Your Questions About Solar Energy Generators For Home

Sandy asks…

What is the best way to reduce energy costs with renewable methods?

I’ve been trying to find out more about saving money through renewable energy sources. Solar seems to be quite a popular one for residential purposes but I wonder about how expensive it is. Has anyone done a cost analysis comparing all the different renewable energy sources?


admin answers:

Been looking at this one for a while myself. Solar is just too expensive for me to get into right now. I’m keeping the potion open for a latter time when my finances are better. A basic package system that can SUPPORT about a third to half of the usage of the typical american home will start at around 7 to 8 grand not counting install cost. Wind is cheaper and readily available by hundreds of suppliers, but, the output can vary widely even in areas that have a constant wind. Wind in my opinion is better for a supplemental system. These are the two most common. Also seen a farming operation that powers its own generators from biomass off its cows waste. Use is kind of limited on this one. Bio diesel generators don’t have enough efficiency to relay consider unless you live way off the grid and only use electricity for short periods. Using small water wheel systems in some parts of the country but with the same problems as wind. Right now with solar its about how much you want to spend up front and what do you want out of it? I’ve so far just gone to all CFL bulbs and improved insulation which has chopped off almost half of my bill with that. Thinking about doing a roof overlay that will add 3 inches or more of insulation and a tin roof over my existing asphalt shingles. Probably cost me around 3500$ for this as it requires no additional support or rework of the roof other than extending the vents. Most available packages either come with vent extensions or they will send the ones you want when you order the kit. The one I’m considering includes installation.

Lizzie asks…

What are best wind and solar powered generators?

This would be for a residential area and need to comply to fire and other safety regulations. I want to generate electric power for home and electric vehicles.

admin answers:

You’re asking a difficult question only because the technology is improving each month. What is the best today probably won’t be the best next year. For wind power you will need a wind availibility survey describing the average wind conditions throughout the year for your locality. Every homesite is a bit different. To establish a cost/benefit analysis your first have to know how much wind energy is available.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Facts

Betty asks…

What are some good things about nuclear energy?

Im doing a group debate tomorrow, about why you should use Nuclear energy as opposed to Fossil Fuels, Hydroelectric, and Solar energy. I will be presenting our opening statement, and any good things to include would be a great help.

admin answers:

Fossil fuels always release more pollutants, including CO2 if you consider that a pollutant. Hydroelectric electricity has limited availability, and it’s a resource that is pretty much tapped out – every river which can be dammed for electricity already is. Solar energy is expensive, far more expensive than anything else. There is a lot of variation is solar panels, but it often involves rare earth elements, which limits the total numbers of panels which could be produced (at a number too low to matter). Solar energy is also not very energy dense. The total land it would take to capture the same amount of energy using solar as can be generated using nuclear is tremendous. States worth of land. Unlike oil, we have a lot of uranium locally, and the other nation with big resources is Australia who we’re on pretty good terms with. And if we had some modern reactors, there would be much less nuclear waste produced. In fact, some of the new plants can eat material which was previously considered waste.

Daniel asks…

Solar Energy accounts for how much of our energy consumption?

I need to know out of all the electricity we use, how much of it comes from solar energy? source please

admin answers:

Since heat is what energy through inbody is released, about 25 – 30% of it comes for solar energy.

On more fact is that, beside energy consumption, it also tends us to feel tired and lazy ……. This is because … Sometimes the heat accumulated by the skin cells from the sun is complexed and as a result it dehydrates our body.

These are the following sources:

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Your Questions About Solar Generators Hawaii

Linda asks…

how can solve this question please need help?

(a) One approach to ameliorate the effects of the variability of wind and solar power is the use of energy storage. Calculate the approximate surface area that would be required of a lake of an average depth of 20 m at an elevation of 300 m (mean water level between full and empty reservoir) above an array of Francis turbines, operating at an efficiency of 85%, if we were to store enough energy to meet the
entire power requirements of the National Grid (say 50 GW) for 24 hours
my answer was
Energy released at turbine, E = force x distance = mass x acceleration due to gravity x distance.
So E = volume x density x acceleration due to gravity x distance.
So E = π.r² x 1000 x 9.81 x 300, assuming that the lake is a cylinder with radius = r.
This gives E = 1.85 x 10^8 x r².
Only 85% of this is converted into electrical energy,
so the electrical energy produced = 0.85 x 1.85 x 10^8 x r² = 1.57 x 10^8 x r². [Joules].

