Solar Power Efficient Appliances

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Solar Power Tips

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Solar power is the latest in saving the planet and conserving our energy.  Solar power is energy produced from the sun and has great results when you use both energy and conservation.  With solar power becoming more popular there is also the need for solar power products.  People are now building solar power houses to live in more efficiently. They also want appliances, lighting, heating, water pumps and water heaters to be solar power efficient as well.  That is why we now have a way of purchasing solar power appliances to use in the kitchen.  Appliances are usually the most costly appliance in a home as they usually run almost continuously and get used often.

Appliances Available

Now you don’t have to go through the time and effort of making your home solar power but using regular standard appliances.  With solar power appliances it is easy to become solar power all the way.

Refrigerators:  The one great thing about solar power refrigerators is that they offer the convenience of a refrigerator and freezer in one at a minimal amount of cost.  They are thermostat controlled which allows you to set the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer.  There is minimal noise as it runs because the power to it is a natural constant flow.  They also come in a variety of sizes as well as colors in order to fit into any solar power kitchen.

Appliances that are Efficient: Not all appliances can be solar powered and for that reason appliances that are efficient are the next best thing.  They conserve the energy that it takes to run that appliance and provide you with the service that you expect out of that appliance. Chest freezers, dishwashers, stoves, microwaves, washers and dryers are all appliances that can be purchased with efficiency to save on energy and money. When you use appliances that are efficient they usually cost more up front but in the long run they are worth the effort and can last you a lifetime with proper maintenance.

Today most of the products and appliances that we buy are energy efficient and guaranteed to run on minimal energy which saves you money when you purchase it.  Although you won’t be able to see the cost decrease all at once you may notice it over time.  There are several other ways that you can reduce the cost of appliances such as drying clothes on a clothes line indoors or outdoors to keep from running a clothes dryer.

Washing the dishes by hand instead of in a dishwasher or using one or two days per week to wash clothing instead of one or two loads everyday is a great way to cut down expenses.  Over time these helpful tips will decrease your bill and allow you to see a noticeable difference.  When you save energy it benefits everyone.  Once we can all use solar power to provide energy we will all see a difference in the cost of energy.  Using energy efficient appliances is a great investment that will last for years.

Solar Power for the RV

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Solar Power Tips

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Everyone likes to get away for the weekend and when you get a chance to there is a lot of fun in taking a recreational vehicle, or RV, to go camping in.  Your RV could be a pull behind camper or a camper that you can drive.  What ever you use RV’s usually run off of electricity from another source or they have battery powered lights.  When you use electric hook up in a camper you may want to consider turning your RV into a solar powered RV and never worry about electric hook ups again.  Enjoy your vacation anywhere without restrictions.

Once you hook up to a power source you are able to have the comforts of home by turning on and off the lights and using the bathroom. If you cannot access a power outlet you may use a generator to supply power to the camper.  These generators are nice in a pinch but you have the problems of running out of fuel to keep it going not to mention the noise that it makes.   If you want to turn your RV into a solar power RV it is simple to do and with little expense. There are a number of different products that you can buy to make camping fun and modern with little or no effort.

You can mount a solar panel to the RV camper in order to charge your energy in your RV.  This is done by purchasing a solar panel mounting bracket that your solar panel will set on.  You can buy RV solar panel kits that include both the mount and the panel. Once it is installed you can power your camper and batteries using the suns warmth that was already there and it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg to do so.  Run your solar panel wire to the battery compartment and you are ready to go.  Each solar powered kit offers different wattages and sizes so you can select the right one for your RV size and what you will be using.

When you are out on a camping trip you can feel good knowing that you can go anywhere you need to go.  Your solar panel on top of your RV will also withstand any type of weather and because a camper is so small it won’t take much solar power to operate the RV.  Another hot solar powered item to buy for your RV is called the Solar Power Ventilator. This provides the perfect ventilation system for small quarters, such as RV’s.  When it is hot in the summer or anytime that the sun is shining it doesn’t take long for the RV to heat up and become very uncomfortable.  The solar power ventilator will run all the hot air out and circulate the air with clean fresh air.

When you take the RV out you want to enjoy your time in the great outdoors without giving up the fact that you have to rely on a power source or go without power completely.  If you have to go without power you may find that it is inconvenient and hard to do, especially when you purchase an RV because of the way that it is convenient.

