Advantages Of Using Solar Mirror To Produce Power
Did you know that solar power is a renewable, clean and cheap source of energy?
Once the mystique is removed from the idea of using solar mirror to produce power people will began to understand how it all works. This will lead to people seeing how using solar mirror to produce power can be looked at as a viable alternative source of energy. In fact in this choice of solar power the largest component is the sun. Scientist and those in the private sector are even now looking for ways to make using solar mirror to produce power in homes and businesses more economically feasible
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When considering the choice of using solar mirror to produce power you should understand how it works right? Well if you can imagine that it works much the same way that leaving your garden hose laying in the sun all day on a hot sunny day. When you go to use it the first thing that comes out is hot water having been heated by the sun all day.
This is a simplified version of one way to utilize solar energy. There is usually a water container that collects the sun’s rays in the form of heat. After this is heated to a pre-determined temperature it is then properly utilized elsewhere.
Some common applications of this have been to heat water in swimming pools and ponds with water moved into large containers that are basked in the sun all day. The mechanism will then move the water back into the pool or pond once the water reaches a preset temperature which in turn helps heat the rest of the water. This of course has been utilized in more commercial applications as well.
Did You Know?
Approximately more than ten thousand homes in the United States are entirely powered by solar energy.
Another way that is properly thought of when considering using solar mirror to produce power gathering solar power through photovoltaic cells that in turn convert energy obtained from the sun DIRECTLY into electricity. This electricity produced is in Direct Current or (DC) format. This (DC) can then be stored directly into storage batteries. After this (DC) is converted to Alternating Current (AC) it can be used to operate lights and any other common appliance.
Silicon from just one ton of sand used in photovoltaic cells could produce as much electricity as burning five hundred thousand tons of coal.
There are areas that have more average days of sunshine, like the southwestern part of the United States, where using solar mirror to produce power can be a good source of power. When you couple this with the fact that you are dealing with solar power which is clean, cheap and renewable it just makes sense. However, understanding how it works , you can see how using solar mirror to produce power may not be a good solution in areas of the country with several days of overcast skies and insufficient sunlight.
Everything You wanted To Know About Solar Panels
The history of solar panels can be dated back to 1839 as this was the period when French physicist Antoine-Cesar Becquerel made the astonishing discovery of the photovoltaic effect. This surprising discovery took place during an experiment that involved an electrolytic cell made from two metal electrodes and was placed within an electrolyte solution. Antoine-Cesar Becquerel discovered during the experiment that when the electrolytic cells were exposed to light, it produced a certain amount of electricity. The more the light, the more the production of electricity and that is how solar panels actually came into the picture.
Almost 50 years later in 1883, the first solar cell was developed by Charles Fritts and it was formed using selenium coating sheets with a micro-thin layer of gold. Between the period of 1883 and 1941 there were several scientists as well as inventors who with the help of companies started experimenting with solar energy. It was during this period that Clarence Kemp, an inventor from Baltimore patented the first ever commercial water heater that was being powered by solar energy. Apart from this, the great scientist Albert Einstein also published a thesis on photoelectric effect and within a short period of time received the coveted Nobel Prize for his thesis and valuable research.
Around 1941, an American inventor named Russell Ohl who was working for Bell Laboratories patented the first ever silicon solar cell. This new invention was spearheaded by the Bell Laboratories and they went on to produce the first ever crystalline silicon solar panel in the year 1954. This was the most effective solar cells in that era as it achieved a 4 percent return on overall energy conversion. In the next few years several scientists from all over the world continued their research, study and experimentation to improve upon the original solar cells and started producing solar cells that gave 6% efficiency on overall energy conversion.
The first ever large scale deployment and use of solar energy ever recorded was in space satellites. USA was the first country to enable production of solar cells that gave 20% efficiency and this was in the year 1980. By 2000, USA had produced several solar cells that were producing 24% efficiency. Last year, two large companies, Emcore Photovoltaics and Spectrolab rose to dominate the world of solar cell production by producing cells that gave 28% efficiency.
