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July 25, 2011

AEI’s Former Director in Texas Monthly

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News,Texas News — Tags: , , , , — Georgia Romig @ 12:11 pm

Texas Monthly will be publishing an article featuring the Alternative Energy Institute‘s former director, Dr. Vaughn Nelson. Nelson was also a professor at West Texas A&M University and recently authored the book Wind Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment.

Here is a brief preview of the article A Mighty Wind (by Kate Galbraith and Asher Price).

One cool Lubbock afternoon in 1979, Father Joe James made a kite. He nailed together a small wooden cross, glued paper across it, and on the long tail of twine tied streamers every five feet. Then he walked out of St. John Neumann Catholic Church, the energy-saving, below-ground house of worship he had designed, climbed up a modest slope, and launched the contraption above the church’s school and football field. Staring up at the fluttering streamers, he could gauge which way the wind was blowing and where it blew hardest.

To read more, click here. Texas Monthly requires you to subscribe in order to read it’s full articles.

Thank you Class 4 Winds for giving us a heads up on this!

July 18, 2011

Local News: Ex-WT prof writes energy textbook

Local News by Yann Ranaivo from the Amarillo-Globe News:

Some time in the future, Earth will run out of the fossil fuels available for producing energy.

Vaughn Nelson, a retired West Texas A&M University physics professor, stresses that point in “Introduction to Renewable Energy,” a textbook released this year that discusses how renewable sources can be used to help the world rely less on coal, natural gas and oil in the future.

The work in the textbook stems from lessons Nelson taught during a WT course on renewable energy last year, he said.

“As I told my students all along, the first thing is conservation and energy efficiency and the second priority is renewable energy,” he said. “We’re going to have to shift that way, especially given all the money we send overseas for imported oil.”

Nelson’s book is part of a much greater push to increase the use of energy from wind, the sun, water and biomass.

To read the rest of the story, click here! To find out more about Nelson’s book, Wind Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment, check it out on Amazon.

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.

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.

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.

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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