Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A "New" Partnership for the Academy - Newcomb Oil Company

I am so glad to share this awesome news with you all! Newcomb Oil (Five Star) has agreed to donate all of their waste vegetable oil to the ETCA for our production of biodiesel! We will start getting the oil from the two stores located in Columbia, and then as the demand grows, we have been given permission to get the oil from the stores in Taylor and Green counties! THANK YOU NEWCOMB OIL!! They have become great "Partners in Sustainability". We are working on window stickers to promote awareness of their efforts toward sustainability and also to promote the Academy and our endeavors to increase membership and support. So, when you see these stickers on the Five Star windows/doors, please tell the store personnel "Thank You" for helping reduce the carbon footprint in our community by donating their Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) to make biodiesel!

A new "Partner in Sustainability" is Larry's Midway Market (the old Yarberry's Grocery) on Highway E 80. Larry heard about the Academy collecting WVO on my radio show, and he called right away! Larry moved here from California where he served the LAPD! Talk about a culture shock! He has just opened and is a really nice guy...and energy conscious!!! Thank you, Larry!

Right now, the Academy is picking up oil on Wednesdays. The ETCA has supplied 5-gallon buckets to the participating stores as it makes it easier for the employees to drain the grease and it is not as messy to transport in my vehicle! We still collect the empty used oil containers so that we can REUSE them when we get our biodiesel made. What about the cardboard on the outside of the carboys? We RECYCLE it, of course! I get lots of questions regarding the production of the biodiesel, and as of now we are stockpiling the oil. The processor is in the Ag Barn (outside) and it would just take too much electricity to keep the oil warm all the time.

So....we are making solar panels!
Last week, a great friend of mine who is a toolmaker came over to make an idea come to life! The students and I decided that no matter how well our solar panels worked, they had to look as nice as possible. And to make them look professional, we would need to have equal spacing between the cells as we soldered them together. So, Gary Burgess, from Burgess Tool & Die, paid us a visit. We explained to him what we wanted and I went to pick up the fixture on Friday! Now that's service!!!

We have learned one hard lesson...you can't even LOOK AT these solar cells too hard or they will crack! Every time we have to pick one up, we are risking a break. Since I am trying to teach "FTQ"...First Time Quality, we have several in-process checks to make sure that our soldering has produced a good quality joint. We are using the instructions as a guide, but pretty much making our own (with pictures!) as we go. We are using lessons learned from panel #1!

We are working on a couple of other projects, too! One is the Vending Miser Project. Be looking for a post soon about this exciting energy sustainability project that the Academy is doing with the Elementary and Intermediate schools. We are also piloting he project with the Science Club tomorrow....it's Club Day!! Woo Hoo!! Stay tuned....

That's all for now...


  1. What an awesome update AND information!!!!!!
    Newcombe Oil!!!!!!! Great!!! Thanks for making us more aware!!!!! It sounds like you have a lot in store for your students!! Keep up the good work!!!!!

  2. Superlike.....!!!!! Its really good news for the students. Thanks a lot for giving us such a great information.
    Likewise, we have certificate programs and courses in energy education, to enable students and professionals to add value to their credentials and to serve the society better.It is known as "College of Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES)"