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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 home owners to use the sun to power daily life: running your air conditioner, cleaning clothes, watching TV, cooking dinner. All while reducing your carbon footprint, and without burning fossil fuels or putting a pressure on the electrical grid. And while the environmental benefits of solar power are considerable, many property owners find that the benefit, special features, and cost savings of owning a solar power system are much more attractive.
Top 10 Benefits of Solar Energy
#1 Significantly reduce and even remove your electric bills
Whether you're a homeowner, company, or nonprofit, electrical power costs can comprise a big portion of your month-to-month costs. With a solar panel system, you'll produce complimentary power for your system's whole 25+ year lifecycle. Even if you don't produce One Hundred Percent of the energy you take in, solar will lower your utility costs and you'll still save a great deal of money.
#2 Make a fantastic return on your financial investment
Photovoltaic panels aren't a cost-- they are among the very best ways to invest, with returns rivaling those of more standard financial investments like stocks and bonds. Thanks to considerable electricity expense savings, the typical American property owner pays off their solar panel system in seven to 8 years and sees an ROI of 20 percent or more.
#3 Secure versus rising energy costs
Among the most clear cut benefits of solar panels is the capability to hedge utility costs. In the past 10 years, residential electricity prices have gone up by an average of three percent every year. By purchasing a solar energy system now, you can repair your electrical energy rate and protect versus unforeseeable increases in electrical power expenses. If you're a company or house owner with changing cash flow, going solar likewise assists you much better projection and manage your expenses.
#4 Increase your home or business worth
Numerous studies have actually discovered that houses geared up with solar energy systems have greater residential or commercial property values and sell more rapidly than non-solar houses. Appraisers are significantly taking solar installations into consideration as they value houses at the time of a sale, and as property buyers become more educated about solar, need for residential or commercial properties geared up with solar panel systems will continue to grow.
#5 Boost U.S. energy independence
The sun is a near-infinite source of energy and a key component of accomplishing energy independence in the United States. By increasing our capacity to produce electrical energy from the sun, we can also insulate our country from price fluctuations in global energy markets.
#6 Create jobs and assist your local economy
Inning accordance with The Solar Foundation, the solar market added tasks at a rate nearly 12 times faster than the general U.S. economy in 2015, representing 1.2 percent of all jobs in the nation. This development is expected to continue. Since solar-related jobs have the tendency to be greater paying and can not be contracted out, they are a considerable factor to the United States economy.
#7 Safeguard the environment
Solar is an excellent method to decrease your carbon footprint. Buildings are responsible for 38 percent of all carbon emissions in the United States, and going solar can significantly decrease that number. A normal property solar panel system will get rid of three to 4 lots of carbon emissions each year-- the equivalent of planting over 100 trees annually.
#8 Demonstrate your commitment to sustainability
Sustainability and business social duty are essential components of an organization's culture and worths. They likewise produce bottom line results. Significantly, consumers and communities are recognizing and rewarding services that choose to operate properly. Services are finding that "green" credentials are an effective chauffeur of customer purchasing choices, creating goodwill and improving service outcomes.
#9 Start Conserving from Day 1
Solar purchase power agreements (PPAs) and solar leasing has actually made it possible for property owners to go solar for little or no cash down.
Lots of house owners decide to fund their photovoltaic panels with one of the "pay-as-you-go" financing options. This suggests that a third-party company-- the solar provider-- owns the planetary system and takes care of installation, maintenance, tracking and repair works. You simply pay the solar provider for electrical power-- less than you would've paid the energy business.
As of June 2013, 75% of all American homes have access to pay-as-you-go solar.
#10. Solar is a Secure Financial investment
The energy companies are well-known for their fluctuating and unreliable electrical energy prices. There is plainly an upward pattern.
With solar panels and simple mathematics, we can determine just how much electricity will be produced, and most notably, at exactly what cost, for at least the next Twenty Years (repaired energy costs).
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
Sources Covering Benefits Of Wind And Solar Energy For Paper?
I'M Writing A Paper On The Benefits Of Wind And Solar Energy, In Both An Economic And Social Context. Though I Appreciate Your Personal Opinion On Its Benefits, I Would Really Appreciate Some Possible Sources To Give Me A Start On The Paper. Please Keep In Mind That I Am Not Looking For A Political Discussion Or Opinions, This Is For A Graduate-Level Paper And I Am To Only Write About The Benefits Of Wind And Solar Energy - So Sharing Your Personal Beliefs About The Negative Effects Of Alternative Energy Does Not Interest Me Or Anyone Else And They Will Be Ignored.
American Solar Energy Society has a lot of great information on solar. www.ases.org
A great example of use of solar versus conventional
Do You Think Alternative Sources Of Energy Are A Bunch Of Pipe Dreams?
