18. November 2014 · Comments Off on Geothermal Energy Industry Jobs & Growth Opportunities · Categories: Renewable Energy Training

Not many know that relaxing in a natural hot spring to relieve stress is the key to the world’s future in relieving energy and environmental problems. Once this resource’s full potential is unlocked, it would just like “Old Faithful”: reliable, natural and “faithful” in continuously sustaining life and saving other natural resources. This is called Geothermal Energy, power harnessed from the heat (thermos) kept in the earth (geo) as well as the degradation of radioactive minerals. This stored energy is captured by a system of pipe and conduits that properly channel heat and steam to power turbines or simply just radiate warm temperatures.

Evidence of geothermal energy already integrated into daily living can be seen in countries such as Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Unites States. Direct-Used Piped hot water is utilized to heat buildings during cold seasons and provide warmth in greenhouses. Dehydration of produce, pasteurization of milk and even fish farms are benefitting from the resources. Pipes are also installed under roads to facilitate in the hastening of ice and snow melting.

Geothermal Heat Pumps uses the heat of shallow ground to cool or heat up buildings and homes depending on the season. With the design of pipes in the ground, ducts and air exchangers, hot air can be pulled out to give a cooler temperature or let in to increase it.

Providing natural heat is one thing however producing electricity to drive most of our present day technology is another matter. This is where experts in various fields come together in designing, building, and operating a Geothermal Reservoir. Wells more than a mile are drilled and steam and hot water are used to drive powerful turbines to generate electricity. Three types of geothermal plants are utilized today: Dry steam plants use hot steam greater than 455 F wherein the steam travels to turbines via pipes hence generating electricity. This type has been first used in Lardarello, Italy 1904. Another are the Flash Steam Plants where hot water, at greater than 360 F is released from a pressurized reservoir and the sudden change of temperature vaporizes the water to steam, spinning the turbine.  Third is the Binary Cycle Power Plant that uses hot geothermal fluid less than 400 F and a secondary low boiling point fluid that passes through a heat exchanger and vaporizing the secondary fluid.

The mechanics of geothermal energy for producing electricity requires the technology and knowledge of hot springs, deep oil and water well drilling, construction and maintenance of magma conduits and hydrothermal machineries among others. With all these vital areas, various expertises are required thus providing career opportunities to many. Welders, mechanics, pipe fitters, plumbers, machinists, electricians, carpenters, construction workers, drilling equipment operators and excavators, surveyors, architects, geologists, hydrologists, HVAC technologists, managers, regulatory and environment consultants and many more that reach positions in research and development.

Internationally the world’s geothermal sources have increased between the years 1990 to 2000 with an average of 3.5% every year and a 13% percent increase of Direct Use as well. At present the United States is the leader in the geothermal growth as in 2007 it contributed to 4% of the countries renewable energy. As of September 2009, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming are generating power through geothermal reservoirs and by October 2009, Oregon, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi will soon be joining as well. A total of 3152.72 installed capacity MW comes from the U.S with the Philippines following second with 1909 which was attained last year 2008.

It is said that every dollar invested in this resource, the output to the economy is $2.50. The investment for a 50 Megawatt reservoir would result in an output of $350 Million to the US economy hence a 1000 Megawatt; $2.8 Billion investment would give a $7 Billion economic output.

Once geothermal power is secured and its system properly in place with the economy, jobs would be more secured as shown by employees currently working for the industry for decades. Without the price fluctuating like oil and gas, job stability is more or less guaranteed as well as room for moving up in the industry. Even the industry when near perfection, will require very little or no fuel at all to operate. Due to misinformation, many still are skeptical with its environmental implications. Even the sight of smoke automatically says “pollution”. But the smoke that is seen is just water vapor and is released and some of it keeps generating more power. It is safe to know that with proper emission control, no harm comes to the environment. With the future looking bright, all may enjoy the luxury of relaxing in their own private hot springs.

