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Solar Power House

Sep 11, 2008
Solar power and many other renewable energy systems are gaining more exposure for a couple of main reasons. The first reason is that traditional fossil fuels that typically power our homes are becoming expensive. Indeed, constant increases in utility bills has caused people to look for alternatives. And solar power kits and other forms of renewable energy offer a viable alternative.

The second reason is that people are becoming more aware of the environment. A typical renewable energy system does not run out the more you use it. Indeed, the Sun's energy and wind power is a free resource that will not diminish if more people start to use it.

In fact, you could accurately say that by not taking advantage of Sun and wind power, we are wasting these free energy resources. And by building systems that take advantage of these resources we do less damage to the environment than burning fossil fuels.

Solar power kits can take a number of forms but principally they are about providing more heat or more electricity to the home.

You need physical warmth to keep the home warm and habitable. You need heat for water to take a shower or bath. And you need electricity to power many things in your home. You may cook using electricity, you may warm the house using electricity. You almost certainly provide light to the home using electricity.

Solar power kits that make hot water generally use the passive approach of making it easier for the Sun to heat water. The solar kit is hooked up to the plumbing system of the home so that the hot water can be used in the home. However, the more well known solar kit is one that uses solar panels.

Solar panels are a number of photovoltaic (PV) cells lined up in series or parallel. A PV cell is made of silicon, that reacts with sunlight to through off an electron. When a number of PV cells are lined up together this causes a current to flow. This is direct current (DC) that can be used to power appliances.

DC can be stored or directly used on some appliances. However, if it is converted to alternating current then it can power many of the household appliances that we use every day, like the fridge, cooker, TV, radio and lights.

Although solar power systems offer a cheap, renewable energy source for our homes, the main drawback is the reliability of the Sun. It may not always shine or there may be overcast days when the Sun cannot strike the solar panel. This is why many people recommend that you always have a back up system. A good back up system that is also renewable is to use wind power. It is also more likely to work when a solar system does not and vice versa.

Developing a wind generator is easy to do in the suburban home as the natural resource, the wind, is likely to be there to some extent. If you install a solar powered system and a wind generator in your home then you have an energy generating solution come rain, wind or shine (so to speak).

With this said, it makes sense to stay with a grid solution until you understand renewable energy systems enough or are confident that they can provide all your energy needs.
About the Author
Get the Earth4Energy manual to discover how to make your own solar and wind powered generators. Learn more about this guide and other issues related to and renewable energy at http://www.solarpowerappliances.com.
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