Solar Panel Maintenance Ideas

Posted on 14th June 2011 in solar

Solar panels are designed to capture the sun’s light and convert it into electricity. The panels feature an array of solar cells and are linked up to other compartments. They’re installed in groups of three or four in places where they can capture sunlight, often on the roof of homes and other buildings. To ensure your panels are able to function properly and provide adequate power, make sure that they are properly maintained.

Thankfully, these devices require only the minimum amount of upkeep. The heating pump is the really only component that features any moving parts and the only breakable part is the glass covering of the panels. Even though maintenance will be light, it’s wise to stay on top of it.

Inspecting your solar panels periodically is the first step. Dirt and other pieces of debris will have to be removed to prevent damage. Look at the owner’s manual supplied by the manufacturer to see how often you should check them. If there’s a reason to check them more frequently – a nearby tree for example – take that into consideration. Panels that are installed in exceptionally dusty environments will need to be inspected more often. If it helps, create a schedule or mark your calendar to keep track of the device’s maintenance.

In order to remove an accumulation of grime and dirt particles from the panels, scrub gently from time to time. Use soap and warm water to loosen the dirt and a clean cloth to wipe it away. Bird droppings are commonly found on solar panels, since they’re usually located on roofs. You’ll need to completely remove them to maximize the amount of sunlight that gets through to the solar panels. To avoid leaving streaks and water spots behind, cool the panels down with room temperature water before applying the soap.

Don’t remove the solar panels to clean them. That’s more work than it’s worth. You will have to use a ladder and some safety gear to climb up to them. A large amount of ladder and roof related accidents occur each year so it is very important that you take every safety precaution as you inspect and clean the panels.

In order to function properly solar panels must be kept completely clean. A dirty panel could mean that you get little or no use out of it. Cleaning them is not just cosmetic. It’s necessary if you want your solar energy system to perform its job.

There are other options besides climbing to the roof of your home. There is a tool available that allows a home owner to effectively clean their solar devices from the comfort and safety of the ground. Much like the devices used at a self service car wash, a long metal pole sprays a powerful steady stream of water. Most of the devices are intended to hook up to the water spigot in your yard.

Professional solar panel cleaners are also a possibility. These companies can send experts out to your home to inspect and clean rooftop solar panels. They have the proper tools and knowledge to keep them clean and working efficiently. Look in the phone book or online for local businesses that offer this service. Or ask the contractor that installed your system. Make sure you do your research and shop around for the company that offers the best overall deal.

Harnessing The Power Of The Sun To Make Solar Electricity

Posted on 1st March 2011 in energy

Free energy … What a dream, eh? One of the biggest household burdens is the cost of energy. The cost of energy is frequently 40% of total household bills. So, free energy would assist every family that is not rich a great deal. However, free energy is a pipe dream, is it not? There is alternative energy, that is non fossil fuel based energy, like nuclear energy, but that is not low-cost either.

Other alternative sources of energy include wind-driven turbines and solar power. In this piece, I want to talk about harnessing the power of the sun to create solar electricity. Creating solar power is nothing new and most people are acquainted with the general theory of how the scheme works. In deed, most of us have owned a solar powered pocket calculator or solar powered clock at one time or another.

Solar electricity is just as good and just as powerful as traditionally generated electricity and they can be utilized for exactly the same purposes. However, solar energy has one huge benefit, it is not ‘dirty’.

Electricity produced from the sun’s energy has not been made creating any greenhouse gases whatsoever. Additionally, because there are no moving parts in a solar panel, there is no wear and tear and so less maintenance.

Solar panel systems are more adaptable too. For instance, if you have a small house with couple of appliances, you still need the same method of delivering grid electricity as a huge house and you still have to have a metering system and a means of paying for the electricity consumed.

However, if you take the same small house as an example, you might find that ten solar panels will power it. Therefore, for a one-off payment, you are free of electricity pylons and their cables, the meter box and the monthly bills. A huge house would just have to fit more panels, say a hundred, to achieve the same freedom.

This freedom from the instruments of supplying electricity is a very real benefit if you live in a far-flung place, where you are expected to pay for the electricity pylons and their cables all on your own. The down side of using solar power is the cost of setting it up. A professionally installed solar energy system can cost about $30,000.

If you save $200 per month on electricity, then you will recoup your expenditure in about 300 months, which is 12.5 years. However, if you could get the system fitted more economically, you would recoup your costs more rapidly.

This is possible, by assembling the solar panels yourself and installing them yourself. No matter what sort of a ham-fisted person you think you are, you can put together and fit the average solar panel kit. In fact, most teenagers can do the job. If you decide to buy solar panel kits to assemble yourself, you can save about half of the above costs, but if you were to make the panels from parts that are easily obtainable in DIY shops, you could be harnessing the power of the sun to make solar energy for up to 75% of the cost of a professional installation.

A look at Alternative Energy Sources

Posted on 24th February 2011 in Renewable Energy, wind energy

With oil reserves and supplies being rapidly depleted, the search is on for viable alternative energy sources. While numbers of alternative energy solutions have been proposed, there are only a few that actually show much promise. Among the few that have a hope to replace oil and coal electricity are solar, wind, nuclear, and hydroelectricity. We’ll summarize each of these in the next few paragraphs.

One of the most promising and well known alternative energy sources is solar energy. Most of us have played with a solar calculator or perhaps used solar power to charge a phone. Should be easy enough to mass produce these items and apply them on a bigger scale, right? Maybe, maybe not. Solar panels have historically been very expensive, only produce power at night, and require huge and costly batteries to harness their energy. However, over the last few years that has changed significantly. Solar power is becoming more recognized as a viable alternative energy, and vast arrays of solar panels have shown up in places that usually get a ton of sun. You can even produce your own solar panels for a fraction of the cost of even ten years ago.