Now 50 GW for 24 hrs. = 50 x 24 GW-hours = 1,200 x 10^9 watt-hours = 1200 x 3600 x 10^9 watt-seconds.
Since one watt = 1 Joule / second, one watt-second = 1 Joule.
So, 1200 x 3600 x 10^9 watt-seconds = 1200 x 3600 x 10^9 Joules.

So, equating the two figures for energy available and energy out, we have:
1.57 x 10^8 x r² = 1200 x 3600 x 10^9.
When we do that arithmetic, we get: r = 5.2 x 10^3 metres = 5.2 km.
► Hence, the area of the lake = π.x (5.2 x 10^3)² sq. m. = 85 x 10^6 sq. metres, approximately.

my question is
b-Comment on the result you obtained in part (a). Your remarks should include your thoughts on the practicability of building and using such a reservoir; what you thought of the assumptions behind the question in (a); and some suggestions for other measures that could be taken to moderate the effects of variability of energy supply
please any help

admin answers:

Hey David, kudos on the math work, although I can’t say for certain the calculations are correct, they look good to me. As far as thoughts on practicability, in the years we’ve been learning about and powering our home with renewable energy, one thing I’ve learned is this: The future of power today is a diverse source. People are constantly asking me what’s best, wind, solar, coal? We would be best off if we had a little of each of them. Any disruption in one source, either due to supply constraints, technological changes, or environmental issues, would not be hard to offset. When you rely on oil for 80% of your countries energy source, then a war erupts on the other side of the globe, you have an instant recession, we’ve proven this several times now.

The same can and should be said for energy storage. Many nuclear plants today have a reservoir like you outlined above connected to them. This way, the plant can operate at its design parameters all day and night, and the reservoir can make up for the dips and peaks in demand changes. The storage medium here is gravity, forcing the water up to the top when you have excess energy, and allowing it to fall when you have a shortcoming. But in many cases, thermal could work better. Suppose you build a large thermal solar plant in the desert, that boils water to run a steam turbine. But in the daytime, you have excess power. Instead of venting it off, we could heat oil to say 500 degrees ( it boils at a much higher temp than water, yet stays liquid well below 32 degrees ). Now once the sun goes down, we could simply reroute our water through a water to oil heat exchanger, and continue boiling water with the hot oil until dawn. Now we have access to solar power at night, petty slick. I submit that this type of energy storage would work great in the Southwest United States, Northern Africa, and some other places that both lack water and have excess sun and heat. Consider this in your discussion. This points a large finger at what I like to call, “appropriate placement.” Take a long skinny river with very little flow on a mountain side. Not a great place to make hydro power due to the low output. But as a reservoir to make a gravity battery like the one you outlined, it could be perfect, with a large, high altitude reservoir that powers a large generator intermittently, rather than a small one continuously. It would be a self trickle charging battery that could be recharged by pumping water back in when there was a surplus of energy too. You wouldn’t put one in Phoenix, where it’s flat and dry, but it would be great in Seattle or Hawaii. Lots to think about here, good luck David, Rudydoo

Jenny asks…

Can Anybody Find Anything But Hot Air in the Climate Bill?

This question is asked sincerely by a lifelong enviro. A supporter of Al Gore. But this bill appears to have been written by the coal companies based on 25 year old ideas, many of which were accepted by G.W. Bush the Moron President.

The whole idea of the market based solution — the cap and trade solution — making a market in pollution permits — maybe having them brokered through a firm like Enron — which I think did actually broker some of these permits for a while — that idea is 25 years old. It is not change. It’s just slapdash legislation based on making the old dregs by bygone ideas look like a new bill by updating the year and putting a new cover on it. It’s like the old news that CBS, NBC, and ABC purvey — stuff from a few weeks ago — offered today as your “news”.

Nobody in America is willing to do any part of their job anymore. It’s a nation of AWOL officials and AWOL staffers and AWOL employees.

If they wanted a real climate bill, they would have included funding for the hydrogen technology. Ways to electrolytically dissociate water efficiently. Ways to store hydrogen efficiently. Ways to burn hydrogen in fuel cells, or in turbines (possibly combined with methane to make hythane (R).

There would have been a huge push for the sorts of thing T. Boone Pickens is recommending. Natural gas powered trains would have been in the mix — and transcontinental tracks for same on the median strips of East West Highways.

Geothermal would have played a huge role. It is a very rich power source in some places, always on, not like solar or wind. Hawaii could power all seaborne freight in the Pacific with Geothermal based Hydrogen Fuel Cell Gas.

Tidal Hydro would have been in the bill.

Micro-scale wind generators (egg-beater style) would have beeb there.

The National Energy Spine (super efficient cable from coast to coast) would have been there. This creates conservation by allowing energy to be wheeled from coast to coast so peak loads can be met with cheap energy on both coasts.

