Category Archives: Solar energy

Saudi Arabia Set to Build the World’s Largest Solar Project


Conferring to a recent information which was produced from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), Saudi Arabia is a big country that produces a large percentage of the world’s oil and it also occupies the second position as the world’s oil-producing nation. It is also necessary to know that this country also gets 60% of its own electricity from petroleum.

However, Saudi Arabia recently signed the Paris Agreement action plan, but it was seen as not been enough or sufficient according to the Climate Action Tracker late last year. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia is set to become one of the revolutionary countries to take a great action against climate change by building the biggest solar project in history.

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On Tuesday, the country publically declared that it is making plans to build the world’s largest solar project in conjunction with Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank, Bloomberg reported.

In another report by Bloomberg, it is estimated that Saudi Arabia’s project will be built in the county and the project is said to produce more than 150,000 jobs and also 200 GigaWatts of power by 2030, which is more than the next biggest project in Australia, called the Solar Choice Bulli Creek PV Plant.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to know that this is an important step in combating climate change and the Saudi Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman stated to Bloomberg that, “it’s bold and risky and we hope we can succeed in this project that we are about to undertake.

Making use of the solar energy is a reasonable choice by the Saudi government. However, due to the fact that the country’s capital, Riyadh, has an average of 8 to 9 hours of sunshine every day, the country will be greatly affected by climate change if global temperatures hit a point above 1.5 degree centigrade.

The Climate Action Tracker has a made it known that if the temperature of the world increases to three or four degrees Celsius, about 75% of the country, Saudi Arabia, would greatly turn to desert a nation at the end of the century. This is true, due to the excessive temperature as a result of climate change which would greatly make the environment inhabitable.

Saudi Arabia has a high level of sunshine and large lands which can be exploited by different works of life, like engineers. It also has a powerful labor force, and above all, the country has great plans for the future,” said SoftBank pioneer, Masayoshi Son, in a new project, which was reported by Bloomberg.

In accordance to the great future plans by the country, Fortune has made it clear the summary of all the total solar power projects that exist in the world is close to 400 gigawatts, thus, only doubling the solar power project produced by Saudi Arabia. Another great fact is that Saudi Arabia’s solar power project also quadruples China’s Tengger Desert Solar Park, which is currently the biggest solar power installation and it generates more than 2 gigawatts. Due to the fact that Saudi’s project will produce about 7.2 gigawatts by next year, it will surely surpass the Chinese Tengger Desert, Solar Park.

Although the Saudi’s solar project will certainly cost more than $200 billion; the country is making efforts to achieve its dream despite what it might cost them. In addition, the country would have to purchase solar panels from other countries, and it will also need to produce the battery capacity to the store the solar energy from the sun. it also necessary to keep in mind that the first part of the project will actually cost $5 billion, although, $1 billion will be gotten from the Vision Fund, which Saudi Arabia and the SoftBank are joint investors in.

Furthermore, SoftBank pioneer made it known that the reason why he is collaborating with the Saudi government is that the project that they are about to embark on is actually worth it. Also, the pioneer also said that “The project itself will fund its own expansion and it is a great project that will be worthwhile” This project will not only benefit the Saudi government alone but to the whole world. Nevertheless, as at the time when the Saudi government announced its plans to build the world’s largest solar power project, almost all nations in the world have been astonished.

The Saudi government’s bold investment in solar power greatly shames the U.S., which is now the world’s largest oil-producing nation, according to the EIA data.

Nevertheless, ever since the inception of climate change, the world is beginning to come together to climate change, but the present American government under the leadership of President Donald Trump is not in one accord in the fight against climate change. Instead of encouraging the solar industry to produce more innovative plans powered by solar energy to decrease the manufacturing oil fossil fuels, the American government has announced that 30% tariff should be placed on imported solar panels this January.

Image credit: pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

How Much Solar Panels Can Save You [Infographic]


When it comes to solar panels, the question isn’t whether you’ll save money if you install them — the question is how much can you potentially save with this popular alternative to utility power.

The increasing frequency of natural disasters and the ever looming threat of terror attacks have some observers speaking out against what they perceive to be the vulnerability of the nation’s utility systems. And even if you don’t make much of such doom-and-gloom scenarios, there’s no question that solar panels can save you money and give you some independence.

Savings

Without a solar panel system installed, the average family spends $1,400+ annually on electricity. But with a solar panel system installed, the average family can save an average of $100 monthly. Over two decades, they can save up to $30,000. So, the savings are there.

Installation

As it turns out, many people sitting on the fence remain perched there because they have a hard time justifying the cost of installing solar panels. Consider that homeowners paid between $2.87 and $3.85 last year to install solar and that the installation cost for a 10kW solar energy system was $32,600. The Federal Solar Tax Credit chopped that amount by about 30%, but the purchase and installation costs are still quite substantial. Even so, the money spent can be recouped over time. It should be noted, however, that the effectiveness of solar panels is partly a function of, among other things, the amount of direct hours of sunlight they’re exposed to.

The Investment that Keeps Growing

It’s clear that you can save a tangible amount by going solar. When you also mull over the fact that electricity prices tend to increase annually and that you can be charged more if you use electricity during certain parts of the day, you can appreciate all the more how your savings with solar panels stand to increase annually.

