Beginners Guide To Solar Power

June 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Science

The function of a solar cell is very simple. It takes light, and it makes it into electricity. It’s very simple, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. Imagine if you were tasked to create something that could actually do that, most people wouldn’t know where to start. Well, by the end of this article, you’re not going to be an expert in how to build solar panels, but you should at least understand the principles involved.

How Does Light Become Electricity?

To answer this question of how it is that light becomes electricity, we have to be more clear about exactly what light is and what electricity is. There isn’t room to go into detail about this of course, but we can get a general idea.

A Photon

The most important thing to know about light when it comes to solar panels is that it can be viewed in two ways, as being made up of waves and as being made up of particles. In fact both is true, which is a bit strange, but this is something that has come out of quantum physics.

In terms of solar cells, the most useful way to think about light is as being made up of particles of light. That is what a photon is, it is the name for a particle of light. If you’re wondering how light can be thought of as being particle based, in terms of waves it is the smallest packet of waves that you can get (if that makes it any clearer!).

What Is Electricity?

Electricity consists of the uniform flow of electrons in a substance. The substance has to have certain qualities which allows this to happen, they have to be made up in a particular way. When the conditions are right, then we call that material conductive, because it can conduct electricity. This applies to metals mostly.

There is another type of material though which conducts electricity in a slightly different way. It still has to do with the electrons flowing, but this flow can be created by the existence of “holes” in which there should be an electron. This hole will attract an electron, so that is how electricity can flow as well. Substances that do this are called semiconductors.

Solar Cells

With this information, the way that a solar panel actually works can be described more easily. The first thing to know is that they are made of a semi-conductive substance, often silicone. The important thing about this is that when a photon hits the semiconductor which the cell is made of, it pushes an electron out of its orbit and this creates a “hole” in it, like the ones described above. This is what causes electricity to flow.

It’s not quite as simple as getting a semiconductor and hooking it up to some wires though. There are actually two halves, one of which has to be negatively charged and the other half has to be positively charged. In their normal state, these halves are balanced, but when light hits them the balance is upset and that is what makes the electrons move in a uniform way.

How The Solar Electricity Is Made Useful For Your House

A little bit more work has to be done before the electricity can be used in a house though. It comes out as direct current (DC) but houses run on alternating current (AC) so it has to be converted before it can actually be useful.

On the way to the converter, however, it makes a stop in a battery. This is a DC battery, and that’s where the electrical energy from the solar cells are stored, so that it can be used when needed.

If you are interested in becoming helping in the fight against global warming, go to Solar Energy UK to get more information about solar panels. That is the website where Cameron Knill enjoys writing more about renewable energy sources.

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The Best Way Get Off The Grid?

June 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Family

I do not know whether it has ever occurred to you, but you can get off the grid. The electricity grid that is. Is it anything that you are interested in? For some people, getting off the grid is the Holy Grail of modern life. We all feel that we are being milked dry by the energy companies and our soldiers are being killed on a daily basis to safeguard the West’s supply of oil.

If the same amount of money was invested in developing alternative technology, we would not need to import so much oil, but that would mean less profits for the energy companies too. So the average guy on the street loses out to the rich oil tycoons and people are milked for money and soldiers die on both sides.

You cannot rely on these people to help you buy less energy, it is not in their interest. The only thing you can do is take the bull by the horns and sort yourself out. Get yourself off the grid, save yourself money in the long term and help save the planet and our soldiers too.

It is often assumed that self-sufficiency in energy is only for nerds, but this is not true, it is now within the reach of every family or household. If you have plenty of money, a solar or wind powered system will cost you about $45,000 and it will take about ten years to recover your investment by getting off the grid. However, you can have the same apparatus for much less than half that sum.

The fact is that technology has advanced rapidly in the field of solar power, as it has in every other technological sphere. Scorching sunshine is no longer essential to create a steady flow of electricity and prices have dropped. However, labour prices have risen and over-compensated for this fall. Herein lies your opportunity.

It is not difficult to make your own solar panels and the components are readily available in even small towns. The same holds true for devices that will produce electricity from wind or water. The trick is to get a detailed diagram from which to construct your solar panels or other devices.

These plans are readily available online from specialist web sites and the components are available from DIY or hobbyist stores. Once you have crafted your sustainable energy resources, they are virtually maintenance free, although you may have to top up the batteries with sulphuric acid or distilled water.

Living off the grid is a magnificent feeling. Knowing that you are out of the clutches of the oil barons brings more freedom and the next time there is a power cut or a price rise, you can just give a smile and forget about it, because you will be living off the grid.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with a favourite subject, renewable energy advantages. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.

