Solar Power – Soaking Up the Sun to Save Money

You’re looking at becoming self-sufficient in your power consumption and usage. Where to begin? For starters, consider one of the most clean and greenhouse gas free energies that there is – the sun. The sun is also renewable. Even if each and every one of us used solar energy to power our homes, there would be more than enough to go around.

PV, or photovoltaics, is what solar energy really is made up of. PV technology creates the energy from solar power. This PV technology uses silicone, which produces voltages when light hits it. The whole idea started out humbly with small devices that were powered by light. Since then solar power has grown widely, and now can power pretty much anything. It is also completely clean.

The idea of solar power has been around for a long time. Albert Einstein discovered it in 1905, and it was demonstrated in 1954 by Bell Laboratories. As early as the 1960s, Nasa began using it to power spacecraft. When homes began using solar power, it was mostly off the grid. It has reached the point now, however, where it can be used both on and off the grid for power.

Solar power goes far beyond just heating water, which uses heat from the sun. It is the use of actual light photons. The PV modules are treated with silicone, which has in turn been treated with doping chemicals. When the light hits the silicone the electrons are freed, meaning they can produce power. As they roll off the silicone wafers they are collected into direct current wires. They have created electricity and can now be converted to power a home.

Homes using solar power can still connect to the grid if they wish. If they need more power they can get it. They can also provide the grid with power, selling back excess electricity they have created to the power company. This is extremely useful in providing themselves with electricity, as well as lowering any other electrical bills they may have.

Regardless of the level of solar power you are expecting to use, certain adaptations to your home will have to be made, so it can run on the power that is produced. Once it has all been set up, though, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of solar power. Starting with a small project – like versatile and decorative lights for your garden, is a great way to see the benefits of solar power in action without a huge investment. Work up to a larger scheme as you feel ready, and enjoy lower electrical bills, while knowing you are contributing to a cleaner earth for all.

For free tips on how to save money by using alternative and renewable energies in your own home, be sure to visit http://www.green-earth-power.com Subscribe to our newsletter and get your free report on Energy Efficiency for your home

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Photovoltaic Solar Power

Also known as PV, photovoltaic is an array of cells comprising of photovoltaic material which transforms energy from sun into direct electricity current. Presently, the materials used for photovoltaic solar power generation include polycrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon, copper indium sulphide, cadmium telluride and microcrystalline silicon.

As a result of increasing demand for renewable sources of energy, there has been great advancement in the manufacturing of photovoltaic arrays and solar cells. Production of electric through the process of photovoltaic is being doubled in every 2 years for almost a decade now; the average increase is 48% every year. As a result, photovoltaic production is the fastest growing energy tech in the world today.

Approximately 90 percent of this massive energy generation through photovoltaic means comprises of grid-tied electrical systems. This type of installation could be built into the roof or ground-mounted. The one built into the roof is called Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV). Due to advancement in technology and increased production, photovoltaic solar power generation cost has been on a progressive reduction since the manufacturing of the initial solar cells were produced. Today, net metering as well as financial incentive has promoted the installation of solar PV installations in different countries of the world.

The best way to describe photovoltaic is that it is a technique used in generation of electrical energy by converting solar radiation to electricity through the use of solar cells. In order words, photovoltaics is energy directly from the sun. Photovoltaic effect is basically photons of light hitting electrons into a higher energy state in order to generate electric power. Nearly every photovoltaic device is a type of photodiode.

Uses

Solar cells generate direct current electric power from the sun’s radiation. The electricity thus generated is used to power devices or recharge battery. The practical use of photovoltaic initially was to power spacecraft and orbiting satellites. But in recent time, the larger number of photovoltaic modules is applicable to grid-connected generation of power. An inverter is needed in this instance to convert the DC to AC. A smaller market exists for off-grid power, to power boats, provide electricity for remote dwellers, power electric cars, recreational vehicles etc.

Building-integrated Photovoltaic

This is the installation of photovoltaic solar panels in a building’s roof, either as a main source of electric power or as an alternative. Building-integrated photovoltaic are among the fastest growing aspects of the photovoltaic industry. Basically, an array is integrated into a building’s roof or wall, and individuals can now purchase roof tiles that have PV cells integrated into them. Also, an existing building can have arrays retrofitted into them; in this instance, the fitting is done on top of the roof structure. Another option is a separate location of an array from the building, which is connected to give electric power to the building through the use of cable.

For those buildings situated at substantial distance from the conventional electric source, PV could be the best alternative for generating electricity. For off-grid cases, the electric power is stored using batteries.

