Tag Archive | "beginners guide to solar power"

Ways To Use Solar Energy in Your Home

You already know that you can use the energy from solar panels to power things like your lights or appliances but there are lots of other ways that you can use solar energy around your home too. So if you don’t want the expense and hassle of installing a full solar power system to give you electricity for the entire house you can start with a smaller solar set up to power some of the things around your home. Here are 10 ways to use solar panel energy to operate things besides your lights and appliances:

1. Your outdoor lights.
You can use solar energy to power your garden and walkway lights and other outdoor lights. Solar energy garden lights to light your sidewalk or garden paths are inexpensive and can be purchased in different styles at your local home improvement store. The solar cells on the lights gather energy from the sun and store that electricity in small batteries on the light. At night the battery powers the light. A few years ago only low-powered mood lights were available as solar powered. With recent advances in solar cell and battery technology there are now some powerful flood light available that are solar powered. Solar outdoor lights are a great way to see how solar energy works before you spend thousands of dollars on a solar panel setup.

2. Your pool and hot tub.
Many pools and hot tubs now use solar energy to heat the water. The solar power unit usually assists the electric or gas heating units and even if the whole system isn’t heated by solar power alone, the solar power assist will still save you on your heating bill. If you have an older pool or hot tub that doesn’t have a built in solar energy system you can purchase a solar power kit from a pool supply store that you can use to convert your existing pool or hot tub heater into one that uses solar energy for heating. It will pay for itself in energy savings.

3. Use a solar oven.
As mentioned earlier, the first harnessing of solar energy was to cook food in a specially designed oven that focuses the suns rays to heat food. Originally these small ovens were built for camping but they work great for summer cooking too! Rather than mess with charcoal or propane tanks, solar ovens are cheap and easy to use without all of the waste of conventional cooking techniques. These small ovens can cook food at a temperature up to about 350 degrees and are fully solar powered. A unique system of glass and reflective material absorbs the sun’s heat like a solar PV cell and then magnifies it so that it gets hot enough to cook. Ditch the electric or gas grill and use a solar oven for your backyard cooking.

4. Use “passive heat” storage tubes to increase and store solar energy.
Using these innovative greenhouse fiberglass tubes can really cut down on your heating bills in the winter. These tall fiberglass cylinders are perfect as room accents or room dividers. They look like pillars, but they are hollow. Fill them with water and they will catch and store energy from sunlight which can fill the room with heat. In the winter make sure that they get lots of exposure to bright winter sun and they will help keep your home warm without a huge heating bill.

5. Use solar chargers to charge your MP3 player.
Yes, your cell phone, your laptop and other electronic devices that you use everyday run on batteries. Hopefully you are already using rechargeable batteries to help save cost and reduce toxic waste. There are several solar powered chargers on the market that either charge internal batteries, like in cell phones, or charge C, D, AA, and AAA batteries. These solar rechargers come with different size cords so that you can use it with different items. Using solar power to charge these items you use everyday can take a chunk out of your electric bill each month.

6. Use solar powered appliances.
Maybe it doesn’t make sense to use solar powered appliances in the house when you’re opening and closing the fridge 20 times a day. But there are solar powered refrigerators and freezers that are perfect for food storage. How many people have a second freezer or refrigerator or both in the garage for storing frozen or refrigerated food? Lots of people do. Lots of people also keep a small refrigerator in the home office, in the garage workshop, or on the patio to keep cold drinks and snacks in. Using a solar powered fridge or freezer can save you money and show you how well solar energy works.

7. Heat your water with solar power.
You can install a solar water heater system for a fraction of the cost of a full solar power system. Using a solar water heating system will save you money and give you a great idea of what living with a house powered only by solar energy would be like.

8. Use solar indoor lights.
You can burn up a lot of expensive energy using regular lights. Instead of using overhead lights use solar powered desk and floor lamps to light up your home at night. Like the outdoor lights these indoor lights capture light energy during the day and store it in a small battery. At night the small battery powers the light.

