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
One of the best ways to get rid of your carbon footprint and go green is to take advantage of solar energy. Use the advice from this article so you can maximize your solar energy equipment’s potential.
One of the most important and easiest things you can do is ensure that the solar energy equipment is facing towards the sun. If you think about it, this really is just common sense. If your solar energy panels are facing the sun, more of the sun’s rays are likely to hit the panels and therefore give you more energy.
Tip: Look up different websites and see what green technology is available that you can purchase. You can find things like batteries that run off of solar energy or items for your household that run off of solar energy.
Determine how much wattage you will need for your home, business, or wherever else you plan on using solar equipment. A small family home may not require many strong solar panels. On the other hand, a big business may require a very big investment to ensure that you get enough energy. You want to make sure that whatever you use solar energy for will have enough energy to operate.
Call up a professional to install your solar energy equipment. You might be tempted to put the equipment up yourself to save yourself some money, but in the long run this could turn out to be inefficient for you. A professional will know exactly where to install your equipment so that it can take in the most energy and they will also make sure the equipment is in a secure spot where it will be able to stay for years. The small price for a professional may save you a lot of money down the road.
Tip: When finishing up your work for the day, turn off your home office equipment including your computer. These modern work machines eat up a lot of energy, even when not in use.
Clean your solar panels regularly. If the panels are cloudy or dirty, then it just will not be able to absorb as many rays and you will not receive as much energy from it. By keeping the panels clean and clear you will make sure they are receiving the maximum amount of rays.
In addition to cleaning your solar panels every so often, you will also want to perform other types of maintenance during these times. Make sure everything is plugged in properly and that the panels are in the correct spot, otherwise you may be robbing yourself of some free energy.
Tip: Going green means many things, including saving energy in your home. One of the easiest and best money-saving ideas is to insulate your attic.
Make sure you will have enough energy during the winter. The winter does not give you as much sun. In addition, the sunlight you actually receive during the day is not as strong as it is during the summer since you are further from the sun in the winter.
Don’t be pushy about it, but talk to your neighbors about converting to solar energy. Perhaps telling them how much money you saved will convince them to switch to solar energy as well. Soon you may have your whole neighborhood reducing its carbon footprint.
Using these easy tips will make sure your solar energy equipment will work to its fullest potential. In the future you should be able to save a lot of money by planning things out before you decide to spend a lot on equipment.
As gas and electric prices soar, solar energy becomes more and more interesting as a source of power. One way for you to finally cut costs is to put solar panels in your home, or, if you can’t afford to do that, get smaller solar panels for around the house. Here are some compelling reasons for you to use solar energy.
You pay less money. That is the biggest bottom line with solar energy. You may have heard that it costs a lot for you to install solar panels, and it does, but the truth is that after that, you don’t have to pay anything anymore. To see how much of a difference this would make in your life, calculate how much money you paid the electric company last year. Then multiply that by 5 years, then multiply it by 10 years. That is how much money you will save when you no longer have to pay the electric company for your power.
Tip: Contact your local utility company to see if purchasing energy from renewable sources is an option for you. Buying green energy directly from a power company is one of the easiest ways to go green with your energy use, without having to invest in any major alterations to your home.
Not only can you save money, you can also make money. You can sell the electric company your excess power. Solar panels store excess energy in the case of storms and other inclement weather. You can sell this energy back to your old electric company. Perhaps you can make back all the money you paid them over the years!
You can live anywhere and get solar energy, even during storms and power outages. As mentioned, solar panels store energy, so even when your neighbors’ electricity has gone out, yours will still be on and working. That can be a big relief since electricity can fail at the drop of a hat. You can also get power if you live in a desolate area. Even where power cables don’t go, the sun does. You can always have sunlight and power.
Tip: Use the power of the sun to help you heat your home. By installing large windows or glass patio doors on the south side of your home, you can catch the morning sun.
Sunlight is natural and doesn’t harm you or the environment. There are no chemical byproducts, no harmful toxins and no injuries at the plant. Sunlight is peaceful, clean, and renewable. The sun will not go out of business, be bought out, or raise its prices. The sun will not threaten you with disconnection notices if you cannot pay your bill. And of course, there is no bill!
You even have the option of building your own solar panels. It is not necessarily suggested for the novice builder, but if you know what you are doing, you can drive down your costs even more and simply pay for materials so that you can use the power of the sun to power whatever you wish.
Lastly solar power is something you can be proud of. This is something you can share with your family and friends. And when they see how well it’s working for you, they can think about getting it for their own homes.
Now that you’ve read this article, you have some really great reasons to use solar energy. Energy is costing more and more money as time goes on, and it’s important for you to get serious about whether you want to keep paying more and more, or whether you want to finally stop paying at all. Think of how you can help the planet and save yourself some money by using solar energy.
