Renewable Energy


In this capstone activity, we are going to look at the availability and economics of solar and wind power where you live. To do this, we are going to need maps of available sunshine provided by the U.S. government. We are also going to need to know the price of solar panels and wind turbines that are commercially available. Foremost, though, we are going to need to know how much electrical energy you use before we proceed to estimate the cost of using renewable energy. Finding out how much electrical energy we use is actually quite easy. All that one needs to do is to either monitor their electric meter for some period of time, or review their electrical bills. Either of these two methods will give you an exact amount for how much electricity you use. However, this value will tell you nothing about the sources of your usage. It will also only tell you what your usage was for the past, which depended greatly upon conditions in the past such as the indoor and outdoor temperatures. What we really want is a way of estimating your usage in the future, and finding ways of controlling it. In order to do this, we are going to estimate how much usage you have by looking at the individual appliances in your home.