Searching For: Alternative Energy


Have you thought about owning an electric vehicle? Joe Lado, Program and Technology Analyst for the National Science Foundation and organizer of the Alternative-Energy-Alternative Fuel Club at NSF posed this query to the meeting of the DC Science Librarians. He parked his EV in front of the NSF building near the Ballston MU Metro and drew a crowd. See Joe’s vehicle here. It’s worth thinking about as Joe tells us it costs him about 35 cents per 8 hours of operation. And his monthly home energy costs to charge the EV amount to $7.50 per month. Joe writes for EVWorld .

Joe also presented some searching strategies when looking for information on alternative energy. You may start a search on the terms alternative energy, renewable energy and sustainable energy. But there are more terms to use…

We may want to search on EGS (Enhanced Geothermal Systems.)

There is only a set amount of energy in the world, so you either have to harvest it (harvesting) or convert it (conversion.)

Changes in states of energy require a catalyst (catalytic).

Materials that are energy carriers are biomaterials or have biomass or may be bio-renewables. We are searching for renewable energy storage.

We look to the units of materials like hydrocarbons, alcohols and petroleum carbohydrates.

We need to store energy and so use  batteries, capacitors, and other physical storage devices.

We need to explore types of materials such as hydroelectric (hydrokinetic); wind (wind turbines); geothermal – possibly using electro photo thermolysis (Hydrogen fuel cells); and solar (photovoltaic)

(NOTE: I had to look up thermolysis : The chemical decomposition of a substance by heat. It is an important process in chemical manufacture, such as the thermal cracking of hydrocarbons in the petroleum industry.)

As always, we hope the searching leads to solutions.