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Is Solar Electricity for Everyone?


Solar electricity

Solar electricity

Solar electricity has been repped as cheap and easy compared to the conventional power systems we have. It requires very few spare parts, very little maintenance and no fuel at all. Its energy source, the sun, couldn’t be any more natural.

In many cases, it is economical. You can choose to use it on a large scale or small scale. You will have a pollution-free home given off by the solar panels from generating electricity and since it’s renewable, it is eco friendly.

There are many households looking into solar electricity. But despite its advantages, the biggest disadvantage is still not set back. With its extremely high cost of installation, is solar electricity for everyone?

For people who are on lower incomes and most likely don’t have the money to spare for the initial installation of solar panels, there is an alternative. There is a scheme in many countries to offer consumers to have the panels installed and benefit from solar energy without having to pay for it. The household gets to save on electricity bills but the feed-in tariffs go to the panel owner.

But the price for solar electricity is coming down while the costs for conventional energy generation are still rising. However, it is important for the consumers to understand that the solar panels will not be theirs and their returns would not be as much as they expected for the year. Nonetheless, it is still a good zero investment.

Many are concerned that the installation of solar panels is only available to households with very large roofs. But the panels don’t necessarily have to be on the roof of the house. It can be on top of the porch or adapted as a roof facing the sun.

If on the roof indeed, another important factor to be generating solar electricity is to have a south-facing roof. The solar panels must not be obscured by shade that could substantially lessen its efficiency. The energy from the sun must not be blocked at all times.

Can everyone really benefit from solar power? As opposed to many people’s presumptions, the term modern photovoltaic panels basically means generating electricity from sunlight. And this electricity is more suitable to colder northern climates and sunnier regions as well.

The new generation panels on the other hand are more efficient on its use of sunlight. It can generate electricity even on cloudy days. So, there is a solar panel for everyone’s benefit.

If you are considering putting solar panels on your roof, research on the financial incentives and whether the rules are still the same.  The panel may not be yours but you have your place in the sun for the next 25 years. And you are gaining benefits from this clean and renewable source of energy.


Solar Electricity Generation

Creating electricity from the sun is a technology that every one of us knows well. It could be through pocket calculators, photovoltaic panels in your home or a satellite. It can all get the job done.

But for those who are curious, how do you explain solar electricity? What is a PV power and just how much energy can a PV produce? This is solar electricity explained.

Solar electricity

Solar electricity

Solar Electricity is generated by using photovoltaic (PV) technology which converts the free energy from the sun into electricity from sunlight. Through photovoltaic systems, sunlight is used to power electrical equipment like household appliances, lighting and computers. But note that this is not the thermal technology used for heating space and producing hot water.

A photovoltaic cell consists of two or more thin layers of mostly silicon which is a semi-conductor. Once the silicon is exposed to light, electrical charges will be generated and conducted away by metal contacts as direct currents (DC). A single PV cell is only capable of a small electrical output that multiple cells are needed to be connected together and encapsulated behind a glass to form a panel, also called as a module.

The PV panel is then the principal building block of the system where any number of panels can be connected together for the desired solar electricity output. But the PV equipment does not have moving parts so it only requires minimal maintenance. It generates electricity without producing and emitting greenhouse gases and it operates silently.

PV systems are actually used to supply solar electricity to city buildings which are also connected to the normal local solar power network. PV systems also supply power to garden lights or even to remote relay stations. But the use of photovoltaic technology on buildings is ideal because it provides a noise and pollution free solar power without needing extra space.

PV systems are set up into buildings in different ways. Ideally, it should be on sloping rooftops where the panels can simply be mounted using frames. It can also be built into the actual building fabric, such as PV roof tiles, and alternatively be incorporated as canopies, building facades and many other applications.

There are various types of PV cells. Monocrystalline silicon cells, the most efficient of this technology, are made of cells saw-cut from one cylindrical crystal of silicon. But the disadvantage is that it is of higher costs compared to the other PV technologies.

Multicrystalline silicon cells made of cells cut from an ingot of melted and re-crystallized silicon tend to be slightly less efficient. Thick-film silicon is an encapsulated multicrystalline technology wherein the silicon is deposited in a continuous process onto a base material which results to a fine-grained sparkling appearance. Amorphous silicon cells, however, are made from silicon atoms in a thin homogenous layer instead of a crystal structure but being a thin film, it effectively absorbs more light.

But the typical PV system configuration has the building-mounted PV array consisting of typical photovoltaic panels connected together with a rated output of 75 to 120 watts peak each. An inverter is also used to convert the low voltage direct current (DC) into the higher voltage alternating current (AC). Other components include the array mounting structure, cables, switches and a meter to make sure that you, as the system owner, can be credited for any solar electricity fed into the main supply.


