Renewable Energy Resources

Renewable Energy Resources

Links to general solar energy information, solar home designs, PV solar equipment, thermal solar equipment, solar air heating, wind generators, electric vehicles, US government energy agencies and policies, and global warming.

These are some resources Larry has used or investigated. This list isn’t inclusive or intended as a directory, advertising, recommendations or endorsements.

Page Contents:

General Information

Solar Home Designs

PV Solar Equipment

Thermal Solar Equipment

Solar Air Heating

Wind Generators

Miscellaneous Hardware

US Government Energy Agencies & Policies

Global Warming

Meteorologist William Gray

Professor Alfred Sloan, MIT

History and Climatological Cycles

History and Carbon Dioxide

Conclusions

Related Sites

We must have an aggressive, long term, comprehensive national energy policy

NOW

Our new national energy policy must become a top priority and include the following points in some form:

  • Continued Production of established fossil fuels only as a short term strategy; “drill here, drill now” for known petroleum reserves to supplement current supplies only to provide time for development of replacement fuels; continue work to reduce emissions; commit to phasing out fossil fuels
  • Expanded use of nuclear as a backbone for non-carbon fuel sources until new technologies are capable of contributing the majority of our energy needs
  • Conservation as a long term strategy to include energy efficiency, moderated lifestyles and effective stewardship of the environment
  • Aggressive development of new technologies with emphasis on renewable energy sources; environmentally friendly manufacturing facilities; recycling of 100% of used equipment; tax incentives comparable to those currently given the petroleum and coal industries; consumer incentives for renewable energy systems and equipment
  • Support energy R&D as if our national security depends on it, because it does.
  • Get government out of the business of deciding which new fuel or energy sources will be the new “black gold” (eg., ethanol or hydrogen); promote research and development of a wide variety of possible resources; allow technical breakthroughs to determine which resources will dominate

 Why are we waiting?

We need to pursue alternate & renewable energy sources for a wide variety of positive reasons, not just because people are hysterical about climate change (or whatever else the current “crisis” might be). We must develop an aggressive, long term, comprehensive plan to research and develop the next generation of fuel and energy sources. And do it now!

General Information

  • DSIRE Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy
  • The Crash Course The Unsustainable Future of Our Economy, Energy and Environment; by Chris Martenson — excellent presentation, highly recommended

Solar Home Designs

PV Solar Equipment

Thermal Solar Equipment

Solar Air Heating

Wind Generators

Miscellaneous Hardware

U.S. Government Energy Agencies & Policies

  • Department of Energy
  • NREL National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    • PV Watts calculator for energy production & cost savings, grid-tied pv systems

Global Warming

  • Regarding “man-made global warming,” what is the penalty for committing scientific fraud?

Dialogue with Meteorologist William Gray (Excerpts from interview; source: Discover, September 2005)

  • Discover: Meteorologist William Gray may be the world’s most famous hurricane expert, pioneering the science of hurricane forecasting more than 20 years ago.
  • Dr. Gray: Right now I’m trying to work on this human-induced global-warming thing that I think is grossly exaggerated.
  • Discover: You don’t believe global warming is causing climate change?
  • Dr. Gray: No. If it is, it is causing such a small part that it is negligible. I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and 40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle 40s to the early 70s. And there has been warming since the middle 70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.
  • Discover: That must be a controversial position among hurricane researchers.
  • Dr. Gray: Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us. If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, “Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.” Well, just because there are two associations, changing with the same sign, doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.
  • Discover: With [increased hurricane activity], won’t people say it’s evidence of global warming?
  • Dr. Gray: The Atlantic has had more of these storms in the last 10 years or so, but in other ocean basins, activity is slightly down. Why would that be so if this is climate change? The Atlantic is a special basin? The number of major storms in the Atlantic also went way down from the middle 1960s to the middle 90s, when greenhouse gases were going up.
  • Discover: Why is there scientific support for the idea?
  • Dr. Gray: So many people have a vested interest in this global-warming thing — all these big labs and research and stuff. The idea is to frighten the public, to get money to study it more. Now that the cold war is over, we have to generate a common enemy to support science, and what better common enemy for the globe than greenhouse gases?

Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT(quoted in Richmond Times-Dispatch, 23 Apr 06)

There is a . . . sinister side to this feeding frenzy [insisting on human-induced climate change]. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks, or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

History and Climatological cycles

  • There are many reliable indications of climatological cycles throughout history (tree rings, ocean sediments, ice layers, glaciation scars, etc.). Scientific theory: During the last ice age, Northern Europe and Northern America were covered with ice hundreds (possibly thousands) of feet deep; so much water was frozen that the ocean levels dropped as much as 300 feet below current levels. That ice age began ending less than 20,000 years ago.
  • Late 800s AD, Vikings colonized Greenland and established year-round community. Climate was warm enough to support crops, herds & fishing. In 1400s, the climate began turning colder and the settlers died out; they also came under attack from Eskimos to the north.
  • Revolutionary War in America (1775 – 1781) was fought during the “Little Ice Age” and cold weather was a major factor in many of the battles.
  • War of 1812, severe cold contributed to Napoleon’s defeat in Russia and major losses during his retreat across Europe.
  • April 1815, major eruption in Phillipines; upper atmosphere affected by volcanic ash & sulphur, reflected solar heat away from earth. 1816 was called “the year without a summer.” In U.S., June 1816, temperatures below freezing, snow through July & August; crops ruined, animals froze to death. Weather in New England was so bad, massive migration to the Midwest. In Europe, famine & epidemics; food riots in England, France, other nations in Europe.
  • 1850s, Little Ice Age abruptly ended. Not surprisingly, the globe generally has been warming since the Little Ice Age ended!
  • Data indicates half of the 20th century’s global warming happened between 1900 and 1945; i.e., in the first 45 years. If man is largely responsible for global warming (fossil fuels, greenhouse gases, etc.) then why didn’t the majority of the warming happen in the last 55 years of the century? Instead, data for 1945 to 1970 indicated global cooling.
  • Heat Islands. Major metropolitan areas are known as heat islands because concrete, masonry and asphalt act as passive solar collectors, causing metro areas to be several degrees warmer than nearby rural areas. As cities have grown, their “heat islands” have enlarged and elevated temperature readings.
  • According to scientific estimates, for the past 800,000 years there have been periods of approximately 100,000 years called Ice Ages, followed by a period of 10,000 years, a period called Interglacial, followed by another Ice Age. We’re about 10,500 years into the present Interglacial period; that is, we’re 500 years overdue for another Ice Age. If indeed mankind’s activity contributes to the planet’s warming, we might postpone the coming Ice Age. (source: “Conventional Wisdom: Media, Academic Elite Mislead America With Myths,” Walter Williams, 7 Jun 06).

History and Carbon Dioxide

  • Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas. According to the famous “hockey stick” chart, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased 32% since 1850 to 377 ppm due to human activities (according to the current diatribe). A recent publication of the “hockey stick” chart (Technology Review, July/August 2006) indicates atmospheric carbon dioxide peaked at almost 290 ppm about 125,000 years ago, at 275 ppm about 240,000 years ago and 300 ppm about 320,000 years ago. This seems to indicate an unusual spike in the last 150 years. It’s important to note that each increase was very rapid (as in the latest case), and the average declined continuously until the next abrupt peak. It’s also noteworthy that the peaks are getting farther apart.
  • A similar chart (Scientific American, October 2006, article: “Impact from the Deep”) indicates 385 ppm currently, and the following historical values:
    • 833 ppm, 50 million years ago
    • 1364 ppm, 100 million years ago
    • 1970 ppm (5 times higher than today), 170 million years ago
    • 455 ppm (a trough, but 18% higher than today’s value), 220 million years ago
    • 3030 ppm (this is correct, 7.8 times today’s value), 250 million years ago
    • 303 ppm (a trough, lower than today’s value), 300 million years ago.
  • If these data are even close to accurate, they clearly indicate major fluctuations over time that cannot be attributed to humans.

Conclusions

  • A Fox-ism: Firm conviction, frequent repetition and general consensus do not constitute truth. For example, the earth is neither flat nor the center of the universe, although for centuries people believed it was, assured each other it was, and even persecuted those who disagreed.
  • Yes, the climate currently is warming, as it was cooling a few decades ago and warming before that (recovering from the Little Ice Age). Yes, carbon dioxide levels currently are increasing. While those who insist humans are largely (or fully) responsible for these changes claim “the debate is over” about the issue, it’s only because they refuse to consider any alternatives, continue to chant their mantra and belittle those who disagree with them. Scientists can be blinded by their own biases and the general populace can believe whatever is repeated frequently enough. The hysteria about humans being fully responsible for these changes is unwarranted and needs to stop.
  • We need to pursue alternate & renewable energy sources for a wide variety of reasons, but not because people are hysterical about climate change (or whatever else the current “crisis” might be).

Related Sites

 

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