Working of Solar Panels
The solar panel basically consists of pure silicon. Silicon is first stripped of all its impurities and hence provides the most ideal neutral platform for enhancing the transmission of electrons. In its natural state, Silicon can carry at the max four electrons although it has the ability to carry eight. So mathematically speaking it has enough room for 4 more electrons.
When a silicon atom is made to come into contact with a second silicon atom then each of them receive each other’s extra four electrons. So the 8 electrons satisfy a single silicon atoms’ needs and this results in the creations of a strong bond but the fact is that there are no negative or positive charges. To produce a large piece of pure silicon, the silicon atoms have to go through the process of combination for years. Once the pure silicon is ready, it is applied on to the plates of solar panels. When silicon is combined with other elements then it produces a positive or negative charge.
Solar panels are being looked as the provider of tomorrow as the other forms of creating electricity are getting replenished by the day. There are several online sources and websites who are selling solar panels with a power range that varies from 10WP to 280WP.
Solar Panels May Have Ultimately Arrived At Economic Efficiency
The last example of this specific phenomenon was apparent was in the early 70’s, when there was a crude oil trade embargo and hence, no gasoline. Substitute energies began to pop up here and there with many people jumping on the band wagon. But, gasoline soon returned in plentiful supplies and unconventional energy sources fell beneath the average consumers radar screen again. Now, in 2009, the common consumer is seeing petrol prices move higher and found a realization that global warming will be affecting finances soon. Substitute energy is back in the sentiments of the ordinary consumer and, maybe, this time for good.
Where did solar go?
Solar power for the home was a big seller during the energy crisis of the 70’s. Many houses found tri-pods of solar panels on their roofs gathering what power they could. These units were found mostly in environmentally sensitive Arizona, but soon they were found across the World. Unfortunately, the solar power cell of the 70’s just wasn’t all that cost-effective and cost quite a bit to put in and maintain. As fossil fuel returned to the marketplace there was diminutive need for solar cells in a time of flagrant consumption. But the idea of solar energy was a good one and many trailblazers understood that it was a good idea that had yet to find its time. Solar panels never went away; they just slid back into the laboratory to await solar panel 2.0.
Solar is back and ready
Today’s solar panel is not your father’s solar panel. Depending upon which type of energy you care to generate, electricity or hot water, today’s solar panel has come a very long way in the form of photovoltaic’s and will go further still. These cells, when combined into panel form, turn the suns rays (so-to-speak) right into power ready for use. They have also become exceedingly efficient, more environmentally sound and less expensive. Today’s solar panel will sit almost anywhere and is quickly finding itself being turned into a panel the thickness of a nano particle. Solar power technology is running at extremely fast pace and driving costs down to an affordable level.
Who’s using the panels?
As mentioned, it takes a change in the purse strings to see a marked change in a consumer’s behavior. With a technology and paradigm shift on the order of solar panels it requires a solid leap forward in panel efficiency, costs of panels , associated elements and an increase in existing costs of fuel. When these factors reach critical mass solar panels start to show up, not at the consumer level, but at the corporate and industrial level. This is simply because business moves its money where the costs-over time-are less. This is just good business. Solar panels are now, as in this past two years, become more cost effective for industry to use then to not use them over time.
Why solar panels now?
Solar panels are now being used primarily because fuel costs are just too high to ignore in favor of a new technology that is worth checking out. Companies have available empty roof space and the choice of trying something on a larger scale to see if it works versus continuing to pay higher fuel bills and environmental costs. The whole concept is extremely self serving. There is no environmental consideration involved. If the company doesn’t use solar panels they have to pay fuel costs and air clean-up expenses along with variable fuel charges. They try out the solar panels and see if they work now. If they do, the company can; commit to a full solar panel program with even more efficient solar panels, significantly reduce fuel costs and almost eliminate air cleaning needs along the way. There is little environmental about it. It’s just good business. After industry gets rolling, solar panel costs will drop like a stone and the consumer will jump on board because…it’s just good business.
