Earth4Energy – How to reduce your power bill

March 13th, 2010

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How to Generate Electricity From Wind?

January 25th, 2010

If you are like many Americans, you are probably scared to receive the utility bills at the end of the month. This is normal in this uncertain economy.

Did you know that you can save more than 70% on your utility bill by switching to alternative sources of power?

If you want, you can choose to live off the grid and say goodbye to your energy bills for good. Thousands of people are already doing it, and you can to by creating their own homemade wind generators.

How can you create alternative energy and save money?

You can create alternative energy by using the power of three natural elements.

1. Sun power

2. Wind power

3. Hydro power

In this article, we are going to talk about using wind power to create electricity. To make your own energy with wind power, you are going to create your own homemade wind generators.

Before you consider building your own wind generators, make sure that there is enough wind in your area. If there is not enough wind, you will not be able to produce the amount of kinetic energy you need to convert the wind into electricity.

Once you installed your own windmill, you will not have many things to do since they don’t require a lot of maintenance. The only problems I can see would be when a bird is is made prisoner by your windmill, or a major storm in your area. In this case, your tower will probably suffer.

Be aware that installing your own home made wind generators can cost you from a few hundreds dollars to a few thousands. You need to conduct your project seriously and learn about all the option available to you before you start. If you really want to do it yourself, you may want to invest in a good guide like Earth4energy manual for example. You will save a lot of money.

The benefits of installing your own windmill generator beside saving money is that you will contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide reducing emissions.

Franck Silvestre


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Is It Time For Solar Energy to Get Hot?

January 25th, 2010

Is It Time For Solar Energy To Get Hot? By Tim Phelan

Solar energy has been around for quite a while and most people
don’t think about it much except for the ones who are already
into renewable sources of energy. Environmentalists have always
loved the idea of solar energy but what has kept it from going
more mainstream, being more widely used and looked upon as
something someone wants to spend money to install on their
property? There have been improvements in the technology of
solar energy, but has there been enough? Isn’t the war on terror
and the desire to be independent of foreign energy sources
enough to persuade people to use solar energy? At what point
will solar energy become the great and never ending source of
energy many of envisioned many years ago?

Well, I, for one, think that the time has just about come for
solar energy to really take off because of one reason: it will
be economically the right and smart thing to do.

Last year I was driving to Las Vegas from San Jose and when I
was just about three quarters of the way to my destination I
passed a sign that said something about a “solar farm.” I
glanced over and saw row upon row of solar panels sitting in the
middle of the dessert. This is about the only farm that could
survive in the dessert I thought to myself. Then I thought ”
Wow. Why can’t I do that?” In a smaller fashion of course
because of my limited resources. But I thought why not rent some
land and buy some of these panels and start my own little farm?
It made sense and actually it still makes sense to me.

I went home later and looked into the solar energy industry. I
wanted to see if this was possible now and I thought if these
people put all those panels out in the dessert and sold the
energy to others why can’t a small businessman?

Well, what I found out is that it isn’t quite possible to do
just yet. Why? Because the cost of the panels, property, labor
etc.. wasn’t low enough to make a profit for what you can sell
the energy for. The solar farm was more than likely subsidized
by the government. So I looked into the possibility of using
them on homes. This thought has been around for decades and you
do see the panels on more homes than you used to so I was
wondering if this was possible now. I found out that it just
takes too long for the average consumer to get their investment
back to consider putting solar panels on their homes.

The average time for a homeowner to get the money back on their
investment is anywhere from 12 years to 20 years. For this
industry to take off that figure I believe will have to go down
to around 5 to 7. Not that far really. It could actually go
below that.

Three things have to happen for the solar energy promise to
become a reality and for homeowners and entrepreneurs to decide
in large numbers to use solar panels to create electricity:

1. The price of the panels will have to decrease. 2. The panels
will have to improve and produce more energy. 3. The cost of
energy will have to increase.

Actually just one of these factors can happen to a great degree
and the other two stay constant and the point will be reached
where the solar energy industry will explode. But more than
likely, all three will come closer together and at some point
people will decide to start buying the panels in record numbers
and we will see this way of creating energy from a clean and
renewable source be common place.

