Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

Solar power

Solar energy or solar power is the use of the sun to generate electricity or heat. The advances in this field are more than obvious if you spend any time researching the topic. With climate change being an important part of international discussion, alternative energy is a hot topic these days. Who can argue that taking advantage of a clean renewable energy like our sun is a bad idea? There are limits using the current technology but we can expect that to change as oil prices climb and geopolitical circumstances force the science into high speed.

There are many applications currently for the use of solar power. Many of us have used a calculator with the black solar panel on the top that runs on solar energy. Citizens all around the world employ some type of solar energy such as home made solar ovens or heating systems. While manufacturing costs have kept the use of solar energy to a minimum in some countries, it has not stopped the advance of the technology. New buildings are being built with a solar design by their architects. These structures are able to maintain a comfortable temperature by storing up heat or cooling the building using convection.

There are two classifications of solar energy, indirect or direct. Indirect solar power is similar to the process of photosynthesis. The process vegetation uses to convert sunlight into chemical energy. We can copy that system using mechanics such as wind turbines or hydroelectric dams. Direct solar power is the process of transforming sunlight into usable energy such as NASA does with solar sails on space craft. The direct conversion of sun into immediate energy using photovoltaic cells is a popular way to use solar power. You have probably seen the panels on top of houses and the only downside is the power generated is minimal. You have to have a lot of panels to get enough energy to run a household. Most users combine solar with electricity but it allows them to keep their coal-based electricity use to a minimum.

The key to solar power is the advance of necessary technology and lower manufacturing costs for the equipment needed. Some states and countries offer tax incentives to help citizens get started and we should all take full advantage of the offer as coal and oil based economies will become increasingly more difficult to sustain. Getting comfortable with the process now is a good education now that will become more and more important. There are many online organizations that are very happy to help integrate solar energy into your life.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Solar Power | Leave a comment

Solar power fountain

Solar power is now used as an amusement also. It is type of energy which was considered as a very expensive source for long has now been finally available for amusement purposes also. Solar power fountains are now being widely used in many countries of the world. in past fountains which are used to decorate the homes and the public parks were only run using normal electricity. We all know how beautiful a fountain might look if placed in your garden or even in the middle of your lounge inside your home. They add to the beauty of the house and are desired by almost every individual. They are not only just fascinating but are also helpful in making a home cooler. They do not only fascinate the kids but also fascinate the adults. Fountains are of different kinds and they vary in their price, depending on the type of material and the kind of the fountain that you want. A fountain of a bigger size and of a unique shape would cost utilize more water and more powerful motor to through the water upwards with a greater pressure. A more powerful motor would cost more electricity bills to you.

Therefore with the help of solar power fountains you can easily acquire the same standard of the fountains using the solar energy. Your fountain would not be costing you monthly bills since it will just be using the sun’s energy to make your fountain work. A solar power fountain works pretty simple. It contains a small or a large photovoltaic block (depends on the size of the fountain and the pressure desired from the motor of the fountain) which consumes the direct sun rays and the radiation released by the sun and converts it into energy. When the protons from the sun rays react with the neutron of the silicon present inside the photovoltaic block, it produces charge. This charge is then forwarded to through the wire to the inverter; this solar power inverter quickly converts the incoming direct current from the photovoltaic block into alternating current, this alternating current is then forwarded to the motor placed inside the fountain which recycles the water and pimps it up. These solar powered fountain motors are usually cheap to buy and do not cost a lot of money. Anyone can buy them and they are easily available for homes and office purposes.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Solar Power | Leave a comment

Cheap solar power

Is there such a thing as cheap solar power? Happily I say, yes. Does it require a little more work? Absolutely you have to jump in and do a little extra work to save some money. Depending on the size and type of home you want to outfit there are inexpensive options out there. Best case scenario you are starting from scratch with a new home that can be outfitted beforehand for solar friendly lighting and appliances. But, for the rest of us some changes to our lifestyle and energy usage will allow for some solar replacement.

If you are committed to converting to solar there are many exciting, well priced items available down to simple light bulbs, that are solar friendly ,on the market. Maybe you can opt for a smaller refrigerator and television. Solar ovens are cheap and easy to make and used all around the world. A good old fashioned wood stove can serve many purposes like, heating, cooking and water heating. Depending on your level of commitment and how many luxuries you are willing to forgo you can equip a small home to run exclusively on solar. If you are like most people you want to tread lightly and keep your lifestyle nearly the same. This is still an admirable way to do your part and you will probably increase your solar use as you get comfortable and learn the ropes. Spend some time online and you will find hundreds of websites with instructions for constructing your own solar car, a solar oven, even a site to show you how to build solar panels out of recyclables. Days to day discoveries are easier to keep up on when you join the solar community as they are a passionate group that is excited by the future prospects of cheap solar power and love to spread the word. Not all of us can afford to go 100% solar as we would like but there are ways to advance the science until we can’t afford not to go solar. Calling your politicians and reminding them of the importance of renewable energy or doing a project with your kids to teach them about the possibility of solar are admirable steps to do your part to keep solar in the forefront.