There are a lot of benefits that you can get from installing a solar panel at home
Why don’t you get a Solar Hot Water panel in your home? You might not have thought of the figures, but it could lower your carbon emissions by up to 500kgs each year, and that would just be a start. If all appliances in the home can also go solar, think of how much money you could save when you never again have to worry about the electricity bill.|If every householder in the United States were to get solar panels, the companies producing them could make tons of money supplying them. And then, you would get the last laugh because you never again have to pay bills for electricity. A realization like that would certainly make you want to scramble and get it already.
Although carbon emissions were not the only reason why solar panels were developed, today, they are the chief reason why the solar panel is in use. Now all over the world, people are warned that with the earth’s dangerous carbon emission levels, thing simply cannot continue that way. Solar panels are very simply the best way out.|Stated simply, the solar panel is used to collect solar energy. It does a bit more than just that though. Today, it is used also to convert that collected energy into other useful forms. Of course, you are more concerned about electricity because it is the most useful form of the essence of energy that you know. Well the solar panel takes care of that one too. In fact, that is its specialty, so you know you can count on it.|Perhaps you are in a mechanical or engineering store and you are looking for a solar panel and cannot quite identify it, I can help. That large panel containing the solar cells? That is what they call the solar panel. In case you don’t know it already, you will need both the information and the device sooner than you know, imperatively. I suggest you begin to learn all that you can about it right now.
Solar panels can be made of solar cells or heat-absorbing plates. Either way, they are meant to collect energy from the sun and make it useful for other appliances. If you know how to use them well, then you should be getting them installed in your home right now.|The time will come when the chief source of energy in every country of the world will be the sun, and the solar panel will always be the chief means to tap into it. I am telling you this so that you may look into the future and think up something that you can do with the information. Knowledge was never meant to just be left to gather dust, you know.
When you need to convert the Sun’s radiation into energy for use, you need to do it with a solar panel. The world today has realized in fact that this is the best way to deliver the world from itself. Sooner than you know it, everyone will be buying these things and having them installed wherever they live or work.|These days, solar panels are useful in heating buildings and powering satellites. However, there is obvious evidence that their use will extend well beyond that and into… everything. If you are smart, you can be at the forefront of the development. It is inevitable after all, so you might as well embrace is as much as you can.|Solar panels have been used on spacecraft for ages, and they always fared well, even in the extreme conditions of space. That is how come I know that they will fare well enough when you use them on your home as well. Think you can manage that? You had better be able to because a lot of things hang on it.
Atlanta Green Home Lights the Way
Energy efficient homes that go easy on the environment are turning heads in Georgia with their low-maintenance appeal, cost efficiency and natural good looks. With Georgia Tech’s recent success in the 2007 Solar Decathlon and world-class community projects like Atlantic Station, Metro Atlanta is well on its way to being a model of eco-building in the Southeast.
Georgia’s green power was most recently demonstrated by Georgia Tech at the 2007 Solar Decathlon. The innovative contest, sponsored by the US department of energy, is a green building competition with an emphasis on solar energy. Twenty teams from universities all over the world were handed the task of building the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home they could imagine.
Over the five day judging period, the Decathlon Homes had to demonstrate the ability to use nothing but solar energy to power a washer dryer, oven, TV, computer and generate hot water. The homes also had to be architecturally sound, marketable and they had to look good.
Though it was their first year to participate in the contest, the Georgia Tech team won 6th place for their innovative light-house, a completely off-the-grid solar powered home. First place went to a team from Darmstadt Tech in Germany. Though the Georgia Tech team didn’t take home first place this year, the house is part of the significant contribution that that Atlanta’s architects and engineers are making to what we know about building smart.
“Many of the advances that are demonstrated in this house will come to the mainstream,” said associate professor Russell Gentry of the Georgia Tech house, “they will have to come to the mainstream if we’re going to save the energy that we promised to.”
The innovations in the Georgia Tech house set a new standard for energy efficiency and eco- friendliness for Atlanta homes. Atlanta already has a number of model solar projects like the EcoManor, the Southern Living Idea House, and the Brookhaven Zero Energy Home.
