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Home Made Power – Solar Power and Wind Power

Home Made Power

Homemade Powerplant

Home Made Power

By using home made power you will stop the ever increasing monthly payment to the power company.  How many times have you looked at your energy bill and shaken your head in amazement?  Will it ever stop?  Can’t I catch a break?

Every household is spending a considerable amount of money to pay electricity bills each and every month. Though you take an effort to bring the bills down as much as possible by switching off non essential electrical appliances that consume power, you will never be able to save by a useful margin.

The best way to reduce your electricity bills is to produce your own home made power.  Though you may have never given serious thought before there are quite a few ways for you to generate your own power with the use of methods such as solar power, wind power and common sense.

With your own home made power system in place you will have comfort in knowing that you can beat the monthly drain on your finances.  With a few easy to understand simple tactics you are going to build your own energy capturing and saving devices to supplement your energy needs or to eliminate the need to be connected to the grid at all.

Home Made Power – Solar power

In order to produce solar power, you never need any pre-requisites. Sunlight is found everywhere in varying degrees. Therefore, it is a case of building your own solar panels and connecting them to your home power supply. You do not need to build the biggest and most expensive solar panels.  Just by starting small and adding more as you go you will see increasing savings.   A small solar panel made by using cheaper used panels will also save you a lot of money. Remember, when you make your own solar panel not only do you save money but you also are  preventing environmental pollution.

Home Made Power – Solar Water Heater Do it Yourself

One of the largest recurring and spiraling energy costs is in the process of heating your household domestic water needs.  Most homes have a 30 to 50 gallon hot water tank that is either  heated with oil, gas or electricity and whether you are drawing hot water or not, the thermostat kicks in and you are paying for fuel or energy just to keep the water hot in the tank for future use.

Through a few do it yourself methods you can stop that part of your monthly energy costs.  Solar water heaters are also good ways of making home made power though they don’t generate electricity. They save electricity, or the fuel, by heating water with the use of energy from the sun.  Made of metal sheets that collect the sun’s rays to heat water, they provide hot water for the home. You never need the hot sun throughout the day. Even subdued sunlight will usually  provide enough energy to heat the water considerably making it a good method of lowering your power bill.

Home Made Power – Wind power

Wind power is increasing in popularity as a way to generate home made power.  Wind turbines are not expensive and are efficient but you need to be living in an area where there is enough wind power to turn your turbine blades.  There are easy methods for you to build your own wind turbine. It is a simple device that consists of a dynamo and just three blades to grasp the wind power. You need to have a few auxiliary devices that enable you to transfer the power generated into the house.

By using a combination of simple methods of do it yourself home made power you will catch that break that you so desperately deserve.  Start small and keep growing your own power plant by following the exact methods in our newest advertiser’s guide: HOMEMADE POWERPLANT.

Related Articles:

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By purchasing this guide from this website you will be helping yourself immensely and in a small way be helping us at WayToGoGreen.org to bring free information for everyone to live a simpler, better life.  Once you get your own home made power system going you will see even more ways to benefit.

 

China Using Solar Thermal Power

It seems the Chinese are more than just talk. The Chinese Government made a big thing about Earth Hour a few days ago, but before that they were already planning on moving into green renewable power as a source for their growing industrial power needs.

In the year 2010, China plans to bring online a 1.5 megawatt solar thermal power station.  This will be capable of supplying the power needs of over 30,000 homes.  The cost of this plant is to be approximately 100 million yuan.  The power plants will cover an area of approximately 13 hectares.  The funding for this project is from the Ministry of Science, the city of Beijing and the China Academy of Science.

The power output of this new plant is expected to be in the range of 2.7 million kWh of electricity per year.  Since a conventional coal burning plant would produce 2,300 tons of CO2 emissions for the same power generation, this will help reduce the pollution problem plagued by Beijing.

The heart of the plant will be a solar tower that is to be 100 meters tall and contain 100 heliostats of curved mirrors that will follow the sun and direct the rays to a receiver at the base of the tower. There the rays will be transformed to thermal power and the steam generated will directly run the turbine for electrical generation.

Thermal power stations have to be larger than a solar photovoltaic stations but because of the scale the energy is cheaper. In Spain there are both types of solar power plants producing electricity.  The photovoltaic plant is 44-euro cents per kWh while that of solar thermal power station is only 27-euro cents per kWh.

