black sconce lamp turned on on white wall

The History of Electricity

For our fourth and final article of ‘History of Energy Sources’, we have the History of Electricity. This one is a little more diverse as electricity has several different sources. Read about electricity’s journey from the sky to everywhere around you.

 

Darth Sidious, master wielder of Force Lightning

Discovery of Electricity

Like all other energy sources, electricity has been around since the dawn of time. It was only in lightning and static charge. Unlike other sources, it wasn’t used until 1752. Ben Franklin discovered the powerful energy source with his kite lightning rod. Franklin conducted his electricity experiment by attaching a metal rod to a kite. Hemp and silk rope strung the kite. Eventually, Franklin noticed little threads of the hemp rope upright. Then, he felt a spark with his finger. People now have a way to draw electricity from the sky.

After Franklin’s experiment, scientists globally became very interested in electricity. Then, Italian physicist Alessandro Volta created the first battery in 1800. Apparently, an argument with a physicist pushed him to create the battery. It was made from zinc, copper, and silver. With this battery, he discovered positive and negative charges. Thus, also electric current.  “Volta” turned into volts/voltage. He also discovered methane.  Now that Volta discovered how to make electricity, it made way for our things today. A couple of decades after Volta’s battery came the first electric motor. Here is a timeline covering electric inventions.

 

Electricity Now

Electricity started appearing in homes in the 1880s. It is debated whether Nikolai Tesla or Thomas Edison invented the first lightbulb. Regardless, lightbulbs came out in 1882. The wealthy were the first to ditch dim lamps and candles for the bulbs. By 1940, nearly all homes have electricity, thanks to Roosevelt’s 1936 Act. GreenSun LED Lighting vintage light bulbs

Now electricity is everywhere, especially in the digital age. Every city has a power plant. They’re usually in a body of water to keep cool. Other electric sources are wind turbines and solar panels. Panels are becoming more popular. Solar is cheaper and more effective than wind. As electricity becomes more important, so does solar power. Soon, we will see electric cars and 5G. Biden hopes to replace oil and gas with electricity.

Thanks for reading about the history of electricity. Let us know what you think about our everyday electricity use.

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white and red barn house with wind mill

The History of Wind Power

For part 3 of the energy history series, today’s article will be about the history of wind power. Humans have been utilizing Earth’s resources for hundreds of years. We use wind for sailing, power, paragliding, and even just to freshen up our homes. Here’s how wind contributes to our way of life.

Wind Power

First, let’s go back to 5,000 B.C. Egypt, when Egyptians were exploring the vast Nile River. They discovered how to travel up and down the Nile in boats, using papyrus leaf to catch the wind. Then, a few thousand years later, the Chinese discovered wind-powered water pumps.  Around the same time, the Persians were developing the earliest windmills to grind their grain. Soon, papyrus leaves turned into thick canvas for sails, and wind mills were aiding in production of flour, grain, and salt.

Wind turbines are a descendant of the windmill, which became popularized around 1100. The first of wind-powered turbines to generate power started in 1887 in Scotland. Professor James Blythe constructed a 10 m high wind turbine with cloth sails in his garden. This was the first successful wind turbine to power a home. Blythe wanted to share his convenient discovery with his community, but they rejected it. They thought it was the work of the devil. However, Blythe’s work took only less than a year to reach the U.S. when Charles Brush built a wind turbine to power his Ohio mansion. In 1891, Poul la Cour, develops a regulator to control electricity flow. He then worked off of that and built a small power plant in Denmark 4 years later.

Now, wind turbines are prominent in the Great Plains in the United States, offshore, China, and Germany. You can install a personal wind turbine for your home for a couple million dollars. Turbines typically last about 20-25 years.

Did the history of wind power blow you away? Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative today!

 

beige airplane

The History of Oil

Last week, we read about the history of solar power. Today, we will be looking at the second installment in the History of Energy series. Midland, TX, home of the Bushes, has an intricate petroleum museum. The history of oil is (black) gold!

