Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Solar Panels, Solar Energy & Solar Power Save Energy. Help Save the Planet & Save You Money The Energy Saving Alternative

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This website is a fantastic resource for all things Solar Energy and Solar Power. Feel free to explore this exciting Alternative Energy website and richly educate yourself about free solar power, solar panels and solar electricity, the No.1 renewable energy of the future.
Learn some fresh Energy Saving Tips and what you can do to install a back up solar power system or a net metered Solar Power System in your home or business. Your utility supplier actually pays you for supplying them the excess electricity generated by your solar panels and fed back to the grid.
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olar energy is one of the many renewable sources of energy that is used for fueling vehicles, running consumer products and for the efficient running of homes and business establishments. Solar power is harnessed with the help of solar cells and solar panels which are placed in the item that has to be powered.
The solar car is something that is envisioned to materialize in the future, with some countries already having solar cars racing across countries.
With this, it is proven that it is viable to indeed produce and manufacture solar power cars in bulk, in the near future so that everyone will soon own a solar power car.
Of course, once solar power cars are manufactured, it does not implicate that all other fuel sources for cars on highways will be removed. All that is done in solar power cars is the supplementation of traditional fuel with solar energy so that you save not only on your economy, but also save the environment in more ways than one every year.
The solar power cars that are used in races today run only on solar power, and thus look odd in appearance. This is because these cars are designed in such a way that they can collect maximum solar energy with which it is possible for the car to gain the required speed and desired efficiency.
The solar cells used in solar power cars are large, and usually cover the entire vehicle. However in case of commercial uses, solar cells are much smaller and designed so that the vehicle not only looks attractive, but is also efficient in its functioning. Solar cars can be used for short commutes in town as these cars can work only on solar energy.
The batteries found in the vehicle stores excess solar power so that this power can be used when solar power is not available on demand like on cloudy days and at nighttime. The engines found in these solar power cars are very much like the engines found in electric cars found today. In addition to this, the cars are lightweight, so that solar power can be used more efficiently.
At present, there are many types of solar power cars in the development stage today, which are also available for sale. However as these cars are in the developmental stage, the car is not available to the general public. With so many benefits found in solar power cars, its cost will not be much higher than the cost of the traditionally powered vehicles of today.
Another benefit of solar power cars is there is no hassle of stopping at gas stations for gas nor is there the need of getting worried of rising gasoline costs. With a solar power car, you save on the money that you would have otherwise have needed for buying fuel to run your car. In addition to this, with solar power cars you will be doing your bit in stopping global warming problems as there are no fuel emissions from solar power cars.

Plan to operate 800,000 tube wells on solar energy

In order to overcome the power crisis, the Punjab government has decided to operate tube-wells through solar energy with the cooperation of a German company.
A delegation of International Renewable Energy System led by Alexander Klass met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif at CM’s Secretariat here Thursday.
During the meeting, Chief Minister and Mr Klass decided in principle to launch a project to produce and supply solar energy to villages. The German company, according to the agreement, would provide the latter with expertise to launch a solar energy project.
Talking to the German delegation, the Chief Minister said that Pakistan is facing energy crisis, which is adversely affecting agriculture, industries and other sectors. He said that Punjab government is working on various projects for the generation of energy from alternate sources including hydel power and coal. He said that agriculture is the backbone of national economy and government is taking solid measures for the uplift of this sector.
He said that tractors are being provided to cultivators on subsidised rates and a huge amount of Rs 2b has been allocated for this purpose. He said that Germany has expertise in solar energy sector and this technology can also be used in Punjab for operating tube wells and supply of power to villages.

Solar energy to illumine 400 villages

MITHI: The country’s 400 villages, 300 of them in Balochistan and 100 in Sindh, would be electrified through solar energy, Brigadier Dr Naseem A Khan, Secretary, Alternative Energy Development Board and Member (Technical), government of Pakistan, told The News.

“The PC-1 for electrification through solar energy has been approved and an amount of Rs 450 million allocated for the project,” he said. He said the Adviser to the Prime Minister, Dr Mohammad Ali, held a meeting with the district Nazim Arbab Anwer recently and tenders for illuminating Pakistani villages through solar energy were being evaluated.

