Category Archives: blog

Solar Film – Blocking Solar Power from Heating Your Home

Some rooms in your house may get too much sun exposure and they might be too hot for people to live in, these rooms usually are rooms with larger windows pointing south.

In the summer the sun, mainly coming from the south side of your house, penetrates your house window and rises the internal house temperature – this will make your electric bill go up as you will need to use much more energy to cool the space.

There’s an easy and inexpensive solution to this :


Solar film when installed correctly can reduce the heat in the rooms in the summer and help warm the room in the winter.

Kevin Koval has been installing these film for more than 10 years, he says that the most important thing in installing solar films on windows is to clean the window properly before attempting to apply the film on the window.


Adding solar film has many benefits

Solar Film Installation

The main purpose when installing the film is to block UV, heat, and glare.

the added value of the film on the glass is that if somebody is trying to break the glass in order to get into your house and steal, the solar film will act as a protective layer and will make it extremely impossible to break it.

The quality films are completely clear and can last over 30 years – so you won’t be left in the dark once they are coating your glass.


How do I do it myself?

  • You can get the heat control residential window film on Amazon online
  • The total cost is then determined by the number of windows and the size of the windows.
  • New technology also includes film the help retain heat during the winter.
  • Solar Film will reject heat during the summer.

How USA is Loosing Solar Technology to China

Dan Harris heard a story today of one company, one big idea, but in America, no one to say give it a try.

Natcore is a small company based in New Jersey that says it’s come up with an innovative new approach to make solar panels technology better and cheaper. One that its scientists are very excited about.

The president of the company Chuck Provini says he was determined to set up shop here in America.


I lived in New Jersey, I’m a former marine, I consider myself a good American and a patriot.
We wanted to do business in the States…

He went to Washington D.C. and met with congressional staffers, lawyers, and lobbyists but we couldn’t get the help raising the money that we needed.

Were you met with blank stares?

Well, they were very polite. We got polite letters, polite… conversations… but it was obvious that there was a major disconnect.

There was, however, one place offering help: China.

The government of China flew him over there and made him a very generous offer for him to move his panels technology to China.

Would you say that Chinese officials made your life easy in this process?
It has been a pleasure. They have been gracious. They’ve cut through red tape…

He is about to cut a deal to open a factory that will create hundreds of jobs: jobs that could have been created here in the USA.

You’re now in China as we speak, in the middle of the night, and you’re not far away from making a final deal.
Well, I’m really here – this is how you have found me at 2 o’clock in the morning. I am in Ju Jou City!

To be fair, it is hard for the U.S. to compete with China’s dictatorial government which essentially runs the entire economy.

But still, critics say the Federal Government needs a big bold plan to dramatically ramp up our use of clean energy.

Until then, what they say, when they see a lot more American Solar Panels companies like Natcore exporting their promising ideas to places like China.

Solar Panels Theft on the California Bay Area

Let me see if we can get there on the side…
Even if you hold the top job in the school district, the top of one of your schools is not placed you often go to.

In fact, this is the first time Jefferson Union Superintendent Michael Crilly has not been on the roof of High School since thieves were up here this past winter.

During their visit, they walked away with more than 100 of the school’s solar panels worth roughly $50,000.
They just take them right off.

Not Hard at All to Steal Panels

Crilly’s reaction when he first heard of the theft was understandable when the commons steal from the school, you know. That’s, that’s the lowest of the low. Right now, through, he’s a bit surprised. Surprised just how easy it all looks.

When you get up here and you look at these, they are remarkably easy to take apart. Sadly simple. And sadly becoming more common.


How Common is Solar Panels Theft

Agobian is president of solar Insure, a southern California company that specializes in insuring renewable energy systems.

He says: We’re seeing a rise in solar panel theft in California over the past 2 years, solar panel theft shot up 26%.

In the bay area, there have been thefts for multiple wineries in Napa Valley as well as multiple schools in the East Bay.

The common denominator among them seems to be large installations not very visible to the general public.
Here at the Pacific School, it wasn’t until a member of the installation team came back to the site did anyone notice anything was wrong. And that could have been a full 2 weeks after the theft. It’s one reason police have made few arrests in these cases and recovered even fewer panels.


Who Are The Immediate Suspects for the Panels Theft?

Investigators are the first to admit they really don’t know who’s behind then.
They say some may be showing up on Craigslist and eBay but without any serial number database to check, no one can really be sure.

Agobian, though, has an idea of what’s happening.

It seems that the theft is being caused by people with industry knowledge. They know where the cameras are being installed and they know how to take the panels.

Agobian figures many of the stolen panels have likely ended up in the homes of people more than happy to get a good deal on solar panels but not wanting to ask too many questions.

He says fencing, alarms, and security cameras are now becoming necessary additions to solar panel array. Meaning the real impact of this crime wave will likely be making the switch to solar panels, already expensive, even more so.

List of Materials for Building your own Solar Panel

For those who are new for this blog, I must say it would be great if you check my other posts on buying solar cells as it will help you understand better what you should do here and where to get the materials needed to build homemade solar panels.

List of materials for diy solar panel

Material Needed For Homemade Solar Panels:

  • Frame – preferably aluminum
  • Recycled glass
  • Solar cells
  • Exterior glass silicon
  • Tubbing wire
  • Bus wire
  • Diode
  • Sylgard 184
  • Flux
  • Terminal block
  • Standard wire No 12
  • Silicon caulk
  • Pay attention to the solar cells, they are really fragile and can be broken very easily, so you need to handle them with special care.

    I usually clear the space around the solar cells and leave them in the box until I really need to use them, make sure to get about 10% extra solar cells when you order, most of the good sellers understand this and will send that extra solar cells.

    Another important thing before you start building a DIY solar panel is to make sure you have a space enough to work, make sure you have a table that you will cover with some rug so the solar cells and the glass won’t get scratches or that the solar cells won’t hit a hard surface and broke.

