditional farm windmills. There are multiple turbines grouped together and tied to a single power plant to generate bulk electrical power. This will then be distributed into the local utility grid and distributed to customers just like conventional power plants.

2. How Big Are Wind Turbines?

Wind turbines come in a variety of sizes that can serve a number of consumer needs. The largest blade span can be larger than the length of a football field and stand more than 20 stories high. This size of turbine can generate enough power to produce electricity for as many as 1,400 homes.

Smaller turbines may have a blade span of 8 – 25 feet and stand up to 30 feet high. This smaller type of wind turbine can fully supply the needed power for a single home or small business.

3. What Are Wind Turbines Made Of?

No matter what size turbine, these wind powered electrical generating machines are made of a few simple components:

  • rotor (part that rotates in the wind)
  • tower
  • electrical generator
  • speed-control system

4. What Are The Advantages of Wind Power?

There are multiple public opinion surveys that consistently show how wind- and other renewable energy forms are significantly preferred over conventional methods of energy generation. Wind energy is considered a renewable resource, and there’s no cost associated, so no matter how much is used – the supply of wind will remain the same.

Wind energy is also a great source for clean, non-polluting, electric energy. This type of power plant will emit no air pollutants or greenhouse gases during electrical power production either.

5. Will Production of Wind Power Negatively Affect The Environment?

While wind power plants have a relatively small impact on the environment when compared to conventional fossil fuel power plants, there are a few concerns. Most of these concerns have been solved or significantly reduced due to technological developments and well-thought-out placement of wind farms. Environmental impacts can include:

  • Bird and bat mortality rates
  • Noise produced by rotor blades in motion
  • Aesthetic and visual impacts

The Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy

The world is changing and the search for renewable energy green energy has become an important topic. Wind power is one of these clean and renewable sources of power that more and more countries are adopting. Many countries around the world are investing in research that is aimed at ensuring wind energy is utilized to its full potential.  Continual development of this technology is also serving to reduce the overall cost of setting up and production. There are many benefits to wind power, but also a good number of challenges facing this sector.

Advantage of Wind Energy

Wind Energy Is Renewable

Unlike hydroelectric power, wind power is renewable and, therefore, inexhaustible. Wind is generated every day so it cannot end or become scarce like water. As long as the sun exists and the earth rotates, wind power can always be generated.

It’s a Clean Source Of Energy

Wind power generation does not affect the environment in any way since it is freely provided by nature. It does not cause any emissions which may lead to polution and health problems to people – such as is seen when using fossil fuels.

Wind Power Is Affordable

Only the initial cost of setting up the windmills is high. The operational cost is very low compared to other sources of power. The cost to produce a unit is much less than the overall advantages offered by wind power.

It’s a Local Source Of Energy

Wind energy can be generated from anywhere and does not require that a nation imports the energy, unlike fossil fuels like coal and gas. This allows any nation to stop relying on other countries for energy – which boosts their economy since they don’t have to import as much.

Requires Limited Space

There is no need to clear land so as to establish windmill farms. The windmills can be established in already existing farms which maximize on land usage.

Challenges Facing Wind Power

Unpredictable Wind Patterns

For adequate power to be generated, there needs to be constant wind blowing over a long duration of time. However, being that wind patterns cannot really be predicted, this makes it difficult to harvest enough power in some locations.

Operational Challenges

Most of the windmill farms are in the countryside. However, most of the power plants are usually in the cities which may make it challenging to harness and generate the power in some places.

Visual Blocking And Noise Pollution

When the turbines are running, they produce noise that can be quite distracting to the people who are living near them. They also alter the landscape of an area, which could have a negative impact on the surrounding communities.

High Initial Cost

The cost of constructing the turbines and setting up the farms is quite high. This may make developing nations hesitant to invest in it as it may be too much to bear.

Summary

Wind power production has its challenges since it is a natural form of energy and it can be very unpredictable. However, it is a great potential source of alternative energy for nations who need to find a solution to ensure their energy security.

