Category: Green Energy

May 31, 2020

Going Green is Trendy For Your Property

Going Green is Trendy For Your Property

Going Green is Trendy For Your Property

More than 1 million U.S. households now warm their homes in the winter with heat from the earth instead of using furnaces or fuel lines. Elton John, Virgin Airlines chief Richard Branson and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen use ground-source energy in their homes.

Even George W. Bush has a geothermal system in his vacation home in Crawford, Texas. Designed by architect David Heymann, Prairie Chapel Ranch captures solar energy and has a cistern that gathers rainwater and wastewater, purifies it and then uses it to irrigate the greenery around the presidential vacation home.

Reducing the size of your carbon footprint and increasing the number of renewable energy systems you use is becoming something to brag about. From geothermal systems to wind turbines to solar panels, going green is starting to get glamorous, as well as being politically correct and simply forward-thinking. As renewable and conservationist technologies become economically competitive with traditional fuels, several alternative-energy companies saw demand skyrocket in 2006.

“The green-energy movement is growing in leaps and bounds,” says Paul Glenney, a director of energy initiatives at AeroVironment, a California company that makes sleek wind turbines that can be mounted on buildings. Glenney calls these examples of “kinetic architecture,” and they point to consumers’ increasing demand for more-elegant products.

John Thulin, the president of Scandia Contractors, a geothermal company in Southampton, N.Y., says that though demand is up, most customers initially don’t even know how the systems actually work. Geo-exchange systems usually pump thermal energy into your home in one of two ways.

A closed-loop system pumps a mixture of water and nontoxic antifreeze through a series of sealed pipes buried about six feet under ground. The pipes look like a “horizontal slinky,” Thulin says.

An open system — most commonly used in Long Island, N.Y., thanks to the aquifer — draws water from a lake, pond or well. The water moves through a heat exchanger, which extracts its thermal energy and then returns the water to the source. In warm weather, both closed and open systems work in reverse: Air vents remove hot air from rooms and send it to the heat pump, which transfers the excess heat back into the earth.

More than 2,000 homes on Long Island use geothermal heating and cooling systems, based on the number of Long Island Power Authority rebates dished out, says Thulin, who has installed or sold more than 100 systems from Maine to Maryland since 2000. The typical installation cost for a 2,500-square-foot home that already has a built-in air distribution system ranges from $20,000 to $30,000.

Geo-exchange systems require more upfront costs, but once they’re installed they cut down dramatically on monthly heating and cooling costs, saving homeowners 30% to 70% in the heating mode and 20% to 50% in the cooling mode, according to the Geothermal Heat Pump consortium, a national organization that connects consumers, contractors and architects, and provides information about rebates. The 1 million geothermal systems in the U.S. currently eliminate more than 5.8 million metric tons of CO2 annually, or take the equivalent of 1,295,000 cars off the road, according to the consortium.

Wind turbines are spreading beyond wind farms to people’s homes.

Since 1980, Bergey Wind, a pioneer company in residential wind energy, has sold turbines in more than 90 countries, from Saudi Arabia and Africa to the United States.

“We have always been concerned with aesthetics,” said Karl Bergey, an aeronautical engineer who is the company’s co-founder and CEO. “The design of our turbines is simple: three blades, no gear box and only a few moving parts. People just put them up and they run. There is no scheduled maintenance.”

Bergey Wind moved to a bigger factory in Norman, Okla., in August 2005. Increased demand for turbines in 2006 has put them on back order until March or April 2007.

The Bergey turbines come in two sizes. The smaller model is meant for off-the-grid home use in the United States and for rural electrification programs in developing countries. The larger model is meant for homes already connected to the electrical grid and in a moderate wind area can provide most of the electricity needed for an average house. Since its introduction in 1983, this type of turbine has been installed in more than 900 sites worldwide.

AeroVironment has just started selling “microturbines.” Its Architectural Wind series offers a different mounting option: The turbines can be installed on commercial buildings. The company showed this design at Wired magazine’s Nextfest conference in New York in September 2006.

“People just went gaga over it. I keep getting calls from people saying, ‘I have to put that on my house,’ ” says Glenney, of AeroVironment. Currently, the small turbines have optional architectural canopies to “dress up” a commercial building. A typical turbine system costs $60,000, with an additional $30,000 for canopies that adorn the turbines and prevent birds from flying into them.

