Transition Whatcom


Alternative Energy

Our group is working on small inexpensive residential energy generation devices that can be built locally.

Location: Bellingham
Members: 38
Latest Activity: Nov 13, 2013

Discussion Forum

Sustainable Alternative Energy

Started by Behrouz Aug 24, 2011. 0 Replies

I am a new member.  It is nice to see an interest group in this area, after all energy is what runs the world and fossil fuels have proven to be a dead-end especially in their mega-industrial usage…Continue

Wanting to build a Bicycle Generator

Started by Travis Linds. Last reply by Laura J Sellens Jan 10, 2011. 4 Replies

I am wanting to build a bicycle powered generator. Anyone interested in helping me? I have an old, small gas powered generator with a blown engine, I was going to try to use that as the generator.…Continue

Small scale biogas digesters built with local material by local people.

Started by Travis Linds. Last reply by Travis Linds Apr 15, 2010. 14 Replies

I'd like to include discussions regarding biogas generation in this group, if no one objects.Brian from Inspiration Farms and I have discussed and plan on building a small scale biogas digester this…Continue

Classes for Renewable Energy

Started by Shannon Maris Nov 30, 2009. 0 Replies

Hi there...I co-ordinate the Bellingham Chapter of Solar WA which educates the public on renewable energy options.See the list of classes below on renewable energy that are excellent. If you are just…Continue

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Alternative Energy to add comments!

Comment by Hank Kastner on November 13, 2013 at 5:48pm

There are a couple interesting new things being hatched by activists at Power Past Coal: an investigation into creating a Municipal Energy district for B'ham as an alternative to PSE, and an effort to reverse the County moratorium on wind energy; to get involved contact Matt Petryni at

Comment by Laura J Sellens on May 22, 2011 at 9:51am
Hi Joseph, you might try Jeff Kraus, he isn't a plumber or engineer but he does help people with solar hot water.
Comment by Ed Lofquist on March 21, 2011 at 11:02pm
I would be interested in member's ideas of uses for this local inexpensive energy we will eventually generate. If we had it what would we do with it? One idea I had was electroplating. I've seen where people silver plated baby shoes, etc. With gold and silver rising steadily against our ever more worthless paper money this could be worthwhile. It could also be dangerous if not approached carefully by knowledgeable persons. Are there any such persons available to assist? Other ideas??
Comment by Shannon Maris on February 4, 2011 at 11:03pm
Subject: HELP get bike lanes on Northwest/Elm/Dupont streets
Cyclists! Please Attend the Bellingham City Council Meeting This Monday!
Bellingham City Council is considering installing bike lanes on Dupont, Elm and  Northwest Ave to the I-5 underpass.  This could be one of the biggest bike projects ever in Bellingham.  But, it is not a done deal.  You can help make it happen.  Please come to the city council meeting on Monday, February 7th, 7pm for just 20-30 minutes.  Please arrive a few minutes early.

Hey, how about a little background?  Council has already voted to begin this process.  But there are challenges ahead.  The Public Works Department, which is responsible for designing and installing the project, will bring forward a design in March or April for a “stakeholders meeting.”  A strong show of support from the cycling community NOW, before the design is done, is critical.  There is no action for this issue on the council agenda this Monday.  We will show up in huge numbers, including you.  Only myself and one other need to speak at the open comment period (first thing) and then we all go to The Cabin or The Grand for a refreshing beverage and general merriment.
So, what’s our message to council?