Solar Power in Reducing Carbon Footprint

You may have heard of the term carbon footprint in today’s efforts to advocate the clean and green living.  This is the total set of GHG (greenhouse gases) emissions caused by an event, organization, product or person. It is commonly expressed in the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted.

Carbon footprint has a harmful environmental impact. Perhaps the biggest contributor to this is burning all the coal to generate electricity. In fact, most countries still rely on coal burning power plants for their electricity requirements.

Every year, our carbon emissions are increasing. As it goes up when it should be going down as many industries, organizations and people are aware of it, we still have a disappointing carbon footprint. But perhaps the best and equally massive way to reduce this dirty form of electricity generation is to sprout solar power.

Solar power vs carbon footprint

Solar power vs carbon footprint

Electricity from the sun is what you call clean energy. We can reduce our reliance and replace coal burning electricity generators if we use renewable sources of energy such as from the sun. In so doing, it will reduce our carbon footprint.

Obviously, energy from the sun is abundant. It is continuously available in varying levels all throughout the daylight hours. So, an excellent way to harness that energy to create electricity is by solar panels.

Solar panels are advisable to be installed in homes because solar power is good for our environment. It produces no carbon footprint at all and requires very little energy to produce. If most homes had solar panels and generating half of their total electricity requirements, that is still equivalent to a lot of coal burning electricity generators being shut down.

After you have spent money on your solar panels, it implies little cost to electricity generation which is more on routine maintenance. You know you are saving money with your electricity bills are going down. And if you have enough panels, that means no electricity bills at all.

Installing these panels and having solar power also adds value to your house. Real estate appraisers estimate that for every dollar saved from your yearly energy bill, your house resale value increases by $20. These numbers will grow and your home will be worth more than the cost of the panels necessary.

There are even government subsidiaries making solar panels commercially available. But only a few people are able to afford this technology as it is rather expensive. If you are set to have enough panels to produce efficient solar energy, you can even have a small source of income through it.

All these benefits brought about by solar panels clearly outweigh all the costs. You are guaranteed with electricity even when your town experiences a power outage. You are reducing carbon footprint and helping to look after our environment.


Taking the World by Solar

Solar farm

Solar farm

The idea of going solar is now taking the world one region at a time. Adapting to this renewable form of energy has been found to be efficient and cost-effective by many homes and businesses. Just what kind of industries and where are solar panels being used these days?

A solar energy farm plan has just been unveiled in Wilburton which could provide renewable electricity for over 1,200 homes in three cities. This farm’s solar panels could save more than 55,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide for a period of 25 years. Of course, this would entail the use of solar photovoltaic panels.

Until its application, solar photovoltaic panels would no longer be uncommon in the United Kingdom. This technology could be a major source of energy because of the solar radiation of this huge farm. Likewise in the medical industry, solar photovoltaic systems are being installed nowadays.

A hospital in California is making use of 3,000 solar panels combining a capacity of 700 kW. This is really significant for its operations and patients’ safety since we all know that hospitals operate 24/7 and most of its lifesaving equipment need electrical power. It will be a practical source of energy for many years to come.

Aside from hospitals, the largest UK drugmaking company is building the largest US rooftop solar project. Going solar is the best thing to do when aiming to reduce energy costs and emissions of greenhouse gases. The effects will be lower power bills and better consumer health care attention.

In the efforts of a solar environment, programs are launched for homeowners to be able to generate income from solar panel installations as well. They are usually designed with guarantee from the government for several years. Thereby, it would reduce income threshold for mortgage approval of home buyers.

To put it simply, these homeowners are allowed to sell the electricity that they produce from solar installations back to the power grid. Solar installations will be placed on their roofs. And what stirs the interest of potential clients is the 20-year revenue stream that will make it easier for the homes to finance and to sell.

This talks about a monthly return of up to $1,000 from the installations. Just think what kind of future that would be for the environment and for the homes with built-in monthly revenue streams. Now, it raises a lot of interesting questions.

Its advantages and the advantages of solar power alone are far-reaching. Since solar energy is a renewable resource, there isn’t any danger of depleting its reserves. Although it may be unavailable at night, it returns in full force during the whole day.

Needless to say, solar power is clean energy, so it does not cause any form of pollution. When it comes to solar panels, once it is set up, electrical expenses are not necessary to power them at all. Solar cells also only require very little maintenance and it can last a lifetime, which is why once you go solar, you are looking at a lifetime investment.


A Solar Light Bulb Idea

solar light bulbWe can expect for solar power to continue to rise like the sun as the king among the renewable resources of energy to be well utilized in 2020. But for now, as people are becoming more aware of the clean and green living which provides means of cutting the costs of electricity, the eco-world is focusing its attention on the world’s first solar light bulb.

