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About Solar Energy
Solar power is energy from the sun that is transformed into thermal or electrical energy.
Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable resource source available, and the United States has some of the richest solar resources worldwide. Modern innovation can harness this energy for a variety of usages, consisting of producing electricity, supplying light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial usage.
Solar power makes it possible for house owners to use the sun to power everyday life: running your air conditioning unit, cleaning clothes, watching TV, cooking supper. All while reducing your carbon footprint, and without burning fossil fuels or putting a pressure on the electrical grid. And while the environmental advantages of solar power are substantial, lots of homeowners discover that the convenience, unique features, and expense savings of owning a solar power system are even more alluring.
Top 10 Benefits of Solar Energy
#1 Drastically minimize or even eliminate your electrical costs
Whether you're a property owner, company, or nonprofit, electrical energy expenses can make up a big part of your month-to-month costs. With a photovoltaic panel system, you'll generate totally free power for your system's entire 25+ year lifecycle. Even if you don't produce One Hundred Percent of the energy you consume, solar will minimize your energy expenses and you'll still save a lot of money.
#2 Earn a terrific return on your financial investment
Solar panels aren't an expense-- they are among the very best ways to invest, with returns measuring up to those of more traditional investments like stocks and bonds. Thanks to substantial electrical power bill savings, the typical American house owner pays off their photovoltaic panel system in 7 to eight years and sees an ROI of 20 percent or more.
#3 Safeguard against increasing energy costs
Among the most clear cut advantages of solar panels is the capability to hedge utility costs. In the previous 10 years, property electrical power prices have actually increased by an average of three percent every year. By buying a solar energy system now, you can repair your electrical power rate and safeguard versus unforeseeable boosts in electrical energy costs. If you're a company or property owner with changing money flow, going solar likewise helps you better projection and manage your costs.
#4 Boost your home or business value
Several studies have actually discovered that houses geared up with solar energy systems have greater home values and sell quicker than non-solar homes. Appraisers are significantly taking solar setups into consideration as they value homes at the time of a sale, and as property buyers become more educated about solar, need for homes equipped with solar panel systems will continue to grow.
#5 Boost U.S. energy self-reliance
The sun is a near-infinite source of energy and a key component of attaining energy independence in the United States. By increasing our capacity to generate electricity from the sun, we can likewise insulate our country from price fluctuations in global energy markets.
#6 Develop jobs and help your regional economy
According to The Solar Structure, the solar industry included tasks at a rate almost 12 times faster than the general U.S. economy in 2015, representing 1.2 percent of all tasks in the nation. This development is expected to continue. Because solar-related tasks tend to be greater paying and can not be outsourced, they are a considerable factor to the U.S. economy.
#7 Protect the environment
Solar is an excellent way to lower your carbon footprint. Buildings are responsible for 38 percent of all carbon emissions in the U.S., and going solar can significantly decrease that number. A common residential photovoltaic panel system will eliminate 3 to four lots of carbon emissions each year-- the equivalent of planting over 100 trees every year.
#8 Show your dedication to sustainability
Sustainability and corporate social obligation are very important components of a company's culture and worths. They likewise produce bottom line outcomes. Significantly, consumers and neighborhoods are recognizing and rewarding companies that opt to run responsibly. Services are finding that "green" qualifications are an effective motorist of customer acquiring decisions, producing goodwill and improving service outcomes.
#9 Start Conserving from Day 1
Solar purchase power arrangements (PPAs) and solar leasing has actually made it possible for property owners to go solar for little or no money down.
Lots of property owners pick to fund their solar panels with one of the "pay-as-you-go" funding alternatives. This indicates that a third-party company-- the solar service provider-- owns the solar system and takes care of setup, upkeep, monitoring and repairs. You merely pay the solar supplier for electrical energy-- less than you would've paid the energy company.
Since June 2013, 75% of all American homes have access to pay-as-you-go solar.
#10. Solar is a Secure Financial investment
The utility business are notorious for their varying and undependable electrical energy costs. There is clearly an upward trend.
With solar panels and simple mathematics, we can compute how much electrical power will be created, and most significantly, at what rate, for a minimum of the next Twenty Years (fixed energy expenses).
What are the various payment options?
We have many flexible purchasing agreements for customers who would like to install a new home solar system. There are three different payment options, making them a viable choice for customers of all budgets. The payment options include Lease, PPA, and Purchase.
- Low, fixed payments each month
- System insurance for 20 years, including maintenance
- Flexible end-of-term options, including system upgrade, lease extension, and free panel removal
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
- We own the solar panel system
- $0 down for installation
- Customers only pay for the solar energy that they use
- Customer pays for the system upfront and owns the system
- System monitoring and maintenance for 20 years
- Receive 30% federal tax credit
- See a return on investment within 7-10 years
What happens when the contract for my lease is finished?