18. November 2014 · Comments Off on Home Energy Audit · Categories: Renewable Energy Training

What is an energy audit?

There are several meanings that come to mind when the word “audit” comes up. For college students, an audit would be taking a class that wouldn’t be credited. For businesses, it means inspecting or verifying official business accounts by an external qualified accountant. However when one speaks of an Energy audit, it is a methodical and thorough examination, review or inspection of the current energy consumptions of a particular location with scrutiny. But for what end? Simply put, an energy audit is done to check how much of the energy used for cooling or heating is effectively used or wasted in an effort to minimize and cut down spending on high bills. Households may have the dilemma when seeing their power bills sky rocket and puts them with options of either purchasing cheaper or low quality environmental systems which barely provides comfort or just crank up the power when heat or cold is insufficient, causing the machines to work double time and doubling the bill. An energy audit takes a look at the whole living containment system and not just the energy providers. Even the most advanced cooling or heating system will not work up to par if there are places where air simply slips out or due to inadequate insulation.

Basically an energy audit pinpoints areas in one’s home where the energy is leaking or seeping out. One will be amazed on the tremendous loss of energy with multiple gaps, cracks or improperly closed windows or doors all over the house. Energy Audit can be done either by the owners by doing what is called a Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit while the other option is the Professional Energy Audit. The first one requires the home owner to make a diligent and careful walkthrough of the entire home, locating possible areas for air leaks. Window and door frames that rattle is a definite indicator there is air leakage. Electrical outlets, gaps in baseboards, poorly sealed openings where pipes are installed or cracks due to wear-and-tear are also possible areas where heat or cold can either sneak in or out. Practical methods such as using an incense stick or wetting one’s hand can assist in finding the air leaks. By turning off all heat producing machines and appliances, closing all doors and windows, and turn on exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms, air passing through the leaks will be stronger. As one walks through specific locations, the wavering smoke or coolness of the hand as the air hits it will help mark the spot that needs attention. There are remedies such as adding a rubber tape or door flaps that prevent air for leaking through the sides or under opening of the doors, or sealants to cover cracks.  Detecting and corrective sealing of leaks can give savings ranging from 5% to 30% on power. Poor insulation and ventilation is also a cause for running up the bills either by increasing the heat because it rapidly escapes or increasing the air-conditioner because the heat is trapped. Homes are built with an certain amount of insulation and older buildings are known to have lesser insulation.

For a more thorough and detailed audit, professional services can be used to go over each and every inch of the household. Data gathering is an essential step for professional auditing. Electric bills form the past months are studied, checking the thermostat readings per room and how much time are the rooms used and by how many people. The Blower Door Test is the most commonly used test. By sucking all the air out of the house using a fan and monitored by pressure gauges, with the data collated, the auditor can quantify how much air leakage is present. The Blower Door Test is also used to check if the sealing remedies are effective.

A Thermographic Scan is also an effective tool that auditors use. These tools use specially designed infrared video or still cameras that detect where there are heat build-ups, thermal envelopes, or drops of temperature in areas where heaters should be working. Both the Blower Door Test and Thermographic scans work well to give the most accurate picture of how the energy is being distributed throughout the household.

Having an energy audit done is a good investment for it will give savings for the future to come. Energy audits are also recommended for people who are scouting to purchase a new home. So before one thinks of replacing equipment to heat or cool the house, it may not be the problem. Devote some time to go around the house using the practical tools and it may lead you to a more comfortable home and a less empty pocket.

18. November 2014 · Comments Off on New Online Renewable Energy Training Course Offerings · Categories: Renewable Energy Training

We are now offering Renewable Energy Training Courses. If you are looking to take some courses through an accredited organization and that are NABCEP approved and can qualify you to take the NABCEP Photovoltaic Entry Level Exam at a computer based testing center near you then we have a solution for you. We have teamed up with a Solar Training Provider to offer you course access on a monthly basis. You can take the courses as quickly or slowly as you want. Text books are sold separately and links are provided to the Amazon listing for said books.