New Solar Energy Possibilities for Homes
Guest Contributor post by Matt J @ South Shore Roofing A renewable energy system can be used to supply some or all of your electricity needs, using new and eco-friendly technologies. There are many different systems and technologies for powering your house while being eco-friendly and saving energy. One of the most popular and efficient systems is solar electric system, which includes solar...
Full mAh capacity range of NiMH (the good chemistry) rechargeable batteries for Solar Lights are now available!
Solar lights for the home and garden come with pre-installed, pre-charged batteries from most (safe to say, all) manufacturers when you buy them online or directly at stores. What many people don't realize is that these rechargeable batteries will eventually run their course and lose all of their effective capacity after about 2 years of nightly use. These solar light batteries are almost always r...
CES 2016: Solar Powered Gadgets of the Future.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a prominent global electronics and technology focused trade show that takes place every year in Las Vegas. Held in January each year, it is known for introducing the latest technology trends and most innovative electronics. This year, solar energy was at the forefront with a huge variety of tech that uti...
Holiday Gift Guide: Solar Tech for your Home, Kids, and the Outdoors.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor The gift that keeps on giving has never been greener, and the time to buy one for your friend or loved one is quickly approaching. This year for the holidays, instead of giving some trite piece of clothing or kitchen appliance, try looking for the perfect gifts for those eco-friendly friends who wants to help benefit the environment, or perhaps for a family...
The Benefits of Floatovoltaics.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor Now that most governments, environmental organizations, scientists and even the Catholic Church have agreed on the need to combat climate change, innovative solutions are being sought in many quarters. The old ways of doing things simply won't cut it now that we're aware of the harmful effects of traditional means of power generation, such as the burning of...

New Solar Energy Possibilities for Homes

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on May 13, 2017 in Creative Solar, Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

Guest Contributor post by Matt J @ South Shore Roofing

A renewable energy system can be used to supply some or all of your electricity needs, using new and eco-friendly technologies. There are many different systems and technologies for powering your house while being eco-friendly and saving energy.

One of the most popular and efficient systems is solar electric system, which includes solar panels. They can help seize the sunlight and heat and create electricity. With them you can cut your costs significantly in the long run. And the added bonus is that they look great.

Solar Panels on a residential roof.  Image courtesy of www.southshoreroof.com.

Solar Panels on a residential roof. Image courtesy of www.southshoreroof.com.

Small solar electric or photovoltaic systems are reliable producers of electricity for your home, they use natural, renewable energy, the sun, they do not pollute and are extremely cost effective. This kind of system includes solar panels for your roof that absorb the energy from the sun and use it to generate heat or electricity.

There are two main categories of rooftop solar technologies that are being used today and from which you can choose:

  • The first one is photovoltaic (PV) which uses solar cells to convert the sunlight directly into electricity. The performance of a solar cell is measured in terms of its efficiency at turning sunlight into electricity. It is energy-efficient, as well as cost-effective. PV devices can be used to power anything from small electronics (calculators and road signs) up to homes and large commercial businesses.
  • The other is thermal which uses sunlight to heat water or air for the interior of your house. The heated water stays in an insulated tank, much like with a conventional water heater, and you can use it whenever. By using solar energy, rather than fossil fuels, solar thermal systems reduce utility bills, as well as the emission of carbon-based greenhouse gases. They do cost more to install than traditional water heaters, but they can save you a lot of money on your water heating bills.

Solar panel technologies are advancing even further, in both their use and design. For example, they can now be designed in a way that makes them less visible and prominent than the standard solar panels, even incorporated and hidden within the structure of your roof. According to iAltEnergy, thin panel technology allows for thin laminated continuous strips of panels to be hidden in the profile of the roof or even incorporated in your windows.

Solar pathway lighting for around the home and garden.  Image courtesy of www.southshoreroof.com.

Solar pathway lighting for around the home and garden. Image courtesy of www.southshoreroof.com.

You should also think about solar lighting and batteries for your home, both indoors and outdoors. These lights are just as good as your standard ones, intensity-wise, if not better. And they are certainly better when it comes to energy and power consumption, which is minimal – they are powered by the sun. They are small and can be charged and connected to a system of solar batteries. These batteries are also powered by the sun. The way it functions is simple. During the day, the lights are powered by sunlight, and the battery system charges. When the sun goes down and the lights cannot absorb its energy anymore, then they are powered by the solar batteries. Both the lights and the batteries are very affordable and good for the environment.

CES 2016: Solar Powered Gadgets of the Future.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on February 5, 2016 in Creative Solar, Latest Technology, Solar News - Comments: 1 Comment »

by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a prominent global electronics and technology focused trade show that takes place every year in Las Vegas. Held in January each year, it is known for introducing the latest technology trends and most innovative electronics. This year, solar energy was at the forefront with a huge variety of tech that utilize the power of the sun. Here are some of the most impressive solar-powered products featured at the 2016 event.