 Oil History

Lucas Gusher in Beaumont, TX. 1901.

Although it wasn’t as well-known as solar and wind power, mankind’s oil use has been around since earliest civilizations. The Chinese created oil wells back in 300 AD! During their salt harvest, illegal salt traders would dig deeper than most wells. Thus, oil was first discovered. Apparently, they kept it a secret “well” enough because oil wasn’t widely known about until the mid-1800’s. In 1847, James Young was in the Riddings Coal Mine in England when he noticed oily seepage through the dirt and coal. As a chemist, Young managed to extract more oil out of the coal. A few months prior, geologist Abraham Gesner discovered how to make kerosene extract out of oil.

Petroleum became commercialized in Pennsylvania in 1859  when the first American oil well was constructed. Then, it became monetized by the notorious John D. Rockefeller in 1865. The Suez Canal was constructed for the passage of oil ships. Then, on January 10, 1901, the Lucas Gusher at Spindletop expelled 100,000 barrels of oil a day, for 9 days. This discovery of mass amount of oil forced Pennsylvania to give up their oil capitol title to Texas. Since then, Texas remains the top producer of oil in the United States.

The earliest uses of oil was for asphalt, salt, and lamps. First, the earliest Chinese people used bamboo to drill oil and made ink out of it. Ancient Babylonians hardened oil into asphalt, which they used for construction. Lamps previously used whale oil, but they needed something more. Oil was made into kerosene, which powered lamps for centuries. It was at the beginning of the 20th century when oil’s primary use became to power automobiles.

Oil Now

Today, oil is primarily used for the internal combustion engine, or to power cars. Other uses include heating, cooking, and to produce electricity. Plastic, cosmetics, and medical devices are all made from oil or have oil in it. Paraffin wax is also an oil byproduct. The world’s biggest oil producers are United States (Texas produces 40% of the U.S.’ oil), Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Canada.

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sunset photography

The History of Solar Energy

Although Jan 6 was a dark day, this is a light blog. Now, solar energy will receive more funding and attention as the democrats push for clean energy. While we wait to find out how solar power will rise, let’s go back and see first sunpower rise. Here is the history of solar energy.

A Bright History

Technically, humans have been utilizing solar power since the beginning of time to light fires. They would use glass to reflect or intensify light. The earliest civilizations, such as ancient Romans and meso-Americans, would create sunrooms to capture the sun’s warmth and light. For the Romans, it was used to heat water in bathhouses. For thousands of years, humans used various methods to keep themselves warm. Then, in the time of voyages, the sun was a blessing and curse to sailors. While the sun burned their skin, the sailors figured out a way to cook food in solar stoves.

Solar Panels Are Born

Scientists experimenting with solar power in the 1800’s. Edmond Becquerel first discovered the photovoltaic effect, which is light producing electricity. Remember, electricity was still a relatively new concept at this time so this was a futuristic discovery. It will take a couple more engineers, scientist, and years to create the first solar cell. It couldn’t generate power yet, but it set scientist on the right track. In 1883, Charles Fritts nabbed the backbone of solar technology with his solar cells. They now contain selenium, which allowed solar power to convert to electricity. As of 1883, scientist know how to create & store solar energy.

Then, it would take 70 years for the modern-day solar power panel to enter the stage. Selenium cells evolved into silicon solar cells in 1954 at Bell Labs. The cutting-edge engineering now allowed objects to be powered by solar energy. Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson are to thank for finalizing the solar panel design. At this time, solar cells operated at 4% efficiency. The United States used this new technology to power satellites and for the infamous Space Race. The first home to have solar panels was in 1972.

 

Solar Power Today

Today, solar panels typically reach in between 15-20%. But, some have the ability to hit 42% efficiency! Modern-day solar panels are a little over 5’x3′ big. They are made of silicon, wafers, and lead making up one solar cell. Then, about 32-36 cells make up one solar panel. Finally, a protective coat is applied to capture the rays, as the shiny silicon can cause the rays to bounce off. Solar power is used for everything, and more homes are seeing solar panels. It took about 100 years of history to arrive at the solar energy we have today.

