Solar Power Lighting
Lighting is important to everyone. When the sun goes down we expect the lights to be just a click away. Sometime we may take advantage of our lighting and miss it when it is out. Lighting is used in many different ways. You can have different wattage bulbs of your lighting as well as different colors. Your lighting source may be a lamp, an overhead light, a porch light and a flash light, just to name a few. Light can be taken with us or left behind. The source that powers your light is what this article is about. Learn about indoor and outdoor lighting using solar power and ways you can get this type of lighting.
Some really great ideas for indoor solar lighting include using it inside of your sheds, gazebos, garages, or inside your home. You don’t need to continuously change light bulbs. The installation is easy and your maintenance is minimal. You need to install a solar panel that can receive the most possible sunlight in your area. That’s it. Enjoy your lighting system all through the night. You will need to find a solar panel that is right for the size of building you will be providing light to. Once your indoor lighting has been installed you will be able to use the lighting both night and day. During the day you may not need it except on cloudy days. During the night you should have enough energy from the solar power to last you through the night. It is becoming the latest in lighting barns on farms as well because there is no wiring needed to get lighting out to the barn.
When you are outside during the day you won’t need much light but at night you will appreciate the lighting that you have installed using solar power. There are different types of outdoor lighting using solar power; flood lights, pond or pool lights, garden lights, post lights, spot lights, security lights, solar flag lights and sign lights. If you have a pool or pond in your yard that you like to add lighting to it is easy to do and there are several choices to choose from as far as the design and shape. Everyone wants an eye catching yard that has been well taken care of and now your efforts can be reflected at night. If you display a flag out in your yard people only see it at night, until now. Add your flag to a stand that is solar powered so it can be seen at all times. If your yard is too dark invest in security lighting that will work even when the power is off and trees are down. When the sun is out you are sure to have light at night.
The soft glow from solar power lights calm and relax. They are not bright and in your eyes but they are eye catching. Investing in solar power lighting is a smart economical and practical choice that is also very affordable.
Buying a Travel Solar Charger for Your Next Trip?
A travel solar charger is a great purchase for anyone who likes to travel. This portable energy device is easy to use and runs off of the sun’s energy. A portable charger does not need any international voltage adapters because it never needs to be plugged into electricity. You will not have to worry about what adapter is used in the country you are going to; just bring your solar charger with you.
Portable energy has long been talked about among fanatical energy conservatists. It no longer is only for those people who are against electricity and the overuse of it. Now solar energy is becoming very mainstream and people of all economic levels are using portable solar energy.
You do not have to be extremely concerned about the environment to use solar portable energy. Although it is a great way to use our natural resources, solar power also offers great benefits to those that use it.
A travel charger that operates off of the sun’s energy can go anywhere you go. You do not need to have an electrical outlet close by to charge your cellular phone. You can be backpacking in the mountains and have your phone continually charging. If you like to go on road trips you can set your solar charger right on the dashboard and let it charge your batteries or device while you drive to your next location.
The convenience that a solar charge brings to a travelers life is not just in its portability. Solar chargers are also a great way to save money. Instead of buying multiple adapters for international outlets, you can use the same solar charger in any country you travel. You also will not have to own multiple charging devices to power all your different electrical equipment because one solar charger can be used to charge most small electrical devices.
Travelers can use a solar charger to charge their batteries. They can also use this type of travel charger to power other small electrical devices like radios, MP3 players, and even laptop computers. There are many varieties of solar chargers available with numerous accessories you can add on. When purchasing a solar charger, you are only limited by your own imagination.
Many travelers have put off buying a solar charger because they believe these types of chargers will be too technologically difficult to operate. But solar powered chargers are as simple as any other charging device. You do not need a high tech degree to operate them. Most chargers simply have to be set in the sun and plugged into your device.
Solar energy is not a new technology. It has been around for several years. The portability of solar chargers has evolved dramatically in recent years. It used to be that you would have to own a huge solar panel just to draw a little bit of energy from the sun. Today, you can buy a small single solar cell panel that can be used to charge your electrical devices and batteries.
Uses for Solar In Every Day Life
Many a person, myself included, has gone on and on about the benefits of solar energy. While theoretical arguments are always interesting, what about daily applications?