Photovoltaic power has so many uses and has also helped in reducing environmental hazard which the conventional energy sources such as fossil burning have caused.

Are you looking for the easiest and cheapest way to Photovoltaic Solar Power? See my simple step-by-step method now at solarenergyexpertise.com

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Do You "D-I-Y" a Solar Power System, Or Pay Someone Else to Do It?

If you want solar power to give you the energy for your home, then you can either pay another to install a solar power system or install it yourself, or “D-I-Y.” You need to be sure you weigh the choices carefully, as there are pro’s and con’s to each. Here are some of the reasons you should consider as you make the choice to install the system.

One very important consideration is your budget and the cost of the installation. If you hire out a contractor to do the work, you can expect to pay the company as well as all of their overhead (taxes, insurances, profit). Weigh out the amount you can save if you do the work yourself, and see how each can fit into your budget. Even if you can afford to pay another, the money saved can be earmarked for other purposes.

You can also consider the following: do you have the time to do the installation yourself? To be honest, installing a solar power system isn’t a long process, but you need to allocate a few days’ time to the project. Is that something you can afford? If your time is more valuable than the cost of paying a professional, then you should farm it out.

If you decide to install the solar power system, of course you’ll need to be sure you know what you’re doing first. You need to do the research and also find instructions that can guide you every step, or simply get the company selling you the system to give you detailed instructions. Just be sure you think carefully about doing the work yourself and if you want to learn what it takes to do it right.

Surely there are other considerations to take in to account before you install a solar power system, whether you hire the job out or D-I-Y. This article covered some big concerns. If you want to do it right, then you will need to read up on how it’s done and the difficulty level of the installation. You can enjoy solar power and save money on the installation, you just want to be sure you’re not getting in over your head. Don’t try to rush into either direction, just take some time to think and plan ahead. All of that to say – don’t be discouraged from trying to D-I-Y, just be sure you get a great guide to show you how.

Jacob Michaels has written a number of different articles on Solar Panels and they can be found at Solar Powering Homes. If you want to learn more about Collecting Solar Power, visit Home Solar Power and claim your Free Special Report.

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Solar Power Plants For Urban Use Becoming a Reality

Most of us are familiar with the concept behind the wind farm as a means to generate sufficient energy to power the needs of urban environments. Solar power technology has lagged behind in this field, as it was better suited to smaller installations.

Now, however, we are beginning to see new experimental installations and technologies that are striving to break the barrier that has stood between the gathering of solar energy and the supplying of urban power needs. Here are three examples of large-scale technologies that are being pursued.

* Solar Islands™

Solar Islands™, by Nolaris, Switzerland, has been in the works since 2007. The prototype places thermosolar panels on membranes that provide floating solar islands capable or turning to track the movement of the sun. The sun’s energy is captured and it’s heat used to produce steam within a high-pressure steam tank located at the center of the island. From the steam tank, an underwater pipeline is constructed to move the steam to shore or a tankship. At the endpoint of the pipeline is a steam turbine capable of generating up to 1GW of power. Both on-shore and offshore versions of the Solar Islands™ are being worked with.

* Solar Tower Energy

Enviro Mission of Australia has been working on the development of a 1,000-meter high solar tower power plant, which will be capable of producing 200MW via the 32 turbines incorporated into the structure. This model works on the concept that heated air rises, drawing the air up through the base of the tower and out through the top. The movement of the air turns the turbines, which in turn generates power. The Enviro Mission Solar Tower Power Plant is scheduled to go into production in 2012.

* Stirling Dish Solar Collector

With a look that puts us in mind of the epic Star Wars series, this dish solar collector by Stirling Energy Systems of Scottsdale, Arizona, appears to have shattered the barrier between solar energy and the mass supply of energy for urban environments.

The SunCatcher, combines the usage of the Stirling engine design, a concept that dates back to 1816, with the capability of mass energy production. Each unit is capable of producing 25KW of clean, renewable energy.

Combined, these three new solar technologies offer hope to the ongoing struggle our planet faces to supply the energy needs of it’s inhabitants in a manner that respects and protects the needs of planet we all depend on.

Energy Old and New continually seeks knowledge and understanding of how our power needs have been met in the past, as well as what we are doing to meet those needs in an earth friendly manner in the future.

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Solar Power is Here to Stay

What would it take to convince you that solar power is the energy of the future? If you ever watch the news then it is completely obvious that we need alternative sources of energy that are renewable. Thankfully we have access to alternative energy sources that will never run out and can supply the earth with more than enough energy.

