Showing posts with label Solar Energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Solar Energy. Show all posts

Friday, June 1, 2018

An Untapped Source Of Eternal Energy: What Is SOLAR ENERGY?

English: Flipped version of MIT Solar One House
Flipped version of MIT Solar One House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The most exact definition of Solar Energy is plain – “the energy from the sun”. It is a term used to classify the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun and intercepted by the Earth. It is the world’s most permanent and reliable source of energy and the most copious.

The uses of solar energy on earth include solar heating for buildings, solar heat for manufacturing or industry and electricity production. So what is solar energy? How does it affect us?

Solar energy is responsible for weather systems and ocean currents. It provides light, heat, and energy to all living things on Earth. It has many uses. It supplies electricity; it can be used to power cars.

Solar energy is also used as a power for satellites in space and in space shuttles. It could also power boats, generators during emergencies, toys, and even security systems.

The amount of solar energy that the earth receives is about 770 trillion kilowatts (kW), an amount 5,000 times bigger than the sum of all other energy, may it be terrestrial nuclear energy, geothermal energy or gravitational energy.

There are two types of solar energy. These are:

1. Thermal Energy
2. Electric Energy

What is the difference between the two types energy?

Thermal energy is kinetic energy. It is everywhere. It makes the earth hot and even heats up our homes. It helps us to dry our clothes. It is used as well to heat up water for household use or even pools. That is why thermal energy is called the heat energy because it is stored in the centre of the earth as well.

Electric energy is widely known to us as the electricity. It is an essential part of nature and it is one of our most widely used forms of energy. This uses sunlight to power ordinary electrical equipment, such as household appliances, computers, and lighting.

Most applications of solar energy depend on systems including collectors, storage and controls. Storage is needed for a reason that solar energy is only available at daylight hours, but the demand for energy is needed both day and night. Controls are used to guarantee that the storage system works safely and efficiently.



The accessibility of solar energy is determined by three factors:

• The location is usually measured by latitude, longitude and altitude.
• The time.
• The weather.

Aside from knowing that solar energy is a free energy still, you have to realize that it also has advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages are:

• Solar energy is almost limitless; it will be available for as long as there are still humans in the earth.
• It is abundant. You will not worry about running out of it.
• It could provide more power than all known fossil fuel reserves.
• Solar energy is available during the day when electricity usage is really important.
• It is the most inexhaustible, renewable source of energy known to man.
• Solar energy can be absorbed, reflected, transmitted, and insulated.
• It can be collected and stored in batteries.

The disadvantages are:

• It is not suitable for cloudy areas.
• It is not available at night time.
• And it may require large land areas.

As a reminder, solar energy levels are lesser the farther north of the site. Considering geography, the season is an important determinant of solar energy levels because the Sun’s position and the weather vary greatly from summer to winter.



Monday, April 30, 2018

A Key Element In SOLAR PANELS - Efficiency

A modern solar cell
A modern solar cell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While solar energy is most often associated with the production of electricity, heating is also a major platform. While heating isn’t particularly difficult, efficiency in doing so is the key to saving wear and tear on your system.

A Key Element In Solar Panels - Efficiency

The sun produces a ton of energy, but solar panel systems have historically been very inefficient at converting it. With improving technology, efficiency has improved to the point where most panel systems can easily produce enough energy to heat water for the home and pools. There are efficient and inefficient ways to go about this process.

To save wear and tear on your panels, you need to consider a flow control system. Older panel systems tend to take a long time to heat up fluid because water more or less randomly circulates through the system. This is very inefficient because the panels are forced to heat up a much larger pool of water than you actually need. This results in wear and tear, not to mention lengthy waits for hot water.

A control flow system attacks the efficiency problem by reducing the amount of water that must be heated. Most are designed to work on temperature differential strategies. They work by using two sensors. The first is located close the panels being used to heat the water or liquid substitute. The second is located on or close to the liquid return valve into the panel system. Put in practical terms, one sensor measures the temperature of the liquid set to leave the panel while the other measures the temperature of liquid coming into the panel.

Flow systems work by waiting for the liquid to rise to a temperature determined by you. Once the liquid meets the temperature, the system turns on the circulation pump and moves the liquid to the desired location. Once the return valve sensor notes the temperature of the returning water is within a particular range of the liquid in the panel system, the pump is shut off. This process allows for faster heating times, more efficiency and less wasted energy.

