What is a Solar Pool Cover?

August 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

A solar pool cover traps heat from the sun and then transmits that heat to the swimming pool. A solar swimming pool cover may also be called a solar blanket. A solar pool cover traps the heat from the sun in the pool and keeps it from escaping into the air.

The solar pool cover sits on top of the swimming pool water. It is not attached by anchors. Because of this the solar pool cover can easily be removed. One option is to use a solar pool cover reel, this helps to roll up the solar pool cover and makes for great, easy storage. Solar pool covers can also be removed and folded up, but you might get wet. Find more information on solar pool cover reels, they are usually the best for storage.

Solar pool covers are fantastic in a hot climate because the more heat they get, the longer the swim season. While the climate does not need to be warm all of the time, the blanket does need to have access to sunlight in order to trap the heat.

It is important to note that a solar pool cover is in no way a safety cover. You should remove it completely before anyone enters the pool. They are not designed for cleanliness, but they really can keep a lot of debris out of the pool.

Solar pool covers come in many different shapes. They can be square, triangle, round, or even a custom design. They are designed for in-ground or above-ground pools. A solar pool cover should keep your swimming pool 10-15 degrees warmer and are much cheaper than a pool heater, which can cost hundreds of dollars a month, especially if you have a larger pool.

Rose Thomas is an expert in solar pool covers and runs a very informative and busy blog about solar pool covers. She has helped thousands of people get educated on the benefits of solar. Save time, money, and the environment. Go Green!

The Benefits of Wind Energy

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

Wind turbines – white structures with three or more blades which are used to generate electricity from the wind – are one of the most efficient methods of generating renewable energy. This is simple fact, and the continued development and licencing of turbines is further testament to this.

The reason for this general opinion is that, when one views the statistics, wind turbines are powerfully useful. For example, with older energy generation techniques such as using fossil fuels, to generate electricity one must use some of the earth’s natural resources. In the case of fossil fuels, these one day will run out.

Wind turbines have no effect on the earth’s composition and do not need to dig into anything to be able to generate. They take nothing from the earth as an organism, and this makes them a mighty weapon in the battle against climate change.

Wind turbines do not produce any emissions, be it carbon dioxide – the cause of climate change – or other such chemicals which may be harmful. Though the construction of a wind farm or turbine requires electricity and source material, it is estimated it takes a mere nine months for a single wind turbine to ‘pay back’ what is has taken out. What is more, after that initial nine months pay back time, wind turbines do not require anything but the wind to operate.

The biggest benefit of wind turbines, however, is that they take a natural source and make it useful. The wind blows everywhere in the world, and all wind turbines do is take the previously unused kinetic energy of natural weather phenomenon and create usable electricity.

Put simply, the benefits of wind turbines and wind power are overwhelmingly convincing.

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What is a Wind Turbine?

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Wind And Solar Energy

Dotted across landscapes throughout the world, one can now see small, stick-thin structures with three spokes poking out from the central column. These structures are alarming, and almost sinister, the first time you see them. The world now recognises them as wind turbines, and their presence in the modern world is becoming more apparent.

Wind turbines are man’s primary way of generating electricity using the power of the wind. The versions of wind turbines we see now are merely an extension of an old idea; using the wind for power is no new concept. What is new is using the wind to generate electricity.

In the past, farmers would use windmills – the forerunner to the wind turbine, which in design they closely resemble – to power machinery to grind corn. These windmills can still be seen around the world, with Holland a well known location for windmills. The white structures we see across fields today are simply the 21st century version.

Wind turbines usually have three spokes, which when caught by the wind cause the mechanism to revolve. The spokes spin around driven by the force of the wind, and this in turn is used to power a machine – just like the windmills of old. However, the machines these turbines now power do not grind crops, but rather generate electricity through a traditional generator.

Wind turbines are one of the most – if not the most – effective ways of generating electricity. The energy produces is clean and, more importantly, renewable. So while these turbines may still cause mild shock when viewed in a place one did not expect them, they are nevertheless the future.

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The Disadvantages of Solar Power

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

We all constantly hear how good solar power is, but one cannot present a convincing argument without looking at both sides of the story. While solar power has many benefits, it also has its drawbacks.

The first is also the most obvious. Namely, that the sun does not always shine. While cool weather and overcast days do not cause solar panels to stop functioning entirely, such conditions will reduce their output. For this reason alone, the likelihood of solar power being the only solution to the energy crisis of the future is slim. It is simply not possible, even in the hottest regions, to depend on solar energy entirely for a country’s electricity supply.

