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The Case for Solar Energy

Take a look up in the sky on a sunny day and you’ll witness the most amazing, powerful, and incredibly renewable source of energy known to man. The Sun. Of course, don’t stare directly at it or you’ll risk going blind. It’s just another reminder of how powerful the Sun really is.

As a species, we’ve been using solar energy for quite some time. Man has used it since ancient times to dry everything from clothing to animal hides. But we’ve been slow to adopt solar energy on a significant scale, primarily because in the 20th century, we lacked the technologies to efficiently capture and store it.

On a sunny day, each square meter on Earth receives approximately 160 watts of power from the sun over a 24 hour period. That means the entire planet receives about 84 terrawatts of power in a day. That’s a tremendous amount of power. Of course, we lack the means to capture and harness sunlight over every square meter of the globe, but you can quickly get a sense of solar energy’s potential.

The biggest obstacle to widespread adoption of solar energy is the relative inefficiency of converting raw sunlight to usable power. Solar technology has come a long way in just the last 20 years, but significant and costly obstacles remain preventing widespread adoption. Still, if you take the long view–something we should be doing a lot more of when it comes to energy and environmental issues–you’ll soon discover that solar energy is the best long-term solution for much our needs.

Think of it this way. Most of the inhabitants of our planet got along just fine for 4 billion years relying almost entirely on solar energy. Power and warmth from the sun was so important that our ancestors quite literally worshiped it, creating several gods who represented the power and life that the sun brought to their lives. I was reminded of this while my son was playing an adventure called Time Tangled Island on Poptropica. In this quest, you need to retrieve a piece of a sun stone mask belonging to an Aztec tribe. Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec sun god, was the most important god of all. He was the god who told the Aztecs where to build their city, and it was to him that human sacrifices were often made.

Can we adapt our approaches to energy consumption to do the same? The answer is yes and while the road to get there is long, it’s possible. We need smart and innovative approaches, an assessment of all the possible choices, and a well-thought action-plan to move to solar, but it’s possible and absolutely can be done.

Yoga Upward Salute

Sun Salutation – A Yoga Pose

I’ve been doing a lot of Yoga lately after reading up on the benefits of this exercise. I like it a lot better than lifting weights or doing heavy cardio work at the gym. I also like the spirtual benefits as well. Many of the poses are grounded in ancient traditions. One of my favorites, of course, is the Sun Salutation Pose, which I learned about on YogaSimple.net. Here’s a little history behind the pose.

Also known as Surya Namaskara, the sun salutation is an older form of Indian exercise that’s usually practiced as a means of honoring the sunshine. The pose combines worship, motion, and prayer. It has 12 poses which are done jointly as a way to reach the desired outcomes.

Sun Salutation at the Dead Sea

source: flickr.com

You can do the pose as a warm up exercise. When you are in a yoga class or you also can take action as the key exercise. When employed as a warmup exercise, it helps in creating internal “electricity” hence warming up the physique.

To prepare the physique, this pose generates energy that increases blood circulation in the muscles thus establishing a rhythm for the complete yoga practice. When you are doing the pose for warm-up goals, you simply do it for just a small amount of time.

Doing the pose as the main exercise allows you to build flexibility and body strength. The pose also helps you to exercise major body muscles such as the respiratory program muscles. As a consequence of this you breathe better and be appropriate.

In addition to these advantages, other benefits include:

Weight-loss: this is the widely known benefit of the pose. The pose brings about weight loss by augmenting the rate of metabolic process. Fat sediments in the body are combusted, When the speed of metabolism increases and consequently you shed weight.

Peace of mind: when done at an effortless pace, the sun salutation has been demonstrated find a way to provide you much needed peace of mind. As a result of the peace of mind, you’re feeling relaxed and without tension. As a result of this, you become more productive as there is an optimistic approach towards life.

Physical benefits: other than the pose assisting you to have peace of mind, it also helps in making you physically fit.

The sun salutation is a rather easy to execute model also it could be practiced by nearly every man, woman and child, regardless of age. To enjoy all the advantages of the pose, you should practice day-to-day. You should also possess an optimistic attitude towards it.

Solar Energy on House Roofs

Solar Energy for Home Use

The costs of electricity have elevated really a bit recently; this will not stop, as they will just scale higher and greater.

A truly worth-economy methodology of preserving cash and both the atmosphere is solar power for house use. Now, clients are able to chill out using their electricity use with handcrafted picture voltaic panels and efficient solar gear.

Developing handcrafted solar panels for residential features is not overly sophisticated. For creating a picture voltaic panel for residing use does not need any level in electric or any unique abilities, it is readily doable. Your typical unique man has the ability to assemble a complete solar for residing use deal with away proficient support.

Solar Panel

Solar panels at work for energy.