Solar solutions are coming to the front of the energy debate for many residential energy needs. Countries like Germany are making huge investments in solar platforms and technologies. Solar can be a cost-effective solution for you as well. Just keep in mind that flow systems are a must if you are pursuing solar water heating.




Thursday, March 8, 2018

Are There Any Problems With SOLAR POWER?

Solar Panels All Done!
Photo  by Clownfish 
The question "Are there any problems with solar power?" is one that comes up quite often when people are investigating the possibility of investing in solar energy.

This all comes back to one of the major problems with solar energy in particular and renewable energy in general, and that is the lack of knowledge and information about these incredibly powerful alternative forms of energy. While this problem is gradually being addressed as more and more people track down the information they need, it's still not as readily available as it could, and should, be.

So, let's go some way to redressing this situation and give some answers to the question "Are there any problems with solar power?".

Basic Understanding

As already mentioned, one of the major obstacles to the widespread embrace of solar power is the lack of knowledge of just how it works. Most people, if asked the question, "What does solar power mean to you and what can you tell me about how it works?", would probably answer that it's all about having solar panels put on your roof and getting electricity as a result.

Well, that's part of it, but what about the type of electricity that solar panels generate? How do the solar panels actually generate that electricity? If you're connected to the grid, how does the electricity get to the grid and then to your appliances? etc.

There are myriad questions surrounding solar power, and its use, but how many people have the answers to these questions to be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not they might be able to benefit from solar energy themselves? The answer, sadly, is probably not as many as there should be.

Initial Investment

There's no denying that purchasing a PV (photovoltaic) system can be a fairly expensive undertaking, but what most people fail to take into account is that this is not an investment that will help them turn a profit overnight and then they can move on to the next investment opportunity. This is an investment in their - and the environment's - future that will repay the initial cost manyfold in both tangible and intangible ways.

The most immediate benefit will be to the environment, because the home with a PV system will draw less power from the grid, meaning fewer fossil fuels burned, and, therefore, less pollution. The long-term benefit for the homeowner will be that, once the system's paid for itself, usually within 5-10 years, they will be getting their electricity free of charge, and that electricity will be there each and every day from when the sun rises to when it sets.

The Nighttime's NOT The Right Time

And there is another of the problems with solar power, the fact that there's only so much sunlight each day. Granted, depending on where you live, such as areas like the so-called Sunbelt states in the U.S. (including Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, etc.), you could receive massive amounts of sunlight during the day, especially in the summer months.


But, still, night comes, and then what happens? How do you get electricity from your solar panels then? Well, the answer is, you don't. Once night time hits, or it's very cloudy or overcast, solar panels generate little or no electricity, so, if you're on the grid, that's when you draw power from the grid. The great thing here, though, is that, with grid-tied systems, your solar panels have been feeding energy into the grid, giving you "credits", during the day, which you can then withdraw at night. If you're off-grid, you need batteries to store energy, which you then draw from at night.

So, the answer to the question, "Are there any problems with solar power?" is "Yes, there are". But, the good news is that these problems are far from insurmountable, and, with greater knowledge and awareness, what once were seen as problems can eventually be seen as benefits.




Monday, February 5, 2018

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY for the Home

Alternative Energy - Photo: Pixabay
The trend toward homes that are powered by alternative energy sources, ranging from wind turbines and solar collection cells to hydrogen fuel cells and biomass gases, is one that needs to continue into the 21st century and beyond. We have great need of becoming more energy independent, and not having to rely on the supplying of fossil fuels from unstable nations who are often hostile to us and our interests. 

But even beyond this factor, we as individuals need to get “off the grid” and also stop having to be so reliant on government-lobbying giant oil corporations who, while they are not really involved in any covert conspiracy, nevertheless have a stranglehold on people when it comes to heating their  homes (and if not through oil, then heat usually supplied by grid-driven electricity, another stranglehold).

As Remi Wilkinson, Senior Analyst with Carbon Free puts it, inevitably, the growth of distributed generation will lead to the restructuring of the retail electricity market and the generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure. The power providers may have to diversify their business to make up for revenues lost through household energy microgeneration. She is referring to the conclusions by a group of UK analysts, herself included among them, who call themselves Carbon Free. Carbon Free has been studying the ever-growing trend toward alternative energy-using homes in England and the West. 

