Solar Is A Life Saver! More Than You Know!
And SOLAR is much easier than you think … as you will see in the following article by Barbara Young. But first consider the following …
“In general we have the capability, which can be fully realized within ten years, of producing and sustaining a higher standard of living for all humanity than that heretofore experienced or dreamt of by any.” — R Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path (p199) c 1981
Imagine being paid a substantial income every day … more than you currently believe possible, and imagine that you are receiving that income courtesy of an ‘individual’ who already provides for all life on planet Earth, and has done so since time began; that individual being your SUN.
Located a safe 93 million miles (149 million kms) away from the nearest protoplasm the sun provides enough clean natural energy in one day to power the entire United States of America for the entire year and a half.
Simply by capturing five days worth of radiant energy we would provide sufficient energy for the entire world population … and it is entirely conceivable that “cosmic accounting” may indeed be the natural accounting system of our solar system.
Our streets have been ‘paved’ (lit up) with ‘gold’ and we have literally ‘walked on by’ without really giving it a second thought.
Is it any wonder that our ‘made up accounting system’, which is based on a paradigm that is no longer true today, (that there is scarcity on our planet – due to advances in technology this has not been the case for some forty years now) is about to either implode or explode. Thankfully nature has an inbuilt safety factor that is extremely generous by any conservative engineers judgment.
Here Barbara provides a fast solution to learn the way solar panels work.
But what exactly is solar power ?
Solar power is radiant energy that’s produced by the sun. Each day the sun radiates, or sends out, an immense quantity of energy. The sun radiates more energy in a second than people have used since the beginning of time.
The energy of the Sun comes from within the sun itself. Like other stars, the sun is mostly a big ball of gases––mostly hydrogen and helium atoms. The hydrogen atoms in the sun’s core combine to create helium and generate energy in a process called nuclear fusion.
During nuclear fusion, the sun’s extremely high pressure and temperature cause hydrogen atoms to come apart and their nuclei (the central cores of the atoms) to fuse or combine. Four hydrogen nuclei fuse to become one helium atom. However the helium atom contains less mass than the four hydrogen atoms that fused. Some matter is lost during nuclear fusion. The lost matter is emitted into space as radiant energy.
It takes an incredible number of years for the energy in the sun’s core to make its way to the solar surface, and then somewhat over eight minutes to travel the 93 million miles to earth. The solar energy travels to the earth at a speed of 186,000 miles per second, the velocity of light.
Simply a small percentage of the power radiated from the sun into space strikes the earth, one part in two billion. Yet this quantity of energy is enormous. Daily enough energy strikes the united states to provide the nation’s energy needs for one and a half years!
Now where does all this energy go?
About 15 percent of the sun’s energy that hits our planet is reflected back to space. Another 30 percent is used to evaporate water, which, lifted into the atmosphere, produces rainfall. Solar power is absorbed by plants, the land, and the oceans. The rest could be employed to supply our energy needs.
Who invented solar power ?
People have harnessed solar power for hundreds of years. Since the 7th century B.C., people used simple magnifying glasses to concentrate the light of the sun into beams so hot they would cause wood to catch fire.
Over a century ago in France, a scientist used heat from a solar collector to create steam to drive a steam engine. In the beginning of this century, scientists and engineers began researching ways to use solar technology in earnest. One important development was a remarkably efficient solar boiler invented by Charles Greeley Abbott, an american astrophysicist, in 1936.
The solar water heater gained popularity at this time in Florida, California, and the Southwest. The industry started in the early 1920s and was in full swing just before World War II. This growth lasted before mid-1950s when low-cost gas had become the primary fuel for heating American homes.
People and world governments remained largely indifferent to the possibilities of solar power before oil shortages of the1970s. Today, people use solar power to heat buildings and water and also to generate electricity.
How do we use solar power today ?
Solar power is used in several different ways, of course. There’s two very basic types of solar power:
* Solar thermal energy collects the sun’s warmth through one of two means: in water or in an anti-freeze (glycol) mixture.