Consult Professional

When you’re ready to install solar panels on your property, be sure to consult a professional who has demonstrable experience. And don’t be shy about asking for recommendations. You’ll want a professional who can calculate your energy needs so that you end up with the right system. Something to consider is that you can start small and scale up as resources become available. So, if you want to go solar but don’t have the money to do everything at once, you can install as many panels as you can afford and then add more capacity as you’re able.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

The Explosion of Renewable Energy Industry


The term energy is by definition the amount of motion, labor, transformation a human being, a machine or even a system can exert. In the electrical energy sector, the power generated is counted by kilowatt (kWh). Electrical energy has become an indispensable part of our daily life on the earth and the universe without it everything will stand still. What is incredible about energy that it cannot be produced! Energies are only changeable and convertible to other forms and other manifestations.

Given that, in planet earth, there are two types of energies: nonrenewable energy (Fossil Fuel and its derivations) and renewable energies. The latter as its name explains, is generated from sheer nature. It is true that not all sustainable energies are derived from the sun but basically solar energy is the most known and prominent energy source. In addition to solar energy (thermal and photovoltaic), we can talk about wind energy, biomass, hydroelectric power (from water), geothermal and other forms.

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Obviously, the world needs energy eagerly. Thus whether renewable or not, these source of powers are used in majority of case to supply the huge demand of electricity.

Why countries are going green?

Consumers think first and for most about the quality price relationship. Green energies are cheaper this is a fact. For the market prices, renewables present a stabilizer of energy prices. Renewables are the market equilibrium creator.

Moreover, companies of solar power for instance are providing the best collectors and panels to the consumers. These renewable energy companies are building a bright reputation. Other would think about the hazardous impact of fossil fuel on the planet. Greenhouse emissions are catastrophic on the environment. The repercussion of these emissions on global warming is tremendous. For these reasons, countries and consumers in general are shifting into the green choice.

A Global Decision of Renewable Energy Orientation

The criteria of renewable energy industry

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy orientations would be a reality that is concretized by 40 per cent of total global energy generation by 2040. This is almost half of total the power generation of the world. This is apparently, an explosion in the renewable energy industry. Consequently, the portion of electrical generation using green energy is planned to be the fastest among other resources.

The criteria that make the renewable energy industry more prominent than nonrenewable energy are a lot. Namely, the criteria are: more technological advancements, risk management assets, advanced monitoring systems, sustainability and positive environmental influences. Taking the case of First Solar that is one of the top renewable energy companies; it produces 89-98% less CO2 emissions comparing to nonrenewable energy generation emissions.

Distinguishable feature of renewable energy industry

One of the most distinguishable feature of renewable energy is that energy generation producer and consumer lines have become blurry. Thereupon, thanks to green energy installation the consumer has become a beneficiary of both self-energy satisfaction and energy production. This is due to the fact that any excess of energy produced can be sold to the neighbor circle.

Knowing that there is a drastic increase in the energy demand in the world. Therefore, the need to renewable energy is expanding too. In explicit numbers, sustainable energy investments seize two thirds of worldwide market investment in the global energy sector.

Rapid Growth of Renewable Energy Sector

Facts and numbers about renewables sector

China and India are the biggest solar photovoltaic (PV) power generators in the world, but also they are the biggest consumers of energy.

As far as European Union (EU) is concerned, the green industry is supplying about 80 per cent of the energy generated. To be more precise, wind power would become the chief power source of electricity by 2030 in Europe. This is why European Union countries such as Germany are inaugurating the biggest offshore and onshore wind farms in the globe. Of course, these plans are consolidated by encouraging strong regulations and policies.

Equally important, renewable energy companies are not only providing electricity (direct energy needs) but also a set of other essential needs. To enumerate, renewables can be useful to heat water, to use for electric mobility (cars and means of transportation) and even for food dehydration systems and wine industry etc. IEA has found that, for example, Brazil portion of renewable energy (in its direct or indirect use) is increasing from 39 per cent to almost 45 per cent by 2040.

Baring in mind that the global population will reach 9 billion human being by 2040, one should strongly think about the global supply of energy. Together with the growing number of cities around the world, the energy industry is certainly going to witness the fastest growth and explosion ever.

Is it possible to go 100 percent green?

According to CDP (used to be called Carbon Disclosure Project), around 40 city in the world are now totally free of CO2 of fossil fuel emission. These countries have adopted fully the renewables. The list includes Burlington, Vermont, Atlanta and San Diego. Other cities are planning to be 100 percent green by 2030. For now numerous countries are almost 70 percent green. The list includes Seattle; Eugene, Oregon; and Aspen, Colorado, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, North Vancouver and Prince George, British Columbia.

To conclude

The electrical energy sector is a swing market among energy sector in general. Although renewable energies are expanding, the demand is sometimes decreasing. The decrease is due to the market economy crises, orientations, policies, taxations, infrastructure, culture and awareness. The energy industry is more and more challenging and controversial. However, no one can deny that there are hopeful signs of an emerging and insightful green culture in the horizon of world.

The world is in front of a dangerous environmental diversion.  It is a crossroad that humanity should think about it deeply and decide which road to undergo. If we are going to undergo the green path and substitute fossil fuels, we are in the right direction. Otherwise, humanity is in a great danger.