1. Hydrogen= Takes More Energy To Make It Than It Provides
2. Biodiesel And Ethanol= Only Maybe Practicle With A Limited Use To Vehicles Fuel Not Praticle For A Source Of Energy For The Worlds Needs Due To The Amount Of Land It Takes To Produce, We Are Already Running Out Of Farm Land
3. Solar Power: Considering The Amount Of Energy The World Needs By The Time Fossil Fuel Runs Out The Planet Would Have To Be Covered With Solar Panels And They Are Expensive,Third World Countries Could Not Afford
4. Wind Power: Same As With Number 3
5. Nuclear: Produces Highly Toxic Waste,Power Plants Threaten Sourounding Areas
6. Fission: Practicle If Proven To Work Still In Progress,Iter Project
You've more or less got a handle on it, but the biodiesel, ethanol etc are bogus and pipe-dreams.
Hydrogen might someday pan out if they can find a cheap catalyst and then develop the production and distribution channels around geothermal venting systems - like Iceland is doing.
Practically it will probably break down like this. We'll probably go mostly nuclear in the short term in the major metro areas and then use wind or solar to keep outlying areas /states going.
At some point oil's cost vs. wind or solar will become even and then - why import oil and gas when you have large windy plain or open desert like in Kansas or Arizona, and also have relatively low energy intensity/usage.
Eventually I suspect if the Middle East continues to spiral into a religious/political fuzzball, or there is another significant terrorist event some folks will be motivated to get Fusion / ITER funded and online faster than anticipated.
Basically the Middle-East is on borrowed time of about 10-15 years no matter what.
If the worst occurs, you can be sure that the US will vigorously and probably secretly fund another ITER in cooperation with other energy dependent states as well as other energy production programs despite whatever our dear friends in the Middle-East say afterwards.
At this point, from their perspective the Middle East/Israel/Saudi Arabia etc, is seriously screwed and need to get their stuff in gear because they'll be unable to command any attention from the rest of the world or they'll alternatively become even more dangerous to the rest of us when the money stops and we put the first few fusion reactors online, they could resort to state sanctioned "terrorism" until someone forks over "assistance".
Are Renewable Energy(Solar,Wind) Jobs Economically Lucrative?If Not So Why?And Do They Generate Jobs?
Are These Jobs Dependable With?And Can It Be A Career Or Would It Be Foolish To Go Into It?Please Explain In Detail.
I think the question here is about short tern stability vs. long term growth.
For example, in the short term you could ignore renewable energy and efficiency and go learn how to install and sell old, tank based, hot water heaters. But, if you do a little bit of research, you'll quickly see that those old style hot water heaters are being replaced by on demand water heaters which are much more efficient, as well as by solar hot water heating systems of various kinds which cost just about the same and pay for themselves within 3-5 years.
Solar thermal and plumbing is probably the best bet for job security right now and the area that will grow the fastest in the shortest amount of time because it is less expensive than PV.
However, the price of solar panels is dropping rapidly because silicon manufacturing has finally ramped up to meet the supply needs of solar panel manufacturers. This means, with PV cost dropping, and states like VT passing tariffs about selling energy back onto the grid, more people will be opting for solar.
I think RE is a smart sector to move into. Find a manufacturer or a distributor or get NABCEP certified and go out on your own!
How To Make This Simple Solar Charger/Backup?
I Need Help Creating My Idea For A Solar/Battery Charger/Backup. I Want It To Be Able To Charge With Or Without The Solar Panel (Given The Batteries Are Charged.) I Would Also Like The Parts To Be Homemade As I Know There Are Probably Products That Already Have Been Marketed. It Needs To Not Fry The Cellphone As Well As Not Discharge It, Same Goes For The Batteries Being Discharged By The Solar Panel. What Items Do I Need, And What Specifications: (Voltages, Resistance, Etc.) Here Is A Very Primitive View Of The Schematics: Http://Imgur.Com/4H9ibfy
If you want to do it yourself, here are some suggestions.
The blocking diode between the solar panel and the batteries is good.
You can construct a simple constant-current charger to charge nickle cadmium batteries. This type of charger is considered "dumb" but is only appropriate for NiCads. Nimh, lithium and lithium polymer batteries all require the use of a "smart" charger to detect when they are fully charged. A dumb charger won't stop charging them, and that will damage those battery types.
The only real problem with constant-current charging is that to allow for unlimited overcharging, the charge rate should be limited to 0.1C (a 4 Ahr battery, for example, has a 400mA charge rate at 0.1C). This requires 16 hours of charging to fully charge the batteries. The downside is that the sun doesn't shine for 16 hour straight. If you can tolerate taking 2 or 3 days to recharge the batteries, then that works. Otherwise, you will need a smarter charger, one that starts out charging rapidly, but detects when the battery is approaching full charge (and there are various ways to do that) and then drops to a lower charge rate. It is possible to build one yourself, but it is definitely more complex.
