Posts Tagged ‘solar panels’

10 Memorable Quotes about Solar Power and the Environment

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Solar panels in the Utah Desert. As C.G. Abbott predicted, “In time, manufacturing will to a great extent follow the sun.”

Solar panels in the Utah Desert. As C.G. Abbott predicted back in 1928, “In time, manufacturing will to a great extent follow the sun.”

When I was growing up in the 1970s I can’t remember anyone talking about solar power or environmental issues. So it is surprising to learn that so many forward-thinking people in the 19th and early 20th century were eloquently trying to raise the topic of the environment.

The topic is discussed far more openly today – and people really have started to listen.

Here are some great old and new quotes about man’s attempts to harness nature and produce energy.

1. Henry David Thoreau: “Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.
American philosophical writer Thoreau lived in the 19th century before the age of the aeroplane increased mankind’s already-sizeable carbon footprints. He would surely have approved of attempts to promote clean and renewable forms of energy.

2. Frank Shuman: “The human race must finally utilise direct sun power or revert to barbarism.
Shuman’s quote comes from a letter he wrote to the Scientific American magazine in 1913.
The American engineer invented curved solar mirrors which reflected the heat of the Egyptian sun and heated water; producing steam to power pumps which irrigated cotton fields.

3. C.G. Abbott: “In time, manufacturing will to a great extent follow the sun.
In 1928, American astrophysicist C.G. Abbot raised the possibility of deserts becoming great industrial areas through the development of solar power.
Today, his vision does not seem to be a mirage. The world’s biggest solar power installation is located in the Mojave Desert in the United States and a 12-square-kilometre solar farm is due to be constructed in a desert city in Morocco.

4. Albert Einstein: “The environment is everything that isn’t me.
This concept is far simpler that e=mc squared!

5. Sir George Porter: “I have no doubt that we will be successful in harnessing the sun’s energy… if sunbeams were weapons of war, we would have had solar energy centuries ago.
British scientist Sir George Porter made this claim in 1973. He would go on to be a major contributor to the public understanding of science through being president of the influential Royal Society scientific organisation.

6. Jimmy Carter: “Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.
US President Jimmy Carter made this statement in a televised speech in April 1977. He might not have been a particularly successful President but this quote shows his foresight. You can’t imagine his successor, Ronald Reagan, issuing a similar warning.

7. Warren Christopher: “Environmental degradation – like overpopulation, refugees, narcotics, terrorism and organised crime – is a worldwide problem that doesn’t stop at a nation’s borders.
Warren Christopher served as US Secretary of State under Bill Clinton and clearly saw protecting the environment as a global, rather than a national, problem.

8. Al Gore: “Our world faces a true planetary emergency. I know the phrase sounds shrill, and I know it’s a challenge to the moral imagination.
US politician Al Gore might have lost a presidential election contest against George W. Bush Jnr but he was a lot more successful at educating the public about environmental issues.

9. Robert Redford: “I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defence of our resources is just as important as defence abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?
The American actor, who starred in films such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, has long been an advocate of green living. His comments show that he is as articulate without a film script as he is with one.

10. Let’s end this article on a note of hope with a quote from Roger Tory Peterson: an educator who was one of the leading inspirations for the 20th century environmental movement. Not all is doom and gloom. We are beginning to understand the natural world and are gaining a reverence for life – all life.

James Christie writes for Strenson Solar: provider of solar panels in Brighton.

Sun Power Solar Discovery Game: The New Age Gaming

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Sun Power is the leader in solar power all around the world. Most people fall into the dilemma of whether to buy or not buy a solar system since it is really very costly and pinches one’s pocket. The system requires timely maintenance and the understanding of the system is quite complex. This tedious task is reduced by the introduction of Solar Discovery Game.

It is basically a way to help homeowners to comprehend the benefits of installing a solar system at home as well as to intimate them about the history of the solar power.

It is an interesting initiative taken by Sun Power to improve one’s knowledge regarding solar energy and convince maximum people to get a solar power system installed in their homes regardless of the high cost of its installation and management.

Steps to Follow While Playing the Solar Discovery Game:

Facebook has it all. It offers people to participate in “the reduce use of exhaustible energy” and make use of renewable and inexhaustible ones. One just needs to visit the web page of the Solar Discovery Game from the search engine provided in Facebook.