Duogen, a British wind company, will publicly launch a stylish retro turbine called the StealthGen in 2007. It builds on designs the company developed for yacht turbines and can be used in residences.

The sun generates enough energy in one hour to power the electrical demand of the entire world for one year. The key is capturing this energy and converting it to a usable form. Sharp Electronics has become the world leader in solar products by tackling this challenge.

Solar panels are made of thin layers of silicon. When sunlight strikes the cells, chemical reactions release electrons, generating electrical current. Sharp’s panels are either square — roughly the size of a computer monitor — or triangular. They fit into racks that hug the roof of a house. An inverter converts the electricity into a current that can be used in homes. And a monitor lets residents view the electrical output, power consumed and CO2 reductions generated.

Though solar panels began as a “boutique business” for Sharp, says Marc Cortez, from the company’s solar division, they now represent one of Sharp’s biggest growth areas. California makes up three quarters of the company’s U.S. market; several states offer rebates to homeowners. Unlike wind turbines, which can make a powerful visual statement, solar panels are more subtle. Over the past several years, Sharp has developed ways to integrate the panels into house roofs more seamlessly.

Sharp is also creating programs to offset the installation cost, which is approximately $31,500. It recently teamed up with CitiMortgage to offer a home-equity financing program for solar-energy systems. Instead of dipping into savings or applying for a loan, homeowners can use the equity in their homes to help offset the cost of installing solar panels on the roof.

While green technologies are making inroads across the U.S., penetrating the dense downtowns of cities will be more tricky, at least for do-it-yourself homeowners. Thulin, the geothermal contractor from Southampton, installs systems in New York’s boroughs but not yet in Manhattan. “It’s difficult to drill a hole without hitting the F train or power lines, so that limits what we can do in Manhattan despite the demand,” he says. Zoning laws are much stricter in built-up city areas, and few buildings have the space needed for turbines.

But entire apartment buildings are becoming solar-powered. And the skylines of U.S. cities are changing: The 18-story Federal Building in San Francisco, for instance, will be the first office tower in the nation to eliminate at least 70% of air conditioning by using a computer-controlled skin that adjusts to the weather.

In the meantime, Americans will keep looking to foreign pioneers from Britain, Japan and Germany — decades ahead, by some estimates, in their development of cleaner energy for the home. By way of example, the entire city of Reykjavik, Iceland, is powered by geothermal waters.

“Green buildings and homes are healthier, improve productivity and make happier employees and residents. And, by the way, they save energy,” says AeroVironment’s Glenney. “Who doesn’t want that?”

May 25, 2020

Most Popular Energy Saving Tips Using Solar Energy For Your Home

Most Popular Energy Saving Tips Using Solar Energy For Your Home

Most Popular Energy Saving Tips Using Solar Energy For Your Home

Wrong insulation is the main reason of the loss of energy. About fifty percent of energy is wasted due to cooling or heating a space using wrong insulation. To maintain your home or office temperate all through the season of winter, endow your windows and walls with the appropriate insulating equipment. Open all long curtains and Venetian blind on windows facing the direction south throughout winters sunshine hours, but shut them at nighttime to maintain the warmth in.

Just spinning your thermostat downward by 1C may possibly scratch your electricity bills by up to 10%. Heating water for washing and bathing is another spot you can hoard currency by adjusting the cylinder thermostat at 60C/140F.

Energy saving bulbs that are more competent have been obtainable for many years. Such bulbs have been conventionally compressed fluorescents, and still are the most widespread type of energy saving bulb. Earlier these bulbs come in a different type and those were not so popular, for the reason that they were large, took a substantial time to attain full intensity, and were pricey.

These energy saving light bulbs are more efficient than the standard bulbs. A conventional bulb squanders energy by fabricating heat in addition to the light. An energy saving bulb conversely works further like an incandescent tube. The electric current surpass all the way through the gas in the tube, illuminating it up without generating surplus heat.

Such bulbs also maintain the atmosphere free of dirt and air borne contaminants. Additionally, they are planned to trim down noise, generating calm surroundings. They are priced efficvetly and are easy to replace and offer outstanding visibility.

