Can Wind Power Work for You?  To be successful, wind turbines need wind. So if you live in a built up area, or trees or mountains surround you, any wind turbine you install is unlikely to generate much in the way of energy. Unless you live in the middle of an existing wind farm, the best way to determine whether your area is likely to be suitable for wind power is to use a wind gauge for a few months so you can monitor the average wind speed. You also need to be able to connect your wind turbine to the grid if you want to take advantage of feed-in tariffs. Assuming you live in a windy, exposed site away from other buildings, trees, and other barriers, the best way to maximise your electricity generation is to mount your wind turbine as high as possible. Mast mounted wind turbines are often a much better bet, as the turbine will be higher than the roof. Government Feed-In Tariffs  As with solar panels, anyone who has a domestic wind turbine installed can look forward to payment for every KW of electricity they generate. The amount you can earn is dependent on how much electricity you are able to generate. This also applies to any surplus electricity you sell back to the National Grid. However, any money you do earn is tax-free and the electricity you generate will help reduce your energy bill from your regular supplier. Installation Issues .   Domestic wind turbines don’t normally need planning permission as long as certain guidelines are followed. .   The closer to the house your wind turbine is, the cheaper the cost of installation (the cable used to connect a wind turbine to a property and to the grid is expensive, so using less will save you money). .   Wind turbines can be noisy, which could be a problem if you or your neighbours are sensitive to noise. .   Wind turbines require a service every few years. Wind turbine installations are rarely feasible in urban locations, but if you happen to live on the side of an exposed hillside or near the coast, having a mast mounted wind turbine built could save you a sizeable chunk of cash on your electric bill. Wind turbines are not pretty, but given that the UK is the windiest place in Europe, why not harness nature’s power and make it work for you?

The Battery & Its Lifespan
 Like all batteries, the electrical car will need to be charged from time to time, and it also does take up a sizable amount of time. Electrical vehicles run on lithium-ion based battery technology, and it will need to be charged for hours at a time to reach its peak levels. This can however be seen as a short term disadvantage, as faster recharging technologies are already being extensively researched.

Reduced Carbon Footprint
If you are looking towards doing your part in conserving the planet, there’s no better way than to use an electrical car. Firstly, it runs on recyclable energy. Secondly, no carbon emissions would occur when you drive around. Electrical vehicles have come a long way from their slow drives, and it’s time to get involved in this next stage of energy-saving transportation.

With the evolving changes that are taking place in the alternative transport division, it won’t be long before more electric cars fill up the highways. This is surely a better way to live, and to conserve the Earth and its resources at the same time. Take charge and be part of the human movement that strives towards a greener lifestyle, and have a test drive in an electric car. The benefits of having an electric car already tilts in its direction!

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Cutting-Edge Solar Cell Technologies
As solar energy becomes a popular way to meet power needs, more efficient ways of harnessing the sun’s energy are being developed for solar photovoltaics (PVs). PV cells capture energy in the sunlight and transform it into electricity for residential, business and industrial use. Because solar energy is clean, free, renewable and indigenous, it is a crucial component of major energy plans. Developing better technology to make high-quality solar energy affordable for consumers improves domestic energy security and increases competitiveness in global markets. Take a look at five cutting-edge photovoltaic technologies that are keeping sun power in the energy spotlight.

Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells
A crystalline silicon cell has anti-reflective coating and a semiconductor with an n+ layer, a p-type layer, and a p+ layer sandwiched between two metal grids. Up to 25% efficient, they are the most popular PV type, occupying almost 90% of the global photovoltaic market. Research and development into crystalline silicon PV cells include improving semiconductor growth processes, reducing material volume and streamlining production methods. These technological innovations seek to make these solar cells more cost-effective for consumers.

Thin Film Solar Cells
Thin film solar cells include amorphous silicone (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) and copper zinc tin sulfide-selenide (CZTSSe) PV types. While inexpensive to produce, a-Si cells degrade rapidly in sunlight. Innovations seek to keep costs of a-Si PVs low while increasing product life through improved production techniques. CdTe cells are cheaper to produce than crystalline silicon PVs, but are less efficient. Advancements aim to increase performance by growing better quality crystals and improve manufacturing processes. CIGS research and development seeks to enhance the voltage and current of PVs by creating better window layers. Technology advancements for CZTSSe cells seek to strengthen structures and investigate options for incorporating other earth materials into PV designs.