One needs to accept the promotion application present in the page and fill up the on screen registration form. This makes one eligible for an entry in a single sweepstake.

Next, one needs to answer a list of questions to accumulate points to be eligible for the mega prize.

Players can unlock achievements at each successive stage and hence receive “badges” as reward which can be posted to one’s Facebook wall.

Sun Power will add a list of new questions each week along with new prizes to be fetched. Contestants may be lucky enough to grab the grand prize which is a complete solar energy system manufactured by Sun Power. The total value of the system is around twenty five thousand dollars. Regular players can also be eligible to win more featured prizes such as video cameras, event tickets, gift cards, plane tickets and many more such attractive surprises.

The winner has the option of getting the system installed in his or her home or can choose to gift it to a relative or friend instead. Another great and charitable option is to donate the system to a local community building or a recreation center.

The eligibility criteria to be a part of this solar game competition is restricted to only U.S and D.C permanent residents. They can participate if they belong to the legal age of the particular state. People who have any sort of link with the Sun Power Corporation are not eligible to participate in this solar discovery game. One does not need to purchase participation and a purchase does not make someone have greater chances of winning.

About the author: Alia Haley is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of cell phones, fancy accessories and watches. She recently added two Gold Bracelets to her collection. These days she is busy in writing articles on world’s most expensive cars and on 3d racing games.

The Benefits of Solar Power For Homes

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Despite the legal fracas you might have seen on the news, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are of immense benefit to those householders able to take advantage of them.

If you live in the UK, and have a south or south-east facing roof, that is not shaded by trees or nearby buildings, you can, for a modest investment, install PV panels on your roof in order to generate electricity for domestic appliances, thereby saving you money on your energy bills and helping to reduce your household carbon footprint by cutting down on carbon emissions.

The government’s Feed-in Tariff (FiTS) scheme also enables you to earn money by exporting excess electricity to the national grid.

Solar panels might seem to be an expensive investment, but considering the various advantages it is definitely worthwhile. If you have any doubts about Feed-in Tariffs, it might be worthwhile visiting a website that has a built-in solar calculator so that you can calculate the return on your investment before you actually buy. One such website is Solar Guide. The calculator on this site is very easy to use, all you do is input some basic information and it will then calculate the amount that a Feed-in Tariff will generate over 25 years, based on numerous different types of solar PV system.

If you can’t afford to buy solar PV another option is to take advantage of a ‘rent-a-roof’ scheme in which an installation company fits the solar PV equipment for free but claims the Feed-in Tariff as payment. You might not get the tariff, but you will still make considerable savings on your energy bills, and that is something which will become increasingly important as the cost of conventional sources of energy continues to rise. You could potentially cut your bills by a third if you are a medium energy consumer with the installation of a 2.5 kWp system.

Another thing to bear in mind is that materials costs for solar PV are falling dramatically. You used to have to spend at least £16,000 to £18,000 for a good PV system but in recent years those costs have fallen to around £10,000 to £11,000, although this of course all depends on the system you buy. A good solar comparison website should be able to help you with this.

A solar PV system will also make your home more attractive to potential buyers in the future by increasing its value. A survey carried out in 2009 by the Energy Saving Trust found that at least 35 percent of respondents would be willing to pay more for a home already fitted with solar panels. Almost half of respondents said that they would be interested in buying a house that was suitable for solar PV installation.

This article was contributed by Richard Finch on behalf of SolarPages.co.uk.

Solar Power for Energy Conservation: Yes or No

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

With so much focus on a green environment and with the escalating prices in fuel consumption, solar power has come in a big way to help conserve energy with many due advantages.

Among the renewable energy sources, solar power has proved to be the most sustainable energy source, as the best alternative to gaseous fossil fuels. Solar panels for harnessing solar power, are clean and do not pollute the air, nor is its use limited to one particular aspect only. It is a free source of energy as it collects the sunlight to generate heat, electricity and light.

Of course, the initial investment may sound astronomical but this is covered up in the long with its saving ability. Solar panels are certainly a better option if we want to reduce energy consumption, pollutants and protection of our natural resources.

Versatility in the use of solar panels

Solar panel energy being a free source of energy from the sun, it can be used in remote places which does not have proper electricity facilities. Its use is unlimited and versatile as it can be utilized for large power purpose or smaller ones. It does not leave behind any greenhouse gas and harmful wastage, nor does it emit any noise as from generators.