This is a cheap renewable energy power source. The more that is invested in the future the greener our world will be. Look into solar thermal power and invest in a greener tomorrow.

Three Types of Solar Cells

3-types-of-solar-cells

Image via Wikipedia

In the market place today there are three basic types of solar cells. Solar cells are more commonly referred to as photovoltaic modules. The three basic modules are single crystal silicon, polycrystalline silicon and thin film.  All three of these are available in solar voltaic panels.

Single crystal silicon was first created by accident in Bell laboratories in 1954. An experiment using semiconductors had a silicone doped with impurities which showed a sensitivity to light that was greater than ever seen before with other materials.

The efficiency was only at 6% but it was promising. Eventually the efficiency would reach 33% but has leveled off since then without an increase. The major drawback was that each solar panel was just one crystal. If just part of it becomes damaged then the entire cell will not function properly and the costs are extremely high.

In 1981 polycrystalline silicon was developed. This was made out of the same material but poured out into a mold to form the final structure that was wafer thick. They were made square to make a more efficient use of space but upon cooling the crystalline structure would form random crystal boundaries which in turn slightly reduce the efficiency of energy conversion to about 20%. These could be easily placed in conjunction with other cells to form panels. This is the most common of all the solar cells in use today.

The last is thin film panels that are made of the same material as the polycrystalline cells but microscopically thin. These are more flexible than the polycrystalline panels and were finally put into production in 2007. The production costs are lower than polycrystalline cells but they have yet to attain the same efficiency. Of the different types of solar cells the thin layer film is the most promising for higher efficiency.

There is much research being done on improving solar cell efficiency and in how to reduce costs of production.  Refer to earlier articles here on way to go green below.

 

Check Out the Video of Solar Cells in Action:

DEMONSTRATING SOLAR CELLS

DEMONSTRATING SOLAR CELLS

 

Home Solar Panels will save you money

  • Solar cells more efficient than plants for harvesting sun’s energy (news.bioscholar.com)
  • Suniva’s Patents Pending (r1solar.wordpress.com)
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Solar Power Generator

One of the best ways to help the environment is with a solar power generator.

There is a solar power generator for every possible need in each and every house. Each residential solar power system has to be rated to fit the needs of the consumer. For the individual consumer that has little electrical requirements it is possible to have your energy supply come almost entirely from an inexpensive solar power generator.

For those looking to make small moves toward bringing the use of solar power into their lives, one appliance at a time would work. This approach over time will not only reduce the consumption of energy from the local grid but will also help on your pocket book. One 25 watt solar panel with a small amp charge controller and a sealed battery could be maintained along with a DC to AC converter for less than $400 in today’s market.

This would not run too much but it is a step in the right direction. For those looking to help convince their parents of the money saving side of solar power make it an educational venture for all of the family. If all the savings from just one solar panel is reinvested into another solar panel, the savings will add up.

If just one step at a time is the approach taken, in time your whole house could be supplied by green energy. The best thing is that most solar panels work and produce electricity for 30 years or more. At the end of that time only one panel at a time would need to be changed at to keep your systems’ efficiency up. Best of all after the initial cost of the units, there is no monthly charge from the sun.

A solar power generator uses only clean renewable energy of the sun and should be just one of the ways to help the environment that you can achieve by yourself.

Home Solar Panels Will Save You Money

Home solar panels are the anchor by which every residential solar power system generates energy. We at waytogogreen.org have been discussing this process of alternate energy many times.  They will save you money.  For maximum efficiency of a solar unit in the United States and Europe, the solar panels must be facing south. For Australia the solar panels should be facing north. If your home is situated with the roofing trusses running north and south, then a deflector may be used to maximize their solar efficiency.  This is necessary to produce the proper amount of solar energy from your solar panels. If alignment with the sun is not maximized then more solar panels will be needed to generate the necessary power for your needs.

Solar power is a renewable energy source that the U.S. government has recognized as a way to not only help the environment but also reduce this country’s dependence on foreign oil imports. With that in mind the great legislative bodies of this nation finally reapproved the residential tax credits after nine previous attempts. The extension of this bill not only allows homeowners to apply for a 30% tax credit but the $2000 limit was removed.   This is on all newly installed residential solar power units and any upgrades necessary to existing solar units previously installed but not working at maximum efficiency.

