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How to make a light source out of plastic bottles.
Jan08

How to make a light source out of plastic bottles.

Well over a billion people on our planet don’t have access to electricity and this D.I.Y. solar light can brighten homes during the day and replace toxic kerosine lamps. Watch this video: 4 easy steps to light a room with a solar bottle lamp: 1. Add a couple teaspoons of bleach to keep the water clean. 2. Drill a hole in roofing to fit the circumference of the plastic bottle. 3. Push the bottle up through the hole in the roofing. 4.  Seal the the bottle with polyester resin to prevent a leaking roof. [i] It’s a stunningly simple lighting solution: sunlight passes through the water inside the bottle, refracting light, and brightening the room. Even though you might not insert a 2-liter bottle into your roof, this might also come in handy if you’re want to illuminate the inside of a tree-house. Check out the infographic below and “share” this page if you think this is cool!    ...

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Is the 60W lightbulb illegal?
Jan03

Is the 60W lightbulb illegal?

Beginning 2014, Federal Efficiency Standards Outlaw the Production of “old-school” 40 and 60 Watt Incandescent Lamps About 6 out of 10 Americans don’t know that traditional incandescent lamps are being phased out. [1] As of January 1st, 2014, it goes against Federal law to manufacture one of these old things… This federal regulation was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007, banning the production and importation of 40 and 60 Watt incandescent lamps.  Over the last several years, 100W and 75W incandescent were also phased out. About a third of consumers plan to stock up on these 60W incandescent lamps while they’re available in stores. Others will reach for halogen or compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). What about LEDs? More frequently referred to as LEDs, Light Emitting Diodes are small digital light bulbs that fit into an electrical circuit board and produce light when the correct voltage is applied to them. An LED light source comparable to a 60W incandescent lamp might be around 12.5 Watts. LEDs generally have a higher price tag, but they can actually save you money over time. Not only does an LED light source consume far less energy than a 60W lightbulb, the lifespan of this solid-state technology goes far beyond that of traditional incandescent lamps.  Most LEDs will last at least 10 years and some will last a couple decades. LED lighting is available in different wavelengths, meaning that they’re now offered in a wide range color temperatures like cool “daylight” colors and cozy orange colors you’d expect to come from an incandescent bulb. The infographic below compares Incandescent Lamps with CFL and LED lighting. [1]...

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Surface area needed to power the world with solar?
Dec30

Surface area needed to power the world with solar?

How much surface area would be needed to power the whole world with solar panels? 496,805 Square kilometers or 191,817.483 square miles Just to give you an idea of what this would actually look like, take a look at the image below. This info-graphic shows the cumulative surface area required to power the entire planet with solar in 2030 (678 quadrillion BTU), given that solar panels will have 20% operating efficiencies.  This includes all electrical consumption, down to machinery and...

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Top 10 BIG Businesses Going Solar (Infographic)
Dec12

Top 10 BIG Businesses Going Solar (Infographic)

Agree or disagree: Wal-Mart is a socially-conscious, altruistic corporation that installed 89MW of solar because it was the right thing to do. Let’s put it this way- Walmart wouldn’t install 89 Megawatts of solar (or 3.86 Million 230W solar panels) if it didn’t make financial sense. Wal-Mart now has a greater solar capacity than 38 states combined.  The falling price of PV has allowed companies like Wal-mart to use solar energy to reduce their operating expenses and take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit for renewable energy systems. Wal-Mart isn’t the only corporation that’s caught on.  Some other businesses that are using solar to lower their operating costs include Costco, IKEA, Kohl’s, Apple, Macy’s, Kaiser Permanente, Johnson & Johnson, Volkswagen, Walgreens, Target, Safeway… the list goes on. Vote Solar’s Executive Director Adam Browning explains, “For years, the promise of solar was always ‘just around the corner.’  Well, solar has turned the corner, and found itself on Main Street, USA. These companies – titans of American business – may have vastly different products, business models, and geographic locations, but they all have something in common: they know a good deal when they see one, and they are going solar in a big way.” Very BIG.   Commercial deployment of solar increased about 40% over last year.   Take a look at this infographic....

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Cook local food this Thanksgiving! Infographic
Nov27

Cook local food this Thanksgiving! Infographic

Please go green this Thanksgiving by  purchasing food that’s grown locally. Not only will you be supporting local farmers and businesses, but it’s better for the environment because it uses less energy to transport the food to your Thanksgiving table. Get exclusive Black Friday offers when you sign up for our newsletter.   Just enter your email address to the right where it says “Receive solar news, expert tips, and special discounts!”    ...

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Texas $2 per Watt Rebate?
Nov27

Texas $2 per Watt Rebate?

Coserv’s per Watt Rebate If you’re one of the 141,000 member-owners of the  Coserv Electric Cooperative in Texas and you’re thinking about going solar, you’re smart. You might have heard that this co-op utility offers a $2 per DC Watt rebate on solar generation. $2 per Watt? This rebate means homeowners in Texas can get $2 per DC Watt installed.  Many solar rebates are based on the size of the solar system in AC Watts,  which is a measurement of the system after the electricity has been converted from DC to grid-quality AC power.  A $2/ AC Watt rebate would already be a very strong incentive, but this rebate is in DC, which means more money in your pocket. $2/W DC  >  $2/W AC For example:  you’re installing a 2kW (or 2,000W) grid-tied solar system.  That number “2kW” is based on the sum total of watts in your solar system – we’ll call it eight 250W solar panels. In this case, you would qualify for a rebate of $4,000, given that the funds allocated towards this rebate program haven’t yet been exhausted. Depending on the size of your system, this  rebate your 2 kW (or 2000 Watt) solar system will yield a couple hundred dollars more. This utility rebate program caps off at $5,000 for each system, which is equal to a 2.5kW solar system.  Contact us today for solar design help and while you’re at it, fill out the Coserv solar rebate application form.  All 2013 funds were reserved in early 2013.   Check their website at the beginning of 2014 for any changes to this rebate and get on the list so they can reserve funds for your project.   Rebates are paid out after your solar system is installed and inspected by a Coserv Auditor. On top of this rebate from Coserv, you’ll also qualify for the Federal Tax Credit.   After any state/local/utility rebates have been subtracted (including Coserv’s solar rebate), 30% of this net cost is returned to you in the form of a tax credit that directly reduces the dollar amount you pay on your taxes....

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