Archive | January 2016

Basic Facts About Solar Energy

Solar energy consists of the light and heat which is emitted by the sun as electromagnetic radiation.

With today’s technology, we are able to capture this radiation and turn it into usable forms of solar energy – such as heating or electricity.

Although one could go into technical dissertations on the subject of electromagnetic radiation, how it is converted into solar energy, and the exact qualities of its electromagnetic rays, this is not something the average person needs or wants to know.

But in order to be able to benefit from the use of solar energy, there are a few facts you should know. Knowing these facts can assist you to make sound decisions, when looking at the use of solar power as a clean energy source for your home, RV, or whatever the case may be.

– Environmental Facts about Solar Energy

All life on earth is dependent upon solar energy. In fact, without solar energy, there would be no life at all. Even the lowest life forms, such as plankton and microbes, need solar energy (in the form of sunlight) in order to survive.

Solar energy is completely environmental friendly, producing absolutely no carbon emissions or other harmful byproducts whatsoever.

Solar energy can be used successfully and cost-effectively just about anywhere on the planet. You do not need to live in a tropical or desert climate in order to benefit from the use of solar energy. Solar power has been used successfully in many cold climates and even in the polar regions.

Every part of the United States receives sufficient sunlight to benefit from and make use of solar energy and solar technology.

Currently, the cheapest and most effective way of using solar energy in your home is through the use of solar water heating systems. In fact, for over one hundred years, solar water heating systems have been commercially available in the United States.

Solar energy can be used for heating homes effectively in cold climates, as well as in warm climates. In fact, solar heating has been in use many cold-climate northern European countries for several decades now.

Solar energy technology has advanced to the point where it can be now be a viable and cost-effective replacement for regular grid-electricity.

Solar energy is rapidly increasing in popularity – so much so that the demand for solar-powered gadgets is currently greater than the supply.

– Facts about Solar Energy Usage

Solar energy can be used to provide electricity, heating and hot water for homes.

Solar energy can also be used to heat swimming pools. Many pools in Scandinavia and Europe are in fact heated with solar energy.

Solar Energy can be used to power vehicles, such as solar powered cars, and even a solar powered airplanes. NASA has successfully designed, built, and tested an airplane which is powered wholly by solar energy.

A few examples are: solar battery chargers, solar flashlights, solar calculators, solar radios, solar-powered attic fans, solar power backpacks (to recharge batteries for small devices), hybrid solar chargers (for cell phones, satellite phones, and more), solar-powered garden lights … and much, much more.

8 Ways to Take Energy Saving To The Next Level

Our culture has become as obsessed with energy saving as we have with kale and pictures of cats online. But if you’re truly committed to saving the environment, follow these eight energy saving tips.
1. Ditch your a/c and heater. The United States uses more energy than any other country in the world, which is sad considering we don’t have the largest population. Nonetheless, most of our voltage is used for heating and cooling. Rather than cranking up the air conditioning, open a window or buy a fan.

2. Keep your freezer full. With less unoccupied space, less electricity is used to keep your freezer cool. If stuffing your ice box full of frozen foods is not your style, fill the freezer with gallon water jugs.

3. Air dry your clothing. The wind and sun are a natural drying source. Pin thin-fabric clothing and sheets to taught wires in your backyard or even throughout your home. Saving your dryer for heavy fabrics, like denim, or not using it at all, can considerably cut down on your carbon footprint.

4. Put weather stripping around your doors and windows. Even the tiniest of leaks can make for a huge electricity bill. Sealing the cracks around your doors and windows can keep cool air in during the summer and hot air during the winter.

5. Walk or bike. This point has been argued since we first became aware of the harmful effects of vehicle emissions. If your town does not make walking or biking a viable option, there is always public transportation or carpooling. Anything you can do to limit the amount of cars on the road, do it.

6. Don’t pre-rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Although it may seem like you are saving your dishwashing unit some time and electricity, it doesn’t know this. It will use the same amount of water and energy to wash pre-washed dishes as it will dirty ones.

7. Don’t leave your water running while you brush your teeth. Use only what is absolutely necessary to wet your brush and rinse the sink. Of the same vein, take a shorter shower. It can become a personal challenge to see how quickly you can shower. Time yourself and find your personal best!

8. Cruise control is the ultimate energy saving method for long car rides. You can get better gas mileage when you aren’t accelerating and decelerating. Nonetheless, use cruise control with caution.

Renewable Energy Resources and What They Mean for Our Future

Renewable energy refers to energy which, as opposed to fossil fuel energy, is produced by resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale. Solar, wind, biomass, hydroelectric energy, geothermal power, hydrogen and fuel cells are some of the most common renewable energy forms that are expected to act as alternatives to fossil fuel energy in the future. All of these come with lower environmental costs as compared to fossil fuel use and therefore promote sustainable living and green living. In addition, development of these energy forms has also become highly necessary due to the rapid depletion of fossil fuel resources (coal, oil and natural gas).
Prior to the development of coal in the mid nineteenth century, biomass used to be the most widely used energy source. Wind power was used for sailing ships over the seas. However, everything changed with the rapid industrialization in Europe from the start of the 19th century. The fear of the fossil fuel crunch was first voiced around 1873. Consequently, solar energy was declared to be the most viable alternative for future. Development of solar energy started in the first decades of the 20th century and solar energy was started to be used for heating and cooling purposes. However, solar firms with solar panels only came to existence in the 1980s. Today, development of renewable energy resources and technologies as a substitute to conventional fuels is encouraged and promoted by a growing number of countries across the world, including both developed and developing nations. According to one report, the renewable energy supply is expected to grow from 1700 gws in 2014 to 4550 gws in 2040.

Some of the basic areas where renewable resources can replace conventional fuels include motor fuels, electricity generation, space heating/hot water and rural off-grid services. Direct solar power still remains the most viable alternative to fossil fuels. Solar energy relies in the ability to collect and convert the nuclear fusion power from the core of the sun. This can be done in different ways. Complex technologies can directly convert solar power to electrical energy, but there are also solar collectors which can be used for water heating, solar attic fans for attic cooling and other ways of using solar power for domestic use. Biomass, wind power and hydroelectric energy are also dependant in one way or other on sun and sunlight. Hydrogen and fuel cells are not strictly speaking renewable energy but hydrogen can be used as motor fuel with only water as combustion product. This has the considerable advantage of reducing the pollution in cities to a significant level. However, the initial production of hydrogen gas requires enormous amount of power and until solar energy can be used for the production, use of hydrogen as fuel or in fuel cells cannot contribute much towards the cause of green living.Apart from the ones mentioned above, other renewable enrgy forms include energy from hot hydrogen fusion, from the oceans, and the tides. Currently, more and more research and development works related to renewable enrgy are afoot in many different parts of the world and in a large way, our future hopes for sustainable living depend on them.

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