There are also local tax incentives depending on where you reside in the United States. For the fullest possible governmental assistance with your residential solar power system each level of government should be checked.  This includes state, county and city offices to maximize available assistance.

Don’t be the last homeowner on your block to invest in home solar panels. Their installation will save you money and the environment.

Solar Outdoor Lighting for Safety

Solar outdoor lighting is becoming a popular addition to most new households in today’s market place.  It is also an energy efficient way to increase the security of your home without adding to your electrical bill.

The technology has advanced rapidly in the past few years to make this a convenient easy, do it yourself upgrade to your property. These new devices trap and store the renewable energy of the sun during the day.  Upon the sun setting, the solar lights automatically illuminate. The release of the trapped energy that has been stored is the power source.  There are a variety of fixtures to choose from including ground level lighting fixtures to lamps and even flood lights. Best of all there are no trenches to dig because there are no wires.  Each unit uses a separate power generation system and works independent of each other.

For those that wish to decorate their gardens with glowing balls or globes that utilize solar power, these are also available. These have become so popular that the price of manufacturing has reduced the cost significantly.

Way to Go Green suggests two products that you will just love.  The set of 6 Solar Path Lights which you will see on the left and also a wonderful appliance that will help to keep your family safe, the 80 LED Security floodlight.  Even in a power outage or in a case where someone deliberately cuts off your power, you will still have light flooding out on to the yard.  Nothing deters the bad guys than lots of light.

This is a positive step in the right direction to help keep your home and family safe. This is independent of your local power grid so even when there is a power loss in your neighborhood, your home will be illuminated. So be safe and secure and install solar outdoor lighting at your home today.

Solar Battery Charger

A solar battery charger is a way to recharge you household batteries or your car battery without adding any pollutants to the atmosphere.  They work on the same principle that all other solar powered device work and that is harnessing the renewable energy of the sun to create electricity.

There are many chargers out there in the market place.  Most of them are for your car.  A good number of them offer the trickle charge at 12 volts.  This does not sound too efficient but a long slow charge is the best way to charge a battery.  The battery will also keep this charge longer that a quick charge.  These convenient solar battery chargers are foldable and easy to store when not in use. Most are powerful enough to charge your battery while sitting on the dashboard.  The windshields glass will not hamper the function and this charger and it is safe from theft.

There are also solar battery chargers that provide 24 and 48 volts for charging those larger batteries but they are more expensive.

For those of you that have hybrid cars a thought has come to mind.  On your dash and in the back window would be a perfect place for these inexpensive chargers. With prices as low as $60 this power source offsets the power drain on your battery and will give you extended mileage. This would not only make your hybrid car a gas, electric vehicle but also a solar car.

Most of these charges plug into that seldom used cigarette lighter but they can be hard wired into the cars electrical system for improved looks.

A solar battery charger is more useful than you first thought it would be.  This type of charger may be used year around to keep your car battery at full charge at all times. In the winter you are going to be real glad to have the extra cranking power available that a solar battery charger will provide.

The Future of Solar Energy

The future of solar energy is in the hands of young new scientist with new ways of looking at things. There are many new ways of going green by tapping into the renewable energy source of the sun, like energy towers and updraft towers. Both are relatively new and take a new approach to utilizing the power of the sun other than with solar cells.

The energy tower creates electricity by extracting the energy from the surrounding air. The basic principle is that water is sprayed at the top of the tower. The heat from the sun causes this water to evaporate creating a downdraft effect by cooling the air inside the tower, which in turn increases the airs density. This downdraft then turns the turbine that is located at the bottom of the tower. The turbine is connected to a power generator and produces electricity. To efficiently utilize this as a power source the tower should be located in an arid region and close to a large water source. There are many places on earth that fit that description including the coasts of Chile, Peru, Southern California, Mexico, a large portion of Africa and the Middle East.

Another alternative power source is the solar updraft tower. This unit would take a large area that would need to be enclosed similar to a green house with the walls made of glass. As the air inside is heated, it would be channeled through a pathway to a tall tower. On top of the tower would be a turbine that is connected to a generator that would produce electricity. It is thought that collector tubes of 7 meters in diameter would be needed to channel the air to a tower 1000 meters tall to make this a functional power source. The land required would be greater than any other power plant but it is nonpolluting and utilizes the renewable energy source of the sun.