If you care about the environment, or just how many dollars you are spending on your electric utility bill, you might be considering going solar at home. Installing technology to harness the power of the sun seems ideal, since you can theoretically draw free power every day the sun is out, but you need to take some preemptive steps to make the best of the situation before tearing out your whole roof. Keep reading into the following paragraphs for more.
Find out whether or not your local utility company is willing to buy power back from you. It can take some work and mindful lifestyle to get your home to a place where you are actually generating enough juice to have surplus you can sell off, but if that is an economic possibility where you live, it is worth shooting for. Why just save money when you can make money?
Tip: Especially in extremely warm climates, it is important to do as much as you can to save on cooling costs. One thing you can do is to use trees and bushes to shade your home, and this in conjunction with other strategies will save you much on energy consumption and costs.
Consider your latitude and local horizon. You cannot just point solar panels at the sky and expect to be set. In the northern half of the world, you have to point your panels in a southerly general direction, but the horizontal angle has to be 15 degrees plus your geographic latitude. There are calculators online that can help you with this determination. Find that angle in your yard and look for obstructions. Are there trees, buildings or mountains in the way during parts of the day?
Compose a list of all your electric appliances, and also write down their hourly power usage. Any specialist you consult with about solar installation who knows what he is doing is going to need this information. In many cases, going full solar is not always possible, but you can go partially for particular appliances. Also, you might be able to squeeze in full solar power by only using combinations of appliances at one time, but never all of them at once.
Tip: Opt for rechargeable over disposable batteries. The debate on using disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries has long been a heavy conversation.
Keep in mind that your panels are going to have to stay clean. Any debris or dirt on them is going to reduce their effectiveness. Can you afford a roof cleaning once a month? Are you willing to do it yourself?
Do your power calculations based on winter numbers rather than summer. Your winter season likely has half the total hours of light than the warmer months do. If you do not account for your minimums here, you will have to draw off the local grid or a backup source for power. The positive side of this is that if you are prepared for solar self-sufficiency in the winter, you will have lots of power in the summer for air conditioning, and perhaps to feed into the grid.
Tip: Think small. If you are unable to use alternative energy for your entire house, start with just one room.
Do whatever you can to make your home consume a minimal amount of power before you go solar. This can range from small steps like using energy-efficient light bulbs to removing your clothes dryer in favor of a clothesline in the backyard. The more energy efficient your home is prior to going solar, the more you can save on your solar installation.
Going solar in the home is a wonderful way to support the environment and save money, but there are steps you should take before you start pulling up roof shingles. Apply all the ideas within this article to make the most of this potential investment.
When you think of harnessing the power of the sun in your home, you likely think of ripping your roof out and replacing it with solar panels. In some regions, this is not feasible, due to lack of sunlight, regulations or cost. Still, there are ways you can take advantage of solar power without going all out. Keep reading into the following paragraphs for more on how you can accomplish this.
Any sources of illumination you have on the outside of your home or in your landscape should not draw from your electricity. There are simply too many options now for solar-powered outdoor lights to not take avail of this. From front porch lights to garage lamps to ground level lights along your sidewalk, you can find a variety of options that are all solar powered. They collect the energy of the sun during the day, even on cloudy ones, and then store it. Most shine the night through, perhaps except the last few hours before dawn during the longest winter nights.
Tip: One simple way to update your home with green technology is, to install solar panels. These can help decrease the amount of energy you use, and save you some money.
In addition to lighting up your yard, you can care for your landscape with solar-powered tools. You can mow your lawn with a solar-powered mower, and a number of power yard tools exist that can draw their juice from the sun. Solar power can also be used to recharge batteries and portable electronics used inside the home.
Solar powered fans exist that you can use for cooling interior spaces. This can work in the home, in attic environments and rooms with windows. Devices also exist that you can add to your car for ventilation. These come in very handy in preventing the greenhouse effect from turning your car into an oven when parked in daylight.
Tip: Reuse rain water. This can be done using a rain barrel attached to a rain chain or drain spout.
Cars themselves are actually a place of recent research and development that allow for the sun’s energy to help you save at the gas pump. Fully solar cars are not yet practical enough for mass production. However, some hybrids feature solar power for internal electronics and to get more range out of a fully charged engine. Many cars can also be altered and modified to a degree to let solar paneling assist with electronics and air conditioning.
Even if you do not or can not replace your whole roof with solar panels for power production, consider a solar powered water heater. This hot water can be used primarily for showering, but also possibly machine use in laundry of both dishes and clothes, if enough hot water is available. Using the sun for heating water spares your power bill one its biggest sources of demand, so the costs of solar water heater installation can pay themselves back over a long enough timeframe in the form of utility savings.