 

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solar

Solar Power in 2021

Solar technology is on the rise, and we are here for it! Environmental awareness is inspiring people to move away from non-renewable resources. We will take a look to see what solar power will look like in 2021. First, we will look at area that are prevalent in solar energy and see how it’s working for them. Then, we’ll look at potential areas that it’ll spread to.

 

brown wooden house during night time

 Current Solar Energy

Now, China, Germany, and USA are all leading in solar power, with China at #1. Japan and India follow. However, China could generate 13% more solar power if it wasn’t for the ever-lingering smog. In fact, there are times when the pollution is so bad that solar panels can’t receive any of the sun’s rays. So, right now China is focused on trying to reduce their pollution levels so the solar panels can be used to their full potential. As of 2019, they produce 204,700 megawatts.

Right behind China, USA falls at #2 in solar energy production. The Us produces enough solar power for over 11 million homes! Places like California, Texas, and Florida are popular solar panel areas. But, panels can be found in nearly all states. States like Oklahoma are suffering earthquakes from oil drilling, so this will help put a stop to that.

The third one is Germany. The mountainous country has the advantage of higher altitudes to help their panels intake more power. Germany actually was the leading country in solar power before China and USA caught up.

 

 Solar Power 2021

As mentioned, Japan is one of the leading countries in solar power. After a nuclear plant disaster inlandscape photography of blue solar panels 2011, Japan re-vamped energy sources and shifted their focus onto solar. We can look at their technological advances and draw inspiration from their solar islands. We can also encourage cleaner skies in order to optimize sunlight intake. The US plans on adding more solar panels to the southwest region, such as Nevada. If Biden is confirmed President, then there will surely be an increase in solar power in 2021, both USA and worldwide. Germany also plans on adding more solar panels around the country. And, Japan is looking to turn their abundance of abandoned golf courses into solar farms.

By spreading awareness, solar energy can gain more momentum. With solar power replacing non-renewable resources, we can hope to see cleaner air and less earthquakes.

 

 

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Best Professional Podcasts to Follow

Staying at home more means more time to listen to podcasts! There’s a podcast for everything: news/current events, Hollywood, and product reviews. Here are the best podcasts to follow for professional inspiration.

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Podcasts

  • The Internet of Things. Stacy of IoT runs this podcast about Internet trends. She covers influencers, news about corporations, and more. So, give her a listen for the latest on Amazon and computers.
  • Jeff Bullas. As a chief social media expert, Jeff could give some advice. Also, he offers services to help boost websites.
  • Melinda Emerson. An advocate of small business, Melinda inspires hope for those just starting out. Additionally, she gives advice on managing a new business.
  • NowThis News. Because this is a digital news source, they interview guests on their podcasts. Stay updated on current events.
  • Follow NPR for their Business Story of the Day. Featuring stock market reports, major lawsuits, and more. They have several choices of podcasts, so you’ll never run out of stuff to listen to.
  • For Apple podcast listeners, try out Ace Weekly. He encourages entrepreneur ways of thinking.
  • If you just want a quick podcast fix, then 10 Minute Entrepreneur is for you. If you need more than 10 minutes of Sean, then pick up his book.
  • The Tim Ferriss Show. Tim invites guests onto his show to discuss business happenings and tips. In fact, he’s one of Apple’s top podcasters.
  • Impact Theory goes beyond just business. They explore psychology, personal stories, and other personal aspects that aren’t always noticed in the industry world. They also interview well-known people, offering more insight into human behavior.
  • Here’s one for the ladies. The BizChix inspires women to navigate their way through a male-dominated workforce. Here’s to equal pay!

person using black laptop computer

While these are all good podcasts to follow, what’s important is listening to podcasts relevant to you. Listen from the experts on how to run your new business, how to gain following on social media, and more. Feel free to comment your favorite podcasts!

