Solar Panel Electricity: A really green house

What happens when you take the best technology and combine it with solar panels and an xbox kinect? You get a house that recently won the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. The house (CHIP)is powered by solar panels and makes over three times the energy that the house needs. This gives it ample power to run additional items like charging electric cars or electrical yard appliances.  The roof also has the ability to change shape allowing the solar panels to get the maximum amount of sunlight each day.

The entire house is controlled by the xbox kinect (a camera that can movement) and change the house accordingly. Shutting off the lights as someone leaves the room.

You can find more on the CHIP here: CHIP

Home Owners Guide to Solar Panel Electricity

There are a lot of reasons for wanting to switch your homes energy to solar panels. Getting rid of your energy bill, gaining independence from the local energy company, saving the environment, and getting power to a remote area are all good reasons, but it can all be a bit overwhelming, and you will certainly have a lot of questions. Where can I buy them? How much will they cost? Will they work in my area? How much power will they make? Where can I put them? Are there rebates and government programs available to lower the cost?

The internet is a great source of information, but it does have one problem: too much information. It can be difficult to find the right information  and to tell if you are getting good information at all. Installing solar panels on houses, RVs, and now cars has just recently gone mainstream and there are a lot of false rumors that go a long with that. The “my friend’s friend” kind of thing.

On top of that, there are now more solar panels for sale than ever before. We are seeing solar panel companies come out of just about everywhere to get in on the profits in the industry. It is great that there are more options, but choosing the right solar panels and solar panel system for your house can be a bit confusing.

So what should you do?

Read

First, read up. There is a lot of great info on the web, but don’t pass over books either. A few dollars spent on some good books might save you a lot when you buy the solar system for your home. Below, is a link to a free PDF put out by the US Department of Energy.

A Home Owners Guide To Going Solar

Talk

Once you have a basic understanding of what you want and need, get out and talk to your local solar companies and your local government. You will gain a lot of info and it should help you decide what solar panels you want to buy, what company you want to use, how much electricity you will needs, etc. You should also learn if there are any government programs that will lower the cost of installing solar panels.

 

Sharp pushes for Solar Panels in Japan

A few months ago I wrote about Japan’s push for solar panels by the year 2030. I felt that it wasn’t enough and that it wasn’t soon enough. Sharp, one of Japan’s largest electronics companies, and the largest solar manufacture is on the forefront of Japan new considerations for energy.

After the recent (and still ongoing) nuclear power plant crisis in Japan, Japan is rethinking it’s energy policies. The main push is currently to reduce power usage, putting a strain on large electronic companies such as Sharp. However, they also stand to gain because they are the largest producer of solar panels. Though according to the latest article in the Wall Street Journal, Sharp seems to be hesitant on which road they would like to take.

A push for solar panels and more efficient energy would help them sell more solar panels, but solar panels do not have a high return for Sharp, and the policy changes may cause companies like Sharp  to pay more for their energy usage (shouldn’t be a problem if Sharp was using more solar power).

Having lived in Japan for some time now, I can say that Japan does not adapt to change easy and big policy changes are always met with a lot of resistance. Can Japan push into a green energy country? As much as I would like to say “yes”, I have my doubts.

 

Solar Panels Increase the Value of Homes

One more reason to take a look at the solar panels for sale right now. Solar Panels increase the value when selling a house. According to a study in the New York times, houses with a relatively new solar panel system were seeing premium prices over other comparable houses of about $17,000. People who have added solar panels to a house already standing (not installed when the house was built) have seen premiums of nearly three times that amount.

So what does it mean? Well, one of the arguments against solar panels has always been that it takes time to get your investment back. And that if you sell your home before that time, you will lose that investment. However, now that solar panel homes are receiving a premium price, this just isn’t the case any more.

Also, this study was done from 2001-2009. Since then, a lot of companies have entered the solar panel market and there are more solar panels for sale. There are more types and the prices are coming down in general.

So, premium prices for homes with solar panels, more solar panels for sale, lowering solar panel prices, increases in costs of energy from the energy company, and the ability to sell unused energy to the power companies means it is getting easier and easier to get your initial investment back.

You can find the original article here

Solar Panels at Infineon Raceway

Infinion Raceway is a year round racetrack located in Sonoma, California and is home to some very exciting, top-tier racing such as NASCAR and Indy. When we think of racing, we think of speed, power, adrenaline, crashes, technology, and a lot of noise. We don’t however think about green efficiency, solar panels, and the environment. Well, that may be about to change!

