Home

Where is Solar Energy Found and Who Discovered Solar Energy?

The History of Solar Energy Technology

The advantages and benefits of solar energy are very clear with a rising increase in the use of solar energy as an alternate power source. However, who discovered solar energy and its historical past is not commonly known. It is often an assumption that the energy crisis that occurred in the 1970’s which found consumers waiting in long lines just for gasoline, was what generated the movement towards solar energy. But this is simply not true. There had been a great deal of interest in developing solar energy for commercial use throughout the first part of the 20th century, the progress was simply slow and the technology not well understood. Upon further research, it is easy to see that the history of who discovered solar energy and its uses dates back thousands of years.

Satellite systems provided the initial practical application for photovoltaic solar cells. For its time, the photovoltaic solar cells were extraordinary, providing the necessary electrical energy for the Vanguard I satellite that operated successfully until the system was shut down in 1964. The first motor to run on solar energy was done by Mouchout, who discovered solar energy could also power a steam engine.

Solar Energy and Technological Developments

The two basic forms of solar energy used today include solar electric energy and solar thermal energy. Typically solar electric energy uses the sun’s rays to generate electricity with the use of photovoltaic solar cells. Solar thermal energy uses the energy of the sun to heat liquids such as water or even glycol.

Many believe solar technology to be one of the most exciting technologies being developed in the world and aren’t worried about who discovered solar energy. They want to know how solar energy can be used for commercial purposes. It is especially exciting when compared with the growing expense and falling suppliers of typical energy sources like fossil fuel. The incredible benefits of solar technology are limitless in developing worlds and modern societies.

The Future of Solar Energy

Solar Energy and Future Advancements

The original person who discovered solar energy probably did not imagine it would reach personal use to heat homes and generated enough electricity to power homes and cars. The impressive history of solar energy is only one step towards the incredibly bright future of this unique technology that will change the way every day consumers conduct their lives. The continuous advancements in solar technology research has only increased the interest in to making the newest technologies available to the general public. Even with today’s solar energy technology, homeowners have the ability to have solar energy systems installed with very little reliance on centralized power stations. The person who discovered solar energy could not have imagined the wide spread use of solar technology.

The use of solar energy has multiple benefits. A solar energy source saves consumers money after the initial investment in to the panel infrastructure. Money savings is a bigger driver for consumers than understanding who discovered solar energy or its technical details. Solar energy is also environmentally friendly, vastly reducing the amount of hazardous gases and fuels that are spilled in to the environment. This harmful pollution threatens the global climate. A consumer can benefit substantially by educating themselves on who discovered solar energy, its uses and technologies in today’s society and its availability for general public use.

What Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy has been topical for a long time, but there has been little and certainly not enough done to educate us and to help us understand what the different energy types are.

Solar energy comes in two forms.  The energy capacity is either ‘collected’ through photovoltaic or thin film cells or via thermal collectors.  The photovoltaic or thin film uses the suns energy into electricity.  Solar thermal energy is completely different.  This uses the heat of the sun to generate heat for us such as water heaters, pool heaters or general homes and buildings, it does not however, convert it into electricity for use on other appliances.

Why Do We Need To Change?

There are many theories about what is happening environmentally across the globe, but here are some of the facts which are worthy of respect:

  • Fossil fuels will run out
  • Fossil fuel prices are prone to fluctuation and with the current global economic situation as well as the social issues in come of the countries which control fossil fuels; the prices are more likely to rise than fall.
  • Fossil fuels produce pollutants, which affect our air quality.
  • Breathing related illness are increasing and more and more children are suffering with this.
  • We only have two options for the future; renewable or alternative energy sources.
  • Nuclear seems to be the most likely replacement of fossil fuels, but with Chernobyl still in our memories and watching the consequences of the Fukushima plant, there is clearly still progress needed.
  • Nuclear energy is an alternative energy and not a renewable.
  • Renewable energies will never run out, they are, as their name suggests, naturally renewed.

We cannot rely on the future of fossil fuels and at the moment the confidence in nuclear power has been undermined – so we need to understand our options and know that now is the time to act.

