Build Your Own Solar Panel

July 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Solar Energy

With energy resources dwindling fast and global warming changing climates across the globe, more people look towards renewable energies for reducing their carbon footprint.  However, even the most environmentally passionate person cannot pursue such endeavors without the proper financial resources.  The professional installation of a solar energy system can cost in the thousands, so many resourceful individuals are turning to the many great resources that help you build your own solar panel. It is possible to completely build your own solar panel, but for the most part, these panels are small and do not produce the wattage necessary to power more than a simple lamp and only for a couple of minutes.  The most effective way to produce power from the sun, when you can’t afford to hire the professionals, would be with a solar panel kit.  These build your own solar panel kits come with everything you need to successfully build your own solar panel in the comfort of your living room, or the garage may be a wiser choice. Surprisingly, build your own solar panel kits are not difficult to find.  With large companies like GE producing these kits, the build your own solar panel sets are very affordable and offer quicker return on your investment than purchasing and professionally installing a solar energy system.  In general the instructions are easy to follow, even for teens and children, and in no time you are on your way to your own solar power system. If you are looking to build your own solar panel there are a numerous resources and guides available to help you through the process.  By involving the whole family in the building process, every one will learn how a solar power system works and exactly how the components are put together.  Also, when you build your own solar panel you are giving yourself the knowledge to expand your system on your own, without calling back the installers, and the ability to adapt your current system to meet new design needs. Making the choice to build your own solar panel is a great investment for your future and the world’s future.  Start making your own power at home and take advantage of this great way to educate yourself while saving money and helping the environment and learn how to build your own solar panel today.

Is Renewable Energy Technology Really Available To Homeowners

July 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Green Energy Benefits, Home Upgrades

With the rising energy costs and effects of global warming so prevalent today, many people are wondering if there is truth to the concept of renewable energy technology.  There also appears to be confusion between alternative energy technology and renewable energy technology.  Alternative energy encompasses all renewable energy sources, but includes things like nuclear power and energy from municipal waste.  These are carbonaceous examples.  Renewable energy technology focuses on energy that is replaced as it is being used, such as solar energy and wind energy.

With that clear, are there truly benefits on a home or small business level to renewable solar or wind technology? Absolutely!

Truthfully, by utilizing renewable energy technology on a home level you can save yourself thousands of dollars each year.

Renewable energy technology has gained popularity in recent years and it has become increasingly easy to meet your home’s energy needs with just a little handyman work.  With the information available about renewable energy technology, it is possible to build renewable energy products, such as a windmill or solar panel, on your own.  Do-it-yourselfers are saving huge amounts of pocket change by building and installing these systems themselves.  If you have the money to invest in a commercial professionally installed system, in general these are more efficient, however, savings can still be realized, and at a much faster rate, by researching and building your own renewable energy systems.

Renewable energy technology is advancing with each day.  Solar electrical systems have advanced from giant roof panels to thin layers of film that are twice as conductive and work with less sunlight.  There are now solar powered charges for cell phones, batteries and other small household items.  Windmills have been made more aerodynamic for greater action and electricity generation.  Renewable energy technology can even be seen along today’s highways as small solar/wind operation stations powering signs and lights.

The truth is renewable energy technology is working and you can put it to work for you in your home or business.  With growing popularity and more consumer use, renewable energy technology could minimize our effects of global warming, help alleviate financial stress and create a world less depend on fossil fuels.

Residential Solar Energy

July 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Home Upgrades, Solar Energy

Harnessing the power of the sun’s ray to create energy to power our house is very appealing, but the question is, “Is everything about solar energy good?”

Looking at the current price of fossil fuel-based electricity, it is quite impractical to convert into solar energy system. However, with the growing concern on the state of the earth, there is really a need to find other means of energy aside from what power plants are using right now. Where do you place yourself?

Whether you are an advocate of clean energy or simply care about where your finances go, looking at the pros and cons of residential solar energy system will help you decide on whether to convert or not.

Pros

Solar energy is free. Did you know that the earth absorbs 174 pettawatts of solar radiation? This means that we have more than enough source of free energy to power every house in the world. Unfortunately, most of our energy is still drawn from oil, gas and coal. But in recent years, there is a steady increase of demand for alternative and renewable energy like solar power. It is estimated that the demand for alternative sources of energy will increase by 53% between 1999 and 2020.

Solar energy is clean, renewable and sustainable. Because the energy created from the sun’s rays does not produce byproducts like those from fossil fuel power plants (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury or carbon dioxide), it does not contribute to pollution. Accordingly, the increase in the use of solar energy and other alternative forms of energy will decrease the demand for greenhouse gases-producing power plants.