Introduced all over the globe on the 10th of June, this standard structured incandescent bulb carries the hope of lighting up the dark areas of many developing countries where electricity does not exist. Yes, there are still corners of the globe where more than a billion people in total burn something to generate light. They mostly use kerosene lamps, exposing themselves to the emission and fire hazards of this dirty fuel as they struggle to live off the grid. With the knowledge of solar panels that can charge batteries and can power the usual lamps, a Hong Kong based manufacturer came up with a brilliant idea, and then there was light, in the form of a solar light bulb promoted for deployment in these lighting-deprived areas.

Let us get to know this solar light bulb a little deeper. How is it different from other solar LED lantern designs that have been in the market for several years now? What makes it ideal for deployment in electricity infrastructure-less villages and disaster zones?

This solar light bulb is very much similar in shape and size of the conventional luminous bulb. But as a matter of fact, this device is very self-sufficient. It makes use of an array of light-emitting diodes or what we call LED, and four small strips of photovoltaic panels. Its groundbreaking design is small enough to carry, self-contained, and highly durable and dependable. It is enclosed in a rainproof impact resistant plastic which aims to be of no trouble to any lifestyle, even in the third world. Its features include a replaceable nickel metal hydride battery that provides a good four hours of light when fully charged and lasts for two years.

However, this does not come cheap. A single unit is priced at $15 each with the objective of government aid groups and non-government organizations to purchase and distribute it to villages, disaster areas and anywhere else it is needed. It is also intended to be sold at $6 in rural parts of India and Africa and highly discounted in bulk orders. It is still a big question if it could really replace the kerosene lamp they are accustomed with or be of interest to them at all.

The idea is whether you live with a short supply of electricity or you want your electricity cost and usage cut short, there is the solar light bulb. Along with the countless ways of conserving energy, developing a cleaner world and maintaining the basic needs of light, food, water and shelter, the world is never gonna be short of people who suggests these means to the rest of the population for a friendlier earth.


Sun Jar – Free Sunlight Forever


I know it’s a little too late to be doing Christmas shopping but I thought I might share a cool “green” product I stumbled upon. It’s called Sun Jar and it’s a product created by Tobias Wong.

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It’s called Sun Jar, because it “stores” sunlight similar to how a jar for jam stores jam. Why do you need to store sunlight? So you can use it in the night or when it’s dark. The sun jar is automatic, meaning there is no controls what-so-ever on the outside, so you really don’t have to do anything.

The Sun Jar is basically a mix of glass Mason jar, solar cell, rechargeable battery and LED lights. Check out the schematics below to get a better understanding.


Here is how it works according to SuckUk…

When the jar is placed in sunlight the solar cell creates an electrical current that charges the battery over a few hours. This energy is then used at night to power the three LED lamps inside the jar.

The light is diffused by the frosted jar and give the appearance of sunlight emitting from the (warm coloured LED lights are used to give a more natural and warm light). You may have noticed that there is no switch on the sun jar – in fact there are no visible controls at all – there is a clever light sensor inside that automatically activates the lights when it gets dark or lights are turned out!* Mason Jars are not only beautiful but by their very nature they are completely water tight – so the Sun Jar can happily be left outside in any weather conditions. A perfect garden light or night light for a kids bedroom. *there is an override switch inside the lid to turn off the light at night and conserve battery life.


Now that’s what I call green meeting design!

Exactly how a solar panel works but in a small neat package.

If you want to get a Sun Jar for yourself or for someone click the Amazon link below or the Sun Jar picture at the bottom.

Yes, I Want to buy a Sun Jar from Amazon.


<center>Green Gift Ideas</center><br>
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Mounting And Setting Up A Solar Roof

solar roofFabricating a solar roof is as easy as counting from one to three. All you need are solar panels, in this case solar shingles and the other necessary materials that form a basic solar energy system. Many solar companies offer solar shingles designed as panels that fit the dimensions of a typical house roof. With a few tweaks you can have your own functioning solar roof. [click to continue…]


Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Panels Videos

I came across these three videos that I just had to share with you. Excellent videos that allow you to understand the mechanics of solar power and how photovoltaic panels work. [click to continue…]


Photovoltaic Panels


Solar power is getting a lot of attention these days because of skyrocketing oil prices. What makes solar power unique is its ability to make energy from something so abundant which is the sun. But how does this work?

Solar power is possible thanks to something called photovoltaic panels. Photovoltaic panels or PV panels are also known as solar cells. [click to continue…]



I get a lot of questions from people starting out with solar power on how to get the Amp Hour rating for the solar batteries they will be using. Here is a step by step on that… [click to continue…]