Much has been made in recent years of the problem of global warming. There is an evident need for families utilize alternative energy engineering. Alternative energy engineering is both the process and end product of research and development into energy sources that are not from fossil fuels. This form of engineering has resulted in several products that consumers can use today. Here are five beneficial Products of alternative energy engineering.
1. Hybrid Cars - Hybrids are half-electric, half-gasoline powered cars. Most of the hybrids on the roads today do not require charging, rather utilize the transfer of kinetic energy to electricity that are stored in fuel cells. Hybrids allow a car to get more miles on a single tank of gas, therefore requiring less fuel and creating less smog.
2. Electric Cars - Electric cars run purely on charged fuel cells. These cars need to be plugged in to be charged. Many of the early electric cars were only able to go about 100 miles on one charge. However, with improvements in battery technology, newer cars can go up to 300 miles per charge. These cars utilize lithium ion batteries, which are basically large versions of cell phone batteries.
3. Geothermal Heating/Cooling - During the cooler months, the temperature underground is warmer than the air above. Likewise, the ground is cooler in the summer. A geothermal unit utilizes this fact by extracting the warmer or cooler air to heat and cool a home. The only downside to these units is that they tend to be expensive, though, they often pay for themselves within five years.
4. Solar Power - Solar power, along with geothermal and wind power, is a renewable energy source. Solar panels capture the energy from the sun into photoelectric cells and convert this energy into electricity. Solar power technology has been around for a while now and there are many ways to utilize this solution for home or portable use. Some future hybrid vehicles will feature solar paneling on their roofs that will help power the heating and cooling system when the car is shut off.
5. Wind Power - Wind power uses windmills or wind turbines, to convert wind energy into electricity. As the blades turn, they generate energy that can be stored into battery cells or wired to a home's main breaker. Though they can sometimes be unsightly, windmills produce a good amount of power and can dramatically reduce or even eliminate power bills.
There are more excited technologies being discovered everyday in this race to find the best alternative energy source. The best thing is that consumers benefit while creating a cleaner environment.