9. Try using solar powered electronics.
Now you can use solar energy to charge your electronics or you can skip straight to solar powered electronics. You can buy solar powered Bluetooth headsets, MP3 players, cell phones and other items that you need to use everyday. You should also have a solar powered radio in the house in case the electricity goes out and you need an emergency radio.

10. A solar power generator.
Every home should have a generator in case the power goes out, and using a solar power generator will ensure that you always have power. All you need to do to recharge your solar generator is set it in the sun, so if you were struck by a natural disaster or other emergency that wiped out your power you would have enough energy to power the things you needed for days or even weeks if you had a solar generator available. It’s also a smart idea to keep solar powered flashlights and lanterns in a sunny place just in case of emergency.

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How Easy Are Solar Panels To Install ?

The installation of solar panels is the trickiest part about buying solar panels because if the panels aren’t installed the right way you will lose a lot of efficiency. You can pay a professional to install your solar panels for you, or you can try to install the solar panels yourself.

Solar panels aren’t difficult to install if you’re an experienced handy person and have a lot of skill when it comes to working with tools. The difficult part of installing solar panels correctly is configuring them correctly. Transporting the solar panels and all the mounting equipment that you will need can also be difficult, so many people do choose to use a solar panel installation company to put up their solar panels.

You don’t have to get solar panel installation from the company that you buy the solar panels from. There are specializes companies that just do solar panel installation and can install different types and different brands of solar panels for you. If you are going to have your solar panels professionally installed but you want to cut costs wherever you can try contacting the solar panel manufacturer directly. If you buy solar panels directly from the manufacturer you can save money on the up front cost of the panels and then you can hire a private solar panel installation company to transport and install the panels.

If you choose to install solar roof shingles you can easily install those yourself or if you prefer you can hire a roofer a do it for you. A regular roofer should be able to install the solar roof shingles but you should look around for a roofer that has had some experience with solar shingles.

Another thing to consider when deciding whether or not to install your solar panels yourself is the landscape of your property. If the solar panels need to be installed on the roof and you have a roof with a slope of 30 degrees or more it could be difficult or dangerous for you to attempt to install the solar panels yourself.

The bottom line is that there are always pros and cons to hiring a contractor to install the solar panels for you. At the same time, there are pros and cons to installing the solar panels yourself. So, before you make a decision look at all of the pros and all the cons of each option. If you make a decision about the installation of your solar panels based solely on price in the long run you may end up paying more.

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products. There has been a vast increase in the interest of businesses and everyday people in finding ways to live in a more environmentally responsible way and to find alternate fuel sources.

It’s not always easy to find ways to be more environmentally responsible and still meet all the obligations of everyday life. For example, many people would like the chance to ride a bike to work everyday or walk instead of having to drive a car but for many of those people that’s just not a feasible option.

Taking public transportation is a better alternative than driving to work everyday but that isn’t much in your control. Whether or not you can take public transportation really depends on where you live and how much of a public transportation system there is in place in that city. It’s not unusual for a large city to have a public transportation system that doesn’t function well in reaching its population or a smaller city not to have any public transportation available at all.

So what are some options that are out there for people who want to live in a more environmentally-friendly way but still have to deal with certain day-to-day realities that don’t always allow them to make the choices they’d like to make? One of them is using solar energy to help heat and power your home. Solar energy is a completely renewable energy source that will save you money on your heating and electricity costs as well as save environmental resources.

In the past using solar energy was not really something that most people could use at home because the technology was still being developed. In recent years the investment by government and industry into developing solar power technology has made using solar power much more affordable and feasible. Today homeowners and apartment and commercial building developers are able to use solar energy and help the environment while saving money.

Using solar energy as a main power source is still relatively new in the United States but other countries have been relying on solar power for a large amount of their energy needs for years. These countries have proven that with the right equipment and technology it is possible to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and non-renewable energy sources. Because solar energy produces no greenhouse gases, using solar power helps the environment.

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