In association with Panasonic, Infinion Raceway has just installed over 1,600 solar panels to provide over 40% of the facilities power needs. The system privides 353 kilowatts of power for the entire facility. A very substantial amount.

Now I know there will be a lot of people out there who will mock this attempt at a raceway trying to be green. Yes, it can seem ironic for a sport, whose primary purpose is to use fuel for speed to install solar panels. I mean, isn’t auto-racing basically the opposite of green? Anyone who has ever been to a racetrack can attest to the smell of burnt rubber and gas fumes. Wouldn’t it be smarter just to get rid of racing?

Though I am definitely for clean, efficient, sustainable living, I say no! I think one of the biggest problems with the green movement today, is that it is an all or nothing thing. In order to be green we all need to be vegetarians, who wear hemp clothing, live in the forest, and ride a bicycle. While this may work for some people, it would be a drastic, almost unfathomable change for others.


Instead, I think we need to make smaller changes and improvements to the way we live. Changes that we continue. For example, not everyone can afford a full solar panel. But if each house and business bought just one solar panel, how much difference would that make? Many people might not give up meat, but they might stop eating meat once or twice a week. People can’t be expected to make drastic changes all at once. I mean, if we look at sports in general, they waste a lot of electricity, rubbers, plastics, etc. Should they all be eliminated as well? How about Disneyland?

I think it is the same thing for Infineon Raceway. Yes, motorsports are not the cleanest sport around. Driving a car a round as fast as it will go definitely uses a lot of gas. Driven at full speed, a Toyota Prius got lower gas mileage than a BMW M3 Sports Car. However, Infineon Raceway’s has made a substantial effort (more than a lot of other companies are doing) to make their operations more green. 1,600 solar panels is a lot of solar panels and a lot of power.

In addition, I would say that it’s not car enthusiasts who create the pollution problems. It’s the commuters and the populations of everyone combined driving their cars. How many people are driving large cars and SUVs to work? Removing the raceways isn’t going to solve our global problems. It should also be mentioned that auto racing does help manufactures make more efficient cars. A lot of what makes Hondas and Toyotas so good is from what they learned in F1.

So, while it does seem a little ironic that a raeway installed solar panels. I think that they should be applauded for their effort. Imagine if the rest of the companies around the world got half of their power from solar panels. Or imagine how much money you would be saving each month if you had half of your home powered by solar panels.

Solar Panels for Sale: Solar Panels Make You Money

Solar panels and green energy have made great progress in the last few days. The NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher recently said that new solar panels will be able to connect them to the power grid and that utility companies will be required to pay for customers for the extra power their solar panels make. This has actually been the standard in some areas, however some utility companies where refusing to allow customers to connect their solar panels to the grid.

So what does this mean for you? It means that there has never been a better time to buy solar panels. Not only are there more cheap solar panels for sale than ever before, the efficiency for each size has gone up, and now the government is finally starting to pass legislation that is making running your house on solar power electricity easier and cheaper than ever.

In addition to the government taking actions against utility companies refusing to add solar panels on to the grid, many governments are also offering grants, tax incentives, low-interest loans, and rebates to install solar panels. With these discounts, and the fact that you can sell the power you make, going solar has never made more sense.

To Buy or Not to Buy: Solar Panels for Sale

As power is getting more and more expensive and the environment is getting worse and worse, more people are thinking about solar panels as a cleaner and cheaper way to power their house. The number and types of solar panels for sale has increased and the prices have continually gone down. In addition, solar panel efficiency has consistently gone up and there is now government support than ever before. Depending on your location your may be able to get a low percentage loan, a tax credit, or refund for solar panels you purchase. So now is a great time to put solar panels on your house.

However, before you consider the solar panels for sale, you may want to take a look at other options. This is especially the case if you don’t want to spend a lot of out of pocket money. If you are a DIY kind of person, then you can save a lot of money by not only installing your own panels, but even by buying the parts at wholesale and assembling them yourself. You can even find solar panels that are slightly damaged during the manufacturing process, but still work just fine. Since the the manufactures can’t sell them, you can get them at a huge discount.

Now you are probably thinking that you don’t have any experience or knowledge and wouldn’t know where to start. Most people feel this way. Luckily, there is a program that gives you all the information step by step to get solar panels installed on your house. The system includes a manual with the instructions on where to get the materials, how to build the solar panels, and info on what you will need. It also includes videos that show you in detail each step.

