Mar 042010
 

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If you and your family are trying to ‘live green’ this year, you’ll definitely want to know more about passive solar energy sources. Solar power refers to the light and heat from the sun that is trapped and then converted into usable energy. Wind power, wave power, and hydroelectricity, are other, more common, forms of alternative energy technologies and are more commonly used to generate electricity for homes and businesses. Solar energy is by far the least used of the major alternative energy types. Although the use of solar energy has a long history, until recently it has not been possible to harness the massive amounts of energy needed to power a town or city. However, as an individual you can easily use solar technology to power your home. There are 2 types of solar power, active and passive, using an assortment of these resources your family can save a heap of money year after year on your utility bills. Plus you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and helping to care for the environment.

As a starting point look into using more passive solar energy, it’s easier to use and manage. If all of our homes faced south then we could easily utilize natural light. However, the world is not perfect nor are our houses. It may be necessary to manipulate things a bit in order to make our homes more energy efficient. Natural light can involve any selection of materials with positive thermal characteristics. Such as double paned windows. Using drapes and blinds is a way to effectively use passive solar energy to help you reduce your energy costs year round. In the winter natural sunlight can warm a house and reduce the amount of energy used to heat your house. Natual light can warm our house if we open blinds early in the day.. Then in the early evening begin closing your blinds and drapes to keep the heat from drifting back through your window panes. Of course, in the summer you do the exact opposite.

Active solar energy comes from solar panels or solar water heaters. An array of photovoltaic solar panels hooked into your power grid or a battery pack is the perfect alternative to rising costs of electricity. Any area of your home that gets natural sun light is a potential spot for a solar panel. Many people opt to have them installed on their roof, but that does not always have to be the case. If your backyard is large enough you can build your array off the ground. Look up the Federal, State, and City incentive programs that you can apply for a solar energy credit. Making the installation of solar nearly free, if not totally free. Of course if you own a cabin or a boat you can making solar panels. Other solar energy resources include, solar water heaters, solar attic fans, and solar powered lighting. They capture sunlight convert it into energy for immediate or later use.

Solar energy has always lagged behind other forms of renewable energy. Partly due to it’s high cost of installation. However, that is changing rapidly. A lot of families are starting to making solar panels to create their solar arrays. Depending on where you live you can qualify for government rebate programs and get a sizable chunk of your solar panel system paid back to you. Mass produced solar energy is, for the most part, still in it’s infancy, but for individuals who only need small amounts of solar power, it can be the easiest way to reduce your energy bill and live green.


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 Posted by at 4:45 pm