    As mentioned before they are very fragile and you need to handle them with extra care.

    Allow yourself to make mistakes when building your first solar panel as we all did, the good thing about it is that I assure you, you will learn a lot from this experience and in your second solar panel, you won’t make too many mistakes as well as you will be able to build it in half of the time it took you to build the first one.

    In case you have any other questions about making homemade solar cells and panels you can post comments below and I will answer it shortly.

Home Solar Panels the Leasing Option

A growing members of Californians are looking to the sun to lower their energy costs. But for many, even with so many tax calculators and estimators available, solar panels is still an expensive option.

NBC Bay Area’s Joe Rizada Jr. shows us a new program that’s hoping to solve that.

Long time Sierra Club member Dan Raddenmacher has an activist soul.

Over the years he’s dreamed that activist dream of solar panels adorning the roof of his Oakland home.

We thought about it for a long time and in the past, it was pretty darn expensive so its something we’re ready to drop many thousands of dollars on.

Last summer, Raddenmacher finally got his wish, it didn’t even cost him anything.


The Mathematics Behind Solar Panels

I guess it was more like going out to dinner at a cheap restaurant one extra time per month, and less like buying a car.

He was able to tap into his inner sun through as innovative new program by solar panels company SunGevity.

Now we have a lease which allows you to go green without money down, no deposit required.

Just pay as you go.

The company leases solar panels to customers, allowing then to cut their energy cost over time with a clear energy conscience.

This home will go from maybe a footprint of 20 tons of carbon over the next decade to 1 ton of carbon. So it’s a massive reduction.


What’s Next for Solar Panels Installation in the Area

Today the sierra club announced it’s teaming up with the company to encourage its 1.4 million members to go green.

Now we’re putting our traditional activist muscles, the grassroots way of the Sierra Club towards solutions.

The director says solar panels are still too expensive for many homeowners but creative programs are making it more affordable.

The solutions to our environmental problems not only are here, but they are practical problems and are affordable.

Putting solar panels up on your rooftops is easy to do and the Do It Yourself Solar Panels option may be supported as well.

Raddenmacher says the program initially raised his bill about $30 a month but he expects to save money over the 10-year lease…

5 Inches Super Solar Panel – Will Power Your Home

The following TV series from ABC Catalyst in Australia is a glimpse of the bright future of solar technology.

Researchers in Australia successfully demonstrated to power 75 homes using just a 40 Inch x 40 Inch Solar Panel( 1 square meter).

solar panel 5 inch

They used many mirrors to concentrate the sunlight to a unique solar panel that contains specialized solar cells, and we showed this method of using a mirror to double your solar output.

Here is the video of the future of Solar – Enjoy!


New – Integrated Roof Top Solar Panels

Do you want a $4500 money-saving gadget for free? Sounds too good to be true.

Sure does. Well, there’s a kind of green electricity where you can really save money and the planet Jeff Burnside has this exclusive story tonight is going green report.

The 1980s, funky old-style, Old thinking. And that’s what many people think of these old solar panels sitting precariously on roofs. That was then. This is now. The first solar tiles that look much like the rest as the roof.


Tiles of Solar Panels

They’re laid in panels that overlap each others just like roofing tiles.

The aesthetics of it is that it’s a fully integrated system.

So now, instead of having this angled panel up on your roof, you have something that lays down integrated within the roof tile hardly even noticeable from street level.

And it really is a beautiful system as you can see.
This house in Boca Raton is getting the first installation of these tiles east of the Mississippi and the first to meet Florida’s top hurricane and water standards.


The Cost of Solar Tiles and The Benefits

This average-sized system which lasts 20 years costs $45,000.

Ouch. But look at this: The stimulus plan pays for you for about a third of that at tax time.

Then the state pays $20,000 pending renewal of funding.
And remember that the electric company has to buy your extra power, saving you about a thousand dollars a year.

Paying it off in ten years, and after that, you make money.

So the better these solar panels look and the less expensive they are, as can be done with DIY Solar Panels, the move homeowners like this will use them. And that leads to a solution of a much bigger problem.


How Solar Tiles Helps the Environment

Already wants 3 more nuclear power plants, extremely expensive. And there remain plants for more natural gas and coal plants the dirtiest of all.

But every solar power system installed means less need to build these power plants, protecting the environment and our electric rates.

We are the sunshine state. We should be powering the sunshine state with sunshine.

Different Solar Power System a Hybrid Solar Lighting

By some estimates, 30% of the electricity used in the United States alone is just from lighting and for retailers that number climbs to 45%.

But this next story shows those numbers could drop dramatically simply by letting the sun come in.

Duncan Earl looks like he’s recreating a scene from Starwars but he’s really demonstrating an elegant new lighting system.

It could save millions in energy costs, it could improve worker productivity. It’s called Hybrid Solar Lighting and some buildings are already seeing the light.

We’re here on the rooftop of the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oakridge Tennessee where we are seeing a solar collector that’s part of Sunlight Direct’s HSL3000 system.


The Hybrid Solar Lighting Components

This system consists of a 48-inch diameter primary mirror that concentrates the light towards the secondary mirror. This secondary mirror strips off UV and Infrared wavelengths.

Taking out the Infrared UV light reduces heat in the fiber optics and, why not, you can’t see that light anyway?
The visible light is focused on the fiber optic receiver.

The fiber optic receiver contains optical fibers that then passed into the building interior for building lighting.

Just like electrical wire sent to lighting fixtures, the fibers are easily installed and replaced.

Unlike fluorescent lights that require energy, the hybrid solar system only needs one 9-volt battery to power the solar tracking system for a week.

“The solar tracker mechanism consists of two motors that are controlled by a GPS microprocessor.
The GPS microprocessor can calculate the exact location of the sun to within point 1 degree.” and that makes the lights shine bright.


How Much Light Power It Gives?