Instead we get the ancient mantra “Let’s find a market based solution (that way G.W. Bush The Moron President, and the Republicans can be happy). No breakthroughs please! No movement away from fossil fuels, and certainly no less coal or oil! We’ll just do this with financial manipulations, sort of Enron style, with pollution permits, create a playground for the K Street lobbyists, make it look like we are doing something because what we do is so complicated administratively.That way we can do nothing — and nobody will know.

With or without cap and trade the carbon footprint of the energy plants was bound to be legislatively reduced in future years. Cap and trade just bring Federal Pre-emption and knocks out the states ability to legislate on this matter. It’s a form of state legal dis-ablement. It’s a form of permission to just keep on keeping on — more of the same.

The climate bill looks like a 100% perfect fraud, from the gitgo. Mr. Axelrod thinks it has a fairly good chance in the Senate because of the writing changes that were made at the last minute in the House, and on this he’s probably right. Coal can see when it has a good deal. The whole issue now will be off the table for the next 10 or 15 years, and there are 10,000 ways that the “caps” can be removed or made more lenient, triggered by all sorts of extremely complex micro-pico-nano regulations that only the coal companies have time to figure out and understand and know how to lobby with. They can get out of the caps. They get a vacation for 15 years. They get out from under state laws. Whee ! … this pollution stuff is easy!

All politicians are politicians. Nature is always Nature. So the Canute story is always apt. The vanity and the lies and the fraud never actually trumps nature, so you can count of on the climate to keep warming up and the CO2 levels to keep going up and the sea level and storm damage to keep going up. If we truly wish to stop being a hypocrite nation, we’ve got to get rid of all politicians. Put a truly independent agency in charge of climate change mitigation — something like the Federal Reserve or the FCC or the NRC — it’s got to be able to make and implement rules smoothly and quickly. It’s got to be run by Chairmen with long terms of office, at least 10 years, 15 would be better. The Chairman has to be mission focused, not politics focused. If can’t get around the Canute Problem (The problem that wise King Canute taught his ministers about based upon knowing that Politics never trumps Nature)., we can’t deal with the climate change issue. This new bill, is just more hot air. Maybe you can find something in it and tell me about what you think is there. Anyhow that’s my question, asked by a true blue enviro, an AlGorista (with rhythm, hence an algorhythm, I’m a poet, I know it, float like a butterfly effect, sting like a karma-effect).
For Dana the Master of Science — I know that H2 is not a mobile source fuel and never will be. For fixed point fuel cells, no problem, especially if mixed as Hythane (H2 + CH4). Here is Gao Bwo Fu, Doctus Juris, Magister Plutus to tell you read my book, “Cost-Effective Ways to Comply with the New Clean Air Act”, or my articles published by Herald-Mail.

H2 is not a fuel for mobile sources, but it’s fine for fixed point sources. If you want conversation why do you block all e-mail so I have to use this question extension to answer you? You can reach me by e-mail real easily, master of science (and where is your 600 page book on the subject of hydrogen burning — cause mine is in the libraries). Never smarty-pants a smarty-pants.

Scepticism is next to Godlicism. I know it.

This science-thinker atheist says, “Bless you, keep those good questions coming!”

admin answers:

Yes. For example, it will help increase fuel efficiency by 25% by 2020.

It requires that utilities produce 20% of their energy from renewable sources and increased efficiency by 2020.

It invests $90 billion in energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2025.

It establishes new standards for building efficiency, requiring new buildings to be 30% more efficient in 2012 and 50% more efficient in 2016.

It directs EPA and the State Department to use 5% of the allowances to secure agreements from developing nations to prevent tropical deforestation.

It’s certainly not a perfect bill, but it’s pretty good, and it’s the best we’re going to get in the forseeable future. Plus it’s much better to have a framework in place which we can improve upon in the future than to have nothing at all.

See the link below for a useful summary.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Generators

Ken asks…

What are some challenges using and managing renewable energy resources?

Like winter power, solar energy and biomass fermentation?

admin answers:

I think one of the biggest challenges is just getting enough renewable energy to replace a good portion of energy generated by fossil fuels. Right now I think renewable energy accounts for only about 1-2% of the total energy produced. Sources like solar and wind power are good at adding capacity to the grid during peak usage, but they’re not good base load power generators.

Also another problem is that they are more expensive to produce. The cost gap is closing, however, because the new technology is getting better and better, and also it’s starting to cost a lot more to drill for oil and even mine coal. Of course, renewable would be a lot cheaper than fossil fuels if the true cost of obtaining coal and oil were calculated, like using our military to secure a steady supply of resources overseas.