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black and white UNK UNK street sign

The US Stock Market 2020

The stock market went through drastic highs and lows this year. This is due to the pandemic, the presidential race, lawsuits, and even tweets. Read on for how these factors affected the biggest stock holders. Also, see who’s rising in the market and consider investing in them in 2021!

silhouette of person looking to glass window

S&P 500

First, we’ll look at the S&P 500 Index. Statista says,

 “Between March 4 and March 11, 2020, the S&P 500 index dropped by twelve percent, descending into a bear market. On March 12, the S&P 500 plunged 9.5 percent, its steepest one-day fall since 1987. The index began to recover at the start of April.”

As of April 14, the value was $2,850 per share, just a few hundred dollars below their pre-COVID era. Then, their value rose above $3,000 per share at the end of May. Since then, it’s gradually been rising. Now, as of December 15, the value is at $3,666 per share.

closeup photo of silver iMacSo, which companies fell out and which ones rose? The five biggest companies to soar in 2020 are:

  • Amazon (AMZN). Due to stay-at-home orders, Amazon revenue and stocks gained profit. CEO & Founder Jeff Bezos is now the richest man on the Forbes list! Each share is valued at $3,157.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM). America’s largest bank and 7th largest bank in the world. They faired okay during the pandemic. However, they did see a drop after making changes to their borrower policy. Their value is now worth $120 per share.
  • Visa (V). Overall, banks survived the pandemic thanks to the Federal Bank Act. Visa saw more success in 2020. Today’s value is at $209 per share.
  • Tesla (TSLA). Elon Musk’s engineering and company management skills are earning him big bucks. He also soared up on the Forbes list and is now at #7. But, his stock value does fluctuate according to what he tweets. Tesla is worth $639 per share.
  • Brookfield Property Reit Inc (BPYU). Despite worries that the housing market would tank due to evictions, business is good. BPYU is at $15.90 per share.

2020 Stocks

While the stock market tanked in March, overall it has been steadily returning back to its normal rate. However, the presidential race is an important factor now. Now that Joe Biden is confirmed for inauguration while son Hunter Biden is under legal fire, we will have to closely watch the stock market. Also, another factor affecting stocks is Bitcoin. It has recently seen a drastic increase in December. One Bitcoin is now worth 19,531.20 US dollars. Also, technology development and releases are contributing to the rising stocks. While Apple stagnated a little this year, they are expected to stay as the leading smartphone company.

person using black laptop computer

Overall, there’s no danger of a stock market crash. While Biden’s confirmation will affect Wall Street, stocks are expected to rise more in 2021. Check back for our 2021 stock prediction blog! And, please feel free to comment and let us know what shares you’re investing in.

 

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The Energy Industry Under Biden

Now that we know that Joe Biden will be our new president, we can follow up with our previous blog and take a look at what the energy industry might look like in the next few years. It appears  that Biden plans on battling climate change with clean energy. This blog will continuously update as time and policies progress.

Clean Energy, Clean Economy

According to his own personal website, Biden plans to push for cleaner energy with the Clean Energy Revolution. In this policy, he addresses how the economy relies on the environment. Therefore, his policy will go in a clean economy direction. Specifically, eliminating fuel emissions by 2050. It’ll start by initiating clean energy in environments that need it most. Factories and refineries that heavily pollute the air will have to adapt to cleaner emission policies. Or, revamp into a clean energy facility. Soon, solar and wind energy will take over oil and coal. But, Biden plans to transition out, not completely shut down fossil fuels. It is important to remember the Clean Energy Revolution will be a hefty project. Due to the time and engineering this change requires, there’s time for compromise between Biden and the oil industry.

One of the rising issues in our environment is fracking. In the second debate, Biden claimed to want to put an end to fracking. Currently, fracking is causing tectonic plate problems in Oklahoma and other areas. Oil companies may have to find another way to drill, or restrictions may be placed on fracking.