“To give you an idea of how much light is emitted by these optical fibers, just 2 of these fibers produce enough light to be equivalent to a 60-watt light bulb and there are a hundred twenty-seven of those optical fibers in our bundle. “

Scratches on this rod help distribute the light but what if it’s cloudy or rainy outside? That’s where the hybrid comes in.

“The lighting fixtures blend the sunlight with the artificial lamps from fluorescent or incandescent lamps that are to create a hybrid luminary.

Photosensors in the room monitor the intensity and make sure the artificial lamps are ramped up or decreased proportionally to keep a constant room illumination.”

Solar Tower – Renewable Energy Using the Sun

There’s a couple of things that drive investments in Solar Towers, one is the cost of oil.

The other thing, of course, is government policy. Now with oil prices at record high and environmental issues burning in the public’s consciousness, interest in the Mansinares model has reached critical mass.

An Australian firm called Enviromission plans to take a new tower to unprecedented heights.

“we’re one of the largest structures if not the largest structure in the face of the Earth – Steel reinforced concrete tower will rise 2500 ft above the earth.


Dimensions of the Solar Power Tower

That’s nearly half a mile and twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Its base will be 430 feet in diameter—wide enough to provide a firm anchor during high winds.

The glass and polymer canopy will stand 3 miles. Gently sloping from a height of 6 feet at the perimeter to 100 feet at the tower. There, 32 jet size turbines would be waiting to take the hot air and turn it into electricity.

The tower promises year-round energy. Greenhouse does still operates in winter so they still collect warm air. You still create a temperature differential.

You may not have a huge output you have in summer just like with DIY Solar Panels, but you will certainly have a pretty substantial output.


The Output Power of the Solar Tower

Enviromission believes their tower will light up the power grid with an outstanding 200 megawatts.

Even if the tower runs in 80 percent capacity, that’s enough power to fuel half a million households.

Enviromission has already purchased a 20,000-acre site between Melbourne and Sydney to build the solar power tower.


How Much does a Solar Power Tower Costs?

It will be an engineering marvel and obviously a renewable energy icon and it will be expensive.

The estimated cost to build a tower is $700,000,000. It’s a hefty price but one that just like solar panels would eventually pay for itself.

It will be, we believe, competitive in output with coal but it is more expensive to build but it costs nothing to run.

With investment capital rushing toward green machines, that 700,000,000 looks attainable.

Jetson style transport model 620 solar power towers the size of Enviromission’s design.
Of those, California would need sixty-five solar power towers.

7 Benefits of Solar Energy

There must be a reason to explain why solar energy has spread so fast in the last decade.

Technology, which used to be exclusive and expensive, is nowadays affordable to a wider audience and solar panels are a lot more efficient than they used to be.

The potential of solar power is as infinite as the energy of the sun. Here we list 7 benefits that could easily explain the rise of solar power.

7 benefits solar panels


1. Solar energy is clean

Environmental awareness has become a trending topic in the last decades.

More people and governments are concerned about climate change and this presents a great opportunity for renewable sources of energy.

Solar energy relies exclusively on the energy of the sun and solar panels manage to convert sunlight directly into electricity.

No water is used in this process and no toxic gases or noise are released either. This is a strong advantage that places solar energy in the top favorite amongst other sources of energy.


2. Solar energy is easy to install

Contrary to other sources of energy, including some renewable sources like geothermal power, solar energy technologies are easy to install.

This applies both for solar panels and solar thermal systems.

You simply need an installer to spend some hours on your roof (if you chose a roof-mounted system) and the work is done.

You can even install your own panels (DIY) and save some money on the installation.

In this last case, you should check what the conditions for the panels’ warranty are.

Also before you install your panels you should have your home inspected by a contractor, this will ensure that your home can safely support them


3. No maintenance required

If you follow the right steps and manage to properly install the solar system, then you can almost forget about it.

It is enough to have the system checked once a year by a specialist and to make sure that the panels are not covered by heavy leaves or other stuff that might block the sunlight.


4. Solar energy will save you money

Once you have your system installed, you will start saving money on your electricity bills.

Solar panels will cover most (if not all) of your electricity demand if you install the right system size.

Furthermore, the Feed-in Tariff means that apart from saving money, you will make money with your solar system.

You, an electricity supplier, will pay you for every unit of electricity your system produces.

If you produce more than you use, you can sell this electricity back to the grid and get a bonus payment.


5. Solar panels don’t need direct sunlight

Although its name might suggest the contrary, solar panels do not need direct sunlight to work.

Photovoltaics are significantly efficient with daylight, which means solar panels are effective also in grey countries like England.

However, it is true that the more sunlight the panels receive, the higher the output of the system. This should be taken into account when installing the panels since they should be facing the sun and not covered by any tree or building shade.


6. Long average life span

Another very interesting advantage of solar panels relies on their long life span.

Solar panels are easy to install and last for more than 30 years. Most suppliers offer guarantees of 25 years but your system will still be considerably efficient years after the guarantee expires.

This benefit gets more interesting if we take into account the Feed-In Tariff, which is granted for 20 years.

After this period you will still have free electricity and thus save on your bills.


7. Job creation

Since the solar energy industry has grown so fast in the last decade, many jobs have been created in this sector and in renewable energy in general.

New large-scale solar projects mean thousands of jobs, qualified and not qualified, which in turn mean an economic boost to the area where the project is located.

Moreover, as solar panel technologies improve and the devices get more efficient, more people will be attracted to this source of energy and therefore more jobs will be created.

How You Can Utilize Solar for Your Business

There are many reasons why, as a business owner, operating on clean, renewable solar energy is beneficial.

Among the many benefits, solar power can reduce long-term business operation costs, which can be quite substantial depending on the size of your business, where it’s located, and what type of business you run.

Solar panels convert the sun’s rays into electricity, which means they’re active during your hours of operation, and it’s very unlikely that you’d ever need to draw power from the local grid.

Reducing your greenhouse emissions and the carbon footprint of your company is ideal for business because today’s average consumer is increasingly aware of how their lifestyle and purchasing habits can have both short-term and long-term effects on the environment.