As the availability of these sources grows, so does our future use, which means we are heading in the right direction for many reasons. But how will our use of the sun’s energy affect our pocketbooks? What I mean to say is how much will solar power cost us? Since sunshine is free, after everything is installed solar power cost should be nothing.

This assumption is true, but it does not account for the fact that installation is very expensive. Unfortunately solar panels have to be installed before you can reap the benefits, go figure. Solar panels are definitely a good investment, but most people want the panels to pay for themselves within a few years. This is very hard to accomplish within a few years if you have a professional installation done. The cost of installation can vary quite a bit but the low end is somewhere around $10,000.

For some people this is a reasonable investment, but for most of us this is too much money to spend all at once and have it take many years for this investment to pay us back. Thankfully professional installation isn’t the only option. The best way to reduce solar power cost is to do it yourself. This would have been impossible a few years ago, but today almost anyone can do it.

With a professional DIY kit anyone can follow the step by step instructions and build their own solar panels. These kits are made in a way that everyone can understand them and many of them even have videos.

For under $300 you can purchase a kit and the materials needed to make a solar panel. That is such an awesome price, its the best way I have found to reduce solar power cost. You have to be careful what kit you buy because there is some real junk out there. Many internet products are very good, but some are not and you don’t want to waste your money like I did.

The first kit I bought was complete crap and if I would have stopped there I never would have learned so much about solar power or made my own solar panels. With the right kit if I can do it I know that you can do it. Its really that easy.

Solar Power is here to stay and you can be a part of it.

Make diy solar power an investment in your future.

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Wind Solar Power Home – The Home of the Future

With the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, there is now an outcry for the use of the alternative source of energy. The spillage causes major destruction in our seawater environment. The crude oil scatters now in the Gulf of Mexico killing of thousands of sea creatures. The use of crude oil and charcoal to run our machines greatly affects our Mother Nature. It creates a major disaster and destroys our very own habitat, our Mother Earth. The green movement is now advocating the use of wind solar power home as an alternative source of energy.

Most people in the United States are using the concept of using renewable energy. The wind solar power home is an example. Most of the homes get its power from the solar panels on their rooftops. Communities construct structures situated to more efficiently capture the sun rays. Some homes are supplemented with energy generated by wind through the windmills. It easily handles their personal computers, lights, televisions, rice cooker, refrigerator, flat irons and more. The concept of wind solar power home has an enormous impact to the lives of the American people. The percentage of people using the concept of off grid living is gaining popularity across the states and it keeps on increasing yearly into the American mainstream. According to study, the number of American people using off grid increases three percent yearly and it highly concentrated in the West. While many homeowners in the rural and urban areas are using partial alternative systems adding solar panels as a supplement while staying on the commercial power grid. What are the advantages when we use the wind solar power home? First, it is very environment friendly. It does not emit harmful gases to the atmosphere. It does not create acid rains. It does not destroy our seas, oceans and rivers since there is no oil spills. Second, it is a clean fuel source. It will never produce carbon monoxide. Third, it is a renewable source of energy. It is freely given. The source of energy is never ending and limitless given by Mother Nature. Lastly, it gives us the lowest-priced renewable energy technologies available today and it is maintenance free.

With this concept it will really help promote to conserve our Mother Nature and avoiding the depletion of the natural resources. We have to take note the alarming state of emergency of our planet. We have to explore more possible options to explore more on the benefits of the wind solar power home. Whatever the downsides of it, it makes good sense to look at and research available options that are reasonable and possible.

Learn more about the Wind Solar Power Home. Stop by Regis Pelletier’s site where you can read the latest updates on the Home of the Future and together we will nurture Mother Nature.

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Factors in Choosing Home Solar Power Panels

What are home solar power panels? The primary function of a solar panel is to transform sunlight into usable electricity. This effect is a physical manifestation of the photovoltaic effect. Solar panels are made up of solar cells that are gathered together within a frame. Each solar cell has the capability to convert the sunlight into useful electricity. However, the conversion rate of each cell is somewhat limited when measured in total wattage output. Basically, each cell only produces an amount of electricity equivalent to 1 to 2 Watts. Therefore a very large number of solar cells need to be integrated into each solar panel, and usually a significant number of panels are connected in order to form a so called solar panel array. This procedure is necessary to produce a usable quantity of solar power for a complete home.

This joining of solar cells collectively in order to establish higher power is an inherent advantage of the solar cell system. It follows that when you require additional power for personal consumption, you only have to add more panels.

