provides you with informative tips on how to build solar panels and solar water heaters. With us, you will know the various uses and benefits of these amazing systems. Now, you can save over 80% of your electrical bills and protect our environment today!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Solar Power Systems - The New Era of Generating Energy

Due to the increasing improvement in solar power systems lately, many homes are solely dependent on solar power globally. This leads to the question of how solar energy is put to use. It is claimed that most solar power systems can collect heat created by sunlight striking an object. An example of this is to simply concentrate light with mirrors or lenses to produce enough heat to start a fire. This indirect method of producing solar power is known as "Concentrating Solar Power" (CSP). As briefly mentioned earlier, CSP systems use the simple technology of lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. The consequential heat is then used as the heat source for a conventional power plant. The "Parabolic Trough" and the "Stirling Dish" are two examples of concentrating technologies. In all concentrating solar power systems a working fluid is heated by the concentrated sunlight.

It is then used for either power generation or energy storage. Furthermore, it is important to provide the continuous availability of energy since solar energy is not available during the night. Since solar power is an intermittent energy source, all available energy made available should be taken when available, stored, or transported via transmission lines to where it can be used. In storage solar energy is stored at high temperatures using molten salts. These molten salts have low-cost, high specific heat capacity and can distribute heat at temperatures compatible with conventional power systems. This expertise helps increase efficiency of the system.

A direct method of solar technology involves the "Photoelectric Effect". It was in 1839 that Edmund Becquerel discovered the technique of producing an electric current in a solid material using sunlight. Once this method developed it was found out that photoelectric or photovoltaic effects caused certain materials to switch light energy to electrical energy at an atomic level. The Photoelectric Effect uses the simple method of reflecting, absorbing or direct pass of light. However, it is only the absorbed light that can actually generate electricity.

Hopefully this information should be useful if you are considering using solar power as an energy source for your home. Just remember even though there are certain disadvantages to think about, the number of advantages outweigh the number of disadvantages. These disadvantages can be improved vastly as technology improves. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that solar powered appliances have vastly changed for the better when compared to ten years ago.

Bear in mind that home solar power systems are suitable in regions with a lot of available sunlight. So do not opt out to get a solar panel system unless you are completely sure of the surroundings. Again, as suggested earlier, it is best to have an alternate energy source in case of low availability of sunlight. Although solar power is an energy source that has only been recently utilized, it might just become the most crucial energy source of the future. Learn how to build a solar panel today!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Making Electricity With Solar Panels

At the heart of a home solar power system is, of course, the solar panel itself. There are various types of solar panels and I’ll describe them all in more detail later on.

Solar panels generate electricity from the sun. The more powerful the sun’s energy, the more electricity is generated. Solar panels continue to generate small amounts of electricity even when in the shade.

Most solar panels are designed to produce around 14-16 volts when put under load. This allows a solar panel to charge up a 12 volt battery.

Incidentally, if you connect a voltmeter up to a solar panel when it is not under load, you may well see voltage readings of up to 22 volts. This is normal in an ‘open circuit’ on a solar panel – as soon as you connect the solar panel into a circuit, this voltage level will drop to around 14-16 volts.

Solar panels can be linked together in an ‘array’ to create more power, or to run the system at a higher voltage. Connecting the panels ‘ in series’ allows a solar array to run at a higher voltage c typically 24v or 48v – whilst connecting the panels ‘in parallel’ allows a solar array to produce more power at a lower voltage.

In a solar array where the panels are connected in series, you add the voltages of each panel together and add the power (in watts) of each panel together to calculate the maximum amount of power and voltage the solar array will generate.

In a solar array where the panels are connected in parallel, you take the average of all the solar panels (i.e. if all the panels are 12 volt panels, the average voltage is 12v) and you add the power (in watts) of each panel to calculate the maximum amount of power the solar array will generate. Learn how to build your own DIY solar panel today!

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Living Off The Grid With Stand Alone Solar Power System

Worldwide, stand alone solar installations are the most popular.

Whether it is powering a shed light, providing power for a pocket calculator, or powering a complete home, stand alone home solar power systems fundamentally all work in the same way – power is generated by solar, stored in a battery and then used as required.

Almost everyone can benefit from a standalone solar power system for something – even if it is something as mundane as providing an outside light somewhere. Even if you are planning on something much bigger and grander, it is often a good idea to start with a very small and simple stand alone solar power system first and then progress from there. Learn how to build your very own DIY solar panels today!