Computer monitors are responsible for more than one third of your computer’s energy utilization. If you are not utilizing the monitor, put it to snooze. Furthermore, turn off your computer before you go away every day. It may take a few minutes each day, but it will save you big time at the end of the month.

Energy saving bulbs also have the benefit of plummeting waste because of their longer lifetime, as it is predictable that 80 million conventional fluorescent tubes only are sent to landfill every year.

Evaluating the common lamps — the fluorescent bulbs have 10 times extra life. However, the price is higher than that of the common lamps. If you will utilize the energy saving lamps you will notice your savings in your next electrical energy bill. This is the reason that most people now prefer the use of such energy saving bulbs and fluorescent lamps.

An unbelievable energy cutback device, energy saving light bulbs are now more affordable than ever. In almost all homes, illumination is responsible for around ten to fifteen per cent of an electricity charge bill. Conventional light bulbs squander a lot of their power by turning their energy into heat. On an average, the energy saving bulb can save you $15 a year on the BARE minimum. Their life is also on an average, up to twelve times longer than common light bulbs.

By following the above tips and guidelines you will notice an immense change in your electricity bills. We all have to save energy — after all it is not only the matter of us, it is the matter of our earth and future generations to come.

There are several compelling reasons for why there’s a need to find alternative sources of energy. Using fossil fuels has become a risky option. The Middle East and North African countries, which have become very unstable and volatile areas, are where most of our gasoline, diesel, and other related fuel supplies originate. As anti-American sentiments rise, we’re hard pressed to find energy sources as big as they are. Fossil fuels are also running out and have taken a toll on our environment as well.

The best choice we have right now, and in abundant supply in our country and anywhere else in the world, is solar energy. It’s clean and safe, although not very cheap at the moment. Nonetheless, taking into account what the other choices are, it’s comforting to know that it’s readily available, no matter the price. Fortunately, that will change as solar technology provides more effective and efficient methods of harnessing the power of the sun.

There are two main ways that home or building owners can utilized solar energy sources. Note however, that some choices are not yet available to homeowners. If you’re living in the city where power grids are conveniently available, you can use the grid-tied solar system. You don’t need a big space on your roof in order to install all the photovoltaic cells needed to run your home solar system. Pre-assembled or ready-made solar boxes are available to start enjoying the benefits of solar power.

Wondering how going solar puts money back in your wallet? The power company supplies you with power together with your own solar power. If your power supply exceeds that of your demand, some of the excess will go back to the power company and your electric meter will turn in reverse, deducting your electric bill. How’s that for energy conservation!? Nothing is more advantageous than using the grid system. If your home is green certified, having passed the LEED certification evaluation, you’re even a candidate for tax rebate. This means that you have complied with all the requirements to make your house not only energy efficient but also energy conserving.

Another common option for homeowner is an off the grid, or independent, solar power system. With independent systems, you’re not connected to any power grid. This is ideal if you’re located where the there’s lot’s of sunlight available for your solar power needs, especially if you’re located in a remote area. You can also opt for this type even if you’re in an area where there are power plants. The main advantage of this system is that you don’t have to pay for any electric bills since you have your own power supply.

Nevertheless, there are some disadvantages to this type of home solar system. For starters, you’ll need access to a large enough space to install your photovoltaic cells. An entire roof may not suffice, and you may need to add more structures to accommodate the cells. This system also carries a hefty price tag. Photovoltaic cells are expensive; the cost of buying and installing them will run in the thousands. Furthermore, you need to maintain them for optimal solar benefits.

If the thought of installing gargantuan solar cells makes you cringe, consider using solar shingles. If you haven’t seen them yet, you should. They’re the subtlest way of acquiring solar power, and look spectacular, too. Solar shingles can be inconspicuously incorporated into your house without attracting any negative attention. You will be delighted at the exquisite character they’ll add to your house. Instead of bulky voltaic cells, photovoltaic films are installed inside each shingle. This is a novel and cutting edge technology at its best. The powerful films collect sunlight and convert it into solar power more effectively and efficiently than older voltaic cells. Each shingle has tiny wires that run to an apparatus called a solar inverter. This device then converts the collected rays into solar energy. Heat activated EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate compound) is used to adhere the sophisticated film to roofs. The shingles come in different models, designs, and colors to suit your solar and style needs. Solar shingles last for about twenty years, long enough for more types of residential solar system options to come along.