This trend is being driven by ever-more government recommendation and sometimes backing of alternative energy research and development, the rising cost of oil and other fossil fuels, concern about environmental degradation, and desires to be energy independent. Carbon Free concludes that, assuming traditional energy prices remain at their current level or rise, microgeneration (meeting all of one's home's energy needs by installing alternative energy technology such as solar panels or wind turbines) will become to home energy supply what the Internet became home communications and data gathering, and eventually this will have deep effects on the businesses of the existing energy supply companies.



Carbon Free's analyses also show that energy companies themselves have jumped in on the game and seek to leverage microgeneration to their own advantage for opening up new markets for themselves. Carbon Free cites the example of electricity companies (in the UK) reporting that they are seriously researching and developing ideas for new geothermal energy facilities, as these companies see geothermal energy production as a highly profitable wave of the future. Another conclusion of Carbon Free is that solar energy hot water heating technology is an efficient technology for reducing home water heating costs in the long run, although it is initially quite expensive to install.  

However, solar power is not yet cost-effective for corporations, as they require too much in the way of specialized plumbing to implement solar energy hot water heating. Lastly, Carbon Free tells us that installing wind turbines is an efficient way of reducing home electricity costs, while also being more independent. However, again this is initially a very expensive thing to have installed, and companies would do well to begin slashing their prices on these devices or they could find themselves losing market share.




Friday, January 26, 2018

You Can Build Your Car Powered By SOLAR, A Green Energy Source

Solar Powered Car
Photo  by borman818 
All cars are powered by gas. But with the volatility of crude oil prices and because it is not a renewable, something must be done before it is too late. Given that solar energy a green energy source is used to power a community, you can also do this on a small scale by using the same principles to build your own car.

But what do you need to make this work? A lot of things but the two most important are the solar arrays and the batteries.

The solar array is vital because this is what’s used to collect the sun’s rays and then converts this into electrical energy. There are two types to choose from in the market namely the prefabricated type and the individual kind which you set up yourself.

If you are looking for branded parts, check out either Siemens or ASE Americas that sell terrestrial grade cells and the space grade cells. The lower end model which can produce a significant amount of power is the terrestrial grade version.

Proper wiring must be done to make sure that if one of the panels is not working, your vehicle will still move. If you are worried that the voltage of the solar array should match the system voltage of your motor, you should not worry because it will still run.

We mentioned earlier that the battery is also important because this is where the solar energy will be stored. Your options for this are lead-acid, lithium-ion or nickel-cadmium. Just how many you need to buy will depend on your motor’s voltage.

When you finally have these two components, these will now have to be connected to the motor. So you know how much juice is left in your batteries, you will also need to install instrumentation similar to the heads-up display console on regular cars which tells you your speed, mileage, and gas.

Don’t forget to put a steering wheel, suspension, brakes, tires, and hubs. You may not be able to make a car that has the same features as like what you see done by one of the three US automakers but just enough to be able to drive it from one place to the next.

The only cars that use solar energy so far are the ones only used in races especially the one held in Australia from travels from the northern part of the country all the way to the south. If this has helped people realize that renewable energy is really the key to the future, the big automakers should try tapping this technology instead of relying on gasoline.


But apart from solar energy as a green energy source, biodiesel is another alternative. This is a combination of alcohol like methanol and a chemical process that separates glycerine and methyl esters (biodiesel) from fats or vegetable oils. This can also be done using corn and sugarcane.

Although these are not renewable, these are still considered as a green energy source because it is cleaner than conventional gasoline. This means you do not release harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide into the air which causes damage to the environment. So if you can’t build a solar-powered car, consider a different fuel alternative.



Saturday, January 13, 2018

Resources for ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

English: Krafla Geothermal Station.
Krafla Geothermal Station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many different forms in which alternative energy is available.

One of these is solar power. Solar power is driven by photovoltaic cells, and these are progressively getting less expensive and more advanced. Solar energy power can be used for electricity, heating, and making hot water. Solar energy produces no pollution, as its input comes completely from the sun's rays. However, much more work still needs to be done in order for us to economically harness the sun's energy. For the time being, the resource is a little too conditional—storage batteries are needed to be used as backups in the evenings and on inclement days.

