Exploring the Use of Solar Power For Homes

The concept of using solar power for homes has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Although solar power has been used for ages, systems designed to replace or augment electrical use are only now just catching on in a very big way. In general there are three main system types for home use. Each can have a major and positive impact on how well a home functions.

The systems that provide solar power for homes all operate off the same principles. These systems are designed to use solar panels or modules in an array design to absorb energy from the sun’s rays. This energy is transformed within the panels to create direct current electricity. The electricity created by the panels is then sent to an inverter for transformation into alternating current. This AC power is then stored in a battery for future use. The three basic systems that drive solar power for homes vary in design and function. They include:

• Full, off-grid systems – As energy costs climb, more homeowners are exploring this option. It is feasible for solar power for homes to take a property completely off the electrical grid. How efficient this type of system will actually be will depend on its location, the amount of sunlight received, the design and the efficiency of the individual components. To make solar power for homes more reliable, many builders are exploring energy saving measures that can coincide with their use. This can include strategic positioning of a home to provide the best insulation, landscaping for shade and other similar moves that would cut demand for power within an off-grid home.

• Augmentation systems – Most solar power for homes comes in this form. This type of system is meant to power a specific system within a home – not the entire home. Solar systems, for example, might be self-contained devices that operate outside lights, or water heaters. Some systems are designed to completely power heating and cooling systems. This type of system can take a lot of the pressure of powering a home off the electrical system and put money back in a homeowner’s wallet.

• Backup systems – Solar power for homes can also extend to backup systems, such as sun-powered generators. This type of system works much like an augmentation system in that it might not be designed to keep a home completely functional when backup is needed. Backup systems are ideal, for example, for running heating, cooling or refrigeration systems during a blackout.

Solar power for homes has improved greatly over the last few decades. More and more homeowners are realizing that the sun’s power can helps make their homes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. In the process, these systems can also save homeowners money in electric costs.

Is it any wonder why the average home owner has not invested in solar power? With all the hurricanes and power outages, fuel costs rising and the US dollar falling…

Thanks for reading,

Denis W Darling

http://www.sustained-development.com/solar

Educate Consciousness

We must educate to alleviate the problem of prejudism in our society. Prejudism is a worldwide phenomenon which has come along way since slavery, yet still we have light years of change to make as human beings. Our minds are trained to judge; we are constantly critiquing the news broadcaster, or an outfit a model is wearing on T.V. We are so blind to prejudice that most of us walk around with our eyes closed, and our judge robes tied tight. Whether we meet a stranger, or just pass one on the street, there is always at least a flicker of judgment, either conscious or unconscious, influenced by each person’s inlaid prejudism.

It is this smoldering fire that lies beneath the eye level of everyday consciousness; as life progresses the fire grows and the human race burns on with stereotypes and hatred. Human self expression is all too often discouraged, while our right to freedom is being suppressed by society, how are we to keep our human dignity as individuals? What can be done to stop such ignorant behavior? Well, the first step towards change is acceptance, and awareness of the problem through education.

Sometimes acceptance of your own flaws is necessary before others can learn to accept them. Once everyone is aware of the flaws, it is somehow easier to cope with them and learn to change the behavior. Sadly, most of America (by choice or by accident) is still oblivious to the flaw in society we call prejudism.

It’s simple; just take a look at your thought process when you come across a homosexual, an African American, a drug-addict, a transsexual, a gang-member, a disabled veteran, an ex-convict, a pushy preacher, or a prejudice southerner. What is your reaction to them? Do you feel uneasy, are you afraid, disgusted, or do you feel no different then you did moments before you met them?

Do you think that is something these stereotyped people face everyday? Well, it is, and there is something we can all do to help. We can talk about racism and stereotyping within our families, our jobs, our communities, and teach proper ways to handle these difficult situations. We must educate consciousness to alleviate the problem of prejudism within our society.

Acceptance is powerful; it can change an entire community for the better. Our society encourages its citizens at a very young age to conform, and be more comfortable with themselves once they act like everyone else. Individuality is something to be proud of; it is not an expendable human asset. Loss of our individuality as a country will result in defamation of our Constitution.

In the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution congress enforces that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

America may accept all ages, races, creeds, religions, and sexual orientations, yet somehow we as a society manage to stifle the progress of our citizens as individuals, by restricting their social rights to be an individual in the first place. Conform; choose the “right” way to live, as expressed by the popular culture of our time. Or welcome consciousness; accept who you are, be proud of your own personal diversity, make it a part of you that you cannot live with out. That is the way to true freedom and respect for our individual human dignity.

