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Solar Energy : Solar Water Heating and Electricity Panels

Updated on October 24, 2010

Energy is a scarce resource. Our consumption of various forms of energy has grown at such a vicarious pace in the past decade that renewable forms are highly sought now to avoid a global energy crisis. Energy conservation has and can be achieved through efficient use of energy, in conjunction with decreased consumption and/or reduced consumption from conventional energy sources. Many little things can, and this is especially true for dishwashers, washing machines and dryers be done to make a huge difference in conserving energy around the home. It is about knowing how to do these little energy conservation processes that many people do not recognize, understand, or just are not bothered.

Photo-voltaic cells

Solar Energy is Free

A great way to generate clean and renewable electricity capable of powering remote appliances or even partially your home is the utilization of Solar Panels. Solar power energy brings with it a hope for a "solar revolution" which has been floating around for decades -- the idea that one day we'll all use free electricity fro­m the sun. Solar Panels, generally comprising of arrays of Photovoltaic Cells, use the solar energy directly from the Sun to generate electricity for our daily use. As the solar industry has grown and matured over the last decade, the cost to put home solar panel systems have decreased significantly, dropping over 45% in just the last few years

Solar Energy Savings

For our home, we can use two main forms of solar technologies and these are “solar hot water panels” and “solar electricity panels”. These technologies allow you to provide with either a hot water supply or generate electricity.

Solar Hot Water panels

SWH or Solar Water Heating panels have been widely used in Israel, Australia, Japan, Austria, India and China. A good solar hot water panel system is able to provide an average household with around a third of its annual hot water supply. This renewable energy technology system is used wherein the storage water tank can be mounted horizontally immediately above the solar collectors on the roof. There are two main categories of solar water heating systems. In order to heat water using solar energy, a collector, often fastened to a roof or a wall facing the sun, heats the water that is either pumped (active system) or driven by natural convection (passive system) through it. A circulating pump moves water or heat transfer solar water between the tank and the collectors. Solar water heater systems are designed to deliver the optimum amount of hot water for most of the year. However, in winter there sometimes may not be sufficient solar heat gain to deliver sufficient hot water. In this case a gas or electric booster is normally used to heat the water.

What to keep on mind while buying a Solar Water Heating System?

The brand and complexity of a solar water heating system can be broadly determined by:

  • The changes in average temperature during the day-night cycle.
  • Changes in temperature and solar radiation during the summer-winter cycle.
  • The temperature of the water required from the system.

And specifically distinguished by

·         The type of collector being used

·         Location of the collector – wall mount, ground mount, roof mount

·         Method of heat transfer

·         Location of the storage tank and the collector

The bare minimum efficiency of the system is determined by the amount or temperature of hot water required during winter (when the largest amount of hot water is often required). The maximum efficiency of the system is determined by the need to prevent the water in the system from becoming too hot (to boil, in an extreme case).

Solar Electricity Panels

Solar (or photovoltaic) cells are a very useful way of providing electricity especially to remote areas. Solar electric panels make the use of photovoltaic power more viable to homeowners and businesses over electricity sources derived from fossil fuel sources. Integration is key for the success of a solar electricity system; be sure to consult an expert in this field while planning any installation.

Photovoltaic cells can be aligned as an array, often called a mounting system. The main advantage of using an array is that we are able to combine various numbers of cells to provide a greater output of electricity which makes using solar electricity a viable option in powering small homes and businesses. Large scale arrays, on the other hand are capable of powering larger residential homes and businesses.

To calculate how many square inches of solar panel you need to power your house, you need to know:

· How much power is consumed by your house?

· The changes in average temperature during the day-night cycle.

· Changes in temperature and solar radiation during the summer-winter cycle

· Calculation of average rainfall, solar days etc.

There is no shortage of solar energy reaching the surface. The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet each year is about twice the amount of energy that will be obtained forever from coal, oil, natural gas, and mined Uranium, combined, including reactors.


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