Some people are concerned about the strain and cost they will encounter on their electric utility if they were to purchase a hot tub. Ingenious creators, eco-friendly, friends of the planet have come up with an option that will give you all of the amenities that a hot tub will afford you and they’ve made it so the tub is heated by solar power, not from a plug!

The first thing to consider when you’re looking into purchasing a solar-heated hot tub is understand that this is a unit that will need to be outdoors. If your idea of the perfect hot tub setting is in a room of your home, there is likely to be an absence of sunlight that you will need to heat your tub. That said; the other consideration is the area where you live. If you live in a region that sees little sunlight then the solar-heated hot tub is not something that would work.

Let’s say you live in an area that will sufficiently accommodate the solar-heated hot tub and you are comfortable with the idea of having it outside of the house, what next? Do you fill the hot tub and wait for the sunlight to heat it up? What about when the sun goes down, what happens to the heat that has accumulated during the daylight hours?

It is recommended that instead of having to wait for the sun to come out in order to enjoy a hot temperature of water, there are types of solar heat equipment that will allow you to store the heat that is solar generated in order to be used later when it is time to enjoy the benefits of the hot tub itself. It may appear to be an expense that is not worth it and it is an up-front expense, but the pay off is that by having the solar heated unit; you will never have to plug it in and further drain those resources. In the end, the cost saving measures that a solar heated hot tub will allow, far out weigh the need for electrical energy or propane gas.

Solar heated hot tubs, like their electric and propane powered counterparts will always benefit from the use of a safety cover that is designed to contain the heat generated, rather than having to waste time and money waiting for the water to heat up itself.

If you are considering an eco-friendly option for a hot tub, the solar heated hot tub is where you want to look. Keeping in mind that it will need to be outside, that indoors is not an option; you live in a region that is sunny enough to properly heat up the hot tub and you know ahead of time that there is the possibility of the cost for the solar heater, by all means, go solar. Know that you’ll be able to reap the benefits of the use of a hot tub and you will be doing your part in the effort to protect the environment.

Do you think that using solar power for home is a great idea? Well, only you can answer that question. Before you embark on any project, you must have enough knowledge about it. Make sure that you do your homework first and learn everything you can about solar power. The world is suffering greatly from global warming and one of the primary causes is the use of fossil fuels to create electricity. Electricity is a necessity and because of this fact, people canít do away with it. There is a need to look for alternative energy sources and a very good one is the use of solar power.

Before you make a decision and use solar power for your home, here are the important considerations that you should look into:

1. Where do you live? What is the weather in your area? Is it always sunny in your area or is it always raining? Are there tall trees near your house? You must answer these questions first before you start with any DIY project to create solar power for your home. If the weather is frequently sunny, then it might be a good idea to use solar power. For those with lots of trees in their yard, you need to get rid of them but this is not a very easy thing to do since trees are also very important. Local authorities might not permit you to do cut down huge tall trees. Study the weather in your area as well as your location. To use solar power, you will need the rays of the sun. Rain, clouds, and trees can block the sunís rays and so you might end up wasting money.
2. Where do you plan to install the solar panels? You must determine the place where there is lots of sunlight all throughout the day. You canít install the solar panels in an area where there is very little sunlight. Study your homeís surroundings. Find the perfect place where the panels can get a lot of sunlight so that you can benefit from it greatly.
3. Do you have enough knowledge on how to connect solar power into the electricity grid of your home? You can also conduct a research about it. The solar power DIY projects usually provide a complete guide on how to install the solar power to your homes. Just follow the instructions carefully to avoid committing mistakes. If youíre not that sure, you can always get an electrician to help you with the task.

Solar power can reduce your monthly electric bills by more or less 80% depending on your solar power project. In no time at all, your home can become self sufficient and you will no longer depend largely on the conventional energy sources.

Aside from that, the carbon emissions are also reduced thereby saving the environment from further damage. With a solar powered home, you can enjoy an endless electric supply that is clean, green, and fresh.

Get a solar power DIY kit now and get the needed materials. You can also ask other family members to help you out. That is, if you think that solar power is best for your home. Go through the three considerations mentioned above so that you can make an informed decision. This is the time to save money and help the environment, act now.

Our environment is suffering and our resources are depleting because we use too much of everything. Did you know that taking small steps to save our environment can also help you save money? If you follow one or all of the tips below, you can actually see real savings on your energy bill. You don’t need to do everything but you can do something.

In a typical home, appliances and electronics make up about 20% of energy use. The first step is to look for Energy Star labels when buying appliances and products. Energy Star labels are strict guidelines created by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency for energy efficiency. Follow some of these tips to help make the environment better for our future generations and save money at the same time.

