Solar energy

Solar Energy – This Commodity is Not for Sale

If anything good came out during the recent increases of the fuel oil prices, it is that once again, there is a merry interest in alternative sources of energy. Even when pump prices has been decreasing like nothing we have seen before, the uproar created and the pain it did to business will have a good chance of sticking. The desire for alternative sources of energy is on the forefront and may it stay there for good – as it should.

Extracting oil from crops is a good idea; the downside is that food supplies could be dramatically reduced. Wind power is another excellent thing except for the many buts that wind power generation have.

If costs is the main objection to solar power generation that should be the least of worries.

The installation of solar panels is until today, considered a specialized job. Like any commodity in the market, when the demand is high but the supply is limited, the cost increase. As more and more homes clamor for alternative sources of energy, better technology and more labor is drawn to the job that market forces could take place and result into much lowered prices. This though is still in the future.

Today the reality is the instability and the unpredictability of pump prices. But even if it does provide stable and predictable price movement, solar energy is free and it is inexhaustible.

While the technology of tapping out this resource is not, homes that are solar powered are getting back dividends in terms of higher appraisal for their homes, confidence in not being surprised by power shortage and outage, not being dependent on the fluctuation in power prices and the definite advantage of having provided a better environment solution.

Today, the typical ways at tapping this resource usually are:

-Through a Heliostat – this are focusing collectors composed of mirrors that are aimed at the sun to collect the energy. The temperature that heliostats could provide reaches more that 4,000 degrees centigrade. This high temperature is sufficient for use even for furnaces.

-Through Flat Plate Collectors – employ a system of pipes. The water inside the pipes becomes heated and is ideal for heating purposes like schools, homes swimming pools, offices etc.

-Through Solar Distillation – instead of heat, this provides water. The mechanics is similar to the processes of plate collectors except that this is generally used to steam salt water. To do this, tanks and ducts are usually installed in surfaces that receive a good sun. Through the heat, the salt water turns into steam and when the steam condenses, the water is collected for regular use.

-Through photovoltaic Cells – These are the most common type of collecting solar energy characterized by solar panels installed in rooftops and other flat surfaces that there is a good sun, converting the power collected into electricity.

Unlike any products, whether refined or manufactured, the processing of solar energy do not need additional costs of energy to power it up. It is energy generating by itself. Except maybe for regular inspection and replacement of parts (when it employs a mechanical device), the tapping of solar energy is virtually maintenance free. Once installed, it could be used for as long as needed for the amount of energy, (depending on the capacity of the unit), which the owner requires.

Pros and Cons of Residential Solar Energy System

Harnessing the power of the sun’s ray to create energy to power our house is very appealing. But the question is, « Is everything about solar energy good? »

Looking at the current price of fossil fuel-based electricity, it is quite impractical to convert into solar energy system. However, with the growing concern on the state of the earth, there is really a need to find other means of energy aside from what power plants are using right now. Where do you place yourself?

Whether you are an advocate of clean energy or simply care about where your finances go, looking at the pros and cons of residential solar energy system will help you decide on whether to convert or not.


Solar energy is free. Did you know that the earth absorbs 174 pettawatts of solar radiation? This means that we have more than enough source of free energy to power every house in the world. Unfortunately, most of our energy is still drawn from oil, gas and coal. But in recent years, there is a steady increase of demand for alternative and renewable energy like solar power. It is estimated that the demand for alternative sources of energy will increase by 53% between 1999 and 2020.

Solar energy is clean, renewable and sustainable. Because the energy created from the sun’s rays does not produce byproducts like those from fossil fuel power plants (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury or carbon dioxide), it does not contribute to pollution. Accordingly, the increase in the use of solar energy and other alternative forms of energy will decrease the demand for greenhouse gases-producing power plants.

The price of photovoltaic cells is steadily decreasing. The demand for solar panels has risen by 57% in the United States in 2007 and is steadily increasing on a monthly basis. The increase in demand results to the improvement of solar technology as a whole. The prices of photovoltaic cells have declined on the average of 4% every year over the past 15 years.

