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August 10, 2011

FALL 2011 CLASSES: Course Listing

Fall 2011 courses will be starting soon at West Texas A&M University’s!

There will be two courses related to Renewable Energy this semester and three more Engineering Technology classes. The topics include Materials, fabric, metals, ceramics and individual study.

Both renewable courses will be offered online through WTAMU’s Continuing Education department. Ken Starcher will be teaching the renewable courses. Byungik Chang will be teaching the other ET classes. You must be registered with West Texas A&M University to sign up for these classes.

Start Date

Classes begin AUGUST 29TH, 2010.

Course Summaries

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

August 3, 2011

USDA ending wind program in Bushland

NewsChannel 10 Amarillo posted a video this weekend about the end of the USDA wind research program in Bushland. AEI’s Ken Starcher was interviewed for this story.

Click here to view the video on the NewsChannel 10 web site.

For more on Bushland, check out this Amarillo Globe-News article.

February 21, 2011

Staff Page Updated! (And New Staff!)

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News — Tags: , , , , , — Georgia Romig @ 1:49 pm

Our Staff Page has been updated to better clarify Student Worker and Graduate Research Assistant positions, as well as to announce the newest member of our staff, Jordan Eason!

Click here to visit.

June 24, 2010

AEI Wins SECO Award for Research Facility

The Alternative Energy Institute has received an award of $497,350 from the State Energy Conservation Office for the installation of renewable energy systems at the Palo Duro Research Facility and at the feed mill at the WTAMU Nance Ranch (Regional Wind Test Center).

The total project cost is around $622,000. The state provided money for renewable energy projects with funding provided through federal ARRA funds. For more information, click here.

Staff Working on the Project:

  • Project Director, Dr. Byungik Chang, Director AEI
  • Principal Investigator, Ken Starcher, Assistant Director AEI

The project, involving solar and wind electricity, will consist of two components:

  1. Photovoltaics (PV), 48 kW for the Palo Duro Research Center.
  2. Wind, 50 kW for the feed mill at the WTAMU, Nance Ranch.

The objectives is to reduce electric consumption at WTAMU through use of renewable energy, as well as providing information on performance and economics of the systems. Information on both systems will be disseminated to the public and business entities through seminars and display areas.

Systems will provide electricity for use on-site and systems also displace the production of carbon dioxide from the conventional power plants.

One proposed system will have two 4 kW tracker units, and 40 kW of fixed tilt, flat plate PV. The PV system will generate an estimated 80,000 kWh/yr.

AEI will also install a 50 kW, 49 ft diameter wind turbine, on a 120 ft tower. The system will generate an estimated 175,000 kWh/yr.

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!

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

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.)

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.

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