Light bulbs: Use energy saving CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs) instead of the conventional incandescent light bulbs. Although CFLs cost 3-5 times as much as the incandescent light bulb, CFLs only use one-quarter of the electricity and lasts years longer. Each CFL bulb contains 5mg of mercury so you will have an extra item to sort in the recycling bin.

Dishes: Never load your dishes in a dishwasher unless they are a full load. Air-dry dishes instead of using a dryer.

Laundry: Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot water when you can. Instead of using a dryer, air-dry or hang your clothes on a clothes line. Don’t use the dryer unless it houses a full load.

Refrigerators: Think of what you want to take out before you open the refrigerator. Leaving the door open will waste extra energy.

Take Showers, less Baths: Taking showers instead of baths will reduce water usage and also lower your heating bill.

Turn Off all Appliances Not in Use: Turn off all lights, computers, and electronics when they are not in use. Plug all your electronics such as computers, TVs, and DVDs into power strips. Using a power strip can reduce electricity used to power home appliances. Even when your appliances are turned off, energy is still being consumed from the outlet. To avoid extra energy costs, unplug the appliance or use a power strip. The power strip has an off button to cut all the power from the appliance.

Weather-Strip Windows and Doors: Check windows and doors for air leaks. Air leaks can be sealed by caulking or weather-stripping. By securing the leaks in your home, hot and cool air will be kept in your home longer. Less heating and cooling will help you save on energy costs.

Look for Energy Star label: Energy Star labels are only given when appliances and products meet strict guidelines of energy efficiency from Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

Solar energy for residential houses is nothing new. It has just been relegated to the background in lieu of rising cost of real estate; newer more advanced building materials, design and the limitation of resources.

Since man started building homes, sunlight played a major influence in the design. In fact, even in the more advanced urban planning method of the Ancient Chinese and Greeks, the orientation of the buildings is as much as possible directed towards where it could capture the most sunlight.

The ancients might not be as intellectually sophisticated then to use catch phrases as passive solar and thermal mass but when they build, they were building in compact proportion, employing overhangs, producing insulations and building in manners that direct the airflow within the structure and producing well lit, well ventilated spaces using the relative position of the sun to the orientation of their structures.

Lately, as the conventional sources of energy became more expensive, homeowners were once again turning to the sun for energy requirements.

Since the 1950’s, harnessing the sun’s rays has been developing and today the solar cell technology has achieved very efficient levels that modern (so-called green house) designs apply the sun’s power to provide energy for the home.

While solar energy is free, the device that will convert it to run our appliances is not. To provide solar energy for the home, solar cells called photovoltaic made from semi-conducting materials, are grouped into modules. These solar panels are mounted on rooftops, yards or open spaces where it can capture the maximum amount of sunlight.

Whenever possible, the panels will be installed facing south to get the most out of the sunlight but tracking systems are also used to follow the direction of the sun. The solar panels collect the energy from the sunlight. The process basically is that when the panels are exposed to sunlight, the electrons are separated form the atoms. This movement of the electrons creates electricity.

To store power, pumps are often used – circulating water in the cells. The water goes into a storage tank where the power is stored, ready for use. Sometimes, the use of gravity is employed if it will just the same store the heated water in to the tank.

In spite of all the development in solar energy though, the use of this technology is not enough to provide power to the whole house. The best method so far can only fulfill about 80% of a households power needs. The employment of solar energy for the home will still require the use of the conventional power distribution method.

Powering the homes by solar means will still, for a while be augmented by a local power distribution agency. To many, this is already a good starting point. Homeowners that feel that the high cost of powering their houses through solar power, is justified when compared to the price that is now being paid for conventional electrification method where horrendous amounts of CO2 are being dumped into the atmosphere just to generate a pitiful amount of electricity.

However, due in part to the rising costs of energy, the technology for solar energy has been undergoing rapid phases of development. Experts are confident that within five years, powering the home through the solar method will be made widely available for those who prefer it as its sole energy source.

The fact is, the 350,000,000 terawatts of power available from the sun is so huge that an exposure to a full sun in only 15 minutes will be enough to generate the world’s energy requirement

Compare that with energy that is generated by nuclear and fossil fuel. Presently, the available data for fossil and nuclear fuel is 10,800,000 terawatts which we all know to be non renewable.

To produce electricity, utility companies burn fossil fuels that translate to 1.3 pounds of carbon dioxide to produce 1kw of electrical power. This unwanted CO2 emissions are dumped into the atmosphere. This then translates into each typical home being accountable yearly for 22,000 pounds of CO2 emissions.

