WCC Sustainable Energy Expo

Are you committing the ‘energy crime’ and you don’t even realise it?
Just how fast will the kids have to turn a merry-go-round to boil the water for that cuppa?
 Have you ever wondered how a generator works? 
What about using the energy in the waves of Walker Bay for our long-term energy needs?
 How can you save money on your electricity costs?
The answers are all at Whale Coast Conservation’s Energy Expo.
When is it and where?
The Energy Expo will take place on Monday 30th April and Tuesday 1st May 2012 from 09h30 to 16h30 on both days. It’s taking place at Village Square and the lawns in front of the Whale House Museum in Hermanus. Monday is a school holiday and Tuesday is a public holiday, so why not bring the kids (or your parents if you are a smart kid) to find out more about energy – and you won’t even feel the pain.
Will it cost me the earth to bring the whole family?
No, it’s all free and you might even win some prizes. All we ask is that you calculate the amount of energy we will need to blow your socks off!
What’s the Expo about?
The Energy Expo is a fun, interactive experience. It will educate and inform through hands-on displays.
For example, kids can experience their food chemical energy converted to muscle potential energy, which is converted to kinetic energy, which is then converted into electrical energy to power an appliance.  Or put more simply, come and play on the merry-go-round, and let your brain (or rather the TV) light up.
Come and see a working model of a wave-energy proposal that could change the face of the Overstrand. Ponder, while you watch, the possibilities of cutting your electricity bills by 30%.  There are solar powered toys and wind-driven toys to delight the young (and young at heart); a bungee-jumping bear; a biogas generator to turn your waste to gold (well not quite, but pretty valuable cooking gas); the latest in cycling; solar cooking demonstrations; and more to tease the brain.
Discover how photovoltaic cells convert light energy into electrical energy; how we can capture heat energy from the sun; how to harness the energy of the ‘wayward wind’ and the restless waves; how to use the enormous energy in the structure of atoms; the kinetic energy of water and the heat energy in the core of the earth.
What is energy?
Everything in the universe is energy – the stars, the light that bathes us, the food we eat and the things we see all around us. Energy takes many different forms; it can be converted from one form to another; but it can be neither created nor destroyed. Energy is what allows work to be done.
Since man discovered how to use coal to fuel steam engines, our dependence on energy-driven technology has increased to the extent that we are now addicted to fossil fuels. Like all addiction this is not healthy – not healthy for the planet and not healthy for our future on it. This energy-driven technology has enabled man, in 200 short years, to use up more of Earth’s resources than the amount used since the birth of mankind. And the loss is growing exponentially. Accompanied by an ever-increasing population, this exploitation has now reached 150% of the carrying capacity of the planet and carbon and other emissions are contributing to global climate change with serious consequences. In fact we are running on empty.
Despite this, modern society is not going to give up the technology developed over the last century. We will remain dependent on energy. The question is, what energy sources do we have that will sustain us into the future?
Whale Coast Conservation’s Energy Expo explores the nature of energy, the sources of energy, how to utilise these sources, how to limit our dependence on fossil fuels, how to reduce our carbon footprint, how to make informed choices and, above all, to have fun while finding out more about the wonderful world of energy.
More details about other exhibits we have lined up so far
WCC will display a range of interesting demonstration models that offer the opportunity for people to interact with the exhibits, which are designed to explain what energy is, what types of energy there are and how best to use energy.
We will have Abagold exhibiting both static and dynamic models that explain and demonstrate their proposed wave-slot power generation development here at the Hermanus New Harbour.
We have also ordered working models of wind and solar and fuel cell power generators that will explain how this technology works.
We will have a specially manufactured  merry-go-round onto which will be mounted a vertical axis generator, which will be connected to a variable load so that people can get a feel for how much work needs to be done to generate electricity.
The bicycle is one of the most energy-efficient modes of transport ever invented. The latest in cycle technology will be on display and you can add your voice to the call to provide more cycle paths in the Western Cape.
There will also be electric motor assisted bicycles, solar cookers, natural lighting and ventilation systems and other interesting exhibits;
Another exhibit is a solar water heating system and information about installing solar water heating and how you can access the ESKOM rebates.Whale Coast Conservation’s Sustainable Energy Expo is supported by a grant from the national Lotteries Distribution trust Fund.