Be Aware of Your Energy Choices
Discover alternate energy sources and how to use them. Discover the fundamentals of electricity and how to use it with lectures on:
- making use of renewable energy sources
- how to store energy
- non-electrical systems
- usage of energy
- energy efficiency
ACS Student comment:
“[My tutor] includes some useful comments and obviously has a good store of knowledge on the subject.
Yes, [I find the course a valuable learning experience]. I am in the middle of building a solar-passive designed house in southern Victoria and although I’ve done plenty of research and reading on almost every subject relating to self-sufficiency and alternative energy, the discipline of study has meant I have re-focussed my attention on each topic. I always find out something new that can be applied to the house”. William Elder, Australia – Alternative Energy course student
There are 8 lessons in this course:
- Introduction: The Problems and the Energy Sources.
- Scope and Nature
- Energy consumption through history
- Climate Change
- Energy units
- Problems with Fossil Fuels
- Problems with other energy sources … hydro electricity, nuclear, wind, solar
- Understanding Energy
- Understanding electricity
- Conductors and non conductors
- Measuring electricity …current, voltage, resistance
- Ohm’s Law
- Circuits … Series; parallel
- Kirchhoff’s law
- Power ratings
- Electromagnetism and Solenoids
- Electric motors
- Lenz’s law
- Generating Electricity
- Fuel cells
- Wind Power
- Large Scale Wind System Design
- Small Scale Wind System Design
- Solar Energy
- Positioning a solar cell
- Small Scale Solar
- Future Developments in Solar
- Geothermal Energy
- Dry Steam Power Plants
- Flash Steam Power Plants
- Binary Cycle Power Plants
- Advantages of Geothermal
- How Geothermal is used
- Geothermal heat pumps
- Tide and Current Power
- Tide Barrage
- Tidal Turbines
- Wave Power
- Nuclear Energy
- Fission Reactors
- Half Lives and Radioactivity
- Waste to Energy
- Storage and Using Electricity
- Cells – simple cell, car battery, gel, AGM, Nickel etc
- Deep Cycle Battery
- Lithium Rechargeable Batteries
- Calculating Battery Requirements
- Alternators and Regulators
- System Types
- EMR & electricity use
- Recommended Exposure Limits
- Safety with Electricity
- Non-Electric Systems
- Scope and nature
- Passive Solar
- Fire Wood
- Drying and storing wood
- Comparing different wood types
- Smoke fires
- Creosote formation in fire flues
- Environmental aspects of burning wood
- Small scale Biomass
- Passive Solar Energy
- Solar hot water … flat plate collectors, evacuated tubes, open or closed circuit, passive or active systems, heat pumps
- Night insulation
- Solar Garden Water Features
- Energy Consumption
- Reducing energy consumption
- Population growth
- Large scale reduction of energy consumption – managing green cities, urban sprawl, peak demands, transport, etc.
- Energy Conservation
- How a home owner can reduce energy consumption
- Temperature control
- Minimising light energy consumption
- Minimising appliance energy consumption
- Water conservation
- Solar house design
- Converting to Alternative Systems
- Estimating Energy Needs
- Building Efficiency
- System Design
- System Designers
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school’s tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Describe the nature and scope of alternative energy.
- Describe the nature and application of electricity.
- Compare different methods of generating electricity
- Compare different techniques for storage and use of electricity.
- Describe the application and operation of different non electric energy systems
- Identify ways to better manage energy consumption.
- Describe energy conservation techniques.
- Discuss how to convert a building’s energy supply to an alternative system.
What You Will Do
- Describe the various insulating materials that are likely to be present in electrical equipment.
- Get a real-world illustration of how each of Kirchoff’s laws applies to a technician’s everyday work.
- Make several calls to suppliers of alternative energy generating devices (e.g. wind, solar).
- Learn as much as you can about the kinds of systems they offer. Gather all pertinent pamphlets and brochures. If you can, watch these systems in action.
- Create a floor plan and specify how much electricity is currently being used in a house that you are familiar with (but which uses only mains power supply).
- This could be your house or the house of a friend or family member.