This is an important consideration, but not one that is particularly dominant if you are merely thinking of having solar panels installed on your roof. In the average home owners case, the demands on your solar panels will be far less than an entire country could generate. You will not be expecting it to power your home entirely forevermore, so providing you acknowledge the possible limitations of solar panels during the coldest and wettest months, you should be able to get by.

The other important disadvantage of solar power is the cost. Again using the idea of an average home owner; the installation of panels and conversion of your energy sources is a time consuming and costly process. While you will eventually recoup any investment by saving on your usual utility bills, for many the up front costs are prohibitive.

However, while these considerations are not small, they do not mean that solar power is not one of the most viable ways of generating renewable energy. The sun is our greatest resource, and it is somewhat surprising it has taken until now for us to utilise it fully.

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Solar Power: Expensive, But Worth It

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

You may have noticed that over recent years, more and more companies are springing up and advertising solar panels. This, in turn, has lead to more people installing solar panels on their homes – so you may be wondering if this is the move for you.

Having solar panels fitted to your roof is expensive, no doubt about it. The installation varies from $4000 to $60,000. The difference depends on the size of your house, your requirements from the panels themselves and how much electricity you are hoping to generate. In basic terms, the larger the panels and the more you want – the bigger your bill, though even a basic system can be tough on the wallet.

Firstly, most solar panel installation companies will offer some form of credit – perhaps even ‘buy now pay later’ type deals, which allow you to suspend repayments for a year or more. Almost all will offer a traditional credit scheme, where you have the panels installed and then pay them off. This is one of the most expensive ways to get solar panels installed, as you will be charged for the credit, but nevertheless it is an option.

The best way option for most is to save a dedicated fund for their solar panels. Using the old school system of putting a little money by each week, many households can afford solar panels within a couple of years without having to pay credit purchase rates.

Whichever way you choose to do it, solar panels are expensive. There isn’t any way of getting around that, though as the technology improves prices should fall. It is always worth remember, however, that solar power is beneficial both to your wallet in the long run, and to the environment.

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Solar Powered Cars

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

To most, upon glimpsing a true solar powered car they will be strongly reminded of the children’s TV series ‘The Jetsons’. After all, most solar powered cars are oddly shaped – sometimes even flying saucer-esque – and are covered in little mirrors and panels to suck energy from the sun. These cars look odd, but they do exist. In fact, in the Australian Outback (which benefits from glaring sun rays) a car powered purely by the sun was about to reach speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour.

Not particularly impressive given the world’s fastest combustion engine car, the Bugatti Veyron, can reach 250mph – but not bad. The effect that solar powered cars have on the environment is virtually nil, and while the shape and design are still somewhat bizarre, that is something that can be tampered with over time. So, does the future see us starting the solar panels on our cars rather than the engine?

Well, not quite. While 80mph may seem pretty good, the cost of getting to that speed was extortionate – well out of the reach of most household budgets. The other flaw is the design; solar panels on solar powered cars need to cover a large area atop the car to function, which leads to designs including wide wings and flat roofs. Not aesthetically pleasing, and not practical either.

The problem is momentum; rather than just generating steam like traditional panels, the solar panels on cars are trying to create enough force to move a stationary object. While there is a chance in the future someone will see a way around this problem, for now, solar powered cars remain the playthings of scientists – not the new family vehicle.

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The Past May Be Dim, But The Future Is Bright For Solar Energy

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

Where would we be without inventions? Well, the answer is fairly easy to surmise; sitting around in our mud huts hoping the cow will produce some milk, and that our vegetables will grow. Inventions have given humans the edge over the other species on the planet, as our collaborative minds create a new world bigger and better than the one before.

The problem is, humans are fallible – and what’s more, arrogant. Humans have, throughout the centuries, had an uncanny ability to invent things that will improve our lives forever – but we’re just as likely to boast about our discoveries, too. This desire to show the world what we have uncovered and just how very clever we are has lead to many good inventions being tried before they were ready; they subsequently failed, and the idea was pushed to the back of a drawer, banished from history forever.

The inventions that have survived have done so for one of two reasons: firstly, the inventor was wise enough to perfect his invention before unveiling it to the general public in a blaze of glory. Or, as is more likely, a good idea may have experienced a bad start, but has been good enough for people to persist and perfect the technology as it works along.

