Renewable Energy Kits and EducationBy: Robert Cong
Product Marketing Manager
While the supply of accessible crude oil is limited, the demand continues to sky rocket therefore it's in everyone's interest to explore alternative energies. Although solar panel and wind turbine technology has been around for many years, the attention they've gained within the past 10 years has exploded.
Since 1998, PicoTurbine International has developed renewable and alternate (green) energy education products and curricula. Whether it is solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass or wind-produced energy, when we use more alternative sources of energy, we decrease our nation's dependence on foreign oil supplies. Additionally, green energy is fast becoming cost effective compared to fossil fuels. To understand renewable energy and get hands-on experience, PicoTurbine has created a nice selection of kits to help educate learners of all ages.
One of their most popular kits is the Savonius Windmill Kit V2 Plus. It is a fully-functional miniature windmill that is able to receive wind from all directions, and also teaches students how to convert alternating current into direct current. Able to provide 3V/50mA of power at a wind speed of 12mph, this windmill kit is a great way to display the potential of wind energy and the fundamentals of electromagnetic induction. It is fairly simple to build, and the instructions provide some circuit designs that show users how to adjust the outputs by adding some circuitry
Another popular kit from PicoTurbine is the Sun Tracker V2, which can detect the angle of incoming light and change its configuration in order to optimize the collection of photons into the solar panel. This is a solid introduction to solar energy and how it can provide power to anything whenever a light source is available. Watch the video below to see the Sun Tracker V2 in action.
Making use of the items we have in our homes to create power is a great way to save both energy and money. PicoTurbine gives you the components you need to turn your Whirlybird™ roof ventilator into a wind turbine power generator with the Whirlybird 3-Phase Wind Turbine Kit. This kit allows users to produce 3-phase power just like full-size commercial wind turbines with the help of some disks, magnets, and wire coils. Adding these components to your existing roof ventilator can generate enough power to charge your cell phone.
All of these kits allow users to make adjustments for maximum efficiency, so you can not only learn the basics of power generation with alternate sources of energy, but also how to make the important modifications needed to make efficient use of the product.
PicoTurbine is also very dedicated to educating people about green energy by having educational workshops, holding speaking events, and having after school programs. They have also recently announced their STEM+ Curriculum, which educates K-12 students on renewable energy through each discipline of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). PicoTurbine knows that it's important to educate our youth about the future of energy production because, when it comes to young people and the future, you can't have one without the other.
Robert is a graduate from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Electrical Engineering. He is originally from Lincoln Heights in Los Angeles, CA, and currently resides in Belmont, CA where he works as a Technical Copy Writer/ Product Manager for Jameco Electronics. His interests include sports, movies, music, and playing with cool, new gadgets.