Beginners Guide To Solar Power

February 7, 2012 by Liam Raikes  
Filed under Science

The function of a solar cell is very simple. It takes light, and it makes it into electricity. It’s very simple, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. Imagine if you were tasked to create something that could actually do that, most people wouldn’t know where to start. Well, by the end of this article, you’re not going to be an expert in how to build solar panels, but you should at least understand the principles involved.

How Does Light Become Electricity?

To answer this question of how it is that light becomes electricity, we have to be more clear about exactly what light is and what electricity is. There isn’t room to go into detail about this of course, but we can get a general idea.

A Photon

The most important thing to know about light when it comes to solar panels is that it can be viewed in two ways, as being made up of waves and as being made up of particles. In fact both is true, which is a bit strange, but this is something that has come out of quantum physics.

In terms of solar cells, the most useful way to think about light is as being made up of particles of light. That is what a photon is, it is the name for a particle of light. If you’re wondering how light can be thought of as being particle based, in terms of waves it is the smallest packet of waves that you can get (if that makes it any clearer!).

What Is Electricity?

Electricity consists of the uniform flow of electrons in a substance. The substance has to have certain qualities which allows this to happen, they have to be made up in a particular way. When the conditions are right, then we call that material conductive, because it can conduct electricity. This applies to metals mostly.

There is another type of material though which conducts electricity in a slightly different way. It still has to do with the electrons flowing, but this flow can be created by the existence of “holes” in which there should be an electron. This hole will attract an electron, so that is how electricity can flow as well. Substances that do this are called semiconductors.

Solar Cells

With this information, the way that a solar panel actually works can be described more easily. The first thing to know is that they are made of a semi-conductive substance, often silicone. The important thing about this is that when a photon hits the semiconductor which the cell is made of, it pushes an electron out of its orbit and this creates a “hole” in it, like the ones described above. This is what causes electricity to flow.

It’s not quite as simple as getting a semiconductor and hooking it up to some wires though. There are actually two halves, one of which has to be negatively charged and the other half has to be positively charged. In their normal state, these halves are balanced, but when light hits them the balance is upset and that is what makes the electrons move in a uniform way.

How The Solar Electricity Is Made Useful For Your House

A little bit more work has to be done before the electricity can be used in a house though. It comes out as direct current (DC) but houses run on alternating current (AC) so it has to be converted before it can actually be useful.

On the way to the converter, however, it makes a stop in a battery. This is a DC battery, and that’s where the electrical energy from the solar cells are stored, so that it can be used when needed.

If you are interested in becoming helping in the fight against global warming, go to Solar Energy UK to get more information about solar panels. That is the website where Cameron Knill enjoys writing more about renewable energy sources.


Solar Technology: Positives And Negatives Evaluated

January 11, 2012 by Mario Van Burron  
Filed under Gardening

It is usually difficult to find ways to save your money without doing a lot of work. Something that many people are trying is solar energy, but is it working out for everyone? You can find many uses for solar energy, for example central heating, electricity, cooking, and even for desalination. Solar energy has both advantages and disadvantages and so they should both be taken into consideration. By harnessing the strength of the sun, it is easy to transform that into energy that is clean and environmentally friendly. Fossil fuels don’t need to be combined in order to generate the energy. Solar energy collectors and solar power panels are often the key devices used to harness the solar energy.

Conventional heating methods like electric heating cost more than solar energy in the long run. Depending on were you reside, if electricity isn’t on hand to you, solar energy is a great assistance. There are several different ways in which solar energy can contribute to your savings and help power the electronics in your home. A unique process known as desalination allows the solar power to create fresh water from salt water. This succeeds when the salt crystals stay at the bottom of a basin while the remainder evaporates from the power of the solar energy. An additional basin will certainly be ready to keep the drinking water after it condenses.

The disadvantages haven’t been disclosed just yet, and that is why you shouldn’t just believe that solar energy is right for you because it may not be. The fact that you will need to have many solar collectors is the top disadvantage. Repair of the photo voltaic collectors together with cost of them can be more than you can afford to spend. Solar energy is free of charge but the supplies required to harness that energy are not, and so you will need to see if you will actually save money in the long run versus losing money in the short term. So you can save up for a nice set of lincoln wheels.

If the sun isn’t always out where you live, it is a huge disadvantage because it may not be worth it for you. If the conditions are unpredictable in your geographical area it may not take advantage of the solar energy as well compared to someone who lives in a place that is mostly sunny. If you don’t have enough sunlight for your solar collectors, it may be detrimental to how much you are able to save. Whenever you live in desert locations, you know that you have plenty of sunshine for solar energy to work.

Dependent on where you live, the days might be longer than various other places and this is another disadvantage to check out. Having readily-available electricity at night is one thing you should also take note of. A back-up system, whether you want to use something battery powered, or your old electricity grid could be beneficial if you need electricity at night.