The harnessing of the sun’s rays is clean and safe. It produces no emissions and it is practical and may in the years ahead, prove very economical. In the United States, only 0.1% of power that is generated is solar energy driven. So what are the obstacles?

According to the Wall Street Journal (in an article that was released in its August 2008 issue), there are groups, backed by political groups that are lobbying against the putting up of transmission lines for solar power. The construction of distribution lines for solar energy is also being blocked by environmental activists that restrict the delivering of solar energy to those who want it in their homes.

Another obstacle is that the power grid in the United States which was designed more than 100 years ago is now so congested in many regions. To deliver the solar power to consumers, scientists and engineers will have to come out with another cost efficient plan to transfer huge amounts of energy from one location to another.

Solar panels are considered expensive. Although a home increases its value by folds when solar powered, the costs still could be prohibitive to most that unless the non silicon flexible solar panels that are now being developed are released for market consumption, powering homes through solar energy could still be very limited.

Other forms of rewards to avoid fossil fuel use should still be effectively placed. The 30% tax cut to projected cost previously awarded will be more attractive if other federal credits are included to encourage further investments.

The global warming issue that has been brought to the papers is a recurrent subject of talk shows and remains to be a good news item. Also, the too unstable pump prices, should and for most part, already be a good incentive to use this alternative source of energy.

However, effective solar energy transmission to homes will remain to be very hard unless these obstacles are breached. Assuming that these obstacles are solved today, it will still take some 10 years to convert 20% of American homes into solar energy users. Meanwhile, solar panels on individual homes remain to be the most viable alternative.

The good part to solar energy quest is that technology is advancing very rapidly. Nano technology for solar power is being developed and may be available in five years time. Other breakthroughs in cell designs are also being developed that could, in the next few years, be a cost-effective way of generating energy without having to rely anymore on fossil and nuclear power.

Since ancient times the sun was considered as a source of energy: spiritual and other wise. It is so sad to find out that in fact only 10% of solar energy is actually used. Perhaps if we are more aware of its use and its capacity as a sustainable power then maybe we will be able to use and promote solar power.

The Beginning of All Things

Unbeknownst to a lot of people, solar energy actually is the source of numerous sustainable powers like radiation, waves and wind. Solar energy has many usage it can give us light, heat, promote cooling, it can be harnessed through technology to power many things like for machines cooking, distillation, hot water, and disinfection.

Technology and The Sun

As we all know heat produces unfathomable amounts of energy. This energy has to be aided by technology in order to be converted into something that is usable by mankind. There are two types of solar technology, the passive and or the active solar energy. A classification between the two depends on how the heat from the sun is harnessed and channeled into ordinary things powered by electricity.

Active Solar Technologies use solar (photovoltaic) panels, combined with solar thermal collectors, and then channeled thru mechanical or electrical equipment. Passive solar technology is merely a technique in order to capture the suns useful rays; for example a skylight.

Electricity From The Sun

We are all familiar with the term ìsolar panelî; solar panels convert the heat from the sun into actual electrical current with the use of what is called the photoelectric effect. Concentrated solar power produces insurmountable energy. In fact it was greatly utilized during the time of the Ancient Chinese Civilization.

To concentrate the power of the sun, a series of mirrors and lenses are used in order to focus the light in one area thereby producing a single beam. There are a lot of technological advances out there that concentrates solar energy in order to produce a concentrated amount of power they are: the solar power tower, the parabolic dish and the solar trough.

Dilemma, Solution, And Economics.

The primary concern of the use of solar energy as a sustainable power is that there is no sun during the night. Modern times require continuous supply that is why storing solar energy is a key component of solar technology. Thermal storage systems can store solar energy. Newer scientific discoveries also paved the way for thermal mass storage systems which vary storage capacity and function by storing more energy during off peak times and varying supply at peak consumption hours.

It usually takes a crisis for people to actually look at possibilities, and like with almost everything else solar energy began getting attention after the 1979 oil crisis and the 1973 oil embargo. In fact solar technology began its appearance in the 18 hundreds. IN the past solar energy as a sustainable power was a dream but cannot be realized due to expensive technology needed to use it.

Today, with the rising costs of electricity, the volatile oil prices, and its degenerating source have paved the way for solar energy once more. The consciousness environmental welfare has prompted companies to manufacture affordable solar technologies and sell it commercial. Indeed it is a fact that solar technology is expensive but it is only in the purchase of the machines needed in the long run if you calculate it, you are actually getting a bargain.

