Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Five Benefits of Using Solar Energy

Although some form of solar power has been available for decades, the technology has only recently gained mainstream acceptance and attracted the interest of big-time utility companies. On a per-kilowatt basis, solar power remains expensive relative to conventional sources of energy like coal and natural gas. Nevertheless, its overall cost continues to shrink at a rapid rate. As solar power becomes an increasingly important component of the country's "energy mix," it's worth taking a look at five major benefits of solar power.

1. Changing Relationships with Public Utilities
Homeowners and business owners who install solar panels on their property enjoy more equitable relationships with their local utilities. Whereas conventional arrangements between utilities and their customers require the latter to be wholly dependent on the former, solar power users gain a measure of independence from their utilities. Even if their solar panels don't produce all of the power that they need on a daily basis, they'll need to buy less conventional power. If they produce more power than they require, their utilities may actually pay them for it at a fluctuating wholesale rate. For cash-strapped homeowners, this can turn into a significant source of revenue.

2. Healthy Financial Incentives
Along with various state agencies, the federal government offers attractive subsidies for private individuals who install solar panels or solar heating devices in their homes. In certain jurisdictions, generous subsidies may be available for businesses as well. Generally speaking, these incentives allow solar power users to claim tax credits in proportion to the amount of generation capacity that they install on their property. This reduces solar power start-up costs and increases the profitability of the technology.

3. Minimal Environmental Impact
Although the production of solar panels does require some inputs of raw materials and energy, solar power's environmental impact is minimal. The technology produces none of the carbon, methane or particulate emissions that fossil fuels emit, and it doesn't demand large-scale mining or drilling operations. Since panel arrays can be placed on rooftops or in isolated desert areas, solar power's physical footprint is manageable as well.

4. Labor-Intensive Production Regimes
The solar power industry's "innovation engine" has resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs in the last decade alone. Although proponents of conventional energy technologies argue that the solar industry destroys more fossil fuel-related jobs than it creates, this is a misleading claim. After all, solar kits production is just a small facet of an overall industry that demands contributions from installation technicians, salespeople, battery-storage designers and other key players.

5. Geopolitical Benefits
Since the dawn of the fossil fuel age, the United States’ reliance on unstable or hostile countries to supply oil, gas and other energy resources has caused plenty of trouble. Indeed, the country's political and business leaders are often forced to make unsavory compromises with shady or dangerous parties in order to guarantee steady energy imports. Since all of the solar power that the United States needs can be generated within the country's own borders, the technology has the potential to eliminate this less-than-ideal reliance on imperfect actors. In the long run, such a development could increase the economic and physical security of every American citizen.
Putting Things in Perspective
Solar power shouldn't be mistaken for a cure-all that's capable of single-handedly solving all of the world's social, environmental and political ills. However, it's a valuable technology that's increasingly competitive with traditional sources of energy. Moreover, its benefits are undeniable. In the future, solar power is all but assured to have a lasting and overwhelmingly positive impact on our society.

Source:Peak Solar 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Solar Panel Inverter

A solar Panel inverter, or PV inverter, converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network. It is a critical component in a photovoltaic system, allowing the use of ordinary commercial appliances. Solar inverters have special functions adapted for use with photovoltaic arrays, including maximum power point tracking and anti-islanding protection
Solar inverters may be classified into three broad types:[citation needed]

    Stand-alone inverters, used in isolated systems where the inverter draws its DC energy from batteries charged by photovoltaic arrays. Many stand-alone inverters also incorporate integral battery chargers to replenish the battery from an AC source, when available. Normally these do not interface in any way with the utility grid, and as such, are not required to have anti-islanding protection.

    Grid-tie inverters, which match phase with a utility-supplied sine wave. Grid-tie inverters are designed to shut down automatically upon loss of utility supply, for safety reasons. They do not provide backup power during utility outages.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

How Do Solar Water Heater Works

Solar water heater helps in heating water with the help of solar energy for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes. Basically a solar water collector that is placed in a wall facing the sun helps in heating the cold water with the help of the rays of the sun. The heater is available in two types i.e. active and passive. The collectors consist of a box that is insulated and has a black painted glass cover, a solar metal absorber that is flat and is fastened to wires made of copper. Heat is stored in a separate water tank with an outlet and inlet which is attached out to the collector. Passive collectors make use of electricity to produce hot water where there is no access to sunlight and the temperature is too cold. Now let’s talk in brief about both these systems.

Passive system:

There are two kinds of primary systems namely

Batch: it is a tank inside a solar collector without any tubes. The water heats inside and either the gravity or the tendency of the hot water to rise, moves the water upwards and the water reaches the home pipes.

Thermosiphon: In this the water collector and solar system both are separate. Cold water moves through the solar collector tubes and then natural convection pumps which results in hot water in the storage tank. That water then travels to home pipes.

Active system:

Direct: This system makes use of pumps. The water moves from solar collectors to storage tank with the help of electrical pumps.

