Solar Energy

Solar Energy – What is it?

Solar EnergyThe most popular green energy source is the sun.  Energy captured from the sun is called Solar Energy.

Of the green energy sources, solar energy is the most popular because it offers multiple options for use.  Check out Green Energy Blueprint to find detailed information about Green Energy.

It is possible to harness electrical energy from the sun using solar panels consisting of photovoltaic cells that convert energy from the sun into electricity you can use in your home or business.

Solar power can also be used to heat water for home use, power individual project uses like accent lighting of your home and gardens, walkway and driveway lighting, security lighting, and emergency power generators. These are just a few ideas to get your head around things that you can apply solar power to.

Remember the key thing here – the more you use solar power the less your electric bill will be. I plan to be fully off the power grid in two years and selling my extra power back to the electric company. I’ll be using both Solar and wind power to accomplish this and I will be building the systems myself……with the help of my neighbor. We will be doing the same to his new house that he will be building this fall also. It’s always good to have a helping hand. We re-decked and re-carpeted his bass boat last year as well as updated all the electrical systems and had the motor gone through. The re-foaming under the decking would have cost us more than doing the entire boat ourselves.

Solar Energy – Sources

Solar energy sources are readily available and increasing in popularity because most homes and businesses can have the solar panels mounted on their roofs and enjoy the benefits of a lower energy bill.  With rising fuel costs, climate change, and a growing demand for electricity, renewable energy sources such as solar power are becoming a valuable part of the world’s energy mix.  The sun produces more power than we could ever use even if every person in the Unites States uses solar energy to power their homes.  The sun is our most abundant natural resource.

Solar Energy – Solar Thermal Hot Water Heater

Solar Energy

DIY Solar Water Heater – Yes it is true that solar water heaters do exist in the market to buy. However, why buy a kit for around $3k then pay to have someone install it for another $1K when you can buy the materials and install it yourself? You can save yourself a lot of money for taking initiative on your own.

It is much easier than you think and all you need are basic handyman skills to follow the step by step instruction provided in the training.

Take advantage of the suns energy and use it to your advantage for all of your needs. I don’t know about you, but Hot Water is high on my needs list. You’ll be saving 50% off your electric bill every month. Heating hot water by electricity uses THAT much electricity. Think of the other cost saving projects you can fund with that saved money.

Solar Energy – Solar Heating

Did you know that it is quite simple to build your own Solar Air Heater to help heat your home, shed, dog house, garage or any other area for a little money, time and effort.

You have all experience Solar Heating. Think about getting into your car on a hot summers day or leaning on your car on a sunny day…even in winter. You will have a wake up call when you burn yourself. Say you are at the beach and you step on the sand in your bare feet, yep that is solar heat. You’ve heard of hot days that you could fry an egg on the sidewalk? Yep that is solar heat and that is what you can use to your advantage around your home.

Solar Energy – Off Grid Storage

Solar EnergyMuch solar energy is used off the grid.  It can easily be used to charge batteries and power small appliances in a home.  If enough solar energy panels are installed you can power your entire home.  Like wind power, it can be stored for use even when the sun is not shining.  Homes that are completely off the grid can keep and store their electricity and use it in the same way that they would use power from the power company.

While I am preparing my retirement home for our final move, I’m adding as much solar as possible when I need to add or upgrade items. I bought a large shed for our foster dog house (we do rescue’s for Rottweilers). It is a 12X22 foot shed with a covered front porch and a 50X30 dog run. It is located around 200 feet from any power source. So, right now the shed is off grid. I would like to do the entire shed with solar, but at this time I have not found a system that can run a heater/Air Conditioner. For this reason I do plan to eventually put in grid electricity in the near future, but there are some items that I can use solar for that don’t cost an arm and leg. (Update….found a solar panel system that I can build myself and be large enough for the automatic doggy door, the window unit AC/Heater and lighting for the shed.  Green DIY Energy

Eventually I plan to be fully operational and off the grid. If I do this a step at a time using small systems, I will not have an all out failure of power while having only one system. For larger areas, such as the power for the house, I plan to use a combination of solar arrays and wind turbines with battery storage. I also plan to have a separate system for my well system but have the capability to plug it into the main solar/wind turbine system in case the individual system fails. You have to have water for survival, right?

