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AC Sun’s Solar Air Conditioner

A while back I wrote about a solar air conditioner called the Greencore Air that was a highly efficient air conditioner powered by photovoltaic (pv) panels. This week a Danish company AC-Sun, announced they are developing a unique solar air conditioner. We’re fascinated with solar air conditioners because typically these are the largest and most expensive load on homes and businesses across the world, which can make a very cost effective application of solar energy if a company can release a reliable product. The most interesting part about AC-Sun’s solar air conditioners is that instead of using solar panels to generate electricity to power an AC, it uses solar thermal technology which boils water, creates steam to drive a turbine which can cool a room. It’s using the sun’s heat to cool a room! The AC-Sun’s system is based off an already known thermal process, which includes a traditional solar thermal panel that provides energy to an expander that ends up operating a compressor. A compressor is a critical unit in air conditioning and is important in the overall process of creating cool air. Unfortunately, you can’t buy AC-Sun’s solar air conditioner today, they are still developing the product and according to the company the product will be on the market in the middle of 2010. What do you think about solar air conditioners? This is a very interesting niche of solar energy, has anyone seen other companies dabbling in this...

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Touch-screen device for tracking solar panel and home energy usage

Open Energy a company I wrote about recently, that manufactured solar roofing tiles has also announced they are working on a device that helps solar power system owners visualize their home energy usage and solar panel production. The device has a wireless Internet gateway that can show solar power production along side electricity usage. The device can also pull in gas and water usage data that can help home owners make educated decisions on the fly about their resource consumption. Open Energy’s monitoring device will be out on the market next year and will cost between $1,100 to $1,400 USD which includes other monitoring services along with the hardware. More companies are developing ways for consumers to track energy production from solar panels and compare it to a home’s energy usage. Monitoring software and devices are becoming more of a standard when purchasing a solar power system. Traditionally consumers have to rely on reading the LCD screen on an inverter to figure out the production for that day. But a device or web software the analysis of the home energy usage and solar panel production can be analyzed in greater detail. Customers want to know in real time what the system is doing, we are very used to information on demand, these devices, software and hardware help solar electric system owners really understand how their system is...

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Energy Savers Love the SkyStream 3.7

According to an article titled, “Wind turbines smart choice, energy savers” by Danie M. Huffman of the Weatherford Democrat a man named Curtis Kelly got sick of his high electric bills and decided to invest in a Skystream 3.7 to offset this dependence on the utility grid and lower his monthly bill. Kelly has paid up to $340 per month for his electric service and wit the Skystream 3.7 he could see a reduction of $80 – $120 dollars per month on his bill depending on the wind speeds he receives that month. The SkyStream 3.7, developed jointly with the US Department of Energy is one of the most reliable grid interactive small scale wind turbines on the market and the payback period can range from 5 to 7 years. The wind turbine makes most financial sense when there is an average wind speed of at least 10MPH. Many companies claim that the SkyStream 3.7 can eliminate a customers entire electric bill, although most likely it will just reduce consumption because most customers use a lot of energy, and it would take more than one SkyStream 3.7 to eliminate a bill. Kelly chose the SkyStream 3.7 because of the built in inverter, that turns the DC power into AC electricity that is used by most appliances and the quite nature of the wind turbine itself made the SkyStream 3.7 stand out as he was making his decision on which turbine to go with. The longest part of the installation is pouring the concrete base and allowing it to cure for two to four weeks, the wind turbine itself can be put up within a day. There are customers who are comfortable installing the SkyStream 3.7 on a Do-It-Yourself basis while others require a professional to help them with the installation similar to Kelly. What do you think about small scale wind power? Do you think they are a feasible option for the common American to reduce their dependence on the grid? Please...

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Why efficiency is key on deciding what solar panel to buy.

As more solar panel producers enter the market, consumers are confused on what brand to buy. What should you look for when purchasing solar panels to power your home or small business? Not all solar panels are created equal, efficency matters! If you are a homeowner with limited roof space, well you should care more about efficiency more then anyone. The more efficient the solar panel, the more watts you generate per square foot, that’s the bottom line. Sanyo Solar Panels are highly efficient and this is why we like them, because you produce more electricity with every panel. Even though Sanyo’s are priced at a premium compared to value or cheap solar panels, the return on investment is much quicker on a Sanyo system because of the efficiency. So the first thing to do when comparing two brands of solar panels is to look at the specifications sheets and compare the efficiencies, you will be surprised how much more efficient premium panels are. What do you think are highly efficent panels always worth it or is it better to go with more cheaper...

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Energy Saving Tips from Southern California Ediosn

If your considering solar or wind power you better be thinking about energy efficiency. Most energy hogs that call in to inquire about a system that can eliminate their entire bill often end the decision making process for renewable energy with their tails between their legs because of the high upfront cost of producing their own energy. When consumers have to produce their own energy, its expensive to be inefficient, although consumers are spoon fed electricity from the utility company most do not even think about energy efficiency, typically people just pay the bill and think they have no control over the final value each month, this is a common misconception. Southern California Edison (SCE) has released a new webpage to provide consumers tips on how they can save energy. This is especially good information for people looking to reduce the upfront cost of going solar, by implementing the tips on the utility’s website a solar power shopper could shave thousands of dollars from the final cost of a solar power...

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Home Energy Expenese are Increasing Fast!

According to the July 2008 issue of Money Magazine, Home Energy takes up 4% of the average American’s household budget. Not only have the price of gas went up, the price of Home Energy has gone up 9% compared to a year ago. As the global demand for energy increases do to developing countries hungry for energy the prices will continue to skyrocket, eating up more of the household budget each year. There are many ways to get take control of your home energy expenses. The significant expenses on our energy costs rack up simply because we are inefficient. Energy has been cheap and abundant, therefore most people have not thought about efficency till now. Conducting a self energy audit is a great way to start learning about your usage, energystar.gov has a great web application to help you conduct a do-it-yourself energy audit. Becoming more efficient in the way we use energy is the first step in becomming energy independent. You can do the following to help reduce your usage: 1. Replace old light bulbs with LED Bulbs 2. Find and kill vampire loads – appliances that use electricity when when you are not using them. 3. seal up your house, use quality insulation to effectively cool and heat your home. After you reduce your energy usage then think about producing your own electricity through grid tied solar panels or wind turbines. Combining energy efficency and production will help you maximize on your clean energy system and reducing your upfront cost to eliminate the majority of your electric bill through solar or wind...

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