Indirect: In this system the solar collectors heat the heat transfer fluid and not the water. The fluid then flows through a sealed piping of a heat exchanger which is full of water. The water absorbs the heat from the fluid and then is pumped inside the storage tank.

Drainback: This is similar to the indirect method. The only difference here however is that it uses distilled water as the heat transfer fluid. It has a separate tank for the distilled water. Pumping out the heat transfer liquid into a separate tank makes it perfect for use during cool climates.

By now you might have understood the variation in the working of the solar water heaters on the basis of collector classifications and the active and passive distinctions. To make it easy for you, I would be explaining the working of a basic solar water heater. This would help you to understand the common mechanisms in a solar water heater. The key mechanisms are as follows:

Heating: The collector is exposed to sunlight. The radiation from the sun passes from the glass top into the collector, here it is absorbed by the heat absorbing material. Thus, the radiation from the sun is converted into heat and the water inside the collector gets heated.

Movement: Now the water is heated and it needs to be transferred to the storage tank. Gravity or the convection can play a decisive role in the movement of the water.

Gravity: If the storage tank is situated at a lower level than the collector, then the heated water will be transferred to the tank under the influence of gravity.

Convection: It is the phenomenon by which the water tends to rise after heating. If the water tank is situated at a level higher than the collector, then the water rises to the tank through convection.

Storage and Use: Storage tanks are used to segregate the water from the collector. The tanks should ideally be kept in a conditioned environment to avoid the cooling of water due to external atmosphere. This water can be used by connecting pipes to the tanks. In a geographical region with ample sunlight, a solar water heater can meet 80-90% of the household requirements.

Source: Peak Solar

Monday, 15 July 2013

Working of a Solar Panel

Solar technology dates back to the 1800s when Edmond Becquerel discovered the “photovoltaic effect.” In the mid 1900s, the first solar cells were developed. While there have been incremental improvements in panel cell efficiency since those early days, for the most part, the way we install solar has remained relatively unchanged for decades.
Solar panels are the latest rage amongst home owners. They drastically increase the value of your home while helping your family save big on electricity costs. Let’s not forget the environmental benefits of using solar power, which is a 100 percent clean and renewable source of energy. Solar power creates zero emissions, and the only environmental impact it creates is during the manufacturing and transport of solar cells. According to Dutch researchers solar power cells take 3-4 years to generate back the energy it took to manufacture them. Most solar panels have a life length of 25 years so this is very environmentally friendly. In this article I’ll explain how solar panels work, as knowledge about solar power is the first step towards understanding the implications of using solar power.

A solar power system consists of solar panels, inverters, batteries, and a charge controller.  Solar panels are connected assemblies of several photovoltaic cells.  Each individual cell is coated with a positive and negative layer to create an electric field.  As photons from the sun, or sunlight energy particles, enter a cell, they allow the electrons in each cell to become free. The free electrons flow through a wire connected to the photovoltaic cell, and thus this flow of electrons becomes electricity.  The most important part when installing solar panels is to arrange them at the proper angle for maximum solar exposure.
Solar Panels use the power of the sun to create electricity. There are two methods of converting sunlight to electricity, with direct photovoltaic conversion or through indirect concentrated solar power (CSP). A Photovoltaic conversion is when sunlight converts into electrical energy in certain materials. There are a few materials that absorb photons (sunlight) and create an electric current. This effect is called the photoelectric effect and it was first discovered in 1839 by Edmund Becquerel. Albert Einstein did further research into the photoelectric effect and won the Nobel Prize for physics for his research. Modern day solar power is based on the research Albert Einstein did into the photoelectric effect.
Today more people are seriously considering turning to solar energy for some or all of their electricity needs, but they’re not sure how to buy solar panels. Complete Solar Systems are springing up on roofs everywhere, and the most visible aspect are the solar panels.

Most people know that solar panels use the sun to produce electricity but are generally unaware as to which panels they need to produce the amount of electricity they need.There are three types of solar panels currently available on the commercial market – mono-crystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Mono-crystalline cells are made from single-crystal silicon and are the most efficient panels, but also the most expensive. Polycrystalline cells are manufactured using grains of single-crystal silicon and are less expensive than mono- but also less efficient. Amorphous cells are created by placing non-crystalline silicon on surfaces such as metal or plastic. These are the cheapest but also the least efficient.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Buying Solar electric systems

You are looking for a solar electric system to fit ? Here are some planning tips for considering solar electric systems that are sure to help you a lo

Look at incentive programs. Check the DSIRE.org web site for federal, and state tax credits and rebates. The U.S. government offers a 30 percent tax credit on solar and other renewable energy systems, with no ceiling, through 2016.

Check locally. See if there are any rebate or other programs offered by your municipality or local utility. Some cities and companies offer loan programs and other incentives to get people to invest in solar arrays.

Look at your roof. Which direction does it face? What’s the tilt, orientation and shading? If it faces south and isn’t shadowed during the day, you’re a good candidate to produce solar. Productive arrays can also be put on west facing roofs. A good solar installer can calculate your roof’s potential for producing electricity from solar panels.