Solar panels can be installed on most rooftops, eliminating the problem of finding a suitable place for installation. Solar panels require little or no maintenance. The original photovoltaic cells technology is used for most satellites orbiting our earth today which are not maintained at all. Many solar panel manufacturers give 25 to 40 years warranty on their products.

Because most areas of the country receive a substantial amount of sunlight throughout the year, solar panels can be installed anywhere.

Many states in the country give tax credits and rebates to households who want to install solar energy system. Check with your state government the cost of these incentives.


While the prices of PV cells are in constant decline, the cost of installation is substantially high compared to the current electric cost. But the good thing is, after your initial cash out, you don’t have to pay every month on electric bills for the rest of your life.

On areas cities and areas with heavy pollution problem, solar energy may not work as fine. Weather can also affect the efficiency of solar energy. If it is raining, overcast weather or if there is a hurricane, the solar panels’ efficiency is decreased.

You are only producing energy during day time.

These are general pros and cons you might encounter when considering the conversion to solar energy system. It would be best if your decision is based on location, cost, budget, rebates, tax credits and practicality.

Wind and Solar Power

Going back to the basics is the trend these days. Many people are now aware of the many problems faced by the world which includes pollution, depletion of natural resources, increasing population, and many others. With so many problems to deal with, people don’t know where to start. You don’t have to be a hero to help save the world and address its many problems. Why not contribute in your own little way by using solar power and wind power?

Sunlight and air can be converted into energy though solar and wind power. A solar power system collects sunlight which can directly heat homes or it can convert the heat into usable electricity and store them in batteries. Wind energy can also create usable electricity or the mechanical energy can also be used directly.

There are advantages of using solar and wind power. After the initial expenses for the installation of the systems, you can enjoy free energy for many years. Most of the power systems last for approximately twenty years and requires little maintenance. As long as the systems are cleaned once in a while, it will surely work efficiently. Solar and wind power are both pollution free and does not emit greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Solar panels and wind turbines require little maintenance. Some people are concerned about wasting land to install wind turbines but you can still use the land for planting crops and for grazing animals.

According to researchers, the efficiency of these systems relies on the environmental elements. Germany and Japan are leading the way to the improvement of solar energy despite the fact that these countries get very little sunshine in a year. On the other hand, wind turbines are too noisy and unsightly. Turbine blades cause the noise and the huge structure can ruin any landscape.

To produce significant energy, you will need a lot of solar panels or reflectors and turbines. Size is a vital consideration for producing the needed energy. Have you ever been into remote areas? You can use solar power and wind power to generate the needed electricity. During daytime, you can depend on solar power to provide your electric needs and at night, you can use the wind turbines.

Solar power systems and wind turbines are not very difficult to install. In fact, there are now DIY kits that can be readily purchased locally and in online stores. You will just follow the guided instructions and get the necessary materials. The systems can be installed over the weekend. For those who live in the city, you can take advantage of the tax incentives, financial options, rebates, loans, and grants offered by the government. That way, you can have the system installed at a very affordable cost. In the case of wind turbines, you will need a lot of space. There are now turbines that produce less or no noise at all which are excellent for homes with close neighbors.

The decision to use solar power or wind power is a matter of personal choice that is usually affected by certain factors like money (investment), space, and energy requirements. Just imagine making a one-time investment and after that you can already enjoy unlimited and free supply of electricity. Regular inspection can ensure that the systems are working efficiently.

What to Expect from Solar Power for Homes

Years ago, solar power was used mostly for magnifying glasses and calculators. Now, it is already possible to use solar power for homes. The energy of the sun is widely available and scientists are improving solar power systems year after year. Electricity is a necessity and life will be quite hard without it. However, the fossil fuels are depleting and electricity is expensive. The use of fossil fuels also causes damage to the Earth, thereby causing global warming and other environmental problems.

Solar power for homes is a renewable and much better energy source. Many homeowners are going green these days because they want to save money and the environment. Despite the encouragement of the government and other organizations, only 1% of the total homeowners use solar power. If you’re in the US, why don’t you visit California? You can find many solar powered homes in California.

