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Estimating your sun hours or wind speeds

When using the wind or sun to produce your own electricity, after you figure out how much electricity your currently using. The next step would be to look into how much sun or wind resources you have in your geographical area. Figuring out the ammount of resources in your area will help you determine how many kilowatt hours (kWh) your system will produce through out the year. It’s a critical step to help understand the return on investment for your solar panel or wind power system. 3Tier a company that collects wind and solar data has opened up a free web program called firstlook to help you figure out your solar sun hours and wind speeds. I hope this tool helps you reach your clean energy system...

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Just plug it In – grid tied solar power appliance

Grid tied solar power systems allow you to reduce your electric bill by sending extra electrons produced sent back into the grid which you recieve credit for. Traditionally, an electrican would hook up a grid tied system to your utility’s service box so your system can interact with the grid. Today, through inverter innovation, it is now possible to plug in an inverter right into a AC outlet and push electrons back into the grid, which reduces your bill. The SWEA 250 grid tied inverter features an AC Output which can be pluged directly into a socket. Just connect two 130 watt solar panels to the inverter and plug it into the wall. The special inverter allows renters, people who live in apartments or condos to be able to plug right into the grid. The GoGreenSolar.com Plug N Play Solar Kit is truly small scale solar power appliance that can help reduce your electric bill. Multiple kits can be put together to create a larger system which have a larger net impact. We believe this solar power kit will significatally reduce the cost and installation barriers traditonally consumers face when considering a grid-tied system and help more people to get their feet wet with small scale grid tied solar...

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Kilowatt hour (kWh), huh? It’s on your electric bill.

When purchasing a grid connected solar or wind power systems its important to start by looking at your electric bill to see how many kilowatt hours you consume each month. After you figure out how many kilowatt hours you are using per month, figure out how many kilowatt hours a solar panel or wind power system produce to determine out how much energy you can offset. Many people who are considering a clean energy system, never even consider looking at their electric bill to analyze their usage. It all starts from how much you are using and what rate your paying per kwh to estimate if solar or wind power is right for you. Below I have included a sample electric bill to help you locate how many kilowatt hours you use. Feel free to post your usage here, we can brainstorm ways we can reduce your kilowatt hour usage even without a clean energy...

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Solar calculators that help you make accurate installation decisions.

Installing solar panels could be a difficult task if you don’t understand the sun. I mean we can all agree that the sun raises and sets, although its really more complicated then it seems. Depending on your geographical area the sun travels over your property differently. Therefore understanding the path of the sun is a key element for your solar power system to maximize its output thus increasing your return on investment. The Earth System Research Laboratory has created the Sunrise / Sunset and Solar Noon Calculator and the Solar position calculator to help you better understand the path of the sun in your area. All you have to do is select a city from the drop down menu and the critical data for your project is automatically populated. According to the website, “The calculations in the NOAA Sunrise/Sunset and Solar Position Calculators are based on equations from Astronomical Algorithms, by Jean Meeus. The sunrise and sunset results have been verified to be accurate to within a minute for locations between +/- 72° latitude, and within 10 minutes outside of those latitudes.” The calculator is really helpful when designing a system to find out the ideal pitch and position of the solar panels. I would recommend everyone considering to install solar panels to play with the calculators to better understand the path of the sun because its the most basic element to solar power that can make or break your project. Sunrise/Sunset and Solar Noon Calculator Solar Position...

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The truth about solar shingles.

Consumers often ask about solar shingles, typically solar shingles have a higher cost per watt than solar panels. The shingles are typically black in color so they still do stand out on a roof although some people like solar shingles better than solar panels. The downside to shingles are that they don’t produce as much power as solar panels do. Solar Panel are more efficient than shingles thus making solar panels a better value. Solar Shingles don’t have the long track records in durability like a solar panel does. There are Solar Panels still in operation today from the 1970s, Solar Panels are a proven application of solar power with solar shingles the lifetime of the product may not be as reliable as a solar...

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Using Beer Bottles to harness the Sun

I wanted to highlight the works of Ma Yanjun, of Qiqiao village, Shaanxi province, China because of his innovative work in solar energy. Ma, a Chinese Farmer made his own solar water heating panels with empty beer bottles and hosepipes. Ma’s invention is simple, he attached 66 beer bottles to board which are connected with each other so the water flows through, sunlight hits the bottles and heats up the water, its that simple! Ma claims the home made solar hot water panel provides enough hot water for three family members to shower each day. 10 families in the village have been inspired by Ma’s DIY Solar Hot Water project and are taking a project up on their own. This is a perfect example of someone with limited resources taking solar energy into their own hands and how successful a do-it-yourself solar energy project can work for the average...

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