Donna asks…

What are the major benifits of using Regular Electricity or Solar Electricity?

Hi guys i was just reading about solar energy more importantly about it’s energy saving properties, i just wonder why most of the people on planet still prefer regular electricity instead of solar power, is there any disadvantage of using solar power?

admin answers:

There is a disadvantage to them. For one it is extremely expensive to use only solar to power your whole house because the solar systems are so expensive. I something falls on the panel it may break and at that point you will have to buy all new ones. Even a small broken area can make the panel so inefficient it is almost unusable.

The amount of solar panels to power a house can take up a lot of space and is not always great to look at. They are definately are great supplement to your electricity and can save you a lot of money over time. If you are only using solar you will have to get battery systems with inverters to power your home for the time when the sun is not out. Also no power when dark or very cloudy.

Some other sources of energy to look at are windpower, hydropower, and even wood gasifiers with generators.

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Environments

Donald asks…

What are some bad aspects of solar energy?

I need some information for my negative debate speech. The subject is “Should the American goverment support solar energy?” If you could help it would greatly appreciated. Thanks!

admin answers:

Keep in mind I like solar energy, but I’ll give you some points.

1) It costs more
2) panels degrade faster than other energy sources equipment
3) They consume arable land
4) they consume natural habitat to set up
5) They can be unsightly (visual pollution)
6) Higher upkeep costs
7) Can be a hazard in high winds
8) transimssion issues getting energy from collection point to use point
9) energy only available in good weather
10) seasonality to its generation makes it an irregular energy source

There are good arguments in reply to all these points, but you wanted some negative debate points.

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:

Thomas asks…

How would convert solar energy to electrical energy?

I’m doing a project in Science Club and me and the other people in club are wondering about how we could convert solar energy into electrical energy on a system?

admin answers:

Solar energy panels can capture the suns energy, to transfer to electricity hook the panel to a 12 volt voltage regulator and then to a automotive 12 volt battery.
To use the electricity hook up a voltage regulator to the battery then hook a toggle switch to the voltage regulator positive wire feed, on the other end of the regulator hook up a 12 volt appliance or light bulb, grounded of course.

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:

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Your Questions About Solar Generators Reviews

Mark asks…

Are the Big Oil Companies suppressing the truth?

Are the Big Oil Companies suppressing the truth?

Ask yourself, who is really running the war?
Who is making a profit on the war?
Who has suppressed alternative energy, or made the cost out of reach?

Folks This is 2007, and with the advancing science technologies, something other than oil has to be out there. Plus why is the cost of a solar panel,Fluorescent lamps, and wind generators so expensive.
Only a few Hybrid cars on the roads, who can afford one, plus from reading reviews they do not help much, its more of a fashion statement. The hybrid in some road test used as much or more fuel.
A recycled product such as a fence post cost triple

admin answers:

Corporate greed and the whoring of our government to them dictates everything.

Thomas asks…

Many universe hypothesis vs Single universe hypothesis?

I have been reviewing and reviewing, but I can’t quite seem to understand. How does the atheistic many universe hypothesis initially appear to have an advantage over the atheistic single universe hypothesis when answering Collins’ fine tuning argument? And how is there ultimately no such advantage for the atheistic many-universe hypothesis because of the fine-tuning of its universe generator?
Thank you so much in advance

admin answers:

For those not familiar with the concept:

“Intelligent Design” proponents see the universe as “fine tuned” for life in general and us in particular.
The universal constants of gravity and electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces are such that after the “big bang” event, stars could form, and they could “cook” complex elements which were then blown out into the void when these stars went nova…. To re-form as 2nd and 3rd generation Suns like our own with complex rocky planets capable of supporting life.

They point out that (according to their reckoning) the chances of the universe falling out with exactly these constants is very small, and that the fact that it is as it is indicates design…..

Cosmologists (and mere critical thinkers like myself) point out that there is no reason to think that this is the only universe. Cosmologists propose any number of scenarios where there might be essentially an infinite number of universes, and that new ones are being formed all the time.
If this is the case, it’s merely lucky for us that this particular one happens to be amenable to the formation of life; there might be any number of universes which would have characteristics so alien as to be incapable of supporting life.

Although there is no evidence of such other universes, there is no contraindication of any as well. We could never observe them, our ability to observe being confined to our own universe.

Besides, it’s a rather silly notion, IMO. Even if we locally have a solar system and a planet capable of supporting life, obviously these conditions are very rare in the universe… Billions of stars with no planets, billions of planets that are nothing but frozen balls of ice or masses of gas…. Or rocky chunks with no atmosphere or water.
Why would a “designer” put together such a vast and empty universe just to support…Us?