The energy of the sun can be used in different ways to create electricity. A very good example is the use of solar generators. The generator is powered with the use of mirrors that focus and reflect sunlight. When heat is created, the generator will be powered. Photovoltaic cells are also quite popular and these are available in solar panel DIY kits. The panels are usually mounted on rooftops. When sunlight hits the photovoltaic cells, electrical charge is created which in turn power homes and offices. You can purchase the kits from online stores or even in your local area. Just shop around for the best and highly effective panel kits; these kits already include guided instructions so that you can develop a homemade solar panel.

Ordinary homeowners still find solar power too expensive and that’s the main reason why many people still opt for conventional electricity. With the modern technology of today, scientists and researchers are looking for cost effective ways to offer solar power to the public. Did you know that you can also store the energy that comes from sunlight? This is true and so you can still use solar power even when there’s no sunlight. So whether it’s nighttime or it’s raining, you can use renewable and clean energy.

Solar cookers, thermal systems, and many others are excellent alternatives but you need to know how to use them effectively. The very first step that you need to take is to determine your monthly electrical consumption. You can do this by checking your electricity bills and get the average monthly usage. You also need to consider the weather or climate in your area. After determining your electric consumption, you can now decide on the appropriate inverter. A bigger inverter can accommodate expansion in the future. For people with limited resources or budget, you can start with the simplest projects like outdoor lights and garden features. Even if you use smaller solar panels, you can still cut down your electrical bills by 50%-80%.

Try to have realistic expectations when using solar power. You can’t give up conventional electricity completely but if you can use it together with solar power, you can save a lot of money in the long run. Make this one-time investment and enjoy lasting benefits in the coming months and years. Solar power for homes is an excellent investment and you too can enjoy a greener and clean lifestyle.

The Cost of Solar Power Installation

Many years ago, it would have been impossible to use solar power at home because the installation cost was too expensive. However, with the advancements in technology, households and offices can now make use of solar power because the solar power system kits are more affordable. Homes that have solar power systems can expect added market value and aside from that, you can expect a significant decrease in your electric bills.

How much is the cost for installing a solar power system? If you live in the US, you can take advantage of the financial incentives offered by the government to make the installation cost more affordable.

Before you finally decide to use a solar power system for your home, you need to calculate your electrical needs. Determine the kWh that your home consumes in a month and in a year. You can find such info on the monthly utility bill. Study the bills so that you will now which months have the greatest consumption and the months with the least consumption.

New homeowners can compute their electricity consumption by checking your electrical appliances. Just estimate the load based on your appliances, lights, and other things that consume electricity.

Electrically bills are showing a continuous upward trend and so many people are now complaining about their monthly bills. A very good answer is solar power. Where do you live? The place where the home or establishment is situated is a primary consideration. In the US, you can install the solar power system in any of the states. If you can find solar contractors locally, you can seek their help to determine the appropriate size of the system.

1-5 kW of solar power system is already enough to meet your home’s electricity needs. You don’t need to cut off your existing power supply in order to utilize solar power. You can simply use the photovoltaic systems as a supplement. This step alone can already reduce your monthly bills. Do you have enough space for the photovoltaic system? For every square foot, you can already yield 10 watts; you can start your computation from there.

Here’s how you can compute the total cost: the retail price of the system plus the cost of building permits, less federal tax credit of $2,000 and the local or state rebates/tax credit, less other incentives equals to your net investment. You can shop around for the best and most suitable solar power system in the market. If you live in California, it will be easier to find local sellers of solar power systems because many homes in the city are already solar powered. For those living in other places, it would be easier to shop online. There are lots of online stores that offer photovoltaic systems but try to stick with the reputable and established manufacturers that offer 10-15 years of warranty.

Instead of paying for expensive monthly utility bills, why not invest in solar power systems? The total cost will depend on the size of the system, your location, and other related factors. Inquire at a local agency about the incentives offered by your state so that you can also save money. It’s a wise decision to invest in photovoltaic systems because you’ll benefit greatly in the succeeding years. Shop around now and determine your available options.