It is true that this cannot be done overnight, however, it is not impossible. The suitable infrastructure, sufficient political determination, the will to change are the bases of this great decision. Furthermore, renewable energies are a very effective way towards decentralization of energy. Under those circumstances, The combination of friendly environmental decisions and energy sufficiency is the successful recipe of well-being.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Energy Efficient Campgrounds in the US


When you search and book campgrounds for your vacation or adventure, you want to find a space that fits your goals. If you want to enjoy an energy efficient camping experience, you must start with campgrounds and RV parks that offer efficient solutions for your experience. By selecting a campground with solar panels, wind energy or alternative energies, you will enhance your holiday or vacation experience.

Here we have listed few energy efficient campgrounds in the US that will not only help you to reduce your carbon footprint but also make your vacation more memorable.

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The Auburn RV Park

Part of the fun when you enjoy camping is the natural setting and environment. The desire to preserve the beautiful surroundings is the key reason you want to consider RV parks and campgrounds with energy efficient solutions. The Auburn RV Park in Auburn, California is an example of an energy efficient campground.

The campground uses solar energy to help reduce carbon emissions and power microwaves, air conditioning and other electric devices. The campground noticed that the cost of electricity has risen in recent years and decided to invest in solar panels. Although the campground has not yet seen a return on the investment, they expect that it will eventually help with costs. It is particularly important at Auburn RV Park because they have larger RVs visit their campground and the RVs use a greater amount of energy.

Carlsbad KOA

Carlsbad KOA in New Mexico is one of the highest rated RV parks for their energy efficient system. The RV park uses wind energy to power electronics and devices throughout the park.

The use of wind energy gives them the flexibility to cut back on the use of other energy sources. Their goal is providing a clean energy source for their visitors to limit fuel emissions and to maintain the natural environment.

Buttonwood Campground

The Buttonwood Campground in Pennsylvania is taking the step to improve their energy efficiency. The campground invested in solar panels with the intention of using the panels for hot water and electricity. They are also using an 18-kilowatt system for solar energy. That allows them to store a certain amount of energy from their solar power.

An advantage at the Buttonwood Campground is the beautiful natural settings. The campground plans to preserve the stunning Juniata River Valley by using energy efficient systems and solar panels. They offer interesting events and activities throughout the year to fit your schedule and plans.

Clay’s Park Resort

Clay’s Park Resort is a campground that strives to improve their energy efficiency. They decided to invest in solar panels to heat water and for electric power. The park uses the solar energy to heat the pool and for other water sources. It decided to switch from chlorine in the pool to saline, which reduces the amount of chemicals used by the RV park.

The RV park does take their goals to improve efficiency further by changing out their heating system. They decided to remove the original propane heating system in their office in favor of a wood burning stove that uses clippings from the trees around the campground.

Sandy Pines

Sandy Pines in Michigan is a campground that focuses on sanitation and energy efficiency. The beautiful campground has changed out the water in the pools from chlorine to saline. The saline pool has a filtration system to keep the water clean for campers. They are also using a geothermal system for their heating and cooling throughout the year.

Geothermal systems use the earth as a source of energy. It allows the campground to heat and cool different spaces at various times in the year. That gives the campground more flexibility and helps cut back on energy costs.

Jellystone Park

Jellystone Park is a campground and resort in Maryland is another campground that strives to enhance their efficiency and start working on green projects. The park takes the time to gather aluminum cans, plastic bottles, cardboard and other recyclable materials. It then recycles the materials through a non-profit organization that works with individuals who have developmental disabilities.

The goal at Jellystone Park Camp and Resort is helping others in their local community. They take the time to work with different groups that help those who have disabilities. They also focus on improving their campground through recycling programs that reduce materials in landfills.

Grand Haven Resort

The Grand Haven Resort in Ohio has decided to start working on energy efficiency and green projects. The campground geothermal heating and cooling systems for their front desk, fitness center and outdoor pool. A key reason for their switch to energy efficient systems is the reduced cost. Since the campground has roughly 2,880 square acres of land, the energy costs added up quickly. They have reduced their expenses with the geothermal system by 90 percent.

An advantage of campgrounds that use an energy efficient system is a lower cost. Geothermal systems reduce heating and cooling costs by a large percentage and allow the campground to use more funds to maintain the space.

The Cooperstown Beaver Valley Cabins and Campground

If you want to enjoy a campground in New York with a beautiful natural setting, the Cooperstown Beaver Valley Cabins and Campground are a good choice for your goals. The campground has focused on energy efficiency for years and started with a recycling program in 1988. They maintain their commitment to the environment by recycling cans and bottles. They also focus on composting to reduce waste and help the environment.

The owners of the campground focus on conservation efforts by taking measures to maintain the 300-acre campground. They also recycle materials to build up parts of their campground. When music festivals, colleges and other buildings decide to throw out certain materials, they obtain the materials for their building projects. The campground also uses energy efficient lighting and prefers to confirm reservations through email to cut back on paper waste.

When you want to find the perfect campground for your vacation, you do not need to give up on energy efficiency or environmentally friendly surroundings. You can search and book campgrounds that use solar panels, geothermal systems and wind energy as part of their core value. You can also find campgrounds that believe in recycling to help reduce waste in local landfills. Make your next adventure exciting, fun and energy efficient by focusing on the campgrounds that meet your high standards.