“35% of the energy consumed in the US is consumed in buildings. It’s important for us to develop technologies that save that energy,” says Gentry. “Everything we do here is about making buildings more energy efficient and smarter.”
The Georgia Tech Light House is steel and wood construction with a modern open floor plan, hardwood flooring, and a semi-transparent solar roof that subtly lets lights into every room in the house while it insulates and generates power. Designed to be easy to build, expandable and accessible, the plans accommodate from one to three bedrooms and up to two baths. The cost of the prototype is $280K.
Harnessing The Suns Energy
Solar power technologies, the harnessing of the renewable energy of the sun for our electrical power, include the use of either photovoltaics or implementation of passive solar heating. Lets take a look at each.
Photovoltaics PV for solar power are solar cells whose purpose is to convert the light from the sun directly into electricity. These Photovoltaic cells are made of materials that have semi conductive properties. In their simplest forms these solar power cells energize calculators and watches. The more complex photovoltaics can provide the lighting for entire homes and provide solar power to the local electric grid for a large portion of the local community.
Photovoltaics works at any time that the sun shines, although you’ll get more solar power when it is a bright sunny day and when the rays of the sun are shining perpendicularly on the solar power panels. Unlike a solar power system that is used to heat water, the technology of Photovoltaics doesn’t use the rays of the sun to make the electricity. What it does instead is produce the electricity right from the electrons that are freed by the sunlights interaction with the PV cells semi conductive materials.
Its not necessary for you to be a whiz at physics, however, for you to implement this solar power and take advantage of all its benefits. Investing in PV gives you the chance to produce your own power noiselessly, pollution-free and without any moving parts to worry about. Solar power is a renewable energy resource that is entirely clean. Not only that, your solar power system wont run out of fuel unless we run out of sun in which case youd run out of life as would everyone and everything else on the planet.
Solar power will also help the United States or whichever country you are in reduce its dependence on foreign countries for its energy supplies. Many manufacturers of solar power panels and other products might be right in your home town, or at least a nearby community. You can generally support local firms for the batteries, glass and other parts that make up your photovoltaic solar power supply.
The second source of solar power, passive solar power, can heat or your home and light it as well. Residences and commercial buildings that have implemented this passive solar power use simple methods such as windows that face south and building materials that absorb the heat of the sun and then release it slowly. Passive solar power is not about mechanical implementations.
With these simple passive processes and implementations residences can realize a reduction of up to half of their home heating bill. Natural ventilation to cool that home is also part of passive solar power as well.
The basic and most important premise of new home solar power implementation is that the longest wall of your newly constructed home should be built to face true south within 15 degrees. This will provide the most gain in winter solar heating power and the best advantage for summer solar power cooling.
If anything good came out during the recent increases of the fuel oil prices, it is that once again, there is a merry interest in alternative sources of energy. Even when pump prices has been decreasing like nothing we have seen before, the uproar created and the pain it did to business will have a good chance of sticking. The desire for alternative sources of energy is on the forefront and may it stay there for good – as it should.
Extracting oil from crops is a good idea; the downside is that food supplies could be dramatically reduced. Wind power is another excellent thing except for the many buts that wind power generation have.
If costs is the main objection to solar power generation that should be the least of worries.
The installation of solar panels is until today, considered a specialized job. Like any commodity in the market, when the demand is high but the supply is limited, the cost increase. As more and more homes clamor for alternative sources of energy, better technology and more labor is drawn to the job that market forces could take place and result into much lowered prices. This though is still in the future.
Today the reality is the instability and the unpredictability of pump prices. But even if it does provide stable and predictable price movement, solar energy is free and it is inexhaustible.
While the technology of tapping out this resource is not, homes that are solar powered are getting back dividends in terms of higher appraisal for their homes, confidence in not being surprised by power shortage and outage, not being dependent on the fluctuation in power prices and the definite advantage of having provided a better environment solution.