He said the Asian Development Bank has defended the project on solar energy in the Planning Commission of Pakistan but the funding is being done by the government of Pakistan. “We hope to involve the private sector in a big way,” he added.

The Alternative Energy Development Board in collaboration with the Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP), a non-profit, non-governmental organisation of Tharparkar, has illuminated 109 houses of village Bharmal in Tharparkar though solar energy. The village has a population of 780 people.

“Every house in the village has been electrified through solar energy,” Mohammad Yaseen, an engineer working for the Alternate Energy Development Board told The News in village Bharmal. “Every house can now enjoy the facility of four bulbs, one fan besides a solar cooker,” he said. “The solar cooker works only during the day, directly through the radiation of the sun,” he added.

“Children of the village can now study during the night and women can do their embroidery work,” he said. “The village was short of fuel wood due to drought and was spending Rs 600-800 per month on oil for a home,” he added. He said after the village has been provided solar energy, every family was contributing Rs 100 per month for the maintenance of the project.

“The criteria to choose a village for electrification through solar energy are that it should be 20 kilometres away from the grid and we are collaborating with TRDP that provided us a list of villages in Thar which need solar energy,” he said.

In the wake of high cost of oil, developed as well as the developing countries are vying to meet their needs through solar and other sources of alternative energy. A recent article in SciDev.Net, a prestigious scientific Web paper, quoted two German research reports as saying that deserts in the Middle East and North Africa could generate vast quantities of electricity to sell to Europe.

“The studies found that concentrated solar power plants, occupying less than 0.3 per cent of the desert area in the region, could provide 15 per cent of Europe’s electricity needs by 2050,” the article said.

“The high transmission losses of 10-15 per cent per 1,000 kilometres of cable used would be offset by the sheer volume of electricity produced, said the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Corporation (TREC), a network that helped conduct the studies,” it said.

“Every year, each square kilometre of desert receives solar energy equivalent to 1.5 million barrels of oil. Multiplying by the area of deserts worldwide, this is nearly a thousand times the entire current energy consumption of the world,” said Franz Trieb, project manager for the two reports at the German Aerospace Centre.

Solar thermal power plants use mirrors to concentrate solar energy to create steam and generate electricity, creating the cheapest electricity available — costing less than $0.60 per kilowatt-hour.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rising Energy Demand

Rising energy demand and climate change are major issues facing our society today. Plutonic Power Corporation is uniquely positioned to address these two significant global phenomena through the development of its environmentally friendly renewable energy projects.

Top reasons to invest in Plutonic Power Corporation

Large development portfolio
Plutonic Power has one of the largest renewable power development portfolios in Canada. Currently, the company has applied for or holds licenses on 40 rivers in the province, on which nearly 2000 MW of renewable green power generation could be developed. The Company has also identified a number of future development sites in BC.

Projects under construction
Plutonic Power was awarded the largest Energy Purchase Agreement from BC Hydro's 2006 Call for Tender. This has lead to the construction of the 196 MW East Toba River and Montrose Creek Hydroelectric Project (Toba Montrose Project) located in south-west British Columbia. Plutonic, and financial partner General Electric Energy Financial Services, have commissioned Peter Kiewit Sons to build this $660 million project. Construction of the project began in June 2007 with an opening ceremony attended by government, community and First Nations leaders, including BC Premier Gordon Campbell. The Toba Montrose Project is expected to be completed mid-2010 and will be the largest run-of-river project in the province.

Future Calls for Power
Plutonic Power is currently pursuing two project proposals under the 2008 Clean Power Call. The Upper Toba Valley Project consists of 3 project sites with a total potential generating capacity of approximately 166 MW and the Bute Inlet Project consists of 17 project sites with a total potential generating capacity of approximately 1027 MW.

Rising electricity prices
Most analysts expect that energy prices will remain high for the foreseeable future. High energy prices benefit Plutonic by further strengthening the economic case for renewable power.

