Green energy is a broad term used to describe a variety of ways to sustain our energy needs on a global level, while using renewable and clean sources of energy. The quickly expanding technology of green energy is becoming more exciting every day. Green energy is now more affordable and versatile than ever. We can provide clean energy for everything from a cell phone to an entire developing country. It is such a large and growing field of industry that it might be hard to keep up on all the details.
Green at Home
We are now able to harness the power of the sun, the wind, the ocean, and even the earth itself to power and heat our homes. You can even buy a solar panel kit and install it yourself to provide power for all of your modern electronics. Wind farms too are proving to be extremely helpful in generating power on a large scale. We have discovered the magnificent power contained within our oceans and how to harness it; along with using the heat found within the earth to provide hot water for its residents. The way things are going we will not be depending on ugly and unclean power plants for much longer.
Green on the Road
Rapid and sustainable sources for fuel has created a brand new marketplace, filled with “green” cars, trucks, and everything in-between. When you walk into a dealership you can now choose a vehicle powered by electricity, one that uses a clean form of diesel, or one that runs on batteries. The options are nearly limitless. The most exciting part is you no longer have to sacrifice performance for ‘being green’. You can cruise along any highway just as well as a regular gas-powered vehicle. There are so many clean energy options for vehicles nowadays that it is beginning to make the classic ethanol gas-powered vehicle seem obsolete. All you need to know about green energy is, you will almost certainly be using a lot of it in the near future…if you aren’t using it already.
When considering available options for clean renewable energy in light of today’s technology, solar power will definitely be on anyone’s short list. Once the equipment and infrastructure are in place and paid for, the energy itself is free and does not consume natural resources. As solar energy systems become more widely used and more efficient, they will also become more economically feasible. The information that follows is a basic description of the components involved with the capture and distribution of solar energy. You can find additional information at solarenergyplans.net.
Converting sunlight into electricity begins with a set of solar panels. They are sometimes mounted on the building’s roof and sometimes on stands that are placed on the ground at angles that provide maximum exposure to sunlight. The panels are comprised of photovoltaic (PV) cells that work by absorbing photons of light that, in turn, release electrons. When captured, these electrons produce an electric current.
The electricity that is produced by solar panels is in the form of direct current (DC) that, to be usable in homes, must be converted to alternating current (AC). This is done by a device called an inverter. Once the electricity is converted to AC, it is sent to the home’s electrical panel from where it is distributed throughout the house to power lights, appliances and other electric devices. When the solar power system generates more electricity than the house uses, the excess goes back into the power grid via the utility meter that actually runs backward during this time. The price of this electricity is credited to the homeowners account and will offset the cost of the power that is used in the home at night when the solar power system is not functioning.
Solar energy use is not limited to residential applications. It is becoming more widely used in government facilities, businesses and schools where it is often a part of sustainability and cost saving initiatives. Because its use reduces an organizations impact on the environment, many organizational officials are realizing the use of solar power is simply the right thing to do. Colleges and universities who install solar energy systems are able to incorporate the technology into their curriculum. This gives many of their students a competitive advantage when they are ready to enter the workforce. As the technology advances, solar energy will become even more attractive and its use more widespread.