The price of photovoltaic cells is steadily decreasing. The demand for solar panels has risen by 57% in the United States in 2007 and is steadily increasing on a monthly basis. The increase in demand results to the improvement of solar technology as a whole. The prices of photovoltaic cells have declined on the average of 4% every year over the past 15 years.

Solar panels can be installed on most rooftops, eliminating the problem of finding a suitable place for installation. Solar panels require little or no maintenance. The original photovoltaic cells technology is used for most satellites orbiting our earth today which are not maintained at all. Many solar panel manufacturers give 25 to 40 years warranty on their products.

Because most areas of the country receive a substantial amount of sunlight throughout the year, solar panels can be installed anywhere.

Many states in the country give tax credits and rebates to households who want to install solar energy system. Check with your state government the cost of these incentives.

Cons

While the prices of PV cells are in constant decline and the output is continually improving, the initial cost of installation is relatively high compared to the current electric cost. But the good thing is, after your initial cash out, you don’t have to pay every month on electric bills for the rest of your life.

On areas cities and areas with heavy pollution problem, solar energy may not work as well, but if that is the case you have the option of wind power generation in addition to your solar. Weather can also affect the efficiency of solar energy. If it is raining, overcast weather the solar panels’ efficiency is decreased, but often a wind unit can pick up the loss.. or you can simply run on battery power for a while or use a backup generator.

So when considering doing a solar energy conversion on your home, or building solar to begin with take into consideration your location, overall cost vs your budget, rebates, tax credits and also whether you can wrap it in to your mortgage.

Facts About Solar Energy & Solar Power Plants

July 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

The earth receives more than enough energy from the sun in an hour to supply the world’s energy requirement for the whole year.

Unfortunately, only a tiny portion of it is harnessed and the world still relies on power plants that burn fossil fuels. The good thing, though, is that there is a constant increase in demand for solar energy; and over the years of continuous development, solar panels are much cheaper today.

During peak hours, the maximum power density that the sun can give is about 1kW per square meter. In other words, one square meter of solar panel can produce as much as 100 GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity in one year. That is enough to power 50,000 houses.

If a solar power plant is build on 1% of the total land area of the Sahara desert, it will satisfy the world’s energy requirement.

The efficiency of solar panels depends on several factors such as pollution, clouds, temperature and atmospheric humidity.

Solar power plants are very similar to other conventional power plants – with one significant difference: The majority of power plants draw their power from fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas.

When power plants burn fossil fuels, they produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Solar power plants or solar thermal power plants (or Concentrating Solar Power plants) utilize the power of the sun’s rays to generate electricity.

The process could not be any simpler. The solar panels receive heat from the sun, which will be reflected to the receiver. The receiver converts into steam the concentrated solar energy. The steam is stored on tanks which will be used to turn the turbines and generate electricity.

The whole process does not involve any burning of any fossil fuels. Thus, solar power plants do not contribute to global warming.

The increase in the use of solar energy will bring down the demand for oil.

Today, there are more than 10,000 households with solar energy systems and the number is constantly increasing. If the demand for solar energy as well as other forms of alternative energy, the demand for oil will drop and the cost fuel will likely to follow.

Residential solar energy system can turn your electric meter backwards. Given that you are connected on a power-grid, the excess energy that your solar energy system produces will go to the electric lines to be used by other homes. As a result, any excess energy you give will be reflected on your bills. Your electric supplier will even pay for the electricity you supplied.

Residential solar energy system can save you money.

While the initial cash out for installing solar energy system at home is big, the device will pay for itself in the long run. Not only you will save money on solar energy system, you also help the environment by not contributing to carbon emissions.

Solar energy systems are reliable and can last for a very long time.

PV cells are last from 25 to 40 years. Many manufacturers of solar panels give 25 years product warranty. This is the assurance that solar panels are very dependable.

In addition, solar panels require little or no maintenance and the can be installed on most places where there is sunlight throughout the year.