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Generators For Sale

Ken asks…

Cheap residential hydrogen fuel cells (where can i get some)?

Anyone know where i can get a hyrogen fuel cell that is designed to generate 240v ? I was thinking of hooking one up to a windmill to make free lighting for my house. Anyone know the cheapest and best u.k distributers, or any other worthwhile info on this subject, thanks
Just for the record, it looks as so some of you have your heads up your arse. A fuel cell does not run on thin air, it needs some power input of one sort or another, hence the windnill.

admin answers:

Unfortanty because it’s a new type of business, everything is expensive. Solar cells will take about 10 years to pay for it’self, wind I belive is 7, and hydrogen (the ones you put water in and it generates power and of course oxygen are the most expensive.

But for that hydrogen he’s a website below.

The small house windmill, according to where you live, = how much energy it will produce (it’s size) and your own uses, you can sale some to the grid, but this is so new (alt power) they can’t give you a diffanate – so don’t belive the salesman, no one really knows so what would make anybody think they actually know.

The 2nd lnk below is what I personaaly be the best method so far, in the fiels of Alt power. Thing is it’s new, and so you will have to follow his work, at Davis Univ, but the money they bring in goes to get the generators on the market – its cheaper than all of the other types I mentioned above = it mimics the way plants and water get its energy from the sun, to produce energy.

Daniel asks…

where can I purchase small wind generator ( suitable for bunglow) in Maharashtra?

admin answers:

Hello,our company shenzhen bazhentu are selling that,you may contact our sales manager directly by msn
Her phone:0086-15574832263

1000w wind turbine

Application range:Small water pump system, power supply for home daily use on island, in rural area, remote area, wind-solar hybrid system on farmland, grassland; for navigation tower and frontier sentry..

Other opponents:tower, battery set, solar panel, controller for solar panel, cable wires, storage cabinet (optional), inverter (for AC load), ect…

Color: White
Net Weight: 45 KG
Gross Weight: 64 KG
Blades Material: Reinforced Nylon
Starting Wind Speed(m/s):3.0m/s
Cut-in Wind Speed(m/s):3.0m/s
Rated Wind Speed(m/s):11.5m/s
Safe Wind Speed(m/s):50m/s

1. High efficiency which eauals the trditonal 800W wind generator.
2. Renewable energy could get government budget subsidies.
3. Energy Saving & Pollution Reduction
4. Cost cutting compared with traditional power generating set
5. Around 15 years of life span
6. Complementarily use with solar energy

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Your Questions About Solar Energy Materials And Solar Cells

Mandy asks…

In simple terms, how would you describe what goes on in a solar cell in solar energy?

I have a science project and I have to expalin to the judge what happends during the process of solar energy. Can you please summurize it in simple, easy to remember terms?

admin answers:

Basically what goes on in a solar cell is the conversion of light energy (photons) to electrical current (the flow of electrons).

In physics this is called the photoelectric effect.

A solar cell will absorb light energy (the photons, which could be visible light, UV light or IR light generally), and this light energy will energize electrons in the atoms of the cell.

These electrons will cause a charge separation (positive and negative) in the material (a voltage) which will have a mechanism for trapping the electrons to maintain the voltage.

Current will then flow if you connect the separate charged ends of the cell with a conductive material.

I am not sure how to make it simpler…

Mark asks…

What type of solar cell is the Cuprous Oxide-Copper cell? Can you tell me how it works?

On, a solar cell made from Cuprous Oxide and Copper is described, but the explanation is made for a middle-schooler. I keep researching how how the solar cell would work but can’t get a explanation good enough for a high-school level science exposition. thanx in advance.

admin answers:

The cell works the same as a silicon wafer or any other solar cell.

When photons strike the surface, an electron in the Cu(II) oxide plate is promoted to a higher electronic state in the conduction band,

Being attached to free Cu, electrons in thier conduction band allows the electrons mobility and flow as current when there is a circuit load. Drawing off this current leaves holes n the Cu conduction band.

See. Electrons in the atoms of each material reside in bands, much like the floors in a “two story” building with a flat roof. When light strikes the electrons, they gain energy and are promoted to the roof, where they can move around (conduction) . Siphoning off these electrons (electrical load) leaves more room on the roof, for more electrons to be promoted from below.


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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.


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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

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 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

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 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!


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:


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.


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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:

Select the array location. Enter the array size in kW, and the program will output the annual kWh generation.
I hope that helps!

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:

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:

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:

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,


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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