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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Solar power - The perennial source of energy put to little use.

Hi bloggers,

It has been a long time since I met you all.  Thought of returning with a useful subject relevant to the current scenario.  Hence the topic.

Why should you be considering using solar power? What are the benefits for you or for the environment?
The use solar energy dates back since the human existence on earth. Recent years we have understood the importance of solar energy in our life. The uses of solar energy has increased because of its sustainability, less maintenance and cost effective in long run.

Residential Purpose

Use of Solar power for homes has number of advantages. The use of solar power appliances is one of the best ideas to cut the expenditure on energy. The solar energy is also used in residential homes for heating the water with the help of solar heater. The photovoltaic cell is been installed on the roof of the residents to collect the solar energy and is used to warm the water. Solar energy can also be used in producing the electricity. Batteries will store energy captured in day time and supply power in night.

Commercial and industrial purpose

Solar energy is frequently used to power the radio and TV station as it is reliable, renewable, affordable, and need less maintenance. Solar energy is also used to supply power to lighthouse and warning light for aircraft. It is also used in office, warehouse and industry for power supply generated through solar energy. The solar energy is also used in major industries for providing power for manufacturing process.

Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular because it is sustainable, requires little maintenance and is cost-effective in the long run. Typically, solar energy is captured and converted into electricity via photovoltaic (PV) cells. There are also larger solar power plants that collect the heat from the sun, which is subsequently used to produce steam for powering a generator
Other uses
  • In many parts of the developing world solar energy is harnessed to pump water in remote areas. Solar energy is also used to power off-grid desalination plants.
  • Because it is renewable, relatively affordable, very reliable and requires little upkeep, it is also used to power lighthouses, buoys and aircraft warning lights on buildings and other structures.
  • Solar energy can be used to heat residential homes; many people use solar energy to heat their water supply and, particularly in Florida, their swimming pools as well. A photovoltaic cell is installed on the roof to collect solar energy and is used to warm a heat transfer fluid that is used to heat the water itself.
  • Increasingly, solar energy is being used to power public transportation vehicles such as buses, trolleys and light-rails. Plans for solar-powered bus shelters are in the works as well.  

One blogger has blogged about the use of solar energy to a common man.  It is worth mentioning here in his own words.
Here is the one from El Paso Solar Energy Association.

This one is more permanent and can produce over 3 gallons of distilled water every day in the summer and about half that in the winter. With reflectors, you could bring that up. You could also just use more distillers to meet your demand.

This one is a Poor Man's design using a cardboard box with a lid. The box has a black plastic bag or just black plastic inside it. There is a brick on the bottom for a glass to sit on. The lid has loose fitting clear plastic put in the cutout. A rock is put in the center of that to weigh it down. The dirty water is at the bottom no deeper than the brick height. This will help minimize the risk of contaminating your clean glass with dirty water. The dirty water evaporates and then condenses up on the clear plastic. The angle of the plastic makes the clean water drip down into the clean glass. This should be great for emergencies.

The following video demostrates  How to develop a 60watt solar panel.

Now about the  news I came across which will be very useful to my readers and ultimate users
Lighting up lives: File photo of
Harish Hande, Managing Director
of Selco Solar Light Pvt Ltd and
a winner of the Ramon
Magsaysay award for 2011
Dr. Harish Hande, a US educated IIT ian who won last year's Magsaysay award for his 17 year old social enterprise (SELCO Solar electric Light Company) has brought about solar lanterns, panels, water heaters or cookers which can be readily bought and used by the rural poor household.  His customers are farm labourers, semi and unskilled workers, agarbatti rollers, basket weavers and migrants. 
They did it on a monthly income of Rs.1500 and on easy bank loans. His firm employs an innovative business model that relies on cost effective grassroots distribution network to deliver affordable electricity on a pay-as-you-go basis to Indian shops, households and schools to power their everyday socio-economic activity.

This renewable source of energy can be put to use in a great way to save our earth. 

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