Image credit: pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

18 Innovative and Eco-friendly Business Ideas For 2018


18 Innovative and Eco-friendly Business Ideas For 2018

The world is faced with a dire climatic change due to the destruction of the ozone layer as a result of the emission caused by harmful gases into the atmosphere. In order to have a sustainable life in the current world, people should adopt lifestyles that will ensure the promotion of healthy living and dissuade pollution. The key to attaining this goal is crafting and investing in eco-friendly business ideas. Plus, there should be a myriad of projects and initiatives to ensure eco-friendly investment opportunities as well as living is encouraged.

Accordingly, all the stakeholders and pioneers in various business sectors need to step up including the entire business community. Particularly, the sectors needs to see to it that the initiative of going green is reached by all means necessary. As much as installing eco-friendly measures are ideal, the whole business sector must invest in going green.

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In this article, 18 innovative and eco-friendly business ideas for 2018 are outline, which can go a long way in ensuring the world is on the right track towards achieving green living goals.

1. Start Air Duct cleaning

Dust and dirt in the air can clog the air ducts that are installed in homes or offices. This lower the efficiency of the air conditioner and results in the use of a lot of energy to drive the gadget. The business idea would require regular cleaning of the air ducts to ensure less energy consumption. Also, with proper marketing, both private homes and offices would be willing to hire an expert for the service because it ultimately helps to saves on energy bills.

2. Sale of Energy Saving Bulbs

This idea is very lucrative in 2018 since majority of the households enjoy electricity in their homes. A lot of consumption of electricity subsequently leads to an increase in the electric bills. To avoid this, individuals seek energy saving electric bulbs that use electricity but reduce the energy they use and still provide electricity thus saving on bills.

Besides, this is a business that can thrive in almost any part of the world since even without electricity; one can use the bulbs to conserve energy in homes that use solar panels to harness energy.

3. Start publishing Environmental related magazines and journals

An entrepreneur who has an interest in making money and still promote the environment can venture into the business of publishing environmental magazines and journals. There is a lot of information out there that has not reached the global world. It therefore means that the level of misinformation and ignorance about the environment creates the need to invest in this venture.

The materials can be useful in enlightening individuals and other entities on the importance of conserving the environment and the various ways to go about the same. With the right clients and targeted audience, the sale of such material would fetch a good income.

4. Start Cardboard Recycling Business

This is a move that ensures there is optimal use of the cardboard by recycling those that would go to the landfill or already in the landfills. Plus, there is a lot of waste cardboards lying around, which pollutes the environment. Thus, the business of recycling means less waste in the land and creates an opportunity for people to make a living from the process. Cardboard can be recycled for reuse and can be used in the manufacture of cardboard related materials such as books.

5. Offer Environmental Consultancy

This business idea requires the entrepreneur to be well versed academically in the field of environmental studies. There are a lot of individuals and organizations that are willing to seek the services of a consultant to learn the various ways to improve the environment and how to maintain it. The entrepreneur can seek a fee per every consultation done while at the same time aiding in promoting the health of the environment as well as make decent money.

6. Sale of Used Books

A willing entrepreneur in this area does not need a high startup for capital. Instead, they should seek to find people with books they do not need and then find the market for people who need them. The constant disposal of books is bad for the environment not only because it pollutes the land but also because there is a lot of energy used to produce, design, and publish the books. The entrepreneur can also get innovative and use the internet to market the books.

7. Sale of Organic Products

Currently, there is a dire need to use products that are inorganic to preserve the environment. This translates to a high demand for the organic products. It thus qualifies as a good business idea with products ranging from hair products, food products to cleaning products.

8. Sale of Recycle Bins

There are a lot of items in homes that need to be disposed. Some of these stuffs can be recycled again, for instance, plastics and paper bags. Consequently, there is a need to have recycle bins in homes, office buildings, and public spaces such as bus stops and train stations to ease waste collection. The entrepreneur must be knowledgeable of the area to realize where some of these items will be taken for recycling to boost his/her profits.

9. Sale of Recycle Plastic Bottles

This is one of the most thriving businesses that an entrepreneur can start that will conserve the environment. For starters, there are very many plastic bottles in the landfill that were used to carry water, coffee, juices or even chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides. Further, there are a lot of products that can be made from plastics which will last longer like plastic chairs. Nevertheless, the success of this idea will depend on how the demand of the plastics is and how profitable it is per area.

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10. Start Ink-Refill Business

Blue-chip companies as well as offices do a lot of paperwork, which in the end means a lot of printing is needed. The business would ensure regular filling of the ink cartridges of the various offices thus discouraging the purchase of cartridges, which are disposed of once ink has been bought.

11. Open a Recycling Plant

There are entrepreneurs who have solely ventured into the transportation of recycle materials to the recycle plant. Nonetheless, an entrepreneur can also seek to start a recycling plant which is more profitable. The plant will not only aid reduction of landfill in the environment but will also see to the evolution of new materials, which can be sold.

12. Open a Movie Download Shop

With the current modernization in the world, the majority of people are willing to download movies and music rather than buy CD’s, which are disposed after use. In addition, a lot of energy is consumed in the making of these casings and storage devices. The business would prove fruitful to the entrepreneur since with good bandwidth speeds, it is very easy to download movies and sell to people.

13. Open a Biogas Plant

Biofuels are friendly to the environment since they do not entail the emission of a lot of poisonous gases in the air. However, a proper feasibility study should be conducted by the entrepreneur before venturing in this business. Some of the essentials are waste materials for recycle and the market for the biofuel. The entrepreneur can charge both for the collection of the wastes and for the energy produced.