We provide our customers with a few different options for when their lease contract is up. Customers can upgrade their equipment to the newest solar technology available, extend the agreement, or have the panels removed at no cost.
What is the warranty?
The Lease and PPA include a 20-year warranty during the lifetime of the system. This warranty exceeds that of most other solar installers’ warranties.
Frequently Asked Questions
I Am Thinking About Getting Into Solar Panel Sales But I Do Not Know Too Much About It. ?
L Am Looking For Information On It And Have Found Allot But Really I Am Looking For Information On Regulation, Pricing, How Much Is Necessary To Generate Enough Energy For The Average Home Ect.
Do a google search on solar-power, then refine your search using the 'search within results' feature at the bottom of the returns page for books.
Once you've found some interesting ones, go to Amazon.com & see if any used ones are available, or, if you live in a large metro area, check out your library. You could also get your library to get you the books thru their inter-library loan program.
Don't know about any regulations, but many states offer tax breaks for installing the systems.
Environmentally Friendly Houses?
I Need To Build A House Model Of An Environmentally Friendly House Nd I Need Some Tips. What Colour Should I Make The Outside Walls??? And Is Strawbale Or Mudbrick Better. Help Please!!!
First off, the colour doesn't matter. Just pick one you like after deciding which type of construction is most suitable for the building site.
Both straw bale and adobe or compressed earth block housing is good, but which is best depends on the local climate.
Earthen housing is not so good in colder climates, for instance, unless you're using stabilized insulated ramed earth construction. That method places a 4" layer of rigid foam insulation at the core of the walls.
All other things being equal, ordinary earthen houses work best where you have warm days and cool nights. New Mexico, Colorado, and large parts of the southwest are good for strait adobe or compressed earthen block construction. ("CEBs.")
In colder areas, the straw bale might be preferable. ( Or a hybrid, if the soil has enough clay in it.)
I should point out that straw bale builders no longer peg or pin the walls. It turned out to be a waste of time.
Use as much recycled materials as you can.
Plan for a living roof (google for it) since that will add a lot of insulation to the roof/ ceiling, and has a lot of other benefits.
Goats on the roof are optional... :-) (I mentioned this on an answers page a few days ago...)
Orient the long wall of the house so that the wall faces a little bit east of due south. Up to 15 degrees. This will optimize your morning solar gain if you plan the windows right and supply the interior floor with enough mass to absorb and store heat. Stone or ceramic tile floors, for instance.
Minimize the windows on the north side, or eliminate them all together.
This is assuming your building in the northern hemisphere, of course.
A phenomenal book on this subject to borrow or buy is entitled:
Building Green: A Complete How-to Guide to Alternative Building Methods.
Clark Snell, Tim Callahan,
This is about as good an overview on the subject as you can find today and could be used as a college textbook.
There is a preview of it on GoogleBooks if you want to do a search there:
But at $25 or so, just buy a copy. It has over 1200 high quality photos in it.
In either type of housing, a good rule to follow is "A good hat and good boots." This means build a good foundation at least 8" higher than the ground surrounding the house, and with a good roof with enough overhang to keep rain from damaging the walls.
A 'flat roof' is not advisable, even in the arid parts of the southwest. A low slope is okay, though, and recommended for a living roof.
The roof can also control how much sun gets into the house in the summertime, thereby reducing your cooling costs.
Building a smaller house is more environmentally favorable than building a larger one. Uses fewer resources to build and maintain. There are no 'green' McMansions...
But on the other hand, tiny houses running as small as 100 square feet are a bit too small: people do build these though.
My favourite earthen house website:
For straw bale info, check the library for titles.
There are a lot of websites discussing straw bale, and several list groups as well, once you've read up on it a bit.
What else: Oh yeah.
Include a recycling station in your model and your house, and use it.
Provide a composting bin.
Grow your own food as much as possible. It takes a lot of fuel to move food around the world, and that fuel produces greenhouse gases.
Use a clothes line to dry laundry. Cuts down on energy use dramatically, and the UV light sterilizes the clothes. Makes 'em smell great, too. Call it a 'Solar Fabric Dehydrator' if you have to.
Ground source or geothermal heat pumps powered by photovoltaic panels are preferable, and infloor radiant heat is nice to have. The radiant system can also be designed to cool the house if that needs to be done.
A tightly sealed house of any kind will need a well designed air handling system to control the air quality in the house, so there has to be a utility room for this kind of system and for the geothermal heating/ radiant heat.