The Advantages of Using Solar Power for Homes

There’s nothing wrong about being environment friendly. In fact, the Earth needs it because of the many problems it is currently facing such as global warming. To generate electricity, fossil fuels are needed but with the continuous burning of fuels, global warming will also become worse. Because of this fact, people are already opting for solar powered homes nowadays. You don’t need to be rich and famous to use solar power since the solar systems are more affordable these days.

There are advantages in using solar power for homes. How much are you paying for electricity bills every month? Many homeowners have aching pockets because of the costly electricity expenses. One way to reduce your bills is by opting for solar power.

You don’t need any wiring if you use solar power systems. For instance, for your garden lights and water features, you can use solar power. Most of the gadgets have darkness sensors and you no longer have to worry about turning them off. Solar lights are readily available and you will just need to take them out and place them in the right place where you want to get some good light.

Solar power is environment friendly. It is an excellent form of renewable and clean energy. You won’t contribute to pollution unlike fossil fuels. By using solar power systems like the solar cooker, solar thermal systems, and solar generators, you can cook without emissions. Thereby, you can help in saving the environment.

During the initial phase of using solar power, you will need to spend money. Just think of it as an investment where you can benefit in the long run. With under $500, you can already use solar power in your home. Solar power is free since you will use the sun’s energy to create electricity. You can make use of solar lights, solar panels, etc. Don’t cut off your conventional electricity supply even when you’re already using solar power. It’s not always sunny all throughout the year and so you will need to traditional electricity during rainy days. The best thing about solar power is that you can decrease your monthly electric bills. If you can convert your home into a full solar powered house, you can surely benefit greatly and you will not worry even if fuel prices increase.

Power outages usually occur when there are problems but as long as you have solar power, you can enjoy using electrical appliances continuously. For those who are interested in solar power, you can start with simple projects like the water features and lights in your garden. These features are easy to develop and you won’t need any wiring.

In everything you find here on earth, there are advantages as well as disadvantages. True enough, solar power has many advantages but you also need to look into the disadvantages. You need to weigh things first before you consider opting for solar powered homes.

Today, you can easily purchase solar power devices like flashlights, pool purifiers, ventilator, mosquito inhibitors, heaters, fountain pumps, radios, lighting, and many others. Prepare to spend for the solar power devices but don’t worry. After several months, you can now start saving a lot of money on your monthly bills. Think of it as a one-time investment and in the future, you can surely earn huge profits.

Solar Power or the Use of Generators

Every year, the environmental problems are getting worse. Global warming, pollution, and other concerns are now very evident. Many environmentalists are now taking an active part in the hope of saving the world before it’s too late. One way to effectively address such problems is by using solar power. With many households and establishments using generators to back up their power supply, which do you think is the best choice?

Power failure happens in the most unexpected hours and so having a generator can provide the needed power. The portable generators are widely used and you can even find large generators that provide emergency power. If you want to help in reducing pollution and other environmental problems, why don’t you opt for solar power instead?

The initial cost is a very important consideration but you will also need to look in the benefits that you can gain the future. Installing a viable solar power system can be quite expensive than just purchasing a portable generator. However, once you’ve installed the power system, you can already enjoy free unlimited power supply. Maintenance is minimal and you will not spend huge money on it. You don’t need to buy fuel just to run the system because the energy of the sun fuels the solar power system. In a portable generator, you will need to buy fuel to run it and so you will continue to spend money to enjoy power supply.

Generators can be purchased easily, online or locally, and so it’s quite convenient to obtain them. On the other hand, solar power is not that convenient to install and purchase as well. The market for solar power is rather small but because of the technological advancements, the market will soon grow. Today, the best way to obtain solar power kits is through the internet. Anyone can settle for a little bit of inconvenience especially if huge benefits are involved. Besides, after the installation of the solar power system, you don’t need to monitor it often unlike in generators where you will refill the fuel, change the oil and filter, and two times servicing in a year. The solar power system can last for twenty years even with minimal maintenance.