Here is why I think the time is very near for this explosion to

1. There is a bill in the state legislature in California now
that will spend on rebates for solar energy. The
governor wants to show that he is in the front of this movement
and wants to be aggressive. Some don’t like the way the bill is
written, but there is a good chance it will pass. Click here for the

2. The panels are becoming more and more efficient at producing
more energy.

3. The price may go down dramatically if contracts with China to
produce the panels are put into place. Normally I don’t like our
jobs going oversees to people who only get fractions of what the
US worker makes but in this instance it will also create many
jobs here to install the panels, sell them, warehouse them
etc… Plus this is something the country needs I feel. Clean,
renewable energy that makes us less reliable on foreign oil and

Also, some companies are producing these new generation flexible
solar energy panels that come in sheets and can be rolled up and
then out onto surfaces. These may bring the cost way down and
make the instalation much more easy and cost efficiant. Here is
an article about this new product: Click Here

At what point will these three variables merge?

I predict in the next two to three years this industry will take
off like so many of us were hoping it would many years ago.

If you want to know how to install a solar electric panel system
to your house here is a inexpensive e-book that shows you how.
Here People can act now, and many already are by buying and
installing these solar panels. With the war on terror looking
like it could last decades many look upon this investment as not
only a clean green solution and a smart investment on increasing
the value of their home, but as almost a patriotic gesture in a
way to free us from the dependence on middle eastern oil and
natural gas. Here is a link to a terrific site where you can get
these panels at wholesale prices. This site has all sorts of
renewable energy sources at great prices.


Tim Phelan

Is a Wind Turbine Right for You?

January 22nd, 2010

You may have seen the many different small home wind turbines you are able to purchase in the shops, yet you may be undecided whether one of these small scale wind turbines is for you. Before purchasing a turbine, you should do some research regarding; can your environment make a turbine efficient enough, what alternative energy sources can you harness, and which technology is the best value for money.

Below we shall discuss each of the three points explained above in more detail, outlining the factors relating to each.

Wind turbines only generally work to their full potential in very few areas. To gain an efficient use of a turbine, you should do some in depth research and a site survey into how sustainable your environment is to support a wind turbine. For efficient placement of a wind turbine, you need to look into the average annual wind speed and direction. There are many references available to explain what speed the wind must be for different sized turbines. Wind direction is only a factor which relates to which position your place your turbine in, yet many modern small home turbines are very mobile and you can usually twist them to face the direction you prefer.

It will be well worth your time to browse the market looking for alternative renewable energy sources. This mainly depends on your budget, but solar panels are a very popular choice as either an addition, or a total replacement for a wind turbine. Solar panels generally offer you a greater pound per watt, and are also generally more efficient for home power production.

Deciding which technology is the best value for money, also ties in with the environment factor. You need to do research and decide which of the renewable energy sources is most in abundant in your region, for example if you live on a small island off the coast of northern Scotland, then you would more than likely choose a home wind turbine as you are exposed to strong winds, but if you live in the center of England (where wind speeds are usually quite low), you may opt for a solar panel.

So, as we can see here, many factors will decide on the right natural energy source for you. If you can afford to integrate renewable energy production methods into your home, it is strongly suggested, considering the current situation with global warming, that you make an attempt to install these more environmentally friendly appliances.

James Bratley


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Solar Renewable Energy – Sun Power

January 22nd, 2010

It is no secret that the sun can be harnessed to provide a source of energy for homes and businesses.

The sun is a powerful star. It supplies us with energy, through a process called nuclear fusion, and sustains life on our planet Earth. Solar energy, or energy from the sun, has existed since prehistoric times when men would magnify the sun’s energy in efforts to start fires.

The sun is a valuable resource that radiates enough energy on the United States in one day to meet the nation’s needs for one and a half years. Since it is a free, clean and renewable source of energy, it is an energy source that will play a vital role in our future.

Using the sun’s energy for our energy source seems like an easy solution to having an energy supply forever. Harnessing the suns energy is where the problem lies. The sun’s rays shine all over the world and not in just one spot. Although it takes only 8 minutes for sunlight to travel to the earth, trying to catch the rays over such a wide area can prove to be tricky. Also, the energy in any one given place will vary due to factors, such as, clouds and weather conditions.