Your diagram shows using USB to charge the cell phone. That means that the cell phone already has a battery charger of the right type built into it to regulate the charging of the cell phone battery. All you have to do is provide a USB jack that outputs 5.0Vdc, preferable at 1A. Instead of using a resistor, I suggest using a 3-terminal voltage regulator to provide the 5.0 Vdc. You might have to install a heat-sink on the regulator if the cell phone uses the full 1A. You can precede the regulator with a blocking diode if you like. The cell phone generally will stop drawing power when its battery is fully charged, so you don't really need to worry about a dark solar panel discharging the cell battery.
The 3-terminal voltage regulator is a "linear regulator", which means it dissipates excess energy to drop the battery voltage down to 5 Vdc. For example, if the batteries were 12V, the regulator would dissipate (12V-5V) x 1A = 7W of power. That is only about 42% efficient. It is possible to purchase on eBay a bucking voltage regulator that will drop 12V to 5V with about a 92% efficiency. But that costs more, and you would be using a prefabbed circuit. Selecting batteries with a voltage closer to (but still higher than) 5Vdc would improve the 42% efficiency.
Hope that helps.
Ok I Need Some Tips On Saving Energy Here Are Some Questions:
Is There A Surge Protector That Is Energy Efficient?
How Can I Save Energy While On The Computer?
Please Give Me More Tips As Well!!
I have a HUUUUGE list available at www agua-luna com it's like 33 pages long and would just spam this whole answer. But here's a few cut from the list below. if you'd like the entire list feel free to visit www agua-luna com or email me through the site directly and I’ll send you a copy.
Also Agua-Luna com now offers Carbon Offsetting Credits, since our Team of Volunteers is already accomplishing several carbon eliminating projects, we’re now converting the carbon offsets to you. Visit www agua-luna com for a FREE carbon calculator to calculate your carbon footprint for free and more info on carbon credits.
You could also Volunteer with us, planting a tree or working on a Sustainable Renewable Energy Building Project in Mexico with us. Again see www agua-luna com for more info.
I also do some free consulting, there's more info on the site about that too. Here’s some more ways to help the environment…
Recycle paper, cardboard, newsprint and magazines.
Recycle aluminum cans.
Recycle all batteries.
Recycle and reuse. Roughly 50% of the average person's trash can be recycled. Don't forget that hazardous waste like batteries, your printer's ink cartridges, and cell phones can be recycled too! Find out how and where to recycle in your area. Always buy recycled paper. Just 1 ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees.
Just because your community doesn't pick up all recyclables on the curb, it doesn't mean there are not viable alternatives nearby. Check with dry cleaners, supermarkets, manufacturers, your local public works department and civic organizations to find out where recycled goods can be dropped off, at a location near you.
Did you know that just in 1995 alone, recycled toner cartridges kept over 21,000 tons of trash out of landfills? Believe it or not, now you can recycle your printer's toner cartridges! Every year, Americans throw out enough printer cartridges to stretch from Los Angeles to New York City and back again. Toner cartridges can be recycled, having just as good a performance as an unrecycled cartridge. To recycle your toner cartridges, find a local business that does printer cartridge recycling, or contact the manufacturer of your current toner cartridge and ask about a cartridge recycling program.
Not only should you recycle, but buy products that are recycled. By purchasing these products, you are helping to conserve natural resources, and to protect the environment.
Wash clothes in cold water.
Hot water is unnecessary for most clothes. When needed, use warm water.
Fill your toilet tank.
Put a plastic bottle or two, filled with water and rocks, in your tank to reduce the amount of water used in each flush.
Clean your filters.
Clean the filters of your air-conditioners once a month to improve energy efficiency. While you’re at it, change your car’s filters as recommended in your manual.
Get a low-flow shower head.
Stop at the hardware store on your way home, and get a low-flow shower head. Takes a few minutes to install, and it’ll save gallons of water a day.
Lower your thermostats.
If you use heating, get by with less heat and wear warmer clothes. If you use air-conditioning, get by with less cooling and wear cooler clothes.
If it’s a nice sunny day, hanging clothes only takes a few minutes, and you’re using solar power instead of electricity to do the job. It also makes your clothes last longer.
Turn down your water heater.
Most people have their water heater’s thermostat turned up too high, wasting energy. Turn it down to 130 degrees, saving energy but still hot enough to kill bacteria.
Use CFC light bulbs.
If your light bulb burns out, replace it with a Compact Flourescent bulb (those spiral-looking ones). They’re more expensive, but if you just replace them one at a time, it doesn’t cost much, and the energy savings is great. And as they last longer, over the long run, you’ll save money.
Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and dishes.