Both solar power and portable generators are efficient. However, when it comes to cost-efficiency, solar power is ahead. As long as the sun shines, energy can be generated. The system can also store energy so that it can be used at night or during rainy days. In a generator, you will need to re-fuel from time to time. You will need to pay for the fuel every time. Sunlight is free but fuel is not and so the cost efficient option is very obvious.

In terms of dependability, solar power and generators are almost the same. Solar power is best used in places where there is bright sunlight all throughout the year. If the period of bad weather is lengthy, all the stored power can be consumed. Generators can be used whether it’s sunny or rainy but the problem lies with the source of fuel. If you can’t refuel the generator, it will not work.

It’s your choice whether you will use solar power or a portable generator. It all depends on your capacity to pay for the device. You can further evaluate these two by reading this article carefully.

Solar Power Info

Perhaps everyone knows what solar power is. For many years, solar power has been used but because of the inefficiency of the gadgets being used, it can’t be utilized to its fullest potential. Researchers and scientists are continuously making improvements so that even ordinary people can now use solar power for their homes and for businesses. If you’re looking for solar power info, you’ve come to the right place.

To understand solar power better, you must know some of its components. Firstly, take a look at photoelectric or photovoltaic cells. These cells are responsible for converting the sun’s rays into electricity. The solar panel contains photovoltaic cells that produce the needed energy. With a square meter of the solar panel, you can already generate enough electricity to light a 100w light bulb.

Solar power can heat water in your homes as well. You will simply install glass panels on the roof and that’s heat. A solar power thermal system can benefit you a lot by decreasing your monthly electric bills.

Are you familiar with solar furnaces? It makes use of mirrors to capture sunlight and provides high temperatures.

When using solar power, you need to know its good points and bad points. Solar energy can help in reducing pollution and waste. You will no longer depend on fuels for energy and the best feature of all is that it is totally free (that is, once you’ve installed a solar power system). Small villages that are located far from conventional energy sources can surely benefit from solar power. In sunny countries, solar power can be used to the fullest but since resources are limited, very few are able to enjoy its benefits.

Solar power is renewable and it can be used for different purposes. Examples are solar calculators, garden lights and fountains, and battery chargers. As long as the sun shines in the morning, you will get a renewable source of energy.

The problem faced by researchers today is that many places don’t get enough sunlight all throughout the year. The solar power devices can work more effectively in places where the sun is brightly shining. Some places don’t enjoy too much sunlight and this is where solar power becomes unreliable. A very good example is United Kingdom. In the UK, solar power can only be used in low=powered or small devices.

In the US particularly in California, solar power is used by many homes and establishments. The Los Angeles area gets a lot of sunshine and because of this it’s much easier to generate solar energy. California’s goal is to increase the use of solar power consumption to 10% in the coming years. The use of solar power is being enhanced year after year with the advancements in technology. Scientists and researchers are discovering new ways to use solar power to the fullest. Several years ago, using solar power was rather expensive but today, you can already enjoy its benefits for as low as $200. The solar power systems kits are very affordable and you can use them to light your garden and other outdoor lights. If you can expand the system, you will soon be able to use it indoors.

You will know what solar power is by knowing its main uses. So whenever you see the sun, you will know that energy can be generated from it through the use of special devices and equipments.

Solar Power in the US

Sunlight contains energy and if you can capture it using a special gadget, you can turn it into electricity. For many years, solar power was always overlooked. But now that the world is becoming warmer, the sources of fossil fuels are depleting, and the cost of electricity is continuously rising, many people now realize the importance of solar power.

With solar power, you will no longer have to worry about electricity once you’ve installed the solar power system. Aside from that, you will get clean and renewable energy. When you install a solar power system, you’re able to hit two birds with one stone – you’re able to save the earth and you can save a lot of money in the coming years. The system can last for about twenty years and that’s like a lifetime already. With proper care and maintenance, the system might reach thirty years of service.

In the US, solar power is gaining popularity. Years ago, it would have been impossible to use solar power in homes because it was too expensive. But thanks to modern technology, many homeowners in the US as well as businesses now make use of solar energy. Power bills can surely be reduced thereby saving the environment and the pockets of homeowners or businesspersons.

