Special Contributors

The author of this book is John Gavlik of LearnOnLine, Inc. Mr. Gavlik is an electronics engineer with a BSEE degree from the California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) and is also president of LearnOnLine, Inc. LearnOnLine is involved in cutting edge Distance Learning projects that make use of the Internet and World Wide Web for both the content and delivery of teaching and learning materials.

One such project is REEL Power, which stands for Renewable Energy Education Lab, designed to create a "simulated" nationwide, student-built, Internet-connected power grid where each school becomes a "virtual power plant" on the grid. The material presented here is closely based on the REEL Power project. An overview of the REEL Power project can be found in the Appendix, plus you are invited to visit http://www.learnonline.com for complete information.

On February 9, 2003, LearnOnLine, Inc. was honored to receive the 2002 Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) Power Electronics Educational Award for its REEL Power Renewable Energy Education Lab project. According to the PSMA, this annual educational award is presented to the company or institution that has made the most significant effort to enhance awareness of Power Electronics to students in Kindergarten through undergraduate college. The award is intended to encourage companies and institutions to sponsor energy-related programs, which highlight the contributions, challenges and opportunities available in the field of power electronics. Visit www.psma.com for complete information on the Power Sources Manufacturing Association.

Credit for the StampPlot software used in the experiments goes to Southern Illinois University professors Martin Hebel and Will Devenport for their work in creating the StampPlot graphic software. Martin also prepared the Appendix on StampPlot and worked closely with John Gavlik in the development of specialized interfaces for this text.

Credit for the three-phase AC alternator used in experiments 4 and 5 goes to Edwin Lenz, whose ingenuity and knowledge of wind-powered AC systems translated into a great demonstration model for this project.

Additional recognition goes to the Parallax technical support team who contributed valuable ideas and suggestions for this project. In particular these people include Andy Lindsay for support and evaluation of the materials and software presented here, Erik Wood for tips on marketing this course correctly, and Ken Gracey for selecting and encouraging the author to develop the Experiments with Renewable Energy project. Thanks to Ken Gracey, Aristides Alvarez, Rich Allred, Stephanie Lindsay, Kris Magri and John Barrowman for technical editing and review, to Rich Allred for technical graphics, and to Larissa Crittenden for cover design. Thanks again to customer Sid Weaver for his review in advance of publication.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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