- Provide suggestions for how this home could implement its own power generation system to lessen its reliance on the mains supply (either completely or partially).
- Compare the relative importance of various alternative energy sources, such as hydro, wind, solar, and fossil fuels.
- Describe electricity, including its characteristics, terms, and its uses as an energy source.
- Describe how electricity is produced using various techniques, such as photovoltaic cells, wind turbines, gasoline generators, and batteries.
- Explain the storage and safety measures for the proper usage of power.
- Create strategies for lowering energy usage, such as efficient temperature control.
- Analyze a structure and suggest the best course of action for reducing its energy usage.
- Determine the limitations or rules that may prevent the use of energy applications that are more suitable for a certain property.
- Plan the replacement of a building’s high energy-consumption systems with a suitable network of sustainable, energy-efficient systems.
Every energy source has issues.
There are numerous long-term, widespread issues with fossil fuels that are motivating the present push towards alternate energy sources.
Nuclear energy and fossil fuels both have evident environmental drawbacks, and even wind, solar, and hydropower have some problems that need to be taken into account. In a controlled environment, radioactivity can be a cheap and clean source of energy, but if something goes wrong, the costs might rise quickly.
Although it is simple to burn gas, coal, oil, and wood for energy, these fuels are not limitless and do contribute to climate change through the release of greenhouse gases, airborne particulates that cause smog and lung diseases, nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon monoxide (CO), and heavy metals. Atmospheric sulphur dioxide (SO2), also known as acid rain, is another name for this gas. Fossil fuels are not renewable, and their supply comes from a variety of dwindling sources.
Although hydropower is generally regarded as green because it is renewable and comparatively non-polluting, there are some very major environmental costs associated with it. The general definition of hydroelectricity is the generation of electricity from the flow of water; historically, this has involved damming a river to create a reservoir of water that is then released gradually to power turbines. Reservoir stratification, which reduces the amount of dissolved water, habitat loss from dam construction, changing water levels in the reservoir, sedimentation of the reservoir, which can also result in nutrient loading, erosion, and radically altered habitat for wildlife and fish are all issues associated with damming and channelling water through a turbine.
There are complaints concerning wind farms. The most prevalent complaint is that they appear ugly since they are quite tall and encroach upon otherwise lovely settings (particularly if grouped together). They may also have an effect on wildlife. They kill birds that try to fly through them. They are extremely vulnerable to lightning strikes. Wind energy is frequently generated distant from populated areas and is difficult to store. Some people claim that wind turbines are noisy, however for most people who are more than a kilometre or two away from the turbine, this is not a serious problem.
So far The cost of photovoltaic cells is one of the key issues with the widespread use of solar energy. Additional issues include the fact that they only function during daylight hours and that pollution may have an impact on them (reduction in solar energy reaching the cell).
How to Choose, Execute, and Manage Various Energy Solutions
Due to availability and widespread use, many people choose to fuel their cars with gasoline, power their homes with electricity, and cook or heat their homes with gas or wood.
Some people may find that this causes them to live a “greener” or “environmentally friendly” lifestyle. Moreover, it may lead to decreased reliance on “mainstream” energy supply businesses and cheaper energy bills. For others, this can present business or job prospects.
Where will this Course take you?
Your eyes will be opened to a wide range of alternatives as a result of taking this course, and you should start considering how you can approach energy in a different way.
Research and development in this field will advance on a global scale since renewable and sustainable energy technologies are evolving and expanding quickly.
You will be put on a route where you can pursue many different areas of renewable energy or concentrate on a field you are passionate about thanks to the strong foundation created via this programme.
You may be able to fill the following roles from here:
- Energy Advisor
- Sustainability Consultant
- Climatology Roles
- Renewable Energy Development Engineer
- Towards other Engineering Fields: Hydro-electrical, Solar, Wind
- Renewable Energy Farming (Bio-fuels)
- Wind-farm Developer
- Wind-farm Fabricator/Operator
- Solar-farm Developer
- Solar-farm Fabricator/Operator
- Sustainable Transportation Roles
- Energy Saving Building/Manufacturing Roles
- Used towards further studies
- Research Roles
- Internship Roles