There are several types of solar power panel, which have different power generating characteristics ad features dependent upon the material from which they are made. They can be made up of either thin-film, monocrystalline, or polycrystalline modules. The Thin-film solar cell consists of alloys (amorphous-silicon) which are stored in thin layers deposited on a substrate. This means it can be quite supple (dependent on the substrate used) and is therefore more easily applicable in certain environments.

Monocrystalline, on the other hand, is created from one silicon crystal rod and can be considered as having a rigid structure. The silicon rod is cut into thin wafers in order to provide the base within which solar cells are formed. Polycrystalline solar cells are processed from numerous silicon crystals that are heated together, and then cooled in molds to form ingots of silicon. The ingot is then cut into wafers and processed as before in order to produce solar cells.

The efficiency of a home solar power panel is measured by the ratio of the output and input power. Generally solar panels return an efficiency range of from approximately 10 percent to about 19 percent. As might be expected, the higher the efficiency rating obtained, the more likely the cost of each panel will also be higher. When planning a new installation therefore, it is necessary to consider initial installation costs against better long term efficiency savings in order to make the right choice for you.

Determining the right solar panels therefore requires a knowledge of some specific parameters. These parameters will help you decide which solar panel to use in your application. Three important measurements to be aware of include ‘efficiency’, ‘rated power at STC’, and ‘rated power per square foot’. ‘Efficiency’ is the ratio of the output power of the solar panel to the input power of the sunlight reaching it. ‘Rated power at STC’ measures the total output in watts from the panel under Standard Test Conditions. ‘Rated power per square foot’ is the power output of the solar panel at Standard Test Conditions per square foot of the panel’s surface area.

Finally, modern home solar power panel designs maximize the generation of electricity from solar energy and are now a very viable option if you wish to harness this form of ‘renewable’ energy to meet your personal home consumption.

Wendy Gorman is a respected and proficient author and niche website developer with wide ranging interest around the net. For more information about home solar power she recommends you to visit the home solar power site and also take a look at some informative reviews of other products.

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Let’s Learn How to Make Solar Power

The need for other sources of energy has become more and more vital. Cost and supply of usual fuel have gone up and the consequence of their wastes and emission on the environment is going from bad to worse. Now it is the time to use alternative solutions for power. Eliminate your reliance from the power company and make solar power, your own solar electricity from the sun.

How to make solar power- the concept behind it

To make solar power or to produce electricity from solar energy we need solar cells or solar panels. These solar panels are made up of a semi-conductive material; the most common is silicon which contains electrons. When photons (contained within the suns rays) strike the solar cells, they dislodge electrons from the atoms. This leaves an empty space which attracts other free available electrons. If a PN junction is made-up in the cell, then the dislodged photons starts flowing towards the P side of the junction. The effect of this electron movement results in a flow of electrical current which can then be routed from the surface of the cell through electrical contacts to produce power.

Different components used to make solar power:

– Solar cells, which are commonly called PV panels

– One or more batteries

– Charge regulator for a stand-alone system

– Inverter, when alternating current (ac) rather than direct current (dc) is required

– Wiring

– Mounting hardware or a framework.

Important factors that impacts the efficiency of solar power

– Reflectivity of the cell surface

– Efficiency is also affected by the amount of light blocked by the surface electrodes lying on the front of the cell.

– Operating temperature of the cell also affects the efficiency, hotter a cell gets the less current it produces. Inherently, solar cells in use get hot, so it is important to mount them in such a way that they are cooled to keep current production at its maximum.

– Take care that the batteries used for your system are suitable for the application. As the batteries used in these systems are discharged and recharged slowly

Following are some of solar electricity or photo voltaic (PV)’s current applications

– “Stand-Alone” PV Systems: This is most simple PV systems that generate direct-current (dc) electricity so it can be used right-away to run fans, water pumps, and many other appliances that use dc electricity.

– Battery Storage PV Systems: These can be designed to power equipment that needs DC or AC electricity. People running ac equipment can add an inverter which is a power conditioning device between the batteries and the load.

– PV Systems having Backup Generator Power: It is best suited for the situations in which remote or non-grid-connected power is needed and that power must always be available.

– Hybrid Power Systems: These systems are ideal for remote applications like military installations, communication stations, and rural villages

– PV Systems and Net Metering: This allows homeowners to get the full value of the electricity which their solar energy system produces.

Let’s try to get out of this ferocious treadmill of paying hard earned money to the companies for their electricity. Make your own solar power and reduce your bill to very little or to nothing.

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Add Sunshine to Your Life With Solar Power Kits!

