Category: Green Technology

Everything You Needed To Know About Wind Power

wind-energy

Wind power employs pole-mounted turbines to generate energy. People began using this method over 4,000 years ago. The earliest forms of wind energy included wind-driven pumps and sailboats. Today, it can deliver eco-friendly electricity that people use for lighting, cooling, transportation, cooking and other purposes.

The wind provides an unlimited source of energy. Turbines produce power in much the same way as a hand-driven dynamo crank. The blades turn a shaft that drives a generator. It creates electricity that can be transferred to electrical lines or stored in a battery.

Great Advantages

Wind turbines help individuals, businesses, and utilities reduce their environmental impact. They don’t directly produce any air or water pollution. Likewise, this equipment doesn’t release any of the harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

A lack of pollution protects people from developing serious medical problems, such as lung cancer. It also reduces the symptoms of health conditions like asthma. Animals thrive in a clean environment as well. It’s important to remember that our survival depends on certain creatures, such as honey bees, to name but one species that is under threat.

Wind energy is an entirely renewable resource. It doesn’t rely on international shipping or underground fuel deposits. Unlike most power generation methods, it enables people to produce electricity without the use of water. This prevents water pollution and drought-related energy shortages.

In particularly windy areas, turbines can generate power at all hours of the day and night. This makes them particularly desirable for coastal and mountainous locales. People can combine mid-sized wind and solar equipment to maximize renewable energy in places with intermittent sun and wind.

Applications

Wind turbines may be installed in a wide range of locations. Installers can place them near homes, in farm pastures, on offshore platforms, and atop tall hills. If necessary, lights may be added to warn aircraft of their presence.

Offshore turbines can have fixed or floating bases. They benefit from the incessant winds that blow across oceans and other vast bodies of water. Many wind power farms are arranged in horizontal rows.

This form of renewable energy is highly scalable. Whereas traditional power stations are designed to supply electricity for large populations, turbines come in a tremendous variety of sizes. Different models power one piece of equipment, a single home, or hundreds of buildings.

The biggest turbine on Earth can be found in Hawaii where there are more than 110 commercial wind turbines. It stands as tall as an office tower with 20 floors. This enormous unit generates sufficient power to energize 1,400 average dwellings.

Conserves Space

Unlike conventional plants or even solar farms, turbines needn’t occupy much land. People can continue to perform other activities in the areas around their poles. For example, a turbine can be placed in a field with crops or livestock.

This is important because open land is scarce in some parts of the United States and other countries. Wind power allows people to generate energy without destroying valuable farmland or numerous acres of wildlife habitat. It also leaves fish in rivers unharmed.

Remote Locations

Wind energy offers a desirable solution when people need limited amounts of electricity in places where it isn’t economical to install power lines. For instance, a small turbine could supply electricity for a weather station on top of a mountain.

Likewise, turbines provide an excellent way to generate energy for off-the-grid homes in remote rural areas. They free residents from using gas generators that emit air pollution, create fire hazards and produce considerable noise in otherwise peaceful locales.

Fewer Risks

Compared to most other power generation technologies, wind turbines are much less likely to trigger disastrous events. They don’t rely on fuels that must be drilled, mined or carried in cargo ships. This prevents catastrophic train and shipping spills.

Although such disasters remain rare, nuclear power stations can melt down and pollute enormous bodies of water while rendering large land areas unlivable. Natural gas extraction has been linked to groundwater pollution and even earthquakes. Wind power enables people to benefit from electricity while avoiding such dire risks.

Economic Advantages

Farmers and other landowners receive substantial payments when utilities install turbines on their property. They help to make farms economically viable without occupying considerable amounts of land. Homeowners who install their own turbines can avoid monthly utility payments and potentially earn credits on their electric bills.

To sum it up, wind power reduces environmental harm in many different ways while benefiting a wide range of citizens. It offers a versatile, scalable and reliable way to generate electricity for almost any purpose.

Categories: Green Technology

6 Reasons Why Solar Power Is Awesome!

Solar panel

Interest in solar energy today is growing more rapidly than ever before. Green properties have been on the radar for some time now and modern homeowners all over the world have started seeing the value of converting to solar power.  Not only is solar a clean and environmentally safe energy source but in addition to all the good that can be done for our planet, making the switch to solar power can also help you save money.

Here are 6 reasons why converting your home is the best way to go:

1. Solar Increase Your Property’s Value

If you’re looking to sell your home, being set up for solar energy is a smart investment for homeowners.

In fact, a study done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that homes equipped for solar power, on average, sold for around 17% more than homes without panels on the roof. Homes running on this type of energy also sold 20% faster than those running on electricity.

2. Lock In Your Energy Rates

No matter what happens with electricity costs, going green with solar means that you’re always locked into an energy supply at a fixed rate.

3. Get Credit For Excess Power

Whenever your home is generating more power than you need, your meter will begin running backward. When that happens, the utility company in your area will credit you for the power you’re producing. You can then use this excess electricity during evening hours without running up a bill. This is a grid-tied system and known as net-metering.

4. Very Little Maintenance

Since there are no moving parts on solar power panels, they’re very durable and there’s really very little to maintain.

Rain will wash off any dust that collects on the panel’s surface, and even if you’re in the desert where it never rains, spraying the panels down once a year should be all that’s required to keep them producing like new.

To keep the panels functioning optimally they should be 100% clean, but even when they are really dirty they only lose about 5-7% of their efficiency.

5. Helpful For the Environment

Solar panels are a clean and reliable source of energy, and this eco-friendly solution doesn’t place unnecessary strain on the planet’s resources. There are no air pollutants, toxic run-off, or other issues associated with running converting your home to solar power.

6. An Example To Those Around You

It feels good to be a leader, especially in an environmentally-friendly way where you can be sure you’re doing something good for the future of our planet.