Harnessing the solar’s energy for domestic solar energy for house electricity requirements and self made photo voltaic resources can with-out issue, take out this alternate supply of electricity. Photovoltaic cells can obtain pure electricity even when it’s an overcast day.

Figuring out the exact place of the power economy solar cells could function as most demanding job. It has to be put in that place as a way to capture the utmost amount of every day sunlight it might potentially get. Locations of setup may likewise be inside a floor within the lawn, the backyard, or upwards to the roofing of the house or garage; it fluctuates for each individual.

These homemade solar panels can closing a decennium or possibly and to more with merely a little lost in efficacy. By paying an incredibly little preliminary price you may make the most of photo voltaic vitality for home electricity consumption which might result in you becoming paid again month after month, every year.

Yearly, the amount of panels purchased to furnish sun energy for house electric needs keeps raising. Sales of solar things in the 1 2 months 2007 went preceding the four-million mark. There are rather several professional dividers of solar resources yet why don’t you produce your own solar panel and save yourself a whole lot of cash.

A lot of people consider that residence solar energy techniques are ultimately going to change fossil-fuel-based mainly energy sources as the simplest method that most people electricity their residences. This free and endless method of make energy is a better method to create electricity in your home, and is additional cost-effective than ever before.

Thus, what’s a crucial thing that you definitely need to understand home solar power processes?

Is it possible to visualize that there’s a power supply out there that is strong enough the sum of vigor that is consumed to our planet, ocean, and environment each hour is more than your complete quantity of electricity that man used in your whole yr of 2002. That’s what mit.edu’s publication Powering the Earth: Chemical Problems in Picture voltaic Electricity Use states. The vitality the planet absorbs comes inside a type of heat along with light, and also the arrival of house solar electricity systems means that the typical citizen and homeowner is now able to set that electricity to use!

That said, vital matter you need to learn about home solar energy systems is the fact that you could continue making electricity as long as sunlight keeps on glowing. Even when everyone had one in all these astounding systems, you wouldn’t run out of electricity. These techniques usually are not out there to possessors inside the sort of photovoltaic solar panels, which transform solar energy into electricity. The photovoltaic cells that most people use for their at-home solar energy processes are arranged right into a cell.

Science Fair

A Fun Solar Energy Science Project

One of the best experiences I ever had was when I participated in a local solar energy science fair. Despite my professional experience, as it turns out when I was a kid, I was never very good at science, so I saw this as a challenge. I enjoy doing new things, especially activities that I don’t have a lot of experience in. I initially thought it wouldn’t go very well, but then I thought of something that I had seen on a camping trip years ago, and decided to make one. Instead of creating something with solar panels like everyone else was, I decided to focus on what I enjoy the most: food! That’s when I decided to make my very first solar cooker. To be honest, I didn’t win the contest, but I did have a lot of fun and I figured out how to make one with really simple steps. Let me tell you what I did, and maybe you can do the same.

The first thing you need are a couple boxes. They don’t have to be very big, but one has to be a little smaller than the other. That’s because in between the gap created by the different box sizes, you have to insert shredded newspaper. This will be a makeshift insulator that is necessary for the solar oven to work. Another thing you will need are pieces of black construction paper that you put inside the smaller box. Outside of the solar oven, you need to have reflective panels that can focus the light, at 45 degree angles, into the box where the food will be cooked. What I did was wrap tinfoil around four square pieces of cardboard, and propped them up with dowels so I could adjust the angle.

The last part of the process is the easiest: put your food in the center of the box! Depending upon what you’re cooking, and the time of year that you make the box, it could take several hours for the sun to cook your food. You can literally make anything in this solar cooker including soup, appetizers, salads, casseroles, desserts and even bread. There are also lots of recipes on the Internet that you can access for free, so no matter what type of food you would like to cook, there is probably a recipe for it on the Internet. It was a very exciting project for me, and I’m glad I took the time to try it out. Hopefully this little experience that I had making a makeshift solar cooker for a solar energy science fair project will inspire you to try to make one yourself.

Methane is an Organic Alternative

Methane from Cattle

Cattle are a viable source of methane gas.

Got cows? Got plenty of cattle fencing in place to keep them separate and organized? A lot of cattle farmers and ranchers are turning to methane gas production as a viable secondary source of income and by and large it seems to be working. Methane gas is a common chemical compound known by the formula CH4, and it is the simplest alkane in the environment.

It occurs naturally and is often extracted from large natural gas fields but can also be extracted relatively efficiently from solid waste landfills. Increasingly, methane is obtained through the fermentation of organic matter, including cow manure. It’s the ideal scenario for a large-scale cattle farmer because in addition to providing a secondary income stream, it helps to deal with another problem that all cattle ranchers face: dealing with all the cow manure on their property.

