Hydro Power Technology
Although hydro power technology had been developed quite a long time ago, it took years to get something that is efficient and cost-effective. Energy By Water is one of the innovations. Hydro power generation has come a long way since its inception. Modern researches have shaped giant, mountain-like hydro power systems into small portable solutions. Today, the system has become much more convenient than its ancestors.
The first application of hydro power systems was implemented in the United States. The technique then became popular in Europe and from there, it went around the world. Today, you will find hundreds of such facilities around the globe. The largest hydro power system is deployed at Three Gorges Dam in China and it produces about 20,300MW of electricity.
Observing the boundless advantages of the technology, many countries have installed hydro power stations that either comprehensively satisfy their energy needs or work complementary with other sources of energy. Currently, there are seven countries that are getting a major portion of their electricity consumption out of hydro power energy:
Although not as powerful as fuel-powered steam turbines, hydro power generates a considerable portion of the required electrical power to these countries. Paraguay, a small country in South America is the only country whose primary source of power is hydro power energy. The produced energy is not only consumed in Paraguay, but also contributes to neighboring countries like Brazil and Argentina. This clearly demonstrates the power of hydro power energy.
The technology used by Energy By Water is really powerful. Hydro power is the future of electricity generation. Norway gets 99% of its electricity needs from hydro power plants and is planning to shift completely towards the technology.
China is the biggest producer of hydroelectricity in the world. It has dozens of projects producing electricity in enormous amounts. Other major producers include:
- The United States
It is obvious that several countries are turning to hydro power to satisfy their power needs. However, they still use large power plants for generation. Micro hydro power generators are not commonly used. Micro hydro power generators have low output power and are used to power just a few houses. Energy By Water is the most efficient version of a micro hydro power generator. It is the ideal example that shows how small generators can be used to serve individuals who wish to have their own private power production plants.
Solar panels are the most basic element of a solar power system. It main purpose is to gather sunlight during certain periods of the day to power different devices and structures. Depending on the size, solar panels can power anything from recreation vehicles to huge factories. It is also important that you understand how the panels work and where you can apply these so that you can get the most benefits. Here are some more details and info about the material.
What are Solar Panels?
Solar energy starts with the sun. Solar panels are also known as photovoltaics and are primarily used to convert light energy from the sun. These are made of energy particles called photons that are changed into electricity to power various electrical loads. Light from the sun is considered as a renewable energy, a resource that gives clean energy. Solar panels can be used for different applications like remote power systems for cabins, remote sensing, telecommunications equipment and to produce electricity for commercial and residential panel systems. Many solar panels today are used to power roadway signs.
The development of the solar energy began more than a century ago. During the early days, solar power was used mainly to produce steam for drive machinery. Henri Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect that allowed the conversion of solar electric energy. Becquerel’s discovery triggered the invention of the first true solar cell by Charles Fritts in 1893, which was created by coating selenium sheets with a thin gold layer. The solar panel was then created afterwards.
Russel Ohl is an American inventor who used to work for Bell Laboratories. He patented the first silicon solar cell in the world in 1941. The first solar panel was produced by the same company in 1954 because of Ohl’s creation. The new solar panels were used first in space satellites. During the 1970s, more people saw the use of solar panels through the newly designed calculators that can run easily under light.
At present solar panels and full solar panel systems are used to power different applications and structures. Aside from calculators, solar panels are now used to give power to homes, commercial buildings and other huge structures.
Letting the Solar Panels Work
Solar panels can gather clean renewable energy in sunlight form that will be converted into electricity. The average home has adequate roof area to let solar panels gather enough sun to be converted into DC current or AC current. Solar panel arrays can be sized to meet big electrical needs. The AC current can power loads in the house and other commercial buildings. It is important to consider the part of the house, as well as the right angle of the sun so that the solar panels can gather the most light over more hours of the day for optimum results.
You can choose to build your own solar panels or just order a pre-made one online. There are also a number of stores that offer solar panels, depending on the use you need. You can hire some experts to help you determine the right part of the house or structure where you need it installed. You should also talk to other solar panel owners to help you maximize the benefits.