Uses for Solar In Every Day Life
Solar energy is an important advance in the effort to save the environment. Perhaps the most easily usable and most convenient of the renewable energy sources (which also include wind and water), solar energy has been used since the beginning of time as a heating source. In the 1830’s one of the other solar energy platforms was developed, as a solar energy cooker was used on a safari. Since then, many other solar energy applications have been formulated, and almost everyone can take advantage of one of these.
One of the most common of the solar energy application is to use it as a power source. Since the 1970’s, many people have been putting solar collectors on their roofs and using the resulting collected power to run their households. While having enough solar collectors to obtain power that will run an entire house may not be common, it is becoming more so. Most of these types of solar powered homes run their appliances and other needs directly off the solar collectors’ power during the day, and use power that was stored from the solar cells in batteries at night. In this way, the homeowner can avoid ever having to use power that was generated by a non-renewable resource.
Another of the common solar energy applications is to use solar power to heat your hot water. These systems can either use passive solar energy (in the case of heating a tank of water by leaving it out in the sun) or by using solar collectors with a heat transfer fluid. These systems require the homeowner to install solar panels, behind which run tubes filled with fluid. These tubes collect the heat from the sun and transfer it into the fluid – these tubes, filled with the heated fluid, then run around a water storage system, and the heat from the fluid is transferred into the water. Another way is to have water running through the tubing and have it obtain the sun’s heat directly – this heated water is then pumped into swimming pools, so that pool owners don’t need to run a pool heater to keep their water warm.
In the last 10 to 15 years, solar manufacturers have started to develop new, creative applications for solar power. One development is the portable solar panel, a popular product used on RVs by vacationers. On a smaller scale, there are solar panel packs that fold out like a small ledger and are used to power up anything from laptops to cell phones. As time passes, new products along this line are expected to continue to come on the market.
It doesn’t matter which of the solar energy applications you choose to implement in your own home or life – even a small change to solar power over traditional power sources can help the environment. The more we can use solar energy, the less dependent we become on non-renewable resources, and the more we help the Earth.
Portable Solar Energy Power Stations
Portable solar energy power stations may sound, to some, like a dream. They can think of many places where portable solar would be useful, such as the RV they love to take camping, or the boat they use for long fishing trips. They cannot imagine, though, that portable solar energy power stations actually do exist.
Portable solar energy power stations have many practical uses, which we will discuss later, but what is portable solar power?
Description of Portable Solar Power
Portable solar power is energy generated from sunlight, the generator being of a size and form that can be moved readily from place to place.
Most portable solar power units use photovoltaic panels (PV panels) in one way or another. Some are amazingly small, and can be carried in a pocket, while others must be moved on a flat-bed trailer or truck.
Examples of Portable Solar Power
You may already be using portable solar power without realizing it. The following are examples of different sizes and styles of portable solar power.
1. Pocket calculators have been using portable solar power for years. Expose the calculator to sunlight, and it stores solar power for use. You can then carry this solar power into a field or up a mountain track.
2. Garden lights, or lights around a swimming pool now use portable solar power. If you want to rearrange your lights, or you decide to carry one as a flashlight, the portable solar power goes with you.
3. A multipurpose portable solar power unit is the fold-out solar panel that can be carried in a case the size of your day planner. Wherever you take it, you can open the panel to charge your cell phone battery, GPS, or other similar “gadget” you carry.
4. “Powerfilm” products are paper-thin PV panels – further examples of portable solar power. These products can be easily carried to charge almost all Lithium, NiCad or NiMH batteries. You can recharge batteries for boom boxes at the beach or while camping. You can recharge your digital camera or camcorder while on a hike. As long as you have sunlight, you have portable solar power.
5. Flexible PV panels, rugged and durable, give portable solar power for hikers and campers. This portable solar power can be rolled up like a sleeping bag, and then set up anywhere. You can drop it, step on it, dampen it while crossing a stream – and it will still give you power.
6. Larger portable solar energy power stations can consist of one or more photovoltaic panels (PV panels), simple wiring for the input jack, and a battery – sometimes referred to as a power pack. A commercially-produced portable solar power unit like this may also include a small fluorescent light, and a connection to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter plug.
