You may already be aware of solar energy as a wonderful way for you to preserve the environment and save some money. But did you know you can build your own solar panels? It’s true! With just some time and some materials from your local home goods store, you can make some. This article shows you how to make a solar cell so that you can understand the principle of how these panels work. This can be a great way to show kids how these things work. Keep reading to find out.
First, assemble the materials you need. You need to have sheet metal, copper sheeting, alligator clips, a hot plate and a clear bottle made of plastic. You also need salt and water, as well as a micro-ammeter that can read less than 50 amperes. Of course, be sure you have the appropriate safety gear, including gloves, goggles and tongs. Have a first aid kid nearby, as well as a tub of water or fire extinguisher.
Tip: Using green energies is not an excuse to use more energy than you really need. Do not forget to turn the lights off when you leave a room and putting on a sweater instead of turning the heat up.
Next, check that your copper is not corroded and sandpaper them to make sure. Then, cut two pieces of copper that are roughly the size of the hot plate. Put one of the pieces on top of the hot plate and turn it up to the maximum. As the copper heats, it is going to oxidize and ultimately turn black. That should take about 30 to 40 minutes. Monitor the copper during this time to avoid an accident. Then allow the copper to cool for about half an hour. Finally, rinse the cooled copper off in cool water, wiping off the top layer of the oxidized coating. Use your hands for this step, since you only want to address the top layer of oxidation that comes off easily, not all the way through. Be gentle as you do this.
Make a narrow bucket by cutting the top of the plastic bottle. Now, take the unheated copper piece and insert it into the bottle. Then put the oxidized copper on the opposite side. Make sure they do not touch. Attach an alligator clip to each piece. Clamp the alligator clip from the unheated copper and attach it to the micro-ammeter’s postive terminal. Attach the other piece of copper in the same way to the negative terminal.
Tip: When shopping for appliances, computers or other electronic items, look for products that wear an Energy Star badge. To earn the right to display the Energy Star logo, products must meet certain energy-efficiency criteria.
Use two tablespoons of salt and mix it with a cup or two of water. Then pour the mixture into the bottom of the plastic bottle, but don’t wet the alligator clips. In fact, make sure there are a few inches of copper at the top that stays dry. Check the micro-ammeter needle for movement. When you put this solar panel outside, you will see the needle rise as the panel absorbs the sun.
Now, the solar cell in this article will not work as well as the solar panels you buy. However, now you can more clearly understand how this technology works and you can attempt to build your own solar panels or buy and install them.
Filed under Uncategorized by Oct 15th, 2012.on
You have probably heard about solar energy. Did you know that switching to solar energy could help you save a lot on your bills? Keep reading to learn more about solar energy and make sure it is a good option for you.
You should know that solar panels will function correctly only if you live in a very sunny area. Arizona homeowners are able to produce enough energy to power their entire home easily, but if you are located in a state where your solar panels will be covered in snow during the winter or where you cannot count on clear blue skies every day, your solar panels will produce considerably less power. Get a professional to assess the sun exposure of your property if you want to make sure solar panels are a good investment for you.
Tip: One way to help with reducing energy is by using solar panels in your home. Solar energy harnesses the power from the sun which is then used to provide energy to things like getting hot water, drying clothes and keeping your home warm during the winter.
There are different types of solar panels to choose from. The photovoltaic technology is very popular because of its affordable price. Photovoltaic panels include mono-crystalline and polycrystalline ones: the mono-crystalline panels are a little more expensive but they are also more efficient. The polycrystalline panels are the most affordable model but they produce less power since some of the energy produced is lost while it is transferred from one cell to the other. There is a third option: thin-film solar panels. These panels are more expensive but they are more efficient because of their higher sensibility. A few clouds in the sky will not impact the performance of these panels. They are also a lot easier to install because of their lighter weight and flexible texture. You should research different solar panel vendors in your area to compare models and prices.
Learn to take proper care of your solar panels. You will have to clean them regularly and learn to inspect them without damaging them. If you are not comfortable with getting up on the roof, you can hire a solar panel technician to come inspect your panels regularly and make sure everything is functioning like it should. If you notice that your panels are producing a low amount of power in spite of a good exposure to the sun, contact your technician immediately. You also need to insure your solar panels: insurance is an additional cost but it is the best way to finance repair and maintenance.
