Your Questions About Solar Generators Portable

Helen asks…

how to install a generator on elliptical?

I want to try to install a generator on my elliptical but I don’t know how to search for instructions on how to do that. After doing that I’d like to convert it to dc power and then store it in a battery from which I could charge portable devices or do something with it….why waste good energy.?

anyone know where I could find a good tutorial on creating your own for an elliptical?

admin answers:

I would start by studying the elliptical. I would guess it uses an AC induction motor with a variable speed drive. If so, you would need to replace the AC motor with a DC generator using the same mount, and also get it to accept the gear or pulley that was used by the old motor. The battery might need a “charge controller” such as might be used on a PV solar system.

David asks…

How can i keep my RV cool in the summer?

What are some effective and efficient ways to keep my RV from getting too hot in the summer? I have an air conditioner, but I don’t have a generator, so i’m looking for ways to keep cool without electricity. At most maybe a box fan. The only thing I have found so far, for example, is KOOL SEAL roof coating which says reflects the sun’s rays and cools the RV by up to 35%. Any other ideas, like where to position the fan, what windows and vents to have open, etc.

admin answers:

Kool seal’s a great idea. Go solar, two panels on the roof will power fans to blow the hot air out. Park so that you get the afternoon shade on the side of the rv that does not have the roll out canopy and of course roll out the canopy you have, if not get one. Avoid cooking with the stove inside get a portable to use outside with an extension to your outside propane tank. Add insulation, sometimes an older rig was remodeled and insulation was removed due to water damage. There’s also small portable swamp coolers that use way less electricity then an ac unit and could run on solar power get one of those. If your hooked up to water get the water misters that hook up to a hose and put those near windows that the breeze can blow through. Finally when you just get too hot role down the window and move on to a cooler place that’s why “that there is an RV Clark”, you can take your home and roam.

Http://www.rvsolarelectric.com/package.htm

http://www.nextag.com/portable-swamp-coolers/stores-html

http://www.shadeusa.com/misters.htm

http://www.koolseal.com/product_family.asp?family=elastomeric

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Generators For Sale

Chris asks…

Essential Services and the Economic Crisis?

With this economic crisis looming over all of our heads. There have been people from all walks of life finding themselves losing there jobs and income and the flow on effect is they lose therefore there livelihoods.
To avoid this from happening to myself i have come to the conclusion that getting into a job that is part of the essential services such as Fire, Police, Paramedics are the obvious but i am looking more attainable such as Energy, Food, Waste industries.

My question is what sort of jobs out there could one get into that would be in a position to ride out this economic crisis

admin answers:

Internet sales. Supplemental income or full time. Worldwide exposure of your product.

There’s also good money in saving people money. If you can offer a product or service that saves people money, you’re doing well right now.

This is however a double edge answer.

I think the thing to be thinking about is how fragile our livelihoods are. Think about it. If you lost your job today, how long could you live in your current home without any income?

We need to be smarter with our purchases, save our money, invest in items that can help us sustain in any crisis like solar heaters and electric panels, wind generators. Stop living outside our means.

The problem is everyone is flocking to “essential services”, but even the police have suffered budget cuts. We need to be able to maintain in times like this, be better prepared.

We all need to make our own individual financial foundation stronger. A tomato plant with a weak stem won’t be able to produce much fruit…especially in a drought.

Sandra asks…

Earth4Energy questions, how long and how cheap?

I might be looking into buying that kit, and im wondering like what is the cheapest easiest first porject it shows you how to do, and for how much?

and how long does that first project take?

and how long do the other project approximately take and for how much $?

thank you very much

admin answers:

Eath4Energy is a scam. Please see my review at http://www.nlcpr.com/Deceptions6.php

If your motivation is to reduce your energy bills, then you should first look at conservation projects. These are things like using low flow shower heads, replacing old appliances and adding more insulation.

If your motivation is to generate some energy for learning purposes or as a matter of principle, then consider the following:

Building a wind generator yourself is not a simple project. If you can build an utility trailer for your truck (welding, metal fabrication) then you could certainly tackle the job. There is a great book available from www.otherpower.com called Homebrew Wind Power plus you can order any parts and assemblies that are beyond your abilities to fabricate. Cost of turbine is about $2000 and you need a tower as well. There are cheap units at some hardware stores but they are garbage compared to to the unit designed by www.otherpower.com

A more realistic project would be to get a commercial solar panel (making your own from broken cells on eBay is not worth it), inverter, charge controller and battery and using it to power some things in your house. For about $1000 you could have something to power a small computer. A complete system to power your home is more in the $30,000 range.

There are, unfortunately, no cheap ways to make your own power as Earth4Energy is promoting other than perhaps getting lucky in an eBay auction or purchasing a solar system from a bankruptcy sale.

Do your conservation measures first. Then read Homebrew Wind Power, read the solar links at http://www.nlcpr.com/Links1.php and then decide what type of project you are up for. By then, you will know exactly what you want to do.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy

Donna asks…

What do the batteries to store solar energy contain?

I am told batteries for storing solar energy contain cadmium and small amouts of mercury. Is this true? what else do they contain?

admin answers:

These are your best bet for solar energy batteries, most are just simple car batteries. If you think about it, all is required is that they store electricity. The battery doesn’t know where you generate it from so I have complied a list of batteries you could use for storing solar electricity (bear in mind you will need around 5 of these for it to it be worth your time)

Your choice of solar batteries breaks down into these six groups:

Golf cart batteries – These are relatively cheap but will only last 2-6 years

Regular deep cycle batteries – Reasonably priced and will last 4-8 years

Premium or “heavy-duty” deep cycle batteries – The extra pounds will get you a lifespan of 7-15 years

Sealed gel cell batteries – Cheaper than AGM batteries but will only last 2-5 years

Sealed AGM batteries -Will last 4-7 years with little maintenance

Industrial batteries (e.g. Forklift) – These workhorses can last 10-20 years

I know all of this because I work for a Solar Photovoltaic installer and I know just about everything there is to know about them as I have the responsibility of sourcing, ordering & installing the panels!

Hope this helps!

Chris

Mark asks…

What other types of energy can solar energy be converted into?

Besides thermal and electrical energy, what can solar energy be converted into? Please post your reference if you have one.

admin answers:

Energy from the sun comes in the form of heat and light. Plants convert light into biological energy through photosynthesis.

Photovoltaic cells and panels convert light to electric current. Heat from the sun can also be converted into mechanical and electrical energy by focusing the heat on a steam generator to run a steam engine or hot air engine.

Mechanical energy can be further converted into electricity, and electricity can be converted into mechanical or chemical energy.

You can easily develop your own bibliography on this topic. The internet is slam full of information uses for solar energy.

Good luck!

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Your Questions About Solar Generators For The Home

Nancy asks…

Electric start generators…Is it possible to charge the starter battery while it’s running?

Electric start generators…Is it possible to charge the starter battery while it’s running using it’s self generated electricity? Or is there some kind of solar charger that would work?