Examples of Innovative Portable Solar Power
Portable solar energy can, as we said, be carried with you. It can provide electrical energy when you travel to a remote third world village on business. It can provide military units with necessary electrical energy while they are on the move. It can power a small heater in a winter camping tent, or provide a reading light for campers. It is valuable and convenient.
As our demand for that value and convenience increases, portable solar power is becoming more innovative. Portable solar power is being added to clothing and backpacks. It is being added to handbags. You need never worry about cell phones, laptops or other electronics going dead again. Portable solar power is yours to use, anywhere, free.
Did you know about these products? Some are experimental, but others area on the market.
1. If you want “lady-like” portable solar power, you might choose the “Power Purse” as a lovely accessory. This purse is more than an accessory, though. It can power up small electronics. Designed by Joe Hynek in a handbag competition, this little black bag is covered with laminated portable solar power panels. It has a short plastic handle, and can easily be carried anywhere. Imagine the possibilities.
2. But a purse is not always appropriate. If you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a field, you might be happy to have the “Juice Bag” backpack on your shoulders. A Juice Bag is a worldwide patented portable solar power backpack. Flexible ballistic nylon solar panels make it lighter than solar bags with stiff glass solar panels. Take off your Juice Bag when you need to recharge items such as cameras, cell phones, or GPS units. It generates electricity in both direct and indirect sunlight.
3. Portable solar power is also available in a cozy jacket with multiple pockets. Hikers, military personnel, and travelers can fill the pockets with cell phone, GPS, laptop, camera, and other electronic devices. Then slip the 3 ounce portable solar power panel into a special holder on the back of the jacket, and you can generate energy for your electronics.
Portable solar energy power stations make use of these ideas and more. They may be large enough to generate sufficient electrical power for a small village, or small enough to be carried by a child. Whichever it is, portable solar power is definitely “on the go” in many places and in many ways.
Shining Some Light on Solar Energy
Without a doubt, solar energy is the way of the future. Solar energy production is an extremely simple process to understand. A solar, or photovoltaic, cell collects energy from the Sun. A solar cell is a semiconductor device that is constructed using photovoltaic materials. It contains no liquids or chemicals, and no moving parts. Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity.
A solar panel generally consists of a series of individual cells, which are supported by a module that allows the cells to work in unison. The energy that is captured by the panel is stored in a battery. Solar panels generate direct current (DC) energy. Many solar energy systems have inverters in them which allow direct current (DC) electricity to be converted to alternating current (AC). Most consumer products such as appliances and electronics operate on AC current.
Unless you have a vast expanse of land to house an array of solar panels, it is unlikely that you will be able to power your entire home with solar energy. However, it is possible to power a single room in your house with a small array of panels fixed to the roof of your house. Multiply the wattage of each individual electrical device by the number of hours you expect to use them each day. That combined number will be your benchmark, or the bare minimum your system must be able to generate.
There are a number of options available to consumers that are considering converting to solar energy. A basic system that can be used to power a computer and a few other small items can be purchased for approximately $1000.00. Naturally, the price will increase with the production capacity of your system. In most regions, the price of an installed system will cost somewhere in the area of $10.00-$12.00 per watt.
Solar energy is one of a few truly renewable resources that can be used in energy and power generation. Every hour of every day, the Sun blankets our planet with enough energy to sustain our global energy needs for a year. As the technology behind photovoltaic energy advances, consumers will be unable to resist the urge to convert.
A lot of resources are being put into the development of solar energy technology. Most of the major oil and energy companies have entire divisions committed to solar energy. Researchers and engineers are spending countless hours trying to develop the technology today that will vastly improve conditions in the world tomorrow. It is no secret that we cannot continue down the path we are on. Fossil fuels are no longer a feasible option for energy production. The future is solar. The future is now.
Home Energy Generation Systems
Creating Home Energy Generation Systems
When you are tired of paying for your high home energy bill month after month and would like see some changes and feel some savings, then, there is a right thing to do: invest on one or more home energy generation systems.