The added advantage is that, solar panel lasts for a lifetime with little maintenance requirement.

Heating purposes and electricity

The installation of home solar panels can be a beneficial way of harnessing power for far flung mountainous areas, where it becomes difficult to construct power lines. Both in residential and commercial buildings, solar panel can heat water for utility purposes.

With the help of the various types of collectors, solar panels can gather and store energy which is then used for heating water. During the day, especially in hot day temperature areas, the thermal mass material keeps the building cool. The stored energy during the daytime can then be utilized for heating rooms in cool temperature areas.

Solar panel definitely works

By reducing fossil fuels which are harmful for the environment, solar panels can become an added feature in any home that can bear the initial cost of installation. It has made things much cheaper and easier for home use as it depends solely on the solar energy, which is definitely a cheaper natural source. The only time when any pollution is caused indirectly by solar panel occurs during the production and transportation of the cells to your home.

It may also cause slight pollution when electric tools are being used while installing. Other than that, there is really no other pollution emitted by solar panels.

It is also very convenient since solar energy can be directly converted to electricity through the photovoltaic cells without the use of power grids.

Taking into account all these benefits of solar power, there is absolutely no doubt why it cannot be the best alternative for electricity. It can minimize home electricity bill since the excess power is directly fed back into your home meter unit. The use of solar power is truly environment friendly and can only get better if full advantage of its sources is utilized.

About the author: Alia Haley is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of cell phones and watches. She recently added two Citizen Watches to her collection. These days she is busy in writing an article on dyson air multiplier.

A Future Investment: Solar Panels to Shoot up your House Value

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Solar panels are being installed as a long term future investment by smart house owners despite its initial cost. No doubt, this may be quite a pocket drainer to begin with but with the passage of time, you will have greater financial benefits to make up for the investment. Solar panel will not only be a value investment but will add to the improvement in green living value of your home.

The solar panels will again be very effective if you live in an area that receives maximum sunlight. Solar panels are also safe as they do not emit any greenhouse gases. There are specific areas in which solar panels can prove very beneficial for the users.

1. Reduces the cost of your electricity bills

As long as your solar panels are in direct sunlight, you will have ample energy for household utility needs. The excess energy from the solar panel is directly fed into the power system which in itself will mean less consumption of actual electricity power. This means that your electricity bill will be much lower than before you installed the solar panel. As you will be using solar power on good sunny days, there will be less need to utilize the net meter provider. Solar panels are renewable resources as long as the sun shines.

2. Solar panel reduces carbon footprints and are silent

Solar power is not noisy except for a gentle hum when the transformer from the solar panel converts DC into AC for the home provider. Unlike a generator which is run on oil, the solar panel does not emit any gaseous carbon footprints and does not harm the ecosystem through oil dregs or spills. There are no moving parts in solar panels which make it for easy maintenance once installed.

Solar cells have the capacity to last a lifetime without dying out. Since energy is from the sun and is free, the solar panels will keep generating energy whenever the sun shines.

3. An attractive value for your home

When you have a house which has fixed electric bill it will naturally be more appealing for anyone to live in. Any potential buyer will consider the possibility of lower electricity bills and value of using energy harnessed by the solar panels. The added feature of solar panels whether on your rooftop or elsewhere is therefore bound to increase in its demand value. Having a warranty of more than 20 years of life expectancy or even longer and with so little or negligible maintenance, it adds to the desirability and sale value of your home. When a household has lower utility bills, there can be ample savings which will naturally cover the initial cost of installation.

There is no doubt that with the installation of a solar panel in your home, you will not only enjoy peace of mind but greatly enhance the market value of your home, should you ever need to sell your house. Installing a solar panel which will not only give you energy but will cut on your expenses is ultimately a bonus in the long run. By reducing harmful emissions and utilizing natural resources, you will be promoting green living and contributing towards a healthy environment for your community.

About the author: Alia Haley is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and autos. Beside this she is fond of cars and fancy dresses. Recently an article on New Android Apps attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on Kitchen garden.

Tips on Solar Power for Home

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

The time has arrived for the world to wake up to the alarming scenario of energy crisis. This is no more a situation of single dimension; the other dimensions of it being depletion of the conventional energy sources, global warming, severity in climatic changes and their effects being manifold.