Solar Energy Attic Fan

The first thing we bought was a Solar Attic Fan. The shed has a storage loft on each end of the building. I plan on closing off the entire area and install a pull down ladder. One of the most cost saving methods to cool any building is an attic fan. So while searching on my Amazon store I found one that is totally solar powered that is battery storage capable and actually powerful enough to use in my 2200 sq ft house. It came with the 14″ fan, inline thermostat, solar panel, mounting brackets and fastening hardware. I thought that the price would be higher, but it was actually cheaper than the grid powered attic fan available at Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Even though we did the installation in over 100 degree heat, the installation was easy enough. Drilled one hole in the exterior wall for the cable from the solar panel to the fan. Four screws to mount the fan and six screws to mount the solar panel on the south wall of the building. Once everything was mounted we plugged the wire from the solar panel into the fan and felt an immediate drop in temperature within the building. SUCCESS!

Now I need to order one for the house. I won’t be cramped while doing the install either. From the ceiling to the top of the roof is around 9 feet…I can stand without any problem in the center of the house. One thing I am planning on is the use of outdoor double sided tape so I can mount the solar panel stand on the roof without drilling holes in my steel roof. 😉

Solar Energy – Exterior Security Lights

Being my retirement house is a log cabin located out in the woods, I want to have light that come on automatically when we arrive at the property at night or when movement triggers the lights to come on for security.

Again searching in my Amazon store I found digital flood lights that would be bright for a large area. Being the lights are using LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes) the storage batteries will last a much longer time time that other lights. So I bought lights for each end of the house, the front of the garage and the front of the dog house (shed).

They mount with only a few screws.The cable between the light and the solar panel is 25 feet in length so it’s easy to find a good place to get the most sunlight on the solar panel. I love pulling up to the house in the middle of the night and being able to see all around me.

Solar Energy – Exterior Sconce Lighting

Even though I have grid power in the house, I want to be able to find the door locks. So I searched my Amazon store and found Solar digital lights to mount next to each exterior door with long cables to each solar panel. Again easy installation and only about 10 minutes per light.

Now I have lighting everywhere I need it that work even when the grid power is off, that has no additional cost. They work just great and are so convenient. No switches, good light, all automatic. I love them.

Solar Energy – Connected to the Grid

Anyone who uses solar energy can also connect to the grid.  This allows them to have extra power if they need it.  It can also allow them to provide the grid with power, and sell back electricity that they aren’t using to the power company. Making money from solar power sold back to the power company can be lucrative.

I plan to use solar and wind power to become totally self sufficient from paying an electric bill. Any extra power that I create will be sold back to the power company thereby providing a source of income to expand and maintain my systems.

Every little item that you can use solar power on can save you money. Enough little projects can save you a bunch of money. How about that dark area around your home that has now power close by? Buy a solar light with battery and panel (one kit). Mount the light where you need it and then install the solar panel where it gets the most sun for power. Most kits come with 10 to 25 feet of plugin cable to go between the light and the panel…very easy. The light do not come during the day and come on at night when motion is detected.

Solar Energy – Installation

Solar power requires installation, and your home will require adaptations so that it can run on the solar power that is produced.  If you are so inclined to install solar panels on your own you can find help with Solar Installation Guides and Bonuses. However, after it has been set up, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of solar power.  Even if you do not install panels on your home, you can find other ways to take advantage of solar power, even if you are only powering small items or heating water to take a shower.

Much of the Solar Energy installation work can be done on your own. If you want to learn to make your own solar panels, get off the grid and save thousands on your electricity bills, then look at Green Eco Club when you want some guidance or before you start any renewable energy project. The book will provide you a wealth of information on the details of creating your own local power grid.

Solar Energy – Solar Discounts

Now that you’ve learn a bit about what solar energy can do for you remember that there are many programs that will discount solar installations of any type. These are the same discounts that big corporations get. So if your still in your planning stages you should be aware of and take advantage these Solar Discount Secrets.

Note: During my next trip this month I’ll take some pictures of my retirement home projects to share with you.

Solar Energy

Jay Mueller | Making Money on the Inter.net

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