Home energy generation system is the solution if you want to cut those bills down and utilize alternative energy around you just waiting to be tapped anytime. Home energy generation system provides you with the best way to get the maximum financial freedom on home energy. Sure, you have to invest first but it is all worth every penny. You can spare yourself from the present cost of home energy and the future increases that may occur. And most of all, investing on home energy generation system will definitely help the environment for it only uses harmless and clean source of energy.
Among all types of alternative energy that can be used, wind energy and solar energy are the most common.
Wind is very abundant in many parts of the country, thus, many household can capitalize on the use of wind as a source of home energy. It is also said the future’s main source of energy would be the air. As the cost energy production through fuel and oil grows increasingly high for the last years, the clean, safe and free air would be the better choice of the future.
As a main source of power for your home, it provides the financial freedom on the use of energy sourced from the expensive oil. However, wind speed varies on a daily basis. One day, the wind will blow strong. The next day, wind may not be able to keep your turbine spin. And even on the breeziest places in America, you can never tell when will be the next strong wind blow occurs. This is one disadvantage of using wind power but wind patterns do exist. It is said that summer brings less wind while the winter brings strong gust of wind.
If you are planning to install wind turbines on your home, make sure that the local zoning allows wind turbine. You must also ensure that there is a good source of wind on most days. A wide and open space, at least 1 acre, would be ideal for wind turbines. And, if you are paying more than $150 on monthly electric bill, then it may be a good option for you.
There are 5 main components of wind power.
The rotor is the set of rotating blades designed to capture air. The rotation brings power to the generator.
The turbine or the generation is the one attached on the rotor. It stores energy that the house will use.
The tail is located opposite of the rotor. It tracks the direction of the wind.
The tower raises the turbine, rotor and tail up to the air to receive the most amount of wind possible.
The governor is the mechanism that controls the production of energy. This is like the transformer you can see on electric posts.
Houses that are built under the sun will compensate on the free solar energy.
There are 6 main advantages in installing solar panels on your roof.
1. Solar panels are lightweight, safe and most of all, easy to install. These are essential in order to place them above your roof.
2. Roof is also susceptible in UV exposure. The solar panel eliminates this. Your roof will also be protected from weather.
3. Solar panel contributes in keeping your house well insulated. They provide extra covering and enable you to save as much as 30% on heating expenses.
4. Drilling holes in your roof is very risky. The interlocking solar panels eliminate this risk.
5. Solar panel design is perfect on any roof type and size. In other words, you can get the perfect solar panel no matter what the size and shape of your roof is.
6. Solar panels are installed without requiring you to modify your roof. It will adapt instantly.
Solar power will tremendously help you cut down the cost of your electric bill. If you think you are in for this investment and if you think your location is most suited to have this, then the choice is fully yours.
Solar Lighting Products
Solar technology has been around for some time now. We can see such applications of this technology in calculators which no longer need batteries, prototype cars which use solar energy as fuel, and of course, in the lighting industry where the sun provides for the charging of the lights so that these can be activated with no electricity consumption.
With the advent of solar lighting, consumers have more options for their lighting needs. Imagine having to do without those messy cables and wiring connections, wouldn’t it be more convenient for us?
A lot of solar lighting products are now available. There are the solar spot lights, solar deck lights, solar landscape lights, solar path lights, solar yard lights, and many other solar lighting product lines.
A sample of these solar lighting products can be found at Silicon Solar Incorporated. Check out their hanging solar light – the PagodaPlus which is ideal on areas surrounded by taller plants. It is around 2 pounds and has an ultra-bright amber LED at 11,000 mcd. It has a compact solar panel on the top which collects sun light which will recharge the internal Ni-CAD batteries. At night, this activates for around 13 to 15 hours. Included with the product is a ground stake and the shepherds hook for set-up. It is highly durable and has a dimension of 6”Wx17.5”-28L. This solar lighting product costs around 17.95 dollars a piece, and comes with a 1 Year Limited Warranty. For more solar lighting products they offer, visit www.siliconsolar.com .