Grid tie

Grid tie is gaining popularity – particularly in Europe and the United States – thanks to the availability of grants to reduce the installation costs, and the ability to earn money by selling electricity back into the power grid.

In a grid tie system, power generated when the sun shines is used to power your home. Any surplus power generated is sold back to the power companies.

When the sun is not shining, you then buy your power from the power companies in the usual way.

One disadvantage of most grid tie systems is that if there is a power cut, power from your solar array is also switched off.

The benefits of a grid tie solar installation are that they can be used to reduce the reliance on the national utility grid, ensuring that more of your electricity is produced in an environmentally efficient way. It is considered to be an environmentally friendly generator after all.

Grid tie can work especially well in hot, sunny climates where peak demand for electricity often coincides with the sun shining, thanks to the high power demand of air conditioning units.

Grid tie with power backup combines a grid the installation with a bank of batteries.

As with grid tie, the concept is that you use power from your solar array when the sun shines and sell the surplus to the power companies. Unlike a standard grid tie system, however, a battery bank provides contingency for power cuts – so that you can continue to use power from your system.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Solar Electricity and Solar Heating

Solar electricity is produced from sunlight shining on photovoltaic solar panels. This is different to solar hot water heater or solar heating systems where the power of the sun is used to heat water or air.

If you are planning to use solar power to generate heat, solar heating systems are far more efficient than solar electricity, requiring far smaller panels to generate the same amount of energy.

Solar electricity is often referred to as photovoltaic a solar, or PV Solar. This describes the way that electricity is generated in a solar panel.

Deep in the center of the sun, the intense nuclear activity generates huge amounts of radiating. In turn, this radiation generates photons – quite literally bundles of light energy. These photons have no physical mass of their own, but carry huge amounts of energy and momentum.

Different photons carry different wavelenghths of light. Some photons will carry non-visible light (infra-red and ultra-violet), whilst others will carry visible light (white light).

Over time, these photons are pushed out from the center of the sun. it has been estimated that it can take one million years for a photon to be pushed out to the surface from the core. Once they reach the sun, these photons are pushed out through space at a speed of 670 million miles per hour and reach earth in around eight minutes.

On their travel from the sun to earth, photons can collide with and be deflected by other particles, and are destroyed on contact with anything that can absorb radiation, generating heat. That is why you feel warm on a sunny day; your body is absorbing photons.

Our atmosphere absorbs a lot of these photons before they reach the surface of the earth. That is why the sun feels so much hotter in the middle of the day – when the sun is directly overhead and the photons have to travel through a thinner layer of atmosphere to reach us – compared to the end of the day when the sun is setting and the photons have to travel through a much thicker layer of atmosphere to reach us.

This also explains why a sunny day in winter is so much colder than a sunny day in summer – the earth is angled away from the sun and the photons have to travel through a much thicker layer of atmosphere before they reach the surface of the earth.

Take a look into new ways to generate electricity and even discover how you can build your very own DIY solar panels.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why Choose a Solar Power System?

There are a number of reasons why you may wish to consider installing home solar power systems:

Where there is no other source of electrical power available, or where the cost of installing mains electrical power is too high.
  • Where other sources of electrical power are not reliable – i.e. when power cuts are an issue and a solar system can act as a cost effective contingency,
  • When a solar power system is the most convenient and safest option – installing low voltage solar lighting in a garden, for instance.
  • You can become entirely self sufficient with your own electrical power.
  • Once installed, solar power provides virtually free power without damaging the environment.
Calculating the true cost of installing a solar power system depends on various factors:
  • The power of the sun at your location at different times of the year
  • How much energy you need to generate
  • How good your site is for capturing sunlight.
Compared to other power sources, solar power systems typically have a comparatively high capital cost, but a low ongoing maintenance cost.

To create a comparison with alternative power sources, you will often need to calculate a payback of costs over a period of a few years in order to justify the cost of a solar electric system.

On all but the most simplest of installations, you will need to carry out a survey on your site and carry out some of the design work before you can ascertain the total cost of installing photovoltaic systems. Don’t panic – this isn’t as frightening as it sounds. It isn’t difficult and it is covered in detail in later chapters.

We can then use this figure to put together a cost justification on your project that can then be compared to the alternatives. Learn how to build a solar panel today!

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