Emission Reduction Credits revenue opportunity
Emission reduction credits (ERCs) are negotiable financial instruments that represent an offset of greenhouse gases. It is expected that within the next few years these offset credits could represent substantial financial value. Some of Plutonic's projects may have the potential to offset hundreds of thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases a year, thus creating further value for shareholders.

Continued need for domestic electricity supply
Domestic demand has been increasing at a compounding 2% per year. The Independent Power Producers Association of BC has determined that it is far less expensive for the province to buy domestically-generated power than to import from the United States and Alberta. There is an urgent need for the development of domestic power generation in BC. Plutonic Power is well positioned to help BC meet this electricity need.

Long term assets
Once built, Plutonic's suite of renewable energy projects are designed and engineered to operate for decades, thus providing a long and stable stream of cash flow to investors.

No commodity fuel risks
Unlike gas and coal generated power plants, which are economically affected by changes in commodity prices, Plutonic's projects are powered by rainwater, glacial runoff and wind. On the sales side, energy purchase agreements are normally made under long term contracts (25-40 year terms), which are annually inflated according to a CPI escalator. EPA's are made with high credit buyers such as BC Hydro, a provincial crown corporation with an S&P credit rating of AA.

Non-depleting and renewable resource
Unlike oil and gas, the resource that will power the Company's projects, rainwater, glacial runoff and wind are completely renewable and non-depleting. A renewable resource is defined as energy source that can be replenished through natural processes or through sustainable management practices within one human life span.

Tight Capital structure
Plutonic has approximately 65.2 million common shares outstanding and 70 million shares fully diluted outstanding.

Insider ownership
Management, Directors and Insiders of the company own approximately 15% of the outstanding shares.

The Economics of Renewable Energy Systems for Developing Countries

The author examines three projects employing some of the more sophisticated renewable energy technologies: solar pumps in Senegal, biogas plants in India, and solar-electric pumps in Chad. He presents a careful economic analysis and concludes that none of these technologies is now a good investment, nor does any of them appear likely to become a good investment in the next decade.

"Most renewable energy devices now tend to be attractive primarily to people already using costly commercial power. Just as is happening in the United States, for example, some Third World city-dwellers are discovering that solar energy may be cheaper than electricity for heating water ... Such systems will be of greatest use to the wealthy; there is little reason to suppose they will be of comparable interest to the poor."

"Rather than concentrating on devices of the sort described above, organizations concerned with the poor might seek to meet basic energy needs through simpler systems: village woodlots, improved wood stoves, hand or pedal pumps and grinders, hydraulic ram pumps, and so on. Emphasis would be on systems whose benefits were likely to be commensurate with their costs, and whose costs were likely to be within reach of the poor. Given this approach, ways might be found to make energy widely available to people most in need of it."

In addition to pointing out the dubious appeal of the higher cost group of alternative technologies, the methods of economic analysis clearly presented here can be used to help evaluate other renewable energy technologies. This report will also be helpful to people who need to understand the methods and concepts of analysis often used by major aid agencies.


The use of alternative natural sources of energy is attractive because of the uncertain price and limited availability of oil, the pollution that is associated with the burning of fossil fuels, the tremendous experiences and dangers of nuclear power, and a variety of other reasons. In developing countries the first reason is of particular importance because their industrial development, coming at a time of low cost plentiful oil supplies, has resulted in greater reliance on this single source of energy than is true in the developed countries, despite the fact that the latter use tremendously larger quantities. For industrialized countries such as the United

States, practical and economically competitive alternative energy systems already exist that could replace the entire nuclear power contribution to U.S. energy supplies. (Editor's note: Wood space heating stoves [selling 1-2 million units a year] (surpassed nuclear power in total contribution to U.S. energy supplies in 1980!)

For village level applications, there are many promising existing technologies. The five sections which follow explore of these in more depth: sun, wind, water, wood and biogas. These technologies are small-scale and necessarily decentralized . This, rather than any other technical inferiority, is the primary. reason earlier forms of these technologies were eventually passed over in the industrialized countries. While these systems cannot very effectively be used for the power needs of large industry, they can be well suited to the needs of villages and small communities. They can be low in cost relatively simple in construction and maintenance, made of materials available in villages and small towns, and non-polluting.

