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

How Solar Panels Work

In the last few years, solar panels have really hit the mainstream. There are more solar panels for sale than there have ever been. But, do you know how solar panels work? We all know that they convert sunlight into electricity, but how does this really happen? Almost all of us have used calculators powered by solar panels. We know if we cover up the light that the calculator stops working. So what’s really taking place.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Solar cells are also known as photovoltaic (PV) cells. The word photo means “light” and the word voltaic means “electricity”. Put it together and you get light electricity.

Solar Cells are made from materials called semi-conductors. The most common are made of silicone, but we are also starting to see organic materials being used as well. When light hits the semi-conductor a portion of that light gets absorbed. This process discharges electrons. Using an electric field these electrons are forced to move in a cetain direction which gives them current. The amount of current with the amount of voltage (free electrons) determines how many watts the solar panel produces.

Medal conductors can then be attached to the solar panels to allow the electricity to be drawn from the panel to a place where it can be either used or stored.

So now that you know how solar panels work, what does it mean for you? It means you can recognize what’s important. As you can see, the more sunlight that a panel can absorb, the more free electrons you will have, and the more energy the solar panel will make. This is generally referred to as the solar panels efficiency. A solar panel that can absorb 20% of sunlight will make more electricity (produce more watts) than one that only absorbs 13%.

Currently the highest efficiency solar panels are being made out of silicone. The problem is that silicone is a limited resource and so is getting more and more expensive. In the last few years however, we are also seeing solar panels being made out of sustainable organic materials. These aren’t as efficient as the silicone solar panels, but they are relatively new and will improve over time.

Due to improved efficiencies and improved manufacturing processes, solar panels cost about a quarter of what they did just a couple of years ago.

If you check out the prices of solar panels for sale a long with discounts from the government, you may find that you can finally get rid of your energy bill.


Worlds Largest Solar Farm Switches to Solar Panels

I talk a lot about the cost of solar panels for sale dropping. In the last couple of years the prices have been dropping consistently over the range of solar panels. Since the solar power companies are also claiming lower returns it is hard to know how long this will last.

However, proof that solar panels are getting cheaper and cheaper is the recent news that Solar Millenium AG, the largest farm, will be switching from thermal solar to solar photovoltaic panels. The company will be installing the 500MW farm in California.

So what does this mean for you? Well, that depends on who you are. But if you are the person who wants to install solar panels on your home, cabin, or RV, but have felt it’s too expensive, this might be the time it finally makes financial sense. More and more companies are making solar panels and the number of cheap solar panels are increasing daily.  In addition, governments are getting serious about green power and offer all kinds of loans,  grants, refunds, and tax cuts. The city I live in has  also recently installed a large solar field that will be generating a substantial percent of power for the city. I recommend you find out what kind of program your government is offering.

In addition, remember that you can also save additional money by installing solar panels yourself, and even by assembling them. There are a lot of options to get solar panels on your house. You just have to do a little bit of research to find out which one is best for you.


Small Solar Panels: Powering More Than Your Home

As the number of solar panels for sale increase we are seeing more and more uses and applications. Solar panels are being made smaller and smaller and out of different kinds of materials. Now when we hear the word solar panels, we generally tend to think of large panels providing solar panel electricity to our home. However, there are a lot of other applications for solar panels.

Since solar panels have gotten more efficient, small solar panels can be used to provide power where large solar panels wouldn’t fit. They have also become cheaper.

In particular, today I want to talk about batteries. Especially batteries that aren’t used often and lose their charge. Do you have a weekend car that you only drive during good weather, a boat for the lake, or an RV that you take out every once and a while. And when you finally get that perfect whether, you try to start it up and find out that your battery has no charge. Not a good way to start your day.

Luckily, there is a green solution. Now you can have a trickle charger that keeps your battery charged using solar power. You don’t ever have to worry about finding a dead battery again. You also don’t have to worry about using any electricity. As long as there is sun, then your battery is being charged.

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.

Cheap solar panels could get cheaper and more efficient

Solar energy is great. As long as the sun is out, and your panels are aimed in the right direction, then you are making power. One of the limiting factors for solar panels for sale on the market today has been the efficiency at which they gather light. Up until this point the best solar panels gather about 30% of the light that hits them. According to IDTecEX, a new type of flexible solar panel is being designed at the University of Missouri that can collect up to 90% of f sunlight. That is impressive.

The cells will use a different type of cell made of of circuits and antenna to collect both sunlight and heat.  They are also currently designing a manufacturing process will will allow the solar panels to be produced cheap and in large quantities. The goal for the project is to have the cells available within 5 years.

So what does this mean for us? Cheap solar panels are already starting to show up on the market. With more types available the prices will go even lower. Also, as the efficiency of the panels gets better, each house will require fewer and fewer panels. At 90% that is triple the current panels ability to make electricity which means you will only need one-third of the panels that are currently needed.