Solar Energy





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12/18/2014
With photovoltaic (PV) panel technology you can tap into the amazing world of free totally renewable energy from the sun. You generally cannot find a better more reliable source of power on the planet that solar. In our book you will find that a DIY on grid/off grid system is very affordable and a wise choice for almost everyone.
11/21/2014
Whether you choose renewable energy for ecological or financial reasons, this article will help you see how solar panels and a solar hot water heating system can be financed and get you closer to being a sustainable household.
11/17/2014
An index of posts related to energy, power, and climate, with a strong focus on solutions.
11/14/2014
Smooth out the temperature range in your greenhouse by adopting one of these strategies for heating greenhouses.
11/2/2014
There are multiple philosophies that describe what characterizes a green home, but all have low energy loads in common.
8/20/2014
Learn about one couple's ongoing effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
7/5/2014
The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.
5/29/2014
Make your home more energy efficient with Indow Windows Shade Grade.
4/11/2014
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
4/7/2014
Utility companies and solar power companies are vying for customers' business. See how that affects you.
3/24/2014
Going solar at home will save you both money and energy. See why it's the future for renewable energy in residential areas.
1/22/2014
Chinese archaeologists have recently found the oldest solar device – a bronze concave mirror – capable of almost instantaneously making fire from sunlight.
1/17/2014
But what happens if progress in poverty’s eradication far-outpaces green energy solutions? Two of the most important issues of our century — clean energy and poverty eradication - are potentially mutually exclusive, if development efforts do not factor in increased consumption that will occur.
1/10/2014
Alternative energy has become a hot topic in recent years as we try and work towards more sustainable resources. Whether we'll get there or not remains to be seen.
1/6/2014
When writing his great work On Architecture, Rome’s greatest solar architect Vitruvius emphasized proper solar orientation for buildings and bath houses.
12/19/2013
The sun provides us with enough clean energy that if ever effectively harnessed, we might never need any other form again. Sadly, we are only able to harness a fraction of it's potential. Fortunately, we are making great progress to get where we want to be.
12/17/2013
Here are three of the season’s brightest and cleanest gifts for a greener holiday celebration.
12/11/2013
Never in the history of the world has there been such a high-ranking member of society to advocate passive solar design than Socrates. He felt so strongly for building with the sun in mind that he even set up a class to teach his acolytes how the finer points of putting up a passive solar house.
12/4/2013
How are US college students helping to brighten the future of Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, without leaving campus?
11/25/2013
Renewable energy is often seen as a way to have it all and still feel “green” and it is indeed at a glance more environment friendly than conventional power, but no power has as low footprint as the power not used.
11/6/2013
Learn how to evaluate your own home for solar potential with four easy steps!
11/5/2013
Team Austria wins the Solar Decathlon 2013 for building the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and most attractive solar-powered house.
11/5/2013
A do-it-yourself portable solar cart allows us to have solar power without removing trees from the yard. We can also take it away from the home site and move it indoors before storms.
10/8/2013
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
9/24/2013
The GateMate, by Cartell, has the lowest current draw in standby than any other free exit system on the market.
7/15/2013
Admirals Alternatives make it easier to obtain renewable energy systems for your home.
7/11/2013
On sunny days it delivers about a half a megawatt of electricity to the biodiesel plant, while providing strategic shade to plants below. Energy is produced above as farmers harvest below in a genuine double cropping scenario.
5/28/2013
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
5/22/2013
A few thoughts on why so many people are hesitant to make the transition to produce their own power.
5/9/2013
Nokero International has been awarded the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s ‘Patents for Humanity’ award.
5/7/2013
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
5/3/2013
A three-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
3/13/2013
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
2/18/2013
Despite utility opposition, key policy drives rapid expansion of rooftop solar.
2/14/2013
It's how solar energy is more affordable than we may realize.
1/3/2013
Solar Energy International is excited to announce the 2013 Online Solar Training schedule! On Jan. 14, we will kick off this year's online training schedule with some of the most rigorous solar training in the industry.  Join thousands of people from all over the world in SEI's Online Campus!
11/29/2012
In support of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Nov. 19, 2012, 10 small business-led projects to speed solar energy innovation from the lab to the marketplace.
11/20/2012
Conventional generators require gasoline or diesel fuel, which can be expensive -- especially during emergencies. Also, the emissions from gas-powered generators contribute to air pollution. Solar generators are a smart alternative to consider.
11/19/2012
Additional reinforcement is required around the garage door opening.