To get back to the question you asked, is straw bale or earthen housing better. Answer: That depends on where you are.
It takes a bit of study to really know the answer to that, but one way to determine it is to see if there are any adobe or straw bale houses in your area.
Just be sure to orient the house to take advantage of the free heating (and cooling)
How Does Solar Energy Influence The Atmosphere?
Technoecology, the study of large complex industrial systems (technoecosystems) by analogy to biological ecosystems, is a new framework within which diverse solar technologies can be holistically comprehended and managed. Solar energy technoecosystems and sun-powered bioecosystems have many parallels at organismic and ecosystem levels. Evolution, succession, symbiosis, niches, competition, optical concentration, and other phenomena occur in both industrial and biological worlds.
Solar collectors are analogous to plants in design, organization, and arid adaptations. Solar technologies for water processing (pumping, treatment, storage, conservation, desalination, evaporation) and use (solar energy collection, storage, and distribution; cooling; and heliohydroelectric and salinity gradient powerplants) are reviewed. Water scarcity makes large biomass systems (except those using desert plants, seawater irrigation, or greenhouses) impractical in arid lands. Complex symbiosis of solar and water technologies may be advantageous; technoecosystems in space are the ultimate extension of this. Large solar technoecosystems could counteract desertification and atmospheric CO2 increase. Solar technologies are vital to future survival of arid oil countries; other developing countries need them now, at appropriate scale.
Photovoltaic solar cells, analogous to chloroplasts, but water independent (ideal for deserts), could be the new base of technoecosystem trophic pyramid. Impending self-accelerating solar cell cost plummet, already begun, may drive complete global succession from fossil fuel to solar energy niche in the next few decades. Sudden arrival of technoecosystem strategies and effects at global scale signals the start of a new geological age, the Technozoic. Its continuation may depend on switch to solar energy.
1. Introduction <Return to chapter titles>
A wave of rapid evolution of solar energy technologies is happening. At least it was in 1978. Technoecology can provide a holistic context and broad overview within which these technologies can be understood, and within which their further evolution & development can be predicted and assisted.
2. Theoretical Framework <Return to chapter titles>
Ideas and terms of technoecology are reviewed. Technoecosystem evolution is an event comparable to biological evolution, only on a much faster time scale (centuries and decades, rather than millions of years). The bio-techno analogy is very good, arising out of similar origins and physical circumstances. Both types of systems undergo similar phenomena: convergent and divergent evolution, extinction, succession, etc. Technological inventions help us understand biology, and biological observations help us design new technology. By seeing our industrial systems as living ecosystems, we may be able to design and run them better.
In a cosmic perspective, shadow is as much a form of solar energy as sunlight is. It is energy contrast that runs systems. Light of sun and dark of space is the contrast that drives the oceans and the atmosphere. Properties of direct sunlight exploited by both biology and technology are: directionality, day-night differences, quantum energy of photons, and bulk heating ability.
Solar energy, in broadest perspective, includes all the energy flows and storages caused by sunlight: wind, falling water, waves, biomass, ocean temperature gradients, fossil fuels, fresh water, salt deposits, icebergs, and even low humidity. Solar energy cycles create almost all of the gentle physical environment within which we & technoecosystems exist.
Much as animals are classified ecologically by the food niche that they exploit, technoecosystems can be classified by the energy niche that they exploit. Each solar energy niche, whether it is solar thermal, photovoltaic, biomass, wind, or ocean thermal driven, will support a unique technoecosystem with its own whole set of technospecies and storage/transport/use technologies.
Throughout history, evolution and succession have driven our technoecosystem from one energy niche to the next. We can see hunting going out and agriculture coming in, as finite resources were depleted and new methods evolved. Wood burning was great until the forests were gone (at least in Europe), then we went to coal. Then we moved into oil and gas for technological and supply reasons. All these energy systems still coexist, though currently oil is king.
But we face the approaching exhaustion of oil resources, and the environmental disasters of prolonged coal use. So the fossil fuel niche appears to be closing, and a new global energy niche is needed. Geothermal and nuclear are limited by resource size and environmental damage. Solar appears to be the only viable standard long-term niche option. It comprises many diverse, stable energy niches, most relatively environmentally benign.
There are three ways to use solar. We can harvest the results of wild solar-powered natural systems (like fishing), control solar-powered natural systems and harvest them (like farming and hydropower), or collect solar energy directly.
Converting from fossil fuel niche to solar energy niche is a natural succession, returning us to a technoecosystem structure similar to what we had in the agricultural days before the industrial (mostly fossil fuel) revolution. We now have not only a much larger population of human beings, but we also have many high energy technoorganisms to support. So we need a larger "agriculture" to sustainably feed us & our machines. Biomass niche is too small to return to; we couldn't grow enough plants. Other naturally concentrated solar energy forms, while locally useful, are relatively small.