* Solar photovoltaic energy converts the sun’s radiation to usable electricity.
Now let us discuss the five most practical and popular solutions for solar energy use:
1. Small portable solar photovoltaic systems. We have seen these used everywhere, from calculators to solar garden products. Portable units may be used for everything from RV appliances while single panel systems are used for traffic signs and remote monitoring stations.
2. Solar pool heating. Running water in direct circulation systems via a solar collector is a very practical solution to heat water for your pool or spa.
3. Thermal glycol energy to heat water. In this method (indirect circulation), glycol is heated by sunshine and the heat is then transferred to water in a warm water tank. This method of collecting the sun’s energy is much more practical now than ever before. In areas as far north as Edmonton, Alberta, solar thermal to heat water is economically sound. It can pay for itself in three years or less.
4. Integrating solar photovoltaic energy into your home or office power. In lots of parts of the world, solar photovoltaics is an economically feasible way to supplement the power of your home. In Japan, photovoltaics are competitive with other types of power. In America, new incentive programs make this form of solar technology ever more viable in many states. A frequent and practical way of integrating solar energy into the power of your home or business is through the use of building integrated solar photovoltaics.
5. Large independent photovoltaic systems. For those who have enough sun power at your site, you could possibly go off grid. You may also integrate or hybridize your solar energy system with wind power or other kinds of renewable power to stay ‘off the grid.’
Do you know how Photovoltaic panels work ?
Silicon is mounted beneath non-reflective glass to create photovoltaic panels. These panels collect photons from the sun, converting them into DC electric power. The energy created then flows into an inverter. The inverter transforms the power into basic voltage and AC electricity.
Photovoltaic cells are prepared with particular materials called semiconductors such as silicon, which is presently the most generally used. When light hits the Photovoltaic cell, a particular share of it is absorbed inside the semiconductor material. This means that the energy of the absorbed light is given to the semiconductor.
The power unfastens the electrons, permitting them to run freely. Pv cells also have more than one electric fields that act to compel electrons unfastened by light absorption to flow in a specific direction. This flow of electrons is a current, and by introducing metal links on the top and bottom of the – Photovoltaic cell, the current can be drawn to use it externally.
Do you know the advantages and disadvantages of solar technology ?
Solar Pro Arguments
– Heating our homes with oil or propane or using electricity from power plants running with fossil fuels is a reason for global warming and climate disruption. Solar power, on the contrary, is clean and environmentally-friendly.
– Solar hot-water heaters require little maintenance, and their initial investment may be recovered in just a relatively short time.
– Solar hot-water heaters can work in nearly every climate, even just in very cold ones. Simply choose the best system for your climate: drain back, thermosyphon, batch-ICS, etc.
– Maintenance costs of solar powered systems are minimal and the warranties large.
– Financial incentives (Australia, USA, Canada, European states…) can help to eliminate the cost of the first investment in solar technologies. The U.S. government, for instance, offers tax credits for solar systems certified by by the SRCC (Solar Rating and Certification Corporation), which amount to 30 percent of the investment (2009-2016 period).
Solar Cons Arguments
– The initial investment in Solar Water heaters or in Photovoltaic Electric Systems is certainly higher than that required by conventional electric and gas heaters systems, but is dropping rapidly.
– The payback period of solar PV-electric systems may be considered high, as well as those of solar space heating or solar cooling (in some countries only the solar water heating payback is short or relatively short).
– Solar water heaters do not support a direct combination with radiators (including baseboard ones).
– Some air con (solar space heating and the solar cooling systems) are expensive, and rather untested technologies: solar air-con isn’t, till now, a truly economical option.
– The efficiency of solar powered systems is rather influenced by sunlight resources. It’s in colder climates, where heating or electricity needs are higher, that the efficiency is smaller.
Find out more about Barbara Young click here. Barbara’s work is devoted to helping people save energy using solar energy and reducing CO2 emissions and energy dependency.