I just need a small generator to use this fall at my farm. There is no electricity there and because of physical problems, it would be impossible for me to bring it home for charging.

admin answers:

ALL the electric start generators I have seen have a BUILT IN charging circuit for the starting battery.

Note that the MAJORITY of smaller electric start generators NOT designated as “standby generators”or LESS than 10,000 watts capacity have batteries that can NOT start them reliably IF the weather is below freezing, so plan on using a “jump” from your vehicle battery in winter.

Betty asks…

Would solar panels and a wind turbine make enough electricity a day for one house?

A well insulated home which is an average family home.

admin answers:

First determine your demand: ____kwh per year (check your power bills for last year). Typically, a household uses about 14,000 kwh per year. My family uses about 8500 kwh per year.

Then, consider your solar-power and wind-power potential (see links) To supply 14,000 kwh you would need a 5 kw solar panel system (depending on your solar-day potential), or a couple of 3 kw wind turbines (again, depending on your wind-power potential), or a combination of the two. A house in windy desert southwest would have a good chance of getting enough power from the sky. However, a cabin in the pines of the Northwest or Northeast would not.

Next, you would need a storage system (batteries), and accompanying control and distribution equipment, unless you want (and your utility company agrees) to tie your system into the grid.

Finally, if you want to be independent, you would need a back-up system (gas-powered generator) in case of lack of sun or wind, or during times of repairs and maintenance on the solar and wind components. This would need to be about a 3 kw generator if it could be used with storage system batteries, or larger (depending on your demand) if it must be used solo.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Generators For Home

David asks…

How to generate solar power for the home?

Solar power is the essential power in the home and tell me the way to generate it..

admin answers:

Solar generators produce electricity using so-called solar cells or photovoltaic cells, which convert the energy of sunlight to electric energy by the photovoltaic effect. Solar panel is used to save your money once your fixed it to your home you will access that power to all your home appliances.. You have to buy solar panel setup along with inverter which going to invert the AC into DC power. For more details search in google..

Michael asks…

How does energy work under the dark or the rain if the house is solar powered?

Solar powers work under the sun, right?

admin answers:

You are correct. Solar power works under sunlight.
Most solar systems have some sort of power backup.
In remote locations that are “Off Grid” or where maintaining constant power is critical, this is often done with a bank of battery and even a diesel generator as backups.
If traditional power is available, then most opt to use their solar to augment the power from the utility company. A common term is “Net Zero”. When you generate more electricity than you use the electric meter spins backwards. This happens during the day when the sun is out and no one is home. Then at night and cloudy days, the meter spins normally. So the readout spins back and forth. At the end of a period of time you get billed on the net difference. You want the net to be zero. The goal is to produce just what you use. Any less and you have to pay for electricity, any more and you are giving it away.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy For Kids

Ruth asks…

What percentage of our energy production is Renewable?

UK energy that is. And what are we going to be using to reach government plans of 20% by 2020?

admin answers:

It was 5% in 2007 so yes about 6%. Someone in the gov. Ought to have a word with the planners, they are stuck in the 19th century. Whilre they were at it they could find out why we are still paying 17 1/2 % vat (luxury level!) for solar panels, wind turbines, insulation even. Outrageous.

The big idea is offshore wind, but shell just pulled funding for the big one planned off east coast (dogger bank) and the gov. Dont seem keen to put anything up for it.

Microgeneration would be a big part of reaching the target, but that would makke us less dependant on the big comanies and the national grid….. Oh maybe the vat thing (and lack of grants) makes sense….

They want to kid us nuclear is renewable ha! If you greenwash and add in that 20 odd per cent plus the 4% we import from france, we dont seem to be doing too badly……
And as for carbon capture… Dont get me started

Michael asks…

the disadvantages of windmills and disadvantages of solar energy.?

hey i’m doing a debate in my high school science class and its about alternative energy. my group is doing wind energy and there aren’t really that many disadvantages that i could find. one disadvantage was that it kills hundreds of birds. what point should i back it up with if the opposing team mentions it? also what are some good points that i can through at the opposing team? their doing solar panels/solar energy.

admin answers:

Where did you get the idea that wind mills kill birds ? Not so, the trouble is that you youngsters are told stories like the killing of birds.Fact is they are not used enough, China has more wind farms and enough to power a very large industrial city out in the no mans land of China. This country tells you kids what they want you to buy into, called” wagging the dog ” dis-information, just look at the oil spill. We we’re told that the leak was pouring out at approx 5 thousand gallons- reality was that it was sending more then five times this amount.
So in the long run the only disadvantage is that they’re not enough wind farms in use, so you do some more in-depth searching on wind farms and this will get you a winning team to work.

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Your Questions About Solar Generators

Robert asks…

how to build a model solar generator?

I need to make a model of solar generator for my project. so please someone help me to build it.

admin answers:

You could make a Stirling engine from a kit and use solar heat to run it. Google for Stirling engine kits. In addition to the engine itself, you’ll need to come up with a way of producing enough solar generated heat to warm up hot side of the Stirling engine. Pointing it towards the sun might be good enough, but if that doesn’t work you might try making a reflector to focus sunlight onto it.

You could also use a solar panel. Making a solar panel yourself is difficult, because they’re made out of silicon wafers in cleanrooms, but you might be able to get an internship at a fabrication lab if you want to make solar panels.

Chris asks…

How can I make a cheap portable solar powered generator?

I need to know about the parts needed to make a solar power generator and also the instruction on how to make it?

admin answers:

HI… REALLY A VERY GOOD QUESTION…..

Using parts easily available from your local stores, you can make a small solar power generator for $250 to $300. Great for power failures and life outside the power grid. Power your computer, modem, vcr, tv, cameras, lights, or DC appliances anywhere you go. Use in cabins, boats, tents, archaeological digs, or while travelling throughout the third world. Have one in the office store room in case of power failures in your highrise. I keep mine in my bedroom where it powers my cd player, turntable, lights, modem, laptop, and (ahem) a back massager. I run a line out the window to an 8″ x 24″ panel on the roof.

1. Buy yourself a small solar panel. For about $100 you should be able to get one rated at 12 volts or better (look for 16 volts) at an RV or marine supplies store.

2. Buy yourself a battery. Get any size deep cycle 12 volt lead/acid or gel battery. You need the deep cycle battery for continuous use. The kind in your car is a cranking battery–just for starting an engine. Look for bargains, it should cost about $50-60.

3. Get a battery box to put it in for $10. (This is good for covering up the exposed terminals in case there are children about If you going to install the system in a pump shed, cabin, or boat, skip this.)

3. Buy a 12 volt DC meter. Radio Shack has them for about $25.

4. Buy a DC input. I like the triple inlet model which you can find at a car parts store in the cigarette lighter parts section for about $10. This is enough to power DC appliances, and there are many commercially available, like fans, one-pint water boilers, lights, hair dryers, baby bottle warmers, and vacuum cleaners. Many cassette players, answering machines, and other electrical appliances are DC already and with the right cable will run straight off the box.