Green living starts at home, find trusted tradesmen costs and adopting clean energy sources early on is a crucial part of the process for anyone who wants to adopt a greener lifestyle.

How Long Do Solar Panels Really Last?

Solar-panel-installation

If you’re ready to convert your home or business to be more sustainable and make use of green energy, solar panels are an excellent option.

That being said, the overall lifespan of solar panels is an issue that is continuously being called into question.

With a slew of conflicting information on the market, where do you turn to find the definitive answers in terms of the longevity of your solar panels?

Let’s have a look and answer this questions once and for all….

The average lifespan of solar panels

It’s imperative to note that the quality, and thus the lifespan, of solar panels, depend on several factors.

These include the specific materials used, the manufacturer itself, and the basic upkeep of the materials.

However, it’s equally important to keep in mind that the first solar panel ever is still in working order after 60 years of use. In addition, Kyocera has reported that they have several solar panels which continue to offer outstanding performance after being installed for almost 30 years.

In the majority of cases, solar panels offer no less than 10 years at 90%, and 80% over 25 years of the manufacturer’s stated power generation rating. Most panels are expected to operate at no less than 60% even after 40 years.

What happens at the end of their lifespan?

Fortunately, solar panels have such long lifespans that very few people have ever had to deal with the need to dispose of them.

Even if you’ve got some very old panels, they are probably still worth keeping.

However, the substantial silicon components in solar panels do pose an environmental hazard. They must be disposed of properly should you ever have to.

At present, there aren’t many services equipped to deal with spent solar cells. However, that is not something anyone will have to worry about anytime soon, and it is expected that by the time disposal does become an issue, solar disposal services will become a normal part of our everyday recycling culture.

If you do have unusable solar panels, place them inside an enclosed concrete structure and contact a disposal company that handles these kinds of waste products.

Extending the life of home solar panels

Luckily there are many things you can do to help preserve your solar paneling and maximize their lifespan:

Avoid damage

The first method is to avoid physical damages. This may be easier said than done, however, and the more scratches and physical damage a panel endures, the faster it will deteriorate.

Regular maintenance

Perhaps the most important method is to keep up with maintenance. This is done by having them serviced if there are noticeable issues or wear and tear, as well as keeping up with proper cleaning of the panels, but this may occur much less than you actually think.

Smart placement

The more severe weather they are exposed to, the faster your solar panels will become worn. In order to prevent this, give some thought to their placement of your panels in relation to the weather patterns that frequent your area.

Overall, solar paneling is a relatively new technology with major advances in the last few decades.  Installing them not only helps the environment as well as your wallet, but you will be a pioneer in terms of helping to develop this technology for future generations.

Live Off-Grid in Your Ecocapsule

Ecocapsule

If you have dreams of going completely off-the-grid and embrace the ultimate in sustainability, look no further than your very own Ecocapsule. This compact dwelling resembles an egg-shaped, energy efficient dome which solar panels and a wind turbine.

Tiny Homes

The Ecocapsule was originally designed by Nice Architects for living by professionals who work in remote locations, like forest rangers, and scientists. However, its developer eventually decided to create a house that would appeal to a wider range of customers.

This type of design now benefits from the increasingly popular tiny house movement. More and more people want to cut their costs and simplify their lives by turning to low-cost, low-maintenance, eco-friendly homes.

Efficient Living

The Ecocapsule’s interior measures only 86 square feet, yet it features a kitchenette, storage area and a bed that sleeps two. Although it isn’t particularly spacious, it does offer a number of valuable advantages.

It has virtually zero environmental impact after the manufacturing process comes to an end, and owners of this smart design become self-reliant without the need to spend much money on maintenance, energy or real estate.

And even if these amenities don’t satisfy people who desire big-screen TVs and specialized cooking appliances, this dwelling will meet all your basic needs for an extended period of time.

Locations

These eco-friendly pods can be placed in a huge variety of locations. They can be seen in remote rural campsites or on top of buildings with strong roofs. Other options include urban parking spaces and campgrounds with recreational vehicle sites.

Size & Weight

Its minimal weight and dimensions also make it comparatively easy to store, transport, or use in a wide range of locations. It weighs just over 3,300 pounds and measures 15 x 8 feet. The pod is small enough to fit in a shipping container.

There are several different ways to move this house from one place to another. It’s possible to carry the capsule on a truck, tow it on an open trailer behind a vehicle, or transport it inside of an enclosed cargo trailer.

Bathroom

Additionally, this environment-friendly home offers a bathroom with a hot shower and flush toilet. There’s no need to connect it to a costly municipal water supply either. This capsule collects water from rain showers or morning dew, and the water is filtered before it goes through the plumbing system.

Power Supply

In addition to providing its own water supply, the Ecocapsule generates its own electricity with solar panels and a retractable wind turbine. These renewable energy sources power the lights, appliances, and can even be used to charge an electric vehicle’s battery.

Battery

Naturally, there are sure to be times when the wind stops blowing and sunlight becomes scarce. This eco-friendly home’s rechargeable battery stores enough extra electricity. It can hold about 9.7 kilowatts of power, enough to run a medium-sized electric fan for approximately 200 hours.

Emergencies

Another possibility is that governments and charities could send these pods to disaster zones. When severe storms or earthquakes destroy infrastructure, they would still be able to provide comfortable temporary housing. The manufacturer uses materials that stand up to strong winds and other inclement weather.

Other Alternatives

Several other companies also offer tiny homes. These include the WaterNest 100 from Ecoflolife, and the G-Pods from Ornate Garden.  Tiny house enthusiasts can also consider the metal and wood DropXL from In-tenta or the see-through Alpine Capsule from Ross Lovegrove.

 

Categories: Green Technology