Solar & Renewable Energy News

Solar Engineering and Photovoltaic News

The Future of Aviation is Here

National Aviation Day is celebrated annually on August 19th. The day celebrates the developments and history of aviation. August 19th is also the birthday of Orville Wright, who is one of the key figures who contributed to the possibilities of flight. Since the first invention of the airplane, our ability to fly has improved significantly due to advancing technologies. Ironically, the advancements we now have are also the main reasons causing major problems to our environment. There is never ending consumption of fossil fuels, which are used as a primary source of energy for fueling airplanes. The use of fossil fuels is tied to global warming, a major concern of recent decades. Because of environment concerns, there is a call to action from groups and environmental advocates to shift our energy sources to renewable energy. One of the forerunners in renewable energy is solar energy. Various groups are researching on how we can utilize solar energy just like the creators of Solar Impulse. Solar Impulse is one of the first solar-powered aircraft. It is privately funded by Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, who are also famous for being the first to travel non-stop around the world in a balloon. The aim of Solar Impulse is to circumnavigate the Earth successfully using a piloted aircraft powered by solar energy only. The movement behind Solar Impulse also aims to promote clean technologies especially with the environmental concerns our world is facing today. The plane features photovoltaic cells as the primary source of energy. The first prototype named Solar Impulse I was made to stay airborne for as long as 36 hours.... read more

Solar Powered Island

In our world today, we are using a lot of energy to support technological advancements. The downside is that our non-renewable energy sources such as oil, coal, and fuel are continuously depleting. Because of this, there is an urgent need for us to find other energy sources. This is the reason why renewable sources are being studied intensively nowadays. Among the renewable energies most sought after is solar energy. Using solar panels which consist of photovoltaic modules, the sun’s energy is converted into usable energy. A standard solar panel can produce about 200 watts of electricity. The efficiency can also vary depending on the size of the panel used. A set of 25 panels can produce about 5-kilowatt hours. Since the first introduction of solar panels, their effectiveness improves year after year. The price of each solar panel also decreased in the past years. Because of this, more people are pushing the use of solar energy as a primary source of energy. One example of how successful a solar panel can be is the islands of Tokelau in the South Pacific. It is a small island with estimated population of 1,500 and is made up of three atolls. Tokelau Island is the first island in the world that is 100 percent powered by solar energy. It has held this title since 2012. The secluded location of the island resulted in difficulty in getting energy as a power use. Before solar energy, they were using three diesel-driven power stations and were burning as much as 200 liters of diesel per day costing about $800,000 per year. Now, they have a... read more

Solar is Trending

When people used to think about solar power they’d have thoughts revolving around tropical islands and ultra-sunny locations. With advances in technology, solar systems are becoming prevalent worldwide. The solar industry continues to come more into focus as numerous professionals, academics and solar students converge and take part in annual conferences and programs around the solar industry. These fields include solar engineering, solar science, solar education, government policies on solar design, energy computations, and solar architectural design. One of the benefits of solar trending is that the prices of solar energy systems have gone down considerably since commercial variations were first introduced. Not only have solar systems become more affordable, they’ve also become more efficient. With each annual solar conference, businesses learn about new technologies and residents learn about new conveniences in solar energy. With continued trends within the fields of solar energy, here’s to further advances in clean, sustainable... read more

Nikola Tesla’s Background

The 10th of July holds a huge significance for those within involved in fields of electricity and energy production. This day was the birth date of Nikola Tesla, the innovative brain behind the development of the alternating current (AC) in the electrical system. Even though Tesla’s inventions were made over a century ago, his AC model is still today’s standard in electrical current operations. He sold the patent to George Westinghouse, worked briefly with another inventor, Thomas Edison, and went on to innovate more that led to his discovery of the Tesla coil, which is widely used in radio technology today, too. But what made this inquisitive mind became the genius inventor that he was? Tesla was born in Smiljan, Croatia. His influences came from his mother who loved to tinker and invent small household appliances. So even though his father, who was a writer and a priest at the same time, pushed him to follow his path and become a priest, he had already set his eyes on the tinkering and inventions of his mother. Clearly, Tesla’s interest was in the sciences. He went on to complete his education on the late 1870s at the Realschule, Karlstadt; the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria; and later on at the University of Prague. After completing his education, Tesla explored his fate and moved to Budapest where he worked at the Central Telephone Exchange. And with his affinity to discovery and inventions, he soon put his inquisitiveness in motion. That led him to study and plan for the first induction motor. However, perhaps his young age of 28 was cause for... read more

Great innovations of the U.S.