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The cost of solar grid-tie systems still remains costly for the home owner.
However, a solar lease program can cost you one half the cost of buying your own system. Solar leasing is an affordable way for a home owner to save almost instantly on their electrical cost. But there are some things to consider about a lease versus a completely purchased system. Below, I have laid out some pros and cons about solar leasing. Pros:
- Basically three types of programs available-The first type of solar lease plan you pay off the total lease, which will be good for 20 to 25 years. This normally is about one half the cost of buying a system outright. There are no monthly payments. The second method is a partial payment lease by the year or by the leasing company agreement. The third option is for monthly payments, similar to a car leasing program.
- Online system monitoring-Your total PV system is monitored over the Internet by the leasing company. Any changes in the status of your system are noted immediately.
- Maintenance and repairs-If any repairs to your system are required from the online monitoring, the contractor who installed your PV system is notified immediately to make necessary repairs. This provides you with worry free maintenance and protection.
- Insurance and warranty-The leasing company provides full insurance for their solar system for period of the lease. Any damages incurred by nature or equipment failure are totally the company’s responsibility.
- System kilowatt production is guaranteed-The amount of electricity generated by the solar system must meet the quoted production or solar panels will be added to bring the kilowatt production to the agreed amount.
- Owned by leasing company-You do not own the system, so any changes can not be made by home owner. Your solar system is totally the property of the leasing company. They have full rights to the system.
- Federal tax credit-Presently there is a 30 percent Federal tax credit for installing energy-saving devices. The tax credit is good until the year 2016. By leasing the system the leasing company has full right to your tax credit.
- SREC (solar renewable energy credit)-A srec is the sale of excess power generated by your solar PV system. For every 1000 kilowatt-hours that you produce over and above your electrical cost, it is required by law to be a fixed sum of money that is paid to the home owner this could be also taken from you depending on the lease company.
As you can see, a solar lease needs to be carefully studied by the home owner and balanced out financially if it is a feasible option.
You might not want to read this article if you work for a utility company, and then again you good be suffering from high cost of electricity too. I could quote utility rates from all over the United States, and the rest of the world but the truth of the matter is that we are all faced with ever increasing rates.
For myself, I rejoice because it makes my awareness evermore present being in the alternative energy business. People all over the globe are starting to realize that there are alternatives to high utility cost. I am going to discuss these options in this article to show you the way to save money and not having to rely on big utility companies.
First, let us look at solar energy. Solar energy has proven to be one of the best alternative energy sources. Free energy from the sun is available just about everywhere on our planet. Using solar panels in conjunction with a battery bank and an inverter which changes the DC volts from the battery bank back to usable house voltage to run your appliances and lighting in your home. Solar installation contractors are showing up everywhere and charging from average $10,000 to $30,000 for a typical solar installation. The only problem that I see with this is that the actual pay back is many years down the road. This amount of money will not offset the cost of your utility bill because of the initial cost. The only way to offset this cost is by installing your own system which we cover on our website.
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Our next alternative energy source is wind energy freely available if you live in an area that averages wind speeds capable of supporting a wind turbine system. Commercial wind farms are starting to show up in areas next to our coastal waters or in mountainous areas that have sufficient wind to power these gentle giants. These huge wind farms can generate enough power to power small communities. Residential wind turbines are starting to catch on across the world as systems become more affordable. Here again it is much cheaper to install your own wind turbine if your area has capable wind speed to power it. I tell people check with your government to see if wind studies have been researched and are available. I know here in the U.S. they have wind maps showing were the best places are for wind turbines.
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Finally, we look at water energy or commonly called hydro electric. Basically, what hydro electric consist of is similar to our dams that were built to generate large amounts of electricity. All across the world large dams provide power for large cities and recreation for boaters and swimmers. On a smaller scale you could use hydro electric to power a small cabin or a residence. What is required for a hydro electric system is basically the same as a wind turbine the only difference being a flow of constant water rather than wind. One thing nice about hydro electric is if you have a small river or stream on your property or permission to divert water to a paddle wheel to give you a smooth flow of water.