Understanding Your Energy Choices (solar power category)

As explained above there are different types of energy available to us in this time of change.  Below is a list of the different energy types:

  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Gas
  • Nuclear
  • Biomass
  • Hydroelectric
  • Solar heat/thermal
  • Wind power
  • Geothermal
  • Biofuel
  • Solar photovoltaic / thin film

This list is everything, renewable, alternative and fossil! Globally we will be dependent of a range of these; there is not one single source suitable.

But for your home your choices are limited to: solar photovoltaic, solar thermal and of course traditional fossil driven electricity from your local grid.

Swapping To Solar Panels (solar panels category)

Where is Solar Energy FoundPeople have built homes which are completely run from renewable energies.  Unfortunately these homes are expensive and the concepts work, but cannot be simply transferred to some of our current properties.

However, what we can all do is start to replace some of our usage with solar energy.  Solar panels for the home are very advanced and they are available to all of us now.

The original solar panel installation was a problem for many homes as the structures of some buildings was simply not suitable.  This issue has been resolved as we now have the third generation of solar panels available which are much more suitable for the average property.

The other area which has put lots of us off solar power was the hugely high costs involved in converting.  This has been over come in several ways.  Firstly, there is less adaption of our homes needed.  Secondly the development of the solar industry means that this technology is more efficient as specifically developed for the home.  The final change is that governments want us to change and there are now grants available in most areas to help the transition away from fossil fuels.

So how do you actually get your solar power working? (solar panel kits category)

There are three basic routes to converting some or all of your home usage to solar power.

Firstly you can DIY it – yup – you can actually get all the bits and Do It Yourself.  This is obviously the cheapest way.  (And I am sure that you could use the skills learnt afterwards to help those around you).

The second option is the half way one – you choose and buy your solar kit and then you choose from a list of registered installation companies and individuals to fit it all up for you.

The third and most expensive, but easiest route, is to chose a company and pay for them to review your home, work out the best system for your property and for them to install this.  Quite a lot of cents – but less grey hairs and general stress.

The Technical Bit – What Is Photovoltaic?  (photovoltaic category)

Photovoltaic is the technology behind converting solar heat into electricity.  When people refer to solar electricity is generated by the photovoltaic system.  Photovoltaic technology is used in more than 100 countries and is the fastest growing power generating technology.

When the sun hits a solar photovoltaic cell the photons of light activate the electrons and make them move, creating an energy which is converted into electricity. (A summary of years of research and billions of dollars – into one simple sentence!!!)

You will also hear and have read above about thin film panels.  These are also photovoltaic.  The silicon inside a thin film, essential for the photovoltaic solar energy success is main difference between the traditional panels and these.

The thin films are as the name suggests, thin.  This means that they are considerably lighter and therefore much more usable on the average building.

They are slightly less efficient and slightly more expensive, but in the 5 years leading up to 2009 solar power was averaging an annual increase of around 60 percent.  This increase is primarily due to the advances such as the thin film photovoltaic solar panels. So we now have a access to a technology which was previously unusable to the majority of us.

Solar Panel Kits Guide

The creation of solar panel kits means that we can all have solar power in our homes.

There was a time, not very long ago, when getting solar power was a long and drawn out business – and an expensive one as well.

One of the things which has brought this into line with the public requirements and budgets is the development of solar panel kits.

The solar panel kit is not the perfect solution if you are converting your entire property to solar energy.  If this is your aim then you may be best getting a more specific design.

But for most of us the solar panel kit is a great solution.

If you are going to do it yourself then you are best of specifically targeted DIY Solar Panel Kits.  These are more comprehensive and do not expect you to have an array of basic parts to drawn on in order to complete your installation.  There are a huge range of solar kits specifically designed for those who are new to solar power.  This is a good, cheap way to get you on the solar system.  The other advantage of the DIY solar kits is that they allow you to increase your solar usage as you understand more about it.  Perhaps you want to start with adding solar heating to your pool, solar power to your RV?  These are fairly simple and straight forward projects which are also a great introduction to solar power.  (If you have kids you can also get kits to make solar powered remote control cars – and there is nothing more fun than racing cars which you built yourself).