The history of using solar energy began in 1890’s when solar water heaters were used in the United States. Solar water heating requires a storage collector and a storage tank. Flat plate solar collectors are mounted on rooftops. Pipes carrying water are pumped through these collectors. The tubes are painted black so they will get hot quicker. As the heat is collected the fluid in the tubes get heated. A storage tank holds the hot liquid. This helps with central heating and cutting fuel costs. Solar heaters became popular when natural gas was expensive and burning wood and coals were burdensome. It’s popularity diminished with the discovery of an abundance of natural gas and oil deposits. Now they are making a comeback to replace the depleting fossil fuels that had taken its place.

Solar energy can be in the form of heat energy or light energy. The technology of photovoltaic, or PV as it is commonly called, converts the suns energy into electric currents through the use of solar cells. These electric currents can be used instantaneously or stored for later use. The PV cells consist of pieces of silicon under a thin piece of glass. They have both a positive and negative charge. Simple examples of this are the solar powered calculators that are common today. More complex examples are solar panels placed on roofs. This consists of using thin film solar cells as rooftop shingles, roof tiles, and even glazing for skylights. Unfortunately, the cells generate only about one sixth of the sun’s energy into electricity. This means bigger arrays are needed and along with this come larger costs.

Solar thermal power plants use the sun to heat fluid, which in turn, is transferred into steam similar to fossil fuel burning plants. The steam is transformed into mechanical energy in a turbine and electrical energy from a generator. The downfall is solar plants cannot produce energy on cloudy days.

It is expected the next few years will see millions of households using solar energy. As research continues and processes improve, using our sun as a renewable energy source will produce efficiency and cost savings. So, let the sun shine in and take full advantage of this warm energy source where you live.

Matthew Hick


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Top 5 Green Energy Companies From 2008

January 22nd, 2010

Thousands of organizations and businesses are going the extra mile and spending the extra dollar to buy utility-scale energy from renewable resources. So much so that the United States E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency) compiles a quarterly list of the top green power companies from their Green Power Partnership program which came out in July 2008.

Some businesses take diminutive steps towards a green campaign, but these companies are proving their allegiance to a greener environment by voluntarily spending millions of dollars on clean energy.

  1. Intel purchased 1.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in January 2008. This compensates for 47 percent of the companies overall energy use.
  2. PepsiCo purchased 1.1 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2007, the equivalent of powering 90,000 homes for an entire year. This accounts for 100 percent of their annual energy use. PepsiCo was named Green Power Partner of the Year in 2007 by the E.P.A.
  3. U.S. Air Force has already purchasd 9 million kilowatt hours of electricity this year as of July 2008. They have invested in a number of biogas, biomass, geothermal, solar and wind energy providers.
  4. Wells Fargo has purchased 5.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity from wind energy providers thus far in 2008. They are also a green power Partner of the Year in 2007. More than green energy, Wells Fargo has made a number of other commitments to their green campaign including LEED certifying their buildings and offering online account statements.
  5. Whole Foods Market, the past two years has purchased enough green energy to compensate for 100 percent of their energy use, totalling to over 5 million kilowatt hours annually. The company is also investing in multiple other efforts to reduce their carbon footprint on the environment.

Other organizations ranking high on the E.P.A.’s list are Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson and the University of Pennsylvania.

Nick Tart

This Why We Need Alternative Energy Sources

January 22nd, 2010

The need for alternative energy sources is getting urgent, hence the development of renewable energy is moving fast. Nationally and internationally various individuals and research companies are creating new and exciting energy systems. Some of these apparatus are great works and need improving for massive use. Politician’s world-wide are drafting policies and are making agreements to make greater use of these energy sources.

The first problem is that the fossil fuels are depleting in a rapid rate and are harder to retrieve. The consequence is that we can be facing an energy crisis in the future is we are not careful today. The energy prices will sky rocket and not be available for many individuals or countries. To avoid this doom scenario we need to find alternatives and used them to their full potential. Luckily this is already happening.

