Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Solar cells have opened new doors for energy deficient world. Dependency on expensive state supplied electricity is no longer necessary. Renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power have now enable the end users to light their bulbs with paying a single cent to the governments who have for long exploited consumers by heavy electricity tariffs. 

Solar and wind generators not only make sense to
persons concerned with the depletion of bio fuels, but also anyone concerned with the need for emergency power. My wife and I have personal experience of being without power in an ice storm. It was a miserable and frightening experience.

It may seem tricky but I hope to assist you in your search for alternative energy solutions by pointing you to sites, articles and products that will be right for you and your family. Alternative energy projects can be as simple as providing for emergency energy, to supplying energy for your whole home and henceforward forever providing you with freedom from electricity bills. 

Being prepared only makes sense. So, for starter lets first examine the solar panels available in market which can easily power up your home or part of your home. All you need to do is research and figure out what is best suited solution within your budget to cater your power needs. 

The basic building block of solar cells or photo-voltaic devices is silicon. Around 90% of solar cells available in market are silicon based. Currently there are three types of solar panels available in market, namely; Mono crystalline, Poly Crystalline and Thin Film.

You can study more about these cells in the link provided below.

The most important question is what parameters or things you need to consider when choosing a solar panel? The answer is simple you need to know your average power consumption let’s say you want to run your electric heater on solar panels, in that case you should know how much power your heater consumes and for how long do you intend to run the heater, the latter is more related to your battery bank rather than your solar panel.

Other than that another important thing is the size of a solar panel. You should know how much space is available on your roof to install these solar panels. A bigger solar panel does not necessarily mean that you have more power it depends on the efficiency of your solar panel. The link I posted above explains about it. 

Another important aspect and probably the most important one is the area you live in. If you have 6 to 8 or more hours of sunlight then you are good to go but there are places where sunlight is not found in such abundance in that case you will need to consider alternative options like Wind Energy or Bio Gas (Read my blog on wind energy for more information).

And last but not the least your budget? Solar technology is still in its infancy hence solar panels, other needed components and installation, can be expensive. The good news is the price of setting up a solar system is rapidly decreasing as more and more environmentally conscience people work to make it a viable option to energy production. Look around, compare prices. There are affordable, good quality panels and other components available, especially for a talented do-it-yourselfer. So best of luck with your solar panels I hope this blog helped. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


For long mankind has searched for energy under their feet but now things have taken a turn and renewable energy above our feet is becoming a promising prospect now. Wind energy is one for of renewable energy which has been far less exploited than it should be.

In this day and age, it now becoming a necessity to look into other energy source due to limited fossil fuels and global warming which is being caused because of energy craving lifestyle, so we should look into more environmentally friendly energy sources like wind and solar energy. These renewable energies are also called green energy since they don’t have any negative impact on environment.
Wind mill is a device that is used to convert wind energy in electrical power so we can run our home appliances. Small wind mills can be installed on the roof of our houses where we experience load shedding or frequent voltage drops, this scenario is normally experienced in third world countries that are facing energy crisis. The energy generated from windmills can be used in a many ways. Running of home appliance such as television, Refrigerators and Microwave oven are few common examples.
With high electricity tariffs and increased inflation people are constantly looking for an alternate source of energy for their homes. Renewable energy carries a bright future and is cheaper than the electricity we produce from furnace oil.

If you are thinking about installing a wind mill at your house, you need to take few factors in to consideration. First and most important is your daily electricity consumption. In your home if you are running just fans and light bulbs along with necessary home appliances than windmill is definitely a go ahead. Secondly if you are living in a hilly area than wind mill is a better option as compared to solar panels (normally considered by everyone ), which require intense amount of sunlight to generate electricity. Solar energy and wind can also be used simultaneously. On a cloudy day when sunlight may be blocked, wind mill can offer us with an alternate means of charging the batteries. As a result we get uninterrupted electrical supply. But keep in mind you need a wind for a wind mill. Coastal areas are well suited for installation of wind mills.

If you want to read about the technical details and cost of installation, you may visit the below given link.

Wind turbines can easily be installed in remote regions where the topography doesn’t allow the access of transmission lines. Above all its benefits the most important is its cost effectiveness, it is one of the lowest-priced renewable energy technologies available today, costing between four and six cents per kilowatt-hour.