The Cost of Solar Power

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Solar Power Tips

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Solar energy is free but the tools that will enable you to harness this free energy are not.

If you are planning to install a solar energy system right at your home and would like to know how much it would cost, there are 3 things you need to consider:

First, the cost depends on how much energy your household requires. More energy you require means more solar panels and higher cost of installation. The good thing is, the technology to harness the power of the sun is relatively cheaper than it was several years ago.

Second, the government is offering a rebate to those who will switch to alternative form of energy. That means, the government will shoulder a portion of the total cost of the system.

Third, you can get tax credits when you switch to solar energy system. The amount of tax rebate depends from state to state but the range can go from $1000 to $2000.

All these affect the overall cost of your installation.

A photovoltaic system can cost roughly at $8000 to $10000 per 1kW system. This equates to $8 to $10 per Watt. An average American household with 3 bedrooms requires at least 1.5kW to as much as 3kW. Thus, installation can cost from $14000 to $30000, before rebates and tax credits.

Government rebate varies from state to state. As a reference, an average California household that requires 1.5kW system can get as much as $4200 rebate (1.5kW= 1500 watts x $2.80 per watt = $4200).

A household that requires 3kW system can get as much as $8400 (3kW= 3000 watts x $2.80 per watt = $8400).

Before, tax credit goes as much as 30% but it is lowered to 7.5% of system cost after rebate.

So an average household with 1.5kW system can get $735 ($14000 – $4200 x 7.5% = $735) worth of tax credit while the 3kW system can get $1620 ($30000 – $8400 x 7.5% = $1620) worth of tax credit.

Example A: 1.5kW system

Cost of solar electric system: $14000
Less rebate: $4200
Less tax credit: $735

Cost of the system after rebate and tax credit: $9065

Example B: 3kW system

Cost of solar electric system: $30000
Less rebate: $8400
Less tax credit: $1620

Cost of the system after rebate and tax credit: $19980

Again, these are rough estimates just to give you an idea of the cost of installing solar energy system. They do not represent real figures.

Top tips:

Energy independent home has higher resale value and is more preferred by home buyers. So, if you are planning to sell your home in several years, installing solar energy system does not only provide substantial saving on electric bill, it also is a good home improvement option.

If you want to finance the cost of your solar energy installation, include it in your mortgage.

If you want to reduce your electricity load, switch to energy efficient appliances. Buy electric appliances with ENERGY STAR seal.

Low energy requirement means lower installation cost.

Residents of areas with higher electricity rate can benefit most on solar energy system.

If you can’t afford the photovoltaic system, you can install solar hot water system that costs roughly from $2000 to $4000.

Solar energy is best for houses that are located far from the existing power lines.

Renewable Energy – What Are The Choices

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Solar Power Tips

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When it comes to renewable energy, just how many choices do we have? Plenty. But in today’s context, the most prominent and promising ones would be solar, hydro and wind power. Our world is heading for destruction if it does not hold its reins on fossil fuel consumption. Now, we all know that since such energy is non-renewable, sooner or later, depletion is a certainty. Instead of leaving things to chance, we can always turn our focus to renewable energy solutions.

The sun is a huge reservoir, abundant in energy. Think about it as free energy. We have wasted that for so many centuries. Perhaps it is time now to recoup that by tapping the solar power to meet our energy needs. By using solar energy, we are living green as well. They are used today in solar heating systems, residential solar power systems, solar dryers etc.

Other than being green and renewable, did you know that solar panels are built to last for decades? In fact, most systems can last for up to 30 years. This means that you not only save money and effort on its maintenance, there is hardly any repair needed as well. While it can be costly to install one at home, you will recoup the initial investment overtime.

Wind power is another powerful resource of nature. Since olden days, civilization has made use of it in many ways. Windmills are nothing new and have been used by different countries as a water pump or as other mechanical devices. Today, they are used to convert wind power into electricity. Large wind farms have been built to supply many homes with power. While they do not look aesthetic today, this hiccup can be easily overcome in turn to come and will surely be able to blend well with the landscape.

Hydro energy, the power of running water has been tapped for decades now. This has been used to provide electrical power in automotive and electrical appliances. Dams can often supply enough energy to sustain an entire town or city.

Why are Solar Panels Important?

