The Best Way Get Off The Grid?

February 4, 2012 by Owen Jones  
Filed under Family

I do not know whether it has ever occurred to you, but you can get off the grid. The electricity grid that is. Is it anything that you are interested in? For some people, getting off the grid is the Holy Grail of modern life. We all feel that we are being milked dry by the energy companies and our soldiers are being killed on a daily basis to safeguard the West’s supply of oil.

If the same amount of money was invested in developing alternative technology, we would not need to import so much oil, but that would mean less profits for the energy companies too. So the average guy on the street loses out to the rich oil tycoons and people are milked for money and soldiers die on both sides.

You cannot rely on these people to help you buy less energy, it is not in their interest. The only thing you can do is take the bull by the horns and sort yourself out. Get yourself off the grid, save yourself money in the long term and help save the planet and our soldiers too.

It is often assumed that self-sufficiency in energy is only for nerds, but this is not true, it is now within the reach of every family or household. If you have plenty of money, a solar or wind powered system will cost you about $45,000 and it will take about ten years to recover your investment by getting off the grid. However, you can have the same apparatus for much less than half that sum.

The fact is that technology has advanced rapidly in the field of solar power, as it has in every other technological sphere. Scorching sunshine is no longer essential to create a steady flow of electricity and prices have dropped. However, labour prices have risen and over-compensated for this fall. Herein lies your opportunity.

It is not difficult to make your own solar panels and the components are readily available in even small towns. The same holds true for devices that will produce electricity from wind or water. The trick is to get a detailed diagram from which to construct your solar panels or other devices.

These plans are readily available online from specialist web sites and the components are available from DIY or hobbyist stores. Once you have crafted your sustainable energy resources, they are virtually maintenance free, although you may have to top up the batteries with sulphuric acid or distilled water.

Living off the grid is a magnificent feeling. Knowing that you are out of the clutches of the oil barons brings more freedom and the next time there is a power cut or a price rise, you can just give a smile and forget about it, because you will be living off the grid.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with a favourite subject, renewable energy advantages. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.

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Saving Energy Is Saving Money

January 8, 2012 by Owen Jones  
Filed under Family

Energy prices will rise in the long term, we all realize that. It is only temporary relief, when the cost of a barrel of oil falls from $150 to $75, we all know that it will go back there. Apart from human greed pushing the price up, there are more than three billion people in Asia all impatient to improve their lifestyles to what they see the West parading in its films and TV shows. And that is not even including Africa an South America. No matter what oil is left undiscovered under the soil of the globe, it is not enough.

So, what can you do about it? Use less, is one obvious answer, but it is hard to give up something you were born into or have become accustomed to over a long period of time. It is just not that easy. We can expect to see devices that will use less energy than they do now. That will help, but the technology is still being invented. They only alternative left is to be far more careful with the energy at our disposal. Turning lights out is the most simple form of this method of saving energy.

In the long term, the government will have to set standards for manufacturers, including, and actually, especially for house builders. Nearly 50% of household fuel budgets go on heating and cooling. Solar panels built into the roof would help a great deal, but they are still too dear for most people at the moment. These items have to be made affordable to homeowners and they have to be built into all new homes.

Solar panels can be utilized to run devices live, to put power back into the electricity grid, if their is no immediate local call for it or to charge batteries to run equipment later, such as low power lights, a hybrid car or an electric scooter. This would mean a huge personal and national energy saving, but the sun’s energy can do more than that.

Solar heaters can be used to heat both air and water. This would chiefly eliminate the need for burning fossil fuels and natural gas. I say largely eliminate not eliminate, but it would be a massive saving again. Do not forget that almost 50% of the household fuel budget goes on heating and cooling and with ‘global warming’ or ‘global cooling’ or the very safe, sit on the fence ‘global climate change’, this percentage can only rise.

Geo-thermal power (getting heat out of the ground) is probably not an option for every area, but it is a source of power that has barely been touched in most countries. Greenland and Australia are world leaders in this technology, I believe, and their climates seen to be as much at opposite ends of the scale as their locations are at opposite ends of the world. There must be more that could be done with this technology.

In the meantime, we must do what we can. We have to re-educate ourselves to be more careful with energy and we have to educate our young from an early age to be careful with it too. Use energy-efficient, fluorescent tubes wherever you can. If you need more light for reading or working, get a desk lamp. Turn things off when they are not in use. stand-by was a lovely idea, but it is not anymore.

Devices on stand-by are still burning electricity and not just a tiny bit to keep that red light on. Chargers for mobile phones et cetera draw power even when there is nothing plugged into them to charged. Pull them out of the socket when not in use. Integrate your heating and cooling systems. There is a great deal you can do to save energy and save money, if you really want to.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with heat air conditioning. If you are interested in Home Air Conditioning Systems, please click through to our site.

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Kick The Grid Into Touch By Making Your Own Solar Panels

January 6, 2012 by Owen Jones  
Filed under Family

How would you like to get off the electricity grid? What a dream, eh? Sadly, it will stay a dream for many people because the cost of having solar panels installed professionally scarcely warrants the cost. Many experts calculate that it can take well over 10 years to recoup the cost of the professional installation of solar panels. This is way beyond the horizons of most home owners, who would require a break-even point of three to five years. This is not going to happen in the near future, even with the rapidly rising cost of electricity.

However, there is an alternative. Everybody knows that the labour element in any professional job is equivalent to or even exceeds the cost of the materials in that job, so you could save half the cost just by installing the solar panels yourself. How about saving another 50% or more on the cost of the solar panels by making them yourself too?

Now we are getting into the realm where the cost of a viable solar power system to replace state electricity is credible. It could even pay for itself in a couple of years by reducing your dependence on the grid or even allowing you to come off it altogether. Did you know that the grid will buy your surplus electricity from you too?

It may sound like fantasy, but it is not that hard if you have plans or and a solar panel kit. In fact, the parts needed to build your own solar panels are quite common these days and you will be able to pick them up either at your neighborhood hardware store or at a hobbyists like Radio Shack. If you think that that is too time-consuming, you could just buy a kit. These kits are so straightforward that any teenager should be able to assemble one.

Later on, after completing a kit or two, you may have the confidence to buy the bits separately, which will save you even more money. One of these kits would be enough to run a few tools in your shed or the lights in your garage or a pump on the pond or pool. If you linked a number of them together, you could begin to reduce your home’s dependence on the grid just by harnessing the energy of the sun. Wouldn’t that be great?

Solar panels have been around for a long time and so people remember when they needed strong sun light to be of any use, but public awareness has not kept up with the pace of technological development. Solar panels are much more sensitive now and they can produce electricity from light using powerful photo voltaic cells (PV’s) – they do not require blazing sunshine to work any more.

So, if you want to go down the route to independence from the electricity grid, the first thing you have to do is locate a set of solar panel diagrams or plans or a kit. You may be able to get these from your hobbyist store too or you can get them from a website that specializes in sustainable or alternative energy sources.

Once you have all your parts and your plans, it will only take you a couple of free hours to put together your solar panel and have it working for you. The next one will take even less time as you get used to it

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with a favourite subject, renewable energy advantages. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.

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Fundamentals When You Desire To Learn How To Make Bio Diesel

January 4, 2012 by Vic Garland  
Filed under Autos

Although the idea of bio diesel is not a new concept, it has gained a huge following recently. Actually bio diesel is as old as the diesel engine since the first compression-ignition engine was developed with peanut oil. This is an vital consideration when one wants to learn how to make bio diesel.

Bio diesel can therefore be described as a non-petroleum-based fuel produced from vegetable and animal fat. Although the fuel can be used alone, it cans also be blended with ordinary diesel to fire a diesel engine. This makes it a great option especially considering the increasing prices of fossil fuels.

Since the production process is quite easy, it makes it possible for one to learn from different sources. Considering the production materials, there is a very wide variety used in producing the diesel ranging from rapeseed, soybean oil and other feedstock. In some cases, it is also possible to extract the diesel from used vegetable oils from hotels. Animal fats such as chicken fat, tallow are also other viable sources. Apart from these oils, the diesel can also be extracted from algae although this is not feasible for commercial production.

The first step when you want to learn the art of making bio diesel is identifying the source oil. This is because the process varies slightly with different materials. Some of the materials will also necessitate the acquisition of special equipment like a bio diesel processor. Some of the cases however do not require such equipment like in the case of making the diesel from used cooking oil with methanol and sodium hydroxide. This method however, does not produce large amounts.