The GoSun Sport Solar Oven is a 100% clean energy solar cooker that can cook food in 20 minutes! Image courtesy of www.gosunstove.com.

The GoSun Sport Solar Oven is a 100% clean energy solar cooker that can cook food in 20 minutes! Image courtesy of www.gosunstove.com.

GoSun Stove

The GoSun Stove is a portable cooking stove that is powered by solar energy. The small tubular metal and evacuated-glass cylinder can reach temperatures of up to 550°F or 290°C. It is low maintenance, capturing the sun’s rays even on cloudy and winter days to steam, bake, fry, roast or boil meals in as little as 20 minutes. The highly effective solar oven is expected to help combat global warming by reducing dependence on fossil fuels for cooking. We should expect the latest model to ship by this summer.

The Misfit Shine Monitor is a chic new way to track fitness, sleep and daily food patterns. Image courtesy of www.misfit.com.

The Misfit Shine Monitor is a chic new way to track fitness, sleep and daily food patterns. Image courtesy of www.misfit.com.

Swarovski Fitness Tracker

One other trend at CES came in the form of wearables and fitness trackers. However, the Misfit Swarovski Shine, really stood out for its solar-powered design and flashy looks. The face of the tracker is a single large crystal embedded in a crystal-studded band, and the device is powered by a solar cell inside the central crystal. This fitness tracker combines advanced solar power technology with fashionable design, and is expected to make a splash when it comes on the market later this year.

The slim Sol bag by Samsung is ideal for charging smart phones and tablets while on the go. Stylish and efficient, a sure way to keep energized with free energy from the sun. Image courtesy of www.mashable.com.

The slim Sol bag by Samsung is ideal for charging smart phones and tablets while on the go. Stylish and efficient, a sure way to keep energized with free energy from the sun. Image courtesy of www.mashable.com.

Samsung Sol Bag

Samsung has created a different kind of wearable. The Samsung Sol Bag is a purse and a solar charger all-in-one. About the size of a small laptop, its stylish hexagon pattern belies the solar cells that charge your Galaxy phone in as little as four hours. Although it can’t store power (so you have to enjoy the sunshine a bit while it charges), it is expected to be quite a hit with consumers when it hits the shelves in late 2016.

The new solar charger kit, known as the NRG Sunbook is another great way to charge your devices with free energy from the sun. Image courtesy of www.digitaltrends.com.

The new solar charger kit, known as the NRG Sunbook is another great way to charge your devices with free energy from the sun. Image courtesy of www.digitaltrends.com.

The Sunbook 7 and Sunbook 14

The Sunbook by NRG – touted as “Simple Portable Solar Power”- is a basic concept that is quite revolutionary. This portable solar panel can be used to charge your phone, using the Sunbook 7, or your tablet with the Sunbook 14 with a basic kickstand and LED-light indicator light to ensure good sun placement. The detachable battery pack must be charged up in the sun before using it to charge electronic devices using free, clean, renewable energy.

Capable of charging in 30 minutes at up to 80% capacity, the Activeon SolarX video camera has its charging capabilities built into it. A sure way to keep the camera rolling when out and about. Image courtesy of www.activeon.com.

Activeon Solar X

The Activeon Solar X is a video camera with a 2 hour battery life that is charged completely by the flip-up solar panels attached to its sides. Charging is supposed to require less than 30 minutes to reach 80 percent battery power. Video quality is 2,160p through a f2.4 wide-angle lens, and it has a 2-inch touchscreen and WiFi capability for uploading videos. It is expected to be available in March and is currently priced at $430.

All this focus on solar is unsurprising, since the solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. This is no surprise as renewable energy use has been steadily growing, accounting for 13 percent of the energy generated in the United States, according to Ohio Gas. Solar power, in particular, is an excellent way to reduce the human impact on the environment. For that reason it can be expected to be used in a wide range of gadgets and larger applications in the coming years.

The way of the solar “panel” may be reaching the end of the line, spray solar is coming!

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on October 24, 2014 in Creative Solar, Latest Technology, Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

Researchers and product developers are on the cusp of designing solar cells that may be applied as a spray paint. This means that the surface area (rooftops, fields, etc) of solar collection may find its way onto everyday items, including shopping bags, labels and clothing. Lucelo Technologies in Texas is currently on that path and has (at an early stage) been able to develop a paint that is applied to surfaces and gathers solar energy that is converted to electricity. Instead of the traditional P-N exchange that is used in solar panel systems, Lucelo is able to use nano-crystals to absorb sunlight. And this solution is something that can be added to spray-applicators that you can buy at your local hardware stores. A true do-it-yourself solar system that can be painted onto the side of your home, rooftop, carport shelter, or even on tents while you’re out camping and need to get some electricity to run your LED lights at night.

