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Your home energy system 2 (format) .pdf



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Title: Your home energy system -2 (format)
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Your home energy system

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LEGAL NOTICE:

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Table of Contents
Introduction...................................................................................4
The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of alternative power..........................................6
What you need to get started?.......................................................11
It’s time to think about using power sensibly...................................13
What is solar energy?....................................................................17
Solar water heaters......................................................................18
Installing a full solar power system.................................................26
Making sensible solar panel choices................................................39
Wind power.................................................................................46
Harnessing water power to generate electricity................................54
Conclusion...................................................................................59

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Introduction
A couple of days ago I was talking to a friend about how difficult it can
sometimes be to get children to bed nowadays with every home having
satellite TV, computer games to play and the like. He said when he was
a child, he was always in bed by 7.30 every night because they had no
electricity in the outback where his family lived.
For most of us, electricity is as essential as breathing, something
without which our life would simply collapse around our ears – you
wouldn’t be reading this without electricity as just one simple example.
And yet the way we are going, it is not impossible that by the time our
grandchildren are our age, there won’t be the unlimited supplies of
power that we take for granted.
It is a fact that the fossil fuels on which we are so reliant are not
inexhaustible and the stocks are running low very quickly, so we need
to change our way of thinking about electricity, and we need to do it
very soon. Not only that but the price of oil is never something on which
any of us can afford to rely and this applies just as much to the
electricity generation companies as it does to private motorist and
home owners.
These are facts that are becoming widely accepted even by the most
hard headed of political ‘dinosaurs’ with cities, states and provinces in
developed Western countries actively investigating alternative energy
sources. They are looking for ways of generating renewable power as

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well because if we have learned a lesson from a sometimes reckless
usage of fossil fuels, it is that they won’t last forever.
The most important thing to realize however is that unlike fossil fuels,
we as individuals do not need to rely on others to generate renewable
power for us. Indeed, if the technology and resources that are readily
available today had been around a few years ago, there would have
been no electricity free zones in any outback area anywhere in the
world because renewable energy sources are accessible for everyone.
This book is going to introduce you to the most popular renewable
energy sources, explain why they are such an attractive option for
everyone and how you go about harnessing the power available from
these energy sources. I’m also going to demonstrate why it is not
necessary to spend a fortune on installing your own energy capture
units and give you some guidance as to how you can begin to harness
tomorrow’s energy today.

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The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of alternative power
Before we start to analyze the various different alternative energy
sources that are available to you in depth, this is a brief overview of the
main renewable energy sources that are available and why you should
be using them.
Solar energy
Solar energy is probably the best-known renewable source of power, a
system based on harnessing and using the heat of the sun either to use
the heat directly or to convert it into electricity. In the same way that
heat is used in a traditional power station to drive the electromechanical
generators that produce electricity, you can do essentially the same
thing using the heat of the sun.
The technology behind harnessing the heat of the sun to generate
electricity has been understood for a long time, so it is not something
that is new or especially technologically challenging.
Nevertheless, even though the idea of capturing the energy of the sun
is not a new one, using solar energy to provide domestic heat and/or
power is not perfect as there are potential downsides.
For example, generating electricity from the sun is not as efficient as
using non-renewable resources such as oil for the major electricity
generation companies and it might be more expensive as well.
On top of this, it has traditionally been difficult to generate sufficient
amounts of power to justify the cost of investing in large-scale projects
in places that enjoy little sunshine, and of course, it is not possible to

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generate solar power at night. This is a significant problem in countries
nearer the poles where the night can be very long, particularly in
winter.
This does not of course mean that you cannot install your own solar
energy system to heat or power your home, but the amount of sunlight
available to you is a very important factor.
Even so, because modern solar energy collection systems are far more
efficient than those available a few years ago, even if you live in a place
where you do not enjoy a great deal of sunshine, it is still possible to
install a solar energy in your home with a good deal of success.
Wind power
In addition to the better-known idea of using the power of the sun to
generate electricity, many countries are actively using the wind as a
source of power. According to some estimates, it is possible that in the
future, wind power will be able to generate up to 20% of the world’s
electricity requirements, but of course for wind power to work, you have
to have wind.
Consequently, if wind power is to be an option that you can realistically
consider for generating domestic electricity, you must be located in a
place with sufficient wind to make it a worthwhile exercise. But if you do
live in a place where the wind is an everyday fact of life, generating
electricity by harnessing its power could be a realistic and attractive
option.

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Hydroelectricity and tidal power
The third option that I am going to look at in this book is the idea of
harnessing the power of water to generate electricity. This is another
idea which is not at all new as Craigside House in the North East of
England was the first property in the world to be lit using
hydroelectricity in 1878.
There are also many major hydro-electricity projects in the world, with
the Three Gorges Dam in China being the largest hydroelectricity power
plant in the world whilst the famous Hoover Dam once provided almost
all of the power that Las Vegas needed.
In the case of both hydroelectricity and tidal power, it is a question of
harnessing the movement of water to turn that movement into
electricity. Consequently, if hydroelectricity of some description is to be
a realistic option for you, you need a source of moving water with which
you can generate the required power.
Why are alternative power sources important?
The first factor that makes these alternative sources of electricity so
important is that they are all renewable.
What this means is that because the sun is always going to shine and
the wind is always going to blow, it doesn’t matter how many kilowatt
hours of electricity you generate using alternative power sources, there
will be more available every time you need it.
Furthermore, whereas burning oil to generate electricity releases
pollution into the atmosphere and nuclear power stations carry

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significant risks, alternative energy sources are safe in both respects.
There is no pollution generated by solar, wind or water power, nor are
there any significant risks attached to any of them either.
In addition, once you start to generate a proportion (or perhaps all) of
the power you need on a daily basis, you are doing something for the
common good in many ways too.
For example, because you no longer require electricity from commercial
power stations that are most probably oil or nuclear powered, you help
to reduce pollution or lower the risk for everyone else as well.
And of course, because you no longer need to buy some at electricity
from your local power generation utility, you save money every day you
generate power utilizing your own resources.
In fact, in some places, it may even be possible to take this role of
‘fulfilling your civic duty’ one stage further still as some electricity
generating companies will allow individuals who generate too much
power to feed the excess back into the main grid. As a consequence,
you can help others to reduce their reliance on oil or nuclear powered
electricity and help protect the world around us (without which, we’d all
be in a bit of a mess!) at the same time.
There are tax credits available
As a sign that society in general is becoming more aware of the need to
utilize alternative sources of energy as fossil fuel stocks are rapidly
depleted, the US Federal Government offers tax credits to individuals

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