6 Of The Most Obvious Questions On Solar Answered

Solar energy is a broad and endless natural resource which is more popular than ever. While the cost of living continues to rise, more and more homeowners are looking to go green. Whether you are hunting for a new property or remodeling your home, solar power is on the radar. Here are the most obvious questions that consumers interested in solar always ask:

1. How Does Solar Power Actually Work?

A module, more generally referred to as a solar panel, is a group of cells connected electrically. A solar panel is made up of small solar cells. Each of these cells is made of semiconductor materials.Basically, when light strikes the cell, a certain portion of it is absorbed within the silicon. This means that the energy of the absorbed light is transferred to the semiconductor. Electrons are then knocked loose from the atoms in the semiconductor material. Electrical conductors are connected to the positive and negative sides, which form an electrical circuit. The electrons can then be captured in the form of an electric current.

2. Will Solar Power Work For Me?

A solar energy system requires that your property is able to gather enough sunlight for you to convert. Whether or not your home or business is a good fit for solar panels will depend on a variety of factors. For example, if you live in a northern climate with a south facing roof, you might be able to utilize this renewable energy. You may, however, not be in a position to gather enough energy to fuel your electricity needs if your home is among shady trees. Also, if your roof is rather small, you may not have enough space for panels large enough to meet your energy requirements. It’s best to speak to a local professional to figure out if solar power is a good option for you.

3. What Size System Do I Need?

It depends on how much electricity you use. The typical home is said to require a 7.5-kilowatt system. This is based on the fact that the average home uses 30 kilowatts per day. Your home or business could require more or less than this average, depending on several factors. Therefore, your electricity needs will determine the right system for you. Always keep in mind, however, the actual size of your roof and number of panels it can accommodate for.

4. Do I Need A Battery Backup System?

You don’t necessarily need batteries. However, most systems are connected to the local grid. When there is a blackout, your system will automatically turn off. This is a safety requirement by the utility companies so that technicians can safely repair the electrical lines. To keep your solar panel functional during a blackout, a battery backup system will be needed. If you live in a geographic area where power outages are relatively common, you should probably consider a battery backup system.

5.  What Type Of Maintenance Is Required?

A clean solar panel is an efficient solar panel. If your panels are messy and stained, less light will be consumed. This shouldn’t be too much of a hassle when you consider how easy it is to clean your panels. If you are not able to reach the panels, the company who installed the panels should be able to do the cleaning. Make sure your system is well cared for, kept clean and free of any debris. Other than general cleaning of your panels, there is no regular maintenance required.

6. What Happens At Night?

A battery bank can be used to provide you with power in the evenings. Think of your solar panel system in partnership with your local electricity grid. If there is a surplus, the excess power that your panels have generated can be transferred back into the grid while power can be drawn from the utility grid at night.

 

How Solar Affects Your Private Carbon Footprint In The World

It’s no secret that solar power has many advantages. “Carbon footprint” generally refers to the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere as a toxic by-product. This is due to our own actions, or that of particular organization or community. These harmful gases are used to produce energy.

To reduce your carbon footprint, you need to employ carbon offsetting strategies. Switching to solar power is one of the biggest contributions you can make to our planet.

Your Carbon Footprint In Perspective

To gain perspective on how we are affecting the environment, consider that the following activities ad roughly 2 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere:

  • 7 miles by public transport system ( train or bus )
  • Driving 4 miles by car
  • 32 hours on a household computer
  • Production of 2 plastic bottles or 5 plastic bags

The average American household’s carbon footprint is roughly 5 times higher than the rest of the world!

Environmental Impact of Solar Energy

Solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun. When you install panels on your roof, you immediately begin to combat the effects your home has on global warming.

In fact, the average system will offset 30 tons of carbon dioxide over the course of 30 years! This saving can be compared to:

  • 60,000 miles driven with an average car
  • Planting 2,400 trees
  • Saving 80,000 gallons of water used in electricity production
  • Avoid the emissions from 16 tons of burned coal

Fossil Fuels vs Renewable Energy

Did you know that in one hour, the earth absorbs more energy than the world uses in a whole year! This is the power of the sun.