Wind mills come in different sizes and production capacity. All you need is, to think seriously about this source of energy as an alternate to your state supplied electricity. Though it’s just the start but wind energy carries a bright future for the generation to come.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Renewable Energy


In economics almost every law can be contradicted, there is always another side of the coin presented by another school of thought, but there is one which we can say forms the basis of economics and cannot be contradicted; Scarcity. Scarcity actually led to invention of economics. Earth has limited resources but unlimited wants hence being economic is necessary to fulfill demand with limited supply.

Same case applies to our energy sources. Our main source of energy has been fossil fuels for centuries, which are used to drive almost everything we today consider a necessity like cars, trains, electricity etc. But the problem is that fossil fuels like everything else are limited and sources are depleting rapidly and the world is energy hungry and this hunger continues to escalate with exponentially increasing population. Fossil fuels are expected to last for approximately another 50 years. A serious question is what will this energy-famished world do after 50 years?

As the cliché goes where there is a will there is a way. If seen from a hindsight view we can say that up until now sources of energy were being searched under our feet but the answer to this problem lies above the surface of the earth. In Hinduism Sun is considered a God, ignore the religious part Sun although not God but is unquestionably an infinite source of energy same goes for the wind no matter how many walls you put up wind will still be there in totality. These are the purest form of nature and thanks to the clever thinking of engineers we can now derive energy from these infinite sources. This form of energy is not limited to time and will continue to strive as far as this planet is alive. An added advantage of these energy sources, appropriate term is Renewable energy, is that it has no harmful by-product like fossil fuels have in the form for carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases etc. hence we also term it as Green Energy. Renewable energy related to sun is called Solar Energy. It basically uses sunlight to create electricity. Wind Energy, as the name suggests, uses wind to drive huge turbines which consequently produce Electricity. Other renewable energy forms include geothermal, hydroelectric energy.

One might ask why should as an individual should you use renewable energy. Let us assume that a billionaire has vast amount of fossil fuels at his disposal why should he opt for renewable energy. Logical answer would be that his fossil fuel won’t last forever but again we assume that he says they will last till he dies then the answer would be that Renewable energy is a clean source of energy with minimum environmental effect we now assume that he is an idiot and says he does not care about environment then the next and best answers which he will have no rebuttal to is that renewable energy is cheaper than any other form of energy. Yes Hydroelectricity is cheaper compared to the energy produced through fossil fuel burning (with the exception of Nuclear Energy but don’t want to promote that for obvious reasons, just remember the Hiroshima Nagasaki episode).

Jokes apart renewable energy is the best solution to the problem created from fossil fuel scarcity. And as an individual and responsible global citizen one should try to use solar energy or small windmills to run their houses and not only drastically cut your expenses on utility bills but also cut the greenhouse gases which you are indirectly producing by using electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. 
On a larger scale using renewable energy will help our country become self sufficient and reduce our dependency on other nations for import of oil and gas to be used as a source of energy. 

Summarizing the concept of renewable energy, its importance will continue to take a wider portion on the paper in the upcoming years. We must all remember and acknowledge that eventually the world will have to shift to renewable sources of energy but we should try to preserve our non-renewable energy sources. With the scientists and big powers now taking responsibility on energy matters, it is a good sign for everyone.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pike Co. schools to test natural disaster lessons - FOX6 WBRC -

TROY, Ala. (AP) - Teachers at two Pike County elementary schools are going to test new curriculum meant to educate students on natural disasters and how to prepare for them.
WAKA-TV reports ( ) the Pike County Extension Office and the county's emergency management agency developed the curriculum with help from Troy University, the county commission and the Troy city council. The curriculum will be tested this month at two elementary schools and is expected to feature four lessons.
Pike County Extension Coordinator Grant Lyons says students are more likely to understand the severity of natural disasters if they understand the science involved in severe weather events. Lyons says the knowledge will likely help students prepare for natural disasters as well.
Information from: WAKA-TV,
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

DiCaprio: In a Few Decades, Renewable Energy Could Supply 100% of Our ... - Huffington Post