Different Uses of Solar Energy

July 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

The earth receives more energy from the sun in one hour than the power requirement of the world for the whole year. Solar energy is free, renewable, clean and sustainable. We know how to harness it and we know where to use it best. Below are the different uses of solar energy.
Grid-Tied Residential Homes
Solar energy can be used hand in hand with your current electricity provider. This is ideal to those who live in places where sunlight does not shine year round, to those who live in areas where electricity is cheap and to those who just want to use solar energy as a backup to their existing source of power. The idea is that if you have 2 sources of power, you can get uninterrupted power supply all the time.
One of the benefits of having a grid-tied solar energy system at home is that you can turn your electric meter backwards. This happens when you produce more energy than you use. The excess power that your system generates is sent out to the grid, which will be used by other households. As a result, your electric meter turns backwards and your electric provider will pay you for the amount of energy your system has produced.
Homeowners can use solar energy in producing electricity to power security lights around the house’s perimeter. Since these types of lights consume as much as 5 times more power than the household’s daily energy requirement, opting for solar energy system is very reasonable.
Solar power system may not be used to answer the entire power requirement of the household. Sometimes it is used to power particular equipment such as lighting, water pumping, cooking and water heating or other equipments that consume the most amount of energy.
Corporate Buildings
To save on electric bills, many companies and building owners install PV cells on their atria. On large industrial buildings, PV cells can be installed on rooftops. While the initial cash out is expensive, the amount of savings the system produces over the years will pay for itself.
Off-Grid Homes
If you have a cabin house or a farm house located far from the power grids, a solar power system can be your best source of electricity. Also, it is ideal if you need to power stand-alone sensing equipment and remote telemetry. Holiday homes that receive a substantial amount of sunlight can also benefit on this system.
Community halls, schools, clinics and other buildings that are not connected to any grid lines can use PV cells to generate power from the sun.
Signs and Street lights
Lights to brighten our street and street signs consume large amount of energy. This energy is drawn from electric providers that use conventional fossil fuels. To reduce the demand for this type of energy source, signs and street light can be installed with solar power systems that store power during the day and use it to light the streets at night. Many cities have solar panels attached to their street lights to save money and reduce fossil fuel burning.
Other Recreational Application
RVs and marine vehicles require small amount of power which are drawn from its engine. This consumes fuel and emits greenhouse gases. To reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gases emission, owners prefer charging their batteries with solar panels.

The earth receives more energy from the sun in one hour than the power requirement of the world for the whole year. Solar energy is free, renewable, clean and sustainable. We know how to harness it and we know where to use it best. Below are the different uses of solar energy.

Grid-Tied Residential Homes

Solar energy can be used hand in hand with your current electricity provider. This is ideal to those who live in places where sunlight does not shine year round, to those who live in areas where electricity is cheap and to those who just want to use solar energy as a backup to their existing source of power. The idea is that if you have 2 sources of power, you can get uninterrupted power supply all the time.

One of the benefits of having a grid-tied solar energy system at home is that you can turn your electric meter backwards. This happens when you produce more energy than you use. The excess power that your system generates is sent out to the grid, which will be used by other households. As a result, your electric meter turns backwards and your electric provider will pay you for the amount of energy your system has produced.

Homeowners can use solar energy in producing electricity to power security lights around the house’s perimeter. Since these types of lights consume as much as 5 times more power than the household’s daily energy requirement, opting for solar energy system is very reasonable.

Solar power system may not be used to answer the entire power requirement of the household. Sometimes it is used to power particular equipment such as lighting, water pumping, cooking and water heating or other equipments that consume the most amount of energy.

Corporate Buildings

To save on electric bills, many companies and building owners install PV cells on their atria. On large industrial buildings, PV cells can be installed on rooftops. While the initial cash out is expensive, the amount of savings the system produces over the years will pay for itself.

Off-Grid Homes

If you have a cabin house or a farm house located far from the power grids, a solar power system can be your best source of electricity. Also, it is ideal if you need to power stand-alone sensing equipment and remote telemetry. Holiday homes that receive a substantial amount of sunlight can also benefit on this system.

Community halls, schools, clinics and other buildings that are not connected to any grid lines can use PV cells to generate power from the sun.

Signs and Street lights

Lights to brighten our street and street signs consume large amount of energy. This energy is drawn from electric providers that use conventional fossil fuels. To reduce the demand for this type of energy source, signs and street light can be installed with solar power systems that store power during the day and use it to light the streets at night. Many cities have solar panels attached to their street lights to save money and reduce fossil fuel burning.

Other Recreational Application

RVs and marine vehicles require small amount of power which are drawn from its engine. This consumes fuel and emits greenhouse gases. To reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gases emission, owners prefer charging their batteries with solar panels.

Solar Energy – The Advantages and Disadvantages

July 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Perhaps the greatest argument that could be leveled about having to use fossil and nuclear fuel is our dependence on it. Global warming, though a real serious threat, maybe something that we could only be very worried about. Singly nothing much could be done about it as it will take serious political will if it is to be addressed effectively and for now, other countries are not cooperating. But the choice between traditional and alternative sources of energy, that is something most of us can choose to do.