Today, the typical ways at tapping this resource usually are:
•Through a Heliostat – this are focusing collectors composed of mirrors that are aimed at the sun to collect the energy. The temperature that heliostats could provide reaches more that 4,000 degrees centigrade. This high temperature is sufficient for use even for furnaces.
•Through Flat Plate Collectors – employ a system of pipes. The water inside the pipes becomes heated and is ideal for heating purposes like schools, homes swimming pools, offices etc.
•Through Solar Distillation – instead of heat, this provides water. The mechanics is similar to the processes of plate collectors except that this is generally used to steam salt water. To do this, tanks and ducts are usually installed in surfaces that receive a good sun. Through the heat, the salt water turns into steam and when the steam condenses, the water is collected for regular use.
•Through photovoltaic Cells – These are the most common type of collecting solar energy characterized by solar panels installed in rooftops and other flat surfaces that there is a good sun, converting the power collected into electricity.
Unlike any products, whether refined or manufactured, the processing of solar energy do not need additional costs of energy to power it up. It is energy generating by itself. Except maybe for regular inspection and replacement of parts (when it employs a mechanical device), the tapping of solar energy is virtually maintenance free. Once installed, it could be used for as long as needed for the amount of energy, (depending on the capacity of the unit), which the owner requires.
How Does Solar Energy Work
Ever wondered how solar energy is converted into electricity? Well, this will give you an idea how it works.
First, solar panels are installed over a flat surface like the roof of your home. Once activated, it absorbs the sun’s rays since the panels are made of semi-conducting materials such as silicone.
Electrons are then knocked off loose from their atoms so it can produce electricity. This process by which light is converted into electricity is better known as the photovoltaic effect.
From there, you now have direct current electricity and when this enters an inverter, it is converted into 120 volt AC which is the electricity needed to power the home. Of course this is connected to the utility panel in the house so the lights and the appliances will work when these are switched on.
If you are not using that much electricity from the solar energy generated, it is stored in a battery so will be able to supply the house with power during a power outage or at night. Should the battery be full, the excess electricity is then exported to the utility grid if your system happens to be connected to it. When your solar energy runs out, utility supplied electricity kicks in.
The flow of electricity of solar energy is measured using a utility meter which spins backward and forward. It will go backward when you are producing more energy than you need and forward when you need additional power from the utility company. These two are only offset when you pay for the additional energy from the utility company. Any surplus is sod back to what is known as net metering.
A smaller version of this is used to power a water heater inside the home. Using the same principles, homeowners get to convert sunlight into heat to get warm water.
As you can see, transforming sunlight into solar energy is very easy. But why do countries like Germany and Japan use it more often than the US? The answer is because it is much cheaper for them to use this form of alternative energy compared to oil.
Also, although the US initiated this during the 1973 oil crisis, it is not as popular as it was back then because the government neither increased the budget in research for alternative forms of energy nor gave incentives so people will be encourage into doing that again.
Most state regulations also prohibit individuals from installing their own devices even if this is used to give you warm water. Chances are, you won’t even find anyone to do it so you will probably have to do it yourself. Just remember that if there is a problem with the plumbing, your insurance will not cover it. Should the state allow you to install such a system, you will not be entitled to the rebate.
Using solar cells is just one way to make the most out of solar energy. Your other option is passive solar energy which helps avoid heat loss so those inside will not feel too cold or too hot throughout the day. This is used by a lot of homeowners living in the southwest since they do not need that much insulation compared to homeowners who live in other parts of the US.
Things You Should Know Before Investing in Solar Energy
There is no doubt that there are a lot of benefits in using solar energy. Aside from protecting the environment, you get to save a great deal of money. But before you switch to solar energy, here are a few things you should consider.
First, is your roof right for solar power? Most solar power systems can be installed as long as the roof is flat and made of material such as bitumen, composite shingle, cement tile, metal or tar and gravel. If this is how your roof is positioned, then there shouldn’t be any problems.
The solar panels will be installed parallel to the roof surface. If you are concerned that the weight could be too heavy for your roof, don’t be since this is very light and quite rare that you have to do some structural work before installing the system.
When you are looking for a contractor, find out how much it will cost to install the system. You should compare these first before you decide in picking the best one. But you should know right now that installing solar powered cells are a bit expensive. There are also no financing programs you can avail of. Your best bet if you don’t have enough money is to apply for a home equity loan.
If you are planning to install this in a commercial establishment, the various loans you can avail of include the capital equipment loan, equipment secured loan, property secured loan or the SAFE-BIDCO energy efficiency loan.
Non-profit organizations may also avail of special loans for solar energy and the best one is through third party financing. In this case, the non-profit organization and the contractor will purchase the system and make use of the tax credits. The third party will then pass on the charges for the produced power to the non-profit and after the system has depreciated, this is sold to the non-profit at a discount.
The end result is that you pay for less than what you are currently paying for because it is maintenance free.
In fact, people are encouraged to borrow money to pay for solar energy. This is because you borrow money at a fixed rate and in return recouped your investment of about 7-11% annually as the utility rates increase so you pay less for it every month. This makes investing in solar energy very similar to other investments such as bonds, property and stock.
Will installing a solar system have any effect on your property? The answer is yes. In fact, it will increase the resale value of your property without having to pay much more in terms of property taxes. If you have a lot of space to spare, you may even be able to zero out your electric bill as long as the sun comes out so you can convert sunlight into electricity.
Aside from increasing the properly value, you will also be able to avail of tax credits from the government.
Solar energy can power your home in the same way you get electricity from the grid. You won’t be able to use it when there is a power outage or when the sun is shining but fortunately, this doesn’t happen daily so it is still an alternative form of energy worth considering.
What you need to know about Solar Power
Solar power is everywhere because it comes from the sun. Solar power can be used to power electricity, pump water, to heat your home or office and power vehicles. With all that we can do with solar power you have to wonder why we don’t do enough to conserve the solar power. We could use it for almost anything and it would cost a fraction of what we are paying now. You can make a difference by doing your part is making solar power something you can use.
In order to power energy with solar power you need to know the basics of solar power and how it works. It takes a long time for heat from the sunlight to reach the earth. Unless it is concentrated into a particular area the heat from the sun will be distributed evenly over the earth’s surface where the sun is shining. When you want to use the natural sun light to power your electricity, heat or water you need to know the process to it.
You need to direct the sunlight to a concentrated area in order to have enough energy to power your source. Some of the biggest solar power towers are set up around the world. Solar power is not something that a few people are trying but solar power is about the future, everyone’s future. When you use a light in your home you may not realize the process that brings that energy to that switch so when you flip it on you will have lights. The energy that it takes to run power to our homes are not a natural way of energy. Conserving the energy that comes from the sun is the most natural way to equip our homes with energy, heat and more. When we use natural resources we save in several ways; by preserving the earth, cutting down on monthly and over all costs, and no inconvenient power outages.
Preserving the earth helps when you use natural resources that don’t hurt the earths atmosphere and everything in it. If we continue to use the power that we use today we may pollute the atmosphere so much that the right amount of sun will not be able to make it down to the earth’s surface in the future. Then we will have no other choice but to rely on our man made abilities to produce something that will cost us more than what it already does now. Pollutants will also harm life on earth as it starts to close in and start to harm us. Cutting down on monthly and over all costs can save you a lot of money in the future.
In the beginning you may pay a minimal amount to be solar power efficient by purchasing a solar source. You can buy indoor and outdoor lighting, solar power windows and insulated doors in order to make your home more solar efficient. After that initial expense you don’t have the expense of paying a monthly bill to keep your service on. This also promotes others to use solar power to be more efficient.
When a storm blows through we are sometimes left without power for at least a day but sometimes more. When this happens we are so use to our conveniences that we have a hard time adjusting to going back to the basics when we are use to flipping on a light switch, using the microwave, taking a shower or bath assuming that the water can be pumped and heated the same as it always is. Loading the dishwasher or washing the dishes, washing and drying clothes. All of these services require the power to be on and when it is off is when you miss the services. When you use solar power you are less likely to experience these down times because your power is generated by natural energy.