Green World Rising, one episode of a four-part documentary series produced in collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, is a clarion call to save our species.
U.N. delegates and the world's leading scientists are meeting in Copenhagen this week before releasing another frightening report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report will warn governments around the world that persistent burning of greenhouse gasses is, "increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems."
This is just the latest in a string of climate reports by intergovernmental bodies, universities, and research teams trying to pin down what planet Earth will look like if it continues its trajectory toward a two to three degree Celsius increase in global temperatures and beyond. The picture is grim, but there still is hope to saving our species and world from the most devastating effects of rapid climate change.
It begins by recognizing the problem. As Leonardo DiCaprio states right off the top in the documentary, "Climate change is happening now and is caused by human activity." That means we must fundamentally change human activity: from how we generate energy to how we transport goods and ourselves from place to place to how we grow our food.
In Green World Rising, we're introduced to new solar, wind, and geothermal industries on the cutting edge of a green world. Like Mosaic, Inc., which is "banking on the sun" by deploying solar panels on residential rooftops giving individuals energy freedom from dirty coal fired power plants as well as a financial kick-back when that excess solar energy is spread around the grid to others.
This form of "decentralization" is crucial in the development of alternative energies. To beat back the worst effects of climate change, we have to replace our 19th and 20th century modes of energy and food production and transportation.
No longer tethered to centralized fossil fuel depots, electric cars and trains and eventually planes will be able to move us around the planet in a clean, efficient manner while also reducing our global carbon emission by one-third.
And the giant centralized factory farms that have come to dominate the food industry with their pesticides and disregard for the soil, can be replaced by small, organic, bio-diverse farms focused on local food production.
The threat of climate change is real. But, as DiCaprio states, "We have the solutions. Human ingenuity working alongside Earth's natural systems is building a new world that is sustainable and self-reliant."
This can be done within our lifetimes. Green World Rising shows us how. It's an important film that's part of a crucially important film series that comes at a time when our place on this planet is in peril.
Copyright ©2014, Inc. "The Huffington Post" is a registered trademark of, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Local counties receive grants to improve emergency preparedness - University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily


Albemarle County Sheriff's office to purchase thermal imaging device

Agencies in Albemarle, Buckingham and Greene counties will receive grants totalling nearly a quarter of a million dollars to improve emergency preparedness.
The grants will come from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s State Homeland Security Grant Program.
Every year, federal priorities for the grants are set, and states file applications based on these priorities and their needs. In the past, some grants have focused on issues of terrorism, while others have centered on natural disasters, such as hurricanes, said Laura Southard, the public outreach coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
“This year, in the 2014 grant program, one of the priorities was to help the first responder agencies get tools and equipment and other resources they might need to keep communities in Virginia [and other states] safe and better prepared,” Southard said.
The Office of the Secretary of Public Health received 187 proposals, which totaled more than $23 million, but the office only accepted about one-fifth of the proposals.
“There’s been less money for the states and the localities than when the program started after 9/11,” Southard said. “There was more work to do and more money — we should be better prepared to respond at this point.”
The Albemarle County Sheriff’s office is among one of the agencies who received a grant. The grant of $6,745 will be used to purchase a thermal imaging device to be used for search and rescue.
“This device will enable us to pick up thermal images in both day and night,” Sheriff J.E. Harding said. “It will prove helpful in areas of thick cover.”
Harding said most grants that the Charlottesville area receive go to the Albemarle County Police Station because it is a larger organization.
“We provide most of search and rescue for Albemarle County, so that’s why the grant was awarded to us,” Harding said.
After receiving grants from the federal government, VDEM is responsible for allocating the money to localities, including counties and towns, based on the project proposals they submit. This year, local emergency managers had a say in which local proposals would be approved.
“[The proposals] could be equipment that they need, such as personal protective equipment, training, and sometimes the money can be used for communicating with the public theater through brochures, websites or meetings.” Southard said.
In addition to the thermal imaging device, Albemarle County received funding for new personal protective equipment such as face masks, video imaging software and safety vests, for a total of $42,910. Buckingham County and Greene County received $189,171 and $9,000, respectively.
“Virginia has a great relationship with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” Southard said. “We had one of the terrorist attacks happen in Virginia when the Pentagon was hit by a plane. We’ve had really great success with getting funding and using it for projects helpful across the state.”

Published November 3, 2014 in News

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