 

Jobs

Because the policy’s main goal is to transition efficiently, oil & gas-based jobs will be replaced with clean energy jobs. And, the project will create new jobs for the energy industry, too. According to The NY Times, Joe is not sleeping on this- he’s already drafting ideas and plans. His administration is also considering creating a White House branch specifically for climate change. You can read here about what Biden plans to do for the energy industry’s job sector.

 

We hope to see the Biden administration leading the energy industry with care. Clean energy and a clean environment is important to us. But, we understand that many depend on petroleum and coal. With careful innovation and compromise, every factor of the energy industry can prevail under Biden.

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black and blue vacuum cleaner

Electric Cars: How Do They Work?

Today’s automobile technology and engineering is impressive. Specifically, electric cars and how they work. From the first experience with electric automobiles in the 1800’s, here’s how electric cars work today.

Hybrids: Gas and Electric

First, electric cars use different types of batteries. This depends on if the car is hybrid or purely https://afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/how-do-hybrid-electric-cars-work#:~:text=Hybrid%20electric%20vehicles%20are%20powered,in%20to%20charge%20the%20battery.&text=The%20extra%20power%20provided%20by,allow%20for%20a%20smaller%20engine.electric. Hybrids use Lithium Ion, Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), and Lead Acid batteries. These batteries are similar to regular car batteries. Just as a regular battery recharges itself, so do these. Because these batteries have two sources of power, they can last roughly up to 10 years. Surprisingly, most hybrid cars do not have the plug-in option. U.S. Dept. of Energy says, “Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which uses energy stored in batteries. ” DC/DC electrical current recharges the battery. Also, hybrids have an electric generator. The electric power helps reduce gas emissions, especially when stopped. So, less fuel emissions in the air when you pull one of these through a long drive-thru.

Hybrid cars use electric power until it needs the gas. Then, the gas fuels the engine itself and the electric generator for restoring electric energy. The transmission transfers mechanical power from the engine or electric traction motor. Hybrid cars do use oil.

 

Electric

Unlike hybrids, the only way to power your car is by plugging it into an electric grid. According to EDF Energy, there are five components that make up an all-electric engine. First, the current is typically AC, but can be DC/AC. The inverter takes care of the electrical currency. Then, the drivetrain is responsible for the single-speed transmission. However, the batteries do not recharge while the car is in motion. Newer electric cars will last roughly 250 miles before it has to stop at a charging station. There is talk about “electric roads” that will recharge cars from pavement to car in the future. Electric cars are purely electric as they don’t require oil.

 

And that is how electric cars work. They are becoming increasingly popular as electric automobile engineering and technology improve. Soon, they’ll be all over the road and we can reduce our carbon dioxide emissions! Would you buy a hybrid/electric car? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Paid Ads and Organic Ads

Trying to decide if you should go for paid ads or organic ads, or both? You can pay to boost your ad on Facebook if it’s not reaching enough views or engagement organically. You can share and ask others to give you a shout-out for free, but if you want to reach a large audience, you should consider paying a little extra.

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Organic & Paid Ads

Organic ads are ads that you post yourself onto your site and social media pages. Then, it organically spreads when others engage with your post. This could reach an audience of about 15 people, maybe 30 depending on your following and content. However, many marketers are opting to boost their boost on social media. This will spread to your ad to your target audience, especially Facebook. From there, your posts should have enough views and clicks to start spreading organically. Social media algorithms can help your target audience see your post as well.

Paid search ads is the most common type of pay-per-click advertising. This pulls up your ad in search engines results. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to pay until someone clicks on your ad. However, with your ad being on Google, there’s a good chance it will get high views, then a traffic jam to your site. If you’re a beginner, it’s crucial to keep track of your ROI. This way, you can adjust your marketing strategies accordingly. Paid search ads can help you keep track of everything you need.

 

So, for optimal results, you should opt for both organic and paid ads. Start by boosting your posts about every two weeks. Then. build up until your followers can organically spread your ads. Just as the biggest oak trees originated from an acorn, your business can grow successful with the right boosted ad. With the right content and marketing strategies, you can grow your business in no time.

 

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