11/19/2012
Scaffolding is required to access the walls to pour the concrete. Scaffolding also helps support the walls.
11/19/2012
ICF walls must be carefully braced to prevent blowout.
11/11/2012
ICFs are not the most environmentally friendly green building product, but result in super energy efficient home, and offer many other benefits, that offset their origin from petrochemicals.
11/11/2012
Insulating concrete forms are an excellent choice for foundations for passive solar, net zero energy homes. They create a highly insulated, air-tight foundation, so essential for extremely high energy performance.
11/3/2012
Don't forget to budget in the cost of deeper excavation and add $1000 to $2000 as a budget contingecy in case you run into bedrock.
10/31/2012
Solar Energy International is offering a free online course as an introduction to renewable energy. You will not walk away an expert, but will have learned the basics of renewable energy and be able to decide which technologies are right for you.
10/28/2012
Be sure to install under-the-footing conduit to run electrical and water pipes, including sewer. I like to run pipes and wire under the foot to prevent penetrating the band joist or the foundation to create a more airtight, water tight home.
10/28/2012
Insulation under the slab -- and lots of it -- is vital for the performance of a net zero energy home. So is the footprint. You can make the most of passive solar by creating a longer, narrower house in which each room is heated by the sun.
10/24/2012
Comly Wilson, Associate with CleanEdison, a solar installation training provider, offers her tips to remedy 6 common mistakes solar PV installers make when setting up new photovoltaic systems.
10/23/2012
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources.  Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.  
10/19/2012
The North American Solar Stores (NASS) network announces their nationally recognized solar store brand to meet the solar energy demands of today's alternative energy-aware consumers.
10/11/2012
Conergy Projects Group has broken ground on a 725 kw photovoltaic system for T&P Farms out of Arbuckle, Calif.
10/1/2012
Creating a net zero energy home requires that we eliminate all thermal bridging loss -- heat movement into and out of a building. All this starts in the basement.
10/1/2012
To build a net zero energy home, you'll need to design for passive gain. That requires a shallower footprint to ensure that the low-angled winter sun can enter and heat each room.
9/28/2012
The Solar Energy Tour is coming to communities all over the U.S. the first weekend of October — learn how to attend an event, or create one yourself.
9/7/2012
We bring power from the array inside the building and put it to work.
8/5/2012
In this blog, I describe two of the first and most important design considerations -- the length and depth of the home and the layout of rooms for optimum passive solar gain.
6/26/2012
Receives SRCC OG300 certification on 41 system configurations for residential solar water heating systems.
6/21/2012
This blog contains a detailed list of most of my initial design priorities for my net zero energy home so others may benefit from my thinking and experience on creating a passive solar, net zero energy, green home.
6/14/2012
In this blog, I highlight the earliest decisions I had to make to create a net zero energy home: how I was going to build the foundation and walls. Thermal bridging, air tightness, insulation, cost, and greeness are all key deciders.
6/6/2012
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
6/5/2012
In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.
5/30/2012
We heard from a variety of experts about the type and number of batteries to use in our DIY solar setup. Meanwhile, we checked in with the garden and bees.
4/2/2012
Finally, we start to take shape.
2/13/2012
Instead of learning new tricks, we devise new ways to do the same old tricks.
2/2/2012
We settle in for a long winter's work.
1/16/2012
If you begin tomorrow, you can be soaking in fresh, 103-degree water by the evening.
12/29/2011
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
12/1/2011
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
11/4/2011
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy. 
9/28/2011
So far this year extreme weather events has cost the US over 35 billion dollars. This posting discusses the potential for non-carbon-based renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.
7/5/2011
Hodgson Mill Inc., a leading national producer of All-Natural and Organic, Whole-Grain foods, has added two wind turbines to successfully complete the second phase of a significant new green initiative.
6/15/2011
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
5/26/2011
A. O. Smith Water Products Company, the leading manufacturer and marketer of residential and commercial water heaters, has donated a 120-gallon solar storage tank to the Hurston family of Cocoa Beach, Fla., project of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
5/4/2011
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
5/4/2011
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
4/18/2011
Michael Strizki proves that living off the grid doesn't have to mean sacrificing comfort.
4/7/2011
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
4/6/2011
With 67 percent growth in one year, the solar energy industry eclipses even the telecommunications industry, according to a new Solar Energy Industries Association report.
3/29/2011
Getting solar panels in Seattle is becoming more affordable with state incentives and net metering but still doesn't quite compare to other states.