5. But if you want to run AC appliances, you will have to invest in an inverter. This will convert the stored DC power in the battery into AC power for most of your household appliances. I bought a 115 volt 140 watt inverter made by Power-to-Go at Pep Boys for $50. More powerful inverters are available by mail. Count up the number of watts you’ll be using (e.g., a small color television(=60 watts) with a VCR(=22 watts), you’ll need 82 watts).

6. Use a drill to attach the meter and DC input to the top of the box.

7. Use insulated wire to attach the meter to the wingnut terminals on the battery. Connect the negative (-) pole first. Only handle one wire at a time. Connect the DC inlet to the battery in the same way. Connect the solar panel to the battery in the same way

8. Close the lid (I use a bungee cord to keep it tight). Put the solar panel in the sun. It takes 5-8 hours to charge a dead battery; 1-3 hours to top off a weak one. It will run radios, fans, and small wattage lights all night, or give you about 5 hours of continuous use at 115 volt AC, or about an hour boiling water. This system may be added on to with larger panels, inverters, and batteries.
Options: A pop-up circuit breaker may be added between the positive treminal and the volt meter. Some of you will want an ampmeter as well. The panels I recommend have built-in bypass diodes, but I recommend charge controllers for people who have panels without diodes. Another option is a voltage regulator, which is not necessary for a system this small, but a larger system would require one.

Http://www.rain.org/~philfear/how2solar.html

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Generator Cost

William asks…

What is the best electricity generator for my scenario?

I have a 800 square foot cabin in Maine. I want to get electricity out there to power a t.v., radio maybe, MAYBE a computer, a room fan, basic lights, washer and dryer. Im wondering if I should use solar? Wind? there is a stream running nearby and Im curious about “Micro hydro turbines” to fuel my electricty. Im just looking to see which is best for the money, and electric output. – Thank you

admin answers:

A fuel powered combustion generator is most cost efficient. You can get gasoline powered generators for under $150 per 1000W, which would do that.

Solar and/or a small wind turbine would be next up. You would need a battery set to store the charge, and an inverter to power your AC loads. Your computer, TV, and radio could be set up to work off of battery directly, if you choose the right ones.

Unless you are going to build a dam an all that, collecting energy from flowing water is not economical.

In any case, get a propane stove and dry your clothes on a line. You should get a tri-fuel fridge, if not a 12/120V one.

Susan asks…

details on how different types of power is used to supply energy to cooking applilances?

Need to know how this energy is produced. What is the difference of the usage, efficiency, environmental impact, availabitly, cost effectiveness of present day appliances with those of previous generations.

admin answers:

Wow! That’s quite a question!
Okay — let’s assume we’re dealing with an electric stove. The elements on the stove heat up and are in direct contact with the cooking utensil. That’s conduction. Microwave ovens work by agitating the tiny little particles in the food, and this is what generates the heat and cooks the food.
The toaster works by radiation — the element heats up and radiates heat, which then cooks the surface of the bun, bagel, bread or whatever.
It’s difficult to measure the environmental impact of modern appliances against those of previous generations. For example, where does the electricity come from? Is it generated by hydro power, or by a fossil-fuel powered generator? Availability? Previous generations used a lot of wood. It was cheap, you could usually cut your own, and was readily available. But it generated a lot of smoke. Coal was even worse. Solar powered appliances (and there are a few around, such as water heaters and solar cookers) are probably the most environmentally kind, but they are expensive and, obviously depend on a constant supply of solar energy, sso that limits their general effectiveness.
Hope this gives you a few avenues to explore.

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Your Questions About Solar Generators For Sale

Mark asks…

Will there be a 2009 tax stimulus rebate?

I know this has already been asked, but most of the answers are from 3 months ago. I see websites saying will get a tax credit next year and others saying we’ll get a check and others saying we get nothing at all except a TINY bit less taken out on our taxes. So what is it really?

admin answers:

None of the above.

Obama released his stimulus plan, and they mostly are tax credits for buying things that will stimulate the economy. That means you will pay the government less in income taxes if you purchase certain items. For example, if you are buying your first house, you will pay $8,000 less in income tax for 2009. If you install a solar system or wind generator on your house, you will pay $3,500 dollar less in taxes, depending on how much your wind / solar system cost you. Buy a brand new car off of the show room floor, and you will pay less income tax equal to the amount of state sales tax you paid on the new car.

So on almost all of the tax breaks, you must first purchase something to stimulate the economy. If you don’t purchase anything, you don’t get the tax break. So Obama’s plan basically benefits only those wealthy enough to purchase expensive things.

The amount of with holding ( taxes taken out of your pay check ) was reduced. But the tax schedules were not lowered, so you will have to pay taxes on the money not with held from your pay check at the end of the tax year. That gives you a few dollars more to spend, but you should be saving those few dollars to pay back at the end of the tax year.

Most people don’t realize that with less money being with held out of their pay check, at the end of the year, the may have to pay money to the government to meet the taxes owed. They won’t get a refund because less money was taken out of their pay checks.

Sandy asks…

How do you build a solar power generator?

admin answers:

You buy the components after you figure what you are trying to power, how much power it requires, how much you can afford and how much area you have to work with.

Are you generating power to sale on the grid or power something at home? Will you need the power at night or on cloudy days? These questions will tell you if you need storage batteries or not.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Colorado

Nancy asks…

How much electrical energy is generated from one acre of solar panels?

What i would like to know is if you were using commercially available solar panels, clustered as close together as possible and spread out on one acre, how much electrical energy is produced? if u can ‘translate’ this into terms of (1 hour of average daylight = powering a ____ for X units of time)

admin answers:

In addition to what has been previously mentioned, keep in mind that solar panel production in kilowatt hours (kWh) depends upon the geographical location and the time of year. A solar array in Boulder, Colorado will produce more in a given day and in a given year than an array of the same size in Portland, Maine. That being said you can ballpark the kWh output of an array based on its size in kW. A more refined estimate can be made if you know the location.

For example, in New England, in ideal conditions – no shading – every 1 kilowatt (kW) of solar PV will produce about 1000-1200 kWh in a year. And every 1 kW takes up about 100 square feet of space. You can extrapolate from those numbers to your acre of panels. Identify about how many kW will fit in an acre and then multiply that times the annual production.

A great source is PV Watts from the National Renewable Energy Lab:
http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/codes_algs/PVWATTS/version1/

Select the array location. Enter the array size in kW, and the program will output the annual kWh generation.
I hope that helps!
Kristen
http://newenglandbreeze.com/

Helen asks…

Why are western state so much greener then eastern states?

Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, Kansas, California, Nevada, Washington. They are all super green the east is hardly green at all why is this?
Yes you idiot Kansas, Wyoming and Nevada. Las Vegas energy comes from solar and hydro power. There are wind turbines all across Kansas and Wyoming. I am not apologizing for your ignorance.

admin answers:

Kansas? Wyoming? Nevada? Green? Really? Here is one set of rankings of “greenness” done by Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/2007/10/16/environment-energy-vermont-biz-beltway-cx_bw_mm_1017greenstates_2.html

Your list of green states doesn’t even come close to an objective reality. Colorado and Idaho aren’t in the top ten, Wyoming is 37th, Kansas is 31st. Oregon is tied for first, and Washington is third (behind Oregon and Vermont), but seven out of the top ten are from the east coast.

Edit: Before you start hurling insults, you need to learn how to do research. Here is a ranking of per capita carbon output by state:

http://www.eredux.com/states/?sortBy=carbon_percap_invert&sortOrder=ASC&rows=53

If you sort, you will find that of the list you provide (e.g., Nevada, Wyoming, Kansas), many are all way way down on the list, meaning their energy use per person is far above other states. So while you may think Nevada is a “green” state, it is not by any conceivable objective metric. The same goes for Kansas, and Wyoming is the *worst* in the nation. Furthermore, as in the original link I provided, many of the top ten states with the lower carbon footprints per capita are from the northeast, not the west. Now you can keep on acting like a brat, or you can go collect some facts for yourself and understand I am not the one who is ignorant, you are. I apologize for being the first person in your life who has told you that not everything you think is precious and special, but there is an objective reality and you would be well advised to understand that cold hard facts will get in the way of what you want to be true. Insulting people who tell you that you’re wrong is often the second course of action. The first would be to learn something. Or you can remain clueless. Tough choice. Sucks to be you. Have a nice day.

One last thing, here is a map of the top ten renewable energy producing states:

http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/state_profiles/r_profiles_sum.html

and there is a table giving the rankings. These do show a clustering in the west, but that’s because of hydropower. All of the states with high renewable fraction have lots of hydroelectric dams (NY has the Mohawk/Hudson generating, probably some at Niagara too, I’m less familiar with that area). But keep in mind hydro power has some significant ecological impacts of its own, and generating electricity that way has little carbon footprint, but there is a huge loss of habitat and natural resources. Maybe what you meant to ask is why is hydropower located in the west. But even so, Nevada, Kansas, and Wyoming are not on the list in the top ten for renewable power.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Generator Price

Steven asks…

Should we blame liberals for the ever increasing price of energy?

Aren’t liberals the ones who advocate for no nuclear power, no additional refineries, no additional sourcing of energy in America and especially no wind power generators in their “backyard”?

I’m all for solar derived energy – and for significant conservation measures – but I’m also for fiscally responsible energy measures and not financially strangulating our people and our economy.

admin answers:

Yes. They oppose drilling anywhere in America. They oppose construction of new refineries in America (none have been built for over 30 years.) They oppose construction of any new nuclear power plants. They oppose mining shale oil. They oppose mining coal and refining it into petroleum products. They even oppose any R & D for the futuristic proposal to build solar power satellites in Earth orbit, beam the energy down via microwaves, and feed the energy into the electric grid.

It is very, very clear that they APPROVE of high gas prices. Lieberman’s latest proposal would raise them even higher. It is even more clear from all of the above that they want to destroy the American economy, because they are wrongly convinced that America is destroying “the planet.”

So, by all means, blame liberals and environmentalists for ever increasing energy prices. They’re getting exactly what they want.

Laura asks…

How much is the average solar panel?

im making an energy efficiant house for science class and i need to price the house. im putting solar pannels on the roof and would u please tell me how much they are per like 2 sq. feet of a pannel?

admin answers:

You are way out of your depth if your report for science class is supposed to be knowledgable.

First of all, Solar panels alone will NOT be enough to charge the battery bank, which you don’t even mention in your quesiton.

Secondly, the only way to have a usable 12 VDC system is to use a wind generator to keep the batteries charged to capacity and, as a plus, they will work at night.

A 65 Watt ARCO Solar Panel is about $300 and you need to figure your power by the Wattage Rading for the particular panels .

You also need to add in the cost of a 12VDC to 110VAC invertor, monitoring panels etc…. AND… Just how big is the ROOF of the house you are planning to use.?

This is an area of involved study and it’s a bit more than what you are imagining for your high school science class report.

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Your Questions About Solar Generators For Home Use

Nancy asks…

Would a solar storm affect generators or batteries?

A severe solar storm/flare has the potential to damage the National Grid, but what effects, if any, could it have on generators and car batteries?

admin answers:

The solar storms that cause concern in operating the power grid is due to the long transmission lines traversing ground with different impedance along the route of the line. Thus the geomagnetic ground currents induced in the earth which result from a solar storm, move from the earth onto the power grid. These currents are very low frequency between 0 and 4 cycles per second. These currents flow through the power companies transformers and may force them into magnetic saturation and cause voltage distortion and harmonics to show up on the grid.

If the geomagnetic ground currents flow through the power company’s generators, a similar set of problems will occur. If you are talking about a home generator that is isolated from the grid, then no this type of generator will not be affected simply because it does not span a long enough portion of the earth to be affected. As for batteries, it is not likely that any battery system would typically be hooked up in a configuration spanning a great enough distance to see these ground currents either. It would depend on how and what they were hooked up to.

I hope this helps,

Newton1Law

Sharon asks…

Why are radios in my house suddenly making a clicking noise?

Woke up via the radio-alarmclock this morning to a clicking noise. Every radio in the house is doing the same thing, no matter what station they’re tuned to. It’s an extremely distinct clicking sound, with absolutely no semblance of any radio station whatsoever. It sounds like a very fast metronome.

Any ideas of what could be causing this? I was thinking it was some type of solar activity, but haven’t seen anything on the news about it.

admin answers:

When I was a kid, I sometimes heard rapid clicking noises coming from my television when small planes were flying nearby. It turns out that there is a solenoid on certain kinds of engines that give a pulse that can interfere with radios and whatnot.

I bet you have a neighbor running a generator or there is some other source of such interference outside of your home (but not too far away.)

The person causing the problem may not even be aware that he is interfering with your radios.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy For Kids

Laura asks…

How could I get an insight into renewable energy, with possibly a summer internship?

I’m 16, and will be 17 by the summer, I’m still in Secondary school and I would really like to get some sort of insight into renewable energy over the summer, as I would like to persue a career in that field. I live in Ayr in Scotland, so it would have to be near there possibly out to glasgow. I’ve no idea how to go about it, and I don’t know what company I could go to either. The company I could think of is EDF Energy. I thought of maybe writing an email and asking if I could come in and maybe help out, getting coffee etc. Any help would be great!

admin answers:

Hi Alice. Not being from Scotland, or the UK, I would offer two suggestions. First, get a subscription to a magazine called, “Home Power.” We started reading it 13 years ago, and 12 years ago we went to one of the energy fairs listed in the magazine. Today our home is powered by the wind and sun, and we teach solar power seminars at the local schools, and host field trips to our home for the kids regularly. You interest is a bit deeper than just setting up some panels, and that’s great. Any possibility of finding your way into an internship would pretty much require you have some expertise in the area, not schooling, just better than basic understanding. Starting with that magazine is a great first step. In the back is a calander section that lists happenings, such as fairs.

