Can Renewable Energy Sources Charge Your Cell Phone?

March 14, 2009 by Tommy Linsley  
Filed under Renewable Energy, Solar


Do you know that you can charge your cell phone with solar energy?

Yes, there is a way to charge virtually any hand-held electronic device using renewable energy sources.  It’s called a hybrid solar charger.  What makes it hybrid?  This means that even when the sun isn’t shining you can still use the charger.  Because, it also accepts power from a wall socket or even from your computer’s USB port.

So what else is so great about this solar charger?

  • It has a high-capacity internal rechargeable battery that stores power for up to one year- charge your devices anytime, day or night when you need it most.  It has solar cells to charge its internal battery.
  • You can add another cool word to your vocabulary:  eco-mobility
  • You can be part of a carbon neutral process.  The company that made my charger has an arrangement so that for every 6 units manufactured, trees are planted to offset carbons emitted during manufacturing.
  • Say you’re stuck in an airport or somewhere else without access to a wall socket.  Pull out your fully charged solar charger from your pocket or purse and charge that iPhone or Blackberry that’s out of juice.
  • Don’t worry it’s nice looking too in it’s recyclable shell.  It even comes in recyclable packaging.

Okay, so you’re probably wondering why do I seem kinda passionate about this hand-held solar charger gadget. Read more

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Future is Bright for Solar Energy As an Alternative Energy Source

January 10, 2009 by Tommy Linsley  
Filed under Solar


What Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is the light and the heat from the sun. Solar energy is free
and its supplies are unlimited. What’s so great about it: there is no air
and water pollution caused by using solar energy. But, there is still some
impacts on the environment although indirect.

Photovoltaic cells used to convert sunlight into electricity uses silicon
and also produce some waste materials by way of production by-products.
Also, there are large solar thermal farms; these farms can also be harmful
to the environment by harming ecosystems if not properly managed.

Some Good Uses of Solar Energy

We can use this energy to heat our homes, cook our food;
it can even be used to disinfect certain items.

Solar energy can be used in many different ways. It can be
used in agriculture. Greenhouses (no, nothing to do with greenhouse gas) convert
solar light to heat to be maximized in enhancing the growth of plants and
crops. Fact: greenhouses have been around since the Roman times and
modern greenhouses were built in Europe in 16th century. Greenhouses are
still an important part of horticulture today.

Daylight systems can be used to maximize the energy released by the sun.
It is used to provide interior illumination replacing the artificial
lighting. Daylight systems include sawtooth roofs, light shelf, skylights,
and light tubes. Properly implemented daylight systems can reduce
lighting-related energy consumption by 25 percent.

Solar energy can also be developed into solar thermal technologies which
can be used for water heating, space heating, space cooling and process
heat generation.  Further, this energy can also be used to distill water and
make saline or brackish water potable or drinkable.

SODIS (solar water disinfection) involves exposing water-filled plastic
polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles to sunlight. One obvious drawback
is that this process take extra time, since the exposure time varies on the
weather conditions. It requires a minimum of six hours, or up to two days
during days with overcast conditions. Currently, there are two million
people in developing countries that use SODIS for their daily drinking
water needs.

As we all know, sunlight can be converted into electricity using
photovoltaics or PV.  PV has been mainly used to power small and
medium-sized things like a calculator powered by a single solar cell. To
take things further, though, there are homes powered by photovoltaics.
Using solar energy for water and space heating is the most widely used
application of solar energy while ventilation and solar air heating is
also growing in popularity.

Yet another good use of solar energy, we can use solar furnaces employing
a huge array of mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy into a small space
and produce very high temperatures. Solar furnaces are also called “solar
cookers”.  A solar cooker can also be used to cook food.

Any downside to solar energy?

With all the benefits of using solar energy, there is still a downside for
this alternative energy source. It does not work during night time. Don’t
worry, there are remedies for this shortcoming. How about solar energy
stations. The cost of setting up solar stations is expensive, but the
benefit of using solar energy when accumulated is an offsetting factor.

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Solar Power Innovation: Cheap Electric on the Horizon?

October 1, 2008 by Tommy Linsley  
Filed under Renewable Energy, Solar


Since people are going to need energy, eliminating carbon dioxide emissions will require adopting renewable energy.  However, the cost has been prohibitively high for most of the commonly used and available methods.  Home generation has many possibilities, including getting a check from the power company for excess power that you’ve sold back.

The best and only way to make its manufacture as cheap as possible.  Several recent innovations in solar technology have brought humankind to the brink of affordable solar power that can be used anywhere.  Flexible film solar can be built into just about anything, from awnings to bikinis.  New advances is how to put the flexible sheets together has recently come from an American company that literally prints the solar cells onto a substrate at dizzyingly fast rates.  Even solar paint is on the horizon.

The next step to really getting solar everywhere as it should be is to have similar revolutionary advances in storage technology.

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