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Why home solar works better than solar power plants
May27

Why home solar works better than solar power plants

If you’re thinking about making the switch to clean energy, but are waiting for a community solar farm to pop up in your area or a utility company to construct a massive project that harvests the sun, might want to think again.   But first, let’s talk about Blockbuster. Remember them? That blue and yellow chain of video rental stores that could be found in nearly every suburban neighborhood in the 90s?     Yeah, I barely do, either. And that’s because when the internet changed the way people consumed movies, the behemoth company stubbornly refused to shift its model of distribution.     With the conversion rates of people switching to solar becoming more common across the globe, we’ve begun to notice a similar flub on the part of large scale solar production plants.      While these grand undertakings are exponentially better for the environment than their carbon emitting alternatives, recent problems with such projects prove the energy source is much better suited to be captured by autonomous individuals than in concentrated areas on large tracts of land.   This past March a sector of Ivanpah, one of the world’s largest solar power plants, emphasized this point as it went up in flames.     With nearly 200,000 sets of focused mirrors superheating steam to generate electricity and tons of small moving parts, it was a difficult (and expensive) project to keep running smoothly. Add to this the sprawling 3,500 acres of land it takes to house the plant and you’ve racked up a bill costing nearly 20 cents per a kilowatt hour.   Photovoltaic home solar systems on the other hand are much more scalable, only require rooftops or backyards as necessary real estate and have the advantage of making electricity where it is used–reducing its kilowatt per hour cost down to 6 cents or less.   When it comes to solar, it’s not hard to imagine a future where the outdated energy production models of the 20th century have gone the way of Blockbuster, and the companies that come out on top are the ones that shift their thinking about how the public produces, access and consumes electricity....

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how much energy will your small wind turbine produce?

Making an investment in a small scale wind turbine to offset your electric bills can be a challenging task, for many customers the main question on their mind is how fast will the investment pay off? To find the answer, everyone considering to install a small wind turbine in their backyard should complete the following simple calculation to figure out how many kWh you’ll be able to generate per year. kWh per year = [rotor area in sq. ft] * [annual average wind speed mph]^3 * 0.085 * OTE The 0.085 number in the equation represents air density and the acronym OTE stands for overall turbine efficiency. The OTE will vary depending on the make and model of the wind turbine, the number can range anywhere between 15% and 25%. I hope this equation will help you make effective decisions when purchasing a small scale wind...

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do wind turbines kill birds?

I think this rumor that wind turbines are bad because they kill birds is exaggerated. I agree there have been reports that a birds have collided with wind turbines, but on the flip side a lot more birds have died in result of flying into windows and sky scrapers, wouldn’t you agree? There was a study done for large utility scale wind turbines in which concluded wind turbines account for less than 0. 003% of all human caused bird deaths, on the other hand house cats kill around 1 billion birds each year! Making that comparison, I suppose it puts it into perspective that wind turbines are harmless to bird populations. Why do you think so many people out there believe that wind turbines are a hazard to...

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university installs skystream 3.7

William Penn University recently installed a Skystream 3.7 grid tie wind power system to help produce clean electricity right on campus to help power the Musco Technology Center. The Skystream 3.7 is mounted on a tower that is 99 ft high, which is very high compared to most installations I’ve seen. The Skystream 3.7 in it’s first month of operation produced 352 kilowatt-hours (kWh) which equals to about $35 dollars in savings, seems quite low for a tower that’s 99 feet up, maybe their average wind speeds are quite last month? The Skystream 3.7 was donated to William Penn University primarily for education purposes, what a great tool to help future generations learn about renewable energy, wouldn’t you agree? The wind power system blades are designed to operate quietly so the wind turbine itself is not going to be a distraction when classes are in session. I’m looking forward to following this wind turbine project to see how much electricity is generated over a course of a year. What do you think about the Skystream 3.7 at the Willam Penn University...

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wind power in Antarctica

If you could go anywhere in the world, for most people Antarctica would never be mentioned, unless your a researcher. There are 600 researchers and 2,000 additional people who support life and work on the uncivilized Antarctic continent. Research facilities across Antarctica have plenty of electrical appliances, but how does the limited population get the power they need to energize their lives? Most of the research bases depend on diesel generators to create power. Although the Belgium-based International Polar Foundation research facility is the only base on Antarctica that is carbon-neutral and completely energy independent thanks to Proven Wind Energy system. Proven Energy is a UK-based manufacturer of small scale wind turbines you can put in your backyard but the wind turbine is durable enough to survive the harsh climates of Antarctica. The proven wind turbines will experience average wind speeds of 53mph and gusts of over 200mph, while providing 230V of clean electricity for the research facilities heating, computers, lights and research equipment. According to Proven Energy the electricity generated from the proven wind energy system is expected to be the highest output of any small wind power system in the market. I hope this example gives you an idea of the reliability proven wind energy systems provide, would you consider installing a wind turbine to help power your home or...

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