Monday, January 12, 2015

Renewable Energy Installations at Home

The Planet Sustainability Television program covers environmental topics including alternative forms of energy such as renewable and sustainable power sources.

Solar power, wind power and hydropower are all practical methods for installing a home based renewable power source. Although you probably won’t be able to go off the grid, these sustainable energy methods are a great way to save money while using cleaner, greener energy.

Solar systems can incorporate active solar, passive solar and solar hot water heaters into their design. To make sure your alternative energy installation is up to code, work with a local contractor that specializes in home based renewable power sources.

Your contractor will know the ins and outs of local zoning laws and can show you photos of current projects he’s worked on. You may even be able to drive by homes near you to see examples of the companies’ work, which will give you a chance to talk to the homeowners about their satisfaction with the finished product.

Solar power experts can help you design the perfect solar power system for your house and help you determine if it’s better to go with a grid-tie or off-grid system. When designing a solar power system, you’ll want to decide where is the perfect site for mounting the solar panels.

The Home Power magazine mentions “a roof-mounted array has the economic benefit of utilizing an existing structure—your home or garage’s roof—rather than having to build a separate structure to support the collector array, which can be costly.” The next time you are considering alternative power sources, tune in to the latest episode of the Planet Sustainability TV Show.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fuel Cells in Your Car

Image courtesy of ponsulak at
The Planet Sustainability TV Show covers great environmental topics including alternative forms of energy such as hydrogen fuel cells. It’s the first major television program devoted to sustainability and the conservation of natural resources.

According to the Drive Clean website “hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are zero emission and run on compressed hydrogen fed into a fuel cell "stack" that produces electricity to power the vehicle. A fuel cell can be used in combination with an electric motor to drive a vehicle – quietly, powerfully and cleanly.

You’ve probably heard of hydrogen fuel cells being used in commercial cars but did you know you can make your own fuel cells at home? The fuels cells convert the hydrogen into electricity and there is no odor or pollution produced since heat and water are the only byproducts. 

The U.S. Department of Energy mentions “a single fuel cell consists of an electrolyte sandwiched between two electrodes, an anode and a cathode. Bipolar plates on either side of the cell help distribute gases and serve as current collectors.”

Hobbyists are building small, home-built fuel cells for installation in their cars, trucks or vans for an increase in fuel efficiency. This effectively boosts the miles per gallon rating of your vehicle resulting in fewer trips to the gas station and less money out-of-pocket.

While building your own fuel cell might be out of your comfort range, vehicle manufactures are starting to offer fuel-efficient vehicles, which incorporate this technology. The Toyota Mirai FCV fuel cell vehicle, unveiled in November 2014, is one such vehicle.

Watch the latest episodes of the PlanetSustainability Television program, which focuses on people and businesses striving to live a cleaner, greener lifestyle.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Popular Renewable Energy Sources

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at
Fossil fuels, including coal, natural gas and oil, are not sustainable forms of energy. Our supplies of these natural resources will eventually run out. The Planet Sustainability TV Show focuses on top local and global environmental issues including climate change, water conservation and renewable energy.

More and more people and companies are looking into sustainable and green sources of energy. A major problem with fossil fuels is the amount of pollution they generate so future sources of energy should not only be renewable, they also need to be clean so as not to harm the environment.

Top 5 Sources of Renewable Energy

According to the U.S. Department of Energy “Responsible development of all of America’s rich energy sources – including solar, wind, geothermal, bioenergy and water -- is an important part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and will help ensure America’s continued leadership in clean energy. 

The top renewable energy sources used in the United States include:

  1. Geothermal energy, which harnesses the power of the earth.
  2. Wind power, which harnesses the power of the air.
  3. Hydropower, which harnesses the power of water.
  4. Solar energy, which harnesses the power of the sun.
  5. Biomass harnesses the power of organic matter such as wood, food crops, grasses and agricultural waste.

Renewable energy contributes very little to global warming as these cleaner power sources produce little to no greenhouse gases. A bonus is that renewable energy should never run out, making it a sustainable source of power.

Episodes of Planet Sustainability Television program features individuals and businesses making a commit to a more sustainable and ecologically friendly lifestyle.