So it looks like directly harvesting diffuse solar energy forms like sunlight and wind is our only solar option large enough. Industrial "agriculture" on an unprecedented scale.
3. Solar Energy Technoecosystems <Return to chapter titles>
This chapter uses the technoecological viewpoint to review solar energy technologies, and to predict their evolution, interactions, and consequences.
Solar energy technoecosystems must adapt to the same environmental conditions of sunlight, water, and atmosphere, that plants and animals did. So we can expect the human created and controlled systems to evolve similar structures and strategies. These may include large collector areas, energy storage systems (because of night and cloudy days), water storage and conservation, and a very large technomass. The new mechanical systems will use new materials and physical principles not available to biological systems, but they will function and be organized in ways analogous to biology. We will probably see a vast diversity of systems evolve, distributed worldwide according to local physical and geographical conditions, just like plants. They will interact and connect in ways reminiscent of biology.
We are talking about going from industrial hunting (oil) to industrial agriculture (solar) as technoecosystem base. The fuel-based system requires lightweight, mobile, relatively small technomass systems to hunt and exploit fuel resources. The solar-based system requires the addition of a whole new, and much larger industrial foundation, a vast new non-mobile technomass of solar energy collection and storage systems.
We currently have a predator-like energy base for our technoecosystem, exploiting the stored and fossilized residue of eons of plant growth in the past. But the future solar- based technoecosystem, while keeping many of the technoorganisms we have now, will replace this dependence on ancient solar collection with huge new systems to collect solar energy in real time, now. This large solar base will be like the huge plant biomass which supports a much smaller mass of animals.
Most technological solar energy innovations were invented first by nature, and are found in animals and plants.
Solar cells, whether photochemical or photoelectric, are the industrial analogue of chloroplasts. Both use quantum effects of light. And both comprise numerous small parts incorporated in much larger hierarchical collection systems (veins, leaves, plants, and meadows in biology, like solar modules, solar panels, and solar farms in technology).
Solar reflectors and lenses, used by mechanical systems to concentrate direct sunlight, are rare in biology. However, they are found in some mosses and other plants which grow in deep shade. Some cold-adapted flowers track the sun and reflect sunlight with their petals to warm the pollinating insects which bask in them!
Passive solar heating is used in buildings and by dogs. Active heat collectors are found on rooftops and in rabbit ears. Thermodynamic heat engines (heat pumps) are found in the natural flows of ocean currents and atmospheric storms.
Solar technologies choose sites and alter their behaviors according to sun and shade, day and night, and geography, just the way plants and animals do. Some very efficient cars and airplanes run on directly collected solar energy (like the protozoan Euglena). But most must store up (like eating) concentrated forms of energy such as electricity or hydrogen which have been gathered and stored by separate collection systems, the way cows run on green grass.
Solar energy technoecosystems will exhibit many phenomena observed in biological ecosystems. These include geographic zoning; hybrid energy forms; hierarchical energy cascading; symbiosis; formation, storage, transport, and distribution of concentrated fuels; vertical and horizontal spatial patterns; competition between solar energy technologies, and between them and other technologies; divergent and convergent evolution; niches; and succession. Small, decentralized solar technologies may outcompete large centralized ones.
Solar cells (and accompanying energy storage systems) may be the ideal replacement for fossil fuels. As their price falls, they increasingly outcompete fossil fuels, driving succession from the fossil energy niche to the solar niche. Just as men, having killed off the large animals of the Americas, were forced to develop agricultural systems, we are being forced to develop solar energy technoecosystems to replace the high quality fuel resources which are going extinct. The development of cheap solar cells and storage would also be analogous to nature's invention of the chloroplast. As the chloroplast made possible the growth and evolution of green plants, totally transforming the biosphere, so might cheap solar cells transform the global technoecosystem.
The solar energy niche does have its limits. The best areas for sunlight collection are limited. Materials to make collection, storage, and distribution systems are limited. And each solar technology has its own adverse environmental effects, whether from mining, pollution during manufacture, or degradation of natural biologic, oceanic, or atmospheric systems. Let's learn from the past, and enter this new niche carefully, humbly, and gratefully.
4. Solar Energy Technoecosystems in Deserts
Much as plants, animals, and ecosystems are adapted to the special conditions of deserts, so can we expect solar energy technoecosystems to adapt to aridity. Some local special conditions which are likely to influence solar technoecosystems are: blowing dust and sand, few clouds (more direct light encourages reflectors), fog in coastal deserts, high temperatures during the day and rapid cooling at night, low humidity, scarce or salty water, and high winds.
