Solar & Renewable Energy News

Solar Engineering and Photovoltaic News

Preparing for Hurricane Season

The power of electricity, literally and figuratively, has been the building block of progress in modern generations. Businesses thrive with power. Homes are comfortable with power. You can’t update Facebook without power, right? Jokes aside, when hurricane season begins, it greatly affects the power supply on the coast. When a hurricane strikes, you can easily be without power for days or weeks. With hurricanes strong enough to easily topple power lines and destroy power grids, how do you power your home then? Equip yourself with alternative power sources. When you live in an area that is prone to natural disaster, generators are a great option to turn to. Generators provide immediate power and come in diverse options. You can get generators that can power just the necessary appliances, or whole-home diesel generators, too. Despite the benefits that generators offer, they also have some negative features to consider. Generators require a fuel supply. Fuel can be hard to find in a post-disaster situation. Your alternative is to store fuel, but fossil fuels have a short shelf life. Generators are heavy. It may be difficult to seamlessly move your generator to get to a proper position to supply power in the area that you need most. Generators can be noisy. Generators can be deadly. The exhaust from a generator can kill if not placed outside with proper ventilation. Every year, people in a hurry or scatter-brained as the result of a disaster are killed from carbon monoxide, the bi-product of exhaust from trying to stay warm in a car or from running appliances like a generator. If you want clean, quiet,... read more

Timeline of influential solar power breakthroughs

Solar panels are eco-friendly and cost-effective. Once installed, you’ll never worry about maintenance as it only requires a little. Plus, you also minimize your carbon footprint as it doesn’t pollute the environment. And since it’s sustainable and renewable, we’ll never run out of it as long as there is sun. So imagine the majority of us switch into solar? Here is an infographic that illustrates the Photovoltaic History, honoring the famous scientists and the breakthroughs they did.  ... read more

How Ultraviolet Solar Panel Works

A science institute in Japan has discovered and is developing ultraviolet light in a transparent solar power cell that produces organic electricity. All while allowing the sun’s rays to pass through. As promoters of natural energy sources, and in recognition of Ultraviolet Awareness Month, we find the concept of UV powered technology fascinating. Since the discovery, there have been a number of other discoveries related to ultraviolet and solar power cells. Nano-phosphors have been reportedly used by other companies to coat a transparent substance that turns ultraviolet lights into something visible to the naked eye. Just think about this. A transparent solar power panel is a sheet of transparent, hard-to-break glass or a plastic substance that can generate energy and electricity. Amazing. The idea of creating transparent solar cell panels has been around for years. However, it is just recently that testing has achieved moderate success, especially with the use of ultraviolet light. This type of solar panel could bring high yields of energy while allowing for transparent use of the panel. Think, energy-producing... read more

Fossil Fuels – Is Coal Fuel Good or Bad?

Experts usually use “greenhouse warming” to describe what is happening to the world right now. The majority of respected experts on environment conservation have said that global warming is being accelerated by the gases that humans contribute to the atmosphere via pollution. At the forefront of this pollution is the burning of fossil fuels. What are fossil fuels? Fossil fuels were created millions of years ago. The evolution of fossil fuels started when plants an animals died en masse. As the plants and animals of millions of years ago lay buried below the ground, the Earth’s core heated the decaying mixture that we use today for as fossil fuels. While coal, a fossil fuel, has been used for centuries, it only recently saw a dramatic rise in use as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Coal’s glory days started once it was recognized as having a low cost and high output of energy. That combination fueled, literally, the growth of North America and Europe over the last couple of centuries. Coal was used virtually everywhere; manufacturing companies, railways, ships, production factories, etc. Additionally, many people used coal to heat their home. Nowadays, coal is still used as much as ever, but in different capacities. Coal fuels power plants that create electricity. Yes, surprising to many people, coal is still the main source of fuel that powers modern conveniences. Why is coal bad for the environment? If coal is so widely used, it can’t be that bad for the environment, can it? Yes, it is. Extracting coal from nature usually means destroying part of an ecosystem to access the coal.... read more

5 Benefits of Renewable Energies

In recognition of World Health Day, let’s join together to reduce our carbon footprints. Despite on-going researches and debates about the capacity of renewable energy sources, experts have confirmed that these energy sources have substantial benefits to our planet. While you may be familiar with the benefits of clean electricity and minimal carbon footprints, those are just the “tip of the iceberg.” Here are additional benefits of renewable energy. 1. Eco-friendly. Unlike conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels, renewable energies are eco-friendly. They contribute little-to-no air pollution, water pollution, land pollutions, or global warming emissions. Likewise, renewable energies avoid destroying ecosystems that too many fossil fuel extraction processes cause. 2. Sustainable. Renewable energies, by definition, theoretically, don’t run out. Solar feasibility is limitless with the sun, and so is the wind for wind turbine, and water for hydropower. The only limitation is our minds ability to maximize these available resources. 3. Economy boost. There is an ever-increasing demand for the installation of renewable energy equipment, leading to a unique opportunity of labor-driven jobs. This means local renewable energy power plants may open employment opportunities to local economies. Additionally, renewable energies could reduce carbon footprints and costs from importing energy sources to our country. 4. Less maintenance. Since renewable energies use natural resources, there is no need to spend huge amount of cash to keep their sources in operation. Repairs and cleaning operations are lesser compare to conventional energy sources such as coal or fossil fuel. 5. Energy security. According to a variety of sources, and common sense, our country has been depending on foreign oil supplies for far... read more