When you advertise that you operate a green business, customers see that you care about the environment, influencing their purchasing habits and encouraging loyalty to your company.

solar panels on roof
Via Fox Business

With all these great benefits to converting your business to solar energy, here are some ways that you can utilize solar energy to optimize your business.


Your Business Can Power Itself

One of the most advantageous uses of solar power for enterprises is the potential to operate totally independent of the local power grid.

Whether your business is small or large, with an adequate supply of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels your business can get all the energy it needs to operate from the sun.

When you consider the rising utility costs and energy inflation, business owners are going to be spending more and more money just to keep their doors open.

Additionally, local brown and black-outs could mean power outages that cost you business.

Instead of remaining tethered to the volatile power grid and forfeiting hard-won revenue to the electric company, you could gain a competitive edge by converting your business to solar energy so that it can power itself and save you tons of money both in the immediate and distant future.


Turn Roof Real Estate Into a Second Income

neighbourhood with solar panels

Via Sasonbi Solar

Does your business reside in a large building? Do you have additional storage or productive facilities?

Installing solar panels on the roofs of these buildings could mean generating surplus power that can be sold to local utility companies, which would make it a second income for your business.

Buildings with enough space for really large solar PV systems could see quite a significant return on the energy fed into the local grid.

What’s more, replacing an expensive bill with hefty recurring payouts can make a pretty significant difference in your bottom line.


More Than Just Electricity

If your business has outdoor lighting, switching to solar lighting would mean they could power themselves without need an external power source.

This means that you could light parking lots, garages, loading and cargo areas, and walkways were totally independently.

Businesses that use a significant amount of water, either for production or plumbing, could convert to solar thermal water heating so that the water your company uses isn’t heated by fuel or electricity.

Fresnel Solar Power – Six Kilowatt System

This is going to make solar affordable for everyone.

This is a very standard prototypes solar furnace made of lens for all recycled big-screen television.

I placed it in a little bit frame, near the focus here we have a heat collector and a heat exchanger we can run water through to generate high-pressure steam.

We can generate approximately 1.2 kilowatts of heat energy for this lens.

This is about 60 inches (1.52 meters) in diameter using nothing but sunlight. This is a basic solar thermal generator I have come up with.


How Its Generate Power From The Sun?

The idea is to take the heat of the sun and use it to generate electrical power as well as hot water.

Here we have standard solar heating panels that create hot water around 160 degrees to 180 degrees Fahrenheit depending upon how hot it gets.

The hot water here is a great deal of energy the focus of Fresnel Furnace, this lens captures about a kilo-watt or more electrical out sunlight power and plus is this hot water and the steam in high pressure.

That high-pressure steam operates an electrical generator.

We will recover the hot water which goes to hot water storing system like a regular hot water can and we get electrical power out of it.

We are getting about 60% of electrical conversion efficiency and hot water is a free bonus, something you can’t get from Solar Panels, or you will need to get a

Solar Tracker device to boost it up.

So you can put a number of hot water collecting panels on your roof and the heat of the sun can be used not to create just hot water but also electrical power with high efficiency.

fresnel-lens

Update: Large Full Page Fresnel Lens Available on Amazon.

  • How much power will this system produce?
    About 6 kilowatts of electrical power in about 10 square meters of roof space.
  • How many bedrooms?
    Well most home use about 30 kilowatts hours of power a day
    5 hours of this operation would run a standard home. However with 6-kilowatts in one of the earth’s shape is far more conservative.
    You would have more electrical power than you will ever need.
  • What about the charging of electric car or 6 kilowatts and 3 bedrooms home?
    If you are a very conservative home – yes you can easily recharge a car. Nothing prevents you from putting more of these panels on the roof and collecting more energy. We can use this for heating by running the hot water through the floor if you have a radiant heating system.
    We can use it for lighting by using rafted five lights inside your house. You don’t have to cut holes on your roof to get the lighting inside.
  • What about affordability?
    We are looking to pay off 3 to 5 years about 6 to 8 thousand dollars for a system like this.
  • What about the cost of conventional solar 6 kilowatts?
    6 kilowatts of fuel will take 10 thousand very easily right now, about sixty thousand, because you see most of the solar farm takes a system to run 5 to 7 dollars of work.

Building a Sustainable Solar Powered House

This is good news too. This is the story I was talking about. It’s saying ‘I thought that was a tent, apparently not but this is your everything has to deal with the weather segment built.
That’s right and it’s about an energy efficient home, right?
Yeah, but don’t call this a solar panel house. It’s a simplistic term. It’s one that’s designed to create as much energy as it takes to use. So it has that negative, neutral impact: harnessing the sun while maximizing efficiency and space.

Cutting through convention, a group of scholar builders from the University of South Florida have teamed up with similar sorts from the University of Florida, Florida State, and the University of Central Florida to put together what they hope as a winning entry from Team Florida in the Department of Energy’s Solar Panels Decathlon.
With 20 teams from all over the world striving for a sustainable structure that basically supplies all its energy needs—just don’t call this a solar panel house.

Houses with Solar Panels

A solar panel house is kind of a term that’s left over from the 1970s, maybe, it’s become a lot more sophisticated than that: the way people think about sustainability in general uh and energy efficiency. Solar Panels are just one component of it, certainly, but it’s really just one component.

And according to faculty adviser, Stanley Russel, the other main component of this house being fabricated along the banks of the Hillsborough River, is that it’s got to travel to the national mall!
Stanley Russell: Everything…everything about the design is influenced by that criteria. Shipping size or shipping height, shipping widths, weights, and being able to assemble and disassemble easily at the site.

The convertible components, usually been the most intriguing part of the project for the professionals who’ve jumped on board because this house is like nothing else in the competition.
Peter Dayton: Yeah that is one unique part. A lot of those are being put together in components onsite, whereas this one will come up relatively assembled. You literally slide the two rooms out and—and, boom, now you have your house.

