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September 10, 2009

WTAMU Establishes Renewable Energy Scholarship

From West Texas A&M University’s web site, breaking news about AEI and wind energy education at WTAMU:

With more than 65 years of research experience in renewable energy  between them, it’s no surprise that Dr. Vaughn Nelson and Kenneth Starcher are establishing the Starcher—Nelson Renewable Energy Scholarship for students at West Texas A&M University.

The two men, who have worked at WTAMU’s Alternative Energy Institute (AEI) since it was founded in 1977, have seen an increased interest in renewable energy and believe the scholarship will benefit students interested in studying alternative sources of energy.

“We’ve been teaching online introductory courses in wind energy and solar energy since 1998, and we get people from all over the world in the wind energy course,” Nelson, director of AEI, said. “They take the classes for continuing education credits or for certification.”

And there is a definite interest in the courses.

Click here to read the rest of the press release.

August 21, 2009

AEI & Class 4 Winds Talk Wind on KGNC-AM

Class 4 Winds and AEI’s Ken Starcher will be discussing wind energy and wind power development in the Panhandle on KGNC-AM. The show starts at 10 AM, and you can listen to it live here! (You’ll need to sign up to KGNC-AM’s Listener Club first.)

August 19, 2009

Texas News: Panhandle has wind energy potential

Filed under: Local News,News,Texas News,Wind Energy — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 4:15 pm

We got  this bit of news from Class 4 Winds… some information on Wind Energy development in the Panhandle, and why it hasn’t been going faster, courtesy of the Plainview Daily Herald. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

FLOYDADA ( Aug. 17, 2009) – Landowners in the panhandle of Texas know the wind blows and many of them are starting to question why they haven’t seen more wind energy development in the area. At a recent meeting held in Floyd County, experts reassured landowners that there is still potential for wind energy development.

Richard Amato, president and CEO of Venti Energy and wind subcommittee chair for the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) was the first speaker at Caprock Plains Wind Energy Association’s (CPWEA) annual membership meeting. Amato presented the attendees with a wind industry update, explaining that wind energy development in Texas has come a long way but it still has the potential to grow.

Click here to read the rest!

August 3, 2009

Wind Energy & Wind Turbines Table of Contents

Filed under: Wind Energy — Tags: , , , — admin @ 5:25 pm


July 14, 2009

Film Showing: Energy Crossroads

xroadsbkgThe Alternative Energy Institute will be showing a documentary, Energy Crossroads, in the Cornette Library at 9:30 AM on July 17th. Energy Crossroads is an award-winning documentary about energy consumption and alternative energy that offers concrete solutions for the future.

From the Energy Crossroads Web Site:

This award-winning documentary exposes the problems associated with our energy consumption. It also offers concrete solutions for those who want to educate themselves and be part of the solutions in this decisive era. The film features passionate individuals, entrepreneurs, experts and scientists at the forefront of their field bringing legitimacy and expertise to the core message of the piece.

July 8, 2009

Texas News: Pickens paring down wind farm project

Filed under: News,Texas News,Wind Energy — Tags: , , , — admin @ 4:48 pm

This one was found by our friends at Class 4 Winds. Here’s a story about T. Boone Pickens and his wind farm project from the Dallas Morning News.

T. Boone Pickens’ plan to build the world’s largest wind farm is off.

Instead, Pickens said he will build five or six smaller wind farms, in the Midwest and possibly Texas, though he hasn’t settled on locations.

Last year, Pickens announced that he would build a 1,000-megawatt wind farm in Pampa, Texas. The problem a lack of a transmission line to bring the juice to population centers, Pickens said in an interview last week.

“I don’t think the first place we build, though, is where we thought we would because we don’t have the transmission,” he said.

Remember that idea he had to build his own transmission line? “It was a little more complicated than we thought,” he said.

You can read the rest of the article (and other Pickens news) here.

July 2, 2009

Ken Starcher at WEATS

AEI’s Ken Starcher is gone this week at the WEATS symposium. The Wind Energy Applications Training Symposium (WEATS) is an internationally acclaimed workshop on wind energy first launched in 1988.

Designed for project planners, developers, utility officials, and engineers directly involved with energy projects within the Native American community, training will be held at three venues this year,  Albuquerque, NM; Rapid City, SD; Portland, OR.

If you’re interested, you may want to check out AEI’s galleries of previous WEATS here.

June 10, 2009

Local People: Swope swoops in to wind movement

Filed under: Local People,News,Wind Energy — Tags: — admin @ 12:42 pm
A.J. Swope, photo from the Amarillo Independent.

A.J. Swope, photo from the Amarillo Independent.

