Hydropower, also known as hydraulic power or water power, is one of the many different sources of renewable energy, offering many advantages as opposed to the other similar renewable sources. The energy from this source comes from the harnessed energy or force generated by moving water. Like solar and geothermal energy, the energy from hydropower is not depleted in the process of energy production.
Hydropower has many uses. It was previously used for irrigation and machine & mill operations. In fact, it was used in India and Rome in their watermills and water wheels for hundreds of years, as well as in Britain’s metal ore extractions. Today, hydropower is primarily used to generate electricity. It does this in a very efficient manner, as turbines are able to convert more than ninety percent of this renewable energy source into electricity. Also, because it uses water, it is not detrimental to the environment. There are no toxic by-products produced, and no air pollution in the process of energy generation. Furthermore, it has a role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and is a reliable energy source. This ability to handle seasonal high peak loads is an important attribute of hydropower. In times when there is a low demand for hydroelectric energy, the dam stores more water, thereby producing more flow once it releases, when demands are high again. Aside from electricity production, hydropower projects also serve to control floods, provide water supply to the community and create recreational opportunities.
Hydroelectric energy is used for the electricity generated from large-scale dams. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, hydropower represented 7.1 percent of the sources of energy in 2006. Some states, like Washington, Oregon, and Idaho use it as their main energy source. Hydroelectricity is already a large source of energy not just in the U.S. but also in Canada and Brazil, and there are still many areas in Latin America, Central Africa, China and India that can potentially yield abundant sources of this particular renewable energy. The largest and most notorious hydroelectric dam in the world is the Three Gorges Dam on Yangtze River.
While hydroelectric energy has many advantages, it also has its downsides. It may lead to loss of habitat for wildlife, changes in stream water quality, and even the displacement of local populations due to the large areas used for hydropower projects.
Aside from hydroelectric energy, there are other forms of energy generated from hydropower. This includes tidal power, tidal stream power, and wave power. While tidal power captures energy in a horizontal direction as occurs in bays or sanctuaries, tidal stream powers captures in a vertical direction. Wave power refers to energy captured in ocean surface waves.
You have probably heard it all before; that one day, we will be able to use all renewable resources and cut ourselves loose from the stranglehold of foreign oil and fossil fuels. You have probably heard it so many times that you may have stopped believing it. Have you ever really stopped to think about it though? Each and every day, most consumers use a great deal of energy. They use electric power to light their houses, gas power to cook their food and run their cars, as well as a long list of other non-renewable energy sources. You may not think that you use that much, but even multiplying your usage by a few billion is still a great deal of energy used each day. When you remember that sources such as fossil fuels are not easily or quickly renewed, then you can begin to see that we may not be far away from big trouble.
Not only are we in danger of running out of these resources, but the processes used to collect them and refine them is costly to the consumer, and even more costly to the environment. Even now, areas are being stripped of their natural resources and polluted with chemicals. Animals are seeing their habitats destroyed to either gather resources, or make room for more power plants and companies to process them. Our only answer; our only way out of this is to search for renewable sources of energy that we can harness safely and effectively. Luckily, we do not have to look far to find them. Take the sun; it comes up each and every day beaming rays of warmth and light down upon us. What we have wasted for so many years has now been found to be a valuable source of energy. Not only are solar panels a great addition to millions of homes today, but there are other solar powered items in the works, such as the solar powered car. There are even giant solar panels made to catch the moonlight as well, and harness it into useable energy.
Unfortunately, we have not yet found a way to harness enough solar energy to make ourselves completely independent of the power companies, but we should all remember that every little bit helps. Even cutting half your power bill through the use of solar powered energy can make a difference of several hundred dollars each year.
Before, solar power or solar cell panels are only available in commercial areas and hardware stores. Nowadays, more and more people are trying DIY or do it yourself kits. You can expect to have your own setup in just one day, provided that you have an easy kit to start with. Solar power can be achieved right in your very own home, without the help of a professional. Make sure you follow the instructional guide carefully for the best results.
Building Your Own Solar Power Generator
You can use parts that are available on the internet or your local store. You can create a tiny solar power generator with a budget of only $200 to $300. This is ideal for power failures and life outside the power grid. The setup can also effectively power the modem, television, DC appliances, computer, cameras and lights. You can use this in cabins, archaeological digs, tents and camping trips. This is the ideal setup for people who travel to undeveloped regions and countries.
First of all, you need to make or buy yourself a tiny solar panel. You can get a device rated at 12 volts or higher for only $100 at a marine supply store or RV store. Next, purchase a battery. Experts recommend that you get rechargeable batteries from available green companies. Get any size of deep cycle 12 volt lead/acid or gel battery. You will need the deep cycle battery for nonstop use. The type in the car is a cranking battery, which is good for starting engines. You may also want to look for bargains and other good deals that will cost only around $50 to $60.