Today’s Independence Day celebrations mark what was that start of our once new nation. At nearly two and a half centuries old, the United States of America has come a long way as a country. In a relatively short time, we have risen to be the most influential and powerful country in the world. In terms of technology, we have become the most technologically advanced nation in the world. The rapid industrialization of our country can be attributed to a lot of different factors like abundant natural resources and eager, entrepreneurial mindsets. The power from steam and electricity during the 19th century increased and multiplied mechanical power and made complicated tasks a lot simpler. From this point onward, the recognition of the Americans that tasks can be done through mechanical process and the humans are not necessarily part of this process made it easier for us to progress. Manufacturing companies started using mechanical machinery that, in the long run, made the manufacturing process a lot faster and more accurate than using all-human force. This made the mass production of goods possible which proved essential to the industrialization of the United States. The effects of industrialization led to increases in agricultural production, urbanization of states, and increases in trading. Since then, the United States of America has continuously innovated our technology. At the present, the United States of America is among the forerunners is pursuing renewable sources of energy such as the use of solar energy. It is indeed the pride of the American people to be part of a country that has largely progressed in its innovation in such... read more

How Idle Loads Consume Electricity

Did you know that vampires are real? Well, electrical vampires that is. The vampires that we are talking about here do not drain human blood. But they drain from your energy bill. We are talking about electronics that have “idle load.” Idle load is when devices continue to consume a fair amount of power even when they’re “off.” These are your TV sets, your tablet or Smartphone charger, your video player, and other gadgets and appliances that are commonly left plugged in for extended periods of time. Idle loads not only consume unnecessary power and empty your wallet of a few bucks, but there is also a negative impact on the environment. Every bit of power wasted is a bit of effort that was wasted to generate that power, or a bit of pollution enters the environment. Luckily, with a few simple changes you can minimize idle loads and save on your energy expenses. While somethings you may need on 24/7, like your fridge, you do not need your DVD player on constantly. Try adding surge protectors to devices that are off just as much as they are on. This will allow you to turn off multiple devices at once and truly cut their power source to avoid idle load. If you want to up the ante, consider installing smart surge protectors. These surge protectors detect the flow of power to devices on an outlet or the lack of. If no power, other than an idle load, is flowing for a considerable amount of time the surge protector will cut off the supply entirely to that outlet until the... read more

Pay For Your Safety

National Safety Month is celebrated in the month of June. This celebration is to remind everyone the importance of safety in your home, office or any other public places. The goal of this occasion is to raise awareness around the world about the value of lives and to reduce injuries and even deaths wherever you are. In whatever activity that you are doing, there are always precautionary measures available to ensure your safety. National Safety Month reminds us that, in some respects, there is no such thing as an accident. If safety is prioritized, you can prevent unwanted incidents. In addition to your own effort towards safety, the environments that you live and work within play an important role in your safety, too. Whether it is at home or in your office, infrastructures matter. You do not want a home with ceilings and columns that are weak. Likewise, you want to work and live within buildings that are engineered to withstand possible natural disasters of the area; earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. Good engineering can indeed save lives. Your safety is important when it comes to your solar system design, too. When you hire a PV design company, you are ensuring that your solar system meets proper local and federal jurisdiction requirements and that your solar panels will withstand wind or snow loads that are applicable to your area. To protect your investment, professional installation pays... read more

The Importance of Engineering When Installing Solar Panels

Houses are engineering marvels. They have to be. Habitat has evolved through the years, adjusting to the weather and climate, as well as with improved developments in engineering. This is another reason why installing a commercial or residential solar design involves more than meets the eye. There are a lot of things that a house is supposed to do. Primarily a house is a shelter against the weather and climate. As houses developed in unique regions, they also became different. Mediterranean style homes, for instance, have a lot in common with Pueblo Indian residences. This is due to their flat roof which also serves as an open-air terrace. The materials used were both from mortar or clay. The houses were made to withstand the heat and the desert conditions. In Northern Europe, and in the Alps, the houses had steep roofs, and seldom had eaves gutters. The heavier the snow in the area, the steeper the roof. This ensured that heavy snow would fall off the roof and minimize the weight per square foot that accumulated. The steep angle of the roof also helps the stability of the building to ensure that the roof does not cave into the house’s living quarters. In the same manner, current housing is engineered with snow loads and wind loads. The roof are angled with the region’s winter conditions in mind. For areas with hurricanes, tornadoes and typhoons, the wind load is also calculated. The roofs are engineered to minimize damage during strong winds. The addition of a solar panel changes the math for these environmentally related problems. All of those considerations are... read more

Discover the Power of the Oceans

The world is comprised of 70 percent water. And 97 percent of the water that comprises the Earth are made up of the oceans. In recognition of June 8 being World Oceans Day, and because so much of our world is made up of ocean water, we have to make efforts to protect that fragile environment. World Oceans Day joins people from all over the world to celebrate and encourage public awareness towards protecting our oceans. It seems with each advancement in technology humans also increase pollution or negatively impact our environment and oceans in some way. World Oceans Day is here to remind us to take care of our natural resources. In addition to protecting the ocean for our wildlife and future generations, as a proponent of natural energy, think about how much power lies untapped in our oceans. The ocean is vast and the power that it produces from the waves, currents and tides are unimaginable. We have to protect that resource. If companies succeed in fully harnessing the oceans as a source of energy, a lot of good could happen. We could reduce pollution output from energy creation via fossil fuels. We could create jobs. We could also produce a lot of energy that has a virtually endless supply as the oceans produce waves and currents naturally. It is of utmost importance that we keep our oceans clean and healthy not only for us but for the future generations as well. By taking good care of the oceans today, future generations can reap the benefits of our vast oceans. No matter where you are from, you... read more