This article was kindly provided by mercedes rims. You can find out more at


Picking the Best Power Saving Hints That Will Work For You

November 4, 2011 by Andrew Stratford  
Filed under Environment

With the world going green and saving energy being on everyone’s mind, many are always looking for means to reduce wastage and save cash. There are various ways to save energy that one can adopt to cut down on expenses.

There are several energy saving tips which may be used at home such as properly managing the domestic energy consuming appliances. Some of these tips include switching off lights when not being use and appliances which consume a lot of energy such as televisions, refrigerators, air cons, heaters and computers.

Researched reports states that 31% of energy used up at home is from space heaters, 12% space coolers, 12% heating water, 11% lighting systems, 9% from electric office equipment such as computers, 9% electric appliances, 8% others. Lighting energy bills can be reduced use of florescent light bulbs and tubes which are labeled energy star as they cut down 60-80% of lighting energy.

In the kitchen buy energy efficient appliances with ENERGY STAR labeling. One idea for energy saving tips you can use, would be to air dry the dishes, instead of using a dishwasher in the summer. When you are preparing meals, do it ahead of time and refrigerate them and serve as needed. If you run an office from home, then select energy efficient office equipment like personal computer, monitors, copiers and printers.

Turn off computers and monitors when not in use. You can lower the hot water thermostat to 120*F. Some other ideas you can use may include to use the shower instead of taking a bath, consider also washing full loads of dishes and clothes in the dish washer and washing machine respectively.

If heating is one of the sources of high energy bills, insulation and sealing of air leaks should be done in the house. Controlling air leaks or moisture helps in conserving energy and cutting down costs on energy bills. Well driven and maintained vehicles reduce energy use thus save money. It has been noted 67% of oil used in the world is gasoline.

Transportation is another area where you can use energy saving tips to reduce on your fuel costs. Reduce idling of the engine especially in the garage or anywhere. When you know that you are not yet ready for the trip, do not start the car engine. Reduce your speed as aggressive driving costs you money for maintenance of the braking system and gas emissions. You might also want to cut back on carrying unnecessary loads in the car as they increase your gasoline usage. Other energy saving tips you can consider include servicing your car regularly,

There is a variety of energy saving tips which can be used to save money. For an individual energy saving may save money but it conserves and contributes to the world energy needs as well. Cutting down on energy use at homes, goes a whole in saving the worlds energy.

Find out how I cut down a lot of the money I used to pay off my personal power bills by simply following the Power4home solution.

Curious About How to Cut Back on Energy?

October 26, 2011 by Andrew Stratford  
Filed under Environment

You can save money in your home by cutting on your energy demand. 43% of your utility bill is due to heating and cooling. Some energy saving tips that work will allow you to cut on your energy demand meaning you will be cutting the amount of resources like coal and gas which go into the production of energy. As you reduce on the energy demand in the home, you save money and contribute in reducing the greenhouse gas emission. You keep the air clean and healthy.

Your energy bill at home is influenced by the way your home is insulated, heating and cooling system used, water heating, windows, lighting and types of appliances used in the home. When your home is not properly insulated, it affects the air entrance and outlet from your home during winter and summer. In summer hot air from outside enters the home and causes your air cooling system operate for a long time to maintain a certain room temperature.

Windows, air leaks and cracks should be well insulated and sealed. Fire places should also be properly sealed and dampers closed during summer when not being used. Equipment used for heating or cooling such as air filters for cleaning should generally be well maintained.

The heating and cooling bill is about 43% and so steps must be carried to cut on it. Select energy saving tips may suggest that you use energy efficient products for heating and cooling. Shopping for ENERGY STAR labeled equipment can be a great energy saving tip. In winter, keep draperies and shades facing the sun open so you can gain some heat in the rooms but keep them closed in summer. Set thermostats for cooling and heating at comfort temperatures. Landscaping your home cooler in summer and reduces the bill and its one of many energy saving tips.

One of the greatest tips to consider when cutting down on energy bills is insulation. Always try to figure out how much energy is used in your home before deciding the necessary changes to be made. Air leaks moving in and outside the house should be properly sealed. Air leaks always have a great effect on cooling and heating bills.

Common areas that need to be examined for energy usage are door frames, dropped ceiling, window frames, air ducts lights, and chimneys. Sealing of these should be properly done. Storm windows can be installed instead of single pane windows during winter. Always consider hiring a contractor to examine energy usage and consumption in your home. He may examine the attic, basement walls, floors and ceilings for levels of insulation.

Systems used to heat water in homes are another way of saving energy. It is important to always insulate hot water pipes especially during winter. Always take showers rather than baths so as to use less water. Proper maintenance and insulation of a water storage system are among various energy saving tips which should also be considered.

In the laundry room, wash with cold water in summer using cold water detergent. Wash and dry full loads and dry heavy towels and heavier cotton items separate from light ones. Everyone is looking at ways of saving money and the best place to start from is the home. Ensure that your home is properly insulated and sealed from hot and cold air entrance.

Find out how one could very easily save 1 / 2 of the expense you have to pay each month on your electric power by going to Power 4 Home.