Wind energy has become the most-invested-in (by private investors and governments together) an alternative energy source for the time being. The great arrays of triple-bladed windmills are being placed all over as “wind farms”, to capture the motion of the wind and use its kinetic energy for conversion to mechanical or electrical energy. Of course, there is nothing new about the concept of a windmill for harnessing energy. Modern wind turbines are simply are more advanced variations on the old theme. Of course, the drawback to wind energy is...what do you do when there is a calm, still day? Needless to say, during these times the electric company kicks in for powering your home or office. Wind energy is not altogether independent.

Hydroelectric energy is available as a source of alternative energy, and it can generate a substantial amount of power. Simply put, hydroelectric energy uses the motion of water—its flow in response to gravity, which means downhill—to turn turbines which then generate electrical energy. Needless to say, water is ubiquitous; finding sources for driving hydroelectric turbines is, therefore, not much of a problem. However, hydroelectricity as a source of alternative energy can be complicated and expensive to produce. Dams are often built in order to be able to control the flow of the water sufficiently to generate the needed power.


Building a dam to store and control water's potential and kinetic energy takes quite a lot of work and operating one is complex as well, and conservationists grow concerned that it. Of course, a dam is not always needed if one is not trying to supply the electrical needs of a city or other very densely populated area. There are small run-of-river hydroelectric converters which are good for supplying neighborhoods or an individual office or home.

Probably the most underrated and under-appreciated form of alternative energy is geothermal energy, which is simply the naturally-occurring energy produced by the heating of artesian waters that are just below the earth's crust. This heat is transferred into the water from the earth's inner molten core. The water is drawn up by various different methods—there are “dry steam” power plants, “flash” power plants, and “binary” power plants for harnessing geothermal energy. The purpose of drawing up the hot water is for the gathering of the steam.  The Geysers, approximately 100 miles north of San Francisco, is probably the best-known of all geothermal power fields; it's an example of a dry stream plant.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Commercial Solar Panels Versus DIY SOLAR PANELS

Old article. There may have changed a lot!

Make-shift DIY Solar Panel System
DIY Solar Panel System - Photo   by Dave Dugdale 
Solar power is a great way to cut down your electricity bill. You can save anywhere from 20% to 50%. There are also people who live totally off the grid, but that has several disadvantages of its own. The great thing about solar power is that it not only saves you money, you can earn money from it too by selling them and by request IRS tax rebates.

That's one of the main reasons that commercial solar panels are so expensive compared to do-it-yourself panels.

You pay for the materials and for the labour time put into it. The solar panels are often produced perfectly. That is not necessary to get a good voltage. What do you rather have, one panel that produces 400 Watts or 2 panels that produce 150 Watts each for the same price?

If you have enough space, you should go for the 2 separate DIY solar panels. It is really easy as long as you buy the right manual. A good manual shows you the in and the outs of solar power, how to construct the panel and how to wire it.



You can also get to choose in materials. For example, you can choose the batteries. You can choose for the cheaper car batteries or you can choose for the deep cycle batteries. Car batteries can't be drained all the way. If you do that, the lifetime of the batteries will be significantly reduced. If you do mind to make sure that the batteries aren't fully drained, you should buy deep cycle batteries. These are all chooses you can make. Your solar panel can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be.




Saturday, September 23, 2017

HOME ENERGY Generation Systems

Creating Home Energy Generation Systems

When you are tired of paying for your high home energy bill month after month and would like see some changes and feel some savings, then, there is a right thing to do: invest on one or more home energy generation systems.

The home energy generation system is the solution if you want to cut those bills down and utilize alternative energy around you just waiting to be tapped anytime. The home energy generation system provides you with the best way to get the maximum financial freedom on home energy. Sure, you have to invest first but it is all worth every penny. You can spare yourself from the present cost of home energy and the future increases that may occur. And most of all, investing on the home energy generation system will definitely help the environment for it only uses a harmless and clean source of energy.

TechnoSpin's ComSpin S1 Wind Turbine 2

Photo by tswind

Among all types of alternative energy that can be used, wind energy and solar energy are the most common.

Wind energy

Wind is very abundant in many parts of the country, thus, many households can capitalize on the use of wind as a source of home energy. It is also said the future’s main source of energy would be the air. As the cost energy production through fuel and oil grows increasingly high for the last years, the clean, safe and free air would be the better choice for the future.

As a main source of power for your home, it provides the financial freedom on the use of energy sourced from the expensive oil. However, wind speed varies on a daily basis. One day, the wind will blow strong. The next day, the wind may not be able to keep your turbine spin. And even on the breeziest places in America, you can never tell when will be the next strong wind blow occurs. This is one disadvantage of using wind power but wind patterns do exist. It is said that summer brings less wind while the winter brings a strong gust of wind.