3/23/2011
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
3/21/2011
Dan and Karen Cripes made a few big upfront investments--including solar panels and a geothermal system--when they built their home in Round Rock, Texas. Now they're reaping the rewards with nearly nonexistent utility bills and a home they love.
3/14/2011
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
3/10/2011
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
3/2/2011
Leasing solar panels may be a way for you to have a solar electric system on your home. See what our expert has to say on leasing solar panels, from an operating lease to a capital lease. Plus, learn about the federal tax incentives that come with solar electric systems.
2/23/2011
Colorado's once-thriving solar industry has ground to a halt following Xcel Energy's move to slash incentive rebates for homeowners.
2/21/2011
In a move that could devastate Colorado's thriving solar industry, Xcel Energy slashes incentive program.
2/18/2011
Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.
2/15/2011
Lundberg Family Farms announces the opening of a new warehouse that is powered by 100% solar energy. Lundberg Family Farms produces wholesome, healthful rice products while protecting and improving the environment for future generations.
2/8/2011
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.  
1/20/2011
The Appalachian State University team will be blogging about their progress on the solar home they are building for the 2011 Solar Decathlon.
1/12/2011
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
1/12/2011
Solar Energy International (SEI), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service all offer events to educate participants in varying pursuits. This blog provides links to activity calendars and workshop schedules.  
1/7/2011
The Evergreen Institute lowers prices to encourage more participating in its January workshops in home energy efficiency, electricity and electrical wiring, and basic PVs: An Introduction to Solar Electricity.
12/5/2010
A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.
10/5/2010
Next spring, President Obama will install a solar panels on the roof of the White House. The photovoltaic system will provide hot water and some electricity for the White House living quarters.
9/8/2010
The embrace of environmentalism by professional sports provides us all with a new and large opportunity to educate people worldwide about the need to do something, however small it might seem, to protect our biosphere.
8/4/2010
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
6/15/2010
Henry Red Cloud moved back to the Pine Ridge Reservation 12 years ago and started looking into renewable energy. Since then he has started a solar heating system company and a renewable energy training center to serve the Native American community.
6/9/2010
Check out these high-quality workshops on solar electricity, home energy efficiency, and small wind energy systems. Geared to homeowners, aspiring professionals, students and teachers - anyone wishing to learn more about renewable energy systems
5/27/2010
Yes, you can make your own solar panels, but it won’t necessarily save you much money compared with buying commercial solar panels.
5/14/2010
With new breakthroughs in solar electricity coming out every year, should you wait before investing in a solar electric system? Energy expert Dan Chiras discusses cost of PV modules in terms of cost per watt of installed capacity.
5/13/2010
Students from the University of Kansas spent spring break installing solar panels in a low-income neighborhood in Oakland, California.
5/13/2010
Three-day workshop announcement on net zero energy homes by leading authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Dan Chiras. Learn how to reduce your utility bill through conservation, effriciency, & clean, affordable, renewable energy.
4/2/2010
Senator Bernie Sanders’ new bill would promote installation of 10 million new rooftop solar energy systems and 200,000 solar hot water heating systems in the United States in the next decade.
3/26/2010
The energy a PV system will produce during its lifetime far exceeds the amount of energy it takes to produce the PV system
3/12/2010
Dan Chiras and other energy experts envision a future powered by a combination of renewable energy resources, including wind and solar.
2/26/2010
Dan Chiras discusses the differences between power purchase agreements and lease programs, and the benefits of taking advantage of either.
2/16/2010
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
2/11/2010
Enacting a law requiring builders to orient new homes toward the sun  would drastically reduce home energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
2/3/2010
The Evergreen Institute's application to provide continuing education for LEED accredited professionals has been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. A variety of workshops meeting required standards are now available for those interested in anything from solar electricity to straw bale construction.
1/18/2010
Solar energy organization Show Me Solar comes highly recommended by renewable energy expert Dan Chiras for its 2010 list of workshops, webinars and other educational opportunities.
12/3/2009
Will a degree increase your employment prospects? Absolutely. Here are some programs to look into.
12/3/2009
The fastest-growing energy technology in the world is solar, and photovoltaic solar collectors capture solar energy in a supremely adaptable and portable form. Find out more about photovoltaics, how they work, and how they can change the way we make energy.
12/1/2009
Today most new homes are sited without any reference to solar energy at all. A few builders are catching on, however, and making the simple adjustments necessary to turn new houses into solar collectors by adhering to the tenets of passive solar building. Learn more about how passive solar works and its benefits.