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Solar Power Tips

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Solar panels convert the suns energy into usable forms. Solar panels can be a certain kind of device that attracts the sun to use the sun to power machinery that can transfer the heat from the sun into whatever they need.  We could use solar panels to convert the heat from the sun into the energy we need to power things that run.  Solar panels are common and can be seen in a lot of different products, such as calculators, satellites, or even space ships.  Solar panels are an effective way to redirect the sunlight and use it for electricity.

It all starts over one hundred years ago when a man got the idea to use the heat from the sun to power his machinery. The main focus was to use the steam from the hot sun light in order to start and maintain their machines.  This new revelation peaked the interest of several scientists who did not waste any time traveling to see how this discovery worked.  Since then, there have been groundbreaking products that have increased the convenience and the need to use a natural resource such as the sun in order to work machinery.

Solar panels can be different shapes and sizes but their main purpose is to convert the light in order to make electricity. Photovoltaic, or PV, is the process of converting the light into electricity. Photovoltaic cells are self generating and consist of a very thing film made of silver.  This film is placed on a semiconductor layer that can be found on an iron substrate. The photovoltaic cells are very important in producing enough sunlight and heat in order to successfully produce the energy that is needed in order to heat up water, heat homes and power electricity.

Solar panels can be found in all different shapes and sizes including round, square, and rectangle.  You can see them on top of buildings and houses or standing alone in fields.  Solar panels are in hand held devices and they are in energy efficient appliances.  The sun is a wonderful natural resource and can greatly cater to our way of life.  The study of natural resources like the sun is ongoing and the improvement that can be made in the future is anyone’s guess but you can’t go wrong when you use natural resources.

Because this new way of production was in trial and error stage, it was somewhat expensive to turn your home or business into a natural way to heat and power.  But since things have changed and newer material has surfaced and since we know more about the solar panels the cost is not as high, although it is still higher than using man made methods of producing heat and electricity.  In the long run using solar panels for all your electric needs will save you money in the long run because you won’t have to worry about paying for your power.  As long as the sun shines you will have power.  On days that are too cloudy for the sun to break through to the earth, your system should still be adequate enough to carry the electricity through another day.

Solar Power Lighting

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Solar Power Tips

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Lighting is important to everyone.  When the sun goes down we expect the lights to be just a click away.  Sometime we may take advantage of our lighting and miss it when it is out.  Lighting is used in many different ways.  You can have different wattage bulbs of your lighting as well as different colors.  Your lighting source may be a lamp, an overhead light, a porch light and a flash light, just to name a few.  Light can be taken with us or left behind.  The source that powers your light is what this article is about. Learn about indoor and outdoor lighting using solar power and ways you can get this type of lighting.

Indoor Lighting

Some really great ideas for indoor solar lighting include using it inside of your sheds, gazebos, garages, or inside your home.  You don’t need to continuously change light bulbs.  The installation is easy and your maintenance is minimal.  You need to install a solar panel that can receive the most possible sunlight in your area. That’s it.  Enjoy your lighting system all through the night. You will need to find a solar panel that is right for the size of building you will be providing light to.  Once your indoor lighting has been installed you will be able to use the lighting both night and day.  During the day you may not need it except on cloudy days. During the night you should have enough energy from the solar power to last you through the night.  It is becoming the latest in lighting barns on farms as well because there is no wiring needed to get lighting out to the barn.

Outdoor Lighting

When you are outside during the day you won’t need much light but at night you will appreciate the lighting that you have installed using solar power.  There are different types of outdoor lighting using solar power; flood lights, pond or pool lights, garden lights, post lights, spot lights, security lights, solar flag lights and sign lights.   If you have a pool or pond in your yard that you like to add lighting to it is easy to do and there are several choices to choose from as far as the design and shape.  Everyone wants an eye catching yard that has been well taken care of and now your efforts can be reflected at night. If you display a flag out in your yard people only see it at night, until now. Add your flag to a stand that is solar powered so it can be seen at all times.  If your yard is too dark invest in security lighting that will work even when the power is off and trees are down.  When the sun is out you are sure to have light at night.

The soft glow from solar power lights calm and relax.  They are not bright and in your eyes but they are eye catching.  Investing in solar power lighting is a smart economical and practical choice that is also very affordable.