If we begin to utilize this limitless energy properly, the world could meet its energy requirements for as long as humanity inhabits the earth.

Solar energy And The Environment

Solar energy does not simply benefit the home or business owner. Utilizing the sun’s energy means avoiding toxic pollutants and other global warming emissions.

As more homes and businesses across the world install solar power panels, the world continues to move farther away from fossil fuel consumption and closer to a green economy powered by the sun.

Some of the most important benefits of going solar include not only the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but also cleaner air, water, and soil.

Rooftop panels also provide power to the grid during peak demand hours of the day. This, in turn, lightens the load on power companies taking strain during the summer, which drastically reduces the global carbon footprint.

Safe, Renewable, and Cost-Effective Energy

Switching to a clean, more affordable source of energy has never been more important. With the help of sustainable solar systems, we can enjoy a cleaner, healthier, and safer environment.

Whether you own a home, run a business, or manage a municipal building, there are many advantages to consider when contemplating solar energy panels on your property.

This green approach, in short, will not only save you money but more importantly, it saves the environment with a cumulative effect which makes a larger impact. Sustainability is the massive driving force behind installing solar panels.

Our planet needs reliable, affordable, sustainable power every day and solar provides the solution.

You can make a difference by reducing our carbon footprint and using solar energy instead.

How To Avoid Solar Scams

The solar industry is not immune to its fair share of scams. The financial crash of 2007-2008 changed the shape of the global economy and one of the most unwelcome features of the new economy was the spike in the number of internet and telemarketing related scams.

Scammers Exploiting Solar Technology

Well-crafted scams take advantage of trends and other prominent cultural phenomena to catch the attention of their victims and leverage their naivety.

In recent years, solar technology has become less expensive to produce and easier to use.

Those who are aware of this fact may drop their defenses when they are being offered an “incredible deal”. People who are unaware of recent developments in green energy tech may be delighted to learn that solar devices are improving so rapidly, and when they do a quick Google search they will find, to their delight, that the claims of the party making the “amazing offer” are actually true.

Is It The Right Solution For You?

It is a fact that solar power systems can lower your electricity bills, but as with any worthwhile investment, it may not be a great solution for everyone. What’s more, there are a number of factors that can complicate the installation, use, and function of solar power systems. Con artists and scammers will promise that these factors are non-issues. Legitimate vendors, on the other hand, should let the customer know upfront what problems may exist and endeavor to proactively address them before going ahead with any sale or installation.

Are You Waiting For The Right Deal?

People looking to scale back on their energy usage and reduce their utility bills by installing rooftop solar panels and windmills are going to be especially vulnerable to solar scams. With the upfront investment to be made in the necessary solar equipment, it is likely the main reason why many haven’t yet signed up with a solar energy provider or purchased their own panels. They have been waiting for the right solar deal- so when the scammers come along – they are simply too eager to bite.

With real solar power systems, the initial investment is projected to be made up within 30 to 40 years. This is improving, but as it stands, solar energy for home use is a long-term investment. What it is not, is a way to make fast cash, and fast cash is exactly what the scammers are claiming to offer.

Best Case Scenarios?

Potential buyers who are not familiar with the ups and down of solar technology are, unfortunately, more likely to fall for the tricks that double dealers offer. The best scam artists will offer the best case scenarios as reliable or baseline scenarios. Ideal conditions in which solar systems can achieve optimal functionality may be well within the limits of possibility, but they cannot be reasonably expected to hold up on a continual basis.

The most common scenarios that a con artist will paint for their potential victims include:

  • Low-ball price schemes
  • Exaggerated savings
  • Unrealistic energy production
  • Denial of conditions not helpful to the technology

Scammers may also invent peculiar economic factors or speak of unusual ordinances and laws that will lead to significant kickbacks for persons who invest in their systems.

All of these promises will be made in the hopes of convincing the scammer’s intended victims to make a large initial investment while, as they say, the offer remains valid.