First the advantages:
Solar energy is abundant and is free. We can count the sun to rise tomorrow and the day after that. Oil and natural gases on the other hand are non renewable, once the source taps out, it is gone forever. Sure there are other areas that could still be tapped but sooner that could run out of oil as well.
Solar energy does not pollute the air. If ever, the heat coming from the sun cleans the environment and maintains the earth’s eco balance. Not so with oil. Oil, its derivatives and its byproducts are great pollutants. In fact, 22,000 pounds of carbon monoxide will need to be produced first for the oil to be processed and supply a home with electrical energy for a year.
Solar energy harnessing panels are silent operators. Except maybe for the mechanical contraptions that are built into the panels so it could track the sun, from the collection of the suns rays to its photovoltaic conversion, they give neither a peep nor a squeak. It is a world of difference from the cacophony of giant drills and pumps that are used to extract oil form the ground.
Maintenance for the solar panels is very minimal. Except for the mechanical parts that are optional, almost no maintenance is needed. Once it is installed nothing much will be the cause for worry. The energy that is derived is free. With oil there is no telling what the next pump price would be and when. Oil, being a commodity, heavily depend its prices on market forces. Often with the right strategies, even market forces could be manipulated that could cause volatility in pricing.
The Disadvantages of Solar Energy
The cost. While solar energy is free, the cost of installation setbacks many household from installing it. Brand new solar energy generating systems are expensive. Although it tends to pay off overtime, initial cash out could range into several thousands of dollars depending on the quality and volume of generated power a household or an establishment would require. While solar energy technology has been around since the 1950’s it is only in recent years that its development was spurred. While costs of installation could also be subjective depending on the purchasing capacity of a customer, the benefits that could be derived out of it is enormous although mostly in unquantifiable terms.
For mass consumption, distribution lines are needed and this remains to be a big issue. Old antiquated distribution lines used to transfer electricity and other modes of fuel into the homes are clogged in many regions that to deliver solar energy power into the houses of consumers will require a different approach.
Be that as it may, the benefits from solar power far outweigh its disadvantages. It is an ideal source of energy that it may soon be the norm in power generation.

Perhaps the greatest argument that could be leveled about having to use fossil and nuclear fuel is our dependence on it. Global warming, though a real serious threat, maybe something that we could only be very worried about. Singly nothing much could be done about it as it will take serious political will if it is to be addressed effectively and for now, other countries are not cooperating. But the choice between traditional and alternative sources of energy, that is something most of us can choose to do.

First the advantages:

Solar energy is abundant and is free. We can count the sun to rise tomorrow and the day after that. Oil and natural gases on the other hand are non renewable, once the source taps out, it is gone forever. Sure there are other areas that could still be tapped but sooner that could run out of oil as well.

Solar energy does not pollute the air. If ever, the heat coming from the sun cleans the environment and maintains the earth’s eco balance. Not so with oil. Oil, its derivatives and its byproducts are great pollutants. In fact, 22,000 pounds of carbon monoxide will need to be produced first for the oil to be processed and supply a home with electrical energy for a year.

Solar energy harnessing panels are silent operators. Except maybe for the mechanical contraptions that are built into the panels so it could track the sun, from the collection of the suns rays to its photovoltaic conversion, they give neither a peep nor a squeak. It is a world of difference from the cacophony of giant drills and pumps that are used to extract oil form the ground.

Maintenance for the solar panels is very minimal. Except for the mechanical parts that are optional, almost no maintenance is needed. Once it is installed nothing much will be the cause for worry. The energy that is derived is free. With oil there is no telling what the next pump price would be and when. Oil, being a commodity, heavily depend its prices on market forces. Often with the right strategies, even market forces could be manipulated that could cause volatility in pricing.

The Disadvantages of Solar Energy:

The cost. While solar energy is free, the cost of installation setbacks many household from installing it. Brand new solar energy generating systems are expensive. Although it tends to pay off overtime, initial cash out could range into several thousands of dollars depending on the quality and volume of generated power a household or an establishment would require. While solar energy technology has been around since the 1950’s it is only in recent years that its development was spurred. While costs of installation could also be subjective depending on the purchasing capacity of a customer, the benefits that could be derived out of it is enormous although mostly in unquantifiable terms.

For mass consumption, distribution lines are needed and this remains to be a big issue. Old antiquated distribution lines used to transfer electricity and other modes of fuel into the homes are clogged in many regions that to deliver solar energy power into the houses of consumers will require a different approach.

Be that as it may, the benefits from solar power far outweigh its disadvantages. It is an ideal source of energy that it may soon be the norm in power generation.