Tip: Replace your appliances with energy-efficient appliances. Not only will you save energy and cut down on your electricity bills, but you can get a tax break for using these appliances.
Keep in mind that you do not have to purchase a full-scale system: if you cannot afford to cover your roof in solar panels, get a couple of solar panels and use them to power a few of your appliances. You can purchase solar-powered outside lights, water heaters, water pumps, battery chargers and generators. Contact your local energy provider and ask about the different financing program they offer: the best way to finance your solar panels is to sell a part of the power you are producing to the main grid. This will allow you to make a small profit and be able to draw power from the main grid if your panels are not producing any electricity.
Getting some solar panels could help you power your home at no cost once your panels are paid off. Take the time to do more research about this technology and consider purchasing a different kind of green energy system if solar panels are not your best option.
If you are an inveterate do-it-yourselfer, you may be wondering whether you could install your own solar power system. If you have some experience with electrical systems and don’t mind working up on a roof, the answer may be “yes.” You will need to learn before you start. There are online courses that can help you with this. The following tips are given to help you decide whether a do-it-yourself solar project is right for you.
You will need to do a lot of figuring before you start. You will need to calculate the roof area available for solar panels, as well as the number of kilowatt hours you use each month. Find out how much wattage each solar panel will produce, and figure how many you will need to deliver the kilowatt hours you use. Here are some tips to help with your planning. The company that sells solar panels will almost certainly provide a free consultation to help you determine your needs and how best to meet them. You can also get information from the Federal Energy Agency about the average solar radiation where you live. This figure will tell you the amount of solar energy available, in terms of “solar hours.” This figure will be higher in a southern location than in a northern one. Knowing this amount will help you know how much solar power your roof area can produce.
Tip: To incorporate green energy into your life, heat your home using biofuel instead of traditional fuels. This way, you can heat your home using renewable, biodegradable and generally, more environmentally friendly energy fairly easily.
You will want to research different solar panels that are available, and different companies that sell them. Choose an established, reliable company. They will give you good advice on installation, including examining your roof and advising where best to place panels.
Once you choose the right solar panels for your home, there is still a lot more to the installation. You will need batteries for storage, cables and mounting structures. Another important piece of equipment is a power inverter. It converts DC to AC electrical current, thus enabling the power from the solar panels to be integrated with your home’s electrical system. Investing in a top quality power inverter will help deliver quick and efficient power.
Tip: Make sure that all heating and cooling units and registers are not blocked by furniture, window treatments, or kid’s toys. If a piece of furniture must be placed in front of a baseboard heater, leave a space of two feet.
Internet websites makes it easy to check out different suppliers in your area. But be sure to get a business reference before you decide on one. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations.
Installing solar panels on the roof goes better as a two-person job. Find a friend to help, or hire an assistant. There is a lot of lifting and carrying during the placement. You will be glad you got some help.
Tip: Don’t throw away that coffee grinds- use them to fertilize your plants. Coffee grinds are rich in nitrogen so these make great, healthy plant food.
When you are choosing solar modules, be sure they are Energy Star rated. The federal government requires this rating in order for you to claim the 30 percent tax credit for solar energy. This tax credit helps bring down your initial cost for converting to solar power, which can be high even if you do the installation yourself.
We hope these tips have helped you decide whether to install a solar power system. The long range cost savings can be considerable. And you will be doing your part to convert to clean energy and decrease global warming.
There are many reasons to install solar panels on the roof of your home. You’ll get a tax rebate, you’ll save on your power bills, and you’ll be helping the environment. However, there are reasons why every building in your town does not already have an array on top of it. Check out this article to see an analysis of the good and the bad.
It is not cheap to install a solar panel array. You can plan on spending thousands of dollars for your solar energy system. While you can also plan on recouping some of that back each month with savings on your power bill, you will need to stay in that house for at least 10 years to get your money back. In the meantime, maintenance and replacement costs will just be added to your investment.
Tip: Swap your old thermostat for a greener programmable model. You can program these thermostats to adjust the temperature at particular times during the day, so your heating and cooling system will run less while you are at work or school.
Unless you’re just going to run one of your appliances from your solar panels, you are going to need to be able to dedicate most of your roof to your array. Is your roof large enough? Does it point in the right direction? If it is flat, can a contractor erect enough stands for the array to face the right way? These are questions that you will need to have answered before making a decision.