And where we’re standing is, in fact?
Correct. This room will actually move.
Creating a slide apart, flexible, modular home has been the coolest aspect of this design and construction.
I designed them as in how they uh would roll in and out. So that’s gonna be an awesome thing actually, have it seen rolling in and out of the window in the competition. So that’s gonna be exciting.
Much more exciting than the mundane task of tiling the shower. But for students like Miguel Sanchez and Stella Kelmann, working on this project has been an eye-opener.

Weather-centric, energy-saving elements like a liquid desiccant air conditioning system and photo-voltaic cells come into play, they’re proud to put all their energy into the Flex House.
Yeah it’s a really good working experience. It’s not only, like, designing but see how all things are put together.
I think this is gonna definitely turn out to be an exciting project.

Really is. And even though it was completely cloudy, very rainy on the day that I was doing the story with the house, they were very excited about it. They really looked the place up and I think they’ve got a really good chance ‘cause they’re the only transformer house that’s gonna be up there on the National Mall.

Solar Panels Theft – A New Class of Crime

It is one of the newer crimes under the sun. So security companies are scrambling to stop thieves from stealing solar panels.

Sunny places, it turns out, attract shady people.

“It’s amazing what people do pick to steal these days.”

So as well as catching the sun, this solar unit in California’s Napa Valley is being armed with cameras and motion detectors to catch a thief.


Who Steals the Solar Panels?

These guys are coming in at night, they’re grabbing these panels and uh, whether they’re walking out of there, it’s where they are, they’re driving their cars and then loading them up real fast if they’re able to get them out with one or two people.

Thieves have plenty of targets in California whether or more than 52,000 solar installations.

Each 3-foot by 4-foot panel cost a thousand dollars or more. Schools in Pleasanton have had solar panels torn from the roof 5 times.

24 panels disappeared from a hardware store in Sebastopol.
But wine country has been hit hardest.


Solar Panels theft in Vineyards

Here in the Napa Valley, the vines are what make the money but increasingly, vineyards have discovered that the same sun that produces the grapes is valuable in producing electricity and the thieves have discovered the value in these too.

I was dumbfounded. I was like ‘who would take solar panels?

Michael Honig installed 819 solar panels to provide all the power his winery needs. One morning, he discovered that 40 panels were gone. So when I rode by, I was surprised when I saw one of these rows was missing – says Michael Honig.

At least a dozen Napa wineries have lost panels worth a total of $400,000. Some have been hit twice including Honig’s winery, There is an epidemic of theft right now just like the thefts of solar panels in the Bay Area.

Finally, Honig put in security cameras. The next week, there was a hand across the lens then shadowy figures among the panels. 3 men were caught and are now in jail.

Police think some of the stolen panels may go into indoor Marijuana growers who are big users of electricity and with growing demand from builders for solar panels, there appears to be a black market in this green technology.

Solar Powered Generator for an Emergency Situation

We all remember what it was like to go without power during Hurricane Ike.

Now a local man believes he has found a way to generate electricity using something you may have at home.

Coming up we’ll take a closer look at his DIY solar-powered generator which he says would also help the environment.

During Hurricane Ike, most of us spend time without power and for many, it was weeks before electricity was finally restored.

Now a Devry’s student, who remembers first hand the frustration he felt following the storm, has created a unique way of generating power using something you probably have at home.

Going Green tonight, KPRC Local 2 reporter Courtney Gilmore, takes a closer look:

Ben Klaver turned a cooler into his own Solar (Panel) Generator. He claims it was easy.


How Long Does It Takes To Build DIY Solar Panel

The time to build it, it only took about 30 minutes to an hour but to actually think about it and plan it all out, about 2 to 3 days.

Outside, the solar panel collects energy from the sun but it’s inside the cooler where the battery and the inverter are, that the magic happens.

It goes straight out of the outlet that’s wired into the outlet.

After Hurricane Ike, Ben wanted to design something that is eco-friendly and practical.

And as a cooler, if you lose power, you got a place to keep your emergency rations.


What Is The Usage Of this DIY Solar Panel

You can just put your drinks and throw ice in there so when you have an actual cooler, cause it is still waterproof.

It travels on wheels so we take it down to Galveston and tried it out on the beach. And now, it’s my turn, so it’s a good thing it has wheels to get more power.

All we do is to take it outside and once we’re outside, the light will change from red to green saying we got lots of power.

And sure gives off enough power to keep my temperature low.

Ben says it can also power a radio, a computer, and a car.

I went outside and a friend of mine, his car died and I was like well I don’t want to take my battery out of the thing so we just put jumper cables to it.

Giving a friend a jump, keeping your drinks cool and staying green – now that’s functionality!

And not surprisingly Ben says he‘s been getting calls to build more of these solar-powered generators.

It cost him a little under $1000 to make but he’s assured that the price will go down for the next one he builds.

I recommend the Goal Zero 31901 Yeti 1250 Solar Generator on Amazon, it is a great value for its price.

thin film solar panel

3rd Generation of Solar Panels – Thin Film

Energy, a vital and the most important issue in our day to day life. Since the dawn of civilization, man has been using various types of energy from different energy sources.

But because of these energy sources being limited, it has become a prime concern for this modern power-dependent world.

thin film solar panel

For this reason, the economically developed countries are emphasizing on the development of renewable energy sources for the proper utilization of it.

In this regard, solar energy is the most vital and potential energy source.

For using solar energy, you need solar panels. Various types of solar panels are available in the market.

There is no dilemma that domestic production from solar power provides a cost-effective eco-friendly source by harnessing the solar panel technology to electricity.

Many are making use of this technology for their own financial benefits.

The latest and effective innovation in this field is the thin solar film.

Many companies are implying thin-film solar production capability with the idea of acquiring business from ordinary solar panel manufacturers.

These amorphous (without crystalline configuration) film is much less costly to produce, thus offering truly economical solar panel technology in a compact framework.

