If you plan on going big, then there are a few steps that you will have to follow to find out about how many solar panels you will be needing to compensate for all the energy used in your home. Once you have this part down, it will all start to come together and become easier to understand how this all works.
1. Make a list of all the electrical appliances that you use, how many watts each one uses and estimate how many hours per day you use them. You can find the amount of watts it uses by looking at the label on the back or bottom of the electrical product. You'll be looking for omething that looks like (1450W) for example. Of course all the numbers will vary depending on how many watts that particular product uses. Some power adapters won't tell you how many watts it uses, instead is will tell you the amount of volts and amps. (for example +13v ... 1.3A) If this is the case, you will want to multiple the volts x amps to get your watts. Keep in mind all of these labels are slightly different, so if you are still having trouble on a particular appliance, check the manual or call the manufacture to get the amount of watts. The labels on the electrical items approximations, which is fine, but if you would like a more precise number, using a kill-a-watt electronic device works wonders! This device plugs into your electrical outlet, and then you plug the electrical item into the kill-a-watt meter and it gives you an exact reading of how many watts it uses. This meter is extremely handy and very inexpensive.
2. Multiply the total watts times the hours used for each particular electrical product. So for example if you use a radio for 2 hours a day while working out and it uses 14W, then you would multiply 14x2 to get a total of 28watts per day for the radio. Once you do this for each item, add them all up to get the total amount of watts that you use per day.
3. Look at the following table to determine the amount of average sunlight you get in your area.
4. Now divide the total amount of watts used per day as you figured out in step 2, by the average amount of sunlight. So if you use 1000 watts per day in your home and the average sunlight is 4.3, then you would do 3000/4.3=698. This means you will need atleast 698 Watts of solar panels to get enough solar energy to power your entire house.
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Concentrating solar power
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. The concentrated heat is then used as a heat source for a conventional power plant. A wide range of concentrating technologies exists; the most developed are the parabolic trough, the concentrating linear fresnel reflector, the Stirling dish and the solar power tower. Various techniques are used to track the Sun and focus light. In all of these systems a working fluid is heated by the concentrated sunlight, and is then used for power generation or energy storage.
Solar power has great potential, but in 2008 supplied less than 0.02% of the world's total energy supply. There are many competing technologies, including fourteen types of photovoltaic cells, such as thin film, monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, and amorphous cells, as well as multiple types of concentrating solar power.
Concentrating photovoltaics are another new method of electricity generation from the sun. Concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) systems employ sunlight concentrated onto photovoltaic surfaces for the purpose of electrical power production. Solar concentrators of all varieties may be used, and these are often mounted on a solar tracker in order to keep the focal point upon the cell as the Sun moves across the sky. Tracking is not required for concentrations of less than 2 to 5, but does increase flat panel photovoltaic output by up to 20% in winter, and up to 50% in summer.
Renewable Energy. Introduction to Green Energy
Solar Panels - Workings of the Photovoltaic Solar Cell
The majority of renewable energy technologies are powered by the sun. The Earth-Atmosphere system is in equilibrium such that heat radiation into space is equal to incoming solar radiation, the resulting level of energy within the Earth-Atmosphere system can roughly be described as the Earth's "climate." The hydrosphere (water) absorbs a major fraction of the incoming radiation. Most radiation is absorbed at low latitudes around the equator, but this energy is dissipated around the globe in the form of winds and ocean currents. Wave motion may play a role in the process of transferring mechanical energy between the atmosphere and the ocean through wind stress. Solar energy is also responsible for the distribution of precipitation which is tapped by hydroelectric projects, and for the growth of plants used to create biofuels.
Airflows can be used to run wind turbines. Modern wind turbines range from around 600 kW to 5 MW of rated power, although turbines with rated output of 1.5–3 MW have become the most common for commercial use; the power output of a turbine is a function of the cube of the wind speed, so as wind speed increases, power output increases dramatically. Areas where winds are stronger and more constant, such as offshore and high altitude sites, are preferred locations for wind farms.
Since wind speed is not constant, a wind farm's annual energy production is never as much as the sum of the generator nameplate ratings multiplied by the total hours in a year. The ratio of actual productivity in a year to this theoretical maximum is called the capacity factor. Typical capacity factors are 20-40%, with values at the upper end of the range in particularly favourable sites. For example, a 1 MW turbine with a capacity factor of 35% will only produce an average of 0.35 MW. Over a year, output would be .35x24x365 = 3,066 MWh instead of 24x365 = 8,760 MWh. Online data is available for some locations and the capacity factor can be calculated from the yearly output.
Energy in water (in the form of kinetic energy, temperature differences or salinity gradients) can be harnessed and used. Since water is about 800 times denser than air, even a slow flowing stream of water, or moderate sea swell, can yield considerable amounts of energy.
There are many forms of water energy:
- Hydroelectric energy is a term usually reserved for large-scale hydroelectric dams. Examples are the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State and the Akosombo Dam in Ghana.
