Your Green Life: "Electron Energy Trailer"

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

We know that energy solutions such as wind, solar, bio–diesel, leave a small footprint on the environment...

But knowing how they work is something completely different. In this weeks "Your Green Life" Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson will look at a trailer, built by the Hartley Nature Center, which can teach you about the different types of clean energy.

Back in 2003 the Hartley Nature Center began to use more sustainable practices with the goal to reduce their carbon footprint. Their building was the first large step in this process, but they still wanted to extend their outreach to the community.

Operated by the Hartley Nature Center, this energy trailer also called the electron can help teach you about solar, wind, bio–fuels and even human powered energy.

"It's a mobile classroom basically; we can take to area schools and present a one hour lesson to kids about energy" said Mark Horlocker.

So what does this "electron" energy trailer have inside?

"We've got four different kinds of energy production here, we have got human power first of all which is evidence about our bike, we've got a bike that produces energy when you pedal it. We've got a solar panel, it's a 75 watt solar panel, we have got that plugged into a battery bank, its charging those batteries. And we've got a wind turbine, a 400 watt wind turbine it can also be plugged in to the batteries to charge them up" said Mark.

Finally they also have a bio fuel generator.
According to the Nature Center's staff this can run efficiently off of reprocessed cooking oil, and one bonus is, its exhaust smells like cooked French fries.
So where has this electron trailer been so far?

"We have also taken it to Stowe Elementary, we demoed it out for the kids at Stowe, we had it at the energy fair a couple of weeks ago, and now here at UMD so its still pretty new, we haven't gone out the schools just yet but we are hoping too this fall" said Mark.

So if you see "electron" around your area, stop by and try to see how much energy you can generate on the bike. In Duluth, for Your Green Life, I'm Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson. The Northlands Newscenter.

If you would like to find our more on the electron energy trailer and the Hartley Nature center visit them at: