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.


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.


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.


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.


Discovering Secrets Of Attempting A Solar Panel Installation

December 10, 2011 by Mary Saunders  
Filed under Environment

The roof of a house is the most ideal place you think of when it comes to solar panel installation as it is a large, flat area with no obstructions and more often than not will be in direct sunlight with no shaded areas.

Your panel installation must be in a position where the arrays (the total arrangement of individual sunlight panels) will not be in full sun and not obstructed by shade. The arrays can be mounted on the ground, or raised on poles or positioned on a roof. When on the ground they can be susceptible to damage by debris thrown by a lawn mower.

There must be a solid concrete foundation in place for the ground level panels. The problem of shade can also be greater at ground level. Mounting the panels on poles or roofs can get them above tree level. One needs to be careful when mounting on a roof as additional bolt holes can become leak points.

The panels are supported by a framework that needs to be of the best quality no matter where you decide to position them. The panels interlock within the light but sturdy framework which is bolted in place to roof rafters or ground or pole mounts.

Many people waste money by going for the cheaper option of using more degradable materials such as wood (which can rot) for their framework, combined with a poor self-design, which can lead to major structural problems in the future. Ideally a long lasting material such as a metal alloy should be used to prevent weathering having an effect.

Individual silicon cells that are connected together to produce direct current are called Photovoltaic sunlight panels. They are joined by wires to an inverter which converts the direct current into alternating current that can be used in the home. These wire d then lead to either deep cycle batteries or the utility power grid.

People who live in isolated areas will normally make use of battery storage or obtain back up batteries. A utility meter and power grid would be the preferable option. It costs less, and is also is very efficient and easy to use.

On a perfect sunny day the solar power system can effectively cause the electric meter to turn backwards as it generates more power than your home consumes. As a result you are able to reduce your bill because you are sending power back to be used by the utility company. Solar panel installation should be done by a qualified electrician for optimum results and safety.

Learn about the ways that you can save utility and energy costs fast and easy when you use Solar PV panels. You can get the complete information about the benefits of solar panel installation today!


DIY Wind Generator – How To Get Rid Of Excess Power

November 15, 2011 by Paul Robertson  
Filed under Business

Many folks are unsurprisingly interested in the suggestion of tapping into free wind power by building a DIY wind generator. Before getting started with such a project it is worthwhile taking some time to learn the basic concepts of wind power before making up your mind about building a wind generator. It can be somewhat involved to run your appliances off the harvested electricity but the building of a generator is relatively easy.

Some individuals will likely find the wind power notion more attractive than the solar power alternative because windmill construction is quite straightforward. This could be due to the fact that windmills have been used for making flour and moving water for a very long time. Solar technology, on the other hand, is comparatively recent and uses a lot of obscure terms and materials.

The principal challenge with using air currents for home electricity, such as with a DIY wind generator, is that the air is irregular. The electricity produced can be stored in batteries just like solar energy, but when batteries are full they will burn out if the extra power is not diverted. A very windy day can push a lot of air through your system and might just make too much of a good thing.

This explains why the traditional windmill use of pumping H2O is comparatively easy – any excess water just flows away downstream. The blades can keep on turning and making the pump run and too much power and water is not a factor.

However, if you are using a DIY wind generator to create and store power, things get a bit more complicated. Installing switches for programmed operation of appliances is one beneficial way to plan ahead if you produce extra power that you can’t use. It is possible to establish the system so that a Telly or something similar will switch on, so that any further power coming into the batteries will go to that appliance. Instead, you can use a switch that automatically disconnects the generator from the batteries once they are entirely charged. Once the batteries have been automatically disconnected, the windmill blades can keep spinning around without causing any harm.

The point is not that it is impossible to use windy days to power your home, but that there is more to it than you may recognize. The most beneficial way to deal with this issue is to sell your unwanted power back to the power company. For the modest inconvenience of staying joined to the power grid, you will be able to create some spare income.

If you need some extra information on making a plan to get rid of spare power, you can simply find it on-line. The issue of extra power is one that can be simply dealt with if you are committed to making your own alternative energy and saving a bit of cash. When you take into account that you will be using electricity for many years to come, you will see that the slight effort of building a wind turbine will be repaid many times over.

You will definitely find that a DIY wind generator will provide a significant measure of your energy needs if you design it to suit your family’s requirements.

Before you purchase any plans for creating a DIY wind generator, make sure you grab a copy of Paul Robertson’s excellent FREE Report On DIY Energy Options, plus a load of other money-saving ideas.


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.


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.


Are Solar Panels A Valuable Investment For Residential Properties

October 24, 2011 by Mary Saunders  
Filed under Environment

The most common type of solar panels people are familiar with are those found in solar powered items such as calculators and garden lights. The problem with a lot of these products is that they can be unreliable. This means that when considering whether or not to install solar panels on their home, people have a lot of questions regarding the costs and benefits of the process.

To start, it’s worth clarifying what we mean when we talk about solar panels for home use. Without getting technical each panel is filled with light sensitive cells which covert sunlight into electricity. The beauty of them is that because they can convert both direct and indirect sunlight, they will work in both sunny and cloudy conditions.

Environmentally these systems have a huge advantage as they make use of something that is already available, sunshine. If the sun currently shines on your roof then by having panels installed all you will be doing is making best use of resources that are already available. At the moment that power is doing nothing more than heating up roof tiles.

The next benefit is that you are able to generate your own electricity. The size of the system you can install will govern the amount of electricity you can generate but expectations are that you could produce between 25% and 50% of your needs. This obviously means that your annual electric bills will fall considerably, but it doesn’t stop there.

This type of power has been designated as a renewable energy. As such it entitles people who have it installed to a payment for the power it generates. This effectively means that not only should your bills go down, but you can also get paid for producing green power.

The scheme is called the Feed In Tariff Scheme. It pays a set amount for each unit of electricity you produce. So not only is the power you’re producing free electricity for you, you can also get paid for doing it.

A final incentive is that should you produce more electricity that you require you can sell it back to the national grid. Whilst this may not happen on a day to day basis there are times, such as when you go on holiday, that you can produce excess power that can be sold back. This means none of the power you are producing goes to waste.

Your property will need certain features in order to best benefit from the installation. A roof that faces due south or south west will get the best benefit from available sunshine. Before starting you should also check to make sure they are no reasons in the deeds or mortgage documents of your property that would prevent you from proceeding.

Wondering whether solar panels are a good investment ? Get the inside scoop now in our guide to all you need to know about how and where to find quality Photovoltaic Solar Panels