Solar spraying technology.

Solar spraying by Lucelo are on the edge of consumer usage. Image courtesy of fastcoexist.com.

Greater efficiencies in lighting (LED comes to mind) coupled with advancing rechargeable battery technologies will usher in this wave of do-it-yourself solar technology to just about anyone. Efficiency ratings for the current solar spray hovers around 3% (which is much lower than what current solar panels produce at 15%-20%), but give it some time. Just as solar panels used to have a very low rating, this new method will soon follow suit in building up its efficiency, thus making it a more viable option for low-power demands.

Glamping tents.

Luxury "glamping" that can potentially be solar sprayed. Image courtesy of www.homedit.com.

Solar on!

Mario @ Your Solar Link

Solar fence post cap light.

Solar fence post cap light from Your Solar Link. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Lowering the Price of Solar Electricity.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on March 16, 2011 in Solar News, World News - Comments: No Comments »

The U.S. Department of Energy aims to make electricity from the sun cheaper than that from burning coal or natural gas.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Silicon translates sunshine into electricity—and Earth receives enough sunshine in a daylight hour to supply all of humanity’s energy needs for a year. But despite being as common as sand, photovoltaic panels made from silicon—or any of a host of other semiconducting materials—are not cheap, especially when compared with the cost of electricity produced by burning coal or natural gas. The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) aims to change that by bringing down the cost of solar electricity via a new program dubbed “SunShot,” an homage to President John Kennedy’s “moon shot” pledge in 1961.

Lowering price of solar electricity

The U.S. Department of Energy aims to make electricity from the sun as cheap as that from burning coal or natural gas – by 2017.
Image: Dennis Schroeder, NREL Staff Photographer.

“If you can get solar electricity down at [$1 per watt], and it scales without subsidies, gosh, I think that’s pretty good for the climate,” notes Arun Majumdar, director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA–e), the DoE’s high-risk research effort. “With SunShot, the goal is to reduce the cost of solar to [$1 per watt] in the next six years.”

As it stands, melting silicon or depositing thin layers of copper indium gallium selenide, then manufacturing photovoltaic modules and installing them on rooftops or in large arrays in the desert, can cost as much as $10 per watt. And whereas some technologies can deliver modules for roughly $1 per watt, installation at least doubles that.

“We are making solar for the masses…to get to [a] cost point that is viable,” said Bruce Sohn, president of Columbus, Ohio–based First Solar, the world’s largest thin-film photovoltaic manufacturer, which claims it can produce its modules for less than $1 per watt, on a panel at ARPA–e’s second annual summit on March 1. “We are looking to make something that can compete head to head with fossil fuels over the long term.”

As part of the new SunShot initiative, DoE committed some $27 million to fund novel methods for producing solar cells and their components—like 1366 Technology’s effort to grow pure silicon wafers directly rather than hewing them from long ingots of the material or Solexant’s effort to build thin-film solar cells from semiconducting materials that are neither toxic nor rare. The goal is to produce solar modules at roughly 50 cents per watt with attendant hardware and installation costing the same amount. To reach that target the photovoltaic cells will have to convert at least 20 percent of the sunlight that shines on it into electricity and cost only 25 cents per watt by 2017. “The future of the U.S. depends on three securities: national, economic and environmental. The foundation of all of this is innovations in energy technology,” Majumdar said in his own speech to the summit. “The future is still up for grabs. How do we win the future? Invent affordable clean technology. Make them locally, sell them globally.”

Of course, harvesting the sun’s power is not limited to photovoltaic panels. The DoE push also will incorporate efforts to create solar-thermal power plants that can store the heat of the sun for 12 to 17 hours by 2020, along with attempting to address some of the issues surrounding permitting, inspection and connection of solar systems to the electricity grid. “We want change, we want innovation, we want to overthrow the old energy order,” said former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a summit keynote address. “We want a new era of energy and a new era of American competitiveness.”

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses the 2011 APRA-E Technology and Innovation Summit on California’s role in clean energy.

Already, electricity from the sun costs roughly the same as that generated from burning fossil fuels in places like Hawaii, which remains the only state to rely on imported oil for the bulk of its power. And solar power represents the fastest-growing sector of electricity generation. U.S. solar production in 2010 increased by nearly one gigawatt (billion watts), although that represents roughly the amount of electricity one nuclear power plant can produce. But even at that pace of adoption—spurred by both federal and state government largesse—solar still produces less than 1 percent of all U.S. electricity. And in 2035, by which time the DoE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that solar will have grown fastest among all energy resources (increasing sevenfold), all renewables put together, solar included, will only provide 14 percent of U.S. electricity.