Outfitters such as Precision Roofing can help you look through different solar options and help you choose a setup that is financially beneficial to your home.

Thin-film suggests that the dimension of the cell is minimized considerably which impacts the excess weight correspondingly and provides more adaptability.

Elimination of dimension enables them to develop more power. Another favorable aspect of thin-film is that they don’t need a huge supporting framework like dense sections.

As a point, in fact, these can be incorporated within the roof or the wall itself.


There are many positive aspects of thin-film solar system

The first is a saving from the commercial perspective manufactured and installed solar panels.

You will save a lot of money in setting up and set up fees. This energy is considerably less costly. You can use it for managing a little store or a little equipment.

Another advantage is that you can replace used cells in your panel. Not only will this preserve your funds, but it is also eco-friendly.

There are various web sites that sell used solar cells and for only a portion of what they cost new.

These solar panel systems can all be linked with each other to generate a higher outcome of energy.

Based on your effort, you may want to build several segments that can that definitely matter in your electrical expenses.

Those who are running a small shop or companies can take a great advantage from a DIY solar panel.

It includes several important features with respect to old technology, the most important of which are Eco friendly and financially less expensive.

Battery Reconditioning

Battery Reconditioning for Storing Electricity from a DIY Solar Panels System

When it comes to the DIY-er’s who build their own solar panels, one critical and important issue is the Battery Bank they need to consider in order to store the amount of electricity produced by the panels in order to get off the grid.

When you go for DIY option you should also think of DIY regarding your Battery Bank as you can’t afford just buying as many batteries as you need, because you will need about 30 batteries to go off the grid, and this is a substantial amount of money to spend!


Schematic DIY Panels Diagram with Battery

Schematic Diagram of Battery in a Solar Panel System

Let’s calculate why you’ll need 30 batteries…

In the picture to the right, you can see a simple diagram that shows a schematic configuration of a 100-watt panel sending its electricity to a single typical car-battery.

7 hours of sunshine will allow 4 fluorescent bulbs (25 watts each) to light for 7 hours…

This can give you the basic idea behind how many batteries you will need and why I say that Battery Reconditioning is the only option you need to take into account when you want to get off the grid by building your own panels.

If you’d rather read e-books, here’s a good one on How To Recondition Old Batteries And Save Money on Amazon.

If you were to make a basic calculation of what you will need to power your home, you will get to a conclusion that you need about 30-40 batteries to get off the grid, and you just can’t afford paying for it by simply buying these batteries.

Battery Reconditioning

That is why the next step for you is to learn how to recondition old batteries in order to get the total price of your DIY project into a reasonable figure.

solar cell

How To Build Your Own Solar Cells

In this tutorial, you will learn how to build your own solar cells from scratch.

Let’s begin:

Titanium Dioxide Coating

Place 6 grams of Ti2 powder on a mortar and grind evenly.
Slowly pour in under a ventilated fume hood 1 milliliter at a time while grinding the mixture.
This will yield a milky white liquid.
Place a drop of clear dishwashing liquid soap and AVOID mixing to avoid it foaming and bubbling.
The dishwashing liquid will allow you to coat glass plates more evenly.
Pour this solution to a small bottle and allow cooling for 15 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DQt8Sd1qgY

Painting with Ti2 Suspension

Get 2 conductive slides and rinse with ethanol. Dry using a tissue.
Test which of the side is conductive using a multi-meter in OHMS.
You will know that the side is conductive if it registers between 10 – 30 Ohms and is bluish-hazy.
The non-conductive side is clear-yellowish.
Tape one glass slide on the table using transparent tape on all edges.
Three edges should be covered up to one millimeter while on the last edge, 4 millimeters.
Wipe off fingerprint/oil on the surface using tissue and ethanol.
Place 1-2 drops of Ti2 solution on the slide and spread with a glass stirring rod.
Allow drying and then remove the tape from the solar cell.

Annealing

Anneal the film on the glass slide using a hot air gun for 30 minutes or place it over an alcohol burner for 10 minutes.
The Ti2 coated section will turn purplish brown and then back to white as heat burns the surfactant.
Store the slides for the meantime.

Staining with Anthocyanin dye

Crush 3-4 berries and transfer to a petri dish.
Dilute with 15 ml of distilled water and stir.
Dip the Ti2 coated section of the slide face down on the juice and leave for 10 minutes.
If the slide is not fully coated, leave for another 5 minutes on the solar cell. Rinse.

Carbon Coating

Heat conductive part of glass plate until it forms soot, holding it with a metal thong. Clean residual soot off the 4 mm strip on glass using a tissue.
Be careful not to rub the soot off the glass of the solar cell.

Assembling

Sandwich the carbon-coated slide and Ti2 slide together. The coated areas should touch directly leaving the 4mm strips exposed. Clip them with binder strips. So as not to move.

Put 1-2 drops of iodine and spread wiping the excess.
Fasten the alligator clips to the exposed sides.

Once you have created a few solar cells you are ready to turn them into solar panels

Here is a great book you can get on Amazon on How to build your own solar panels.

Google will help you with your solar panels

Google, which has long funded big solar and wind projects around the world, is stepping into the solar industry in a more web-based and traditionally Google-style way.

On Monday, Google unveiled a site called Project Sunroof that lets people Google their address and find how much sun their roof gets, as well as the options in their area for buying new solar panels.

The site — which is only available in San Francisco, Boston and Fresno currently — uses data from Google Earth, including high-resolution aerial mapping data, to factor in little details like roof orientation, shade from trees, and local weather.

Here’s the official video from Google:

Interview with Home Owner of Solar Panels from Texas

Going Green on Local 2 this evening, we know the news is plenty of sunshine, and now a group called Re-power Texas has focused on finding cleaner energy for our stay.

And harnessing the power of the sun is a big part of the plan.

Courtney Gilmore has a look at how the push is to go green.

texas solar panels

Hot sun, Houston, summertime’s best gift. It’s beautiful wind combined with Doyle Smith’s brand new solar panels. He installed 10 right before hurricane Ike and today, he’s getting 6 more.