Follow your community's water use restrictions or guidelines.
Install a low-flow shower head.
If you are not looking to change your car just yet there are a number of ways you can be more environmentally friendly and help you save money by conserving fuel.
Lighten your car to reduce weight by not carrying unnecessary items.
Cut your speed and stick to the speed limits
Drive smoothly avoiding heavy accelerating and braking.
When stationary for a long time, switch off the engine.
Closing windows will make the car more efficient by being more aerodynamic. Remove roof bars when not is use also helps.
Make sure your tyres are properly inflated as under inflated tyres cause more resistance.
Where possible, walk, cycle or even use public transport.
If possible lift share to reduce the number of cars on the road.
Try mass transit.
Millions of people use it, and it saves tons of fuel. If you don’t already, give it a try.
Unload your car.
Remove excess weight from your car (such as stuff that might be in the trunk) to reduce the amount of fuel you use.
Walk instead of drive.
You don’t have to do this all the time, but walking the short trip to a store, or to lunch from work, or some other short trip like that, can reduce the amount of fuel you use over the long term, and you shed some fat at the same time. Or at least burn off that morning donut.
Buy a smaller car.
You won’t be able to do this today, probably, but the next time you’re in the market for an automobile, get a smaller and energy-efficient car rather than a big, lumbering one. It’s one of the best things you can do to reduce your fuel consumption.
Inflate your tires.
Many people don’t realize that their tires are under-inflated. Check the recommended pressure for your tires, and fill them up to that pressure. It only takes a few minutes, but it will save you on fuel consumption (a little) and more importantly, make your tires last longer and reduce the rubber that’s worn off your tires.
Get creative with gift-giving. The gift of time, services, or environmentally positive gifts may be more appreciated than disposable goods that are not to the taste or needs of the recipient.
Look into those lifestyle changes you’ve been putting off
Work from home more. Many organisations, when prodded a little, will accept flexible work arrangements where there is no impact to the work that needs to get done.
Use your oven less.
The oven not only uses a lot of energy, it heats up your kitchen, requiring more cooling. Instead, use toaster ovens, crockpots, microwaves, and electric grills when you can. And when you do use your oven, open it less - you lose 25% of the heat every time you open the oven door.
Mend your stuff.
Try not to throw stuff away and buy new stuff if the old stuff can be fixed. Torn clothing? Takes a few minutes to sew up.
Install a water filter.
If you buy a lot of bottled water, use your tap instead. Some places need a filter to make tap water taste drinkable, but they don’t cost much and they can save money, water, and plastic bottles over time.
If you don’t use an appliance several times a day, it’s better to unplug it, as they often use energy even when turned off
Use rechargeable batteries.
Instead of throwing your batteries away all the time, reuse rechargeable batteries. Costs a little more, but cheaper in the long run.
When you’re looking to buy appliances, be sure to research the most energy-efficient ones. They may cost a little more, but they’ll more than make up for that in the long run with lower energy bills.
Buy a smaller home.
The next time you’re home-shopping, instead of buying the McMansion, look for a smaller home that’s big enough to meet your needs comfortably. Reducing the amount of stuff you own is a good way to need less house. It’s cheaper, and requires less energy to heat and cool. And easier to clean at the same time.
Look for energy efficiency.
Use acryllic paint.
It’s not hard to set one up (look it up online), and you can save a lot of waste from the landfill and help your garden at the same time
Water grass early in the morning.
Reduces the amount of water you need to keep your grass looking fabulous.
Plant shade trees near your house.
It’ll take awhile before they can make a difference, but shade trees greatly reduce the need to cool a home.
Coat your roof.
This’ll take up an afternoon, but you only have to do it once every few years. And it’ll save you a lot of money and energy in heating and cooling over the long-term, more than making up for the cost of paint.
Avoid fast food.
Instead, eat at home or at a sit-down restaurant. Fast food restaurants are one of the worst polluters of the environment, both in the massive amounts of beef they must raise, in the wasted packaging, and in the energy they use in so many ways. And they’re tremendously unhealthy.
Buy a manual reel mower or electric mower.
If you’re looking for a new lawn mower, and you have a small yard, consider getting a manual one. They’re much advanced from the reel mowers of our grandparents’ generation, much quieter, cheaper, and they save on fuel and pollution. Electric mowers are also quieter and use much less energy.
Hope this helped, feel free to contact me personally if you have any questions if you’d like assistance in making your first self sufficient steps, I’m willing to walk you step by step threw the process. I’ve written several how-to DIY guides available at www agua-luna com on the subject. I also offer online and on-site workshops, seminars and internships to help others help the environment.
Alterative Energy / Sustainable Consultant, Living 100% on Alternative & Author of How One Simple Yet Incredibly Powerful Resource Is Transforming The Lives of Regular People From All Over The World... In