Friday, November 25, 2011

Solar Panels Threat to Biodiversity

Solar panels use is increasing day by day as it is a key ingredient to produce eco-friendly and renewable source of energy. As the energy need will increase in future so far that a lot number of solar panels will be used all over the world. But researchers take it as an eco-conservative concern.

Danger to biodiversity

Mr. Bruce Robertson, Research Associate, from Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University says that it is a possible threat to biodiversity. He told that shining dark surface of the solar cells, which reflect the sunlight is same like water surfaces that result aquatic insects like mayflies depositing their eggs on the solar panels. The solar panels will be posing a false habitat hazard to more than 300 species of insect. It will lead to a reproductive failure that may have far-reaching cascading adverse effects to the food chain. These insects fall prey to predators. This data was given in the research which was held in Hungary.

False Surface

Mr. Robertson and his colleagues after the research in Hungary had told in their article that reflected sunlight from expanses of the dark surfaces which are shiny like glass-clad buildings, vehicles, solar panels of all sizes are causing worry for polarized light pollution. Because such dark shiny surfaces cause the caddis flies and other aquatic insects to mistake shining surface to be water surface to lay their eggs.

How to reduce that threat?

According to Mr. Robertson white marking the solar cells may reduce this threat to a great extent. The calculations made by him shows that white marking the solar panels will not affect the efficiency of the solar panels. The researchers had discovered that the aquatic insects can be warned off by fixing white-color grids and other methods to break up the polarized reflection.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Homemade Solar Battery Charger

It is simple to create a homemade solar battery charger, just a build a solar panel and connect it with wires to the battery.  Toe enhance your battery that its charging work more better you will need to install a blocking diode on your solar panel to prevent it from discharging power at night, also install a charge controller between the panel so that the battery can prevent the over or under charging.


Building your solar battery charger is not so expensive and complicated. The most difficult step is to get the photovoltaic solar cells, which are needed to build your solar panel. Damaged or rejected solar cells are much less expensive and works almost same like brand new cells. So it will be better for you to get the factory rejected or damaged solar cells.

When you the damaged solar cells then buy all cells of same size so that you will get matching current output; but extras in case some are damaged during shipping or while you are building your solar panels for that buy tabbed cells because it will be easier for you then to assemble them.

After having your solar cells you will need to solder the wires together in order for them to generate electricity to charge your battery. As the cells are so thin and extremely fragile, to protect them from any damage build a shallow wooden frame as a container for their protection; this finished assembly is your solar panel. The frame size for your solar cells depends on that how many solar cells you plan to put in it and how much power you’d like to generate. A solar panel frame basically is made of plywood backing, wood boards or slats to create the sides, pegboard to mount the solar cells to and a Plexiglas cover to protect it from the elements.

Fit together the back and sides of your solar panel frame then lay on the solar cells on the pegboard backing so they can be soldered together by the attached tabs. It’s easy to lay the solar cells upside down on the pegboard while soldering.

When all cells are connected together then turn them right side up on the pegboard and secure them in place. After that place the pegboard into the shallow frame box and attach your diode. Put positive and negative wires through a hole in the frame to the outside of the panel so you that you can plug in the controller or battery.

After checking that the every thing is working properly, then attach the Plexiglas cover now your solar panel is complete. For using your solar panel for battery charging simply put it on a sunny place facing southwards, then connect the positive solar panel wire to your positive battery post and similarly negative wire to your negative post.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Solar Panel Installation Costs

If you are willing to purchase PV panels then you must consider their overall needs before investing. The necessary things to consider are: do you need batteries for storing electricity? How much electricity your home needs? These are the basic things which you much have to keep in mind before going to buy a solar panel. There are number of manufacturers who offer complete packages which make the installation easier and more economical.

Solar energy equipment is expensive because the semiconductor materials used in the manufacturing of PV panels are expensive. The average price of the solar panels is about $3-$4 per watt. When the manufacturers will increase the production and research continues into less expensive ways to make solar panels, the cost is expected to drop.

PV systems costs depend on the rebates and other financial incentives available in the particular area. There are different factors that increase the price such as the size of the system, and its installation place.

Though initially solar panels will cost you so much but they can substantially reduce cost of energy over time and add value to your home. You can also have government support to buy your solar panels.

What Incentives you can have for going Solar?

Location really matters to have the incentives. For example, if your state is giving generous incentives for installing solar systems then you might be able to get rebates, low interest loans, state tax credits and exemptions. The Federal grants and tax credits can also be available for you. There are incentives by the builders and utility companies sometimes also.

According to federal law you can have 30% tax credit, maximum $2,000 for PV, solar water heaters and fuel cells installation. For more information to know about available incentives in your state visit the website, which keeps track of incentives for renewable energy in all 50 states. You will get detailed and updated information on that website.

Before Installing Solar Panels You Better Increase Energy Efficiency

The most important and beneficial thing for you is to make your home energy efficient because:

  • It will reduce the initial cost of installing your solar system.
  • When your home will be energy efficient it will consume less electricity and for that you will have to buy a small solar system which is less expensive.
  • Saving electricity is cheaper then generating.

To make your home energy efficient always use modern energy efficient appliances, and make it sure that your home is adequately insulated. Make the best use of available energy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tidal Energy Pros & Cons

Tidal Energy is having following advantages and disadvantages:


  • When it’s built, off course tidal power is free.
  • It’s having no greenhouse gas emissions and no other wastes.
  • No fuel needed.
  • Reliable electricity production.
  • Its maintenance is not so expensive.
  • Tides are always predictable.
  • Offshore turbines and vertical-axis turbines are costly but not so much to build. And they are having no major environment impact also.
  • Its renewable energy. The tides will continue to ebb and flow, and will produce the power.
  • One tidal plant after implementation can produce energy for 75 to 100 years.
  • For generating power it uses cheapest source as fuel which is water.
  • Electricity production is reliable through tidal energy.
  • It protects the coastline against the damage from high storm tides and provides a ready made road bridge.

Until the moon exists and earth is spinning till then nothing can stop tidal flows.


  • It causes a continuous loss for mechanical energy in the earth-Moon system.
  • Energy loss causes the earth to slow in the 4.5 billion years since formation losing 17% of its rotational energy.
  • It may take extra energy from the system which will increase the rate of slowing over the next millions of years.
  • It’s having same effects like large dams; that it affects the flow of saltwater in and out of estuaries.  This will change the hydrology and salinity, and can having possible negative affects over the marine mammals that use the estuaries as their habitat.
  • When smaller volume of water exchanges between the basin and the sea the turbidity decreases.
  • It decreases the salinity inside the basin which also affect on the ecosystem.
  • The barrage which is build across an estuary is so much expensive. But that barrage affects a wide area and changed the environment for many miles downstream and upstream. Usually it harms the coast birds because they get food from the mud which is uncovered by tides.
  • It provides power only for 10 hours in a day. And that’s only when the tides are moving in and out.
  • Tidal energy only produces 7% of electricity in England. Which means very few population can use that free energy while pay lot of money for other type of electricity.
  • The mud flats or habitat that birds or animals live on are destroyed.
  • As the water can not flow away so all the dirt and pollution ligers around the coast.
  • It disrupts the creatures’ migration in the ocean.
  • A lot of maintenance is needed for barrage systems for their salt resistance parts.
  • The people who rely on fishing are affected by it also.
  • Like other renewable energy and conventional power generation it’s so much expensive.
  • Its maintenance is complicated because of sea-basing generation facilities.
  • It destroys the ecosystem at the bay.
  • Only few places are suitable of tidal energy production.