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Renewable Energy; Solar, Wind & Hydro Myths and Truths

Updated on September 5, 2014

Solar Powered Products

Solar Cordless LED Grill Light
Solar Cordless LED Grill Light

Solar Cordless LED Grill Light

 

Myths about Solar Energy

Mankind has been using the power of the sun to heat our homes for centuries. Typically people position their homes to capture the most of the suns heat by placing large windows facing south. This allows for the windows to absorb the most heat from the suns rays. To maximize the heat collected from the sun you should place a heat sink or large mass (typically a concrete pad several inches thick, the thicker the mass the longer it will retain and slowly release heat) behind the windows to collect the solar heat rays.For years we have been able to capture and store this energy for reuse with photovoltaic solar panels. These solar panels are quickly becoming the most popular alternative energy source.

Often when I speak to people about solar panels I receive a very common answer “I can’t have solar panels I don’t get enough sun where I live”. Did I mention I live in the northeast. This is simply not true. Since I’m from New England I will use Boston Massachusetts as an example. In 2011 Boston received 98 sunny days without any clouds. This translates to approximately 3.75 hours of sunlight per day. This may not seem like a lot of sun, but remember this only counts full days of sun. Partially cloudy days do not count. Once you determine the number of sunny days, then you can use a solar calculator to determine the size and approximate cost of the solar system you will need. Another myth is that on those cloudy days a solar panel will not generate electricity. This is simply not true. A solar panel will in fact generate electricity in complete cloudiness. The power of the sun, of course it is not going to perform to at peak efficiency but every bit counts towards saving money and the environment. click to see how solar panels work

WIND POWERED PRODUCTS

ALEKO WG300 12-Volt 6-Blade 300 Watt Wind Generator With Charge Controller
ALEKO WG300 12-Volt 6-Blade 300 Watt Wind Generator With Charge Controller

GudCraft WG300 12-Volt 6-Blade 300 Watt Wind Generator With Charge Controller

 

WIND POWER

Many governments around the world have recognized the need to subsidize their energy needs with renewable energy sources like wind energy. Placing several wind turbines together is called a wind farm. These wind farms are versitile because thwey can be placed onshore or offshore. Wind farms can also be placed on land areas that cannot be built on such as brownfields. Wind farms have been built onshore for decades. The first wind farm in the world was built on the side of Crochet Mountain in southern New Hampshire. It consisted of 20 thirty kilowatt turbines. The united states is also home to the largest onshore find farm in the world. The Roscoe wind farm is located in Texas. It was completed in 20087 and has a capacitiy of 781.5 megawatts. Texas also is home to the second largest wind farm called Horse Hollow, it has a capacity of 735 megawatts.

As of September 2011 there is approximately 43,635 megawatts of electricity being produced by wind energy in the United States. Check out this map listing wind generation assets by state.

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