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Teach Yourself To Make Solar Panels

May 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Family

Many people are sick to death of the escalating cost of electricity, but they do not know what they can do about it. They have switched lights off; they have not turned lights on; they have unplugged devices on stand-by and they have turned the central heating down and the air con up and it has only saved them pennies. Yet still the electricity bills go up on a regular basis. It is very frustrating.

We have all heard of alternative and sustainable sources of energy, but the question is: how can average people implement these technologies into their own homes? One phone call to a professional solar power installation company will convince anyone that solar power is only for the well-off.

Likewise with wind power generation. A single device, which may or may not fulfill the electrical requirements of one standard household will cost in the region of $45,000 and it is thought that, if it meets expectations, that it will pay for itself after ten years time. $45,000 is too much money for most people, but having to wait ten years to realize that investment is too long for most individuals too.

So, at first glimpse, it looks like the average person is at the mercy of the oil companies and the electricity generators. However, it does not have to be like that. There are other ways of tackling the problem and extricating yourself from the clutches of energy providers. The first technique would be to buy the solar power units and install them yourself. That would save you a great deal, perhaps up to 50%. But you could go a stage further and make the solar panels yourself too, which would save you a great deal more money.

The fact is that the more of your own labour that you can put into the project, the more you will save, because the labour constituent in any task usually amounts to about 50% of the costs. We all know how expensive it is to call a plumber in to fix a leaking pipe or a roofer to replace a slate. $100 for a slate? $100 for a dribble of solder? No, it is the tradesman’s time and the same is true of solar panel fitters.

The way out is to learn how to make the solar power units and install them yourself. It is not difficult. Any teenager can learn how to do it and so can you. Take it from me, learning how to assemble and install solar panels is not difficult. Just try it and see for yourself. You will amaze yourself and your friends. You may even turn it into a business!

The thing to do is get a reliable kit or a plan from a trusted source. This could be a neighborhood hardware or hobbyist store or from a specialist website on the Internet. Once you have your plan, you can buy the components. They are commonplace and on hand in most DIY shops. Then it will take you about a day to construct a solar panel that will supply about 100 watts.

This may not sound like much, but it will power many kinds of small machines or two average light bulbs. The trick is to keep adding to your bank of solar panels until you are entirely free of the electricity grid or even selling electricity back into it.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with a favourite subject, renewable energy advantages. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.

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Locating The Optimal Solar Power System Installer

April 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Science

If you want to “go green” and save money, then considering solar energy might be a good option for you. Solar power allows people to reduce their monthly electricity bills, while also utilizing the Australian rebate program to make solar system installation more affordable and beneficial. At first, knowing where to begin in order to buy a solar energy system can be intimidating. To help with the procedure, you can hire a professional installer, but there are some aspects you should personally take into consideration before beginning.

The first factor is cost. This is obviously an important factor for many people, but it might not be relevant in the way you think it should. When investing in a solar energy system, it is actually more beneficial to buy a system that may be on the costly side (as long as it has the quality to back up the price). The reason for this is that you “get what you pay for”, and as solar energy systems tend to last for more than twenty years, you will be making a good investment.

A second aspect to look at when finding a solar energy installer is their warranty. As mentioned before, solar systems should reliably work for at least twenty years, and a solar power installer should have a warranty to back this up. The solar panels in a photovoltaic system degrade at 0.5% to 1% a year, but this should still leave you a lot of time to benefit from your renewable energy source. Having a warranty that is actually backed by a company in Australia is also pivotal – in certain instances another country may back the warranty, which means you could end up paying very high postage fees to send them any damaged equipment should something run amiss.

Workmanship is one other important but usually neglected factor. Quality solar systems can be very eye-catching. Your contractor must be able to inform you of what sort of mounting system they often use, and also if they allow air to flow beneath the panels or not. Unprotected cables must be taken note of; they are significantly less able to withstand the temperature of the sun than the panels are, therefore all external wires should be in a UV guarded conduit. You can even ask for recommendations from other clientele and check to see if an installer will show you a selection of their earlier work. A good quality solar technology system needs to be straightforward but effective.

The last thing it’s best to take note of is merely how well you get along with your contractor. Are they really ready to respond to your questions and are they available to help? Confirm they are licensed by the “Clean Energy Council”, because this is quite important. All installers have to have this certification in order for the government to pay out its refunds to you. Should you pay attention to the particulars, you’re definitely halfway to owning a wonderful renewable power system, but make sure your installer is willing to meet you in the middle and support you along the journey.