14. Open an Energy Auditing Firm

People are willing to save on the energy they use in their house. As such, setting up of a firm that confirms the amount of energy used in a household is a lucrative deal and people would be willing to part with a small fee rather than incur high energy costs.

15. Start Retailing and Installation of Solar Panels

Electric bills are an issue that most people face at the end of every month. The more the use, the more the bills. As a result, most people prefer solar energy since it is natural and does not involve any energy emissions in its conversion. It is also cheap to buy the solar panels. An entrepreneur can exploit this and deal in solar panels and also offer installation services at a fee.

16. Start a Paper Recycling Business

There is a lot of paper littering polluting the environment. A paper recycling venture will therefore entail the collection of waste paper in the environment and selling it or converting it into useful materials. This is one of the most encouraged recycle businesses because it saves on trees. Trees are the major balancing components of the ecosystem and as such, any move to discourage deforestation is highly encouraged and measures up as an innovative and eco-friendly business idea for 2018.

17. Develop Green Apps

Investing in green app development is an innovative and eco-friendly business idea as it can be used to quantify the amount of energy used and the subsequent carbon emission. Moreover, it can be built in such a way that it provides advice on how best to conserve energy in a household or which gadget is most preferable since it consumes less energy. These applications can be fitted in a phone and the energy consumption tracked. The online sale of these green apps would be worthwhile.

18. Start Car Sharing Services

This is a business that entails linking people who stay in the same locality and work in the same area by connecting them with a car or cars that will carry them from home in the morning and back in the evening instead of each driving individually to and from work. This is a business that will see the reduction of carbon emissions and also save on energy.

Image credit: pixabay

The post 18 Innovative and Eco-friendly Business Ideas For 2018 appeared first on Conserve Energy Future.

Greenhouses: The Ultimate Solar Energy Technology


The technology to capture solar energy and use it in a variety of ways is rapidly developing. It is an exciting time in the industry with large scale, efficient solar farms generating power from the sun on a massive scale. Whilst most of these large-scale developments focus on converting the suns energy into electricity, other solar devices are also being designed like the solar powered cooking grill a solar device that generates diesel from the air. In a domestic setting the capture of solar power is still limited but we can expect to see some exciting development in the future.

WalipiniGreenhouse

Greenhouses

It is worth remembering that plants capture the suns energy all the time and convert it into food in a process called photosynthesis. Our vegetable patches and gardens are therefore one big solar panel. We can capture more of this energy to extend our growing seasons and produce more food by the use of cold frames and greenhouses.

A greenhouse does not increase the suns energy or concentrate the incoming light. A patch of ground under a greenhouse does not receive more light than a neighbouring patch outside the greenhouse. So how does a greenhouse work then? Sunlight is not just light – it also carries heat energy too. When light passes through an object, like glass, some of it becomes heat. The panes of a greenhouse capture this heat energy and hold it inside the structure heating the plants and the soil around the plants roots. It is this increase in temperature that makes the plants inside a greenhouse grow earlier and faster than plants outside.

To maximise the capture of this heat energy a greenhouse needs to have tight joints and glazing so the heat and warm air inside can’t leak out. Glass is not a good insulator but modern thickened glass is more effective at retaining heat when there is no direct sunlight, for example, when there is cloud cover and during the night.

Quality greenhouse manufacturers like Cultivar use gaskets in their frames which allow the greenhouse glazing to expand when it is hot but when the glass cools and shrinks the gaskets also ensure a snug fit with no air gaps. If you have a layer of brick or stone at the base of your greenhouse this will act as a heat store – it will take longer for the greenhouse to heat up but overnight these dense materials will release their heat.

Walipini Greenhouses

The further you are away from the equator the less light you will experience in the Winter. For many of us there is not enough sunlight in the Winter to allow us to grow a crop. Of course, you can artificially heat your greenhouse – however this is not very efficient.

A Walipini greenhouse design comes from Bolivia and it has a unique design. It is a large hole (6-8 feet deep) with glazed top level and roof. This design has much less surface area of glass to capture sunlight through so how can it be warmer during the Winter? It uses a secondary source of heat – the Earths crust! The Earths crust is molten metal and magma and it’s very hot. You only have to dig down about 1.2m to benefit from this heat. At this depth the soil temperature is fairly constant at 10 – 16 °C. This steady temperature is found in most places across the globe and it even has it’s own name – The Thermal Constant.

So by digging down into the Thermal Constant layer you ensuring that your plants roots always experience a safe temperature making Winter growing a possibility. It also prevents root temperatures becoming too high in the Summer.

If you want to try this type of greenhouse you need to make sure that it’s base is a good 5 feet above your local water table. This will prevent flooding and root waterlogging.

Sunrooms

You can use the suns energy to heat your home directly. Large panes of glass, sunrooms and skylights can be added to your home to capture the suns heat and reduce or eliminate your need to use artificial heating. If you want to make sure the heat captured during the day does not escape as soon as the sun sets you will need to use quality double glazing, in freezing countries triple glazing is the best option. Without quality glazing the sun room will not be comfortable in the evenings and overnight.

You should pay close attention to the glasses Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). This measures how well the glass converts the sunlight that falls onto it into heat. The scale runs from 0 to 1. The closer the SHGC is to 1 the better it is at generating heat from sunlight.

Fit a ceiling fan which pushes air down towards the floor. Because warm air rises the hottest temperatures will be up near the roof, a ceiling fan will make the air circulate pushing the heat down towards the furniture and people and below.

