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November 19, 2009

AEI accepts TXSES donation to the Starcher-Nelsom Renewable Energy Scholarship

Filed under: Education,Local News,News,Texas News — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:26 pm

AEI appreciates the donation of $1,000 by The Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES) to the Starcher-Nelson Renewable Energy Scholarship.

TXSES in a non-profit with a long history of solar energy and renewable energy outreach education. Founded in 1976, TXSES has been serving Texas for more than 30 years, and has developed a national reputation due to their higher profile projects. These projects include the 11th annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Sustainable Living Fair in Fredericksburg in late Sept 2010, the largest sustainability event in the South.  TXSES will also co-produce the 14th annual Austin Cool House Tour with Austin Energy Green Building on June 6, 2010. And because of an invitation from the town of Salado, they will produce the first Renewable Energy Stampede and Green Living Fair in that fair city April 17 & 18, 2010.

TXSES is part of the American Solar Energy Society and has chapters in Houston, North Texas, El Paso, Austin and San Antonio.

The Starcher-Nelson Renewable Energy Scholarship is an excellent fit for the TXSES mission to increase the awareness of all renewable energy applications and promote the wise use of sustainable and non-polluting resources.

AEI Gets $75k to build new Wind Test Center

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 2:29 pm
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Brian Jennings from AEDC, David Carr and Vaughn Nelson

AEI has been given $75k by the Amarillo Economic Development Commision for its new test center at the Nance Ranch. The check was presented by Bryan Jennings. The money will be used to help AEI relocate from our current location to the new center. Moving to the test center will be done in November. The new test center will open during the summer of 2010.

September 25, 2009

New Staff Member!

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News — admin @ 6:12 pm

We’ve got a new staff member here at AEI… student worker, Sunny Bhatia!

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!

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 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 19, 2009

Amarillo College looks to add solar energy program

The Amarillo Globe-News has a story up about Amarillo College‘s attempts to start a solar program. AEI’s Ken Starcher offers his opinion on the issue. Here’s an excerpt:

Amarillo College is seeking nearly $900,000 from the National Science Foundation to add solar energy education as a program at its Amarillo and Dumas campuses.Such a program would partner with AC’s growing wind energy programs, which regents approved in September.

“It would allow us to add to our renewable energy culture,” said Danita McAnally, AC’s dean of assessment and development.

The college’s final grant application is due Oct. 15, but college officials have started the application process.

“You have to do a preliminary submission, which we’ve done,” McAnally said. “We haven’t heard anything back from the preliminary application yet.”

AC officials expect to hear an answer by early 2010, McAnally said. The money would be distributed over three years.

“In Texas, there’s not a complete curriculum in solar energy at community colleges,” McAnally said.

Ken Starcher, director of the Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University, said training programs for renewable energy of any kind are few and far between across the country.

“Amarillo College is doing the right thing,” Starcher said. “They’re looking forward and saying ‘Where’s the need?'”

You can read the rest of the story 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.

dcarr@wtamu.edu

806-651-2295

The Bergey and the Rainwater Collection System are pictured here:

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Here are a few photos of Patezold at work:

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

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