Multijunction III-IV Solar Cells
Multijunction III-IV cells have top cells, wide bandgap tunnel junctions, middle cells, tunnel junctions, buffer regions and nucleation sandwiched between contacts. With performance efficiencies of over 40%, they are very effective but are also very costly to produce. Technological development in this area focuses on creating better materials and production techniques. Efforts also seek to apply proven multijunction benefits to other types of cells.

Organic Solar Cells
Because some of the materials used in photovoltaic manufacturing are finite, efforts are underway to incorporate abundant organic materials into solar cell production. Using abundant resources will help make PV cells more affordable to consumers. An organic photovoltaic cell has glass, transparent conductive oxide, a polymer mixture, an active layer, an acceptor, a donor, and an electrode. These types of cells are only about 10% efficient. Innovations include enhancing the organic absorber material and refining the metal contacts to make the cells last longer and be more efficient.

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs)
 A dye-sensitized PV cell has transparent conductive oxide, a titanium dioxide (TiO2) blocking layer, TiO2, dye and hole conductors fitted between glass and an electrode. They have efficiencies above 10% and are easy to manufacture. Improvements in DSSCs include strengthening the durability of transport layers, increasing efficiencies of dyes and raising cost-competitiveness through the use of naturally prevalent materials.

Solar panel power remains one of the most viable alternative energy option for many consumers. Stand alone systems that provide electricity for the off grid solar energy  home are just as viable as those systems consumers utilize in systems tied into the utility company’s power grid. While there are people who enjoy living in a remote and rural location in a self sustaining way, many more people have cabins or small vacation properties that benefit from a remote solar system. [click to continue…]

Supporters of solar, wind and other renewable energy and nuclear power are at a crossroads today. They can fight turf wars or they can take the bold steps needed to curb climate change. One thing is certain, though: Without an effective strategy to spur the use of carbon-free energy, there remains the potential for disasters that could dwarf this summer’s brutal heat wave, drought and wildfires, with even more far-reaching consequences. [click to continue…]

Every once in awhile an American solar panel success story boils to the surface and really gets our attention. One of those stories, Helios Solar Works, is a relatively new contributor to the “Made in the USA” trend in photovoltaic manufacturing. “We are tired of seeing manufacturing go overseas,” said CEO Steve Ostrenga. “We want to make a product that will change the world, and do it in the US.” [click to continue…]

 

 

 

Emergency Solar Backup Power for your home or small business can come in handy when bad weather or other conditions interrupt the utility electrical service. Home or business owners can find themselves unable to power critical load appliances and lights. This situation can be serious if critical applications such as medical devices, telephone, home office computers, sump pumps, or refrigeration are threatened. This emergency backup power systems is one of the best values currently available on the market. [click to continue…]

Batteries for off-grid or grid tied solar powered systems are containers of electrical energy or a collection of electrochemical cells connected together in series. Electrochemical reactions produce a flow of electrons from the negative terminals to the positive terminals inside the battery. Factors affecting the capacity of a battery and how much energy you can expect to reap from the system includes the quality of active material and electrolyte concentration, the number of batteries, type, design and size of the battery plates. If you have ever asked “what is a deep cycle battery”, Blue Pacific Solars’ energy consultants have put this page together for you. Solar panels produce electricity but without the proper battery storage, the electricity produced is wasted or given back to the utility company at much lower rates than you are buying it for. If your solar panel system is off-grid, you will need to select the correct battery bank wired together with the proper cable size to store electricity to use later. Grid-tied systems also can utilize battery banks to store power for days when the grid goes down during blackouts. [click to continue…]

A typical off-grid system consists of solar panels and or a small wind turbine to generate electricity connected to a charge controller which controls the pace at which batteries are recharged which is connected the battery bank. You will then need an off-grid inverter to convert the DC (Direct Current) electricity stored in the battery bank to AC (Alternating Current) electricity which is more commonly used in home appliances. [click to continue…]

Calls flow into our administrative office in Sacramento every day from Americans who will only buy American solar panels and other products. Where you stand on the issue is likely a function of your level of outrage on the exporting of American jobs. Today the solar industry in the US is booming in almost all aspects. A large driving force of that boom are cheap solar panels being imported from China. Imported low cost solar panels has to be the pure form of dichotomy because while we seek grid parity, we do not want to acknowledge we are smack in the middle of a global economy and we can either adapt or go extinct. [click to continue…]