Posts by Barry Tonkin

Make renewable energy dependable

How dependable is renewable energy? Let’s answer about dependable renewable energy from the perspective of a home on the national grid or one operating in isolation. The question is about what renewable energy source is dependable. The response may be considered from a view of which is most reliable (a measure of consistency). Another way of looking at this is to consider the long-term abundance or availability of the energy source. Grid-scale dependable On the scale of a national grid,
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Solar panels work under clouds and rain

Yes, solar panels work in clouds or rain. Solar panels work under clouds. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels produce direct current (DC) electricity when the solar PV cells are illuminated by sunlight. They use light in the band of the electromagnetic spectrum from infrared, visible light and into the ultraviolet light wavelength. Anything that can reduce the visibility through the panel’s protective glass will reduce the electrical output of the panels. Dust/ dirt on the panel, fog, clouds, and rain will
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Is renewable energy different, or not.

Is renewable energy different to electricity from fossil fuels? An electron of renewable electricity is exactly the same as an electron of electricity generated by a conventional power station. Thermal coal and nuclear fuel are conventional energy sources for generating electric power. There is no difference in the electricity from conventional power stations or that from a renewable source. Power is fed into the national electricity grid from many different locations. Electricity comes from hydropower, geothermal, fossil fuel, nuclear fuel, wind, and solar.
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Is the payback period important?

Is the payback period important for solar panels? Is there such a thing as payback time for solar panels? Portable solar panels are a source of DC electricity. They provide power to the standard DC appliances. Solar panels can be the power source of portable battery chargers (and wireless device chargers). Solar panels can be used for running some DC equipment during the daytime using power from the sun. There are portable solar panels available at a small scale that can
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Portable solar panel for charging

Portable solar panel for charging You can use a portable solar panel for charging. They are a source of DC electricity, which provide power to the standard wireless phone charger. There are many solar power phone chargers already available that can be wireless or plugged into the portable panel. The portable solar panel industry has multiple items that have the right output to charge the battery for an iPhone or android. Wireless charging works using electromagnetic induction. The charger uses an
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Replacing conventional power with renewables

Could solar and wind energy be enough? Replacing conventional power with renewables may happen over time; over a long time. Most arguments favour replacing old thermal coal power plants and ageing nuclear electrical generation. The conventional wisdom proposes options that will provide steady baseload power. Baseload power implies electricity that will be available 24 hours per day 365 days per year. The arguments for renewables including hydro, wind and solar power will be about their credentials in the environmental space. Arguments
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Charging Batteries with Solar Panels

Charging Batteries with Solar Panels When charging your batteries with solar panels you need time for the electrical supply to be held in the battery. The amount of charge current available depends on how long the sun shines and its intensity (irradiance) on the solar panels. The current from the panels will vary with location and time. The available irradiance depends on the latitude of the location, the season of the year, the angle of the solar panels relative to the
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How to save on fuel for Vehicles

Electric vehicles To save on fuel for a gas-powered car you could drive it like it’s a Smart Fortwo Electric Drive vehicle. Alternatively, you could buy an EV. The people who buy EV cars know their batteries can be charged at home. This can be done from the grid or from your solar PV system. That is one way to save on fuel to afford the pleasure cruises. Some better electric vehicles have the acceleration and feel of a V8 without
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Cost of Harvesting Free Energy

Is your energy free? Renewable Energy from the sun arrives on earth for free. It costs nothing to stand in the sunlight harvesting free energy as warmth. However, harvesting energy for use or converting energy from sunlight comes at a cost. Using sunlight to heat water or converting it to the electricity needs a capital outlay. Solar-generated electricity must be transmitted to consumers. Solar photovoltaic panels absorb sunlight that arrives free at the location. You can heat water or generate
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Clean solar panels improve efficiency

Should I clean my roof-mounted solar panels? The usual recommendation for clean solar panels is once a year. Cleaning roof-mounted solar panels might vary for conditions. Most installers agree that clean solar panels are more efficient. Some areas are especially dusty, or there are many trees and birds. The situation might demand cleaning the panels more regularly than annually. A regular visual check from the ground will usually be sufficient to see if the glass needs cleaning. One place where
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