Once you have established the source the next step is usually testing it for properties such as water content and acidity. This is usually important as it helps determine the state of your end product. The level of acidity and water determine whether the resultant bio diesel will be perfect.

The best sources should be the ones providing relatively low acidic and dry oil as it makes the process much simpler. This means you need to learn how to test for water either by using the heating method or by using a water testing kit. The acidity is tested through titration where the oil is added to pH neutral alcohol.

Another major step when making bio diesel is filtration. This is done when using used vegetable oil and helps remove food particles and any other contaminants. Filtering is done mostly with drum filters which are very effective. You should learn about micron rating as it will help you select the most effective filter. The smaller the rating number, the smaller the holes in the filter will be.

Before you can embark of full production of bio diesel a test batch is very important. You should therefore learn how to make this using items obtained from the local grocery stores. You will also need to obtain the actual production equipment. Some of the equipments needed include oil collection containers, oil transfer and filtering capability, a bio diesel processor and bio diesel washing vessel. You also require storage containers, transfer pumps and a titration kit.

The intended production capacity will be one of the main determinants of the equipment you acquire. With these you should be prepared to learn how to make bio diesel.

Get those many choices for renewable energy by looking online. One choice you have will be biodiesel. To learn more about it go online now to learn those benefits.

categories: Renewable Energy,solar power,solar energy,renewable energy sources,algae,bio diesel manufacturing equipment,energy,fuel

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Teach Yourself To Make Solar Panels

December 27, 2011 by Owen Jones  
Filed under Family

Many people are sick to death of the escalating cost of electricity, but they do not know what they can do about it. They have switched lights off; they have not turned lights on; they have unplugged devices on stand-by and they have turned the central heating down and the air con up and it has only saved them pennies. Yet still the electricity bills go up on a regular basis. It is very frustrating.

We have all heard of alternative and sustainable sources of energy, but the question is: how can average people implement these technologies into their own homes? One phone call to a professional solar power installation company will convince anyone that solar power is only for the well-off.

Likewise with wind power generation. A single device, which may or may not fulfill the electrical requirements of one standard household will cost in the region of $45,000 and it is thought that, if it meets expectations, that it will pay for itself after ten years time. $45,000 is too much money for most people, but having to wait ten years to realize that investment is too long for most individuals too.

So, at first glimpse, it looks like the average person is at the mercy of the oil companies and the electricity generators. However, it does not have to be like that. There are other ways of tackling the problem and extricating yourself from the clutches of energy providers. The first technique would be to buy the solar power units and install them yourself. That would save you a great deal, perhaps up to 50%. But you could go a stage further and make the solar panels yourself too, which would save you a great deal more money.

The fact is that the more of your own labour that you can put into the project, the more you will save, because the labour constituent in any task usually amounts to about 50% of the costs. We all know how expensive it is to call a plumber in to fix a leaking pipe or a roofer to replace a slate. $100 for a slate? $100 for a dribble of solder? No, it is the tradesman’s time and the same is true of solar panel fitters.

The way out is to learn how to make the solar power units and install them yourself. It is not difficult. Any teenager can learn how to do it and so can you. Take it from me, learning how to assemble and install solar panels is not difficult. Just try it and see for yourself. You will amaze yourself and your friends. You may even turn it into a business!

The thing to do is get a reliable kit or a plan from a trusted source. This could be a neighborhood hardware or hobbyist store or from a specialist website on the Internet. Once you have your plan, you can buy the components. They are commonplace and on hand in most DIY shops. Then it will take you about a day to construct a solar panel that will supply about 100 watts.

This may not sound like much, but it will power many kinds of small machines or two average light bulbs. The trick is to keep adding to your bank of solar panels until you are entirely free of the electricity grid or even selling electricity back into it.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with a favourite subject, renewable energy advantages. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.

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Converting Your Home Into A Solar Home

November 14, 2011 by Owen Jones  
Filed under Family

When it comes to converting your home into a solar home, there are several alternatives, because not all homes have the same problems, the same requirements or the same potential sustainable power sources. Therefore, if you are going to attempt a total conversion or even get off the grid entirely, you will either need to do some do research or call in an expert to make a survey for you.

If you call in an expert, try to get an independent one, so that you can work out the prices of satisfying your energy requirements yourself. You will have to pay for such a report, naturally, but you could carry out a survey yourself with a bit of work on your part. In order to create a solar home, you may find the rest of this article interesting.