Another method that holds promise of producing solar energy at a low cost is that which is demonstrated in this video using a fresnel lens as a collector and then concentrating the beam of light on to a collector/heat exchanger which in turn creates high pressure steam and runs a turbine generator for electricity and being able to capture the exit hot water to use in the household. The inventor claims that a 6 KW system would cost about $6,000. We would like to hear from anyone who has built such a system and how it has worked out. It would seem as though the solar collector would have to be steered directly toward the sun throughout the day.

Check out the video:

These are just a few of the possibilities of the future of solar energy and some more ways to go green.

Invest in Affordable Solar Power

To find affordable solar power as consumers you must do your homework.  Solar power has been around long enough that there are multiple options. Just like other consumer products, look in all areas of the market place.

Think of what else you purchase and follow the same rules. Look and buy from local manufactures first. By reducing the shipping costs, the price will be reduced. Find the manufactures directly and eliminate the middleman.  This is well known in almost every market. The middleman or retailer only makes money from buying low and reselling at a higher price. Their only purpose is to take your hard earned money and supplying you with a product you could find on your own with a little bit of research.

Once you are finding the inexpensive solar panels look for the product warranty availability. Most manufacturers are guaranteed for 20 to 30 years. If you do not have this warranty, be wary. A cheap find that has to be replaced in a few months or years is not a good deal.

The solar industry has been around for many years and used items are available. When Ronald Reagan had the solar panels removed from the Whitehouse, they went somewhere. Unless the panels are cracked a used panel should be sufficient to get you going green.

Best of all is the power generation. Here is a test, if you just want to feel good. Hook up a small solar unit to your house and turn off all energy devices. Watching the power meter run backwards will give you a warm feeling.

When I was a young boy there were small communities in rural areas that had small waterpower plants that fed their local residents, then the power company first bought them and hooked them into the grid and in a few years just shut them down.  Wouldn’t it be nice to reverse that trend and get millions of small scale power plants hooked back into the grid?

Solar power is affordable for the long run; think of the future when making your purchase. Then affordable solar power is yours.

Video Example of a Small Scale Solar Power System

Update: As of Monday May 11th, this system is on sale at Harbor Freight for $199.  This is about the lowest cost per watt that I have been able to locate.  This system is enough for some emergency 12 volt power and if you installed multiple systems you could power your whole house.  Here is a link to the sale price, http://tinyurl.com/pnjcgy (not an affiliate link.)

Sure this is not going to provide all the power for your home but it is a start and is a good example of they type of equipment you will need to start making your own solar power.

This video is an example of what is needed for a small solar power system and how it works. This 50 watt system would be enough to operate a few emergency lights and a low power requirement radio.  Give the guy credit, at least he is trying.

Start With a Simple Solar Power Generator

There is a solar power generator for every possible need in each and every house. Each residential solar power system has to be rated to fit the needs of the consumer. For the individual consumer that has little electrical needs it is possible to have your energy supply come from an inexpensive solar power generator.

For those looking to make small moves toward using solar power into their lives, one appliance at a time would work. This approach over time will not only reduce the consumption of energy from the local grid by also help on your pocket book. One 25 watt solar panel with a small amp charge controller and a sealed battery could be maintained along with a DC to AC converter for less than $400 in today’s market. This would not run much but it is a step in the right direction. For those looking to help convince their parents of the money saving side of solar power make it an educational venture of the family. If all the savings from just one solar panel is reinvested into another solar panel, the savings will add up.

If just one step at a time is the approach taken, in time your whole house could be supplied by green energy. The best thing is that most solar panels work and produce electricity for 30 years or more. At the end of that time only one panel at a time would need to be changed at a time to keep your systems efficiency up. Best of all after the initial cost of the units, there is no monthly charge from the sun.

A solar power generator uses only clean renewable energy of the sun.

Note: Please notice that we have added two new features to WayToGoGreen.org in that there is a link in the right hand column to “Follow Me on Twitter”, and there is also a link button under each article that allows you to “Tweet This Post.” When you read an article that you wish to share with your Twitter friends all you have to do is click the Tweet This Post and it will take you right to Twitter.  share the wealth and you will also be helping us get new readers.  Thank you very much.