There is a really big fair each year in Aberdeen each May, I don’t know if you can work out a trip there, but the great thing about a fair is you can learn a lot quickly, and meet just about anyone worth meeting if you want to get involved somehow. The fair we went to had the entire editing staff for that magazine in one booth, and since then I’ve contributed a couple articles for them they have published. There might be other fairs closer to your home, but I’ve clipped the website to the group hosting the Aberdeen one below for you. Try googling, “Energy Fairs in Scotland.”

Any up and coming technology or business is always looking for someone like yourself, who is interested in the technology or work, has energy and some knowledge, and wants to help. The job facing you is just connecting with the right people. An energy fair is the best place to go if you can get to one and have an interest in working in renewable energy. The second link is for a listing service that have some energy fairs listed in Scotland, worth looking into in your case. It’s a great field Alice, and I encourage you to get involved any way you can. Start by learning all you can about the technology. Take care, Rudydoo

Charles asks…

what do i need and how do i make a model solar car?

year 12 science assignment. needs to be fully functional. currently have balsa wood, motor, 4 solar panels (variable is the amount of panels), axels, wheels. needs to be simple in order to gain best results. only counts for 20% of the assignment, theory is 80%. theory is the research etc behind solar energy.

admin answers:

Do the research, im sick of kids asking me to do their homework.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Generator Companies

Linda asks…

Do you believe that solar energy could power the entire USA? Are oil companies preventing solar energy?

Are the oil and nuclear industries tamping down on the development of new renewable energies to protect their own industries? Are renewable energies actually not viable at all?

admin answers:

During Bill Clinton’s administration, his energy supervisor had a plan to power the Southern and Western United States with Solar panels installed on the roofs of home owners. The Middle and Eastern United States with water, wind and Nuclear plants. It would of basically supplied our country with electric without fossil fuels. They fired him!

Next Point: America is sitting on the largest supply of Natural gas in the world. Natural gas is also made from our sewage plants and from dairy industries (manure). This can be used to power engines connected to generators to produce energy stopping green house gases from just going into the air. Some dairies are already doing this to power their businesses. Why are we going with ethanol which is impractical to power vehicles when natural gas/propane powered vehicles are clean burning and efficient?

Mary asks…

What is the least expensive way and how to have electricity independent of city services for a residence?

I want to set up a house, at first i thought of solar and generator but was not specific enough, totally independent of electric, water ect of city services.
I am in Mexico so plenty of sun, a bit of wind or breeze every day.
Also on a budgeted income this needs to be cost effective.
The house has 3 bedrooms, living room kitchen, dining room and 2 bathrooms.
Made with cement an brick and tile floors.
Ask a question if I have not adressed it and I will add it in details, Thanks you.
Wonderful help and ideas I want to say thank you to all.
For more info our house is now
water heater, stove: propane
refrigerator: electric
several fans to cool down the house as my wife is from USA and a mother who is ill that need to stay not too hot.
Mexico actaully is very conservative in energy.
All electric is turned off and unplugged when not in use.
Water heater is not on, (not even a pilot) when not in use, for showers light 30 min prior.
My wife tried this in the states.
it cut her bill down by 7/8th cost of her monthly bills in energy use.
I just want to be able to use a air conditioner or heater without having a quadruple size bill, as if energy is used past a certain point the bill jumps dramatically.
This will insure a happy wife and mother and my pocket left with a bit of change in it too still left.

Tranquility will be wonderful..haha

admin answers:

In your area solar makes the most sense, but you could start small and work up. Depending if you have any power source at all at this time? Having an alternative energy source usually means you must be willing to alter your consumption of power, sometimes drastically! But the satisfaction of being off the grid is something that is very satisfying! Even when you go without some of the things most other people have.
We started with what was there at the house we bought. A generator. Then we added a solar system. We added more panels and more batteries eventually, and upgraded the type of batteries. If I still lived there it would be great to add wind, for when there is no sun. The property is on a hill, so there is almost always a breeze somewhere! There is also a small water resource, but probably not enough to utilize in a cost effective manner. There are some great Yahoo Groups that deal with this subject matter, search them and have a great time!

I lived with solar power and a generator for seven years… My ex still lives there and the system has been in place since 1989. Still goin’ strong… Still a viable alternative. It cost the same as hooking up to the grid when we considered how many poles it would take to get the power to the house… Then the power company wanted to put a transformer in the front yard. Nope… We said “I don’t think so!” and we’re still glad we did!

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Your Questions About Solar Generators Reviews

William asks…

are there solar radios which work?

Even if it is a cloudy day and through window glass? I’d like to get an emergency radio with a solar panel. I know there are models which have solar panels, but I don’t know if they actually provide enough power to run the radio. I tried to read through consumer reviews and for the same product some people say it works, other say it doesn’t work. Now I am confused. Any ideas where to start?

admin answers:

I’m a big fan of solar, but a solar-powered radio doesn’t seem robust enough for emergency use. Even if the solar radio charged internal batteries, what if I forgot to leave it in the sun, or the batteries went bad?

There’s a kind of radio that you wind up, and the spring spins a small generator that powers the radio for about half an hour. That would be my first choice, followed by the kind of radio that you must continuously crank to keep it running.

David asks…

I am considering a solar PV installation and I am a bit confused as to the size of the system I can have insta?

lled. One company has offered a 4 kw system and another company says 3.6 is the largest system I can have. They mention regulationG83 as set out by the DNO and if I had a 4 kw system installed they could insist it were downsized. Please help my aching head!!

admin answers:

This has to do with the Utility you are connecting to and if they have the capability to accept your pushed (unused) electricity generated.

If they are not able to accept it, they may consider modifications to their system to receive it, all at your expense of course. The extra .4 Kw (point 4) generated and the savings you get from it are probably minor compared to the Utility’s construction or modification costs to accept your pushed electricity. You would pay more than you would ever gain making this a poor choice.

So yes, if your solar contractor has calculated 3.6 it is because they based the number on the usage of your home and the connection to the utility grid. You are the “generator” of this electricity…which has to “play nice” with the utility’s existing equipment capabilities. That company used what is called “Best Practice” which they obviously considered when designing a system to meet most all of your needs and still comply with the G83 requirements.

The other company is probably accurate in the amount you consume but didn’t take into consideration all project needs start to finish. You could possibly still install this 4 Kw but remember at the end of the project you might be faced with surprise change order costs to modify for grid connection issues. Make that contractor spell that out for you and who will be responsible for those change order costs.