Sinking many dollars into pricey solar panels all over your roof is not necessary if you want to harness the power of the sun in your home. The sun’s power is free to you and available every day, even cloudy ones depending on the technology. Cut back on your home’s environmental impact and maybe even save some money with the ideas presented within this article.
Of all of the green energy choices, solar energy can bring in the most money. The sun comes up and shines for free and you can use it for nothing, if you have a solar system array on your roof. Check this article out to find out some of the ways that you can use to save money with solar energy.
Solar power can help you in a number of ways. You can buy a set of outdoor lights that use solar power and put them in the ground in your front yard; then, you’ll have a lighting system to greet your guests without adding to your power bill. Any appliance that you can attach to your electrical system can benefit from solar power.
Tip: When you can, take showers rather than baths. Running a bath uses up to 40% more water than a shower does, which means more energy is being used and your water bill will sky rocket.
Adding solar power to a water heater is a common entry point for many people into solar energy for the home. Instead of installing a full array of panels, you just install a handful, and run the circuitry right to your hot water heater. Then, the power goes right from the sun for use in your hot water heater. If you aren’t using your hot water heater, the energy goes into your grid for use throughout the rest of the house.
The best place for solar cells on most homes is the roof, because that has the most access to the sun without blockage from trees, telephone poles and other structures. You want to make sure, though, that the pitch of your roof will point the panels toward the incoming sunlight. A contractor can help you make that determination as to the best placement.
Tip: A great tip for green energy use is to ensure that your home is properly insulated and has a high R value with the insulation. The best insulation has a higher R value.
If you notify the electric company that you are installing solar panels, then you can arrange to sell them your excess power. If you do not use all of the energy that your solar panels generate in an entire month, then you should get a check back from your utility. Most utilities are glad to have the contributions, because electricity use is increasing in the United States each year, and the more customers there are with solar panels, the more relief the grid will get, especially in the hottest part of the summer.
You’ll want to check with your HOA (homeowner’s association) to find out if you can put solar panels in. Most associations do permit this, but there are some who will not allow it. The opposition to solar panels is not as passionate as the opposition to wind turbines is, because solar panels do not stand dozens of feet in the air and block views. However, you definitely want to find out before you place an order with a contractor.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas about things to consider when pondering a solar energy array for your house. Using these points as a springboard, you should be able to figure out what questions to ask your local government representative in charge of energy, and the contractors whom you interview when finding one to install your array.
Let’s face it; there are many reasons why solar panels would benefit your home. It could increase the property value, and it will definitely cut down on your carbon footprint and reduce your electric bill each month. The purpose of this article is to give you some basic tips about this form of power.
Basically, solar panels take the rays from the sun and convert them into electricity. The photovoltaic cells inside each panel have an internal mechanism that takes the light and makes into convertible power that it can then send into your electrical grid. The warmer the temperature, the more efficient the process. This is why, even on a cold day, the sun will not give you as much power as it might on a hot day that has some cloud cover.
Tip: Buy Energy Star products. In the typical home, appliance’s make up about 20 percent of the electricity use.
There are some basic solar ovens that will heat water for you. All you have to do is pour water into a pot and place it inside the oven. During the summer, you will generally place the oven at a 30 degree angle to the sun, you will place it at 60 degrees in the winter when the sun is lower in the sky. The water inside will come to a boil over time, and it won’t cost you a dime.
Solar panels have been a power option since the 1970’s. Recent advances in technology, coupled with recent discoveries about the dwindling availability of fossil fuels, have made them once again a more popular option. You can even get rebates or tax credits for solar panel installation, depending on the state or county in which you live. If you have a really sunny month, you might even contribute so much energy to your local grid that the utility sends you a check instead of you paying a bill.
Tip: Harness wind power in your home. Wind power is probably one of the cleanest sources that we have available now, and using it just might cut your electric bill down by up to 90%.
Your solar panel array can connect to the grid just like any other device that creates power. Once your panels are hooked up to your electrical system, it will start adding power back to the grid on the first sunny morning. The benefit is that every kilowatt-hour that it adds back means you are taking less from your utility, resulting in a smaller bill.
Whether your home will appreciate or not on the basis of a solar panel installation will really depend on where you live. Obviously, in more upscale areas, panels are likely to give your value a boost, but you will want to talk to a local realtor to find out if panels are a likely value enhancer in your community.
Tip: Try heating your home with a wood pellet stove. The pellets burned in a pellet stove are made of highly compact sawdust.
There is no research back on what will happen when we start having to throw these solar panels away because they are old and worn out. However, in the short term, solar panels in use mean that there are fewer fossil fuels being pumped or mined out of the earth and turned into electricity. There are no environmental by-products to solar energy, so it’s a win-win so far.
Going solar can save you money over time, and future generations may thank you for helping the environment today.