Where do I Start?
New to the world of Alternative Energy?
Fed up with relying on someone else for your electricity? Fear not, we
can help you! Where to start depends on what your goals are, geographical
layout of your land, finances available.
to Renewable Energy - excerpts from EA's 12th edition buyers guide
and product catalogue. PDF download.
Renewable Energy Primer
by William H. Kemp. PDF download.
Educate yourself - visit the books
and education section of our website for a selection of study materials.
If you are on the grid (ie you pay a monthly bill for the energy
you use), and looking to save money, the first thing to do is educate
yourself on conservation. It is ALWAYS cheaper to not use the power in
the first place. Most north American families and businesses use (waste?)
more energy than is necessary. Not only does it waste resources, it costs
The best place to start is to purchase a case of compact fluorescent
fixtures & replace the units in your home with these modern, economical
fixtures. Then convince your neighbor to do the same. This is generally
the simplest, most cost effective upgrade that you can do. After that,
you could examine
appliances for possible replacement and seek and destroy phantom loads,
products which consume power even when they are "off".
Once you have become as efficient as possible, consider installing a
panel to supplement the power you consume. Solar-Thermal
uses the sun's energy to heat or preheat hot water. Solar electric generates
electricity from the sun's energy. Thermal applications generally offer
better financial payback over the lifetime of the product compared to
If you live off-grid, beyond the reach of the unlimited source
of energy that most North American's enjoy you have a different situation
altogether. You have two initial choices - live without power, or become
your own power provider.
If you desire electricity, you have a myriad of options and decisions
to make. This website will give you the information required to decide
which type of system is most suitable for your lifestyle...
The old school of thought was to buy a
generator and run it whenever you needed electricity. No generator,
no power. While a fossil-fuel generator plays an important role in alternative
energy systems, generator-only situations are generally wasteful as the
generator may remain running to power very small loads, which would be
better powered by an inverter. A
battery and Inverter
subsystem allows the generator to run when required for large loads
and battery charging, while the inverter powers smaller loads when the
generator is off.
When shopping for an alternative
energy system, it will eventually come down to your site and what
resources are available for generation of energy. Generally, everyone
has access to the sun.
(photovoltaic) harnesses the sun's energy and converts into electricity.
It is the simplest form of alternative energy, it's also the most expensive.
can be harnessed to produce large amounts of energy. Wind energy is very
site specific. If you do not have a good wind site to start with, results
will be disappointing no matter what you do.
harnesses the energy in falling water and produces electricity. It is
the most cost effective of all alternative energy. If you have a source
of running water, you simply must examine it's potential.
Most systems are hybrid in design - they use more than one charging source,
often varying with the seasons. For example, a wind and solar hybrid system
is very common. In the winter months, when the hours of sunshine are low,
the winds are generally stronger.
The System Design section of the
website takes you step-by-step through the process of evaluating your
site's potential. You can also download our catalogue in .pdf format or
request a print copy.
We hope you have found the information you are looking for. Once you have
a rough idea what type of system is most appropriate for your needs, contact
us and we will be pleased to assist in the final system design and implementation.