If you are planning to install wind turbines on your home, make sure that the local zoning allows wind turbine. You must also ensure that there is a good source of wind on most days. A wide and open space, at least 1 acre, would be ideal for wind turbines. And, if you are paying more than $150 on the monthly electric bill, then it may be a good option for you.

There are 5 main components of wind power.

The rotor is the set of rotating blades designed to capture air. The rotation brings power to the generator.

The turbine or the generation is the one attached to the rotor. It stores energy that the house will use.

The tail is located opposite of the rotor. It tracks the direction of the wind.

The tower raises the turbine, rotor, and tail up to the air to receive the most amount of wind possible.

The governor is the mechanism that controls the production of energy. This is like the transformer you can see on electric posts.




Solar power

Houses that are built under the sun will compensate on the free solar energy.

There are 6 main advantages of installing solar panels on your roof.

1. Solar panels are lightweight, safe and most of all, easy to install. These are essential in order to place them above your roof.

2. The roof is also susceptible to UV exposure. The solar panel eliminates this. Your roof will also be protected from the weather.

3. Solar panel contributes to keeping your house well insulated. They provide extra covering and enable you to save as much as 30% on heating expenses.

4. Drilling holes in your roof is very risky. The interlocking solar panels eliminate this risk.

5. Solar panel design is perfect on any roof type and size. In other words, you can get the perfect solar panel no matter what the size and shape of your roof is.

6. Solar panels are installed without requiring you to modify your roof. It will adapt instantly.

Solar power will tremendously help you cut down the cost of your electric bill. If you think you are in for this investment and if you think your location is most suited to have this, then the choice is fully yours.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SOLAR HOME ENERGY: What is it for?

Solar energy—this term basically does not cause a stirring in the mind as the explanation that comes at hand is indeed too simple. Everyone knows what is meant by solar energy, and that is, the energy that comes from the sun. In its most basic sense, solar energy and other solar home equipment are nonetheless environment-friendly and not risky at all. But then you need not become one fine environmentalist first before you will be able to come across with whatever advantageous benefit solar home energy has. 

English: Flipped version of MIT Solar One House
Flipped version of MIT Solar One House
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

Why is the solar home energy said to be environment-friendly? What are its general benefits? Practically speaking, when solar home energy is used, the electrical bills tremendously go down as compared to the other type of home energy available for all people. Why would you pay for such expensive bills when all you need to do is to employ solar home energy? 

Another major advantage of the solar home energy is the absence of the very complicated and dangerous wiring. Solar energy lights in the garden path or any other solar energy-powered items used in your home are ready to be installed less the wiring to be dealt with. In reality, these solar light bulbs are equipped with darkness sensors so they need not be turned on to give off the light and they need not be turned off as well when they are no longer needed. 

As a sort of simple explanation, the solar light bulbs will simply have to be purchased, taken out of the boxes, installed, and then presto! You just have to situate them where you want them to be and never worry about them ever again.

A List of the Benefits of Solar home Energy

Why is the solar home energy equally beneficial? Why is it more recommended for use? Here are some of its benefits which are truly worth the attention to be graced by anyone:

Solar home energy is environmentally friendly. As mentioned a while ago, solar home energy will not harm the environmental features. It is specifically clean and renewable as well. More so, it does not cause pollution just like what the rest of the traditional electrical forms do.

Solar home energy systems need the least maintenance. They are not fuel-powered so no need to buy the refills. 

Solar home energy makes you save a lot of money. The energy that is derived from the sun can be accessed for free as you make use of solar lights, solar panels, and the likes. The federal government most of the time gives out financial incentives. You don’t get affected by the rise of the fuel rates since you are using solar home energy.

Making use of the solar home energy makes you entirely independent from the foreign and centralized energy sources. Power outages will not likely affect you in any manner.

Most of the solar energy items are very easy to install thus lessening the complicated work of the wiring systems. 

Some Common Disadvantages of the Solar Home Energy

Of course, the disadvantages will not be taken aside. Here are some of the most common disadvantages of the solar home energy:

The employment of a solar home energy can be expensive at first. But as time passes by, it becomes a light to the pocket.