When it’s dark outside, you are not adding any energy. If it’s overcast and raining, you’re not getting very much at all. If it’s a cold winter day, even if the sun is out, your panels will not operate as efficiently because of the low temperature. You need to make sure your climate is sunny enough to merit this major purchase. Contact your state and county energy offices to see if solar energy is really a smart choice for your part of the world.
Tip: Simply cleaning or changing the filter on your furnace can cut electricity costs significantly. Too much dirt or dust built up in the vents can make more heat necessary to warm the house.
Where does the sun hit your roof? Is the pitch of your roof compatible to the angle of the sun’s rays during the most powerful times of the year? If not, what will a contractor have to do to make your roof more favorable? These are all things that you need to figure out before signing that installation contract.
There’s no way to deny that energy coming from the sun is free. Once you pay to put the panels in, you will not pay another dime for the energy that streams in through your photovoltaic cells. It is great for the environment too, but the free energy is by far the best advantage.
Tip: Invest in a tankless water heater. Rather than a standard water heater, which is working 24 hours a day, a tankless water heater provides hot water only when you need it.
With a solar panel array, there is none of the clanking and whirring that go along with a wind turbine, which is just one of the reasons why it is so hard to get zoning approved for wind power for local homeowners. With this system, though, power will silently enter your home.
It’s true. Solar panel arrays can make for an expensive investment. However, if you are planning on living there for the long run, it can be a major value boost for your home.
If you pay any bills at all, you know that the cost of electricity and gas is going higher and higher than ever before, and during certain months the price skyrockets and makes life unbearable for you in terms of almost crippling utility costs. There is a better way. Solar energy is better for the environment, and what’s more it’s completely free after you have the panels installed. Here are some compelling reasons for you to consider putting solar panels into your home.
First, you need to know what solar panels are. You may already know that the panels absorb the rays of the sun and convert it into usable energy for your home, but you may not know how that happens. The panels are attached to your roof and wired up to take the solar energy to an inverter that converts the energy. During rainstorms, the solar panels rely on stored energy to power your home. Ancient cultures used solar power, and we are just beginning to remember why. The sun is a free source of power that you can now harness and use to power your home in a simple way.
Tip: A simple way to utilize green energy without a huge installation cost or commitment to equipment is to buy green energy from your utility provider. Many utility companies offer customers the option to buy their energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, or hydro.
Solar panels can power everything from your refrigerator to your alarm clock. The only stumbling block is that the initial costs can be massive. However, the good news is that it costs that much depending on what you plan to power with the panels. You can go as small or as big as you like. Then you can decide whether you want to use the solar panel for your entire home or just smaller devices. You can even go to your local home store and buy micro solar panels that you can find under your roof to power radios and other small appliances. If cost is still a problem, consider that there are a number of tax breaks from every level of government that can help give the money back to you. And the most exciting thing about solar panels is that after that big initial cost, your power bill drops dramatically forever.
When considering the options in power, it is smart to realize that the fossil fuels are running out. Everyone admits that. Solar panels offer you a renewable, sustainable power source. The sun will not vanish in your lifetime, and it provides clean, efficient energy without byproducts, chemical reactions, fumes or any of the other things that come with traditional energy choices. There may be a time when everyone is required to get solar panels! So by getting solar panels you are on the cusp of technology and a pioneer in clean energy.
After reading this article, you may decide you want solar panels for your own home. Be careful about who you let install your panels; shop around and compare prices. But after they are installed, be proud of yourself. Then, figure out how you will spend that extra money you will no longer be giving to the power companies!
The cost of energy increases daily as gas prices spiral out of control and electricity prices clock in at twice what they were at the beginning of this century. Our country has become addicted to petroleum products, which is very unfortunate since the vast majority of petroleum products are produced in countries that are politically unstable. This causes problems with this stability of prices. Additionally, any addiction problem puts the addicts at the mercy of the dealers. Addiction to petroleum products puts our nation at the mercy of the countries that produce petroleum and it puts individual people at the mercy of the companies that sell petroleum products. Luckily, there is a smart and affordable way to get energy and that is from the sun. The value of the sun as a source of energy has been downplayed by those who sell energy for quite some time. The fact of the matter is, the sun belongs to everyone and the energy it produces can be enjoyed by everyone at affordable costs.