Experience the potential of solar power and how it is being utilized to help reduce emissions and conserve revenue throughout Australia. Receive 3 no cost estimates on solar panels or a solar system for use in your dwelling or business.

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Converting Your Home Into A Solar Home

April 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Family

When it comes to converting your home into a solar home, there are several alternatives, because not all homes have the same problems, the same requirements or the same potential sustainable power sources. Therefore, if you are going to attempt a total conversion or even get off the grid entirely, you will either need to do some do research or call in an expert to make a survey for you.

If you call in an expert, try to get an independent one, so that you can work out the prices of satisfying your energy requirements yourself. You will have to pay for such a report, naturally, but you could carry out a survey yourself with a bit of work on your part. In order to create a solar home, you may find the rest of this article interesting.

There are fundamentally two kinds of solar design: passive and active solar energy. Passive solar energy can be used to provide heating, cooling and natural light for your home. Active solar energy is used for powering home appliances, tools and lighting. It is the perfect blend of these two types of solar energy that you will attempt to accomplish, if you are trying to convert your home into a solar home.

You can make use of passive solar energy methods in many ways, although they are more easily incorporated in during the actual construction phase of a new home. The largest area of glass should face south or be within 30 degrees of due south. This will catch the maximum amount of heat. This heat can then be circulated around the house by stone floors and stone walls.

The central heating ducting and furnace fan can be utilized to assist, if need be. If the house becomes too hot in the summer, awnings or even solar panels could be dropped down in order to put the windows in shade. When thinking of passive solar energy, you should endeavor to think of ways of supplying warmth and coolness without using electricity. For instance, a skylight at the top of the stairs will permit the warmest air in the house to escape, since hot air rises. This will cause cooler air to be sucked into the house at lower levels.

The other feature of a solar house is the creation of electricity by the deployment of solar panels grouped into solar arrays. Solar panels make use of photovoltaic cells to convert light into energy. This energy can then be used to power ordinary electrical appliances of all sorts or some or all of it can be stored in batteries for later use. Conversion from AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current) and back again, if needed, is a simple matter.

Solar energy can also be used to warm up water for the pool or for the home. The most usual type of system uses pipes filled with a type of anti-freeze to collect the sun’s heat and pass it on to tanks of water via a heat exchanger.

A solar home uses energy efficiency to reduce the need for heating, cooling and electricity. The use of higher grade insulation, more energy efficient windows, kitchen appliances and lighting than those used in traditional homes, will save you a lot of money and energy. As you can see, some of these changes, especially the passive ones are structural, so hard to apply in many homes, but there is always something you can do to cut your energy bills and slowly convert your home into a solar home.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with a favourite subject – alternative power sources. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.

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A Selection of the Pennsylvania Solar Panels

March 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Science

Are you having a hard time in finding the best solar panel for you? Well I cannot blame you since there are really numerous models of panels rising in the market nowadays. To help you give solution to your problem. Here are some of the Pennsylvania Solar Panels.

The first kind of solar panel is made possible to give answer to the never ending demand of those customers that do not have vast roofs. We all know that the solar panels and its accessories are quite huge that obviously requires vast roof, this only connotes that some people who do not have big roofs will be deprived of having the system installed.

The first models of solar panels somewhat requires a huge roof due to the size of the said device, so inventors have created a new model that will fit into the roof regardless of its size and together with this is the flexibility feature since the older solar panels are known to be brittle, these new features make the solar panel live much longer that before.

Solar Panels especially made for homes. The main purpose why renewable source of energy had been introduced in the market is to encourage the people that there are still a lot of ways that we can make to have a green living. This kind of panel is made easy so that customer can easily deal with it. All you have to do is to look for the spot in your roof where sunlight hits often and there you install your solar panel. Actually most of home owners do not solely depend on this source of power, they use it together with the source of electricity that they used to have so that when winter comes they will still have source of power that can be used.

As the time pass by, we can see that the devices and new technologies get smaller and smaller. Solar panels are not left behind; there is a new model that is showing off in the market that is very tiny and very thin. This is what they call the Nano Solar Panel. Although it is very small, it transmits heat energy from the sun at 20% higher than the amount of energy harnessed by other type of panels.

Pennsylvanians do not let yourself be deprived of this great opportunity. I have provided you some of the best types of Pennsylvania Solar Panels. Make your choice, now!

