Benefitting From A Solar Powered Radio

Ambient Weather WR-111 Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Digital Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger with NOAA Certified Weather Alert & Cables

A solar powered radio is one of the most helpful tools that you can have at your disposal. These units go great as a part of any emergency or survival kit, whether you are stocking your home with supplies or are going hiking.

Should any kind of disaster situation occur, you are going to want to be able to talk to people. Communication is vital, and the instructions from official sources you pick up will be essential to keep you and your family safe.

Likewise, being out in the wilderness and being stranded or injured facilitates the need to call for help. Solar powered radios are able to achieve these ends by being a compact and easily portable device that essentially can run forever.

The prime benefit to using solar panels is that they passively recharge from an unlimited power source. The sun provides more energy in a single day than the entire earth could use at once, so charging a small unit like this is no problem at all.

The ability to recharge from the sun is a very useful one indeed. When you are facing a situation where you need to be able to use a radio consistently and your safety depends on it, you do not want to have to rely on batteries.

Batteries work, but they run out of charge easily. They also are vulnerable to corrosion and do have an expiration date on them.

What’s more, not everyone keeps spares around. In fact, anyone who had ever run out of battery on their phone or music player can readily attest that battery runs out when you least expect it, and recharging via an outlet is not always an option.

Running out of batteries in an emergency situation would be a dangerous scenario to be in. Luckily for anyone concerned, the solar powered radio is a great example of good engineering which can be recharged whenever there is daylight.

What’s more, the amount of power stored in a solar cell is enough to power a radio for a long amount of time, giving more mileage as people are using the product. When it all comes down to it, this is a survival necessity no matter what situation you are in.

Not only can people use the equipment to listen for official broadcasts and orders in case of emergency, but they can also use the equipment to communicate with others. Should there be injuries or obstacles to getting to safety, such abilities can be truly lifesaving in nature.

This is an investment in emergency equipment that is well worth it all in nature. The funds that you spend getting a good and reliable unit are not even going to matter compared to the assurances of safety and security that you will have.

Solar power is one of the most clean and efficient sources of renewable energy that we have. Even in the small scale it is highly useful, not to mention possibly lifesaving.

Solar Water Heaters: Types Of Systems And Collectors

Installing a solar water heater for your home is a way to save some money long term, while at the same time becoming more energy independent and helping the environment. A solar water heater uses the suns energy to warm water, so you need to use less electricity to get hot water. A solar water heater can supply 50-90% of your water heating needs, cutting your annual energy costs by 10-20%.

For more information on the costs of installing solar panels, click here.


Solar water heaters generally run on one of two systems: active and passive.

Active systems use pumps to move the water through the system, and as such require extra power to run them. They’re also more expensive. On the plus side though, they’re generally more efficient, and allow for greater design flexibility.

Passive systems don’t use pumps, but instead use natural convection currents to move the water. The solar collector is found at the lowest point of the current. Water is heated, and naturally moves upward, towards the water tanks. It enters the water rank, pushing the cold water at the bottom of the tank down and towards the solar collector, where the process begins again.


Solar collectors generally come in 3 forms: batch collectors, flat plate collectors and evacuated tube collectors.

Batch collectors are the cheapest and least efficient form of collector. The water tank essentially doubles as the collector, found outside and warming the water as it waits to be used. It’s usually found within an insulated box to maximize heat absorption.

Flat plate collectors are a series of copper tubes found within a box with a transparent top and dark bottom (to absorb solar energy and keep it in). Water moves through the tubes and is heated.

Evacuated tubes are the Cadillac of solar collectors- the most expensive, but by far the highest quality. They maximize the surface area receiving sunlight, making them the most efficient at heating water. They’re essentially a series of tubes within tubes, the outer layer for energy absorption and the inner layer for carrying the water to be heated.

Good luck and stay prepared!

Read more from RamboMoe at

12 Tube Split Solar Water Heater Collector

Concentrating Photovoltaic Solar Panel Technology

There are 3 basic types of construction of PV panels. All of those explained here use silicon.

