Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

How solar energy can have an impact on their life

Change is inevitable, but often does not come easily. For years, many people have resisted the chance to invest in solar panels for their homes. Most sight the high initial cost as the reason they haven't invested. Others claim that they don't understand solar panels and how solar energy can have an impact on their life.

There are a number of companies, government entities, non-profit agencies and research organizations that devote themselves wholly to furthering solar technology. Providing eco-friendly, energy efficient solutions to households across the world will have far reaching benefits to everyone involved. Understanding how solar panels work and how they can have an effect on your life can go a long way in dispelling myths and affirming truths.

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Active Solar – How does it work ?

Active Solar is basically the use of a designed & manufactured system to gather the “Solar Energy” emitted by the Sun daily (rather than the “passive” design of the building itself). The two sub-categories of Active Solar are PV (Photo-Voltaic = generating DC voltage) and Thermal (generates heat directly for Domestic Hot Water use). Both of these system types are symbolically recognizable with some type of “panel” mounted assembly, typically on near south-facing roof slopes.

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The Basic Elements of Passive Solar

“Solar Energy” discussions of the two distinct types are frequently muddled: Passive Solar & Active Solar. Ironically the “Active” version, with the symbolic PV (Photo-Voltaic) roof panels generating electricity is usually the first visual image when hearing “Solar Energy”. We’ll discuss Active later and the significance of both working in tandem.

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Are you considering solar for your home?

One of the biggest challenges with getting people to adopt residential solar applications is to help overcome the initial investment needed. With numerous state and Federal tax incentives available, there is no greater time to invest in solar energy than now.

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Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Generated Power vs. Electric Utility Company

Our region’s electric power companies’ fuel mix is:

Coal 64%
Nuclear 19%
Gas 10%
Hydro 3%
Non-Hydro Renewable 3%
Oil 1%
(Source: U.S. EPA)

Electricity from the Sun

Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta (NWUUC) is combining energy conservation and a 22.7kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system to reach its goal of a zero carbon emission facility.

The first phase of the solar PV system is a 20-module array installed in January 2009. Upon completion of all phases of the PV system there will be a total of 108-modules covering the sanctuary roof.

When completed the solar PV system will generate 2,540kWh/month or 30,480kWh/year of clean electricity.

Offsetting the same amount of electricity generated by coal-fired utility power plants will have the equivalent of one these annual positive effects on the environment:

  • 47,905 pounds of carbon dioxide not released into the atmosphere
  • 50 barrels of foreign oil not imported
  • 2,466 gallons of gasoline not consumed

 

What the Frack?! – Debunking the Myths of Hydrofracking

Engineer/Environmentalist Addresses 5 Misconceptions

By now, you’ve probably heard of the term “fracking” and have a foggy understanding that it has something to do with extracting natural gas from the ground. Unfortunately, the term has been spun to mean something new, unnatural, and rife with bad consequences, says engineer and environmentalist Greg Kozera.

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