Take a battery box where you will put the generator in. The box may only cost around $10. It is ideal for covering the exposed terminals just in case you have kids inside the house. If you want to install the system in a cabin, pump shed or boat, you can skip this step. Purchase a 12 volt DC meter. This will cost you around $25. Purchase a DC input. The triple inlet model is recommended. You can purchase this for only $10 at a car parts store. The device will be good for powering DC appliances like lights, hair dryers and vacuum cleaners.
If you intend to power AC appliances, you will need an inverter. The inverter converts the stored DC power in the battery right into AC power for majority of household appliances. Measure the watts that you will need. Cheap inverters of various sizes can be purchased online too. Use a drill to attach the meter and DC input to the top region of the box.
Next, use insulated wire to connect the meter to the wingnut terminals found on the battery. Link the negative pole initially. Only handle a single wire at a time. Link the DC inlet straight to the battery in a similar fashion. Link the solar panel to the battery the same way. Shut the lid using a bungee cord to keep everything tight. Position the solar panel under the sun. It will take 5 to 8 hours to charge dead batteries. You can power different devices like fans, lights and radios.
Solar power is described as the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Sunlight could be changed straight into electricity with the use of PV or photovoltaics. It can also be indirectly converted using CSPs. There are now several devices and structures created which focus and concentrate solar power in various ways depending on the needed use. There are several now several uses of solar power because of the rise of these devices.
Solar power is concentrated in various ways. Solar troughs are the most common and visible. CSPs or concentrating solar power systems make use of mirrors, lenses and track systems to focus on a wide area of sunlight into a small beam. The concentrated heat is used as a source of heat for a conventional power plant. The wide range of concentrating technologies is now available. The parabolic trough is the most developed. Other structures made include the Stirling dish, the linear Fresnel reflector and the solar power tower. Several techniques are used to locate the sun and concentrate light. Working fluid is also heated in all the systems using concentrated sunlight, which is then applied for storing or generating power and energy.
The Parabolic Trough
A parabolic trough is created from of linear reflector that concentrates light right onto a receiver, placed along the focal line of the reflector. The receiver is described as a tube positioned right over the middle of the parabolic mirror and filled with a working fluid. The reflector is created to follow the sun during the daylight hours by tracking right along a lone axis. Parabolic trough systems give the best land-use factor among all solar technologies.
CSP plants use several thin strips of mirror instead of the usual parabolic mirrors to focus sunlight onto a couple of tubes using working fluid. This application provides the advantage that flat mirrors can be used. Flat mirrors are great because these are cheaper and can contain more reflectors within the same amount of space. More available sunlight can then be used. Focusing linear Fresnel reflectors can be used well in compact or large plants.
The Stirling Solar Dish
The Stirling solar dish is also called a dish engine system, which is made of an independent parabolic reflector that tends to concentrate light right onto a receiver placed at the focal point of the reflector. The reflector will track the sun along an axis or two. Parabolic dish systems provide the best efficiency over other technologies. The 50kW Big Dish in Canberra, Australia is a great example. The Stirling solar dish mixes a parabolic focusing dish that includes a Stirling heat engine that regularly drives an electric generator. The benefits of Stirling solar over PV cells are the higher conversion efficiency from sunlight into electricity, plus a longer lifetime.
A solar power tower includes a wide array of heliostats or tracking reflectors that focus light on a central receiver over a tower. Power towers are considered to be the most cost effective and provide better energy storage and higher efficiency compared to other CSP technologies. The solar bowl is described as a dish mirror that is affixed to a certain spot or structure. The receiver will follow the line focus made by the dish.
Solar panels are now widely available all over the globe. You will find several homes, commercial buildings and vehicles relying mainly on solar panels to generate the electricity they need. Solar panels can also be made independently by the user. You can save more in costs by building your own system. You can also invest in a ready-made design for added ease and convenience. Here are some more tips and tricks on how to begin.
If you choose to use solar panels, you can produce electricity that can power various applications. Off-grid living means residing in a location where the main electric utility grid does not service your home or office. There are remote cabins and homes that can benefit from solar power systems. It is no longer needed to pay huge bills to install electric utility posts and cabling from the nearest grid access main point. A solar electric system is less expensive and can give you power for up to 30 years if you maintain it well.
Solar power is also a renewable source of energy, which means that it is very clean. Today, it is more important to invest in devices that do not damage the environment and atmosphere. Solar panels do not have any moving parts and will need only minimal maintenance. As soon as the system has paid for its initial installation costs, you can get the benefits for several decades more for free.
