October is National Energy Awareness Month, designed to increase the public’s understanding of energy issues, how our nation manages energy and the best sustainability practices. It’s an ideal time to help kids learn about energy is how we can responsibly use and conserve it. Encourage kids to conduct science experiments or identify ways to save energy in your home. The PUD also offers a variety of resources for schools, teachers and students to help them learn about energy. Visit the Education area of our website for more information.
Cyber Safety Tips
Cybersecurity is increasingly in the news with multiple stories of ransomware, phishing, hacking and other unsavory schemes. There are several things you can do to protect your home and family:
Make passwords long and strong, with a combination of numbers, symbols and letters
Keep a clean machine by updating your security software, operating system and web browser
When in doubt throw it out – don’t click on unknown links or email from suspicious sources
Share with care – limit the amount of personal information that you share
Flying High with the Energy Kite
Based in Alameda, CA, Makani created the Energy Kite with a goal to make wind energy pricing competitive with fossil fuels. The Energy Kite is a new type of wind turbine, designed to generate more energy using 90% less materials. “Makani’s energy kite uses the same aerodynamic principles as a conventional wind turbine, but replaces tons of steel with lightweight electronics, advanced materials, and smart software.”
The kite is launched from a ground station using the rotors as helicopter blades until it reaches 800 ft above ground. Once airborne, the system generates power by flying in large circles up high where the wind is stronger and more consistent. Rotors mounted on the kite wings drive generators that produce electricity. A strong conductive tether acts like the string of a kite and also carries energy back to the grid. The kite’s flight path is guided by a flight computer, which uses GPS and sensors to make thousands of calculations and adjustments in strong and steady winds.
Still in development, for the first time (December 2016), Makani operated a 600 kW prototype with 28 meter wing span.