The Economics behind Installing Solar Panels

He says with the rising energy prices the easy installation and low maintenance, deciding to go-green was a no-brainer.

I found myself with a little bit of money and savings account, and the bank wouldn’t give you interest in it, so if you put it on solar panels instead of learning it in the bank, you save a lot of money.

And you still get about, probably about a 5-6% return on the investment.

And advocates say it’s more than saving money, with the negative problems, the pollution, these panels will create clean renewable electricity for your home.

Each panel on top of Doyle’s roof converts the sun’s energy into electricity in this inverter right here. Right now the meter reads over 1600 watts of power making a hot day like today, cool on the inside.

And as the meter rises, his electric bill gets lower. He’ll also receive a tax credit. But with the price tag of $26,000, some might ask, “Is it worth it?”

John Berger, the CEO of standard renewable Energy says it’s an investment that makes sense.

We can put it into a price per month payment on the solar panels installation like everybody’s used to seeing.

And so it’s just like your utility bill except less.

And in this bill, it doesn’t gyrate up and down. And Doyle couldn’t pass that up.

I recommend anybody to put solar panels on especially in Houston we got so many good hot days of sunshine, you know.

And by the way, the tax credit was almost $8,000 which is 30% of the entire cost.

How Solar Panels Pay Back Their Cost

With oil prices climbing sky high, the sun may be rising as an energy alternative.

Right now just 7% of the energy used in this country comes from renewable sources like solar power, 40% comes from petroleum.

But there’s more and more interest in turning to the sun even though there may be some clouds on the horizon.

Here’s Bill Whitaker:
It’s freezing in this Contessa Foods Plant in Los Angeles where workers process, package, and ship tons of frozen vegetables, fish, and meat, each day.

“It’s almost like putting 200,000 refrigerators all in one place.”

Powered largely by the sun, this array of paper thin solar panels.

Rolled across the roof the size of 2 football fields has helped cut Contessa’s energy use in half.

This is significant for an operation that requires so much energy. It can be done and we did it.


Solar Panels Can Save You Hundreds of Dollar a Month

This is my electric meter – Diana Ungeleider put solar panels on her roof last year.

They not only got her meter spinning… It’s actually spinning backward, meaning that the electricity being generated by my DIY solar panels is feeding back into the grid.

But her head spins every time she gets an electric bill. So last year you paid $220 for a 2-month period and this year 14?

“…right…I’ve saved like, I think, over a thousand dollars in one year.”


Solar Panels in California

Long known for fun in the sun, California now more than all the other states combined, is putting the sun to work.
At this Naple winery, the sun ripens the grapes and provides all of the electricity. “This is going to become a lunch pad.”

Governor Schwarzenegger recently announced the most ambitious plan. Southern California Edison, the region’s largest utility installing solar cells on 65 million square feet of commercial rooftops over the next 5 years.

When this is complete, it will produce enough power for a hundred and sixty-two thousand homes.

But much of this sun worship is pie in the sky say critics like U.C. Berkeley’s Severin Borenstein. Solar energy is definitely not the magic bullet for high energy costs.

Instead of solar panels, he says consumers would be better off using more home installation and energy-efficient appliances.

Right now, solar photovoltaic powers are still very expensive (Unlike DIY Solar Panels) compared not just to fossil fuels but compared to the other renewable sources that are out there.

That’s the biggest downside Diana Ungeleider says, her solar panels array costs $15,000 but…

My system will probably pay for itself after about 10 years and after that, it’s just free energy.

Solar and other green technologies added 15% to the 40 million-dollar cost of the new Contessa food plant.

I and Phil are smart businessmen would uh be justified doing this because it’s going to help them in the long run and it’s also going to help the planet.

Rising demand for solar technology should bring prices down eventually. But for now, it helps to have green in your heart and in your pocket.

flexible solar panel

Flexible Solar Panel

Have you ever seen a solar panel that is so handy, you can roll it over to store it when not in use?

There is a 124-watt solar panel available right now that is very practical to utilize and store.
Now you might ask how powerful this is since it is collapsible. How effective the device might be?

flexible solar panel

Update: You Can Get Flexible Solar Panels Here

Let us just say that it is capable of producing 42 volts open voltage! You can even charge a 24-volt system with it.

Cool, huh?

You can go ahead and hook it up with a trusty inverter that can handle a higher voltage and use it accordingly!

This solar panel is designed to be laid on any flat surface and since the backside is adhesive, a personal suggestion would be to stick it over a metal sheath or a flat wood surface first rather than directly on your roof.

If you have an inverter, to keep it going as the panel produces 42 open vaults, cover it temporarily and remove the cover once the device is already up and running.

Of course, you might want to need an inverter that can handle a higher voltage if you wish to upgrade.

Now, this is pretty inexpensive and very affordable for everyone.

136 watts cost around $190 and that already includes shipping!

This price that you’re paying is already good for 20 – 30 years!

If you are not yet convinced, you can research over the internet on how effective these kinds of devices are. And I kid you not: your research will not let you down.

Solar Panel Starter Kit

Solar Panel Kits – Starter Kit

Recently, there has been a big drop in the price of solar panels, specifically in a niche aimed for the ones who dare to install the solar power system themselves, these people often called the DIY’ers or Weekend DIYers.
But I think that even a simple so-called “regular people” can install this solar panel kit.

A very good, reasonable priced, Solar Panel Starter Kit on Amazon by Renogy (California, USA)


Solar Panel Starter Kit

Solar Panel Kits, especially the starter kit is a very good way to get familiar with the technology of solar power and start implementing and installing solar panels on a small scale at your home without going through the whole process of building a solar panel from scratch.

Why I Recommend Solar Panel Kits?

Although the price of a similar DIY Solar Panel can cost you just $40,
I can see some benefits going for Solar Panel Starter Kit in order to jumpstart your interest in going green with solar power.