Mono Crystalline cells are cut from a single crystal of silicon- they are effectively a slice from a crystal. In appearance, it will have a smooth texture and you will be able to see the thickness of the slice. These are the most efficient and the most expensive to produce.

Polycrystalline (or Multi Crystalline) cells are effectively a slice cut from a block of silicon, consisting of a large number of crystals. They have a speckled reflective appearance and again you can see the thickness of the slice.

Amorphous cells are manufactured by placing a thin film of amorphous (non crystalline) silicon onto a wide choice of surfaces. These are the least photovoltaic efficiency and least expensive to produce of the three types. Due to the amorphous nature of the thin layer, it is flexible, and if manufactured on a flexible surface, the whole solar panel can be flexible.

Sunforce 50048 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit

Based on the main idea that a solar cell receiving more light energy will generate more electricity, concentrating photovoltaic solar panels simply involve a method (usually using a lens or mirrors) to concentrate more sunlight onto a photovoltaic cell. As fewer cells are then required for the same area of panel (or light capturing area) it may then become economical to use a highly efficient multi junction cell.

Potentially, this type of panel has the following advantages:

– It has a higher overall efficiency, capturing more solar energy per meter squared resulting in a smaller area of panels required for a particular output. Resulting efficiency levels can approach 50%.

– Potentially lower cost per watt of output due to lower number of solar cells required, while the material cost and manufacturing process of the optics (light concentration mechanism) is relatively inexpensive.

– Lower use of environmentally unfriendly chemicals involved in the panel manufacturing process due to lower number of pv cells.

– Where the concentration is such that cooling of the photovoltaic module is required, a panel may have the ability to output heat at the same time as electricity.

However, there are drawbacks:

– In all but the lower levels of concentration, heat needs to be dissipated from the cells. Cooling is necessary as cell efficiency is significantly reduced at higher temperatures, or in extreme situations, cells may be damaged.

– In all but the lower levels of concentration a tracker system will be required to keep the concentrated light focused on the cells.

– As diffuse light cannot be effectively concentrated, concentrating PV panels are best suited to areas with a high level of clear sunshine.

Although research has continued on concentrating photovoltaic efficiency for many years, they have not made their mark on the industry, and where they have been used, it has been in large scale projects. CPV panels that have been produced have come in “various shapes and sizes” with no obvious design leading the field.

Home Heating Oil

Home heating oil, also called oil heat or heating oil (abbreviated as HHO), is used as fuel for boilers or furnaces in homes and businesses. It’s a flammable liquid petroleum product with a low viscosity, and is very similar to diesel fuel. In the U.S. it is called No. 2 heating oil, and can be less expensive than natural gas or propane.

Heating oil makes up of about a quarter of the yield from each barrel of crude oil. It must conform to ASTM standard D396, which is distinct from kerosene and diesel. HHO is delivered by truck and is stored in tanks in, under, or adjacent to the home or business. Because it is classed as a hazardous material, users must follow proper transportation, storage, and burning regulations. Leaks and spills must be reported, and are environmentally damaging.

In the United States, approximately 8 million homes use oil heat. In 1997, the average use in that year was 730 gallons. Since then, the number of homes to use oil heat has continued to drop. Nearly 78 percent of the households that use oil heat are in the Northeast – in Massachusetts, 40 percent of the homes use oil heat. In Maine, about 80 percent of the homes heat with oil. A typical household in Maine uses approximately 875 gallons of oil in one year.

Heating oil is the most common method for heating homes in Northern Ireland, and is used in varying degrees in other parts of the UK and Europe. In these countries, red or yellow dye is added to the oil to make it distinguishable from other fuels.

Oil prices may change several times in one day. Generally, when crude oil prices go up, so does the price for home heating oil. Prices are set by the oil companies. In the commodity market, the HHO futures contract has a minimum fluctuation of $0.0001 per gallon, is traded in units of 1000 barrels, and is based on the price of delivery to the New York Harbor.