The EIA has often been wrong in such long-term forecasts, but competing with natural gas—newly cheap thanks to the vast resources tapped by fracking in the eastern U.S.’s Marcellus Shale Formation—may prove difficult, even with SunShot. “Natural gas has low capital cost, higher fuel cost but overall lowest costs,” noted EIA Administrator Richard Newell at the ARPA–e conference. “There are significantly higher costs for other power sources.”

Yet, even at a higher price, solar can offer benefits, which is why Duke Energy has invested $50 million putting solar arrays on the roofs of grocery stores and some of its other large customers. “Distributed solar can be thought of as a distributed resource, a multiple value resource,” Duke Chief Technology Officer David Mohler told ARPA–e attendees. “The proper comparison for that is not the cost of a bulk power system, it’s the cost and benefit of having an embedded resource.”

And flexible solar cells in sheets have already found novel applications powering the telecommunications and other electronic equipment of U.S. Marine units deployed in Afghanistan. Small-scale solar is also booming in places such as Kenya that do not have an electricity grid for charging cell phones or batteries that power lights at night. “We will need every energy resource we can lay our hands on,” said Kurt Yeager, executive director of the Galvin Electricity Initiative, an effort to develop the smart grid in the U.S. “There are two billion people in the world without access to electricity. Security means giving them energy.”

Of course, the DoE has already invested some $1 billion in solar energy research since the turn of the century, funding efforts to develop “black” silicon or cells employing quantum dots. “If renewables are cost-competitive with fossil fuels then it’s a very, very different world,” Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said at the ARPA–e summit.

Secretary for the US Department of Energy, Steven Chu, discusses the big picture of how the United States uses Energy and why innovation in clean technology is the key to Winning the Future.

Yet, despite inventing the technology in the 1950s and more than 30 years of government support, the U.S. share of the global market for photovoltaic modules is down from more than 40 percent in 1995 to just 6 percent in 2011. China’s Jiangsu Province alone—home to Suntech Power, the world’s largest maker of photovoltaic panels—has begun investing more than $152 million a year in solar technology since 2009.

“Just because we lost the lead doesn’t mean we can’t get it back,” Chu said. “We still have the opportunity to lead the world in clean energy…but time is running out.”

Article by By David Biello.
Source: scientificamerican.com.

World’s First Solar Powered Soccer Ball Could Help the Blind Play Soccer!

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on February 21, 2011 in Latest Technology, Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

Greendix, the company that makes these nifty leaf-shaped solar panels has captured our attention yet again with something even cooler – the world’s first solar powered soccer ball! The Taiwan-based company unveiled photos of the ball, which looks just like a regular soccer ball except that the iconic black pentagonal patches have been replaced with solar cells, giving it an eye-catching, prismatic look. Even more interestingly, the company is developing the ball with motion-sensing technology in hopes that it will allow visually impaired people to play with it!

World’s First Solar Powered Soccer Ball at Greendix. Image by Greendix.

The solar powered ball’s panels power built-in motion sensors and an audio device which could potentially enable visually impaired people to play soccer/football – each time the prototype is kicked, it emits a tracking sound.

While we think the direction Greendix is moving with the ball is innovative, we’re interested to see if they’re also planning on making it so the ball can store energy to be used at a later time like some other soccer balls can. Such technology can be used by kids in developing nations as a safer alternative to kerosene lamps to power lighting so that they can study and read at night.

“The main goal of this project was to prove that solar panels can be integrated into any object that we interact with on a daily basis and to push the limits of what is possible with solar panels,” explained Joseph Lin from Greendix. No word yet on when the ball will be available for sale, but how great would it be to see these being used at the next World Cup?

Source: greenmuze.com.


 
 


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Green Gardener Corner


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SOLAR GARDEN FOUNTAINS.
How to start using ecologically friendly energy to power up your garden fountains and other garden water features?
Why not go with a solar powered water pump?
To accommodate your needs the Solar Fountain Pump Systems we carry range from 2 to 8 Watt. Browse our collection of solar water pumps for your fish ponds and solar fountains.
Enjoy your garden water features and your energy savings at the same time. Make a note of the various power levels and the flow rate of the solar water pumps before your purchase.
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HOW TO INSTALL A SOLAR PATH LIGHT.

Stone Cylinder Solar Path Lights (Set of 2).
See how easy it is to install a solar light. No wiring required!
In this particular case a ground fastener and a stake are included for quick and easy installation. Read more HERE

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Solar accent lights (Set of 2) create an enjoyable and inviting glow for your landscape.
They are designed to mark a place.


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Solar spot lights like this one rely on energy from the sun to charge their batteries and provide light throughout the night.
This means that there is no need to tap into the electrical grid for these lights to operate.
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Learn more about Solar Spot Lights at http://www.yoursolarlink.com/solar-spot-lights, where we have a great selection of solar spot lights to choose from.

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