If you are not looking to do the work yourself then you have to consider your solar kit a little more carefully.  If you are paying for installation then the range of kits available is much greater.

It is worth considering the kit and the installation separately to start with.  I would suggest that you start by deciding which of the kits you think will best suit your needs.  Then take these ideas to the different manufacturers and sales offices in your area and see who can fit something similar and at what cost.  Remember that you will be speaking to salesmen.  These salesmen want you to buy their product – so you can negotiate – in fact you should negotiate.

If you are committed to spending money on a solar installation then it is in the interest of every solar outlet in your area to want your business and to get you to recommend them to your friends.

When there is a craze – for a car or a toy – the item will sell itself.  The problem with solar energy is that many people are still only just realizing quite how accessible solar power has become.  This means that anyone getting on the band wagon now is in a good position to negotiate a great deal.  There are a lot of resources being pumped into renewable energy sources and in many cases you are the target market for these funds.

So the solar panel kit is going to be your savior.  This is how you are going to get started with solar power.

Essential Gardening Tool Set

Garden Tool Set
Garden Tool Set

Just as it is with most hobbies, the selection of proper gardening tools are very important to a successful outcome. This is especially true in gardening. Digging, raking, pruning, watering, and numerous other tasks are much easier, provided you have the right tools for the job.

First, and foremost, get a good pair of gardening gloves. I learned the hard way, the importance of gloves. Working at home around landscape timbers I jammed a long splinter into my finger, dirt and all. Bacteria in the soil caused a nasty infection, which took a long time to clear up.

Protecting the hands is especially important here in the desert with all of our barbed and thorny plants. A thick pair of leather gloves may be hot in the summer but their the only ones that will prevent thorns from penetrating through to your hands. Quality gloves aren’t cheap, but the protection they provide is well work the expense. And for pruning jobs, a pair of safety goggles is a must for protecting the eyes from dangerous thorns projecting from stems and branches.

When considering gardening tools, compare their design, the materials they are made from, and the way they are built. All these factors affect their ease of use and how well they last. For instance, fiberglass handles are stronger than wood. This may be important if you put a lot of strain on the tool. Garden Shovel, rakes, and hoes are also stronger if the working end of the tool is riveted onto the handle.

When choosing shovels, make sure that the garden shovel is designed for the use intended. Round-point shovels are best for digging. Flat-point shovels are best for cutting and scooping. Narrow shovels are best for trenching. And scoop-type shovels are best for moving large amounts of mulch and manure. A spade shovel and long handled shovel is also very helpful for gardening. If you have only one shovel, make it one with a round-point and long hand. You can dig, cut, and move smaller amounts of soil, stone and mulch with this type. The long handled shovel is easier on the back when it comes to digging. Some shovels even have a handle end, making them easier to hold. So, make sure to to include the specific shovels in your gardening tool set.

Hand pruners and garden loppers also come in many forms. Always select a bypass type of pruning tool. These have a scissors cutting action that cleanly cuts without damaging plant tissue, providing the blade is kept sharp. Do not use anvil-type pruners. Long handled pruners act by pushing the cutting blade against a flat anvil-like surface. In the process, plant tissue is crushed, rather than cleanly cut and healing is difficult. There are also ratchet pruners, pruning scissors, pruning saw, pruning shears and specific tree pruning tools which can be very helpful for gardeners.

Gardeners should possess a long handled pruners, long handled loppers, and a folding hand saw. The garden pruners can be used to cut stems up to one-quarter inch in diameter. Long handled loppers, or long handled pruners, are used on branches up to one-half inch in diameter. And a folding hand saw will effectively cut larger limbs. Bow saws are not recommended. Their blades have a tendency to twist and turn, making precision cutting difficult.

Raking gravel and things out of gravel is a major chore here in the desert. A good quality rake can make the job much easier. I like the adjustable rakes. These have a lever on the handle that can be released to allow the tines to slide up or down. In so doing, the distance between the tines can be varied from close to far apart. You can adjust the tine spacing to accommodate the job your doing. Thin but strong, rounded tines are also much more durable than the older flat metal tine type rakes.