The strength of the solar home energy will relatively depend on the location of your home in relation with its facing to the sun. Also, the area of your home is another point to consider. You will need large areas to install the solar panels.



The Various Solar Energy Items

There are lots of solar energy devices that you may opt to buy. Included are the solar flashlights, solar heaters, car ventilators, solar video cameras, solar radios, solar pool purifier, solar mosquito inhibitor, solar lighting, and solar fountain pumps.

What You Must Do

Back in the earlier years, solar energy powered devices were very costly that very few homeowners made use of the solar home energy. But these days, small volumes of solar energy devices are put up for sale, therefore, making it affordable for all. If you don’t have enough money to fund these items you can always start small. 



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Is SOLAR POWER Really Worth the Cost and Trouble to Save Money on Your Power Bill?

Want to generate your own home electricity? The first solution that comes to mind for many people is solar power. Use the sun to make your own electricity. Sounds easy, right? What some people fail to stop and think about are the actual returns you'll get from setting up your own home solar power solution. 

There are countries around the world that actually encourage home owners to install some kind of solar setup and they do this by offering grants or cash backs. It sounds good so far until you actually take a look at the costs involved and what it means for your house. Is it worth installing and setting up solar power in your own home? This is a tricky question, because there answer is both a yes and a no.



Solar panels are definitely worth installing in your home if doing your little bit to save the planet is high on your list. The reason for this is because the setup costs are high and you will need a lot of disposable cash to setup any kind of solar solution to see a significant drop in your home power bill. Why is this? The high costs come from the photovoltaic cells which are the heart of any solar power setup. This PV cells make it possible to convert the sun's energy into electricity. While prices have come down over the years they are still extremely costly and the majority of home owners just won't be able to justify the high cost considering the small savings you get in return.

While it would be nice to be able to do our little bit to help save the planet, the truth is that everything in life has some cost associated with it. Because of the high price of PV cells, many home owners just can't afford to install solar power. Another problem with solar power is that the amount you spend on it does not necessarily translate into an investment in the value of your house. Spending 10,000 USD on solar power does not mean your house will rise in value by that amount. This can be said for installing a pool, as the high cost of the pool does not equate to an equal rise in value of your home. The amount of money governments give you is very little compared to the cost of solar panels and the small savings you will get in return. Solar power is great in theory, but sadly that is as far as it goes.



Another alternative to solar power are magnetic generators. A magnetic generator is a generator that is able to create clean home electricity but does so using much cheaper parts. They run off magnets alone and this translates into an extremely low cost alternative power solution. Their small size and low price means that almost anyone in the world can install a magnetic generator, make home power and see savings of anywhere from 30 - 50% off their power bill.




Saturday, August 26, 2017

Storing ENERGY

We have come to rely completely on energy.  We use it in almost everything we do; we live in it, use it for all our modern conveniences and more.  Without energy we wouldn't know what to do.  In the past, before energy, there were lanterns for light and matches and wood for heat.  That was the only options people had.  When power was accessible to everyone by running power lines through cities, towns, residential areas to allow everyone to tap into the new generation, people were skeptical as to how this would affect everyone in the future.

more windturbines
Alternative Energy - Photo by the russians are here 
Over the years, appliances became energy friendly, which made for less manual labor and more free time.  Wash machines, dryers, dishwashers and the latest in cooking stoves that no longer needed wood.  These were all great inventions and although people were skeptical they still took advantage of these appliances.  Today we have the worry of saving the energy that we know and love so well.  Our energy is fueled by non-renewable resources which will allow the depletion of these resources slowly and over time where we won't realize it until it is gone. We need to find an alternative to the way we power our energy but we also need to store the energy that we already have.

Solar energy has been tested and experimented with as we learn more and more about how to conserve and store the natural heat from the sunlight.  We all know how effective it is and why it is something that we should work very hard at conserving.  Storing the solar energy can mean endless usage of water and other necessities by using conservative methods of saving energy.

Thermal mass systems are the process of using natural resources to make material that will store solar energy.  This type of storage uses renewable resources from the earth, such as dirt, water and man made resources such as concrete to help store energy if only for a short period of time.  Thermal mass can help heat water at night or heat your home long after the sun goes down or on cloudy days when the sun doesn't peak through the clouds at all.  These need to be worked on because there is no extensive long storage capability using solar power just yet.

