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Factors that make or break your investment in a solar panel system

Everyone dreams of solar power to eliminate their entire bill, although when people see prices for a system that can eliminate their entire bill they often never talk about solar power agian because of the sticker shock. Even if you have the money to buy the biggest solar power system for your home or business, it does not mean you’ll be able to, because you may not have enough surface are to install the panels. A rule of thumb is for a 1 kilowatt (kW) solar power system, you need 100 square foot of surface area. Some of the most motivated consumers who want solar power very badly and have the money don’t qaulify because their project site: has shading issues from trees and other obstrcutions. does not have southern exposure. don’t have enough suface area to install solar panles. Sometimes solar power doesnt make sense if the cost per kilowatt hour you are paying the utility company is very cheap in your area. The number one reason consumers buy solar power systems is because they make sense financailly, therefore when investigating if solar power is right for you, start off with your electric bill, figure out how you are being charged and how much per kWh (kilowatt hour). This information will play a cricital role in analyzing if solar power will work financially for...

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Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies

Cal Poly Pomona (a California state university) has a hidden diamond in the rough called the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies. We did some investigating at the facility that has lost funding to continue to conduct research. Its unbelievable that such a great engineering school with the solar energy resources on their campus doesn’t take maximum benefit of such a facility. Imagine if students could get hands on training for solar power right on campus, training the future in solar power is an integral part of the industry’s advancement and core element for the USA to become energy independent. According to the center’s website, “The mission of the Lyle Center is to advance the principles of environmentally sustainable living through education, research, demonstration and community outreach. The term “regenerative” describes processes that restore, renew or revitalize their own sources of energy and materials, creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature. Located on 16 acres (6.5 ha) within the Cal Poly Pomona University campus, the Center researches and demonstrates a wide array of regenerative strategies, including low-energy architecture, energy production technology, water treatment, organic agriculture, ecological restoration and sustainable community development.” The center had a concentrated solar panel system. this solar panel looks different because it has mirrors that magnify the suns light and forces more light into the solar panels making them more efficient. Its a more cost effective way to reduce the cost of solar panels although has its draw backs due to overheating issues. A dusty old solar panel tracking system, I did’nt notice it move and there was a lot of dirt on the solar panels, The system did’nt look like they were in operation from what we could tell. Solar Panel and Wind Power hybrid system sitting up on the hill. The wind turbine was an older model, it made a whining sound as the turbines rotated. It was a great day to be checking out the wind generator because there was wind really give it a kick. Solar Panels covered in weeds! Hey Cal Poly Pomona, if you don’t want those solar panels, I’ll put them to good use A sterling engine, or whats left of it, this is an amazing machine when its operating it has the potential to create utility scale power. We wonder why California isn’t reaching its 1 million solar roof top fast enough, when we have California state universities dropping the ball on renewable energy we truly realize the severity of the energy crisis America faces today. If you want to help or want to learn more about this great...

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Solar Powered Homes Selling Like Hotcakes.

Slow real estate market isn’t true for homes with solar power. In fact the demand for homes with solar power is going through the roof according an article in the LA Times by Elizabeth Douglas. Even in a slow real estate market buyers are seeking out solar-powered homes. It’s a classic case of differentiation, because of the housing crisis, there is massive inventory of homes, what sets your home apart from the rest of them? Since energy bills are skyrocketing and are going to continue to inflate as we move forward the home with solar panels makes its stand out because of the long term savings a home owner realizes when living in a sun powered home. When the economy is shaky, homeowners are looking for stability and solar power can provide security homeowners are demanding. Still only 5% of new homes in California are built with solar panels. So if your thinking about upgrading your home, think about solar power, it adds more value than adding a new bathroom...

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Apple considers solar power for it’s product line up.

Apple is a master of customer experience and design. The company is amazing because they have created a community of evangelist followers lining up to pay premiums for their products. When I think of Apple, I think of a company of the future, a leader in its domain. Recently the company has filed for a patent for implementing solar cells into their portable devices by integrating the solar cells behind touch sensitive displays. If Apple can pull off using solar cells effectively with small surface areas the concept has gigantic potential of extending battery life for laptops, iPods and iPhones. The most interesting concept within the patent application is the ability use the surface area behind LCD screens to capture the ambient light thats passes through. Apple is just investigating the potential of solar power into their products, although the company is known to innovate. If they can merge their products with solar power, the best outcome would be more of the mainstream public would get comfortable using solar power and then consider going solar for their home or business. Considering solar power, Apple is sticking to its value proposition, “Think...

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Solar panels can learn from plants.

Plants are smart, they’ve figured out the power of the sun long before humans. Plants are self-sustaining because they understand a process called photosynthesis. The process in which a plant converts sunlight into glucose (energy) for the plant to grow and even produce fruits and vegetables. Remember this stuff in grade school science class? Photovoltaics is the process in which a solar cell turns sunlight into electricity. Solar Panels are made up of a bunch of solar cells which make up a panel. When sunlight hits the panel it goes through a process similar to photosynthesis to covert sunlight into an electrical load. Leaves on a plant are designed flat with surface area to capture sunlight similar to an array of solar panels which makes up a solar electric system. Solar panels have a lot to learn from plants even though there are some similarities, solar panels are typically 20% efficient while plants covert 95% of sunlight into energy. Imagine if solar panels were able to covert 95% of sunlight into electricity, all the cost concerns at that point would go out the window. This comparison highlights we have a lot to learn from nature’s most basic life...

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