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June 9, 2010

FALL 2010 CLASSES: Register Now!

Registration is now open for West Texas A&M University’s Fall 2010 Alternative Energy Courses!

Both courses will be offered online through WTAMU’s Continuing Education department. You must register with West Texas A&M University to sign up for these classes.

Start Date

Classes begin AUGUST 30TH, 2010.

Cost

  • College Credit Cost – Varies, depending on whether you are pay in-state or out-of-state tuition.
  • CEU & Certificate Cost – $720

What Can You Get From the Course?

Course Summaries

If you would be interested in taking these courses, please look at the following course summaries:

How to Register

Prospective students must register through WTAMU Continuing Education.

STEP ONE: Click the “Register and Pay” link on the Continuing Education web site.

STEP TWO: Select the “ENERGY” topic code and hit Submit (not the WIND code).

STEP THREE: Register for the course of your choice!

June 1, 2010

WT to test 50-story wind turbine

From The Amarillo Globe-News:

West Texas A&M University became part of a push Monday to raise expectations for a Spanish company’s wind turbines – machines that could double the power production of today’s standard turbines.

“It will be fundamental research like how to make a better blade with light, robust material, testing aerodynamics, the integrity of blades,” said Theresa Maldonado, associate vice chancellor for research of the Texas A&M University System and director of the Energy Engineering Institute, which will participate.

Gamesa Technology, based in Spain, signed contracts Monday with A&M and several affiliated entities calling for research on energy projects, including a turbine rated at a production capacity of 4.5 megawatts to be installed at WT’s Nance Ranch. The company itself only makes a 2-megawatt turbine now and most land-based turbines don’t exceed that.

Click here to read more.

May 24, 2010

Local News: Texas A&M University System and Gamesa Technology Corp. Announce Plan to Collaborate on Nation’s Largest Wind Turbine

From Alt Energy Mag, concerning WTAMU’s own Regional Wind Test Center:

The Texas A&M University System and Gamesa Technology Corp. (Gamesa) announced an agreement today with the intention to install a new generation of wind turbine at West Texas A&M University, coordinated jointly by the Energy Engineering Institute and the Alternative Energy Institute of the A&M System. The Gamesa G10X (also known as the G128) would be the largest of its kind in the country, while providing substantial advances in production output, energy efficiency and noise reduction.

With today’s signing ceremony at the 2010 American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition, A&M System and Gamesa officials have initiated a long-term agreement in which the system, through its multiple members, will conduct ongoing research and testing for Gamesa’s energy-related projects. System members include the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (Energy Engineering Institute), Texas A&M University, West Texas A&M (Alternative Energy Institute) and the Texas Transportation Institute. The initial collaboration will involve installation of the Gamesa G10X, a 4.5-megawatt turbine that has a higher tower height and a larger rotor diameter (420 feet/128 meters) than existing land based turbines, which allows it to access better wind resources that further increase its production capability.

Click here or visit Gamesa’s official web site to read more.

December 16, 2009

NEW CLASS: Renewable Energy – Overview

ONLINE, Spring 2010

  • For Credit, must be admitted to WTAMU
    • Undergraduate: ET 4395-70, Research/Problems
    • Graduate: ET 6392-70, Seminar/Engin Tech
  • Continuing Education, ENRGY 1000-01, 4.5 CEU units, Cost $720

Enroll through Continuing Education,  Dec 16 – Jan 20 or call 806-651-2037

How to Register and Pay (THROUGH CONTINUING EDUCATION)

  • Under Topic Code, select ENRGY Renewable Energy, then click submit.
  • Click in the box, then submit and fill out personal form and pay.

Instructors

Nelson and Starcher have taught two courses online a number of times: 1) Wind Energy and Wind Turbines, and 2) Solar Energy. They have over 60 years experience in renewable energy, primarily in wind energy. Drs. Nelson and Chen have been thesis chairs on a number of projects at AEI. Department of Engineering and Computer Science and AEI are developing a renewable energy degree program.

Course Description

Renewable Energy (ET 4395-70) is an overview course with the use of spreadsheets for some analysis.