Then you have the thermo-chemically phase which uses types of devices to store heat.  Some examples of this type of storage includes

Paraffin wax inside of a storage tank.  When the paraffin wax is cold it is solid but when it is heated it is a liquid that can help hold heat for a very long time without cooling it down. As the paraffin wax cools it becomes hard which can hold the heat in longer.

Eutectic Salts are inexpensive and can store heat in a heating system which will distribute the heat evenly and lasting hotter longer.

Molten Salts are an effective way to store solar energy because it allows the heat to remain hot without being non-flammable and cost effective.  During the time that the storage tank is heating up, the salt mixture is heated and then used to make steam.



Rechargeable batteries can be a great way to store energy.  This type of storage allows the power source connected to the battery maintain its power.  Lead acid batteries are the more common battery used for this type of storage.

As you see there are several ways that we can store natural energy we just need to learn how to make these methods more practical and efficient.  When we figure it out we will have an unlimited supply of natural heat.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Essentials of a SOLAR GREENHOUSE

Plant breeding and plant production is a very productive hobby and livelihood. It is good way to earn some living by producing high-valued crops. It is also a good way of contributing to the environment. The best way to sustain this endeavor is to get a solar greenhouse. Read on to learn the basics of the solar greenhouse.

SOLAR GREENHOUSE OWNED AND BUILT BY PETER HOWE...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Is a Solar Greenhouse?

The very purpose of any greenhouse is to collect solar energy whenever the sun shining high. However, solar greenhouses serve a more specific purpose. It is able to do more than collect the solar energy. The solar greenhouse is able to store heat that can be used during nighttime, cloudy days or the cold season. It provides adequate heat that the plants will need for their growth even during the night time or the cold seasons.

The good thing about solar greenhouses is that there are choices to choose from and to suit the needs of the owner.

They can stand alone. This is very ideal for big production greenhouses.  The freestanding ones are ideal for commercial production. These are used to produce ornamentals or vegetables. They have two primary designs, the shed type and the Quonset type.

The shed-type has a long axis running from the east to the west. It has a south-facing wall glazed to collect maximum amount of the energy from the sun. The north-facing wall on the other hand is very much insulated to avoid heat loss. These features are what contrast a solar greenhouse from the ordinary ones.

The Quonset type can sometimes look like an underground pit. This is a low-cost greenhouse. It has a Quonset-shaped frame and looks like a tunnel. It has a layer or two of plastic film. This can save as much as 40% of the heating fuel.

They can also be merely attached to the greenhouses, very ideal for backyard use. The attached solar greenhouses are structures that form some sort of a room protruding from a house. This is a good space for transplants or herbs.

Passive or Active

The solar greenhouse is classified into two. It can be the passive solar greenhouse or the active. These two makes use of different resources, but still serve a same purpose.

The Passive Solar Greenhouse

In some places, where colder seasons tend to endure longer, there may be a need to resort to passive solar greenhouse, using gas or electric heating system. This is the only way to protect the plants from getting too much cold.
This is very ideal for growers as it can still give way to so much productivity despite the conditions. The use of heating systems for greenhouses to be cost-effective is best utilized if there are high-value crops to be produced.

The Active Solar Greenhouse

The active solar greenhouse makes use of supplemental energy. It transfers the solar heated air from the storage area to the other parts of the greenhouse.




Designing a Solar Greenhouse

Most would claim that managing and maintaining an ordinary greenhouse does not differ much with the solar greenhouse. However, there are a number of ways that they differ. These are significant distinctions.

Solar greenhouses, unlike the ordinary ones, have oriented glazing to get utmost solar heat, even during winter. Its materials are designed to minimize loss of heat. It uses heat storing materials. It also has insulation especially useful when there is no sunlight. The solar greenhouse also depends heavily on natural ventilation for cooling during summer.

Solar Heat Storage

This is one main feature in designing a solar greenhouse. To remain warm even during cool nights, there must be sufficient amount of solar heat stored. One common method used to store this energy is to put rocks or concrete directly receiving the sunlight to absorb the heat.

Cinder block walls at the north side of a greenhouse are also used as good heat storage. Dark-colored ceramic floorings can also be used to store the heat. Any wall or flooring not used for heat absorption is supposed to be colored light. This should be designed to reflect the heat and light and distribute it to the plants.

The management of a greenhouse can also determine the amount of heat stored. A greenhouse that is full of plants and structures can store heat easier compared to an empty one. Composts can also complement the heat storage goal as they help produce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Furthermore, the microorganisms in the compost also contribute to the increase in plant production.