11/25/2009
Find out what types of federal tax incentives are available for homeowners who install renewable energy.
11/17/2009
Let's take a trip back into the Mother Earth News archive to learn more about thin-film solar.
11/9/2009
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
10/9/2009
When you're looking for a job, there's just no substitute for getting out and meeting the professionals in the industry. 
10/1/2009
The Solar Decathletes begin assembly on the National Mall at midnight, Oct. 1. But just getting the houses into D.C. is no simple task.
9/28/2009
More and more people are looking for jobs in the renewable energy field. If you're interested in this type of career, here's how you can get started.
9/15/2009
Check out the PV Watts calculator and find out how much solar-electric power you can generate in your part of the world.
7/21/2009
Tell us what you think. If you installed a wind turbine or solar-electric panels, would you want to be tied to the electric grid, or would you rather have a grid-independent system?
6/17/2009
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
5/21/2009
New York makes a plan to increase solar power as part of an aggressive energy policy.
5/21/2009
Hold onto your hats, Congress is debating climate change. Right now the U.S. House is considering the Waxman-Markey climate bill. Here's where you can find more information about what is, and isn't, in the bill.
5/21/2009
Here’s advice from a renewable energy expert about what you can expect to pay for a solar-electric system to power your home.
5/8/2009
As tough economic times hit the renewable energy industry, unsold solar panels are collecting dust in warehouses in many parts of the country. But in Gainesville, Florida, homes, buildings and schools are glittering with brand new panels, installed after the city passed a feed-in tariff law, requiring the power company to buy renewable energy from local producers.
5/1/2009
There's lots of good information on renewable energy in this new NPR series on electricity in America.
4/29/2009
Having a “green home” means lots of different things. What does it mean to you?
4/14/2009
Whether you're planning to install solar panels, or hoping to put up a backyard wind turbine some day, share your thoughts on the renewable energy projects that intrigue you most.
3/13/2009
Check out RenewableEnergyWorld.com for background information and breaking news on renewable technologies.
3/9/2009
If you’re thinking about getting a solar electric system to help the environment and save money, think about efficiency first.
3/5/2009
There are many ways farmers can benefit from renewable energy, including wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency and biofuels.
2/24/2009
Save thousands on a solar electric system by learning this simple secret.
1/21/2009
Take this quiz from How Stuff Works and learn more about how solar panels produce electricity.
1/21/2009
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
12/22/2008
The word is that nitrogen trifluoride is more of a problem than previously thought, and it's used to manufacture all kinds of high-tech equipment, including thin-film solar panels.
10/27/2008
A new technology developed at MIT, solar concentrators, could dramatically reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) power.
9/29/2008
This handy online tool helps calculate your solar energy potential based on your location.
9/19/2008
Wouldn't it be nice if we could produce all the energy we needed from local, renewable resources, such as solar and wind power?
8/28/2008
Solar energy is the ultimate source of all life, and there's lots of it.
8/27/2008
If we want more electricity from renewable sources, we need to think about upgrades to our electric grid.
8/20/2008
Check out this dramatic short movie.
8/6/2008
The term "living off the grid" can be used in different ways, but it means something very specific when you start looking at producing electricity from renewable sources.
8/1/2008
MIT researchers announced a breakthrough that could ultimately make it much cheaper and easier to store solar energy.
7/17/2008
This one policy makes it much easier to pay for a solar or wind-electric system, but not every state offers it.
7/15/2008
After a five month struggle, the San Francisco board of supervisors approved a program called GoSolarSF, making solar installations more affordable for its citizens.
7/8/2008
Heating water with the sun is no longer an option on the Hawaiian islands. A bill was passed in Hawaii that requires all new homes to install a solar water heater in order to receive a building permit.
2/4/2008
Here's how you can find out what financial incentives are available for purchasing solar panels, or another renewable energy system for your home. Search these resources to find state and local incentives.
1/24/2008
There are many different ways to bring solar power into your home. Here's a quick overview of the different ways people use solar energy, with links to related articles and plans.
12/31/2007
While photovoltaic panels are great for meeting small-scale energy needs (like those of individual homes or businesses), perhaps a more viable large-scale option is concentrated solar power (CSP) technology.
9/12/2007
Start cutting your electricity use today, and it will save you a bundle of cash on a renewable energy system when you're ready to buy one.
7/31/2007
When you're ready to price or purchase a new solar system, findsolar.com has everything you need.


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