- Micro hydro systems are hydroelectric power installations that typically produce up to 100 kW of power. They are often used in water rich areas as a Remote Area Power Supply (RAPS). There are many of these installations around the world, including several delivering around 50 kW in the Solomon Islands.
- Damless hydro systems derive kinetic energy from rivers and oceans without using a dam.
- Ocean energy describes all the technologies to harness energy from the ocean and the sea:
- Osmotic power or salinity gradient power, is the energy retrieved from the difference in the salt concentration between seawater and river water. Reverse electrodialysis (PRO) is in the research and testing phase.
- Vortex power is generated by placing obstacles in rivers in order to cause the formation of vortices which can then be tapped for energy.
- Deep lake water cooling, although not technically an energy generation method, can save a lot of energy in summer. It uses submerged pipes as a heat sink for climate control systems. Lake-bottom water is a year-round local constant of about 4 °C.
In this context, "solar energy" refers to energy that is collected from sunlight. Solar energy can be applied in many ways, including to:
- Generate electricity using photovoltaic solar cells.
- Generate electricity using concentrated solar power.
- Generate electricity by heating trapped air which rotates turbines in a Solar updraft tower.
- Generate hydrogen using photoelectrochemical cells.
- Heat and cool air through use of solar chimneys.
- Heat buildings, directly, through passive solar building design.
- Heat foodstuffs, through solar ovens.
- Heat water or air for domestic hot water and space heating needs using solar-thermal panels.
- Solar air conditioning
Plants use photosynthesis to grow and produce biomass. Also known as biomatter, biomass can be used directly as fuel or to produce biofuels. Agriculturally produced biomass fuels, such as biodiesel, ethanol and bagasse (often a by-product of sugar cane cultivation) can be burned in internal combustion engines or boilers. Typically biofuel is burned to release its stored chemical energy. Research into more efficient methods of converting biofuels and other fuels into electricity utilizing fuel cells is an area of very active work.
Solid biomass is most commonly used directly as a combustible fuel, producing 10-20 MJ/kg of heat. Biomass can also be used to feed bacteria, which can transform it in another form of energy such as hydrogen, using a process called Fermentative hydrogen production.
Biogas can easily be produced from current waste streams, such as paper production, sugar production, sewage, animal waste and so forth. These various waste streams have to be slurried together and allowed to naturally ferment, producing methane gas. This can be done by converting current sewage plants into biogas plants. When a biogas plant has extracted all the methane it can, the remains are sometimes more suitable as fertilizer than the original biomass.
Geothermal energy is energy obtained by tapping the heat of the earth itself, both from kilometers deep into the Earth's crust in some places of the globe or from some meters in geothermal heat pump in all the places of the planet . It is expensive to build a power station but operating costs are low resulting in low energy costs for suitable sites. Ultimately, this energy derives from heat in the Earth's core.
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What's Included In The Earth4Energy pack :
1. Introduction To Solar Energy
2. Building Your Solar Panel
• Detailed plans complete with color diagrams and pictures.
• Easy to follow instructions that will answer all your questions.
• Build a solar panel for as little as $98. We will even explain how you can build it for less!
3. Solar Help Package
This package consists of 5 extra resources that will help you along the way.
Solar Panel installation And Mounting
This guide will show you how to fix the solar panels to your roof just like the professionals do. This fully illustrated guide is a must have for a complete and secure install.
Electrical Wiring Plans
To safely wiring up your solar panels you are going to need to know a few things first, that's why this guide is so important.
The Solar Calculator
We have even developed a solar calculator for you to use. This will show you how many panels you will need to power your home and what size battery bank you will need if you want to go completely off-grid.
Just key in some details and press calculate!
Energy Consumer Guide
This guide is going to help you calculate just how much money solar energy can save your household.
Solar Tax Credits And Rebates
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-With a ground mounted system if the area gets enough sunlight and clear from obstructions.
-Mounted on the roof, which requires holes through the roof and mounted into the rafters
-With thin film solar panels that are literally glued to the top of your roof Ground Mounted System
With ground mounted solar panels, they are affixed on poles that are cemented into the ground. There are a couple different options you can choose from if you decide to go with a ground mounted solar panel system.
Static Mounted System
The most cost efficient is just using a static setup that point the solar panels in the most efficient area for sunlight exposure. There are a few different variations of this type of system, for example your solar panels could sit on top of a single pole, on the side of a single pole, or panels on multiple adjustable, supporting legs. You would just choose whatever works best for your situation.
Active Solar Tracker
For a few thousand dollars you can purchase Active Solar Trackers which are ground mounted,however, they have a special optical sensor that follows the sun throughout the day and maximizes the energy absorbed. Keep in mind the more mechanically complicated the system is, the more that could go wrong with it. This type of ground mounted system is best for individuals who are handy or know of someone that could maintenance it.