I found an interesting synopsis and copied this clip from it. Link for credit also included

“It would be a pity to complete an installation at a location which could not accommodate the generator output. It is for this reason that G83/1 and the ESQC Regulations limit the output of generators to 16 Amps per phase …. (You being the generator of that electricity)
and
Generators with an output in excess of 16 Amps per phase can be connected to our network, and part of the G59 procedure is a review of the effect of connecting the generator. In some circumstances we may have to carry out work on our network to accommodate a generator and part of the costs of this work are borne by the customer.”

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Environments

Jenny asks…

Why isn’t the federal government willing to subsidize solar energy panels for homes?

Some states like TX and NJ will subsidize solar energy 40% worth.
But the technology to date has been quite costly in spite of these states’ subsidizing the cost. However, solar energy is starting to turn the corner cost-effectively in the past year or two.
Why is there no serious encouragement from the federal gov’t to encourage homeowners to install solar energy panels by offerering subsidies or rebates for installing it?
Would this be a good idea?

admin answers:

Great idea…but the time hasent come yet. I came accross a new, proven and tested home made wind power system and solar power system which eliminates our electricity bills. It was written by a Renewable energy enthusiasts Michael Harvey the diy called Earth4energy. You can get your copy to save energy and help environment while eliminating your power bills. Get it from here:

http://how-to-build-cheap-solar-energy.blogspot.com/

Steven asks…

Why is solar energy a renewable resource and also some advantages and disadvantages of using solar energy?

Please tell me some disadvantages and advantages of using solar energy. I also need to know why it is a renewable resource. Can you also tell me how much of of solar energy is left and how long it will last. Thank you so much. [Tell me some websites to vist about this information]

admin answers:

First, its all a guess but the sun will continue to shine for about another 2-4 billion years. So for all practical purposes, its eternal.
Solar energy depends on sunshine, one disadvantage is cloudy, overcast, rainy, snow etc. Days. No sunshine, no real energy. Another difficulty is converting solar energy, solar panels generate direct current (DC) and this has to be converted to AC current to run appliances, etc. In your house. In order to store solar energy, batteries are required, so the DC current from the solar panels can charge the batteries, and then the DC current must be converted to AC.
Solar panels are not cheap but the price is coming down. They also don’t last forever and can be damaged by hail, etc.
The good news is, solar energy is clean, not pollution except for the manufacture of the panels and for the moment, sunshine is still free.

I came accross a new, proven and tested home made wind power system and solar power system which eliminates our electricity bills. It was written by a Renewable energy enthusiasts Michael Harvey the diy called Earth4energy. You can get your copy to save energy and help environment while eliminating your power bills. Get it from here: http://homemadeenergyreviews.blogspot.com/

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Your Questions About Solar Generators Portable

Lisa asks…

if you leave a car continuously running, how large an inverter can be placed on it to make electricity?

I am trying to find a cheap back-up option for portable batteries that are solar charged. Could a car with a 2L engine run a 4000w or 5000w inverter to give 240V electrical power?
I want to power a food kitchen in a caravan for 4-6 hours a day in summer at the beach. Later I would like to have enough solar panels and deep cycle batteries to do it mainly by solar, but want a cheap start-up option, and a back-up later on. Would a car be as fefficient than a generator if excess power was stored in a few deep cycle batteries.

admin answers:

What you are interested in is the capacity of your alternator, not the horsepower of the engine itself– unless you plan to drive an external generator off of the engine, e.g. Using a PTO on a tractor.

Unless you are using a vehicle designed for it, e.g. An ambulance or other vehicle with a large air or water cooled alternator, you are going to get something on the order of 50A at around 13V from the alternator, which is on the order of 650W.

The alternator is not a power-heavy device. It’s purpose is to supply the amount of juice needed to run a cars lights and electronics, and in modern engineering practice it’s not going to be oversized. What you are thinking about doing is similar to buying a clock to plug in to a wall so that you can use the second hand and a pulley to try and lift a heavy piece of furniture. You are much better off just buying an electric motor that uses the same power source. In your case, unless you have a direct drive off of your engine, that means buying a gasoline powered generator:

http://www.amazon.com/All-Power-America-APG3014-Generator/dp/B00265M9TM/ref=pd_sim_sbs_lg_1

If you DO have something, like a bus, that has a larger alternator, I doubt that it will be cheaper to idle the vehicle’s engine. Traveling food service that I have seen either rely on a gasoline powered generator like above, or run on propane, aka lpg–this is a great solution for lighting and cooking, and you might be able to find a good, used propane powered refrigerator/freezer for around $500.

______________________________

I found this, you might find it interesting:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/862706

James asks…

can anyone suggest an affordable, portable solar generator?

I live in a hurricane zone. but, i hate my neighbors who use those horrific and loud generators 7/24 when we lose electricity.

admin answers:

Affordable, portable and solar “generator” sadly do not coincide; especially if you are talking about running more than a window fan. Solar power systems require a bank of wet cell batteries to charge and it’s those batteries that supply your power. They need to be connected through an inverter system that converts the direct current to alternating current… Another large and costly device.

Honda has some very quiet generators. That would be your best choice.

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Your Questions About Solar Generator For Boat

Donna asks…

I am trying to start a business from a pontoon boat and want to know some ideas about how to power appliances.?

I want to run all at once: a mini fridge, mini freezer, and a few other small appliances. What do I need to know about inverters, generators, propane, batteries, solar panels, etc… ? Any good business advice? How do I make this idea work? What are things to consider if I want to sell food and other stuff?

admin answers:

Keep in mind, boats and any food / alcohol service have strict guidelines and regulations.

You could probably get some large battery packs charged by a generator. Look at other people who have similar setups. You could probably find out a lot by looking at an ice cream truck.

Robert asks…

How does a on board battery charger work?

Does it work off of the boat motor or does it take juice from one battery and charge the others?

admin answers:

Most boats and larger outboards have a generator on them that charges the battery while underway.
The on board battery charger works while the boat is plugged in to shore power and charges the batteries from alternating current from the dock. It does not take juice from one battery and give it to another. They have a shut off to prevent overcgarging.

Solar chargers can be used in good weather to keep batteries up during the day.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Generators

Sandy asks…

How to design solar refrigerator in ships?

I’m planning to use the absorption refrigeration system. My target is to freeze 1000kg of fish in fisherman boat. I would have to design this cooling system, next calculate the cooling load, total energy needed from solar energy and then determine the suitable type of solar collector needed. Would the system workable?

admin answers:

Sorry, but the figures don’t really add up. Your 1000 kg of fish (that’s a metric tonne) will need to go into a freezer of around 1.5 cubic meter capacity. An industrial freezer of that size will need a compressor of about 1/2 hp or 400 watts running, with a much higher starting current. Solar panels in bright sunlight generate 70 mW/square inch or 10 watts/square foot. So on a bright day you will need an 8×5 square foot panel to run the compressor. Unfortunately fishing and bad weather go together, not to mention being at sea in the dark. To ensure the freezer is always being fed electricity you would need a very large battery and an inverter, as well as the solar panels. I suspect the captain of the ship would prefer to run the freezer off the generator which supplies electricity to the rest of the boat.