Cato Green

Looking for Affordable Solar Panels

When looking to alternative power sources most Americans first think of solar power.
This is why affordable solar panels are in such a demand. If you look you can find used or even blemished solar panels on the market at reasonable prices. But know what you are looking for before making a payment.

The solar panel manufacturer Evergreen Solar sells their solar panels that are fully functional but have cosmetic blemishes for a reduced price. With a list price of over $25,000 and a sale price of just over $18,000 it sounds like a deal, but wait, remember the warranty.  5 years on workmanship and a 25-years on power is the warranty. This is the same as the manufacturer. The cosmetic blemishes are not a hindrance on the power performance is advertised. This is for 114 poly-crystalline silicon solar cell panels that rate at 205 watts.  This is claimed to be an American manufacturer but the alternative language is German. Kinda like the old AMF, American manufactured but owned by the Japanese.

Another option is ebay with a 45 watt lighting systems available for less than $200.  You might find a bargain on Craigslist.org from time to time but you will have to keep checking for used solar panels.

Looking at the global market there is a glut of solar panels but most of the manufactures are from China.  The only question is that are any of them still in business today and will they be in 25 years. The economic crunch has hit China too with exports down and over 40% of the factories closing I am not sure this is a viable option.

There are alternatives to new just be careful when choosing affordable solar panels that are used or blemished.

Passive Versus Residential Solar Energy

There are two ways to use the power of the sun in your home. There have been numerous articles about residential solar energy. But not much has been said or written about passive solar energy uses for the home. To discuss the differences the first thing would be to know the differences.

First residential solar energy is a small-scale use of business solar energy.  The use of solar panels is nothing new being on a good number of houses today. Most of the solar panels are located on the roofs of residential houses for personal use in that home. Some smaller panels are on top of light polls. The uses of this solar power also vary. The first wide scale product for the home that utilized solar power in America was for heating water. That was decades ago and this industry has progressed forward in leaps and bounds since. Now residents can power their whole house with solar power. The more the energy consumption the greater is the need for collecting the power of the sun, which means an increase in the number of solar panels. There is also the option to be hooked up to the local power grid and exchange power. Your system will feed the grid during the day and draw off it at night. Simplified, residential solar power is mechanical or in need of an active operating systems.

Now on to passive solar use in a residential home. It has been around for decades but never really called passive solar or used to its full potential. Remember skylights and large picture windows, this is passive use of solar energy. By allowing light to enter deep into our homes we can save energy by using this light during the day instead of turning on the light switch. The large picture windows combined with stone or thick tile flooring can absorb the heat during winter months and help keep you warm. This is a sustainable and renewable source that can be utilized with a low cost as long as you design your home properly. If you are building a new home or just adding on an addition to your existing home, think about added skylights. In the bedrooms they add a romantic touch and it just makes sense for that bathroom. Best of all once a skylight is installed there is nothing to wear out. This is a renewable reliable source of energy for years to come.

The Different Types of Solar Cells

There are currently three different types of solar cells in production in today’s market place. There are the monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous.  There are differences between the three and knowing the difference will help the consumers make a better choice on which type is best for them.

First there is the monocrystalline cell, which is made from a single large crystal, usually cut from one large man made ingot. This is difficult to handle and if broken then the whole cell has to be replaced. Since it is one piece there is no resistance thus being the most efficient. It is even efficient in low light conditions.  This cell has a major draw back of being the most expensive to manufacture.

Second there is the polycrystalline cell, which is made from many small blocks. This is less expensive to manufacture since it is smaller and easier to handle. Connecting all the cells together does reduce the efficiency but not a great deal.

These first two are the most common and most efficient at about 33%. In addition with the high cost of production, it is not possible now to see a further reduction in the cost, which is about $1 US per watt.

The last is amorphous cell. This is sometimes referred to a thin layer or second generation. This has good and bad to it.  This cell is the cheapest to manufacture thus being the least expensive to purchase but also the least efficient.

There are other types of solar energy panels but for photovoltaics these three different types of solar cells will be your choices for your solar power system.

With the first two using silicon and the last one using cadmium or copper, the price of the raw materials will be the driving cost in finished cost of the cells. Make your choice a wise one just remember if you chose the thin cell it will take more of them to produce the same amount of energy as the silicon based cells.