Our society and popular culture encourages us to stick with the masses, and conform to society, yet all of our instincts tell us to rear against the norm, and become an individual. So where do our spirits lie? In the depths of our souls we now that each person carries a future and has a purpose for their lives, so why does society become “paranoid” or make a show of those of us who are different? Are we bored? Have we nothing better to do as a society but make a mockery of our underlying diversity? This is something we should all be proud of, not belittle and objectify amongst ourselves. Why not use all that energy to focus on educating consciousness throughout the masses. Bringing home the fact that we are all in this together for the greater good of our society, and it’s impending future!

Rae Serenity

The Pros And Cons Of Solar Energy

So you like the idea of solar energy, but you’re not sure that you know enough about the negative aspects? It’s true that many sellers of the technology would like to gloss over the less palatable aspects, but our comprehensive list below will keep you well informed. We think that the positive aspects of solar power and energy use greatly outweigh the negatives, and to help you decide for yourself here are the pros and cons of solar energy.

The negatives include:

* The worst thing about solar energy is that it is typically expensive to install. This means that the effective cost of the power is high compared with just buying it from your local utility company.
* Solar panels can take up a lot of space.
* You may find that your roof is not at a good orientation or angle to the sun, which would make the installation on your roof less effective or not possible.
* You can’t make solar power at night, so you have to have a way to store it.
* Your power output will also be affected by bad weather.

On the other hand, here are the positives:

* The greatest thing about solar energy is that it is virtually free to use.
* Solar energy causes no pollution when you generate it.
* You can get financial incentives from the government to help you pay for your system.
* Companies are starting to produce rental plans that allow you to avoid the large capital costs.
* There was a law passed a couple of years ago that allows you to “sell” your excess power back to the utility, reducing or eliminating your bills, and covering your need for power at night.
* You don’t need to order any fuel to be delivered to your house, and you can’t run out.
* Solar power does not suffer from inflation and increasing prices.
* Typically there are no or few moving parts to a solar installation, cutting down on maintenance.
* Solar power can be generated anywhere, even if there is no local electrical supplier, so you can have power in remote areas.
* Using solar power reduces the amount of fossil fuel burnt, and decreases greenhouse gas creation.

Some of the “cons” above about solar energy can be solved. For example, you can get government grants (depending on your location), or even rent your system to avoid the capital cost.

Undoubtedly, solar energy technology is here to stay and it’s future looks even more promising!

Learn more about using Solar Panels to power your home.

Solar Energy Today – Not Just For Heating

The sun is great at heating things up – just ask the driver of a car in the Arizona summer, when a parked vehicle can top 150° F inside. And solar energy can be and frequently is used to provide heating. Often solar power is used to provide heat to a house or for hot water by installing solar collectors which trap the heat and circulate it with water. This is also used to heat swimming pools and so extend the period of the year that they can be used.

But there are a number of less obvious ways that the power of the sun is used nowadays, and you may have seen some of them. A range of uses come from photovoltaic technology, that is, generating electricity from the sun to light a house. You can buy outside path lights that don’t need connection to an electricity supply, and these have photovoltaic cells built into the top with a battery inside. When it gets dark, the lights come on, using the solar energy stored in the battery, to provide lighting in the garden during the evening. Exactly the same idea is used for road signs in remote areas – you can identify these by the solar cells which are attached. A further use, which many people own, is a calculator with built-in solar cells, usually supplementing the battery power.

A major focus of research and design in solar energy today is the development of solar cells that can supplement or replace the power to your house. These are substantial in size, perhaps a couple of hundred square feet in area, often fixed to the roof, and they will provide enough electrical energy for an efficiently run house to function normally. This type of use received a big boost in the USA in 2005, when a law was passed requiring electricity suppliers to implement net metering, where excess electricity generated on site and fed into the network offsets the cost of electricity delivered. Effectively, this can replace the previous requirement for batteries for energy storage, as the power grid becomes the storage, and it significantly reduces the cost and inconvenience. This law is still being worked on in some states, while others have embraced it more enthusiastically, and it’s set to change the way we look at solar energy in the future.

Finally, while you may be fairly familiar with the uses of solar energy today described above, one you may not have heard of is using solar energy for cooling or air conditioning. Without going too deeply into the technicalities, this is mainly used for commercial purposes, and it functions in a similar way to a gas refrigerator, such as you can find in an RV. The cycle is called absorption cooling, and it uses the sun’s heat to produce the cooling effect. Solar energy today is a very flexible energy source!

Learn more about Solar Power and how you can use it to produce electric power, heating or cooling.