Another great source of energy from a clean source is windmills. These huge structures have blades that catch the wind and turn them. The wind powers the blades which in turn move huge turbines to create energy. The drawback to windmills is that they have a huge upfront cost and are very weather dependent.

One of the newest forms of experimental clean energy is tidal. Using the naturally occurring rise and fall of the oceans tides, energy is gathered by creating small dams that use the tides.

Another promising source of clean energy is nuclear. Nuclear energy is one of the most long running clean energy sources. However, nuclear waste and the devastation of accidents plague it and have prevented it from becoming a more widely accepted energy alternative.

The above alternative energy sources are several of the ways the world could rid or severely reduce its dependence on polluting oil and natural gas. With advances in technology and funding from many of the worlds superpowers the future looks promising with regards to alternative clean energy.

Reducing Your Energy Bills is Not So Difficult

Posted on 19th February 2011 in energy

Electricity bills are a nightmare for many and some even don’t dare to take a look at it. They frown at the amount of the bill. Some people keep the bill aside to have a look at it later on.

While we keep on grumbling about the rising electricity bill, we seldom take any step to bring it down. There are however many ways in bringing down the electricity consumption and I have listed them below for your perusal.

First off, you must get the other people in your household to see things your way. Showing them that lowering the bill is not as hard as they may think it is, will often be all you need to receive their cooperation. Also, it may be good to offer incentives for the extra effort of lowering the bill when you see that those efforts have resulted in savings. Tell them that sometimes it’s as simple as turning off the lights or TV when they are leaving the room or unplugging things when they are not in use.

People are careless about turning off light and they don’t realize the cost they have to pay for their carelessness. Two places where the lights are on throughout the day are the night lights and the exterior lights. Light is needed of course at night but it doesn’t mean that it should be on throughout the night. As an alternative, you can use motion detector lights for the exterior and only a few lights inside the house. Your electricity bill will be substantially reduced if you follow these simple steps.

One of the least conspicuous ways to save on your electric bill is to replace incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs. These lights are equal, in quality, to incandescent bulbs and use less energy.

A one time expenditure on power saving gadgets is perfectly okay and should not be minded at all. There are gadgets available in your local hardware stores that can monitor your usage of electricity so that you can keep tabs on the bill and adjust usage accordingly.

Most people think that the number of household electronics we have directly reflects the amount of the electric bill. However, this is not necessarily the case. It really depends on how these items are used. (For example, only washing dishes or clothes when you have full loads is more energy efficient that doing a few measly pieces at a time.) And turning off things when not in use, because it’s not like you can watch that show upstairs when you are downstairs making a sandwich.

If you want to reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill, try to produce your own electricity from renewable sources. In addition to freeing you from the burden of electricity bills, they are environmental friendly too. It will make you self reliant on energy needs.

Renewable Energy Options

Posted on 14th December 2010 in solar power, wind energy

Renewable energy is a bit of a generic phrase to cover a lot of types of more eco friendly energy generation. It refers not to one energy production method, but to many types that have one thing in common. They all use an energy resource that is freely available and does not run out per se. Let’s take a look.

Biopower – The great hope of President Bush, biopower is based on the idea of using organic material to produce fuel for cars, heating and so on. It is better than using fossil fuels, but has some serious disadvantages. Ethanol, for instance, can help replace gasoline, but it produces a ton of smog. Processing organic materials also takes nearly as much energy as it produces in the form of fuel and such. All and all, this is one of the weaker renewable energy resources.

The first law of thermodynamics: energy is conserved. Thermodynamics is the study of the movement of heat. This law instructs us that although the kind of energy in a given system can change, the total amount can’t. Energy is able to travel seamlessly through systems, yet it never changes its structure or shape. It’s also important to note that objects with like charges experience a “get away from me” stance, while objects with opposite charges attract each other. We know that every Magnet has a north and south pole and those magnets exert forces on each other, and always contain two poles.

If you’re wondering why the world is still so reliant on fossil fuels like oil, petrol and diesel, and why there isn’t more renewable energy used, then perhaps you are about to find out. Consumers like the convenience of petrol and diesel for vehicles, whether for private or public transport. Cars are as popular as ever, despite recent oil price rises, and for most people, the car is the most convenient way of travelling.

A type of renewable energy that hardly gets a mention is magnetic power. Using the potential energy of gravitational fields, magnetic power generators produce electricity around the clock. Magnetic generators are the most efficient in producing renewable and cheap electricity. The cost of a magnetic generator is limited to one-off extraction and manufacturing costs. There is next to no maintenance, and no power is required to run the magnetic generator.

Biomass is another increasing popular form of renewable energy. It uses organic matter, such as waste products, or crops grown especially to be used as fuel. Biomass has arguably the best chance of being accepted more widely. Already used as biodiesel, biomass is becoming more popular thanks to increasing media coverage. Combined biomass heat and power plants create power. Heat is created as part of the power process. This heat is normally lost, whereas in a combined heat and power plant the heat is used to heat the building or water. In domestic environment environments, wood burning stoves for cooking and heating is an example of biomass energy.

Power cuts and outages will be a thing of the past. And your ongoing alternative power will reduce carbon emissions, thus helping to turn around climate change. The instructions include a backup system, and guided, illustrated steps to follow.

As consumers show renewed interest in renewable energy sources like wind, product manufacturers are already rushing to respond. One of the most interesting consumer wind technologies is both amazingly inexpensive and amazingly small. How small? You can hold this particular wind turbine in your hand – while it’s generating electricity.