Thomas asks…

What are the best ways to make my home more energy efficient?

Should i use those new light bulbs?
Have Home Depot put insulation in my attic?
Put solar energy panels on my roof?
Install windmills in my backyard?

admin answers:

You can change to CFL’s to save a little.

IF your house NEEDS more insulation, this is the most efficient addition. Also, caulk as needed to stop air leaks.

Solar panels have their place, BUT you need a lot of OTHER parts to use them, and their efficiency is currently too low to make them cost effective for most people in a non-commercial use.

To operate PROPERLY, a wind generator, NOT wind mill, MUST be a minimum of 20 feet HIGHER than any nearby trees or structures AND you must have fairly steady and heavy winds to produce enough power to make it cost efficient. It ALSO requires many additional parts.

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Your Questions About Solar Generators Hawaii

Donald asks…

whats a better form of solar energy?

the sterling engine or Photovoltaics?
explain why at least people!

admin answers:

Solar Energy
I INTRODUCTION

Solar Energy, radiation produced by nuclear fusion reactions deep in the Sun’s core (see Nuclear Energy). The Sun provides almost all the heat and light Earth receives and therefore sustains every living being.

Solar energy travels to Earth through space in discrete packets of energy called photons (see Electromagnetic Radiation). On the side of Earth facing the Sun, a square kilometer at the outer edge of our atmosphere receives 1,400 megawatts of solar power every minute, which is about the capacity of the largest electric-generating plant in Nevada. Only half of that amount, however, reaches Earth’s surface. The atmosphere and clouds absorb or scatter the other half of the incoming sunlight. The amount of light that reaches any particular point on the ground depends on the time of day, the day of the year, the amount of cloud cover, and the latitude at that point. The solar intensity varies with the time of day, peaking at solar noon and declining to a minimum at sunset. The total radiation power (1.4 kilowatts per square meter, called the solar constant) varies only slightly, about 0.2 percent every 30 years. Any substantial change would alter or end life on Earth.

II INDIRECT COLLECTION OF SOLAR ENERGY

People can make indirect use of solar energy that has been naturally collected. Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and plant life, for example, collect solar energy that people later extract to power technology.

The Sun’s energy, acting on the oceans and atmosphere, produces winds that for centuries have turned windmills and driven sailing ships (see Wind Energy). Modern windmills are strong, light, weather-resistant, aerodynamically designed machines that produce electricity when attached to generators.

Approximately 30 percent of the solar power reaching Earth is consumed by the continuous circulation of water, a system called the water cycle or hydrologic cycle. The Sun’s heat evaporates water from the oceans. Winds transport some of the water vapor from the oceans over the land where it falls as rain. Rainwater seeps into the ground or collects into streams or lakes and eventually returns to the ocean. Thus, radiant energy from the Sun is transformed to potential energy of water in streams and rivers. People can tap the power stored in the water cycle by directing these flowing waters through modern turbines. Power produced in this way is called hydroelectric power. See Waterpower; Dam.

The oceans also collect and store solar energy. A significant fraction of the Sun’s radiation reflects or scatters from the water’s surface. The remaining fraction enters the water and rapidly diminishes with depth as the energy is absorbed and converted to heat or chemical energy. This absorption creates differences in temperature between layers of water in the ocean called temperature gradients. In some locations, these differences approach 20°C (36°F) over a depth of a few hundred meters. These large masses of water existing at different temperatures create a potential for generating power. Energy flows from the high-temperature water to the low-temperature water (see Thermodynamics). The flow can be harnessed, to turn a turbine to produce electricity for example. Such systems, called ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) systems, require enormous heat exchangers and other hardware in the ocean to produce electricity in the megawatt range. Almost all of the major United States OTEC experiments in recent years have taken place in Hawaii.

Plants, through photosynthesis, convert solar energy to chemical energy, which fuels plant growth. People, in turn, use this stored solar energy through fuels such as wood, alcohol, and methane that are extracted from the plant life (biomass). Fossil fuels such as oil and coal are derived from geologically ancient plant life. People also eat and digest plants, or animals fed on plants, to obtain energy for their bodies.

III DIRECT COLLECTION OF SOLAR ENERGY

People have devised two main types of artificial collectors to directly capture and utilize solar energy: flat plate collectors and concentrating collectors. Both require large surface areas exposed to the Sun since so little of the Sun’s energy reaches Earth’s surface. Even in areas of the United States that receive a lot of sunshine, a collector surface as big as a two-car garage floor is needed to gather the energy that one person typically uses during a single day.

A Flat Plate Collectors

Flat plate collectors are typically flat, thin boxes with a transparent cover that are mounted on rooftops facing the Sun. The Sun heats a blackened metal plate inside the box, called an absorber plate, that in turn heats fluid (air or water) running through tubes within the collector. The energy transferred to the carrier fluid, divided by the total solar energy that falls on the collector, is called the collector efficiency. Flat plate collectors are typically capable of heating carrier fluids up to 82°C (180°F). Their efficiency in making use of the available energy varies between 40 and 80 percent, depending on the type of collector.

These collectors are used for water and space heating. Homes employ collectors fixed in place on roofs. In the Northern Hemisphere, they are oriented to face true south (± 20°); in the Southern Hemisphere, they are oriented to face north. For year-round applications such as providing hot water, they are tilted relative to the horizontal at an angle equal to the latitude ± 15°.

In addition to the flat plate collectors, typical hot-water and space heating systems include circulating pumps, temperature sensors, automatic controllers to activate the circulating pump, and a storage device. Either air or a liquid (water or a water-antifreeze mixture) can be used as the fluid in the solar heating system. A rock bed or a well-insulated water storage tank typically serves as an energy storage medium.

B Concentrating Collectors

For applications such as air conditioning, central power generation, and many industrial heat requirements, flat plate collectors cannot provide carrier fluids at high enough temperatures to be effective. They may be used as first-stage heat input devices; the temperature of the carrier fluid is then boosted by other conventional heating means. Alternatively, more complex and expensive concentrating collectors can be used. These devices reflect the Sun’s rays from a large area and focus it onto a small, blackened receiving area. The light intensity is concentrated to produce temperatures of several hundred or even several thousand degrees Celsius. The concentrators move to track the Sun using devices called heliostats.

Concentrators use curved mirrors with aluminum or silver reflecting surfaces that coat the front or back surfaces of glass or plastic. Researchers are developing cheap polymer films to replace the more expensive glass. One new technique uses a pliable membrane stretched across the front of a cylinder and another across the back with a partial vacuum between. The vacuum causes the membranes to form a spherical shape ideal for concentrating sunlight.

Concentrating solar energy is the least expensive way to generate large-scale electrical power from the Sun’s energy and therefore has the potential to make solar power available at a competitive rate. Consequently, government, industry, and utilities have formed partnerships to reduce the manufacturing costs of concentrators.

