The Environment

 How does solar power help the environment?

Solar Energy is classed as renewable energy and as such has a lower drain on our planets reserves of coal, oil and gas than sourcing energy from conventional non-renewable sources.

There are two types of solar panel:

1 - Solar Voltaic: Solar Voltaic Panels are designed to convert the suns energy in to electricity, once converted in to electricity the energy can be used to heat or or light a home/ workplace or run computer etc. Electricity can be stored in batteries or fed in to the grid.

2 - Solar Thermal: Solar Thermal panels, heat water that can be used for washing etc, or fed in to the home heating system. Solar thermal systems are generally cheaper in relation to the amount of energy they save. However, grants, and feed back schemes set by the governments of the US, Europe and the UK have schemed pay back times in favour of electricity generation.

You can also heat air, with solar collectors for internal space heating.

Sounds Complicated and Expensive

Why not let some one else worry about the solar panels, and sign up to a green electricity tariff .

DIY solar water heater

  Most solar systems cost serious money, and most people can't afford to fit them, but if you want to get the satisfaction of harnessing the sun energy, maybe to demonstrate it to your kids or something, then there are cheap ways to do this.

The video, to the left shows a simple hot water system some guy made in America.

Have look and see what you think.

You may not have to buy anything, have a look in the garage and see what you can find, a radiator painted black, and set a good angle is effective, or you can make a more complicated system, as the one below.
Again from the USA this system is more complicated, but probably very inexpensive, and might yield some hot water in the UK for 2 or 3 months of the year.

The professionally built version of a system such as this one will cost around £2000, just for the materials, but if you are fairly proficient DIYer than you can do the installation.

If you are short of space, or don't have the energy to try either of the above ideas, why not sign up for a green electricity tariff.

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