With each price increase in the worlds diminishing oil supply, renewable energy sources are made more attractive. The decentralized supply of these renewable energy sources wind power, solar energy, water power and biofuels matches the decentralized settlements of the rural South. Planners and program administrators are increasingly convinced that these technologies have a major role in the energy supplies of rural communities.

Rays of Hope makes the argument that the exponential increases in energy consumption characteristic of industrial societies cannot continue, and therefore industrial development in all countries will have to shift towards decentralization, conservation, improved energy conversion efficiency, and better matching of energy quality to end use needs.

Other books in this section review the most attractive renewable energy technologies likely to fit the circumstances in the rural South. Renewable Energy Resources and Rural Applications in the Developing World also notes the domestic and foreign policy implications that come with choice of energy strategy. Energy for Development: Third World Options points specifically to reforestation programs for fuelwood and soil conservation as high priorities in energy planning. A catalog of commercially available small-scale power generating equipment, entitled The Power Guide, has been introduced by ITDG. This book includes both renewable energy devices and diesel and gasoline engines. A good place to find an overview of technology options is in Renewable Energy Technologies: Their Applications in Developing Countries, which includes coverage of some of the lesser known choices such as briquetting of agricultural wastes and use of vegetable oils as an engine fuel.

The increasing acceptance of an important role for renewable energy systems, noted earlier, has led to proliferation of pilot projects. Economic feasibility has not been properly considered in many of these projects, a fault perhaps most common in large international and bilateral aid agencies, who should know better. The Economics of Renewable Energy Systems for Developing Countries offers three case studies illustrating this problem, and a methodology for evaluating the economic appeal of any renewable energy project. Author David French notes that, in particular, large agencies seem to have forgotten that most of the rural poor do not use commercial fuels and thus cannot simply switch cash payments towards the purchase of new equipment:

"Most renewable energy devices now tend to be attractive primarily to people already using costly commercial power. Just as is happening in the United States, for example, some Third World city-dwellers are discovering that solar energy may be cheaper than electricity for heating water .... Such systems will be of greatest use to the wealthy; there is little reason to suppose they will be of comparable interest to the poor."

In the rural South, most of the energy used is in the form of firewood and crop residues gathered and burned in cooking fires. Low-cost locally built cooking stoves can greatly increase the efficiency of cooking, reducing the demand for fuelwood up to 40%. This would both slow the rate of deforestation and lighten the burden of long distance wood hauling. Technologies that use local materials and skills, such as improved wood stoves and village wood lots, are more likely to be immediately affordable than expensive devices such as solar pumps, photovoltaic systems, and biogas plants in almost all cases.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A practical example of the use of solar energy could be seen in some villages of Pakistan where each house has been provided with a solar panel that’s sufficient to run an electric fan and two energy saving bulbs. Prior to this arrangement, the whole village used to be plunged in pitch dark during night. One such example is the village with the name of Narian Khorian, some 50 kilometers away from Islamabad, where 100 solar panels have been installed by a local firm, free of cost, to promote the use of solar energy among the masses. Through these panels, the residents of 100 households are enjoying light and fan facilities. Had these panels not been installed, the people living in this area wouldn’t have even dreamt of getting this facility for decades as the provision of electricity from the national grid was a far cry due to the difficult terrain and high expenses involved.

A layman would normally be interested in knowing as to how electricity could be produced using energy from the sun. Simply put, it can be said that the basic item required to generate this electricity is a solar cell, approximately 2 inches x 1/2 inch in dimension. These cells may be available in other dimensions as well. Some 80 to 100 or even more such cells are pasted on a tampered glass sheet whose dimensions are generally 1.5 feet x 4 feet. The glass sheet with cells pasted on it and inter-connected, is called a solar panel. The light from the sun is used to generate electricity through these cells. It may be clarified that it’s the sun’s light and not its heat that produces electricity. The solar cells are called photovoltaics (PV); the word Photo meaning light and voltaics electricity. The life of a solar panel is approximately 20 to 25 years!