The main characteristic common to deserts is the scarcity of water. Solar energy technoecosystems may adapt to aridity by collecting, storing, pumping, evaporating, desalting, and reducing use of water. Special solar technologies used or proposed for use in deserts include importing polar icebergs, running hydroelectric powerplants which empty into evaporation lakes, salinity gradient power generation, evaporation of water in powerplant cooling towers, and of course irrigated field or greenhouse agriculture. These and other technologies may integrate into large, complex technoecosystems adapted to local conditions, and influenced by history.
Solar cells are ideal for large and small solar energy systems in arid lands, because they require no water.
Arid oil-producing developing countries (mainly in the Middle East) are importing whole high-energy technoecosystems from the more industrialized countries. They might design and manage them better if they understood technoecology. Once their oil runs out, they may not have the resources to build a new energy base from scratch. So best to do it right, in the present, helping prepare the way for advanced solar energy systems of the future.
Arid oil-poor developing countries could use and develop small-scale decentralized solar technologies as an often cheaper alternative to oil-based technologies. Even small amounts of added energy from solar sources will go a long way for the people in these countries, and will buffer them from long-term fuel shortages if and when the oil niche collapses.
Outer space is the largest desert. Present and planned systems of rockets, space stations, and colonies on Mars are nothing but technoecosystems composed of technoorganisms, all adapted to strange new environments. Although the forms might appear to be new, the basic underlying principles of organization would be the same as in bioecosystems and technoecosystems here on this planet. There would be evolution and succession, regional distribution varying with local resources and conditions, niches, limits, and environmental effects. Different world, but same story.
Technoecological overview can help alert us to upcoming industrial changes, and help us bring them about faster and more comfortably.
Cheap solar cells (and associated storage and distribution systems, like hydrogen) could completely replace fossil fuels, by providing a sustainable base to the global technoecosystem's energy pyramid. To maintain a U.S. level lifestyle requires about 10 kilowatts of high quality energy per person. At a solar cell cost of 10 to 30 cents per watt, it would only take $4,500 to $14,000 per person to provide this much power (ignoring distribution and maintenance costs) from solar cells which might last for 20 or 30 years. At this cost, it would only take about three to ten years of world GNP to supply everyone in the world with full U.S. level power. (This is a rough 1978 estimate to stimulate thought.) Clearly, development of cheap solar cells should be a top priority. And it would be if oil companies weren't running the current energy system. The choice and the consequences are ours. Switching the technoecosystem to a solar energy niche is likely to change the way politicians, economists, businessmen, and other technoecosystem managers think. Rather than seeking short-term profits and unlimited growth, they may learn to seek long-term sustainability. And they will need to always keep environmental effects and niche limits in mind.
From the technoecological perspective, life on Earth is entering a new geological age, in which machines and the ecosystems they form are the next level of biology's evolution, engulfing it. This geological transition is comparable to revolutions in the evolution of life which took place over millions of years. But this technological revolution is happening a hundred thousand times faster, on an accelerating time scale of decades.
I suggest we name this dawning geological era after the technoorganisms or "industrial animals" which characterize it (airplanes, cars, tractors, etc.). We should thus call it the "Technozoic" era. I'm thinking about titling a new book about technoecology: "Waking Up in the Technozoic".
How Is Solar Energy Processed?
The solar energy is usually generated by the solar cells which collected the sunlight and converted it into energy (electricity)then stored in the solar cells during day time. When the cells are fully charged, its switches shut off during the day time. The garden solar lights are worked in this basic principle. During the night time, the cells turn on the solar lights installed in the garden ways, patio or deck in your house. You can buy these set of solar lights in major hardware stores in the US. The following website shows the simple water heater used solar energy.
Does Any One Know Solar Evacuated Tube Or Super Energy Heat Tube ?
Of course, I'm a baby genius and the board leader!!
Solar Evacuated tubes are the best solar absorber used in today's evacuated tube solar collector systems.
SunMaxx evacuated tube collectors are one of the highest quality collectors on the market. Two layers of extremely durable borosilicate glass maintain a vacuum layer which acts as a magnificent insulator.
With this superior insulation property, SunMaxx evacuated tube collectors have the ability to generate heat through the winter in colder climates with overcast conditions!
Want to know the benefits of solar evacuated tubes? Contact a product technician who can answer any of your solar hot water heating questions at 1888SOLAR11.
Each SunMaxx solar evacuated tube system has the is SRCC certified and are the least expensive solar collectors on todays market.
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