Of course you can use some clever design to combine the benefits of a sun room with a greenhouse. Several eco communities as well as research institutions are incorporating large glazed sections onto the side of living quarters to provide heat as well as a large area for year round food production. The image below is of the Sirius Community greenhouse.

Domestic Solar Power Adoption

Having solar panels fitted individually to your home can still be expensive and complicated. Some governments have helped the industry by providing grants and incentivising power companies to use domestic solar power. Other countries have done the opposite by levying taxes and imposing restrictive legislation. These two extremes are illustrated by the UK and Spain.

Despite Spain being bathed in constant sunshine, using solar power for anything other than water heating is difficult and expensive. In the UK solar panels are literally everywhere even though there is little strong sunshine for much of the year. In 2016 the UK was in 6th place globally in terms of solar capacity and was generating 12,300 MW of solar power, about 3.5% of the country’s electricity need. In comparison Spain is in 10th place in the world with a capacity of only 5,500 MW.

If you want to find out more about solar power production and usage on a country by country basis you can start here. If you can’t fit solar panels to home don’t despair there are still ways to use the suns energy.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

15+ Magnificent Reasons to Build Earthship Right Now


Pioneered by Architect Michael Reynolds, Earthships are sustainable homes because they encourage easy living and above all, they are cost-effectiveness to construct. Their sustainability is attributed to the fact that they utilize readily available natural materials as well as reusing resources that would otherwise harm the environment. The design and architecture of an Earthship is equally oriented towards environmental sustainability by optimizing on the use of natural resources such as solar energy and the harvesting of rainwater.

Besides, the presence of both solar energy and rain water supports the production of food which can be grown in the shelter. These are just a few of the many benefits of Earthships as there are a myriad of reasons individuals should build an Earthship home. This article thus seeks to unveil the 15+ magnificent reasons it is essential in this time and age to build an Earthship shelter.

earthship-visitor-center-near-Taos

1. They are easily sustainable. Earthships are very sustainable as they require less and provide a lot. For instance, it is easy to harvest natural water from rain and snow melt. Moreover, the house supports the growing of food which means one gets to eat healthy and cuts back on food expenses. The availability of water ensures the crops have constant supply of water for growth and there is also warmth in and out of season sustained by the solar energy conserved in the house.

2. Presence of free food. One of the most rewarding advantages of an Earthship is that it is very conducive for crop production. The construction design allowing for the utilization of solar and water harvesting guarantees there is adequate warmth and water for the growth of crops.

An individual residing in an Earthship therefore has the capability of producing own food which translates into saving on food budgets. For this reason, the more the care and attention taken by the owner, the greater the success of crop production.

3. There is an efficient way of recycling water. Through the effective water harvesting techniques of an Earthship from rain or melting of snow, the structures offer an efficient way of recycling water. The water is tapped through the help of gutters set up all round the house and collected in a cistern. The water is pumped to the showers and sinks for ordinary chores and cooking activities. The waste water recovered is used in a greenhouse for the purpose of watering the plants therein.

4. Presence of warmth in the shelter. Earthships are designed with a lining of thermal mass conduction which promotes the absorption of heat from the atmosphere while preventing it from escaping. The heat is therefore regulated which ensures the shelter is warm even in winter. Apart from the thermal lining, the Earthship has large glass windows facing the sun that facilities the entry of heat into the shelter.

5. Presence of sufficient energy. Earthships are built to encourage the tapping solar energy through the use of solar panels. Given that it is a self-sustainable shelter, the installation of solar panel is part of its essentiality. Consequently, there is adequate energy realized in the shelter. An individual who is a cautious user of energy in the house will find the energy sufficient and will see no need to install electricity.

6. There is a feel of freedom. Work is a necessity for people to get the finances for food, clothing, shelter and other needs. It is for this reason that globally, people work on a daily basis to put food on their table, have a place to call home, and have clothing. However, with this structure, there is recycling of water and growing of crops, which means less incentive to put much effort in working. It is through this rewarding outcome of the structure that gives one a chance of freedom to enjoy his/her hobbies as well as activities that are fulfilling.

7. It is easy to build. The design of the structure is very easy to comprehend and put up. It does not necessarily require the advice or supervision of a house contractor. Minimal knowledge is required to construct an Earthship. Besides, most of the Earthships are single-story making it even easier to build. Also, the construction does not require the use of heavy machinery but the output of an individual seeking to have the shelter.

8. It is cheap to build or buy. Earthships have a considerable low price when compared to other modern houses. The reason for this is that there is less use of expensive materials in construction. A basic Earthship requires readily available materials for its construction, making it cheaper than others.

Nevertheless, they differ in prices depending on the level of décor in the house as well as other factors such as available rooms, architectural design and space. In consequence of this, both the wealthy and the less privileged can have such shelters with different designs on the basis of preference.

9. It makes use of recyclable materials. Because of this, Earthships aid in environmental conservation. For instance, most landfills are full of waste that requires proper disposal. With Earthships, some of the materials found in landfills ranging from car tires, plastic, glass bottles to cans can be utilized in construction. The materials only require their reinforcement with concrete.

beautiful-earthship

10. Proper treatment of sewage. The design and construction of ordinary houses usually results in challenges especially regarding the proper treatment of sewer waste. Earthships, on the other hand, enable the treatment of sewage on-site as it is part of its design. Waste water from sinks is taken to the green houses or gardens for cleaning and watering the plants. The water is then piped to the toilets for use and later drained to the ground for crop growth.