You can also check other solar lighting products provided by Solar Outdoor Lighting. Their website is www.solarlighting.com . They have many products available either for home or commercial use. A sample would be their Perimeter Fence Security Lighting. It is easy to install and attaches directly to the fence post. This is an ideal alternative where grid power is inaccessible or is in a far distance. Its lamp has a 30,000 hour life and comes with a 5 year warranty. The system includes the solar panel, mounting brackets, floodlight fixture, battery, battery box, controller, 5 feet of 1.9” OD Schedule 40 Pipe.
You can also try to take a look at the following websites for other solar lighting alternatives you may have in mind: www.solarilluminations.com , www.sunlight-direct.com , and www.oksolar.com .
Solar Lighting is a technology one can avail of now. Initial investment for the product may cost higher than with traditional lighting products, but in the long run, one can save more on energy consumption. Solar lighting products give you an alternative to your lighting needs, so why not consider trying these out?
Making Your Home Solar Powered
Many Americans have decided to become more energy independent, and want to play a part in avoiding a very foreseeable energy crisis. They’ve decided to go solar. Creating a solar powered home is an endeavor that requires an initial investment, but the costs are being lowered everyday. Solar power provides long term benefits. Not just for the home owner, but the environment too.
Now that solar power is more efficient, you can reduce or even eliminate your electric bill, increase your home’s value and contribute to a cleaner environment, all at the same time. It’s a great time to join the move to renewable energy resources, and the perfect time to take advantage of the generous government and local utility financial incentives that can cut thousands of dollars off the price. And now that solar power is becoming even more main stream, it is growing in accessibility. Manufacturers of solar powered products have realized the potential for a solar age, and are creating new options for those who are considering a solar powered lifestyle. If you are ready to step into the solar age, you are probably wondering how and where to begin. Below is a list of ways to make your home a solar one.
Solar Attic Fans- Solar attic fans are a great example of a simple way to make your home more energy efficient without spending a lot of money. The need for air conditioning is reduced by venting hot air out of your attic. Installing a solar attic fan may also increase the life of your roof materials by keeping them at a lower temperature which also reduces moisture buildup in your attic. This prevents mold and rot in your home, and can also reduce allergens and pollution.
Solar Heating- Solar heating systems are composed of solar thermal collectors, a fluid system to move the heat to its point of usage, and a reservoir for heat storage. The systems may be used to heat domestic hot water, swimming pool water, or for space heating. If you live in the southern half of the United States or in an equally sunny area you could potentially save between 50% and 80% on your water heating by implementing a solar hot water heater. The initial cost is hefty, but depending on how you use it, the system may pay for itself in as little as five years. The return is greater when you factor in rebates and incentives offered by states and local governments.
Solar Pumps- Depending on where you live, especially in remote areas, the cost of traditional water piping may be exorbitant. Unless you install a solar water pump. A solar power panel collects solar energy and powers a battery which can keep a consistent and plentiful water supply.
Solar Paneling-The most obvious way to break in to the solar age is to install solar panel cells on your roof. Solar cells, also known as PV cells, or Photovoltaics, come in many sizes, colors, and performance characteristics, made to fit a variety of homes and lifestyles. Another important factor to consider is that when PV panels are used in conjunction with energy efficient appliances, not as many panels may be needed to power your home! Large scale home improvement stores, as well as smaller, independent energy groups, offer installation. But if you are a savvy do-it-yourselfer, you may decide to undertake the project on your own!
But don’t bust out the screwdriver just yet. Whether you do it yourself, or hire someone to do it for you, there are a couple of technicalities to be seen to before solarizing your home. Such as building permits. In order to legally install renewable energy sources in your home, you must contact your city or county building permit agency to obtain permission. You will be able to learn about requirements specific to your neighborhood. Don’t forget about property and sales taxes. Depending on what state you live in, you may or may not be exempt from these when it comes to the purchase of your renewable energy system.
Although it is not difficult to keep up your solar systems, frequency of replacement should be considered. Solar thermal systems need valves replaced every 3-5 years and storage tanks replaced every 10 years. Luckily, solar PV systems typically do not require maintenance, other than a yearly cleaning of the solar panels. PV panel life is typically 25 years.
Solar Panels – The magic behind this environmentally friendly power source and why its sensible to buy them now.
