Our modern-day existence is entirely dependant upon energy. We are no exception to that -- although we have simplified and reduced our use of energy. And we will strive to further reduce our consumption and needs for energy.
We use a variety of sources of energy in our present situation:
- Gasoline -- to power our cars.
- Propane -- for our refrigeration, cooking, & heating.
- Electricity -- harvested from the sun with photovoltaic panels. Used for lighting, small appliances, computers, microwave and the forced air furnace.
- Solar Hot Water -- harvested from the sun with our home-built batch collector.
In the future we hope to experiment with other forms of energy:
- Methane -- produced by bacteria digesting animal wastes.
- Hydrogen -- produced with solar electricity and water via electrolysis. Producing hydrogen is not terribly difficult... storing it is another matter.
- Wind -- we have a number of ideas for home-built wind generators. Over the next 6 months we'll begin experimenting on wind power at the Concho Alternative Energy Club.
- Solar Steam -- most commercial methods of generating electricity convert thermal energy (heat) into steam that turns turbine generators thereby "creating" electricity. It is entirely possible to create steam with the power of the sun. First we have to aquire a small steam engine...