John Paulson studies ecology. To find out more materials in regards to some of the projects he is in the middle of, read solar energy in NJ and NJ solar panel.

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Types of Pennsylvania Renewable Energy

March 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Science

We cannot deny that scientists and inventors really possess genius minds for they can think of things that we never imagine of being into reality, just like the renewable source of energy. They have thought of something that can replace that burning of fossil fuels as source of energy since in gives of dangerous waste that gives bad effects on the environment. Having this discovery a part of everyday living can be a great help in rejuvenating the beauty of nature.

One of the greatest achievements that they have is the Alternative Energy that has been launched worldwide. Pennsylvania is one of the countries that really patronize this project. Actually there is a lot of Pennsylvania Renewable Energy that they choose from. Allow me to give you a peek on that alternative energy and how it works.

Wind as the source of energy. This kind of energy source makes use of turbines. Turbines actually have three components, the tower, the blades and the nacelle. The last that I have mentioned is the most important part among the three since this is the place where most motion happens; this is where electricity is produced. Wind energy has been used by people since earlier times, but up to now wind energy is not often used as source of power even though it is the cheapest of all.

Water as source of energy, Because of the increasing demand for electricity, scientists has thought of something that is of huge volume and will never run out of stock. And since 70% of earth is made of water, experts decided to us it for better purpose. The process of conversion requires vast volume and high speed water to make the generator works. If the generator turns on the transformation process begins.

Solar heat as source of energy, this is one of the easiest system that consumer can avail of. There are a lot of solar panels available in the market that can be installed by the buyer himself. And also the machines come in different sizes and design that fits the various demands of the customers.

Due to the new invention that the experts have introduced, we all have the opportunity to save our environment, the opportunity to avoid the vast destruction in the future. Pennsylvania Renewable Energy is just one of those opportunities that we can grab. The decision is all in your hands. Make your choice, now.

Sparky Ericson teaches about engineering. To find out additional regarding other projects he’s working on, click on New Jersey solar power and NJ solar incentives.

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Is A Solar Panel Electrical System Right For You?

March 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Family

Until approximately a hundred years ago in the West, people only had recourse to renewable energy for heat and light for their homes. They burnt wood and sometimes coal or peat (OK, fossil fuels) and got up when the sun came up and went to bed with the sun as well. In, fact a large part of the world’s population still lives like that.

Things altered with mechanized industry and night shifts. Electricity producers sold the population on being able to do more instead of just sleeping when it became dark, and the Western population got hooked on buying huge amounts of energy, mostly electricity and engine fuel, which was usually produced from oil and coal.

This idea soon travelled around the world and with rising prosperity came emulation and other countries wanted the same. Now we are in the sad situation where we have to confess that we rode the fossil fuel gravy train to its terminus without thinking about what we would utilize when fossil fuels ran out.

This is where the typical citizen comes in. You have to think about how you want to draw energy in the future. Do you want to be powered by keeping sucking unrenewable resources out of the planet, or do you want to have as little to do with it as you can? Would you rather have everything you have now, but know that the resources that are powering your lifestyle are renewable?

If, like millions of others around the globe, you would rather say ‘No!’ to traditional power production techniques, then you have to take a stand. But not only in words, you really have to do some something about it physically.

This will mean investing a lot of money up front, which may not be a problem for you or you may even consider that taking a stand is worth asking for a bank loan. These are admirable feelings, but I would like to propose that there is another way to self-sufficiency.

You could make your own!

Why not? The technology has been around for decades and is pretty straightforward. Most moderately capable teenagers can assemble a bank of photovoltaic cells into a solar panel and then plug that into your home’s electrical system. And if a teenager can manage it, so can you. All you (and the teenager) will need is a solar panel kit and a schematical diagram. A plan in other words.

A solar panel kit can be bought locally from a DIY shop or from the Internet. A typical solar panel will take a few hours to assemble and will produce 100 watts of electrical energy. The electricity produced from these panels is then passed through an inverter that changes the current from DC to AC, making it usable by household appliances and the utility grid.

Do yourself and the planet a good turn, get off the grid and start saving money and the planet’s resources, you will be surprised how easy it is once you get going. And do not forget, you can do it in stages of, say, one 100 watt panel a month until you hit self-sufficiency. It is not a question of ‘All or Nothing’.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with a favourite topic, types of renewable energy. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.