Buying Solar Panels
There are plenty of places where you can buy the best solar panel models. You can choose between brands such as Sharp, BP Solar and General Electric. You should visit some of the manufacturer web sites to determine the process and the ways how their solar panels are built. You should also read about the background of the company and what their objectives are in making these pieces. You should read more about installation to check if you want to install or build the panels yourself or hire a professional.
There are several web sites, online forums and internet stores where you can learn more about the available models and how these can best suit your location. Some panels are intended for individuals living in places that has minimal sun, while other designs are specifically made to gather the most sun over the shortest span of time.
Learn how to compare between types to know how much you need to pay for. The prices of the solar panels will vary depending on the brand and the size. There are also other factors to consider such as maintenance and if the package includes free installation. Some companies will ask for fees to install the panels, while other buyers may opt to install these themselves to save more. Talk to other people who have already tried certain makes and brands and let them give you the pros and cons of each. Ask for referrals and recommendations to ensure that you are only investing in the best places.
is all about making smart choices for ourselves and for your homes. It's not just something we do occasionally but a matter of taking action and making choices that will provide us with a more sustainable and healthier life 365 days a year. It's also something we all have to do. Choosing a green lifestyle can involve purchasing an energy efficient hybrid car or building an energy efficient home with solar and wind power. However, we don’t have to go to these extremes to make the choice to live greener. We can do many small things in our daily lives that will help keep our environment greener and save our planet.
Wintertime is a difficult time for many with the cold weather and icy roads and sidewalks. Ice is often eliminated with the use of a salt. While salt quickly eliminates the ice and makes roadways and walkways easier, we seldom realize the damage these salts are doing to our environment. The commercial salts you buy at your local hardware store have chemicals such as calcium chloride, sodium chloride, potassium chloride or magnesium chloride, which are toxic to trees, plants and waterways.
When the snow melts away, the salt is washed into our rivers and lakes. It only takes one teaspoon of this salt to permanently contaminate 5 gallons of water. The best way to eliminate this problem is to shovel or plow the snow before it has a chance to accumulate. If you must use deicers, choose ones that are salt free, biodegradable and have a low toxicity rate. Even when using these deicers, use them as lightly as possible.
Using compact fluorescent light bulbs is another way consumers can contribute to a greener lifestyle. Compact fluorescent light bulbs not only save almost 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year but also use 60 percent less energy than conventional light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs rated as Energy Star are a great way to do your part for the planet. By replacing just one light bulb with a CFL will conserve enough energy to light up over 2.5 million homes for 365 days. It will also prevent greenhouse gases equal to the emissions of almost 800,000 cars. Just imagine if you replaced all the light bulbs in your home with Energy Start light bulbs!
Water is something we use every day and often take for granted. However, we seldom stop to consider the true value of water or the importance of conserving it. Simple measures you can do right inside your home to conserve water include using water saving shower heads, ultra low flow toilets and drip free faucets and filters.
We hear a lot about green living on an almost daily basis, yet many people aren't aware of what those very important words are really all about. Green living, or living green as men refer to it as, is living your life in an environmentally responsible and eco-friendly way in an attempt to decrease the ecological impact you'll make.
There are wide varieties of practices we can all take to conserve our resources and help keep our planet healthy. Some of the most common include sustainability, recycling, alternative energy sources, green construction, organic food choices and several other environmental topics.
Becoming educated on green living
and its impact on the environment is the first step towards each of us doing our part because it has to be a group effort. If we all want our children and grandchildren to live healthier lives, it needs to start now with us and needs to continue. Your local library, government agencies and the Internet are great sources of knowledge and information about green living and the part it plays in decreasing global warming and preserving the planet.
Simple things can make a huge difference such as using organic flowers and plants for decorations as opposed to artificial flowers you buy in the supermarket. Instead of using batteries that need to be tossed in the garbage after a few weeks, consider rechargeable green batteries. The next time you consider buying a new item of clothing, consider recycling something you already own. Are you having invitations made up for your next big party? If so, consider making your invites on the computer and emailing them or using recycled paper. These ideas may not seem like much, but they'll make a huge contribution to living green.
We can't be expected to change our lifestyles overnight and no one expects us to do so. However, by making just a few changes in our daily lives, and encouraging our children to do the same, we'll be making a huge impact on the problem of global warming. Rather than making huge changes in your lives, try adopting new methods of doing the same things. For instance, next time you go shopping for a snack, look for items that use recyclable packaging. We all like drinking water.
Rather than buying bottled water day after day, consider refilling the bottle a few times before tossing it. An even better idea is investing in a eco-friendly
stainless steel water bottle. You're still going to be drinking the water you love so much, but you'll be doing it in a green or eco-friendly manner. These simple steps are what it's going to take to provide generations to come with a healthier environment.