One important high-temperature application of concentrators is solar furnaces. The largest of these, located at Odeillo in the Pyrenees Mountains of France, uses 63 mirrors with a total area of approximately 2,835 sq m (about 30,515 sq ft) to produce temperatures as high as 3200°C (5800°F). Such furnaces are ideal for research requiring high temperatures and contaminant-free environments—for example, materials research to determine how substances will react when exposed to extremely high temperatures. Other methods of reaching such temperatures usually require chemical reactants that would also react with the substances to be studied, skewing the results.

Another type of concentrator called a central receiver, or “power tower,” uses an array of sun-tracking reflectors mounted on computer-controlled heliostats to reflect and focus the Sun’s rays onto a water boiler mounted on a tower. The steam thus generated can be used in a conventional power-plant cycle to produce electricity. A U.S. Demonstration in the Mohave Desert, Solar One, operated through most of the 1980s. During the early 1990s a second demonstration, called Solar Two, used molten salt heated in the boiler to 574°C (1065°F) to produce electricity. The hot salt was stored and later used to boil water into steam that drove a turbine to produce electricity.

IV PASSIVE SOLAR HEATING

The solar energy that falls naturally on a building can be used to heat the building without special devices to capture or collect sunlight. Passive solar heating makes use of large sun-facing windows (south-facing in the Northern Hemisphere) and building materials such as brick and tile that absorb and slowly release solar heat. A designer plans the building so that the longest walls run from east to west, providing lengthy southern exposures that allow solar heat to enter the home in the winter. A well-insulated building with such construction features can trap the Sun’s energy and reduce heating bills as much as 50 percent. Passive solar designs also include natural ventilation for cooling. Shading and window overhangs also reduce summer heat while permitting winter Sun.

In direct gain, the simplest passive heating system, the Sun shines into the house and heats it up. The house’s materials store the heat and slowly release it. An indirect gain system, by contrast, captures heat between the Sun and the living space, usually in a wall that both absorbs sunlight and holds heat well. An isolated gain system isolates the heated space (a sunroom or solar greenhouse, for example) from the living space and allows the solar heat to flow into the living area via convective loops of moving air.

V SOLAR COOLING

Solar energy can also be used for cooling. An absorption air conditioner or refrigerator uses a large solar collector to provide the heat that drives the cooling process (see Refrigeration). Solar heat is applied to the refrigerant and absorbent mixture, which is combined under pressure in a container called a generator or boiler. The Sun’s heat brings the mixture to a boil. The refrigerant (often ammonia) vaporizes, rises as a gas, and reaches the condenser. There it gives off heat and returns to liquid form. As the drops of pure refrigerant fall, they trickle into the evaporator (freezing unit) where they evaporate vigorously. Evaporation requires heat energy, which comes from the surroundings, and results in cooling: The refrigerant absorbs heat from the unit and cools the space. The refrigerant, now a gas again, rejoins the mixture in the boiler to restart the process.

Absorption coolers must be adapted to operate at the normal working temperatures for flatbed solar collectors—between 82° and 121°C (180° and 250°F) Alternatively, concentrating collectors may be used.

VI PHOTOVOLTAICS

Solar cells called photovoltaics made from thin slices of crystalline silicon, gallium arsenide, or other semiconductor materials convert solar radiation directly into electricity. Cells with conversion efficiencies greater than 30 percent are now available. By connecting large numbers of these cells into modules, the cost of photovoltaic electricity has been reduced to 20 to 30 cents per kilowatt-hour. Americans currently pay 6 to 7 cents per kilowatt-hour for conventionally generated electricity.

The simplest solar cells provide small amounts of power for watches and calculators. More complex systems can provide electricity to houses and electric grids. Usually though, solar cells provide low power to remote, unattended devices such as buoys, weather and communication satellites, and equipment aboard spacecraft.

VII SOLAR ENERGY FROM SPACE

A futuristic proposal to produce power on a large scale envisions placing giant solar modules in geostationary Earth orbit. Energy generated from sunlight would then be converted to microwaves and beamed to antennas on Earth for conversion to electric power. The Sun would shine on a solar collector in geostationary orbit almost 24 hours a day; moreover, such a collector would be high above the atmosphere and so would receive the full power of the Sun’s rays. Consequently, such a collector would gather eight times more light than a similar collector on the ground. To produce as much power as five large nuclear power plants (1 billion watts each), several square miles of solar collectors, weighing 10 million pounds, would need to be assembled in orbit. An Earth-based antenna five miles in diameter would be required to receive the microwaves. Smaller systems could be built for remote islands, but the economies of scale suggest advantages to a single large system (see Space Exploration).

VIII SOLAR ENERGY STORAGE DEVICES

Because of the intermittent nature of solar radiation as an energy source, excess solar energy produced during sunny periods must be stored. Insulated tanks commonly store this energy in hot water. Batteries often store excess electric energy produced from wind or photovoltaic devices. One possibility for the future is the use of excess solar-generated electric energy as a supplemental source for existing power networks. Uncertain economics and reliability, however, make this plan difficult to implement.

Count Dracula

Maria asks…

AUWE: Eh! Kono and the rest of the Hawaii Gang: I just got the News:?

So I am here on the mainland–stuck for life I guess. But my Mana, my Kuleana, my heart is still in Hawaii. We saw no news, no protest, no nothing about Lana’i until everything was pau. This rich guy buys it for peanuts. Chump change to him, and his billions. Can you please tell me more?

Did he agree to employ the Lana’i people who have been there for ever? Will he treat the land and people with respect? Is he going to make more hotels or will he get feed back from the locals? I hope to a certain extent, the island will remain the same, or better? Did OHA make any request to leave the land in Hawaiian hands? Any idea what is going to change? My hope would have been to at least add $400 million to the price–or an even $Billion, and then put the rest of the money in a special fund for Hawaiian homes. Please, can you just share and news, or ideas, or what went down, and the future of Lana’i? Mahalo Nu’i Loa E Hawai’i Kuleana

admin answers:

Hey, you ask good question, an I try to help,ok? So, Lanai, yeah got bought again by nother haole, ok? So, nothing new, yeah? Hea the thing, Hawaiian royalty and alii not shy bout selling land to anybody with money, ok? Same thing happen tho Niiha, bought for 10K in gold, and lotta otha parts of Hawaii, ok? So, been private owner since 1870’s, so nothing new bout that, ok? So, very little private land on Lanai, or any otha Hawaiian island, ok? Now, Hawaiian people set up for this by fact that they neva allow to own land by Alii, ok? So neva inna hand of Hawaiian people, so no big change when sold to foreigners, ok? So, what will new owner do with island, that a big question, yeah? Most of us think he not gonna do too much, maybe build some wind power electric generators, maybe a solar generation plant ova onna leeward side of island, really not know, ok? Maybe not gonna do nothing, but for sure I tell you, he gotta treat land and people with respect, cause that expected by Hawaiian people, local people, and state of Hawaii, ok?
Peace and aloha to you!

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