Thousands of people are beginning to invest in solar powered devices and panels because of its several known benefits. You can start helping the environment and maximize the potential of your energy source by using solar power instead. You have to know more about the available types and the features of each. You should know your source better so that you can get the best deals. Here are some more tips and tricks on how to begin.

It’s a Renewable Resource

Solar energy is considered a renewable resource. This means that reliability can be acquired day by day. You can expect to continue getting power and energy from the sun for several decades without having to recharge batteries or keep purchasing new parts. Even though the energy may not always be readily available during cloudy days or at night, the availability is still there everyday. The solar energy supply will be available as long as the sun is existing.

On the other side, oil is not considered as a renewable source of energy. Oil can take millions of years to form. At present, oil reserves are being depleted at a very fast rate compared to its time of development. People will have to prepare for the consequences of running out of this resource.

Helping the Environment

Solar energy is non-polluting. This means that you can save the ecosystem and keep greenhouse gases from forming. You can expect a cooler and cleaner surrounding by investing in solar powered devices. Compared to oil, oil burning will release carbon dioxide plus other greenhouse gases into the air. The process of getting oil can also lead to damaged or compromised ecosystems because of spills and dredging.

Cheap and Easy

People do not have to keep maintaining solar cells, because a panel can last about 30 years or more if well kept. Solar cells can also be made from very cheap materials. You can even construct the panels yourself. You can purchase ready-to-build solar cell panels over the internet. The materials will be delivered right to your doorstep in just a matter of days.

Even though solar panels and the relative accessories like solar lights are expensive to purchase at the beginning, the total sum you save in the years to come will be bigger, thereby boosting your savings instead of investing in a non-renewable energy source. The energy provided by the sun is readily available and free. Oil prices continue to increase every week. The materials and tools needed to acquire oil are also becoming expensive.

Easy Installation

You can expect to have your own solar panels in just a matter of hours or days. Allocate one day to construct and install your solar cell panels. There are so many books and online resources where you can learn more about solar energy and how to harness the power yielded to the maximum. Talk to other experts and find out about other benefits by adjusting your setup. The good thing about solar energy today is that more and more people are becoming experts in the field, thereby widening your options in getting information.

As the cost of living continues to rise, energy reports and broadcasts are crammed with energy saving tips and suggestions. Some energy saving tips require initial investments, some just solicit a change of lifestyle. The best energy saving tips are those that require almost nothing but changing a habit. This one is about the wise energy saving choices.

1.Limit, as much as possible, the use of water. Of course water is not that expensive (at least for now); but saving water saves energy. When cleaning the driveway, the deck or patio, using the broom instead of the hose would save several hundreds of gallons of water a year.

2.A push mower is a good idea to mow a small lawn. Aside from not using electricity or fuel to ride the mowing machine, it is also good exercise.

3.Rakes are good leaf movers. Like the push mower, you do not need energy to fuel up a machine to get the job done. There is also a sense of nostalgia in using this traditional tool.

4.Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to light up your driveway or as a security light. CFLs are one of the most handy and energy efficient products that you can have. If you are worried about bugs sticking to the light, there are yellow CFLs that are available.

5.When shopping, avoid going for the disposable ones. Disposable products need more landfills and landfills emit dangerous gasses. Go instead for items that could be used several times over. Again when shopping, go for products that are made of better quality. They might be a little more expensive but generally, quality products last longer.

6.Bring your own bags when shopping. Paper bags are made from trees; the environment can use more of them. Plastic bags on the contrary are oil based and are not biodegradable. If you bring your bag with you, you do not only help in saving energy, you could also get a discount from your store.

7.Batteries contain toxic materials. They produce heavy metal like zinc, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, mercury etc. Thus, disposal needs proper care. Once the heavy metal in batteries seeped into the ground it has a good chance of contaminating the ground. When buying products that would need batteries, pick those that are rechargeable. That way battery disposal is limited and you save on the cost of buying new batteries.

8.Good thing that SUV sales everywhere are going down (well, at least for the environment and not for car manufacturers). SUVs use much more energy than compact sedans for the same distance. While using SUV’s could be fun, there is also that tinge of indifference to the current energy issues and environmental problems we are facing. Reducing the use of SUVs on the street may not mean much in terms greenhouse gas emissions but is a signal to manufacturers to build more energy efficient vehicles.

9.The use of solar power is an excellent idea if you want to tackle the issues of energy conservation and environment protection. If there is one thing that the world needs most at this time, it is the widespread use of solar power.

10.Energy saving devices may cost a little extra but the pays offs are much more than the extra cost in terms longer life spans and energy saved.