Learning How Solar Cells Work

Summer is winding down and the kids are back in school, presumably learning some good stuff. But I always try to take advantage of good opportunities to teach my own kids a few things about science in general and solar energy in particular. Since it was a sunny morning, I pulled my son away from the computer, where he was busy on CheatsPulse looking up Adventure World cheats so that he could get a leg up on his friends in the game. That new Zynga game is taking up way too much of his time, but that’s another story altogether. He objected vehemently at first, hoping he good squeeze out a little more gaming time, but the promise of some ice cream after a short outdoor adventure lured him away.

I told him to bring along his calculator, and that got a few weird stares. My goal today was to teach him about photovoltaic cells, a key part of solar energy, and how they work to power some of the simplest electronic devices, such as his pocket calculator. Essentially, the photovoltaic cells have semiconductors inside, and when sunlight hits the cell, a portion of it is absorbed inside the semiconductor material. When this happens, electrons break free, providing the energy needed to power the simple calculator. Since it’s a cheap device, we decided to pry it open and take a closer look.

Surprisingly, he was very intrigued. There’s something about little boys and breaking things apart that just seems to work well. After a while, he had forgotten completely about his video games and we spent an enjoyable afternoon together out in the sun learning about how solar energy works. He didn’t forget the promise of ice cream, though, and about an hour later we were getting another lesson in the power of solar energy: it’s ability to melt ice cream very quickly.

And of course, soon after the experiment, he was back on the computer looking up some new Club Penguin cheats for his ongoing obsession with that game.

Hotblack Desiato and Disaster Area

One of my favorite book series is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, an uproariously funny collection of books by the late, great Douglas Adams who sadly passed away at a much too young age. One of the best scenes, apart from the mattress creatures of Squornshellous Alpha, is the scene from the third book, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, when the lead characters become trapped on a spaceship belonging to Hotblack Desiato and his rock group, Disaster Area. In the scene, the spaceship has been programmed to crash into the sun in an effort to create a solar flare. It’s all part of the elaborate stage theatrics of the band, which plays so loud that the audience must usually listen from a distance of thirty-seven miles away.

But could a spaceship crashing into a sun really cause a solar flare? Well, not likely. Science, which isn’t always as imaginative as fiction, tells us that solar flares are caused when electrons interact with the plasma medium of the sun. A curious phenomenon of magnetic reconnection is involved, and while we don’t know precisely how solar flares come about, we do know that they’re generally not set off by space ship crashes involved in theatrics from rock bands.

Solar Water Heater

I attended a seminar about solar water heater last weekend and it interest me quite a bit! I want to share all the facts that I’ve gathered from that seminar. I hope I will be able to convey the message to you clearly and keep you interested not bored!

Usage of solar-powered water heaters is really taking off throughout different hotels and establishment where comfort really matters. Typical domestic uses of hot water are for cleaning, cooking, bathing, and space heating.  Water heaters powered by electricity typically use 4500 watts, which puts them out of reach for many.

Well, here comes the solar power heater. Solar energy is a great way to free yourself from electric monthly bill. In order to heat water using solar energy, a collector, often fastened to a roof or a wall facing the sun, heats working fluid that is either pumped or driven by natural convection through it. The collector could be made of a simple glass topped insulated box with a flat solar absorber made of sheet metal attached to copper pipes and painted black, or a set of metal tubes surrounded by an evacuated glass cylinder. It will the one to deliver and store the hot water into the household or an establishment. If you’re not sure of where to begin, try talking to your neighbors or reaching out to vendors through your neighborhood association.

The device is kind of not so cheap when you purchase it but to if you’re going to think about the monthly bill that you are going to pay when you use an electric water heater you may as well agree with me that this one will work efficiently and it eliminates monthly frustrations!

Solar Power for Heat

Critics of solar power are quick to point out that its currently horribly inefficient. And to a point, they’re somewhat correct. We’re still not at a point where the technology for solar power conversion has advanced to the point where it’s practical or economically feasible to convert solar power into electricity and use it to power most of modern society’s power needs. Mass-produced cheaper solar panels only convert solar power to electricity with 15% efficiency.

But the other day I was reminded of something while sitting outside in the hot summer sun. I went to pick up my black computer bag which had become hot to the touch after just a short while of sitting in the sun. Too often we criticize solar power for its inefficiency in conversion to electricity. But when all we want to do is to capture the heat from the sun, solar becomes a very viable and economically sound choice. It makes sense for countries all over the world that get sun, whether that in the high mountains of Peru or the sun splashed beaches of Thailand.

Take water heaters, for example. Solar powered water heaters make a lot a sense in most of the United States, and apart from the initial installation and plumbing work, don’t require much ongoing energy costs. And they also don’t need expensive photovoltaic cells. When you compare them to the ongoing costs of powering a water heater throughout the year on normal electrical power coming from a coal plant or other traditional power source, it wouldn’t take you long to recoup your initial investment and of course, you’d be doing yourself and the planet a favor.