The Use of Residential Solar Panels

The use of residential solar panels will reduce your energy cost for years to come. The source of power you will be utilizing is abundant and free. Your only cost comes in harnessing it. There have been many evolutions of the solar panel for use in residential homes from the beginning with crystalline silicon solar cell to the thin-film, string-ribbon.

The crystalline silicon solar cell was the first and best know type. A standard panel has a transparent glass surface with an ethyl vinyl acetate encapsulant on a Tedlar rear surface all held with an aluminum frame to orderly arrange the atoms to turn sunlight to electricity for your energy together needs.

A more economical panel developed is the thin-film panel. The three technologies used here are amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium diselenide, all of which use less semiconductor material than the crystalline silicon panels. This has become a preferred panel because of its high efficiency and aesthetics appearance since this thin-film technology is built into the roofing shingles themselves.

There is a third type that is in wide spread usage that combines the best of both previously stated panel types. This is referred to as the string-ribbon technology.  The manufacturing process utilizes high temperature, molten process to produce an energy yield of twice that of conventional crystalline silicon solar cells.

When the decision to use solar power and what type of solar panels have been made, the decision of a photovoltaic system (PV) will have to be determined. For maximum absorption of the solar rays, the panels should face the sun at an optimal angle. The right PV will maximize the efficiency of your system. This system will also convert the direct current that is generated to the useful alternating current used by most applications in the average home and be the storage unit, or battery, during the evening hours or storm conditions.

If a battery system is not preferred, then a tie in to the local grid is an option. This way you can sell power to your local energy company during the peak hours of sunlight during the day and buy energy back during the evening hours. Depending on your power consumption, this balance will determine whether you pay a bill or receive reimbursement.

The Future of Solar Energy Depends on Photovoltaics

Photovoltaics or PV is the area of research and technology that deals with solar cells as a source of energy by converting the sun’s rays into electricity. Every year since 2002, the production of PV cells has increased by 48%, which makes this form of energy the fastest growing in the world. By the end of 2007, 12400megawatts of energy was produced by solar power.

But what are PV’s and how do they work? The PV solar cell is composed of mostly silicon that absorbs the rays of the sun. These rays release an electron from the silicon. This freed electron must flow through an external circuit before returning to the solar cell, thus generating a current. Another fact is that the optimum operating temperature is 25C. The efficiency is decreased as temperature rises. This decrease is at a rate of 0.5% for every 1C rise in temperature.

A thin silicon cell four inches across will optimally produce one watt an hour. If you have a 50-cell panel this would produce enough energy to power a small black and white TV, a radio and 5 small florescent bulbs. The average cost is directly related to how many watts are to be produced. The average base rule is that the cost is $10 – $15 per installed watt.

Most manufactures give a thirty-year life span of their solar products. With a 10 to 20 year time span to recover your cost, this is definitely a long-term cost effective form of energy supply.

The future of solar energy is bright. Please pardon the pun but it is true.

Plan your Solar Energy Installation

The decision to have a solar energy installation at your home or business is a wise one. Many factors need to be considered before you proceed. How much will it cost?  How large of a solar unit is needed to supply all of your energy needs? Who is qualified to install it? Do you need to be connected to the local grid? ? How long before you recuperate the cost?

The cost of your solar system will be determined by the amount of power you wish to generate and where you are located.  The solar modules you install will be about 40 to 50% of your overall cost. In 2003 the cost per kWt was between $8000 and $12000 per kWp installed. These cost have come down some with the development and advances of thin film cells but this is just to give you a rough idea. For a firm cost, your local market will decide the actual price. As for how large of a unit you would need depends on your power consumption and where you live. Look at your past electrical bills over the past few years and you will have a good idea of your power consumption. The sun’s rays also are more intense the closer you are to the equator. A good example is a solar cell that is located in Southern California can produce twice the power of a solar cell placed in Northern Germany.

Remember only certified licensed installers can legally install your systems. Another reason to get a licensed installer is that all states but Arkansas has an incentive program for the proper installation and use of solar energy.

Some of the incentive programs offered by states require that your solar power be connected to the local grid. Before you decide on this matter, check with your states program and know your power consumption and the forecasted power output of your new system.

Most homeowners can recuperate the cost of the solar power installation in about 20 years. Know your system and do your research to help you decide.