Most importantly: our message is positive.  Our message has four parts:
Thank you for installing bike lanes on Cornwall Ave.;
Thank you for considering bike lanes on NW/Elm/Dupont;
Encourage Public Works to strive for a design that works for cyclists AND that works for the folks who live and do business on these streets who will see some change to their streetscape.  A good design could make this a win for everyone.   That’s why getting in the game early is so important.
The last, and most important, part of our message is unspoken.  That is:  there are a LOT of cyclists in Bellingham.  That’s why you are so important.
Only the two designated speakers should sign up and speak.  We don’t want to browbeat them or take too long, we just want to be very clear that there are a lot of us in support.  When the first speaker mentions the cyclists of Bellingham, put on your helmet.  A little theatre helps make the message stick.
I could write much more but, right now I just want to get this invitation and request for help out to as many people as possible.  Please spread the word to those cyclists who you think might come out.  If you have questions or want to talk about this effort please feel free to contact me.  I really hope to see you there.  We need you.          -Dan
Please contact me with questions:
      Dan Remsen

Comment by Jamie Jedinak on September 29, 2010 at 12:50am
Comment by Janet Senour on April 21, 2010 at 9:08am
I haven't heard anything about torpedo motors; I have always tried to stay away from anything to do with weaponry. Very interesting though. So much for technology created for warfare getting into the mainstream. If it is so much more efficient, it would probably put out of business the giant auto manufacturers or some other part of the corporate machinery that is paying off our politicians. If anyone knows something about this device, feel free to let us know!
Comment by Kate Clark on April 15, 2010 at 11:39pm
Wow, what a great group mission! This is really exciting- can't wait to see how your work progresses.
Comment by Ed Lofquist on April 3, 2010 at 4:44pm
Good to see another technical mind on board Jeffrey. In time perhaps we may get past toys of curiosity and create real life changing ideas. I agree with the concept of identifying uses for power.
There is so much almost free power that has essentially no physical peak availability. Whether oil will peak as a result of available supplies or as a result of a transition to more viable technologies is not certain.
A couple years ago many told me my interest in practical electric cars was at least a decade in the future. As of right now there are at least a dozen major companies preparing to mass produce electric vehicles. My belief is we should not hunker down like little green weenies but reach out for the new conquests while learning from past excesses of ever more powerful governments and greedy corporate entities.

Ed Lofquist 4-3-10
Comment by Heather K on March 29, 2010 at 10:54pm
A message from Jeffrey Madison Utter to all members of Alternative Energy on Transition Whatcom! (per 3/29 email)

"There are many ways to produce power on a small scale at home...small wind generators, home built steam engines, excercise machines, how about hooking a hose to a small hydro generator (if your not metered yet). Once the power is generated, what do you do with it then?

You can charge a battery and use a DC system to power lights or a radio or some other Direct Current that point your reallly running a parelell system to the Alternating Current already coursing through the wires, outlets and switches in your home.
Conventional alternative energy systems use an inverter that synchronizes with the grid and blends any power produced with the power distributed by the utility....awfully difficult to manufacture at home...especially to convince the utility and electrical inspector that it meets UL criterea (there's a good reason for this...which I won't get into now).
I believe that the most essential aspect of alternative energy is to match the generation source as closely as possible to the desired use. For example...a methane digester would make excellent fuel for burning (VS combusting it in a fossil fuel generator to produce electricity). Bicycles make pretty damned good transportation....but when it comes down to producing electricity from them....even Lance Armstrong would have a difficult time lighting up a 100 watt bulb. Solar tubes, on the other hand, have excellent lighting long as its light out.

Just some thoughts...this is fun stuff to play with...I have to wonder sometime what will really transition us as a culture onto a more sustainable path....I keep coming back to 'being satisfied with a whole lot less than what I'm currently used to'.
Comment by Janet Senour on December 8, 2009 at 8:48pm
I am not a purist about using recycled materials. If none can be found when they are needed, I would have no problem using new. However, I would always be on the lookout for recycled material. I think we have taken enough materials out of the earth to keep us going for hundreds of years if we all got together and manufactured with recycled materials.

We are getting closer to a prototype of our wind generator. Does anyone know someone who is good with molding fiberglass or any other semi-rigid or rigid, thin and lightweight material?
Janet Senour

Members (37)


© 2024   Created by David MacLeod.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service