Because gardening is considered one of the most popular hobbies, new products are always being offered. But many tried and true tools are still the best for gardening activities. Before you make your selection, find the gardening tool set that works best for the job at hand. Compare like tools for quality, durability and ease of use. Finally, get out there and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of gardening.

The Best Garden Tool Set

Water Features for Gardens

The cooling images of reflecting pools, and refreshing sounds of splashing water provide special appeal when used in desert gardens. Even small water features for gardens, such as barrel water gardens, can provide much needed psychological relief from our intense summer heat.

For gardeners, their’s something a little to sterile about plain fountains and pools. But add plants, and a water feature becomes a new and interesting form of gardening. Add fish, and a water garden becomes a miniature biological ecosystem.

Water gardens have become increasingly popular over the past decade, so much so that supplies and plants are now widely available. Many local garden centers, fountain shops and home supply stores stock pumps, liners, and the more common water plants. Their are also an abundance of mail order sources for water garden supplies, many with Internet sites.

The easiest way to create a water garden is to make one from a lined wooden half barrel, or a lined in-ground pool. Advances made in pool construction materials make it both inexpensive and easy for the gardener to install a water garden pool. Today, most pool liners are constructed of polyethylene, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or butyl rubber. These flexible liners can be used to create almost any pond shape.

Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden

How To Choose A Riding Lawn Mower

If you have a larger garden and you would prefer to spend your weekends relaxing and enjoying your outdoor space instead of the interminable grind of pushing your mower up and down for hours on end, then consider purchasing a riding lawn mower or lawn tractor. With such choice out there, the features and accessories to decide upon may seem intimidating but ask yourself these few simple questions and you will narrow down your options to the right type of mower for the job within minutes. You’ll be sipping your iced tea on your sun lounger, admiring with satisfaction your beautifully manicured lawn before you know it.

How large is your lawn?

Over half an acre and you could go for a riding mower with a cutting width of around 25-32 inches. A large lawn tractor with its more powerful engine and wider cutting width of between 32-50 inches is more suitable for areas of one acre or more. However, there are other considerations to take into account such as whether you have any gates to get through or whether you require a high level of maneuverability.

Do you have lots of landscaping or obstacles on your lawn?

A zero turn mower turns where it stands, giving much greater maneuverability, although the steering might take a bit more getting used to. If your lawn slopes as well, an all terrain mower is better designed to cope with this and also with rougher ground.

What do you want to do with the grass clippings?

Lawn Mower
Riding Lawn Mower

Mulching your clippings is environmentally friendly. The blades chop the clippings until they are very small, eventually spraying them back onto the lawn. This avoids the need for disposal of the clippings and also acts as a compost for the lawn, removing the need for fertilizer. An alternative option is a rear collection feature for a more formal finish.

What kind of transmission do you prefer?

Most common is the manual transmission but there is also a hydro-static transmission, which is more expensive but easier to use and can give you greater torque. Less common and most expensive is electric transmission.

What accessories are right for you?

Consider this carefully as accessories can bump up the price alarmingly. These accessories can add massively usable functionality to your ride-on mower but remember you have to buy and store them when not in use. Options include:

  • Tow-behind aerators
  • Trailers
  • Leaf blowers
  • Rollers
  • Scarifiers
  • Spreaders
  • Waterers
What is your budget?

You can pay no more than around $1000 for the most basic models or more than $6,000 for top brand top of the range lawn tractors. In some cases, depending on brand and features, you could even pay up to $15,000. Consider your needs balanced with affordability before you splash the cash. A large number of riding mowers and lawn tractors come in at around the $3,000 to $4,500 mark, which seems more reasonable for the average Joe.

Other considerations

Other points you might want to think about could include where you are going to store the machinery and fueling the mower. Finally, on the subject of emissions, if you want to be environmentally friendly, go for a mower with low emissions. In fact, if you live in a place like California, only certain mowers can be used in order to comply with strict laws on levels of emissions.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons