Home Improvement


Solar PanelsPrices for just about everything go up constantly. Electricity costs are among those that seem to continually rise no matter how much you try to conserve energy. If you are serious about making significant changes around your household, consider getting solar panels for a more energy efficient home.

While the technology is fairly new, solar energy has been around long enough. Proven results have been seen and many know for sure that this is a great way to decrease the energy bills you have to pay for your property. In addition, this technology is continuously improved for better performance. If there’s a right time to get solar panels installed, that would be now.

Read More

Solar Outdoor LightsInvesting in home safety and security is absolutely necessary no matter where you are located. You may live in a very friendly neighborhood but you can never really be sure who comes and goes especially in the middle of the night. Setting up your home with alarms, security cameras, and even fierce dogs are certainly great steps to take. But one of the best ways to add security is by making sure your property is well lit especially at night. Solar outdoor lights are great options when you don’t want a significant increase in your energy bill.

What’s great about solar outdoor lights is that they charge using the power from the sun. Unlike regular light sources that need electric power, solar outdoor lights use free energy. You can expect that even if you place a huge number of these lights outside your home, your energy bill won’t be affected at all.

Read More

A solar panel is a device that is used to absorb energy from the sun in order to generate heat or in many cases electricity. It is also referred to as a photovoltaic cell since it is made of many cells that are used to convert the light from the sun into electricity. The only raw material for these solar panels is the sun. it is made in such a way that the cells face the sun in order to enable maximum absorption of the sun rays. The greater the energy from the sun is, the more the electricity that is generated. Solar panels are used in many homesteads in the world due to their many pros that are far more than cons. Some of these pros are discussed below.

One very important advantage of using solar panels is that they do not emit any gases that are common in green houses. The panels do not emit any smoke, chemical or heavy metals that can be risk factors to human health. Solar panels are therefore environmental friendly when compared to burning of fossil fuels to generate energy. This is very important since carbon emissions are dangerous and avoiding their emission helps in safeguarding our present and future environment. Being environment friendly is important since the government is constantly coming up with ways to control global warming and the use of solar panels is a great way to start. The solar panels therefore maintain a clean setting and they leave the air fresh. More importantly they help in prevention of many cancer incidences. This is because some products from some sources of energy like nuclear energy have been said to cause cancer due to initiation of mutations in cells.

Secondly, use of solar panels ensures ongoing free energy for those who use it. This is mainly because the only cost incurred is that of installation. Once the installation has been done the energy is free since the panel does not require regular maintenance or fuel to run it. It also requires no raw materials for its operation. It works as long as there are sun rays which is an everyday thing in most parts of the world. In a world where equal distribution of resources is continuously being sought, this is very important since each and everyone has equal rights when it comes to use of solar energy. This is because the energy from the sun falls on all. This is a good way to maintain equality as compared with energy from fossil fuel which low income homesteads do not afford in many cases.

There is also the advantage in that, the use of solar panels enable the decentralization of power. This is very important since it is very cheap. This is mainly because when power is not decentralized, it has to be shared by all and is as a result transported to many areas. With this happening, there are very many costs that are incurred. These include; the wear and tear of vehicles, the air pollution among others. These costs are all incorporated in the electricity bills of individuals as the government does not cover the expenses. It is therefore more advantageous to use solar panels as a saving plan and to create a sense of fairness since those in power tend to take advantage and use their positions to embezzle funds. This is not fair on the citizens’ part. This is because most of them struggle to make ends meet.

Read More

Solar Power, a renewable source of energy, is one of the most available sources on Earth. However, being an intermittent source of energy, it needs to be enhanced by storage or another energy source. Even though solar energy systems nowadays still have low average efficiencies, due to modern technology, research is being put into developing high-efficient and low-cost systems daily. Using solar energy is beneficial because it allows a more environmentally friendly or a “greener” way of living. It is also a freely available resource, which is one of its many advantages as once installed and does not cost more than the cost of setting up and routine maintenance. Concentrating Solar Energy Systems such as “Stirling Disks” are large solar power plants that use modern technologies to convert light energy into useful electric energy. A direct technology of using solar energy involves the usage of Photovoltaics, which is a system is directed for small appliances and homes.

Solar Power Information-It is important to know of some information about solar power before purchasing it. The definition of solar power is “energy systems that produce energy directly from sunlight”. It is the conversion of sunlight to electricity. Most of our energy resources are anyway indirect forms of solar energy. Without the sun, the wind would not blow. Additionally, the sun causes evaporation of water which results in water collecting up in rivers after condensation. This water is used for hydro electrical power. Without the sun, water would be eternally locked in a solid state: ice. Moreover, bio-fuels cannot exist without the sun as well. If you were to go more into depth it is also the sun that allows life, which in turn, would provide fossil fuels. An essential fact about solar energy is that it is a renewable source of energy as sunlight could be used any time.

Solar power is transmitted directly by “photovoltaics” (PV), or indirectly with “concentrating solar power (CSP). Photovoltaics are used to power small to medium sized equipment such as calculators to off-grid homes. CSP involves two methods: the first method is to simply boil water which is then used for providing power; the second and more complicated method entails technology such as the sterling engine dishes which use a sterling cycle engine to power a generator. Another detail to keep in mind that even though installation of solar power is costly, this cost has decreased significantly over the past couple of years making it affordable for almost everyone. Furthermore, small solar applications are also being used to replace other sources in the developing world. Since solar power is a renewable source of energy, this means you can pay up front for the next twenty years or so of energy. However, non-renewable energy sources are purchased as consumed.

Solar Power Efficiency-So how efficient is solar energy in reality? Research states that the current photovoltaic conversion efficiency is about 15% and improving day by day! Additionally, some experimental models are yielding over 40% efficiencies! This shows that solar energy is becoming more superior than what is was about twenty years ago. Solar panel efficiencies are averaged at 20%. However, do not be discouraged. The most advanced solar energy systems are estimated to have an average of 40% efficiencies. However, when converting the resulting electricity (from solar energy) into light the efficiency does reduce by 15%.

Read More
Energy Efficiency-Guidelines

Energy Efficiency-Guidelines


Posted By on Feb 22, 2018

Think of the ways we try to separate the outside climate from the inside climate. In a nut shell, that is the goal of an energy efficient house. Take a snowmobile or a dog sled and you will see a domed home made out of snow and ice. Grab a camel ride and get sand in your shoes and you may spend the night in a home that is made of camel hide. But, enough with the “make-do-with-what-you-have” society, we live in a society that has been to the moon and back, so let’s add a little Physics and common sense to the effort of coming home to an energy efficient house.

One interesting insight is the fact that the people that live in igloos and hide huts use far less energy than we do – they are already energy efficient. It seems, that since we have progressed to an advanced society, we have increasingly become extreme energy consumers. We had better find a way to dwell in a more energy efficient house before the seal and hide hunters only have polluted air and bare landscapes in which to live in.

Building Construction: Reduce heating and cooling needs. In all new construction, the building codes are progressively asking for a more efficient house. The effort to provide a better home shell with increased performance is underway, just like it has been for a hundred years. Every builder knows that they may have a leg up on the competition by building a better home. New homes are designed to maximize heat retention during the winter and minimize heat gain during the summer. Three areas of new home construction are vitally important.

Energy Efficient Design:  I know you have some very neat features and design ideas that you have been saving up for years. Finally, you are in a position to build your very own home. The problem is, gas is now $3.80 a gallon, electricity is 14 cent a kilowatt, and natural gas is $1.10 per therm. Before you put the final touches on that cool bay window or that classy vaulted ceiling, better take a quick course in energy efficient design.

Site Planning:

Floor Insulation-Even the Mongolian sheep herder takes this into consideration. What is the best location for the home on the property. How do hills, trees, other homes, and the passing sun affect the otherwise energy efficient house. Which windows are facing South and where are you going to put the solar thermal and solar electric panels? Site planning means you will be able to take advantage of the environments ability to help you heat and cool your home.

Construction and the placement of the building materials: You get what you pay for. When you hire a contractor to build your home and the fellow the is willing to park his travel trailer on site and build your home for the half the cost of any other builder, he may not be the best person to correctly install the energy efficient measures that will affect your home for years to come. You might ask yourself, “how hard can it be to install insulation?” What you should be asking yourself is, “how hard can it be to install insulation incorrectly?” Whether you live in Macon or Fairbanks, an energy efficient house must have an A-plus thermal barrier.

Read More