There are now a wide array of devices and structures powered by solar power. Solar powered cars have also risen in prominence as people became more aware of the several benefits of the renewable resource. You can save thousands of dollars in gas each month by choosing a solar powered vehicle. You have to know the different available features and inclusions first. Here are some more details on how you can get the best type.

The Solar Vehicle

A solar vehicle is defined as an electric vehicle that is powered mainly by solar energy. The energy is acquired from solar panels on the surface or the top of the vehicle. PV or photovoltaic cells change the energy of the sun straight into electrical energy. Solar cars are not used as day-to-day transportation devices currently. These are still used in engineering trials and demonstration practices, usually sponsored by private or government agenices.

Solar cars mix the technology in bicycle, aerospace, automotive and alternative energy industries. The design of the solar vehicle is limited by the energy amount placed into the car. Majority of solar cars were made with the objective of solar car races. A few exceptions include solar-powered cars and utility vehicles. Solar cars are usually fitted with the gauges similar to conventional cars. The driver has to watch the gauges closely to see potential problems and keep the car running very smoothly.

Solar cars rely on PV cells to change sunlight into electricity. 51% of sunlight in reality enters the atmosphere of the earth. Unlike solar thermal energy which transforms soalr energy to heat for industrial or household reasons, PV cells can directly change sunlight into electricity.

The Solar Array

The solar array is made of hundreds of photovoltaic solar cells that transform sunlight into electricity. To build an array, the PV cells have to be packed together to form modules that are positioned together to create an array. The bigger arrays can create more than 2 kilowatts or 2.6 hp of power.

The solar array can be installed in various ways. Horizontal arrays can be installed in the form of a free canopy. Vertical arrays can be in the form of integrated sails or free standing to get the wind energy. Adjustable solar arrays can be tilted around the travel axis to boost power when the sun is low and to the side. Integrated arrays cover the whole surface of the car with solar cells. Remote array is done by mounting the solar array at a stationary region aside from the vehicle. The trailer array is done by retrofitting present vehicles with little stability.

Practical Use

The first commercial electro-solar hybrid car, called the Venturi Astrolab was introduced in 2006. Some companies in May 2007 also worked to change a Toyota Prius to utilize solar cells to create up to 240 watts of electrical power under the sun. Golf carts are shown to have very practical uses if powered by solar energy. The Solartaxi was also recently introduced. This solar powered car traveled around the globe, or 50000 km in just 18 months.

Saving energy and saving money should not be your sole responsibility as parents. Your kids must also learn to contribute in keeping the electric bills down. This way, your effort will not get wasted and at the same time, your kids will learn good values while growing up.

Because teaching your kids to be energy efficient requires some effort, here are easy to follow suggestions you can do:

Education

Teaching your kids the importance of saving energy should be your first goal. Take note that making them understand the value of being energy efficient is more effective than enumerating the ways to save energy and leaving it at that. Teach them how conserving energy helps the environment. Tell them stories or read educational books about the importance of energy.

Lead by example

You know very well that kids tend to follow what elders do. Practice what you preach. You may have listed and posted a litany of things-to-do to conserve energy but if you don’t follow them yourself, you cannot expect your kids to follow it too. Do not just tell them to turn the lights off before leaving their room; show them by always turning the lights off every time you leave a room in your house. Education and leading by example are a good combination if you want to make good habits stick.

Make it fun

Find educational materials where your kids will learn the value of conserving energy as well as the ways on how to save it. Computer software, educational websites, books and television shows that educate and entertain kids would really make a difference on how well they will respond. This is especially applicable to kids from 5 to 10 years old.

Get your kids involved

Family activities should not limit to eating, playing and entertainment. Chores can also be a good way to bond with your kids. Manually wash the car, water the plants, clean the table, wash the dishes, clean the house etc. These are some of the things you can do with your kids while conserving energy.

Teach your kids according to their age.

Kids of different ages have different attitude on things around them. If your 5-year son doesn’t know how to turn off the lights before leaving the room, all you need to do is to talk to him well about its importance and showing him that you practice what you teach.

Your 10-year old daughter may require different approach like showing her your electric bill and explaining to her that it will greatly help if she will change her bad habits. You are teaching your 5-year old good habits while you are teaching and emphasising your 10-year old good habits and responsibility.

Same thing applies to kids of different ages. The point is, make sure that you teach your kids proper ways to conserve energy using an approach suited to their ages.

*Energy saving tips for kids.

1-Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.

2-Always turn the lights off before leaving the room.

3-Turn the computer off after use.

4-Do not hold the refrigerator open.

5-Unplug unnecessary appliance.

6-Use natural light if possible.

Saving energy is not so hard if your kids are involved. And just like any family activities you do, energy conservation should be fun, educational and driven by good motivation.