To give you an example of the use of solar energy, you must have noticed solar panels installed on poles along with the telephone booths on your left hand side while commuting on the Motorway. Each of these telephones is being powered by this panel. A battery is installed beneath each solar panel to store energy for keeping the telephone in operation during night when there’s no sun light. It’s a stand-alone system, entirely powered by solar energy. During emergency, the commuters make use of these telephones and call for help.

To give you another example, if you happen to drive from Rawalpindi (Faizabad) towards Murree on the newly constructed Murree Road, you would see on your right hand side blinking red hazard lights installed at the top of each WAPDA pole. Each of these lights is being powered by a stand-alone solar system i.e. a solar panel and a battery. Just imagine, how much expensive and full of hassle it would have been if solar panels weren’t used for this purpose and these lights were provided normal electric connections!

Other Interesting Facts about Solar Energy:

a Vinci predicted a solar industrialization as far back as 1447.
In one hour more sunlight falls on the earth than what is used by the entire population in one year.
A world record was set in 1990 when a solar powered aircraft flew 4060km across the USA, using no fuel.
Fierce weather cost the world a record $130 Billion in the first eleven months of 1998- more money than was lost from weather related disasters from 1980 to 1990 ($82 Billion).
Researchers from the Worldwatch Institute and Munich Re blame deforestation and climate change from Earth warming for much of the loss. The previous one-year record was $90 Billion in 1996. Source - Associated Press, November 28,1998.
About 2 billion people in the world are currently without electricity.
Accounting for only 5 percent of the world's population, Americans consume 26 percent of the world's energy.
Electric ovens consume the most amount of electricity, followed by microwaves and central air conditioning.
Third world countries with an abundance of sunlight and a population currently without electricity, represents the fastest growing market for solar energy, with the largest domestic market being the utilities sector.
Shell Oil predicts that 50% of the world's energy will come from renewable sources by 2040.

Facts about Solar Energy systems:

A home solar system is typically made up of solar panels, an inverter, a battery, a charge controller, wiring and support structure.
A 1-kilowatt home solar system takes about 1-2 days to install and costs around US$10,000, but can vary greatly and does not take into account any incentives offered by the government.
A 1-kilowatt home solar system consists of about 10-12 solar panels and requires about 100 square feet of installation area.
A 1 kilowatt home solar system will generate approximately 1,600 kilowatt hours per year in a sunny climate (receiving 5.5 hours of sunshine per day) and approximately 750 kilowatt hours per year in a cloudy climate (receiving 2.5 hours of sunshine per day).
A 1-kilowatt home solar system will prevent approximately 170 lbs. of coal from being burned, 300 lbs of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere and 105 gallons of water from being consumed each month!
About 40 solar cells are usually combined into a solar panel and around 10-12 panels mounted in an array facing due North to receive maximum sunlight.
The system usually comes with a 5-year warranty, although the solar panels are warranted for 20.
Relying on the battery back up, a solar energy system can provide electricity 24x7, even on cloudy days and at night.
Solar panels come in various colours.
Solar energy can be collected and stored in batteries, reflected, insulated, absorbed and transmitted.

Solar Energy Cost

Would you like to own your electricity? Want to stop worrying about rate inflation from your utility company, charging you whatever they like? Did you know that rates have been rising by about 6% each year in California for example? They will only keep going up and up unless you do something about it!
By installing a solar electric system you can SAVE MONEY, break free from the clutches of your utility company and HELP the Environment too.

Only 20 Years ago, solar energy cost 7 times as much. Advanced technologies have contributed to the enormous decrease in price, but it is mainly due to the increase in manufacturing volumes, as more and more people realise the benefits of solar energy.

There’s more good news. Solar energy cost will continue to decline as the market continues to grow, making it even more affordable.

Governments too have realised the benefits. Incentives are available form state, federal and local governments, as well as some utility companies.

Industrial Applications

For many years, Solar Energy has been the power supply of choice for Industrial applications, where power is required at remote locations. This means in these applications that solar power is economic, without subsidy. Most systems in individual uses require a few kilowatts of power.