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Kick The Grid Into Touch By Making Your Own Solar Panels

March 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Family

How would you like to get off the electricity grid? What a dream, eh? Sadly, it will stay a dream for many people because the cost of having solar panels installed professionally scarcely warrants the cost. Many experts calculate that it can take well over 10 years to recoup the cost of the professional installation of solar panels. This is way beyond the horizons of most home owners, who would require a break-even point of three to five years. This is not going to happen in the near future, even with the rapidly rising cost of electricity.

However, there is an alternative. Everybody knows that the labour element in any professional job is equivalent to or even exceeds the cost of the materials in that job, so you could save half the cost just by installing the solar panels yourself. How about saving another 50% or more on the cost of the solar panels by making them yourself too?

Now we are getting into the realm where the cost of a viable solar power system to replace state electricity is credible. It could even pay for itself in a couple of years by reducing your dependence on the grid or even allowing you to come off it altogether. Did you know that the grid will buy your surplus electricity from you too?

It may sound like fantasy, but it is not that hard if you have plans or and a solar panel kit. In fact, the parts needed to build your own solar panels are quite common these days and you will be able to pick them up either at your neighborhood hardware store or at a hobbyists like Radio Shack. If you think that that is too time-consuming, you could just buy a kit. These kits are so straightforward that any teenager should be able to assemble one.

Later on, after completing a kit or two, you may have the confidence to buy the bits separately, which will save you even more money. One of these kits would be enough to run a few tools in your shed or the lights in your garage or a pump on the pond or pool. If you linked a number of them together, you could begin to reduce your home’s dependence on the grid just by harnessing the energy of the sun. Wouldn’t that be great?

Solar panels have been around for a long time and so people remember when they needed strong sun light to be of any use, but public awareness has not kept up with the pace of technological development. Solar panels are much more sensitive now and they can produce electricity from light using powerful photo voltaic cells (PV’s) – they do not require blazing sunshine to work any more.

So, if you want to go down the route to independence from the electricity grid, the first thing you have to do is locate a set of solar panel diagrams or plans or a kit. You may be able to get these from your hobbyist store too or you can get them from a website that specializes in sustainable or alternative energy sources.

Once you have all your parts and your plans, it will only take you a couple of free hours to put together your solar panel and have it working for you. The next one will take even less time as you get used to it

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with a favourite subject, renewable energy advantages. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.

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Shopping For Solar Panels – 3 Helpful Tips

March 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Science

The expansion of solar power possibilities has been in the works for a number of years. When first brought into play, solar power was produced to generate steam in order to power machinery. The alteration of sunlight, or the “photovoltaic effect”, was first uncovered by Henri Becquerel, hence solar energy was conceived. In 1893, centered on Becquerel’s results, Charles Fritts produced the initial solar cell by putting a sheer film of gold on sheets of selenium.

Our basic solar panels were spawned from a fairly basic beginning and have made great advancements. Solar panels are heated by clean renewable sunlight power and convert it into electricity, which can in turn be used to fuel electrical loads. One solitary solar panel is not designed to take an extraordinary workload. Obviously, they would be the need to operate more panels. If you are planning to buy solar panels, you can get the best value of your money as well get the most benefit from it if you know the following tips:

Individual Applications: Many people don’t want to go to the expense of paying for solar panels to generate power for the entire home. To compensate, people will get a panel or two that can run only one appliance. An example of this would be purchasing just enough to power a hot water heater which can be expensive to run all year. Regardless of which option you choose, a couple years of use will pay for itself.

Types of Solar Cells: The three solar cells all have their own characteristics; so find out which one will be the one for you. First is the monocrystalline silicon is the most effective and yields the smallest solar cells, and therefore the smallest panels. For obvious reasons the monocrystalline solar panels are the most expensive.

Subsequently, the next best bet would be polycrystalline, or multi-crystalline silicon. This is the preferred option because of the balance between its economic value and functionality. With recent enhancements, polycrystalline modules are now being brought closer to monocrystalline in terms of size, efficacy and heat resistance. European industries are presently receiving it as a preference. The third major type of solar cell is the amorphous; or thin film silicon. This sort draws a minor capacity of silicon and therefore will make a poor quality solar cell. As a result, amorphous take up more area than the other two previously discussed types of solar cells. This is a pertinent detail to take into account when considering potential advances down the road. For a personal use solar power setup, superior polycrystalline solar panels are most likely the best choice.

Preserving the environment, and lowering your overall electrical bill, are a few of the reasons that people are installing solar panels on their homes. As long as you maintain your solar panel electrical system well, you will generate electricity for many decades.

Christina P. Mitchell writes about entertainment along with Father of the bride Speeches. To know more about Father of the bride wedding speeches click here.

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