Some places in the US enjoy a lot of sunlight particularly Los Angeles California. There are so many solar power systems available today and solar panels are just one of them. Despite the many benefits of solar power, have you ever wondered why very few people use it? At this point, experts claim that solar power is still inefficient. To generate more electricity, then larger solar panels are needed which are quite bulky. Just imagine putting a large and ugly panel on your rooftop which can destroy your home’s overall beauty? Ready made solar panels are quite costly that ranges from $35,000 – $250,000 depending on the size.

Scientists are still conducting researches and at present, solar power is said to be more efficient now unlike many years ago. Drastic changes were made thereby improving the solar panel’s price and appearance. With the invention of the photovoltaic cells, solar power was greatly improved. The cells will be placed on steel substrate to capture sunlight and the energy will be stored within the battery. The photovoltaic panels contain n layers of cells thereby increasing its efficiency. These new panels make use of the ‘amorphous silicon thin alloy technology’. Through this technology, the cells are not bulky anymore and highly efficient. With stylish photovoltaic panels, your house or office will still look pleasant eve with the panel on top.

Aside from the cell, photovoltaic shingles were also invented. Basically, the shingles modified solar panels. If you don’t want to use bulky solar panels, this is an excellent choice because of its aesthetic and convenient design. The photovoltaic shingles look like ordinary shingles and are colored black.

The photovoltaic cells and shingles have definitely enhanced the solar power technology. Who knows? Perhaps in the future, experts and scientists can now develop smaller cells, panels, etc. Check out LA and see the solar powered homes there. You can now start calculating your home’s electrical requirements so that you can determine the right size of the power system. Start with a small project and work your way up but if you can afford to pay for ready-made ones, go ahead.

Solar Power for Homes – Using Solar Panels

The economy of your country has a great impact on your ability or capacity to pay for monthly bills like electricity. Last year, the economic recession has affected many countries and many homeowners were able to feel the impact literally. Who wouldn’t love the idea of being able to save on your monthly electrical bills? One way to do that is by using solar power for homes.

How are you going to convert your home? Well, there is no need to cut off your existing power supply. Besides, the sun doesn’t shine all throughout the year. That way, even when there’s no sunshine, you can still use electricity. You’re quite lucky if your place gets a lot of sunshine in most months of the year. Sunlight is renewable, free, and clean. You will simply collect raw sunshine and convert it to electricity with the use of solar panels. Just imagine savings about 80% on your utility bills every month. That’s already a good deal since you will be spending a one-time investment on the materials and installation.

So how are you going to build the solar panels?

You can find lots of info sources online. By doing a quick search online, you may be able to get step by step instructions on how to develop homemade solar panels. To be able to create an efficient solar power system, the instructions should be clear and easy to understand. That way, you can install the system with ease. The instruction material should provide design diagrams, the required materials and parts, and easy to read directions. You can join forums online that discuss about solar power because other individuals might be able to provide you with helpful information. You can find lots of guides online but not all of them are useful. You must pick out the right guide.

Solar panels are not that expensive and you will simply need to make a substantial investment and after that, you can already enjoy an unlimited source of renewable and clean energy.

The solar panels must be placed on the right spot where there is plenty of sunshine. Why not put the solar panels on your roof? If you can find unblocked space on your backyard or garden, you can also place the panels there. Find the windows where there is direct sunlight and mount the solar panels there.

Once you have all the materials ready, you can start building the panels. Ready made panels cost around $3,000 or more depending on their usage. There are also simple DIY solar panel kits that you can create over the weekend. The DIY kits are more affordable and with only $200, you can already create a simple project.

Once you finish building the solar panels, mount them properly. From then on, you can expect to save a lot of money in the coming months and years. You can expect an 80% reduction in your electric bills monthly and as long as you have efficient solar panels, you can benefit from it for a long time.

Free sunlight is widely available and if you live in a place where there is lots of sunshine, you can benefit greatly if you build your solar panels. Learn how to build one now and try to prepare an adequate working budget.