Some would rely on any structure that would resemble a greenhouse to accommodate the plants. However, to be efficient and cost-effective, aim for the optimum setting in your solar greenhouse.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Harnessing the SUN for Your Home – Key Components

Using the power of the sun is becoming increasingly attractive from an economic and environmental aspect. If you’re going solar, you need to know the components.

Solar Components

While generally considered electric platforms, solar systems definitely have unique components. Here’s some of the jargon you are going to need to be familiar with before buying.

A photovoltaic (PV) module that is composed of...
A photovoltaic (PV) module that is composed of multiple PV cells. (
Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

1. Photovoltaic Cell – This is the key piece of any solar platform. Known as a PV cell, it is typically a small cell containing a silicon substance under glass. When the sun hits the cell, the silicon undergoes an electrical reaction that creates a charge. The charge is collected by small wires. Depending on the nature of the cell, each should produce roughly half a volt.

2. Solar Panel – A collection of solar cells joined as a unit in a frame. A single panel typically is insufficient to produce enough energy to power anything of significance in your home.

3. Solar System – Also known as a photovoltaic system, a solar system is an interconnected set of solar panels. This is what you see on the roofs of home or other areas around homes and buildings. A solar system converts enough sunlight into electricity to provide most or all of the power required by a home.

4. Orientation – Before installing a panel system, one has to give some thought regarding where to put it. The sun tracks across a structure in a particular way. To maximize the energy production, the panels have to be oriented to receive the maximum amount of sunlight. This, of course, results in the maximum amount of electricity.

5. Direct Current – A type of electricity that flows in only one direction. Solar cells produce direct current electricity.

6. Alternating Current – Electricity that flows in both directions. AC power is used by utilities and in practically all appliances and machines in a home.

7. Inverter – A key component in a solar panel system. The inverter converts the direct current produced by the solar panels into AC power that can be used in the home or fed back into a utility power grid system.

Obviously, there are a wide variety of systems for converting sunlight into power. Making yourself familiar with the above components is a good place to start.




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Global Warming and BUILDING GREEN

Building green is one of the solutions to global warming that many people do not think about. 

Building green is designing and constructing buildings with the environment in mind.  It is these practices that can have an impact on stopping global warming.

Houses give off a high percentage of a country's total carbon dioxide emissions.  In the United States, the figure is about 38%.  Since carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases, houses contribute strongly to global warming.

Scientific studies on climate helped establish...
Scientific studies on climate helped establish a consensus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One way to cut the greenhouse emissions of houses, and therefore help stop global warming, is to minimize the energy use needed to sustain comfortable living in a house.  There are several ways to do this.

One way is to be careful about what building materials are used.  Some building materials can be from quickly renewable sources.  These include bamboo and straw.  Also, building materials can be used that originates near the building site.  This cuts down on transportation, and so cuts down on emissions of greenhouse gases and global warming.  One example is stone houses built with local stone.

Buildings are also often built using recycled materials.  Wood can be used from an older home that has been torn down.  This will prevent the need to cut down other trees.  Since the deforestation of the land contributes to global warming, this will help the situation.

Heating and cooling have a big effect on the amount of global warming caused by a house.  Some ways to help this are very simple.  One is to design the house to sit on the lot so that sunlight will come in through the windows and warm the house.  It can also be oriented so that breezes will blow through the windows more naturally for cooling.


In this way, passive solar energy can be used to heat and cool the house.  This will cut down on the greenhouse emissions from a house.  Global warming will be lessened.  Insulation is important to maximize on the cool or heat that is in the house.  With good insulation, you will need a less intense heat or cooling source.

The main heating and cooling source in most green houses will be solar panels, wind power, or hydropower.  Any of these sources will power a house with minimal effects on global warming.  At the same time, these sources of energy will sustain a household in a comfortable style.

There are several organizations in the US that aid in the cause of stopping global warming by encouraging green building.  One non-profit organization makes it their business to foster green building methods in both houses and commercial buildings.  This group of people from the building industry is a part of the Green Building Initiative.

The state of Washington has required builders of buildings larger than 5000 square feet to use green building practices.  Their law was enacted in 2005.  It should help to keep a cap on global warming.

Green building is important for a number of reasons. One just happens to be that it can reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.  If green building can help stop global warming, perhaps it is time for everyone to build green.