11. Initiates a difference in thinking. Through the use of sustainable housing which is not only easy to build but also cheap, there is an influence regarding new strategies in environmental conservation. For example, the initiative has brought about the resourceful use or recycling of waste that is often regarded as useless.

It also conserves the water available and utilizes natural heat to keep the house warm. It is thus mind blowing to the point that people are now opting to go this way and to use their time to discover more on how best to preserve the environment.

12. It is possible to build as per individual preference. Most of the conventional houses have already been built and are rented out or purchased with a set of preferences as pictured by the contractor. In this case, however, there is a chance to build a home that suits your preference. What comes into mind when you hear of an Earthship is that it is a “stupid house.” If you do your homework, however, you’ll realize there are numerous beautifully built Earthship. This is possible since the design and modeling of the Earthship is up to the owner.

13. Little to no bills to cater for. Since Earthships main goal is self-sustainability, it is a huge plus. For starters, if you built the house, there is no chance of paying monthly rent rates. Also, through the use of solar energy self-installed in the house, there is no chance of paying electric bills and if so, in minimal amounts. With free flowing water, there is no need for water provided by the state that will subsequently bring about more bills.

14. Earthships can be built in almost all locations. The structures are easy to construct in any location with less difficulty. It can be built in the most adverse locations like the snow-laden areas, sandy areas, windy areas, forested areas and mountain tops. The possibility of this is attributed to the fact that there are a myriad of materials which can be used for the construction.

15. It is now possible to connect with nature and still be part of society. The world we live in today is characterized by a lot of modern technology from phones to laptops to the internet. Therefore, if you are an individual seeking to opt out from this kind of society without completely detaching yourself, an Earthship will provide such a company. Presence of solar energy instead of electricity, presence of food instead of going to the stores for groceries and much more. Moreover, one is able to venture in green house production which provides adequate connection with nature.

16. Presence of an Earthship community. There exists other people globally who advocate for the evolution of Earthship houses. On this basis, if you are an individual seeking to build such a structure, you will have the support of other like-minded people who will not only provide physical support in construction but also revolutionary support as the globe moves towards initiatives that bring about less destruction of the environment.

Image credit: Rong , Kyle

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Maximizing Solar Energy Advantages – 7 Elements to Consider In Building a Solar Power-Ready Home

Today, as the sources of traditional energy are fast depleting and their prices rapidly rising, more and more countries and even industries have realized that nothing is more abundant and affordable than the energy that comes from the sun. As the massive switch is going on, you too can maximize the benefits of solar energy advantages by making your home solar power-ready or if you’re still at the planning stage of your dream house, you can make it ready for solar power technology by integrating the following elements:

Elements to Consider In Building a Solar Power

1. Thermal mass – is one of the elements in designing a building in which the mass is given consideration to ensure the property retains its balance against temperature changes. Brick walls, polished concrete, and tile floors are better materials that can absorb heat during the day when temperatures are higher while providing thermal energy during cooler temperatures at night.

2. Windows – the Windows are the best spots of your house where you can collect heat from the sun. It is ideal for windows on the south side of the house to be bigger to let the sun’s heat go through the house during the day. Windows on the north side should be smaller to keep the heat at night.

3. Ventilation – Doors, and windows should be positioned opposite each other to allow for unobstructed cooling to flow through the house by the time the air cools down in the evening during the summer season.

Read more advantages of solar cell

4. Insulation and draught proofing – proper insulation of roofs, floors and walls as well as filling of gaps to prevent draughts or current of air to intrude.

5. Shading – appropriate placement of exterior shading structures should be wide enough to intercept the intense heat of the sun during summer and passable enough for the winter sun to go through.

6. Layout, orientation, and positioning of your house on the land – the south side of the house is the spot where you’ll get most of the sun’s heat during the daytime. It is advantageous to position your living areas on the sunny side. However, if you live in the southern hemisphere, you’ll get the sun’s heat on the north side.

7. Landscaping – target the cooling breeze to flow through your house by positioning the trees and plants in the key areas of your property where it can also serve as a shade during summer. Additionally, the best trees to plant are trees that shed off leaves in winter.

Integrating these elements to get the most of the solar energy advantages for your own property doesn’t really involve a great deal of financial investment and time. It is actually possible to apply them and turn your old property into solar power-ready with simple modifications such as moving your living area to face the south side, installing additional windows, repositioning doors for good ventilation and planting of more trees to get properly shaded. All these can be carried out without spending a huge amount of money.

What Are 3D Solar Cells and Advantages

3D Solar Cells

The near completion of the making of the new generation solar cell prototype is seen as a key milestone in getting the most of the solar energy advantages especially in turning solar power affordable to all.

Solar3D, Inc., a California-based company and the makers of what they call the new, “super- efficient” solar cell has announced recently that it has successfully completed the design of the experimental model and that they are now on their way to the completion of every design elements such as the 3-dimensional photovoltaic structure, the optical element and the suitability of the design for mass production.

It took one year for their team to conduct intensive research, development, and testing.  The CEO of Solar3D said that once everything is complete, the production of these technologically advanced solar cells will pave a way for changes in the solar industry as well as the opinion of consumers about the utilization of solar power.

