Home Improving with Solar – The Important Concept of Gain

You’ve decided to pursue a solar home improvement, but aren’t so keen on the idea of putting panels on your roof. No worries, you just need to understand the concept of gain.

I Gotta Gain Some Heat

I’ll cut to the chase – gain refers to how you generate heat for your home without solar panels. You can think of it as gaining heat by manipulating the power of the sun. There are three categories of gain: direct gain, indirect gain and isolated gain. So much for the mumbo jumbo, what are we really talking about here?

Direct gain refers to improving your house in a manner that allows the sun to…[drum roll]…directly provide power in the form of heat to your home. For instance, if you install large windows in the south facing side of your home and put down heat storing flooring such as masonry, you are pursuing direct gain. The sun will directly heat the home through the windows during the day and will also heat up the flooring. As the sun goes down, the flooring will continue to radiate heat. The advantage of direct gain is it is fairly easy to implement. The disadvantage is it only works during the day and for a few hours afterwards if you’ve put in a heat storing flooring material.

Indirect gain is a bit more complicated. It refers to the idea of using a structure between the exterior and interior of the house to store heat produced by exposure to sunlight. The basic idea is to get more heat production for a longer period of time. Indirect gain is typically accomplished by building a thermal wall out of masonry, known as a Trombe Wall, as the south facing wall of your home or a part of it. The wall is built out of a material that absorbs heat such as concrete or brick and then has glass placed over it. Put another way, the south wall is a window with a brick wall behind it. The wall materials suck up the power of the sun and store heat. This heat is then radiated when you need it by opening vents in the wall. The advantage of indirect gain is you get longer, more controlled heating. The disadvantage is you have the world’s weirdest looking window on the south side of your home.

Isolated gain is a simple concept. Have you ever used a greenhouse to grow flowers or tomatoes or…well, something? Isolated gain works just like a greenhouse, except you are providing heat to yourself instead of plants. Essentially, you build a self-contained glass structure on the south side of your home which is also well insulated. The structure heats up in the sun during the day to very high temperatures. When you need heat, you just turn on a fan, which moves it into the house through venting you’ve installed.

The beauty of any of these systems is they are fairly simple concepts to understand. If solar panels don’t appeal to you, just go for some gain.

About The Author

Rick Chapo is with http://www.solarcompanies.com – a directory of solar energy companies. Visithttp://www.solarcompanies.com/articles to read more solar power articles.

General Motors Finds A Way To Use Solar Power Even When It Can’t Afford To Install It

General Motors, long inept at making cars with quality ratings that might persuade Americans to buy them, now finds itself too broke to install solar power. 

But it has made a clever and commendable accommodation to its impoverishment. It has agreed to allow a solar-power company to install a system on the roof of one of its warehouses and then buy the power as it would from any other electric company. 

In fact, the step may be so beneficial that GM now has similar plans for solar-power equipment installed on the roof of a second warehouse. 

So sunhats off to GM! They may still not be clever enough to make a popular car, but at least they’ve found a way to make a popular choice about electric power. 

About The Author

Tom Attea, humorist and creator of http://NewsLaugh.com, has had six shows produced Off-Broadway. Critics have called his writing "delightfully funny," "witty," with "good, genuine laughs" and "great humor and ebullience." 

Photovoltaic Building - Homemade Solar Cheaply and Easily

Photovoltaic building is becoming more and more popular as energy costs soar for households around the nation and around the world. Today you are going to learn how you can have homemade solar for less than $200, and save thousands of dollars of the cost of having someone else build and install a home solar panel for you.

With a small amount of work on your part, you can save massive amounts of money off your power bill, reduce your carbon footprint and possibly even remove yourself off the grid demand. If that happens, you can actually sell back excess power to your power company, meaning that you will receive checks from them, not you having to send away your hard earned money at the end of the month to pay for electricity.

For proper photovoltaic building, you will need the following things-

* Solar Cells. These are the main component of your homemade solar panel, as these are effectively the little factories where the sun's energy is turned into power that can be used in your home. Purchase these off eBay in bulk so you can make plenty of solar panels whenever you need to.

* Plywood. This can be easily obtained from DIY stores in large quantities and is easy to cut and shape.

* Copper wire. Buy this online from eBay, or from a local DIY/hardware store.

* Woodworking glue, screws, drills, screwdrivers, saws. Most people will have these tools in their toolboxes anyway.

* Sheet Glass. This is used to provide a cover for the photovoltaic cells to protect them from damage from weather. If you live somewhere that is prone to extreme weather then I would suggest using clear plastic or PVC sheeting. Check in a local business directory to see where you can purchase this.

* Photovoltaic building plans. These are absolutely necessary as they provide the blueprints, measurements and diagrams you need to be able to assemble and install the above components correctly. Also, you will need them to install your homemade solar panel into your house's electricity system properly and safely. The good news is that these plans can be obtained very inexpensively over the Internet.

Click here to learn more about plans for solar energy in your home, including how much you will need to spend, what your power bill reductions will be, as well as what the best photovoltaic building plans are.

Jeff Palmer is an economist, but has also worked in the alternative energy industry since its early days, installing and helping to develop mainly solar and wind power generation systems.

5 Great Reasons To Use Solar Power

More and more people today are now looking for alternative ways of providing power to their homes. Because we are becoming more aware of what is happening to the environment because of the omissions of CO2 in to the air we are becoming much greener. This is why many people are now looking to use alternative and more natural ways of supplying power to their homes. Below we look at some of the reasons to use solar power.

The great thing about having a solar powered energy system in your home is that it can provide you with electricity during an emergency. Plus if required they can be used to provide additional power to your home at times when the electricity loads become critical during the winter months.

Along with solar power being able to supply all the electricity to your home to run all equipment, appliances etc., within it or just for emergencies. There are other reasons why you may consider wanting to use solar power in the future and below we show you what some of these are.

1. The biggest reason for using solar power to provide energy to your home is that it will never run out unlike fossil fuels (gas and coal) are likely to. In fact, the amount of solar energy that the earth receives each minute of each day is far more than the energy that we around the globe use in fossil fuels each year.

2. As mentioned above at the beginning of this article solar power is actually good for the environment, as it does not emit any kind of pollution.

3. Another big reason for a person to use solar power over any kind of type of energy supply is that it does not cost any thing to transport it. In fact the solar power panels can be located close (on top of the roof of the property) and then supplied directly into it.

4. If you want you can actually store up the energy that your solar powered system is collecting in order to use it a later time. However although it is more expensive to store the energy that to use it straight away it is great to have a backup supply for emergency situations.

5. When used in connection with other technologies or energy supplies solar power can be extremely useful. By having additional solar power in your home you could cut down the costs you pay to your electrical supplier, which in turn means that you are actually doing your bit to helping the environment.

Certainly as you will soon discover along with the reasons to use solar power that we have mentioned above. If you carry out further research for yourself you will discover plenty of other reasons why using an alternative power supply source such, as this is so good.