New energy pours out of the sun on a continuous an ongoing basis. We just need to find ways to harness it and we will all have all the energy we need to run our many and varied appliances and whatnot. You can harness the energy of the sun in lots of different ways. For example, you could install solar panels on the roof of your home. If you go this route, you can at least save about 90% on your electric bill.
Tip: You can lower the temperature setting on your water heater and save money at the same time by insulating your water pipes. Just insulating the hot water pipes can reduce heat loss and raise your hot water temperature by 2-4 degrees F.
You may even find yourself selling energy back to the power company. If your solar installation ends up making more into energy then your household can use, you may be able to ask your utility company to install a reverse meter in your home. This device will measure the amount of excess energy your home is generating and channel it to the utility company. Then instead of receiving a bill every month, you may very well receive a check in the mail or direct deposit.
It takes a bit of money to convert your home to become totally solar, but once the job is done you’ll be saving huge piles of money and perhaps even earning money with your clean and efficient technology. On top of all this, you may even be able to get some money back when you convert your home to solar. There are many government incentives available, and you can get tax credits from your state as well as the federal government. This may very well pay for your installation completely.
Tip: If you are interested in saving energy, utilize the warm summer months to help you dry your clothes. Forgo the use of your dryer, and hang your wet items out in the bright sunlight.
Installing solar energy panels is not rocket science. You can buy do it yourself solar panels and convert your home little by little if this is a more affordable and easier way for you to convert to solar. You can convert sections of lighting and individual functions in your home to solar one or two panels at a time. For example you might put all of your outdoor lighting on a solar panel. Then you might make your water heater solar-powered. By converting to solar in increments, you may make it more affordable for yourself.
Everyone would like to be free of the addiction to petroleum products, coal and natural gas and all of the destructive methods used to mine these finite resources. Solar energy is clean, free and limitless. The technology used to gather and use it does not harm the environment. The less we use expensive, polluting energy sources from the earth the less they will be gathered and a healthier the earth will be.
People around the world are becoming more environmentally conscious, and it’s about time! For this reason, solar-power is becoming more and more popular and more and more in demand. By using the tips presented here, you can kick the petroleum products habit and make a smart and environmentally conscious choice by switching to solar-power.
If you want to help preserve the environment while saving on your energy bills, you should look into switching to solar energy. Read this article to find out more about solar energy, and make sure it is the best solution for you.
Solar panels will function properly if they get enough exposure to sun rays. If you live in an area where the sky is often overcast, you should look into another form of green energy. Since solar panels are such an important investment, you will be able to save money on the long term only if your panels produce enough energy for your household. Solar panels are a popular option in the South West of the U.S. because of the good exposure to the sun. If you are not sure how efficient solar panels would be on your property, have a professional inspect your property and look for ways to improve your exposure to the sun. One such way might be to cut back the trees that shade your roof.
Tip: Make sure your dishwasher, washing machine, and clothes dryer are full (but not overfilled) prior to using them. This saves a lot of water and detergent with each load of wash.
Keep in mind that purchasing some solar panels is a long term investment. The best way to finance your solar panels is to take a loan and make monthly payments that do not exceed what you would usually pay for your energy bills. After ten or fifteen years, your loan will be paid off and you will have access to free electricity. You can also finance your panels by joining one of the programs offered by your energy provider. Most energy providers purchase the power you do not need at an interesting rate. You could either sell all the power your panels produce to pay them off quickly or sell just enough power to make minimum payments. Joining one of these programs will also allow you to draw power from the main grid at night or when your panels are not working, which is a better option than relying on a battery to store the energy produced by your panels. The batteries available on the market tend to lose a lot of the electricity stored if it is not used immediately. You should stay up to date with innovations and wait until better batteries are available.
You do not have to purchase enough solar panels to produce enough energy for your household. You could also get a couple of solar panels to run a smaller system. You can easily find solar-powered outside lights, water heaters, water pumps and even generators and battery chargers. These smaller systems are more affordable. You should start saving money within the next five years. Contact different local vendors to find out more about the products they sell and consider getting a customized system built if you want to power one of your appliances thanks to solar energy.
Now that you know more about solar energy, you should get in touch with local solar panel vendors to compare products and prices. If you cannot afford a solar energy system right now, wait a few years to see if solar panels become more affordable.