I have looked at three alternative energy sources that can be used to produce electricity to free you from the high cost of your utility bills. I am personally experimenting with solar and wind system, tying the two methods into one to power some if not all my household electrical cost.
Solar jobs are on the rise.
According to the 2012 Solar Jobs Census, U.S. solar companies are hiring at a faster rate than the overall economy. This is the third annual update of projected job growth in the solar industry, and research illustrates that employment has grown by 27% since these studies were first conducted in 2010. Despite the policy uncertainties that continue to exist within the solar industry, there has been steady and consistent job growth, especially when it comes to businesses and firms in the installation subsector, as well as sales and distribution, which is believed to have 36% more workers today than when the census first began. The 2012 Solar Jobs Census has compiled and synthesized data from over 1,000 employers. Here are five statistics that illustrate the trends and growth trajectories of the solar industry workforce.
There are currently 119,016 workers in the solar industry. 13,872 new solar workers have joined the industry in the past 12 months, which is a 13% increase from the 2011 numbers. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics state that the overall economy grew by only 2.3% during the same period, which illustrates that U.S. solar companies are in fact hiring at a faster rate than the overall economy.
Research suggests that over the next 12 months roughly 45% of solar firms and businesses will add jobs. At the same time, fewer than 4% are expected to cut jobs. These numbers equal a 17% growth in total employment, which is far greater than the 1.5% the U.S. economy us supposed to grow by in the next 12 months.
The number of installers that were added to the solar workforce in 2012 offset the decline in manufacturing. Larger firms, in fact, are growing at a dramatic rate, and nearly half of these firms are projected to hire workers in the next year. It is believed that large firms will add approximately 12,000 new jobs to the industry.
When measuring job growth, there is a fundamental difference between adding new jobs and adding solar responsibilities to already existing jobs. There have been 14,000 new solar workers added to the industry since August, and nearly 86% of these workers represent new jobs.
The term solar worker has been defined as a person spends 50% of their time supporting solar activities. Research has found, however, that 90% of those workers who meet the criteria actually spend 100% of their time engaged in solar activities.
All in all, multiyear research has shown that the solar industry has and will continue to experience steady job growth. The data suggests that as the industry continues to change and specialize, more jobs and opportunities will be created.
Ryan McNeill is president of Renewable Energy Corporation, a Maryland solar panel installer with operations in Northern Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. More information at http://www.RenewableEnergySolar.net
To truly understand the benefits of green solar energy, you must first understand how solar energy is harnessed. There are two types of green solar energy-thermal and light. Thermal energy is considered passive solar. This type of green solar energy is harnessed through the design and materials used to construct a building. By integrating south facing windows and materials that retain heat, like brick and stone, you can lower your energy needs and build an energy efficient structure. The thermal energy produced by green solar energy is also used to heat water for solar hot water systems. The rays of the sun also produce light and radiation that can be captured by solar panels to create electricity.
The most popular use of green solar energy is for saving money. Although green solar energy systems can come with a large initial investment, they generally pay for themselves in a few years by providing either supplemental electricity or all of the electricity to your home or business. Building your own solar panels, participating in government refunds and net metering, in which you sell unused electricity back to the power company, can reduce the cost of implementing a green solar energy system. In addition, green solar energy systems require little to no maintenance after installation, as most have no moving parts.
The most important benefit of utilizing green solar energy is completely environmental. With polar ice caps dwindling away and climate changes creating tragic storms world wide, it is increasingly obvious that steps must be taken to decrease global warming and our dependence on fossil fuels. Green solar energy provides a clean energy alternative as it creates little pollution and does not contribute to global warming.
Green solar energy systems can be used by homes and businesses alike. If going solar cannot meet all of your energy needs, it can certainly reduce them. Utilizing green solar energy can save you money, but it’s greatest benefit is to the environment and our future.
Be sure to check out our new videos from the U.S. Department of Energy. These videos will help you make decisions about how you can plan your own energy saving ideas.