The Amarillo Independent has a great story about Class 4 Winds‘ s AJ Swope. Here’s an excerpt:

AJ Swope was a celebrity, but it wasn’t enough.

The 2003 Pampa High School graduate was an anchorman on an Amarillo television station, but he wanted to do more with his life. Now, he feels he is.

After high school, Swope earned his Bachelor of Science degree from West Texas A&M University in mass communications and then went to KVII-TV, Channel 7.

“I was an anchor, reporter, producer, photographer and ended up as assistant news director,” Swope said.

Normally, television markets the size of Amarillo are entry points to larger markets.

“Often the goal is to jump markets,” Swope said, “and get to the bigger cities.”

But Swope never wanted to leave the Texas Panhandle.

As a reporter, he determined that wind energy was going to be a major asset to the area.

You can read  the rest here.

May 26, 2009

Local People: Local Energy Pioneer: Bill Paetzold of Hereford

Bill Paetzold was born in the depression and has been a farmer all of his life. During his years of dryland farming, he has seen the oil economy boom and bust, water levels drop, and fuel prices go through the roof. In his 70+years of wisdom, Mr Paetzold began to think there should be a better way, and he decided to do something about it rather than sit idly by.

In reading and talking to people about the energy problem, he discovered information about using hydrogen as a storage medium for energy. Using his own retirement funds, Mr. Paetzold has made an investment in equipment and his time to purchase one of the first electrolysis machines by Millennium Reign Energy. Their website is located here. He also purchased a 10 kw Bergey wind turbine.

Even that may have been enough for some, but Bill has expanded his promotion of the hydrogen economy by creating demonstrations of how hydrogen can be utilized. He has converted small engines and a 6 cylinder engine to run on straight hydrogen. He has modified a torch to run on hydrogen. He even grills his burgers on a hydrogen grill. Remember, this is hydrogen that he makes himself. His hydrogen making machine is connected to the Bergey 10 kW wind turbine. So, the wind blows, and he gets stored energy in the form of hydrogen. The hydrogen is stored in old propane tanks at 100 psi until he is ready to use it. The water that he is extracting the hydrogen from is collected from the roof of his house and barn when it rains.

It is an endless source of frustration to Mr. Paetzold that more people cannot see the simplicity and usefulness of using hydrogen on a regular basis. If we produce local, and buy local, Mr. Paetzold thinks that it could be a good thing for local economies as well.

While there is nothing new about using hydrogen, producing hydrogen, collecting rainwater, or using windpower, these items all together make up an energy system that is only utilizing locally obtainable fuel. This is Mr Paetzolds strongest argument for such use of hydrogen systems. One of the main arguments against a wind-to-hydrogen system is that efficiency of the energy storage is an issue. Mr. Paetzold is very interested in having independent testing performed on the Millennium Reign unit and proving what the efficiency of the whole system is in terms of energy stored, and energy used. The Alternative Energy Institute has expressed interest in Mr. Paetzolds work, but with neither he nor AEI have the funds to obtain the sensors needed for such testing without external funding focused on the effort.

Anyone interested in Mr. Paetzold’s hydrogen work can contact him through AEI.


The Bergey and the Rainwater Collection System are pictured here:



Here are a few photos of Patezold at work:




Assistant Director David Carr also filmed Paetzold working with hydrogen-power. Check ‘em out, they’re pretty cool!

March 26, 2009

Local News: Dr. Nelson’s Book On Sale

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News,Wind Energy — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:11 am

bookAEI’s Dr. Vaughn Nelson’s book, Wind Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment is available for sale at CRCPress Online.

The book is selling for $107.96.

Book Summary

Due to the mounting demand for energy and increasing population of the world, switching from nonrenewable fossil fuels to other energy sources is not an option—it is a necessity. Focusing on a cost-effective option for the generation of electricity, Wind Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment covers all facets of wind energy and wind turbines.

The book begins by outlining the history of wind energy, before providing reasons to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. After examining the characteristics of wind, such as shear, power potential, and turbulence, it discusses the measurement and siting of individual wind turbines and wind farms. The text then presents the aerodynamics, operation, control, applications, and types of wind turbines. The author also describes the design of wind turbines and system performance for single wind turbines, water pumping, village systems, and wind farms. In addition, he explores the wind industry from its inception in the 1970s to today as well as the political and economic factors regarding the adoption of wind as an energy source.

Since energy cannot be created nor destroyed—only transformed to another form—we are not encountering an energy crisis. Rather, we face an energy dilemma in the use of finite energy resources and their effects on the environment, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels. Wind Energy explores one of the most economical solutions to alleviate our energy problems.

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