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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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Solar Lily Pads – Innovate Solar Applications

It’s interesting as solar power industry is evolving, innovative uses of the technology due to shift of the general population’s thinking of sustainability is making solar power much “cooler”. Very talented architects are showing that great design and solar power can merge beautifully. Peter Richardson came up with the Solar Lily Pad design, that transforms canals or other bodies of water into surface space for solar panels which pump the electricity back into the grid. Sweet! Solar Panels adapting to the views of biomimicry. According to wikipedia, “Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a relatively new science that studies nature, its models, systems, processes and elements and then imitates or takes creative inspiration from them to solve human problems sustainably.” Just when you thought solar panels look ugly or can’t be aesthetically appeasing, think again. In my opinion as this industry evolves and more top talent pours into this industry we’ll be at a point in which solar panels will be integrated all around us just being part of the natural landscape. There will be a time, when renewable energy will just be part of life, its really...

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Wind Resource Maps & Tools

I noticed many people are using the search function on our homepage searching for “wind maps” Since we’re offering you wind generators, I suppose we can also provide you with a resource maps so you can make an educated decision. The U.S. Department of Energy has released wind maps that are very useful when determining if wind power would be a good investment for your geographical location. Below is a Link to the wind resource map:US Department of Energy US Wind Resource Map If your more of a technical person or what real conditions data, we have listed a new product to help you estimate the wind speed in your area to see if wind power makes sense. The Kestrel 1000 Pocket Wind Speed Meter is a perfect companion if your looking for an affordable method to analyze the wind speed in your area or proposed project...

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Heat your water, generate electricity, one panel.

At the ASES Solar 2008 conference we saw some great technology improvements and creative out of the box thinking in the solar industry itself. One technology that stood out was a solar PV panel with the ability to heat water. One panel does the jobs of two different technologies (Solar PV & Solar Thermal) The great part of the new solar energy collector is not only to heats water and produces electricity with less surface area, but the water within the panel water cools the PV Panel before the water is heated and used for hot water. According to the company there is a 10% gain in efficiency of the PV Panel. The industry seems like to get much more innovative. According to representatives at the booth the founder of the company used to work for Intel and understands how to cool silicon since heating of silicon was a common problem in the computer processor industry. The solar energy collector snaps on top most solar pv...

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Nanosolar to serve residential solar market in soon?

Many residential consumers were disappointed this month when they found out Nanosolar is not offering panels to residential homeowners or even businesses. Nanosolar is exclusively dealing with large utilities according to the Nanosolar offical blog. It was not until a flood of emails sent to the CEO of Nanosolar by angry consumers that the CEO address the commented and stated serving the residential market is in their “near term” roadmap. There was no expected date in which Nanosolar would offer $1/watt thin film solar panels to the residential market. I feel as the company’s manufacturing capacity goes up and the have an abundance of product they will start to offer the residential market with cheap solar panels. The first Nanosolar customer was a German utility company that used the thin film solar panels for a large solar array deployment, municipal power plant. So my expectations is Nanosolar will offer cheaper solar panels in a couple years, because it seems like up until now their supply is dedicated to large customers who want to put up municipal power...

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