Be Familiar With High-Pressure Sales

Even in sales situations where the merchant is offering a truly valuable product, the ethics of high-pressure sales techniques are questionable. The virtues of a good product will be self-evident. Anything worth buying should sell itself.

If you find yourself confronted by a sales person using high-pressure sales techniques, be wary. Here is a simplified list of high-pressure sales tricks to help you spot them:

  • Word storm: endless jargon-filled chatter
  • Emotive language: appeals to pity, ego, or popularity
  • Limited-time offers: fools rush in
  • Reciprocation: free gifts given up front or ingratiating language
  • False familiarity: attempts to gain trust based on interpersonal chemistry

Solar Power’s Benefits Are No Secret

There’s nothing mysterious about the value that a solar power system can bring to those who invest in them. There simply is no good reason to exaggerate the virtues of solar power technology. There are many scams out there, so before you jump right in and make the purchase, speak to local professionals and compare their estimates.

Comparing quotes and discussing your options is a surefire way to pick up on scams and whether you’re being ripped off. Remember, anyone making unbelievable claims is most likely trying to stick you with a bill for a load of solar snake oil.

Amazing Energy Facts To Blow Your Mind

Alternative Energy Source Pros and Cons

Due to increasing global energy consumption and the probable depletion of the world’s non-renewable energy source, ways of exploring and using alternative energy sources are being undertaken. Using alternative energy source can be both beneficial and difficult. Let us explore the different pros and cons of alternative energy source.

A major advantage of renewable energy is that it is renewable therefore it is sustainable and will never run out. More importantly renewable energy produces little or no waste products that may pollute or has harmful effects on the environment.

Some countries using renewable energy as another source of energy are also showing some economic benefits especially in many regional areas. Most of their projects are located away from the urban centers and capital cities. They were able to increase the use of local services as well as tourism.

General disadvantage of using renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate large quantities of electricity similar to that of conventional fossil fuels. Another common problem among alternative energy sources is the reliability of the energy supply. Since it is naturally generated, enewable energy supply relies on the weather condition.

Another drawback or disadvantage of alternative energy source is that it is relatively more expensive to set up the equipment necessary for generating the energy.

Here are the several advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy source.

• Solar energy- the sun is a great source of energy since it is free and is efficient. It is possible to maximize the energy given by the sun to replace traditional electricity. But there are limitations, like areas at high latitude and places with frequent rains are places not capable of producing efficient solar energy.

• Wind energy- wind is also an efficient electricity source. It is possible that wind energy can replace up to 20 percent of the total electric consumption in the future. It is also a very environment friendly source of energy since there are no harmful gases produced in the process of converting the energy. Location is a very important factor in using wind energy, high latitudes and coast lines are good places to set up windmills. A relatively big land area is also needed to put up sufficient number of windmills.

• Hydroelectric and tidal energy- both of these energy come from water. With hydroelectric energy it is mainly sourced from dams. Tidal energy, on the other hand, uses the natural tides of the ocean. Production of energy from water is another clean way of producing energy. However there are several disadvantages. Putting up river dams as sources of hydroelectric energy is very expensive, while tidal energy source depends much on the ocean. Since oceans tends to unpredictable there are only 9 places worldwide that are suitable for this kind of energy source. And tidal energy power plants are also said to provide negative effects on the migratory birds and the fishes.

• Biomass- biomass consists of fermented animal waste, agricultural crops, grains and other natural products. It can be used to produce an alcohol and also replace gasoline needs. It maximizes waste materials as an alternative energy source. A drawback, it that it still produces greenhouse gas. Recent government incentives around biomass boilers are impressive so get a solar panel installer estimates from your local goverment autority or online.

Alternative energy sources although it is renewable also pose some disadvantages. But its unfavourable effects are relatively smaller than the harmful effects of conventional fossil fuels. The hunt for a cost-efficient and environmental friendly alternative energy source does not stop on the latest discovery.

