Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Make The Right Choice With Solar Energy Technologies

There are many different solar energy technologies available on the market today. It is a good idea to learn about what is out there, whether you choose to use a contractor for installation or not. In addition, you can save some money if you already have an idea of what you want. Contractors can concentrate on installation and you will not have to pay them to spend time determining what to install.

The first thing you will need to do is decide if you want to go all the way solar or not. There are systems available to convert your entire house to solar energy. There are also different technologies that you can use to convert only certain things. Either way you choose, you will still be able to save money and the environment at the same time.

Solar Panels

Traditional solar panels are mounted on small stands and then placed either on your roof or in your yard. There are other necessary components that depend on what type of system you choose.

Solar Powered Shingles and Tiles

Solar powered shingles and tiles are an aesthetically pleasing alternative to regular, bulky solar panels. Instead of having multiple solar panels attached to your roof, you just re-roof your house. These shingles have a photovoltaic substance spread on top of them that allows for the collection of solar energy. Added benefits of using solar shingles are that they blend in very well and will not reduce the value of your house.

Solar Powered Batteries

Solar powered batteries are a wonderful invention. It is inevitable that your solar electric system will generate more power than you need. When solar powered batteries are included in your setup, you can store the excess power to be used later. You will be thankful for that on rainy days when your system is not generating power.

Solar Heater

You can use a solar space heating system to heat the air in your home. It can be implemented in one of two ways. A passive heating system uses features such as south-facing windows and heat-absorbing floor and wall material to collect heat during the day and release it at night. An active heating system uses solar collectors, fans or pumps to distribute the heat. In addition, a storage system is needed to hold heat for cloudy or rainy days.

Solar Water Heater

Installing a solar water heater is a good option for those who don't want to go completely solar, or who just can't afford to do so. There are only two parts to this: a solar collector and a storage tank. The solar collector uses sunlight to heat the water, which is then held in a storage tank.

Solar Pool Heating

You can also use the power of solar energy to heat your swimming pool or hot tub. The basic principle is similar to that of the solar water heater. Your pool filtration system will pump the pool water through a solar collector. The heated water is then pumped right back into the pool. The one drawback to this type of heating system is that the solar collector is usually quite large. It needs to be 50 to 100% of the pool surface area.

Solar Lighting

Depending upon where you live, you have probably seen stores such as Wal-Mart using solar lighting systems. The system used for a single home is not as large, although the basic principle is the same. Most solar lighting systems are actually hybrids. Hybrid solar lighting systems combine solar energy with regular electricity, all funneled into hybrid light fixtures. The amount of regular electricity used is dependent upon available sunlight.

Trombe Wall

A trombe wall is glazed on the outside with a heat conducting substance. These walls transfer heat into your house to warm it up and out of your house to cool it down.

Solar Sunroom

The solar sunroom will always be positioned on the south-facing side of your home. The walls are made of extremely large glass panes that collect solar energy. The energy collected can either be funneled into the house or stored for later use.

By Sean Burton

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