There are fundamentally two kinds of solar design: passive and active solar energy. Passive solar energy can be used to provide heating, cooling and natural light for your home. Active solar energy is used for powering home appliances, tools and lighting. It is the perfect blend of these two types of solar energy that you will attempt to accomplish, if you are trying to convert your home into a solar home.

You can make use of passive solar energy methods in many ways, although they are more easily incorporated in during the actual construction phase of a new home. The largest area of glass should face south or be within 30 degrees of due south. This will catch the maximum amount of heat. This heat can then be circulated around the house by stone floors and stone walls.

The central heating ducting and furnace fan can be utilized to assist, if need be. If the house becomes too hot in the summer, awnings or even solar panels could be dropped down in order to put the windows in shade. When thinking of passive solar energy, you should endeavor to think of ways of supplying warmth and coolness without using electricity. For instance, a skylight at the top of the stairs will permit the warmest air in the house to escape, since hot air rises. This will cause cooler air to be sucked into the house at lower levels.

The other feature of a solar house is the creation of electricity by the deployment of solar panels grouped into solar arrays. Solar panels make use of photovoltaic cells to convert light into energy. This energy can then be used to power ordinary electrical appliances of all sorts or some or all of it can be stored in batteries for later use. Conversion from AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current) and back again, if needed, is a simple matter.

Solar energy can also be used to warm up water for the pool or for the home. The most usual type of system uses pipes filled with a type of anti-freeze to collect the sun’s heat and pass it on to tanks of water via a heat exchanger.

A solar home uses energy efficiency to reduce the need for heating, cooling and electricity. The use of higher grade insulation, more energy efficient windows, kitchen appliances and lighting than those used in traditional homes, will save you a lot of money and energy. As you can see, some of these changes, especially the passive ones are structural, so hard to apply in many homes, but there is always something you can do to cut your energy bills and slowly convert your home into a solar home.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with a favourite subject – alternative power sources. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.

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Is A Solar Panel Electrical System Right For You?

October 25, 2011 by Owen Jones  
Filed under Family

Until approximately a hundred years ago in the West, people only had recourse to renewable energy for heat and light for their homes. They burnt wood and sometimes coal or peat (OK, fossil fuels) and got up when the sun came up and went to bed with the sun as well. In, fact a large part of the world’s population still lives like that.

Things altered with mechanized industry and night shifts. Electricity producers sold the population on being able to do more instead of just sleeping when it became dark, and the Western population got hooked on buying huge amounts of energy, mostly electricity and engine fuel, which was usually produced from oil and coal.

This idea soon travelled around the world and with rising prosperity came emulation and other countries wanted the same. Now we are in the sad situation where we have to confess that we rode the fossil fuel gravy train to its terminus without thinking about what we would utilize when fossil fuels ran out.

This is where the typical citizen comes in. You have to think about how you want to draw energy in the future. Do you want to be powered by keeping sucking unrenewable resources out of the planet, or do you want to have as little to do with it as you can? Would you rather have everything you have now, but know that the resources that are powering your lifestyle are renewable?

If, like millions of others around the globe, you would rather say ‘No!’ to traditional power production techniques, then you have to take a stand. But not only in words, you really have to do some something about it physically.

This will mean investing a lot of money up front, which may not be a problem for you or you may even consider that taking a stand is worth asking for a bank loan. These are admirable feelings, but I would like to propose that there is another way to self-sufficiency.

You could make your own!

Why not? The technology has been around for decades and is pretty straightforward. Most moderately capable teenagers can assemble a bank of photovoltaic cells into a solar panel and then plug that into your home’s electrical system. And if a teenager can manage it, so can you. All you (and the teenager) will need is a solar panel kit and a schematical diagram. A plan in other words.

A solar panel kit can be bought locally from a DIY shop or from the Internet. A typical solar panel will take a few hours to assemble and will produce 100 watts of electrical energy. The electricity produced from these panels is then passed through an inverter that changes the current from DC to AC, making it usable by household appliances and the utility grid.

Do yourself and the planet a good turn, get off the grid and start saving money and the planet’s resources, you will be surprised how easy it is once you get going. And do not forget, you can do it in stages of, say, one 100 watt panel a month until you hit self-sufficiency. It is not a question of ‘All or Nothing’.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with a favourite topic, types of renewable energy. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.

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