Solar panels very nearly suffered the fate of numerous other inventions that were revealed to the public too soon and proven to be disastrous, thus shoved to the back of the drawer and forgotten about. Excited scientists proudly told the world how the dependence on fossil fuels would be able to end, and all thanks to something called solar panels and their ability to generate electricity.

Yet they went public too soon, with an imperfect technology, and solar panels quickly got a reputation as unreliable. However, the idea stuck, and now we exist in a world where solar panels are almost becoming the norm. Solar panels have thus proven that even after a bad start, the good ideas tend to stick.

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The PS10 Tower: The Future of Energy Generation?

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

Just outside of the city of Seville in Spain, one can see a monolith that largely resembles something from the Lord of the Rings. A huge, towering eye stands a 115 meter high tower, looking out over a sea of large, shiny reflective objects. To the innocent bystander it is an odd, or even alarming sight, but what is happening in this small corner of Spain could indeed be the future of energy.

The monolith is in fact a PS10 tower, a technical name for what is essentially a huge solar panel. Like many solar panels, it gathers the sun’s heat and boils water to create steam; this, in turn, creates electricity, which can then be used to power anything from a small town to the oven in your kitchen.

What makes the PS10 Tower different, however, is that it does not just receive sunlight directly from the sun. While it would be effective in doing so, the PS10 Tower looks out over 624 movable mirrors, known as heliostats, all of which are positioned to shine the sun’s rays directly onto the solar panels atop the tower.

If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is – but essentially, what the PS10 Tower generates in power which then becomes electricity is 624 times more powerful than your average solar panel. Thanks to the heliostats bouncing the sun’s rays directly on to its receiving panels, the PS10 is able to create steam to drive a generator at a rate previously unheard of for solar technology.

What’s more, the experiment has proved so successful that a second tower and second bed of heliostats – the PS20 Tower – has now been built. The Spanish have capitalized on their natural resource – blinding sunlight – and used it to create electricity. Even more excitingly, it works. So is are the PS10 and PS20 towers the future of solar energy? They just might be.

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Would Solar Power Save You Money?

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

You’ve probably heard it all before; solar power is the answer to the world’s energy crisis, and what’s more installing solar panels in and on your home will save you money on energy bills. With utility bills, particularly electricity, increasing all the time – it’s no wonder that more and more people are seeking alternatives.

So, basically, the blurb is good. Solar power is good, and it is truly a way forward. At this point, with interest piqued, many will begin to wonder if they genuinely can save money and the environment by investing in solar panels.

Solar panels can be placed anywhere; the most effective place for the average household is on the roof, where exposure to sunlight is at its highest. And while you may feel the stories of cut price energy bills are a little bit too good to be true, the simple fact is by switching to solar power you will save money. Yes, everyone.

Solar panels can replace your dependence on electricity and gas – two of the most used utilities in any given home. For the first few years what you save will be largely offset by the cost of the solar panels being installed, but most companies estimate that people will genuinely be saving money by their seventh or eighth year with solar panels. Reduction in energy bills could be as high as 30% – no matter what or who you are, from a tiny flat to a large six bedroom detached house.

Purchasing and installing solar panels should be seen as an investment rather than a quick fix for your energy bills soaring. However, there are various grants and loans available for people wishing to help switch their homes to solar energy – check your local authority to see if you, and the environment, could benefit.

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Solar Power – Cutting Your Energy Bills and Saving The Environment

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

The concept of solar generated energy has the kind of truths behind it that would make the vast majority of advertising executives salivate.

Firstly, the environmental considerations of using solar energy are huge. With fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, set to run out at some point; there has been a renewed focus in finding sustainable and renewable energy. Solar power has come to the forefront of such discussions as a viable alternative to the old ‘digging stuff out of the ground and burning it’ way of generating energy.

The effect this ability for renewable energy which takes nothing from the earth itself is huge. While solar power will never be able to meet all of the Earth’s energy demands, it should certainly be able to sate a large portion of the populace. By switching to such renewable energy that capitalizes on a natural resource, the environmental impact would be significant.

Secondly – and this is where the aforementioned advertising executive would really become excited – solar power could save the average member of the population money. By having solar panels installed, people could save as much as 30% on their usual electricity and heating bills.

With every year that passes, the general populace becomes more concerned about their own impact on the environment and their own dependence on fossil fuels. As time passes, these people with particular concerns are looking at utilizing other forms of energy. Once upon a time, seeing solar panels on the roof of a normal home would have been alarmingly unusual, but it is now fast approaching the norm. The average household is now capable of saving the environment and saving money – what are you waiting for?

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