Sun Benefits and How it Minimizes Stress

In addition to the Sun providing natural heat, fuel for growing our food and ecosystems, and being a source of renewable solar energy, its sunlight also reduces stress. In recognition of April being Stress Awareness Month, here are a few ways in which the Sun’s and its Vitamin D is reported to benefit your body. A good source of Vitamin D Vitamin D supports lesser stress Vitamin D boosts immune system & bone health Vitamin D promotes good sleep Enhances the mood Lowers blood pressure How does sunlight prevent stress, when in fact, it makes us feel exhausted after prolong exposure? To find the answer, let’s start with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or simply known as S.A.D. What is a Seasonal Affective Disorder? S.A.D. is a type of depression that occurs due to season changes. People who suffer S.AD. may have symptoms starting in fall that continue until the spring season. These symptoms usually fade as sunnier days kick in. What does S.A.D. feel like? The dominant symptoms of S.A.D. include mood swings, orneriness, irritability, fatigue. While research continues, here are other reported signs of S.A.D. Loss of interest in usual hobbies Problems sleeping Changes in appetite and weight Fatigue Loss of focus and concentration Feeling despair Recurring depression So how is this related to sun exposure? One of the believed causes of S.A.D. is minimal sun exposure. And that’s why it occurs during overcast days or winter months. Having fewer daylight hours affects the production of natural mood-altering chemicals in our brain, making us feel sadder and lonelier. Furthermore, the low temperature also disrupts our body’s circadian rhythm, therefore,... read more

Tax Day: Invest Wisely, Invest in Residential Solar Design

Tax time is here. We can’t help but get excited about the windfall of money. Impulses set in. What’s the latest iGadget to buy? But why buy something that won’t last long? Instead, consider investing your hard earned tax refund into something that will pay for itself and save you pockets full of cash in the long run? Invest in residential solar design. Here are some of the benefits of investing in residential solar. 1. Solar panels can reduce your monthly electricity bills (or completely eliminate it). Be it for residential or commercial solar design for a company, solar power is right for you, your wallet, and the environment. Energy costs consume a large chunk of your budget. After solar equipment is installed, the cost of the sun’s rays are free. Who wouldn’t want to reduce or eliminate their electricity bill? 2. Solar panels amplify your property value. Saving on your monthly power bill is just the beginning of the benefits of solar power. Did you know that a home with solar panels installed can often increase your property’s value? Researchers the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discovered that homes with solar panels installed sold in much higher price than those houses without PV systems. 3. Investing in solar panels brings back your money. PV systems are a great investment. According to varying studies, installing a solar panel system may result in annual returns between 10 and 30 percent. That means that after your initial investment is paid back over time via monthly utility cost savings, your solar system can make you money by delivering free energy. Additionally, many solar... read more

Renewable Energies: Types and Their Importance

Imagine living and breathing in a cleaner and a more livable planet. Isn’t that a place we all long for? In recognition of Earth Day, we at DBM Solar commercial solar design company would like to share more about the benefits of renewable energy. How well do you know the varieties of renewable energies that exist? Most of us are familiar with solar power and wind power, but did you know that there are many more sources of renewable energy? Wind Power. Energy from the wind. Hydroelectric. Energy from moving water Solar Power. Billions of years worth of energy from the sun. Biomass. Energy produced from plant matter and animal waste. Geothermal. Energy generated from steam and hot water beneath the Earth’s surface. What are some of the advantages of renewable energies? Clean and safe. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydro are cleaner and safer than fossil fuels. No need to burn coal. No need to produce toxic wastes. Sustainable. Renewable energies are unlikely to run out of supply for upwards of billions of years. Energy security. Harnessing renewable energies could reduce our country’s dependence to oil-rich nations. Yes, renewable energies are indeed great. So why haven’t we fully switched on them? The transition from fossil fuel dependence to solar power and other renewable energies is slowly evolving. The cost of infrastructure is a large investment that many establishments have to tackle. However, if you look at the bigger picture beyond the initial investment, renewable energy has a much longer shelf-life. The return from solar power and other renewable energies will pay for any... read more

Photovoltaic History: A Timeline of Important Breakthroughs

The discovery of Photovoltaic (PV) cells, the cells that power solar power, dates as far as the 1800s. It all began when a nineteen-year old French scientist, Edmond Becquerel was experimenting with an electrolytic cell composed of two metal electrodes. He discovered that the materials would emit amounts of energy when exposed to light. This observation was the birth of the PV effect. 1839 – Edmond Becquerel discovers PV effect. 1883 – An American inventor, Charles Fritts develops the first PV cell by putting selenium on a metal plate. 1877 – William Adams and Richard Day, both American scientists, publish “The action of light on selenium.” 1888 – An American chemist, Edward Weston receives the first US Patent for Solar Cell. 1888 to 1891 – Aleksandr Stoletov develops the first solar cell using the outer photoelectric effect. 1900’s: 1901 – Nikola Tesla receives two patents for his radiant energy studies (1) Method of utilizing radiant energy; (2) Apparatus for the utilization of radiant energy. 1904 – Wilhelm Hallwachs develops a semiconductor-junction solar cell. 1905 – Albert Einstein’s theory of “photoelectric effect.” 1916 – Robert Millikan supports Einstein’s theory by providing proof. 1922 – Einstein receives Nobel Prize for his photoelectric effect theory. 1932 – Stora and Audobert discovers a photovoltaic material, Cadmium Selenide. 1950’s: 1954 – An American research company, Bell Labs, showcases first high-power silicon PV cell that has about 6 percent of efficiency. 1955 – Western Electric begins commercialization of silicon PV system design technologies. 1958 – US Vanguard I, the first solar-driven space satellite was launched; The U.S. Signal Corps Laboratories develops a radiation resistant solar... read more