Check out some of the methods of harnessing the tremendous solar energy which is mostly wasted and which has the potential of solving a majority of the above stated global problems.

  • Solar water heating equipment is one of the most common and predominant usage of solar power for domestic purposes. Water can be heated normally up to 60 degrees Celsius and can hugely cut down on the electricity bills.
  • Solar powered heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems commonly called HVAC systems can be deployed at residential places. Homes with modern architecture can accommodate construction with specific materials which can act as heat store. This acts as a heater when surroundings is cold and acts as a cooler when it is hot.
  • Cooking using solar power is possible by solar cookers. The incident solar light energy using concentrated solar power systems is used to boil the water and thus cook the food. This is can also be used as an oven, milk heater and so on.
  • Solar powered vehicles are off the beat cutting edge technology automobiles which use solar panels for trapping more and more solar energy and convert it into useful mechanical energy. There are cars, bicycles, boats and even aircrafts which are solar driven.
  • Photovoltaic cells which are commonly called solar cells are devices which convert incident solar radiation into electrical energy. These cells can be instrumental in lighting and other electrical needs of residential units.
  • By switching over to solar power for simple equipments which we use in our daily lives, we can not only save a great deal of money but can be a significant shift towards utilizing renewable energy sources. Solar powered calculators, emergency lamps, decorative lightings, watches and other electronic gadgets can eliminate our dependency on fossil fuels and chemical sources of energy.
  • There are these and many more ways of utilizing solar energy; but all it requires is a one time investment and then reap the benefits on a long run. Another advantage of using solar powered equipment is the relative low maintenance factor. The governments of most of the countries which are signatories of the UNFCCC are unconditionally giving investment and tax benefits for installations to shift over to solar energy for power requirements.
  • What more? There are facilities for your house hold equipments to generate solar power and sell the excess to the power grids of the native country at the same price which is collected from you for using it!

As individuals, if we think there is nothing much that we can do about the global problems like climate change, global warming and energy crisis; then we can’t be more wrong. To save a better and healthier tomorrow for your kids and for all the coming generations, ACT NOW – ACT FAST!

This article was contributed by Catherine Annie on behalf of http://www.environmentbasics.com.

Energy Solutions? The only way is up!

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

When considering energy solutions the only place to look, is up. Look up to the sky and see the newest of our clean, green energy solutions shining down on us.

The heat and strength of the suns rays can be easily converted to solar energy, which can power homes and industries. The rays are caught by the solar panels that are usually placed on the roof of your building. They are fed into an inverter, which converts them to energy of the right voltage for use.

Your Own Power Generator

Every time the sun shines, solar panels are creating energy - often more than your household can use. Even on a cloudy day your solar panels are still generating power. If you are connected to a grid, (which you will be unless you are in a remote area) the excess power can be sold back to the power company. Just imagine your energy company paying you rather than billing! It is like having your own power generator sitting on your property.

During the night or in periods when there is no sunlight consumers can buy their power back again and be comfortable knowing that it is clean and renewable energy.

Solar energy can power all your appliances, your lighting and even your hot water service.

The Cost Factor

While the initial investment can be expensive, consumers save money in the long term by generating their own energy. The actual equipment has no moving parts so it will last for a very long time with no wear and tear or replacement costs. Adding solar panels to a home can sometimes increase its value in the market, too, as buyers see the benefits in reduced power bills.

Solar power is reliable and continually available. It does not harm the planet and it is easy to generate. It can power small buildings and large communities. It is affordable and even has the capacity to generate an income for you.

When you are looking for energy solutions, look up. The answer is waiting for you in the sky!

This article was contributed by Rick from comparegasandelectricity.com. Compare gas and electricity suppliers and find energy companies providing green solutions. This saves money and supplies financing to the gas and electricity providers that are moving towards alternative energy.

Under Your Own Steam – How Small Businesses Can Generate their Own Electricity

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Small businesses will always strive for ways to reduce their outgoings, particularly in an unfavorable economic climate such as the one we find ourselves in. One good way to reduce expenditure is to look at utilities; switching suppliers or reducing usage can help with energy bills, although it can often be a complicated task.

