Are Alternative Energy Homes The Future?

December 19th, 2009 | by ADMIN |

What mail do you hate the most living in a western modern world today? Chances are that you hate your monthly bills. What do hate even more? You probably hate seeing these bills getting higher each and every month. But what can you do about it; you need electricity, water, gas and heat. You would not be living a comfortable live in a western modern society without your lights, air-conditioning, TV, microwave, dishwasher and all other appliances that make your live enjoyable.

You could decide not to pay these bills, but that will not resolve the problem. You can even reduce the number of appliances used to a minimum and not heat you’re your home. If you live on your own that would not be problem, but if you’re a part of a family these drastic measures will not make you popular. Lucky for you there are alternatives. Today there houses available known as alternative energy homes.

These are houses that use today’s technology to provide you with free electricity and heat. That doesn’t sound great, it is! These homes convert power from different natural processes into electricity and heating. Alternative energy homes make use of sunlight, wind and biomass fuel to power their energy needs. Let’s look at how they do this.

First let’s look at solar power. Solar power can be used for heat and for electricity. To produce electricity the solar panels are placed on the roof of the house. These panels consist of photovoltaic cells that can convert sunlight directly into electricity. A modern pv cell can convert almost 80% of the sunshine into electricity. But what happens at night? The electricity that is converted during the day is stored into batteries. This allows you to use solar electricity when ever you need it, day or night.
Another step further is the use of turbines. The sun’s heat is then used to turn water into steam that runs turbines. The turbines then run generators, which produce electricity for the entire alternative energy home!
To heat a home a solar panel can be installed on the roof where water is heated. The hot water is then stored in a big tank which in turn is used for a central heating system and also for hot running water.
Another way to heat your home is to use solar collectors. The heat from the sun is then stored in special collectors. These systems are very effective. Some have even shown the capability to heat alternative energy homes in the middle of winter!

Second is wind power. To use wind power a windmill-type device is installed on the house or nearby. The wind-mill powers a turbine. This turbine produces the necessary electricity. And what happens when there is no wind? Just as with solar power, the energy is stored into batteries. These batteries ensure you with enough electricity.

By converting these widely available energy sources you can save a lot of money. The only upset is that you need to invest in equipment to convert these sources into the energy needed. This can be a substantial investment. In different countries and in the US you can receive tax credits or other tax benefits to reduce the total investment. But if you think of the alternative energy home as an investment you can’t go wrong. The price for your home will go up and your expenses are reduced and that’s what every home owner wants, increase the market value and reduce costs. Thus, your new energy provider is the future in more ways than one.

Bryan Wong

  1. 6 Responses to “Are Alternative Energy Homes The Future?”

  2. By carson123 on Dec 19, 2009 | Reply

    Why don’t people believe the partial use of solar energy can be a useful alternative or addition to a home?
    …Is it a true and good alternative? Is it just denial? Do they not want to change? Is it the initial cost? Does it need more time/study/research?
    What could it do for our country’s future energy needs?
    …I honestly want to hear your answers; please, no abusive or cynical answers…I really desire honest discussion.

  3. By Sage on Dec 19, 2009 | Reply

    Using solar to heat water is very cheap and cost efficient in areas that get enough sunshine.

    Solar panels for electricity have until now been the most expensive way of generating electricity. The panels are expensive, need maintenance and generally fail before their cost is recovered. It also requires wiring and storage devices which means using batteries.

    Therefore they do not recover their cost and produce problems when it comes to recycling the panels and batteries!

    That said the new technology now starting to come on stream is getting much more efficient and the panels are becoming cheaper to produce.
    References :

  4. By greatrightwingconspiritor on Dec 19, 2009 | Reply

    I’m not sure…I would LOVE to be able to lower my electric bill with solar, but I’ve heard its not all that effective right now. Years ago I bought a house that had a solar water heater. I ended up putting a regular water heater in and taking the solar panel off the roof, and my electric bill actually went down. Hopefully, 25 yrs later solar has gotten better. I have no doubt though that some ingenious American will come up with some type of advancement to make solar more economical and efficient..I’m waiting…
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  5. By Lincoln6 on Dec 19, 2009 | Reply

    As long as Oil & Gas Companies have fuel to sell you, they don’t want you to go nuts with the idea.
    References :

  6. By Randy F on Dec 19, 2009 | Reply

    Because right now solar energy is dc current and normal household juice coming in is ac. That means you’d have to have both appliances, lights etc for 2 types of current. If you use total solar power you have to have a battery system capable of storing juice for long periods and say it rains for a week you might be out of juice . It’s expensive right now to outfit your house for solar energy. When it becomes affordable and dependable a lot will use it and purchase the means to convert dc to ac or otherwise.
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  7. By roderick_young on Dec 19, 2009 | Reply

    Solar hot water is a no-brainer in areas like Hawaii. The payback time is like 3 or 4 years over an electric water heater. My grand-uncle got a solar water heater installed in the 30’s, and it kept working into the 1970’s.

    Solar electricity is a much more recent thing. I think it got a bad reputation earlier because of amorphous thin film panels that wore out quickly, high cost, and the requirement of having a battery bank. These objections are not so strong today.

    Crystalline silicon panels have a long life expectancy. Some panels of this type from the 70’s are still seen to be operational today.

    Costs have dropped dramatically, though solar electricity is still somewhat more expensive than the grid in most places. Amortized over the life of the system, solar tends to cost 20 – 25 cents per kWh. If the electric rates for a house are above that, then solar can save money. If the house has a tiered rate structure, and (say) every kWh beyond the first 300 costs more than that, then it makes financial sense to displace that portion of the electricity with solar.

    The vast majority – probably 95% – of installations today are grid-tied; that is, they do not use batteries. The house continues to use grid power, but with solar as a supplement.

    We put solar panels on our house in 2006, and are very happy with them.

    Will this get our country off foreign oil? No, cars need a portable fuel, and electric cars still need a lot more work. Maybe someday.
    References :

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