So, while there are a lot of solar panels for sale, if you are looking to save some money, they may not be the best option for you if you are looking to save some money and get solar panels on your house for the lowest possible price. Instead you may want to check out the DIY solar panel program.

 

DIY Solar Program

 

 

 

 

 

Solar Panel Electricity

It’s true that solar panels aren’t for everyone and everywhere. There are certain climates that just don’t get enough sunlight, or houses that don’t have a place to add solar panels. However, there are a lot of places that should be using solar panels and aren’t. My island here in Okinawa is one of those places. We have had a couple of very large wind turbines and one very small solar field, but that is about it. We are a sub-tropical island (think hawaii), so we get a lot of sunlight each year.

On top of that, this island is designated as an “eco island” which means there is supposed to be a focus on green energy and sustainable living. Unfortunately, this is really more of a title than it is a push to make the island sustainable and clean. The island gets a ton of money from the Japanese government so we have a ton of parks, baseball parks, tourist locations, and now an underwater tunnel. So why don’t we have solar panel electricity?

Most of it comes down to politics and the fact that our island is a tourist island, so the money is put towards things to get more tourists to come. The politicians don’t think about the long term benefits of getting electricity from solar panels. In fact, there aren’t even really solar panels for sale here on our island.

However, this is about to change. The government is currently installing a large solar panel field that will allow our island to get about a percentage of our electricity from solar panels. If it works out well, then we may see more projects in the future. Solar panel electricity makes a lot of sense, since not only do we get a lot of sun, but during storms it can also be difficult to get gas to run the generators. Not to mention the extra costs associated with having it shipped here.

As you can see from the picture above, the field is substantial and is supposed to be finished this year. They did unfortunately, cut down a small forest to put it in place (as they destroyed a coral reef to put up the underwater tunnel). On the good side, trees and plants grow incredibly fast here.

I will keep you up to date and try to get some pics once it’s completed.

Small Solar Panels

When thinking about solar panels for your home, a lot of people tend to think about the big ones that can be mounted onto your roof. Of course, there are a lot of us, who don’t have either the funds (though the solar panels for sale have gotten much cheaper) or we may not have the space. Because of this a lot of people tend to mark solar panels off as a viable option.

However, there are also a number of small solar panels for sale. In fact, very small solar panels have been around for a very long time. I’m sure that you have all had a solar powered calculator. If you live in an apartment or a rented house, you may not have the ability to have solar panels installed on your house, but you can use small solar panels to provide some power.

As mentioned above, for those who rent, having solar panels installed on the house doesn’t make a lot of sense. Not only will you have to have them removed when you leave (if the owner even let’s you install them), but you also have to worry about all the wiring on a house which isn’t even yours. It can make things expensive and complicated. Luckily, as solar panels have gotten cheaper, so have the number of options increased.

You can now purchase small solar panels which can be mounted on windows, decks, or a mounting device of your choosing, and come complete with their own converters and batteries. This works perfectly to provide a little extra electricity for your appliances as well as reduce your monthly energy bill. Small solar panels also don’t take much to put up, and since they aren’t wired or permanently attached to the house you can take them with you.

You can also create your own solar panels for a fraction of the cost. If you want to go green now, and save a lot of money then this is for you. You can find out more here.

 

 

Japan to require solar panels on all new buildings by 2030

For a lot of people this sounds like a big push in the right direction. Imagine if every building had solar panels powering it. The amount of power produced by gas or nuclear would drop dramatically. But, I think this is more of a plan to get attention away from the recent nuclear disaster than it is an effort to go green.


First, 2030 is almost 20 years from now. And that doesn’t mean that all buildings will be required to have solar panels by then. Only that all new buildings will be required to install them. So there is really no immediate push for companies are building owners to install solar panels. They also fail to mention that by the year 2030, the amount of expansion in Japan (unless drastic measures are taken) will be close to zero. You don’t build a lot of new buildings when your population is continually shrinking.

Now if Japan was serious about using solar panels, they would have made this immediate so that all the new houses that will be built in the areas hit by the tsunami would require solar panels. Rather than just rebuilding those communities they could make them clean and green and independent.

Let’s face it, the solar panels for sale have gotten cheaper and will continue to do so. Especially when the majority of buildings in Japan are built by corporations and large companies. It’s time we start demanding more from them. Cheap solar panels can be picked up pretty easy these days, and the more that are purchased the more that will be made.

So what are your feelings on the subject? Is it a good start or is it too little too late?

You can find more info here.