Get Off the Grid with a Solar Electric System

I am still amazed at the number of different home appliances that can utilize a solar electrical system as a power source. Solar power has truly moved out of the water heating only into the main stream. Both AC and DC power can be supplied with the proper converters placed in your system.

Appliances that need AC power that can draw their powers from solar sources are Gas Stoves, washing machines and gas dryers. Electric stoves and cloths dryers could be used but the power consumption is so great that your solar power capacity would have to be able to handle this amount of load.

Appliances that can use the DC power directly without a converter to AC. Bed warmers, wireless phones, rechargeable electric shavers, gate openers, evaporative coolers, pond or aquarium aerators, low voltage lighting, fans, motion control sensors, answering machines, door bells, home alarm systems, gas furnaces, refrigerators and freezers, garage door openers, your stereo and your laptop computer and the list goes on.  Most household items have been reengineered to run off 12 volts DC systems already.

To supplement your solar power for your energy needs do not think of using the local power grid, try wind power.  The cost of a windmill has come down in resent years and would better prepare your home for that nighttime peak power consumption without draining your batteries.

A licensed electrician is still needed to hook up your solar electrical system. Use only one that has experience with solar systems to ensure the proper converters, controllers and adapters are used so your new solar power can be utilized safely.

Home Solar Power Systems

Unlike past years, the home solar power system is more than just for water systems, it is for your whole home. The solar home kits started with replacing those natural gas water heaters and now can supply outdoor lighting, security systems, heating for swimming pools along with power generation for air conditioners and everyday appliances.

The use of solar power for replacement of that old water heater is the best economical use of solar power. The savings can be as much a 4/5 the cost with new solar panels that have the capability of paying for themselves in less than 5 years.

The development of solar energy is mostly reliant on the solar panels than on other parts of the system. Still available is the flat plate collectors most of us remember. But today there are newer technologies including nanotechnology that have changed the industry forever. This is an industry that is no longer dependent on silicone. Some of the new solar cells are:

1) Organic solar cells made of a flexible plastic that is applied like paint.
2) Thin film solar cells that can be placed on your roof or in some cases be the roof.
3) Dye sensitized solar cells are being developed to produce electricity from the tinted windows as well as roof applications.
4) Polymers are using techniques with application by printing or painting the energy cell in place.

A consideration before you install a solar unit on how you going to set up your power is needed. With either a battery storage unit or linked to your local power grid, this consideration should be well thought out.

The initial cost is the major set back for most consumers with a payback period can be as great as 20 years. Other sources of funding should be investigated. In some developed nations along with developing nations, there are tax incentives and limited grants to assist you. In America there is a $2000 tax incentive with the requirement that 50% of the hot water used is heated by solar power.

Solar power is a renewable green source of home electrical power that is safe and reliable. As long as the sun shines and your system is operational, you will have reliable, renewable source of power for your home.

We would love to hear from readers with your thoughts and comments on any of our articles.  If you know of some good energy projects, please let us know.

Cato

The Future of Solar Energy

Solar energy has been around since the first sun was born. On earth solar power has been used for many purposes for years. This is been by placing panels on structures to absorb the energy of the sun and converting this energy to electricity. But the future for solar energy is in space.

Without an atmosphere to penetrate, the full tremendous amount of energy from the sun could be harnessed. The worlds space agencies have known about and utilized this concept since almost the beginning of man’s venture into space. It has powered spacecraft that are exploring the universe, powering satellites and fueling the power needs of the Hubble Telescope.  The next step would be to establish solar collectors in space and send that energy back to earth for utilization as a renewable, powerful energy source.

This concept was first imagined and studied by NASA back in the 1970’s. It was rejected due to the high cost and lack of technology to make it efficient. But it was recently announced that NASA is studying this concept again. A Space-Based Solar Collector could be in the near future as soon as 2015.

A Sun Tower is now being considered that could reach 22 miles in length with pairs of 100 to 200 meter diameter solar collectors attached to the structure. From a geosynchronous orbit, this renewable energy source has the potential to collect and supply the earth’s inhabitants with over a billion watts of power.

We have the technology to promote the future of Solar Energy.  All that is needed is the political will, backing and funding of the governments of the world to do so. This is an endless power supply, even after all the oil is gone, solar power will be there.

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