The second problem is that the fossil fuels that are widely used today are harmful for the environment. In the early seventies and eighties there were people and even scientist who preach otherwise, but today the negative effects are showing. The earth is warming up and climates are changing. There are parts in the world were there be more rain and sunshine and others parts will be come dryer then they already are. Another negative effect is that the ozone layer is getting thinner which also leads to a warming up of the earth. These two effects compliment each other and make it even more crucial to make another step in a different direction. This step will lead us to the use of renewable energy.

Another problem lies in the development of small economies. Because the energy prices for crude oil are going through the roof, these countries suffer even more. Many of these countries need crude oil for their electricity and means of transportation. These high oil prices have their effect on almost everything. The monthly electricity costs for households increase among others like transport cost and prices for basic products. Hence, these high oil prices make it harder for these small countries to grow there economies.

The solution for the above problems can be resolved by renewable energy. Our beautiful planet gives us the opportunity to make proper us of sunlight, flowing water, strong winds, and hot springs and convert these into energy. These energy sources are abundant and free to use. We must be sure that we convert the energy the right way, without causing other problems that can again hurt our environment. Luckily the many efforts by individuals and companies show that this can be done.

Bryan Wong


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Will Innovation Transform Energy?

January 10th, 2010

Something big is going on throughout the energy business. It’s a great bubbling of innovation in every part of the industry. This bubbling is the brew of many different ingredients-from the impact of high prices and geopolitical uncertainty to the growing focus on “clean tech” and climate change. Will Innovation Transform Energy?

Though invisible to the consumer, an enormous amount of technological advance is embedded in every gallon of gasoline. Less than 30 years ago, the absolute “deep water” frontier for drilling was 600 feet of water.

Today, companies are working in what is called ultra-deep water, drilling through as much as 12,000 feet of ocean. Explorers can now use a new technology called WAZ-wide azimuth seismic-to “see” deep resources previously not visible through salt barriers thousands of feet below the seabed.

Companies are integrating a wide variety of information
technology capabilities to turn the “digital oilfield of the future” into the digital oilfield of the present, increasing efficiency and output. The large-scale conversion of natural gas into high-quality, diesel-like fuel is getting closer.

What is very visible today in the public’s eye is the innovation in renewables of every sort. Renewables received much attention in the 1970s and early 1980s, but faded away in the face of falling fuel prices and ample supplies. Their rebirth is partly the result of market forces. But it is also driven by continuing technology improvements and by mandates and subsidies from federal and state governments in the United States and the European Union, and by similar programs in countries like India, China and a growing number of other nations.

This year will certainly see the incentives and mandates expanded in the United States, as is already evident with the higher target for ethanol in the State of the Union speech.

The effects of the surge in alternatives are being felt in unexpected ways. Growth in renewables is going so fast that it is straining capacity in people, materials and supplies. If you want to order turbines and blades for windmills or silicon for solar photovoltaic cells today, you may have trouble finding supply. Livestock raisers and dairy farmers in the United States-along with Mexicans for whom tortillas are a staple are complaining about the sharp rise in the price of corn being fueled by rapid growth in corn-based ethanol production.

Renewables may be called “alternatives,” but they already constitute a considerable business. The one is that is well on the way to becoming conventional is wind power, which has gone through a considerable evolution over the last two decades. Along the way, costs have declined by a factor of ten.

Last year’s worldwide investment in wind and solar is estimated at over $40 billion. Yet, while the prospects for renewables are very large, they also need to be seen in context. In this case, the context is the huge scale of the overall system and the long lead times that are needed to develop any form of energy.

Moreover, these sources eventually have to establish themselves as economically competitive in the marketplace on a large scale. Even with all the advances, they are still a very small part of the overall energy mix. In the United States, wind is 1 percent of total electric generating capacity. But wind and the other renewables will continue to grow.
Underpinning the “great bubbling” is the rapidly growing spending on energy innovation.

A decade ago, I chaired a task force on energy research and development for the U.S. Department of Energy. That was a time of low interest in energy; and, not surprisingly, interest in the subject of our task force was also relatively low. After all, in the aftermath of the First Gulf War, there was little concern about the availability of future supplies. Climate change was hardly on the horizon as an issue. It’s a very different situation today. The reasons are multiple.