Passive Solar Tracker
Another more costly option, but not as much as the Active Solar Trackers are Passive Solar Trackers. This type of system uses the sun's heat to move liquid from side to side inside the tracker, allowing gravity to turn it and follow the sun, using no motors, no gears and no controls to fail. By using either type of solar tracker you'll help your solar panel get the most sun possible throughout the day as it automatically points your solar array to a perpendicular line with the sun.
Mounted on Roof
Solar panels can be mounted on many different types of roofs. Shingle roofs are the easiest to work with and tile roofs can be a bit more challenging. Ideally it would be best to have the solar panels installed while your in the process of having your roof built, but the majority of us aren't sitting at our computer desk looking up at the stars, so let's move on.
The mounts will go through the roof with stainless steel bolts that are secured into the rafters. It can be a tricky process locating the rafters on your roof so if your not experienced or know a little about carpentry, you could Google different ways to find the rafters and do whatever you feel the most comfortable with or try to find a friend or relative to give you a hand. Another option is finding the closest solar panel installation company and pay them to do it.
Thin Film Panels Glued on Roof
Although thin film solar panels don't absorb the sunlight with as much efficiency as others, there are a lot of benefits to installing these types of solar panels. Unlike monocrystalline panels, you don't have to mount the thin film solar panels on your roof. The thin film panels are literally glued onto the roof which means no holes. Putting holes in your roof can void your warranty and even damage it if it’s not done correctly. Also, thin film solar panels don't weigh as much as other
panels that contain large amounts of silicon with structural support. Thin-film panels work better than conventional panels in very hot climates, such as Southern Nevada and Arizona. Thin film solar panels also do a better job of producing energy at the beginning and end of the day during times of non-direct sunlight.
SOURCE : (www.solarpaneltalk.com)
Monocrystalline Solar Panels are made from a large crystal of silicon. These type of solar panels are the most efficient as in absorbing sunlight and converting it into electricity, however they are the most expensive. They do somewhat better in lower light conditions then the other types of solar panels.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels are the most common type of solar panels on the market today. They look a lot like shattered glass. They are slightly less efficient then the monocrystalline solar panels and less expensive to produce. Instead of one large crystal, this type of solar panel consists of multiple amounts of smaller silicon crystals.
Amorphous Solar Panels consist of a thin-like film made from molten silicon that is spread directly across large plates of stainless steel or similar material. These types of solar panels have lower efficiency then the other two types of solar panels, and the cheapest to produce. One advantage of amorphous solar panels over the other two is that they are shadow protected. That means that the solar panel continues to charge while part of the solar panel cells are in a shadow.
These work great on boats and other types of transportation.
Efficiency of Solar Panels Types
Solar Panel efficiency is the percentage of solar energy that is captured and converted into electricity. It's difficult to give an exact number, so the numbers below are an average percentage of efficiency that the different types of solar panels output. Thin film solar panels will generally degrade approximately 1% each year, where as crystalline panels degrade at approximately .5% . Below are the approximate percentages for each type of solar panel:
Monocrystalline Solar Panel- 18%
Polycrystalline Solar Panel- 15%
Amorphous (thin-film) Solar Panel - 10%
You’ve probably seen more than a few of them on the roads now, and in increasing numbers: RVs with an RV solar panel attached to their roofs. And if you have an RV of your own, you’re doubtlessly wondering how you can get one of those panel RV solar setups yourself. Well you can. And here’s what you need to know so you can do it.
The first thing to realize is that you are probably not going to be able to generate enough power to fill all your electricity needs for a whole day with your new RV solar panel. A single 50 watt RV solar panel will generate approximately 200 watts of power per day (given sunny circumstances, that is), especially when you consider that it is only during the heat of the day, when the sun is highest in the sky, that the RV solar panel will get the bulk of its charge.
Now, 200 watts is certainly nothing to shake a stick at. Far from trying to discourage you from undertaking this admirable task, we just want to advise you go into it with realistic expectations. The purpose of an RV solar panel should be to supplement your available power, not provide all of it.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to first sit down and figure out how much supplemental power you’d (realistically) like your RV solar panel system to generate for you. How much power are you planning to run? What is the wattage on your TV, fan, blender, etc. and how long do you intend to run each of them in one day. If you think you’ll be using 800 watts, for example, then you’ll need to install 4 panels. If you live in less sunnier climes, you may need more.
The best and most resourceful idea is to get yourself a deep cycle battery (or two or three) so that you can charge up when the sun’s out and an inverter so that you can plug right in and utilize the solar power you’ve collected whenever you need it, even if it’s dark or raining out.
Be sure, however, that either your batteries or your RV solar panel have a charging controller that will meter the charging process and shut it down before you overcharge your batteries. Barring that, an additional battery charge meter is invaluable. Without one, you risk prematurely reducing the lifespan of your RV solar panel batteries.
When you install the panel RV solar, tilt it upwards so that you can catch the most sun during its peak hours (11am-3pm) when it’s highest in the sky. Do also take care to keep in mind the new height of your RV now that it’s got an RV solar panel on top of it. The last thing you want to do is smack that into a low underpass, right?
Article Source: http://www.solarpanelarticles.com