czwartek, 7 kwietnia 2011

Today's Solar Considerations

Today's Solar Considerations

Author: Johnny Solar

Today's Solar Considerations

Some of the more interesting stories going around is a little red house on wheels in Massachusetts that runs totally on solar power, has compost toilet, is portable with a heater and very little but enough furniture, not a breaking story but one that exemplifies American innovation.

Some of the new solar wave terminology spreading over the planet is "Passive homes" and "Active homes", passive homes are homes that are energy efficient – completely except when weather conditions are overwhelming, and then an outside energy source is needed to maintain the same comfort level. An active house is one that collects more energy than it needs in a years time and stores the excess for needs that exceed the expected or emergency situations.

The first working active/positive home of this type is in Denmark, sad to say we can not make this claim being a country of innovative and original thinkers. But that does not mean we can't learn from this and build the next best thing. The home in Denmark is equipped with thermal and electric solar systems, the heat is solar heated and distributed through the flooring creating a radiant heat, a very comfortable way of heating with no visible objects from which the heat is distributed, except the floor has a warm cozy feel from the heated water running through the tubing under it.

Features of new wave solar powered homes include the likes of R40 Larsen Truss walls, triple glazed R6 super windows, glazing revamped for passive solar heating, a new solarium, a hand crafted masonry heater, and much more. In addition to a very good thermal envelope. Like most good designs, this one is simple and robust without a lot of gadgetry.

Solar power home financing is also an area of growth as far as new ways of finding the money to convert your home, Government incentives are of course the loudest talking ways of financial help, but another way is leasing, there companies who will install and lease the equipment to home owners, again this is where a little smart shopping skills are very valuable. Should you decide to go with a power purchase agreement make sure you understand everything and have read all the fine print. Many companies have solar plans; shop at least a dozen before making a commitment.

Passive VS Photovoltaic

Photovoltaic solar panels absorb and transform sunlight to direct electrical current. Passive solar panels and absorbers lack the intensity necessary to transform light and heat into electricity; however, they are quite capable of radiating heat and providing hot water. Using both photovoltaic and passive solar systems to power and heat a home is an efficient use of resources.

Unknown interesting fact about solar installation is New Jersey is second only to California in new installations, the important thing about having a home powered by solar and your not fortunate enough to live in California, Arizona, Hawaii or any of the other states blessed with sunlight almost year round, is to have a good power storage system and backup system.

In the coming next year the technological advancements that are coming our way will make solar systems easier to install, finance and maintain, unfortunately its only when the big corporations figure out how to make money from mass installations and a automated way of collecting the excess energy and recycling it will the solar conversion really take off.

By that time solar conversion systems will be hot commercials, one can only imagine what kind of commercials will be aired during half time at the super bowl, I am sure they will be fun if not educational laced with many innuendoes.

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About the Author
Johnny Solar
Born in Phoenix, AZ
Solar solution developer

Energy Corporation Association
Affiliated Green Earth Guide

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