Prices and worry about supplies and energy security are important. So is the prospect of the vast growth in energy demand in Asia, which will change the global energy balance. Also looming large are environmental worries and the growing quest to reduce carbon emissions because of climate-change concerns.

All these factors mean that energy is now a major focus for technology investment. Governments and companies continue to be big players, and they are stepping up their investment. Research-and-development spending by the U.S. Department of Energy was $1.8 billion last year and is currently expected to grow by at least 25 percent in 2007-and could be even more with the new Congress.

And now there are new players: venture capitalists. The funding sources that brought immense innovation in information technology and life sciences-and created Silicon Valley along the way-are now honing in on the energy industry. To be sure, some prominent venture firms are standing back, saying that venture capital does not fit the longer time horizon and larger capital requirements of the energy business. But many others see this as their next frontier.

“Clean tech” is the new rubric under which much of this money is flowing, and the flows are increasing significantly. In North America, venture-capital investment in energy reached $2.1 billion in 2006-four times what it was in 2004, according to the Cleantech Venture Network. Venture capital is not merely a source of money; it is also a source of focused, results-driven discipline. This also means a wide diversity of ideas and technologies will be explored.

Inevitably, many of the new initiatives will end up being venture’s version of dry wells. That’s the character of research and development- and venture investing. The kind of surge we’re seeing today comes not only with hope but also with hype. This will remind some of the Internet boom. That boom left many deflated hopes and even more deflated valuations. But it also initiated a transformation of the way the world works.

And, by contrast, in the Internet boom there was often no clear idea of how to make money. It was about “firstmover advantage” and “land grabs.” This time, the opportunity is clear and can be measured against costs and prices in the marketplace.

The innovation frontier in energy is very broad. The systematic application of biology to energy is new, and could end up having a big impact. Ethanol is already being called a “firstgeneration” biofuel, and there is a growing debate as to the biology driven “second-generation” fuels.

Another area that will receive much greater focus is energy efficiency. This is building on a more solid foundation than may be recognized. It’s often said that the United States has made little progress on energy conservation or energy efficiency. In fact, the United States, along with countries like Japan, is twice as energy efficient as it was in the 1970s.

Much technological effort will go into the effort to double once again. This push is not limited to the United States. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made energy efficiency the centerpiece of her agenda as chairman of the G-8 nations and president of the European Union.

This “great bubbling” represents what is the broadest drive ever for energy innovation. It has the potential over a period of 10 or 15 years to work major transformations in how energy is produced, transported and consumed. But it is not a sure thing.

Two ingredients will likely be required if it is to have this effect. One is consistency-maintaining the level of financial commitment and stability over the cycles. And that gets to the second ingredient: Prices, and what people expect of them, will also be an important part of this brewing future. One way or the other, they will likely add much spice over the coming years.

Daniel Yergin


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Portable Solar Energy Power Stations

January 10th, 2010

Portable solar energy power stations may sound, to some, like a dream. They can think of many places where portable solar would be useful, such as the RV they love to take camping, or the boat they use for long fishing trips. They cannot imagine, though, that portable solar energy power stations actually do exist.

Portable solar energy power stations have many practical uses, which we will discuss later, but what is portable solar power?

Description of Portable Solar Power

Portable solar power is energy generated from sunlight, the generator being of a size and form that can be moved readily from place to place.

Most portable solar power units use photovoltaic panels (PV panels) in one way or another. Some are amazingly small, and can be carried in a pocket, while others must be moved on a flat-bed trailer or truck.

Examples of Portable Solar Power

You may already be using portable solar power without realizing it. The following are examples of different sizes and styles of portable solar power.

1. Pocket calculators have been using portable solar power for years. Expose the calculator to sunlight, and it stores solar power for use. You can then carry this solar power into a field or up a mountain track.

2. Garden lights, or lights around a swimming pool now use portable solar power. If you want to rearrange your lights, or you decide to carry one as a flashlight, the portable solar power goes with you.

3. A multipurpose portable solar power unit is the fold-out solar panel that can be carried in a case the size of your day planner. Wherever you take it, you can open the panel to charge your cell phone battery, GPS, or other similar “gadget” you carry.