Cheap solar power ideas are out there for the taking and only require a little extra homework and some motivation. If you really want to make the change don’t let money get in the way. Reach out to other solar users in your community for help.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Solar Power | Leave a comment

Portable solar power

Finding portable solar power units is a breeze nowadays. It’s the perfect solution for campers, backpackers, photographers or hikers who will not be near electrical outlets but need to charge their electronic devices. These portable units can charge cameras, cell phones, lights or GPS devices, to name a few. These portable solar power packs can be a vital addition to a car or home emergency/first aid kit as well.

Portable solar power units use photovoltaic cells which produce electricity when exposed to light. Solar panels employ two layers made of different materials and when one of the layers becomes positively charged the other produces a negative charge. This process produces an electric current. The amount of electricity produced depends on the number of solar panels used, how much sunlight it is exposed to and whether there are any obstructions like, dust or clouds. As solar technology advances we can all expect bigger and better production but for now it is important to understand that a small panel will only charge a small electric device. A larger panel will give you more power and connecting multiple panels will give you enough electricity to run larger items. There are many items available such lights and radios with built in solar panels. Some popular items are outdoor lighting that store up energy throughout the day to run the light in the evening or solar fountains that run throughout the day purely on solar power. The advantage to these is you never have to remember to turn them off or on. Depending on your needs, spending some time online researching products and product reviews can help you narrow down your decision on which brand to purchase. One of the most innovative, exciting products on the market today is the solar backpack. Wearing this while hiking or on campus allows you to keep your electric devices charged while going through your day. There are attractive handbags available for women that offer the same perks as the solar backpack also. Some companies are even experimenting with solar panels in clothing. Imagine the innovations that could be coming our way in the future.

It is exciting to think that we are not tied down to towns or buildings that offer electricity. You really can explore the wide-open spaces on our planet with the freedom portable solar power offers. Keep an eye on this industry and you will not be disappointed.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Solar Power | 2 Comments

Solar power hot water heater

Heating water is somewhat a very risky and a very expensive process. Hot water heaters which use the normal electricity contain a large amount of current to be supplied to them. Therefore a better way of heating water was introduced. It is called solar power hotr water heater. Solar power hot water heating systems have gained massive popularity and they are the best for areas where there is no electricity or gas (e.g. mountains). They do not cost a lot of dollars and are available easily to each individual. Any average person can easily acquire the water heating systems.

It is estimated that in only northern Europe, this hot water technique provides about 25% of homes with the hot water. This is gaining more popularity in the African regions and other under develop countries which are far behind in technology. Thanks to the funds by big countries like America and Australia that these hot water heating systems are being installed in poor nations where electricity and natural gas is not available. Solar power hpot water heaters are spreading vigorously throughout the world and the governments in many countries are encouraging it citizen to use these hot water heaters.

A typical solar power hot water heater works pretty simply. It has a number of parts which builds up its complete mechanism. In order to heat the cold water a tank is placed on the roof or attached to the wall. The photovoltaic sheets and the glass are usually mounted in top of the roof in order to catch better sunrays and more sun radiations. When these sheets catch the radiation they are connected from the wire to the water heater. These glass looking photovoltaic blocks mounted on the roof provide current to be passed to the heater with the help of an inverter which converts the direct current into normal alternating current to be used for the heater. As this current passes to the water heater a motor is supplied inside the heater which heats the water inside the water tank. Once the water is heated it can then be passed on to either a reservoir for the hot water or can also be consumed directly from the tank. As soon as the water leaves the storage tank where it is being heated, more cold water flows in the heater to be warmed. A normal size solar power hot water heater is enough to support a family of 4.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Solar Power | 1 Comment

Residential solar power

It is not necessary for you to understand the physics of how a residential solar power system runs in order to understand its appeal. Investment in a solar power system will allow you to produce electricity with no air pollution, no moving parts and no noise while all the while reducing your carbon output into the world.

Solar technology turns sunlight into electricity. It will work when the sun is shining, but you will get more output on a sunnier day or when the sun is directly striking the panels. With the current technology, solar panels produce about 10 watts per square foot when your panels are placed on your roof. If you remain tied to the utility grid, you can use electricity intermittently when the sun is not shining or your power usage needs increase. Many utility companies will purchase excess power from you at lower prices than they sell it for but it is still a smart way to recoup some costs. Also it offers clean renewable energy into the system for your neighbors to use. This is an exciting prospect for those looking to do their part to help the environment. Even if your purpose is not to help the environment there are other reasons to consider residential solar power. The freedom of not being as affected by rate hikes and the possible up tick in the market value of your home. Deciding whether to make the switch to solar should depend on many factors such as: What is the weather like? Is your roof shaded by buildings or trees that will affect the amount of sun to your panels? If you are not sure if solar is for you there are consulting companies and online organizations that will help you find the answers. Most solar users are passionate about their choice and would like nothing better than to spread the word. You can get detailed information online about the money and labor involved on hundreds of websites. Visit your local library for books on the topic to help you make this important decision. Just remember, you are not alone. The solar movement is growing and technologies are evolving everyday, so do not be afraid to reach out for help. Solar users know what works and doesnt so take full advantage of their failures and successes. Find a company with decent prices, a good record and longevity. Solar technology is usually covered by warranty so find companies that will be around for awhile.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Solar Power | Leave a comment