3D Solar Cells and Advantages

The 3-dimesional solar cell technology offers a new way to maximize the conversion of solar energy into electricity. This breakthrough technology is patterned from the light management techniques used in fiber optic devices, in which the 3D design is used to harvest sunlight in micro-photovoltaic structures where photons travel around until they are turned into electrons.

According to the developers, the efficiency of the new solar cell will be significantly higher compared to the present solar technology in the market.  They believe that this much more efficient solar cell technology will create a huge impact in making this an attractive business for investors.

Jim Nelson, Solar3D’s CEO emphasized that their new solar cell technology provides an economically competitive way to generate power. This is in addition to other solar energy advantages over fossil-fuelled power sources. The company’s goal is to make solar power available and affordable to worldwide consumers.  Their engineers are developing not only more efficient solar power instruments but also products that can be massively produced.

They consider this new achievement as their significant share in the industry’s campaign particularly SunShot initiative by Stephen Chu, the Energy Secretary which aims at bringing solar electricity rates at par with traditional providers.

Although, at present, this new solar cell technology is currently under positive development and nearly on its way to completion, but the fact that the potential scope of the market will be worldwide, this can be considered a big leap not only in our concern about global warming but it could also pose as one of the viable solutions to the growing global unemployment and economic problem.

What is an Inverter? How does it work?

Complete Guide on how an inverter works

In simple terminology, this device is known as an electric box, which makes the household electricity for the gadgets, which are used, in daily life. At first, the idea of understanding the concept of how the inverter works is quite difficult and tricky, but once the individual gets the concept straight then there is no more confusion left. The concept of it gets clear in the head if is not clear of how inverter works then the individual is just limited to knowledge of what an inverter is.

The inverter is a great invention for human, without this device, we might be still stuck with few things. For instance, now individual’s work life doesn’t come to a halt if they plan on traveling as the technology has evolved.Earlier when people used to travel a lot, their time was consumed by the journey and their work time was wasted. Now during the travel, a person is able to work and communicate with their office while being miles away and not being in the office or city physically. This has made travel very easy than ever expected, and this all is due to the inverter. Normally if the individual is traveling by their car, SUV’S or caravans across the country and they are constantly in touch with their office.

While the kids are enjoying their trip, and don’t cause any problems for the parents by crying and fighting, they are watching cartoons on their LCD’s which are fitted in the headrest of the front seats. Now all these things need a supply of electricity in order to operate and work. It is similar to when we work on our laptops; they require electricity after a certain time in order to run. They are being run on inverters and the way inverter works for this gadget is not that tricky, one just needs to get their head around it. The same is the case with the televisions at home they run on electricity. Now, what the individual wonders are that how do all these gadgets operate and function within their cars, SUV’s or caravans, it all because of the inverter and below how inverter works will be explained.

Most of the individuals have the curiosity about how the inverter works; it is not difficult to comprehend.  As mentioned above that the inverter takes power from the batteries and then it eventually turns the power into the household current, and the household current is to be known as the alternate current. Let’s first clarify the difference between the DC, which is the acronym for Direct current (the direct current, here the current starts from one direction or from one place and directly or straightly goes to the other end. The flow of the current is in one direction, therefore another reason it is also known as Direct current. Batteries are an example of direct current as there the current flows from one direction and run straight to the end of other direction). While the AC is an acronym for Alternate current, and the alternate current does tend to flow in one direction for a certain period. Then it changes its direction of current flow and now it goes in the opposite direction of the original flow. An example of AC current is the switches, which we have in our household. Another reason why the sockets use the AC current is that the Alternate Current is easily produced in comparison to the Direct Current. Above the denotation of inverter states, that it is an apparatus which known to convert two types of currents, the direct current to alternate current. Now the two types of currents are defined and their purpose as well, which makes it easier to comprehend how the inverter works.

how inverter works What is an Inverter? How it works?

“The inverter also increases the Direct current voltage then it changes it to the alternate current, before sending it to power the gadget.”

The inverter also increases the Direct current voltage then it changes it to the alternate current, before sending it to power the gadget. This is how the inverter works, although before it was opposite the alternate current used to convert into the direct current. Although when this procedure was reversed into the direct current into, alternate current.

Let’s give a brief description on how the inverter works for the gadgets being used in the cars, SUVs and the caravans. The MP3, GPS acronym for Global Positioning System, the LCD or the children might want to play with their portable video games (PSP, game boys). All these types of gadgets can be charged in the car, now the question which is commonly raised amongst the kids especially that how do these gadgets get charged within the car, SUV’s or the caravans when there is no socket which supplies electricity in order for the gadgets to be charged. The answer to the question on how the inverter works are very simple and a one-word answer with the help of the inverter. Which leads to another question of their; what is inverter and how the inverter works. For them in easy and plain language which is easily comprehensible to them is that inverter is an electrical box which helps in producing electricity within the car for gadgets like these to be charged. Now the answer to their second part on how the inverter works should also be kept simple and logical for them. It basically gets electricity from the car, stores in the electrical box and then when the individual plugs in their gadgets into the cigarette lighter which becomes the power port rather the socket which given the current and electricity to the gadget in order to help them to charge. This is how the inverter works in the cars, SUV’s, and the caravans as well.

In conclusion, the concept of how the inverter works is not that all one needs to do is try to comprehend it in the way it conceivable to person who has no knowledge about what the inverter is and how the inverter works.