This will be a post that teaches you the technique to make your own Solar Panel!
Just read on follow the easy nuggets of information in a step by step lessons and getting the right tools ready for your energy conservation needs.
Before we start though keep in mind while sourcing the materials it should not cost you more than $200 or $300. Shop sensibly for raw material.
A. Steps to Building the Solar Panel:
We will take you through 5 easy to follow and understand steps to make the 60’s dream a reality!
i. Copper or PVC: You can make your own panel from scratch with buying a square sheet of copper or buying a ready made panel worth around $100.
ii. Battery: Buy yourself some 12 volt rechargeable acid batteries these should be deep cycle to work best. The cheap batteries will cost between $30 -$50.
iii. The Box: Buy a battery box to put your batteries in to protect them from extreme weather and dust.
iv. DC Input: Buy yourself a DC input from any hardware store. Should not cost you more than $10. Or you can source this from house hold appliances lying around like fans, hairdryers etc.
v. Attaching the Meter: You can attach the DC Input meter to the top of the battery box by using any standard drill, though handle with caution.
After that we discuss the wiring in the next sub topic, just ensure you followed all the steps till here correctly and you have the right equipment.
B. Wiring Plans:
Connect the insulated wires to the battery first. You do this by wrapping the wire tightly against the negative wingnut first and then the Positive wingnut or terminal.
Repeat the procedure for the DC connector, -ive first and +ive next.
Last connect the Solar Panel you created or bought to the insulated wire in a similar way. This connects the Sola Panel to the battery and the battery to the DC outlet. Where you can attach any electric appliance for usage.
C: Mounting and Conservation:
By this step your work is done!
Just close the lid of the battery box and securely place the solar panel on the roof or in the garden, where ever you can get more sunlight for longer! Choose the spot well.
Lay out the cable and secure the battery box next. It usually takes 5 or 6 hours to charge a new or empty battery and it’ll take at least a couple of hours of sunlight to charge the battery again.
D: Energy Efficient
Again, we cannot stress enough the importance of energy conservation today. And the one panel may not be enough to fulfill all your energy needs but take this as a starting point a testing phase and build on it.
Easy as that and you can be energy resourceful in yourself and a tad free of the energy producing giants. A step in the right direction indeed!
We here at Earth for Energy do not think there could be a cost high enough to make us not want to save energy and in turn save our home. Conserving energy should be a way of “every” life! And it does not have to cost us money just time to start up.
I’m sure once you get the concepts of building your own Solar Panel you will feel the same way.
A: Should you Pay a Higher Price?
The answer again is simple, No!
And with the way we are going to discuss in the coming chapters you will see for yourself how easy it is to build an energy efficient solar panel. It will make you wonder why didn’t you do this before.
As the energy bills start to roll in lighter month after glorious month you will be proud of yourself and just like us boosting of your ingenuity in building a solar panel(s) all on your own.
So, if you are ready to take that leap and start building yourself an economically, tension free and energy efficient future and if you are ready to do some seriously easy DIY just turn over to the next chapter and join the revolution!
The Efficient Planet product has generated a bit of a “movement” with regards to support and as a popular green energy product we felt the desire to check it out and see what exactly we thought of the product. Brought to you by a group of experts, the Efficient Planet product has also been featured on a large range of leading online sites including Youtube . com, Google and bing, Yahoo, America Online and is sold on Clickbank - the leading marketplace for digital products and services.Efficient Planet
is a complete system that teaches you how to reduce your energy bills by as much as 83% and will help you “go green” by simply installing solar technology and wind turbine power systems at your residence. You don’t need to be an expert yourself and you don’t even need any experience. The DIY guides are perfect for beginners and could be utilized to turn your home in to a renewable energy efficient home within days.
They are even throwing in an “Efficient Living Bible
” so that you can learn the actual secrets to living “green” and saving yourself lots of money along the way. The Efficient Planet product is definitely really a no brainer for those of you who want to reduce your energy bills and begin making use of solar and wind power instead of depending on energy companies.
In fact, should you produce more energy than you make use of, you can actually have the power companies start paying you! As a complete package, the Efficient Planet system is the most affordable in terms of what’s included - it’s the only package of its kind that includes so much detail for such a low price. At just $49.97 you can get your hands on the entire package.
Other packages on the market at this price don’t include nearly as much detail and rarely will you get a system that claims to be completely legal and above board in every countries. Using the Efficient Planet
system you won’t have to worry about any legalities and you may get on with creating your power efficient residence without having to worry about safety either.
The system is completely safe while offering just about anybody a cheap as well as risk-free way to save cash on their energy bills. For that reason we highly recommend the Efficient Planet system
and if you’re quick you will get it for less than $50 - should you let it sit a long time they could increase the price!