4. “Powerfilm” products are paper-thin PV panels – further examples of portable solar power. These products can be easily carried to charge almost all Lithium, NiCad or NiMH batteries. You can recharge batteries for boom boxes at the beach or while camping. You can recharge your digital camera or camcorder while on a hike. As long as you have sunlight, you have portable solar power.

5. Flexible PV panels, rugged and durable, give portable solar power for hikers and campers. This portable solar power can be rolled up like a sleeping bag, and then set up anywhere. You can drop it, step on it, dampen it while crossing a stream – and it will still give you power.

6. Larger portable solar energy power stations can consist of one or more photovoltaic panels (PV panels), simple wiring for the input jack, and a battery – sometimes referred to as a power pack. A commercially-produced portable solar power unit like this may also include a small fluorescent light, and a connection to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter plug.

Examples of Innovative Portable Solar Power

Portable solar energy can, as we said, be carried with you. It can provide electrical energy when you travel to a remote third world village on business. It can provide military units with necessary electrical energy while they are on the move. It can power a small heater in a winter camping tent, or provide a reading light for campers. It is valuable and convenient.

As our demand for that value and convenience increases, portable solar power is becoming more innovative. Portable solar power is being added to clothing and backpacks. It is being added to handbags. You need never worry about cell phones, laptops or other electronics going dead again. Portable solar power is yours to use, anywhere, free.

Did you know about these products? Some are experimental, but others area on the market.

1. If you want “lady-like” portable solar power, you might choose the “Power Purse” as a lovely accessory. This purse is more than an accessory, though. It can power up small electronics. Designed by Joe Hynek in a handbag competition, this little black bag is covered with laminated portable solar power panels. It has a short plastic handle, and can easily be carried anywhere. Imagine the possibilities.

2. But a purse is not always appropriate. If you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a field, you might be happy to have the “Juice Bag” backpack on your shoulders. A Juice Bag is a worldwide patented portable solar power backpack. Flexible ballistic nylon solar panels make it lighter than solar bags with stiff glass solar panels. Take off your Juice Bag when you need to recharge items such as cameras, cell phones, or GPS units. It generates electricity in both direct and indirect sunlight.

3. Portable solar power is also available in a cozy jacket with multiple pockets. Hikers, military personnel, and travelers can fill the pockets with cell phone, GPS, laptop, camera, and other electronic devices. Then slip the 3 ounce portable solar power panel into a special holder on the back of the jacket, and you can generate energy for your electronics.

Portable solar energy power stations make use of these ideas and more. They may be large enough to generate sufficient electrical power for a small village, or small enough to be carried by a child. Whichever it is, portable solar power is definitely “on the go” in many places and in many ways.

Anna Hart


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Top 5 Green Energy Companies From 2008

January 10th, 2010

Thousands of organizations and businesses are going the extra mile and spending the extra dollar to buy utility-scale energy from renewable resources. So much so that the United States E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency) compiles a quarterly list of the top green power companies from their green power Partnership program which came out in July 2008.

Some businesses take diminutive steps towards a green campaign, but these companies are proving their allegiance to a greener environment by voluntarily spending millions of dollars on clean energy.

  1. Intel purchased 1.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in January 2008. This compensates for 47 percent of the companies overall energy use.
  2. PepsiCo purchased 1.1 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2007, the equivalent of powering 90,000 homes for an entire year. This accounts for 100 percent of their annual energy use. PepsiCo was named Green Power Partner of the Year in 2007 by the E.P.A.
  3. U.S. Air Force has already purchasd 9 million kilowatt hours of electricity this year as of July 2008. They have invested in a number of biogas, biomass, geothermal, solar and wind energy providers.
  4. Wells Fargo has purchased 5.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity from wind energy providers thus far in 2008. They are also a Green Power Partner of the Year in 2007. More than green energy, Wells Fargo has made a number of other commitments to their green campaign including LEED certifying their buildings and offering online account statements.
  5. Whole Foods Market, the past two years has purchased enough green energy to compensate for 100 percent of their energy use, totalling to over 5 million kilowatt hours annually. The company is also investing in multiple other efforts to reduce their carbon footprint on the environment.