Heating oil furnaces have become far more efficient since the 1950s. Efficiency has increased from 60 percent to over 80 percent. Further reductions in oil usage can be attained by making the home or building more efficient considering oil prices Northern Ireland – replace old windows, seal cracks and holes, and use a proper chimney. Another important thing to consider when purchasing or replacing a furnace is its capacity – most homes have a furnace that can supply much more heat than is needed. A downgrade in furnace size will reduce the amount of oil used per season.

Solar Power For Hard-To-Wire Areas

Solar energy holds a lot of potential. Unfortunately, with the current technology that we have, it is very difficult to harvest it in large quantities.

At most our solar panels can only convert about 20% of the available solar energy, and in most cases that amount is closer to 15%. As solar panels age, their ability to convert energy only degrades.

That combined with the costs of solar panels, means that it is unlikely for them to take “center stage” in meeting our global energy needs anytime soon. However, we are seeing solar energy used more and more in small ways that can make a big impact.

One of the biggest areas of solar research right now is for warfare. Right now, fuel hungry generators have to be trucked across the desert along with expensive fuel supplies. Creating a base camp that runs on solar energy offers the potential for a smaller setup with fewer dangerous resupply trips required.

Some of that technology is trickling down to the average consumer. Solar battery chargers are now only slightly more expensive than a regular charger for a cell phone or mp3 player would be. These small chargers can power a variety of instruments and are easily packed to remote locations.

Additionally we are seeing solar energy being used in yard objects. Solar powered lights and fountains means easy-to-install yard improvements that don’t need an electrician’s training. Solar pool covers are a great example of this. The just sit on top of your pool and use the suns heat to passively warm the water – no electricity required! They’ve become so popular that it is rather simple to find discount solar pool covers from major vendors on the Internet.

Its doubtful that solar energy will ever eclipse some of the other energy forms out there. However, it offers great potential for little areas where traditional power is inconvenient to use.

The Power Of Functional And Ornamental Windmills

Wind turbines or windmills are going to be used for a large range of purposes. The most common uses meant for a windmill encompass functional as well as decorational applications. A great deal of people today refer to these windmills as ornamental windmills mainly because they are just meant for decorative purposes. Furthermore there are also functional windmills which often accomplish much more than simply spicing up the image of the property. A considerable amount of individuals make use of windmills for their home garden particularly because of their functional capability. Functional windmills most likely will deliver electricity using the wind flow that strikes them.

Electrical power generated using a functional windmill will often be used to power a rainwater pump which will keep a vegetable garden hydrated at all times. Cosmetic windmills have truly grown to be very common which is the main reason why they are showing up in yards all across the modern world. A lot of people might not think an ornamental windmill could give so much beauty to a property. Windmills both decorative and practical can be manufactured using a variation of normal and special components. Most of the widely used materials used to assemble windmills are stainless steel and real wood.

Plastic combined with textile happen to be not so common components used to assemble decorative windmills. Smaller-sized much more colorful windmills that are shaped the same as a flower tend to be crafted using plastic or textile. The particular width and height of a windmill is going to be different but the standard windmill is anywhere from 9 to twenty feet in height. Windmills depending on whether or not they are functional or decorative might amount to thousands. Decorative windmills oftentimes will be a lot less pricey and can potentially only run you a few dollar bills. A windmill regardless if it is functional or cosmetic will add a magnificent accent to almost any backyard or garden.

Everybody who is planning to add some curb appeal to their property or home can simply bring in a windmill. A surprisingly common and sensible utilization of a windmill is for wind power. Powering anything by making use of wind electricity is a great idea. The asking price of fossil fuels and other kinds of energy sources is most likely to go up endlessly. In the end non-renewable fuels will fade away completely which is the main reason why wind energy is such a superb choice. The total amount of wind energy that can be collected by employing a windmill is immense. With the help of enough windmills it is actually quite possible to energize an entire home.