One way that small businesses are beginning to benefit from attempting to reduce their outgoings is through generating their own electricity. Previously the costs associated with generating electricity prohibited small businesses from considering this option, but  generating your own power is becoming a relatively affordable thing to do.

Increasingly generating electricity is becoming a viable option for small businesses, who can pocket the reduced utility bills, and even selling surplus energy back to the National Grid. Here are three ways in which small businesses can generate their own electricity.

Solar Panels

There are two ways in which solar power can be used to generate electricity. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) uses the sun’s energy to boil some water, while Photo-Voltaic (PV) solar panels convert the energy directly into electricity.

Photo-Voltaic solar panels are still reasonably expensive, but can generate a significant amount of electricity. These are solar panels which use light, so they can still generate power even on grey, overcast days although obviously not as much as long, sunny days.

One problem with solar panels is that they tend to mean power is only available during the day, when the sunlight is casting onto the panels. For domestic properties this can mean that solar panels are not appropriate, but for many businesses the majority of energy use takes place during office hours, when the sun is shining.

Either way, it will be useful to store the energy being generated, so most PV systems come with batteries which can be charged.

Another solution is to sell your energy surplus back to your electrical supplier (as long as you are still connected to the National Grid) and then paying them for your electricity when the sun goes down and you’re no longer generating power.

Wind Turbines

Wind turbines are experiencing a rise in popularity recently, particularly due to the shrinking price of micro-turbines in DIY stores.

While it may seem like the perfect solution, with the wind blowing all day and night, the amount of electricity which can actually be gleaned from these wind turbines is often negligible, depending on the specific location.

Wind speeds are always faster above ground level, at heights above an average house. The wind disturbance caused by other buildings around it further decreases the amount of electricity which can be generated.

A large turbine on the edge of a building where it can receive clean, fast air is more likely to generate a decent amount of energy, but there is also the annoyance of the noise of the blades spinning around.

Combined Heat & Power Units

Another method of generating electricity which is bound to become more widely available in the future is the use of Combined Heat and Power units (CHPs).

While they were previously only suitable for large buildings like factories and universities now small CHP generators are on the market, running on natural gas. The heat generated is channeled to provide heating and hot water for the building and is no less efficient than a modern gas boiler.

Future Benefits

While the technology required to generate electricity may still require a sizable initial outlay, the benefits should be apparent for years and years for a small business, with greatly reduced energy bills. As fossil fuels become scarcer the price of energy is bound to keep rising, so it’s no surprise that forward-thinking businesses are beginning to attempt to run under their own steam.

While these opportunities for businesses to save money on their energy use are still worth investigating, many of the technologies are not yet developed appropriately for businesses, and should probably be considered as future prospects rather than immediate changes.

Save Money Now

Most small businesses could be saving money now by switching business electricity supplier and employing energy-saving measures such as using natural light and ventilation where possible, avoiding leaving equipment on standby and turning off lights in rooms that aren’t in use.

This article was written by Adam Cairn on behalf of uSwitch for Business, a price comparison website, helping small and medium-sized businesses save money on their energy costs.

Solar Cells from an Inkjet Printer

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Konarka Technologies has recently released a press release regarding the first ever demonstration of inkjet printed solar cells. According to Konarka’s president and CEO, Rick Hess:

Demonstrating the use of inkjet printing technology as a fabrication tool for highly efficient solar cells and sensors with small area requirements is a major milestone

Konarka Technologies is a company that specializes in organic photovoltaics - solar cells made from plastics (as opposed to silicon).

The ability to print solar cells from an inkjet printer opens up the possibilities of how solar energy can be produced. Konarka is interested in working with partners to explore innovative ways of integrating solar power into products. For example, they have already partnered with Air Products to develop windows that generate electricity.

Although organic photovoltaics is not as efficient as using silicon cells - organic photovoltaics is around 5% efficiency, compared to 15% to 20% efficiency with silicon solar cells - it does allow for a wider range of solar applications, which can only be a good thing. Furthermore, Konarka’s chairman and co-founder, Howard Berke has said that he expects organic photovoltaics to ultimately approach silicon’s efficiency.

I notice that Konarka are billing this as the “first ever demonstration of inkjet printed solar cells…”. I suspect that this is because it’s not the first time we’ve heard of solar cells produced by printing techniques. A team of Japanese researchers have also succeeded in doing this.

In any case, it’s good news for the future of solar energy.