At the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Understand energy and power as it relates renewable energy production.
  • Be able to analyze data and predict energy production of renewable energy systems.
  • Understand operational parameters of renewable energy systems (mechanical, electrical, control).
  • Size systems and predict performance.
  • Understand institutional issues; local, environmental, and national.
  • Calculate economic values from simple payback to life cycle costs.

Course Information

No Required Text

  • Suggested Textbooks
    • Vaughn Nelson, Wind Energy, Renewable Energy and the Environment, CRC Press, 2009
    • Robert Foster, Majid Ghassemi and Alma Cota, Solar Energy, Renewable Energy and the Environment, CRC Press, 2010
    • Aldo Vieira da Rosa, Renewable Energy Processes, 2nd ed, Academic Press, 2009
  • General:  Godfrey Boyle, Ed., Renewable Energy, Power for a Sustainable Future, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, 2004

Dr. Nelson is in the process of writing textbook, Renewable Energy, Overview, so online course will cover much of the same material.

RENEWABLE ENERGY: OVERVIEW

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • 1.0 Introduction
  • 2.0 Energy
  • 3.0 Sun
  • 4.0 Heat transfer and storage
  • 5.0 Solar heating and cooling
  • 6.0 Concentrating Collectors
  • 7.0 Photovoltaics
  • 8.0 Electricity
  • 9.0 Design of systems
  • 10.0   Wind Energy
  • 11.0   Biomass
  • 12.0   Geothermal
  • 13.0   Micro and Mini Hydro
  • 14.0   Applications
  • 15.0   Ocean
  • 16.0   Storage
  • 17.0   Institutional
  • 18.0   Economics

Tentative Schedule

Cover one to two chapters per week.

Week Of

Topic

1/11

Orientation (WTOnline), for students new to online
Ch 1

1/18

Ch 1

1/25

Ch  2

2/1

Chs 3, 4

2/8

Ch 5

2/15

Ch 6-7

2/22

Ch 8

3/1

Ch 9

3/8

Ch 10

3/11-14

Midterm Test  Chs 1-8

3/15-19

Spring Break

3/22

Ch 11

3/29

Chs 12, 13

4/5

Chs 14, 15

4/12

Chs 16, 17

4/19

Ch 18; Graduate Students Final Project Due

4/26

Review

4/30 -5/6

Final

November 19, 2009

Wind energy conference touts opportunities for agriculture

Texas A&M’s AgriLife has a great write-up our own Dr. Vaughn Nelson and the future of Wind Energy…

Texas farmers and ranchers likely will see more opportunities come about in the future when it comes to wind energy, according to a Texas A&M System expert.

Dr. Vaughn Nelson, professor emeritus and director of the Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University, predicts small wind systems, those that produce one kilowatt up to 100 kilowatts or more, will receive more interest in the future when it comes to generating power for the farm and ranch, as well as tapping into potential power markets.

“My personal opinion is we may see in the future a farmer or rancher go to a banker some day and say they want to finance a wind turbine just like they would a farm implement,” Nelson said. “They would pay that off in five to seven years, (then be in a profitable situation.)”

Nelson was a panel speaker recently at the Texas/European Union Wind Energy Symposium sponsored by the European Union Center at Texas A&M University in College Station. Co-sponsors included Texas AgriLife Research.

Read the rest (and watch the video!) here!

AEI Gets $75k to build new Wind Test Center

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 2:29 pm
75k-1

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.

October 9, 2009

National News: AEI’s Vaughn Nelson on Oil Dependence

Filed under: Economics,Local People,National News,News,Oil — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:02 pm

The Washington Times published an article by AEI’s Vaughn Nelson about how we can curb our dependence on foreign oil. Here is an excerpt:

Every president since Richard Nixon has touted energy independence; however, neither presidents nor Congress had the fortitude to require the sacrifices from the American people necessary for a rational energy policy.

Politically, even today, it is not feasible because it would require an energy policy that takes into account all costs for energy, new regulations and taxes that would require a major change for business and consumers.

Business entities always couch their concerns in terms of economics (“the bottom line”), but there are different types of economics: pecuniary (ordinary economics, dollars), social and physical. Social costs (externalities) are those borne by everybody, and they may be negative or positive.

You can read the rest of the article here.

The article was intended as a counterpoint to the oil company’s POV on the issue, but that counterpoint was not finished.

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.)

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