You don’t waste your time searching the internet for various parts from different vendors, ending up sometimes in you waiting for a part, just to find out that it wasn’t the right one. I sure know how frustrating that can be :)

Parts quality is guaranteed. there are many sellers out there, it is hard to differentiate between their products.

See How Solar Panels Earn Cash for Homeowners

In Charlotte, North Carolina – they are paying $100,000,000 to install solar panels for your home.

so we want to know just how difficult it may be to go green at your house. For answers, we talked to Bob Thomason: a man who’s wired up with solar panels in Myers Park, one of the leafiest and shade-filled areas of Charlotte.


Right now, it’s showing about, I think, 1100 watts, which is about half the total capacity and that’s because it’s early in the morning and some of the panels are still shaded.

When the sun is shining, we’re using the electricity that’s produced by our panels.

There’re times when the panels are producing electricity like right now, where nobody’s in the house and we’re not using any electricity.

In that case, the electricity goes back out on the grid and Duke Energy pays us for that electricity and other people in our neighborhood get to use it so it doesn’t go to waste.

For the year, this is telling us that we’ve saved $841 on our utility expenses.

These systems are set and forget. You put these panels up, they’re guaranteed for 20 years.

There’s nothing that can hurt those panels that wouldn’t hurt your roof.

The disadvantage of the panels, if there is one, is that you have to come up with a lump sum of money to buy the panels.

It’s sort of like buying 25 years of electricity and paying for it now.

For we’re sending electricity out on the grid, that meter actually spins backward.

So that’s a great feeling, too, when you see that–that meter spinning backward.

When people ask me about payback: ‘when does the system gonna pay you back?’

I tell them they’d pay us back the day we’ve turned it on and flipped the switch and started producing electricity from the sun.

There is no better feeling than knowing that we’re doing that and we’ll do it for the next 25 years.

Pretty well! Meter spinning backward! Those panels last about 25 years.

Thomason says there are several companies here in Charlotte that will come to your house.

There’s also a website that you can check out that will tell you how much it’ll cost to install those panels, how big of a system you’ll need, and how much you’d save on your power bill.

Businesses Leasing their Roofs for Solar Panels

It’s a hot topic these days with the economy on shaky ground and the Presidential Election in the final stretch. How can we generate enough clean energy to satisfy our needs?

Well, on tonight’s Ecological for Today’s show contributor Sloan Barnett is here to tell us about one Bay Area man who has the answer.

He sure does. He’s been learning as he goes and this trash titan has found a way to make recycling even greener. Take a look:

I’ve been a garbage man since 1948 in high school but I wasn’t really a garbage man. I was a scavenger.


Renewable Solar Energy and Recycling

Joe Garbarino knows a thing or two about garbage, back when his dad owns the company, they collected trash field fashionably.

Now decades later, Joe is more than a garbage guru. He’s sorting, processing, and recycling: taking this expertise to a new level.

Now we’re scavenging the sun! It’s exactly where we are recycling it! It’s a shame it took us so long to get here.

When this installation is complete, Marin Sanitary Services Recycling Center will be powered completely by these solar panels.

The more of these (panels) we could do, the less we’re going to depend on foreign oil and that’s what really hurt the United States economy really bad. It’s getting worse every day.

Joes says he’s doing his part on reaping the savings while he’s at it. He says he is leasing the solar panels and the cost is less than what his yearly energy bill would be… …And Joes says he’s not stopping here.


More than Just Solar Panels

We’ve done this now and we’re going to try to do as much as we can and we’re even working with some elected officials about putting turbines up in the hill.

San Francisco’s Sunlight Electric installed the panels. They say Marin Sanitary will avoid more than 200,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every year from now on.

And Sloan we assume that part of the cost savings would be tied to rebates or incentives?

Well, that’s true. Sunlight Electric says that Marin Sanitary and other users are getting help from a third to 30% federal tax credit which helps pay for the installation of the panels.

The California Solar Initiative started in ’07, provides solar customers with a rebate as well.


Solar Panels Not Getting You Off The Grid

So Sloan, does this mean that customers like Marine Sanitary are off the grid then?

Well not exactly.
They’re sending the solar power they produce back to the grid and then they use their electricity as usual as they normally would. They’ve been smart, though.

They calculated how many panels they need to cover their usage and the good news is no more exorbitant electric bills from P.G.N.E.

Building Solar Panels Power Plant in the Bay Area

Happening today, a big business from overseas is leaving the bay area after days of scouting.

Company representatives were here looking at Pinellas County as a possible site to build a solar panels’ plant.

Ashley Glass has details on how the talks went:
Three days of talks on building a solar panels plant in Pinellas County come to a close today.
It’s been a very, very good week so far.


Who Is Behind The Solar Panels Power Plant Initiative

It’s Mario Farias’ job to attract new businesses. He spent the last week pitching Pinellas County to a German-based business as the spot to build the panel’s farm and plant, not to be confused with another project of building solar power tower.
Well, it sure hasn’t been the weather.
Farias says the Germans have made light of our dark, gloomy skies of late.

  • What is this company liking about Pinellas County?
    They like the environment; the business environment is a great environment to be here.
    Farias says they’ve been pushing a plentiful workforce.
    Local government leaders say they’ve shown the old Toytown landfill and the Pinellas Technical Education Centers as possible spots to build the panels plant.
  • Have any sites been more attractive to them than others?
    No, they like the area in general.
  • What is your feeling as far as where it goes from here?
    Hopeful, we remain completely hopeful. We think that it’s an opportunity that we can’t miss in this area…
    Now, if the company does in fact, moved here to the Bay Area, it could mean hundreds of new high-paying jobs.
    We’re expecting an update from government leaders in Pinellas County this afternoon to see if those talks are going to move forward.

We will, of course, continue to follow it for you throughout the day. Count on us to keep you up to date.
When homeowners association in Palm Beach County is looking for solar panels solutions…