The examples are powering repeater stations for microwave, TV and radio, telemetry and radio telephones.
Solar energy is also frequently used on transportation signalling e.g. offshore navigation buoys, lighthouses, aircraft warning lights on pylons or structures, and increasingly in road traffic warning signals. Solar is used to power environmental and situation monitoring equipment and corrosion protection systems (based on impressing a current) for pipelines, well-heads, and bridges or other structures. As before, for larger electrical loads it can be cost effective to configure a hybrid power system that links the PV with a small diesel generator.

Solar's great benefit here is that it is highly reliable and requires little maintenance so it's ideal in places that are hard to get to.

City Residential homes

Recent years have seen rapid growth in the number of installations of PV on to buildings that are connected to the electricity grid. This area of demand has been stimulated in part by government subsidy programmes (especially Japan and Germany) and by green pricing policies of utilities or electricity service providers (e.g. in Switzerland and the USA). The central driving force though comes from the desire of individuals or companies to obtain their electricity from a clean, non-polluting, renewable source for which they are prepared to pay a small premium.

Solar PV modules can be retrofitted on to a pitched roof above the existing roof-tiles, or the tiles replaced by specially designed PV roof-tiles or roof-tiling systems. If you are planning to put a PV system on to a building and have it connected to the grid supply there are likely to be local regulations that need to be met, and permission required from your utility or electricity service provider. The level of credit for any exported electricity will vary depending on local schemes in place.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pannon Installs Solar Panels to Run Transmission Tower

On Earth Day in April 2008, Pannon announced its goal to decrease operations related Co2 emissions by 24 per cent within the year 2011. The network infrastructure is responsible for a major part of the company’s energy consumption. Hence, the installation of solar energy powered base stations is one of the first steps towards fulfilling that commitment.

Long-term environment commitment
“This move from Pannon is part of our long-term ambition to significantly reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from our activities,” says CEO Ove Fredheim. “The key elements of our strategy are to decrease energy consumption, recycle mobile phones and network devices. In addition - the new Pannon Headquarters is unique in Hungary – as radical environmental considerations played a central role in the construction of the buildings.”

Annual Co2 reductions
The solar cells will supply about half of the base station’s annual consumption of 10-11 kWh. The nominal output of each of the 17 solar cell panels is 160 Wp. The installation of a base station like the one in Baracska will involve a 2.2 ton reduction of carbon-dioxide per year. Currently, the return on investments for solar energy powered transmission towers is slow, but as the price of energy increases, renewable energy sources are picking up interest.

Free air cooling systems
Since 2000, Pannon has gradually switched to what are known as free air cooling systems; these are presently used by 90 per cent of the transmission stations. The systems make it possible to decrease the energy consumption of air-conditioner units and consequently, reduce the level of Co2 emissions.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Solar Energy: An Over View

As solar power does not make sense for all locations in the world. The initial cost of installing solar panels or other sources of solar energy is high, and that is not easy for most people to get around. No matter how much some people would like to get involved in the movement to independent energy, it is cost prohibitive.To achieve the highest level of efficiency, which is the entire point of going solar in the first place, you need the proper amount of roof space to support the panels your house may require. Not only how much space is available, but also the location of your home is also relevant to whether or not you can maintain solar energy. Some houses simply do not receive enough sunlight to produce substantial energy. This could mean that either your house is not positioned favorably in relation to a tree or other house.

Pakistan is most suitable for solar power:

As you can see, the cons of implementing solar power in your home are primarily cost and location related, but if those two items do not pose issues for you, the good news is…

If solar power is looked at through a long-term lens, you will eventually make back what you originally spent, and possibly start saving money on your investment

Let’s not forget that solar energy increases the value of your home too. Solar power is not subject supply and demand fluctuations in the way that gas is. Silicon, the primary component of solar panels, is also being more widely produced, therefore, less and less expensive with each passing year.

Solar power is independent, or semi-independent. This is great because you can supply your home with electricity during a power outage. Solar power can also be used in remote locations, places where conventional power can’t be reached. On a larger scale, solar power also reduces our need to rely on foreign sources for power.

And last, but certainly not least, it’s good for our planet! Solar energy is clean, renewable and sustainable. It does not fill our atmosphere with carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury or any other pollutants. It is a free and unlimited source of power, unlike expensive and damaging fossil fuels.