Heating your Home with Solar Energy

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Solar Power Tips

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It doesn’t matter if you are building your home or remodeling, you can turn it into a solar energy home by making a few simple changes to your plan.  If electric and gas become hard to manage you may want to consider heating your home with the sun.  Solar energy is the heat that comes from the sun down to the earth.  When it reaches the earth it spreads evenly but you may need it to go to a certain area like your home.  How do you get that much sunlight to heat a home? It’s easy to do and takes a few extra steps to help get it started.

Building or Remodeling your Home

If you are building your home you have several choices to choose from regarding your heating source.  If you choose to heat from the sun you need to build your home facing in the direction that the sun rise’s.  This allows your home to get the most sunshine during the hottest part of the day. Buying solar powered glass windows allow the sun to come through and stay in the home without escaping back out.  After the sun goes down your home is kept warm by the sunlight that came into the home during the day.  You need to keep the door shut in order to keep the heat in and you also need to use insulated curtains on the windows at night so that the heat will not escape at night while you sleep. Make sure you don’t allow too many windows on the side of the house that faces the evening sun as it may cause the home to cool down quickly.

Remodeling your home to use the sun as a natural heating source is fairly easy to do.  Although you can’t change the direction that your home is built in to face the morning sun you can still trap the sunlight that shines through and reduce the amount of time that you use another source of heat.  You may want to consider building a sun room onto the side that catches the morning sun allowing it to heat up naturally and then install ceiling fans that will circulate the air into the parts of the house.  During the day this may provide enough heat to maintain the warmth in your home. When remodeling your home, it will help to install solar power windows that are specially designed to attract the sunlight and allow it to come into the house but not let it escape.  This is a natural way to heat your home.

Using sunlight to heat your home is an excellent way to safe money on your heating bill and also to improve the environment.  You can install a backup heating source in case the sunlight does not heat your home efficiently during the day because of clouds.  Your back up system can be used to assist the solar energy which will also cut down on the use of electric or gas.

The Benefits Of Solar Power Energy

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Solar Power Tips

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Utilizing solar energy or the power coming from the sun’s rays has many benefits. Let us take a closer look on each of them.

•Solar energy saves money.

In 2006, we saw the highest jump on residential electric rate. In some areas of the country, as much as 60% increase was seen. Many experts agree that the trend will likely to continue in the years to come. This means that you have to pay larger sum of cash to sustain your monthly electric consumption. But if you produce your own power, you can prevent paying the high cost of energy – especially now when energy prices are very unstable.

On a larger scale, if American households switch to other types of alternative energy including solar energy, the nation’s spending on imported oil will greatly decrease.

•Solar energy is environment-friendly.

The issue of global warming will not go away. So if you want to do your part to save this planet, drawing your power requirement from the sun will make a great difference.

Solar energy is sustainable and renewable unlike gas, coal and oil that most utility companies use. It does not produce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury or carbon dioxide as byproducts so it doesn’t pollute the air. Since it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases, it doesn’t contribute to global warming.

Using solar energy reduces demand for fossil fuel and reduces the nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources.

•Government gives incentives to those who use alternative form of energy.

Many are discouraged to install solar electric systems because of the initial cost of the project. But, some states like California offers federal tax credits as much as $2000 and up front rebate that covers 20% to 30% of the total system cost. These offers are relatively good considering the substantial increase of energy cost in recent years.

Note: Due to the increasing number of households who want to switch into alternative forms of energy, the incentive levels decline. Check with your state government the rates it offer if you are going to make a switch.

•Solar power systems are dependable and require little or no maintenance.

Photovoltaic (PV) cells that are used in solar power systems are capable of providing electricity for a very long time. Originally developed for space use, PV cells require little or no maintenance. The proof is, most satellites orbiting earth use PV cells that are in harsh environment, not maintained but are still working properly. The manufacturers of solar panels can give as much as 25-years warranty. Talk about quality and dependability.

•Solar energy helps improve the quality of life.

Saving the planet one watt at a time if done collectively will help reduce the effects of global warming. It will also reduce demand on coal, oil or gas power plants that emit harmful gases. In turn, using solar power helps clean the air and improves the quality of life of every individual.

•Solar energy can reduce demands for other non-biodegradable materials.

For utility companies to distribute power to every home, they need materials necessary in building these systems of power lines like electric cable and steel. These require energy to produce and contribute to greenhouse gases emissions. If we can cut the demand for power plant and switch into alternative energy, we can also reduce the demand for these materials and help the environment.