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Altronics Solar And Wind Energy

The Honeywell Wind Turbine

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The Honeywell wind turbine features the innovative Blade Tip Power System™. The BTPS utilizes a system of magnets and stators surrounding its outer ring to capture power at the blade tips where speed is greatest, practically eliminating mechanical resistance and drag. The size, weight, and quiet design sets it apart from others in the industry.

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The only way we feel we can make an impact on the world is if we work together.  The Altronics Energy network spreads all across North America.  With our teams utilizing the wind every day we get closer to our green energy goals every hour.
At Altronics Energy we manufacture and distribute the Honeywell Wind Turbine that was developed by WindTronics. We also manage the North American Dealer Network and offer training courses to installers and dealers across the globe.

Our Roots

Altronics Energy’s true success spurs from the roots of its parent company Altron Automation, Inc. With a small budget and one customer back in 1989, the owners of both companies began their first business. From there, they grew into a 100-plus employee company nestled in Hudsonville, MI. Altron designs and builds custom automated systems for various applications. With the fall of the Michigan auto industry in 2008, Altron made some strategic changes and saved the company and its employees by opening doors to new ventures, including the medical, food and green energy sectors.

Enter WindTronics

One of the first alternative energy lines to walk into Altron’s doors was WindTronics, a company headquartered in Muskegon, MI. Altron accepted a challenge it had never experienced before and designed an assembly solution to create a wind turbine in only five minutes. The trick of it all was that the turbine was being designed in parallel with the line. After a few months of working day to day with the WindTronics team, Altron developed close relationships and began to carry the same passion for the product and its possibilities as WindTronics.

The Birth of Altronics Energy

In November of 2009, Altron presented a new idea, a new name and a new face of its company to the staff of WindTronics. Altronics Energy was just a PowerPoint presentation with a few clip art pictures and a homemade logo with the hopes of becoming a distributor, installer and trainer for these wind turbines. After that day, everything snowballed into extremely fast growth. Soon, quality concerns arose with various subcomponents of the turbine and Altron engineers stepped in to help solve these challenges.

Problem Solvers

Altron’s best attribute is its problem-solving abilities. It all started with the wheel, then the quad (the electrical components), the roof mount and the stators soon followed. Altron spent 22 years building a one-time job assembly line for some other company who would then go and make money off Altron’s design. Now it was Altron’s turn to use its own equipment to make product. Altron and Altronics Energy teamed up to design the best way to manufacture the sub-components with optimum quality.  Altronics Energy became manufacturers of the wind turbine using Altron Automation’s expertise to design assembly systems for them. The line allowed for minimal human error, incredible precision and fast processes. Soon, Altronics knew more about the product than anyone, and this, in turn, aided its pursuit to be distributors, installers and trainers. After all, who better to install and manage the turbine than the people who build it?

Altronics Energy currently distributes and manages all dealers for the Honeywell Wind Turbine across North America. Visit our manufacturing page here.

Resources


Here is where you’ll find helpful websites, information
regarding rebates, incentives, calculation ROI  and solar/wind mapping tools.

Helpful Websites

Wind Estimator sites only provide estimates, seek a local dealer for closer assumptions based on your area.

Rebate and incentive look up for US and Canada: www.windknowledge.com

A general zip code, wind resource estimator: www.solar-estimate.org

U.S. Incentive List www.dsireusa.org

Utility Incentives: www.windpoweringamerica.gov

United Kingdom Solar Resource: www.getsolarpanelquotes.com
Get Solar Panel Quotes

Wind Energy Resources Atlas: wrredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/maps.html

Wind Mapper: www.windmapper.com

Wind Ordinances: www.windpoweringamerica.gov/policy/ordinances.asp

National Wind Maps: 
www.windpoweringamerica.gov/windmaps/residential_scale.asp

How much electricity do your home electronics use?: 
www.michaelbluejay.com/electricity/howmuch.html

For energy usage, use the Smart Calculator 

Average Wind Speed in your area: www.usa.com  type in your zip code, then click on weather and scroll down to the wind speed charts.

Wind Energy

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Solar Energy

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HydroPower

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