Other organizations ranking high on the E.P.A.’s list are Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson and the University of Pennsylvania.

Nick Tart

Renewable Energy: The Energy Supply for the Future

December 21st, 2009

renewable energy is really getting the attention it needs. Today fossil energy reserves are depleting and focus is shifting to others sources of energy that replace these traditional energy sources. The focus is on these energy sources and not without reason. It is environmentally friendly and an almost unlimited source of energy. International energy ministers and advocates together with different non-governmental organizations and environmentalists are joining efforts to promote utilization of this energy. All over the world governments are awarding grants and incentives for the development of renewable energy systems.

But what is it? How do we use it today and how can we use it better in the future? Will it solve our energy problems we experience today? What price do we have to pay to these new energy sources? All these questions and more are hot subjects that are discussed by many all over the world. Let’s start here with the simplest question and answer it for you.

What is Renewable Energy?

This energy source has been used in many ways, but it has been taking for granted many years now. We usually don’t stop and think about these daily little miracles happening all around us. For instance the sunlight does wonderful things us. Sunlight helps us to grow our plants, fruits and vegetables. You can dry your clothes outside in the sun and white clothes even become whiter with sun rays. Every one loves to have fun in the sun, Disney World and Universal studio’s are build on location where there is a lot of sunshine and not without reason. Simply lying on the beach in the sun is done by many of us. Sunlight keeps us happy and when deprived from it humans become depressed. But sunshine can be used otherwise as well. You can convert sunshine into electricity and use it to power you home and can even give you hot water and heat your pool. Converting sunshine into energy is one of the new sources of energy.

Not only sunshine is seen as one of new sources of energy. The water we use for recreational purposes like kayaking can be used otherwise. This flowing water can also be used to generate energy.
Wind can also be used and is already used by several countries. In England and Germany the wind generators are placed on the shore where there is plenty of wind. There are also smaller wind generators available for home owners that can be used in addition to the traditional grid system.

All these mentioned energy sources are free to use to every one. Sunlight is available during the day and wind is available day and night. Flowing water can be more difficult to make use of because it is not available for every one. The availability of these sources depends where you live. You have to make sure you use the source that is applicable for your personal situation and can even combine several sources together to make the most of it. Although the sources are free, the devices used to convert these energy sources into usable energy for our homes are not. But nearly for all budgets there is a solution.

How does it work?

The traditional fossil energy sources such as coal and oil produce energy by means of combustion or burning fossil fuels. These sources work by directly converting the energy into useful forms. Sunlight is directly converted into electricity which can be used instantly.

Why do we need it?

There are several reasons why we need alternatives for the traditional energy sources. The fossil fuels reserves are diminishing and the demand for energy is rising and will increase even more. The fossil energy sources will become harder to find and even more expensive. To fight these high prices we need alternatives that are in abundance and cheap. Precisely, what these sources are: cheap and in abundance.

The combustion in traditional energy sources results in emission of harmful gases in our atmosphere that causes drastic changes in our climate. These reasons also prompt different governments to prioritize the use of renewable energy to avoid energy shortage, economic, and environmental problems.

Thus, these energy sources can go a long way in helping us achieve a stable and reliable energy supply in the future. The energy sources will be available for all and will be cheaper than traditional energy sources. What is even more important is that we will live in a world that is a better place, for us today and for future generations to come.

Bryan Wong


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Home Solar Energy: How the Electrical Current is Created (part 11)

December 20th, 2009

Popped from their “holes” in the silicon atom, electrons flow through solar PV cells connected in series to produce useful electric voltage. This concept and a little more is the focus of this article. The United States is at the beginning of a huge, wide-spread, pervasive switch to solar energy as a primary energy source for our homes. The manufacturing costs are down, awareness and need is up, and new options to rent solar systems versus having to buy them all line up perfectly.

How do solar PV cells create an electric current?

The remainder of this article explains some of the details related to the internal workings of solar cells and how their arrangement, when placed into a solar array mounted on your roof can make a big difference in the energy output of your solar system.