Check the age of roof. If you only have a few years left on your shingle warranty—many are for 20 years—replace the roof first. You do not want to be pulling up expensive solar panels to replace shingles.

Consider financing options. Do you want to pay cash or lease the panels or re-finance your home? “Buy it with cash and you’re buying twenty-five years of power,” Bono says. Some banks also offer green loans. Having good credit is critical. Some companies likeSunRun do solar PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements), in which someone else owns and maintains the system and you pay a fixed or variable cost for the power produced. If that’s less that what you pay from your utility, it could be a good deal. Leasing is an option if you have little or no money to put down, but it may restrict your ability to sell your house, and you won’t receive any rebates, tax credits or energy credits. The leasing company gets those. So a good rule of thumb is that if you can swing the upfront payment, do so. After rebates and tax credits, moderately sized systems often cost around $15,000.

What aesthetics do you want? Some framed solar panel modules use blank panels to blend in nicely with a roof. (And when you’re saving money, solar panels always look better.) There are also more expensive BIPV (Built-in Photovoltaic) products that mimic the look of a shingle, for example.

Look at architectural standards in your neighborhood and local building codes. There could be restrictions on some additions by local homeowner associations. State and federal laws are changing to allow for residents to install renewable energy devices without the approval of homeowners’ associations, though the associations may still dictate the placement of the device.

Inverters are important. The solar panels kits may be the visible and sexy part of the system, but the inverter is the heart and soul of a solar array. Don’t cheap out on these. Check the manufacturer and how long they’ve been around, the warranty and how your solar installer will service and check its performance. “Inverters have gotten a lot better. They help with harvesting power and getting the most out of the solar system.

Check all manufacturers. Many cool solar technologies are emerging today, from thin-film CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenide) and CdTe (Cadmium Telluride) products. But these are not as efficient as the rigid crystalline silicon panels that abound today, and some of the crystalline silicon manufacturers like Sharp and Panasonic (Sanyo) have been around and aren’t going anywhere.

Source: Peak Solar

Monday, 1 July 2013

Solar Panel Kits

Solar panel kits help a lot to generate energy which can be utilized in different energy requirements. This solar energy can be used in TVs, lights, computers and even to recharge12 volt DC batteries. Setting up our solar panel kits is very easy. We are here to empower your world with our unique solar energy. We are doing our service from California. We are here to teach you a lot about the world’s most abundant resource.
Have you been pondering establishing solar kits for your home, however been disheartened in light of the fact that the expense is too high? 
We have designed a system for complete solar kits for home.  One outstanding characteristic of our solar force system is that it uses the generally new micro-inverter engineering. With this system, every photovoltaic (PV) board has its own particular matrix tied inverter that is mounted right by the board. This sort of system is simpler for do it yourselfers to fix, and has different preferences, for example less affectability to fractional shading, force yield streamlining for every PV board, and the adaptability to begin modest and develop the system as time and plan permit.  We chose to run with a framework tied system, which is a great deal more practical than an off-lattice system. One point of interest is that you don't need to purchase electric cells, which are exorbitant and must be displaced now and again. You can likewise decide to fix a littler, less costly system that produces only a part of your power. On the downside, matrix tied systems furnish no power when the force network is down.
The principal go to arranging your system is to assess refund choices and acquire grants. Your nearby force utility has guidelines you should accompany when you catch the completed system to the lattice, and construction regulations may additionally apply. Notwithstanding elected impetuses, states offer refunds to assist with the expense of the system. Comprehension the neighborhood manages before you begin will recover you dissatisfaction later. Generally utilities will have an informative data bundle and an individual who has some expertise in the utility necessities. We discovered our nearby utility and code investigators supportive and benevolent. We didn't get a clue of safety from them observing the thought of a property holder instituted PV system. License costs and turnaround times were modest. Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency (DSIRE) for qualified data on refunds in your state. Solar power kits can help a lot in saving the energy.
Choosing the measure of your system is the following step. With a matrix tied system, size is less discriminating, on the grounds that the network supplies power when your PV system misses the point. Systems as minor as a couple hundred watts are functional, yet you can additionally establish boards that will transform enough power for all your requirements. Audit what amount of power you utilize once in a while, assessment what you can safeguard by applying protection and effectiveness measures all through your home. This will give you a thought of how enormous a system you'll need to fabricate. You absolutely can raise a system more diminutive than this, yet it may not pay to fix a bigger one. Find your state on DSIRE to look into net metering tenets where you live, incorporating what amount you can get paid for creating abundance power. This system is outlined with the aim of complete solar kits for home.
Solar Panels since 1998, now offers DIY Solar Panel Kits for at-home utilization. Individuals far and wide are coming to be more cognizant that the innovation of DIY Solar Panels is promptly accessible, much appreciated partially to Peak Solar. The times of individuals using incalculable dollars on raising their own particular force systems are long gone. The new DIY kits offered by Peak Solar incorporate cells, wiring and diodes that are utilized to raise a board to produce clean vigor.