Solar panels can be made to harness the reservoir of energy of the sun to some other type of energy. Generally the power that results will be available in the form of heat (to heat a building for example) or electricity which can be used to power anything from a radio to a complete business.
In this article we are going to talk about the bigger residential and industrial panels which are designed to provide power for the home or business, where these panels are regularly placed on the top of the home or in close proximity to the home if space permits. We are also going to focus on the type of panels that generate electricity known collectively as Photovoltaic panels.
Solar panels are a terrific way to cut energy costs and to reduce your carbon emissions, and to become more self-sufficient. They are now becoming extremely popular in urban areas where alternative energy advocates and law makers are creating incentives for this friendly and quiet alternative energy source. The state of Colorado, for example, has been offering massive rebates on the up-front cost in acquiring and implementing a residential solar system.
After the panels are installed, energy from the system will be used to energize the house, or, when energy is being made in excess of demand, diverted for use on the grid, where it is purchased back by the electrical power company. There may be times when you are actually making income from your panels. With rebates factored into the initial cost it will generally take from seventeen to twenty-four years to get back the initial expense, at which time you will essentially be generating power from the sun at no cost.
One little-known fact, however, is that solar panels are initially contributory to greenhouse emissions because it takes power to manufacture a solar panel, that this energy is very often fossil-based, and front-end loaded, and that therefore there is a time period during which the solar panel has actually added to carbon emissions rather than detracted from them. Until such time as the solar panel has produced energy equivalent to the energy used to manufacture it (its fossil-emission payback period) it is actually a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. This fossil-emission payback period is generally considered to be five to ten years.
Low power solar panels are normally available in 12 v or 14 v configurations, while high power panels are available in 24 volt. As solar panels are DC, you may normally need a power inverter that changes it from low-voltage as Direct Current to another-voltage Alternating Current to change it to be compatible with the voltage and type that feeds both the home and the grid.
Conventional solar panels are constructed using twin sheets of semiconducting silicon, combined with phosphorus and boron atoms. Amorphous silicon solar cells are a highly powerful, emerging array of photovoltaics that differ in output, structure, and manufacture than traditional photovoltaics that use crystalline silicon. The H-AS solar panels are produced in the same way, but they are made just 1 micrometer in depth by laying down polymorphous silicon at very high pressures and temperatures.
Solar panels are normally maintenance free and many manufacturers will supply a guarantee of electrical output often for as long as 20 years.
Solar panels are installed on whichever side of your house that gets the maximum solar exposure. In locales south of the equator this would be the north-facing aspect, and in locales north of the equator its the south-facing aspect.
Financing Residential Solar Power
Although competition is driving prices down, solar panel systems can require you departing with a chunk of change. Fortunately, the mortgage industry wants to talk to you.
Financing Residential Solar Power
If you are considering improving your home with a solar panel system or the hot new thin solar roofing systems, you need to learn three little letters – E…E…M. EEM stands for energy efficient mortgage. It also stands for avoiding out of pocket costs to improve your home with a solar.
Energy efficient mortgages came to be because of a nudge from the government to lenders in an effort to promote the use of solar energy as a power source. Put another way, the government told lenders to do it and do it now. So, what exactly is an energy efficient mortgage? Glad you asked.
An energy efficient mortgage is a loan that allows you to incorporate the cost of your solar improvements into your mortgage loan. The improvements can cost up to 15 percent of the total value of your home. The lender will calculate the energy savings for you home because of the new solar system and will add that to the total loan value, letting you borrow more than normal. Put another way, it doesn’t matter how much equity you currently have in your home, the solar financing is added on top of the loan. This, of course, lets you get a solar system without much out of pocket expense and you get to recover a good chunk of the cost through an increased mortgage interest deduction. Throw in tax credits, rebates and net metering incentives, and solar is getting mighty cheap if you know how to work the system.
Energy efficient mortgages have very few restrictions. You can get them for new construction or existing homes. The can be issued for single family residents, duplexes, condos and so on.
Frankly, it is a no brainer to go with an energy efficiency mortgage. Ask your lender for more information on the program so you can find out how to profit from a solar improvement to your home.