The internal electric field of the silicon diode creates a flow of electric charges only when sunlight photons strike the silicon. As the photons hit electrons in silicon bonds, they create hole-electron pairs that are free to separate and wander around the silicon lattice or crystalline structure. Free electrons wandering near the p/n junction are pushed in one direction by the internal electric field.

This movement of electronics as a result of the photoelectric effect results in a steady flow of electric charges moving in a circuit within the silicon structure, i.e. an electric current. The flow is directly proportional to the intensity of light and the energy conversion efficiency of the solar cells included in the solar PV panel. The greater the sunlight hitting the silicon atom the greater the number of electrons bumped free. Ultimately, this creates a greater number of electrons flowing in and out of the silicon and into the solar inverter.

This whole continuous movement of electrons illustrates why it is so important for all solar cells in a module or solar array to get the same intensity of sunlight. It is important for the solar panels to receive the sunlight from the same direction and not to be shaded by trees or buildings. The exact number of photons from the sun must must strike each solar cell in order to bump the corresponding number of electrons in the next solar cell. In essence, the photons from the sun hit the silicon and cause a chain reaction within the silicon.

The additional movement of free silicon electrons, in and out of the holes produced in the silicon atoms, creates the electric current and flow of energy. Think of a game of billiards; the pool player hits the white ball which in turn hits the green ball into the pocket. This occurs in a chain reaction fashion as you add more balls each hitting each other. The little twist here is the fact that the sun will continually hit the white ball (i.e. the sun photon hitting the silicon atom) as long as the sunlight hits the solar cell.

Solar PV Cells Connected in Series

Individual solar cells produce only a small amount of voltage. They are most commonly connected together in series, positive to negative poles within a solar array, to produce a useful electric voltage.

When photons of sunlight strike solar cells in a string, the internal electric field pushes the electrons out of the cells in a continuous flow through the string. The electrons moving through the silicon structure each gain about one half of a volt during the photoelectric process. The displaced electrons are collected in a grid pattern of wiring printed on the cells.

Module manufacturers connect enough solar cells in series in a single module to produce a useful voltage. The typical high voltage grid tied module has 72 cells in series. Electrons moving about the solar cells get about one half of a volt from each solar cells. After moving through 72 solar cells connected in series gain enough electric voltage to account for about 40 volts.

If more voltage is needed to produce useful electric current for home use, then solar modules can be connected in series. The most common solar energy unit configuration has a solar array connected in series with 8 other solar modules. This results in a final operational electric voltage of about 320 volts.

Solar Cells, Arrays, and Solar Modules Connected in Series

In the previous article, we explained a little about the Photoelectric Effect, where photons of light hit electrons in the silicon lattice and provide energy to flow. We also described how electrons flowing from one cell into the next cell in a module gain about 1/2 volt from each cell.

To Rent a Home Solar Energy System or Buy It

The Option to Rent a Home Solar Energy System is fast approaching as a viable option for home electricity needs. The American homeowner has the option to produce renewable energy from the sun by renting a complete solar energy system versus having to purchase one outright. This is an exciting solar rental service that allows the average homeowner to created their own solar generated electricity from the son and keep the energy savings they create.

Those who have a suitable location (i.e. good sun, enough roof space, and moderate energy needs), who follow the reservation steps, and who complete the requirements have a home solar system installed have good chance of getting a solar unit installed on their home on a rental basis.

Daniel Stouffer


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Shell CEO on Oil Outlook, Renewable Energy

April 1st, 2010

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser on off-shore drilling and building more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Duration : 0:7:21

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FRESNEL LENS Solar Cooking Fish Fry with the Sun Black Cast Iron Pan

April 1st, 2010
Denise had some fun cooking fish with a large Fresnel Lens. The Fish cooked from near frozen to perfect in about 4 minutes. Solar Cooking Video.

Music from, great production tracts for professional videos.

Duration : 0:4:22

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AWEA – Renewable Electricity, American Jobs

April 1st, 2010

Congress is considering legislation that would ensure that the U.S. gets a growing percentage of its electricity from renewable sources like wind power. This policy would create the first long-term commitment to renewable energy in America and would enable the growth of a new manufacturing base in the U.S., creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality American jobs. Go to to tell Congress that you support a national renewable electricity standard.

Duration : 0:2:32

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