Hey Jane, I think you have watched enough television, switch it off. Look at the electricity bill; it seems to be rocketing month after month. Remember, we are yet to have a solar power kit. It’s time we reduce the usage of all our electric appliances lest it will make a huge dent in my pocket. Well, if you too are continuously worried of the growing household expenses, particularly the utility bills, I think it’s time you make the big switch! I mean stop bothering and use alternative sources of energy. The most efficient and economical of which is solar energy. The solar energy kits come in numerous kinds, sizes and prices to suit every need!

The huge installation charges of a solar system made many of us apprehensive of using the sun for our benefit. However, with diy solar power kits this too is relaxed! With diy solar (i.e.do-it-yourself solar) you can create your own solar system be it a solar cooker, solar batteries, solar chargers or solar hot water heater. There are several easy and affordable guides that will help you setup your personal solar power kits. So, own any diy solar solutions and get set to save not only your money but also your planet!

Solar power kits are all-rounders! They not only reduce your bills but also are cheaper and easy to fit and good for the earth too! It is beneficial both at an individual level and the community level. Using solar energy considerably reduces the release of harmful and dangerous byproducts in the air thereby helping even to preserve our natural resources. Even by using just one solar appliance, say, a solar hot water heater, you will do your bit for your planet and your pocket too!

My home is now an eco-friendly home! With solar energy kits, my use of electricity is considerably reduced thereby helping me and my planet! Particularly the diy solar kits came as a double bonanza! It doesn’t cost you a lot of money to construct but it definitely saves you a fortune! You have to try it to believe it! If you think maybe you’ll not find an apt solar power kit for your home, the great news now is that there are companies that will provide you with a custom-made solar system just for you! Be it for your home, business or industry, you will find a solar power kit that fits like T!

If you are a determined and adventurous seeker of alternative energy, you can build solar panels capable of supplying solar power to your entire household. You can say goodbye to your electric bills by utilizing solar power, the best and the most reliable renewable energy source. Click on Solar Power Kits for more info!

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The Cost of Solar Power – Is it Great, Or Small?

As for the cost of solar power, this is something that has changed drastically over the years, but for the better. These days, photovoltaic cells (otherwise known as “solar panels”) are not nearly as expensive as they were many years ago. It used to be that it would cost many thousands of dollars in order to install an array of solar panels that would cover a house’s roof. If you invested in a large enough array, it would extract sunlight and produce electricity enough to power all of your home’s needs. Is it that expensive today?

Actually, no – the cost of solar power today has greatly decreased from what it used to be decades ago, thanks to the advancement of production methods and materials, which in turn has increased the development of the energy output to be vastly superior to that which it once was. Now, decades later, much smaller solar panels can produce much more energy than before, and can be very cheaply procured… or even made from inexpensive components.

An example of this and the cost of solar power can be seen in how some people now enjoy weekend projects making solar panels on their own. From about a hundred dollars worth of simple components, a single 2×4 foot photovoltaic panel can be constructed. Once pieced together, a dorm-sized refrigerator, a PC and a stereo system can all be run off the single panel. Once built, such panels can go on continuing to generate free electricity practically for all eternity.

Obviously it can be cheaper to create something like this than to purchase a ready-made solar product. For example, a 1×2 foot foldable encapsulated panel can cost between one and two hundred dollars, and these are great for running anything – a laptop computer and cell phone charging station, a portable TV/DVD player, or maybe revive a dead car battery in just a matter of a few minutes… whatever the purpose you choose for it to perform, it will always generate free electricity for you whenever you need it. As you can easily understand, the cost of solar power is nullified with use – that is to say, solar cells generally pay for themselves rather quickly.

The cost of solar power can vary depending on whether or not you will be building your own photovoltaic panels or not, how many panels you need, and what you need powered; perhaps just a mobile office with PC, printer and scanner and etc., or an entire home. Suppliers online for photovoltaic cells of all types can be found with a basic search, and prices have never been cheaper. Perhaps one might be wiser to consider the cost of not using solar power – the continuing monthly payments for electricity over and over again. It just seems… well, silly, doesn’t it?

If you’re interested in learning more about solar power cost and other things related to alternative energy, then you’ve got to check out the EcoPlusHome project.

Bryan Kenny and his family are an average North American family with one exception…they’re living in the EcoPlusHome.

The EcoPlusHome is a prefabricated home powered by alternative energies like solar thermal, geothermal and photovoltaic. Bryan and his family will show the world that it is possible to live self sustained for a 12 month period by showcasing their journey living in the EcoPlusHome on their blog.

Bryan and his family welcome you to join their journey to self sufficiency on their blog http://ecoplushome.com/blog.

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