alternative energy tutorials image
biomass from bamboo

Alternative Energy Tutorials on Energy Articles

Measuring the Power of a Solar Panel

measuring the power of a solar panel

Measuring the output power of a solar panel, cell or array gives a better understanding of the systems power performance. One of the main disadvantages of solar panels as a renewable energy device is their lack of output power when there is no sun. The performance of photovoltaic solar panels can be determined by measuring the relationship between the panels voltage, current, and therefore power output under different meteorological conditions to determine the exact amount of electrical power available from a particular solar panel

Read more »


DIY Solar Power System

diy solar power

DIY solar power systems do not have to be large home built constructions as there are plently of plug ‘n’ play home solar kits available for all sorts of applications. Designing your diy solar power kit or system requires you to make a few decisions first, such as, do I want a grid-connected or an off-grid connected system, do I want or need storage batteries as part of my system, and what are my energy requirements or daily consumption. Making solar generation from a diy kit a reality helps reduce the amount of electricity you pull from the utility grid

Read more »


Solar Gardens

solar gardens pond

Solar gardens use the sun’s energy to power pumps, fountains and ornamental lights throughout the year. We all like to see our gardens full of plants and flowers during the day, but also illuminated at night aswell. A solar powered garden uses solar photovoltaic panels to turn the suns energy into electricity and then uses this energy to power elements of their garden, whether its lighting, fountains or the occasional garden gnome. Using the free solar energy in the garden a great way of going green thereby helping to save the planet, and is a safer, easier and cheaper way than installing mains powered electrical equipment around your garden

Read more »


Collecting Solar Power More Effectively

roof solar panels

Solar panels produce electrical energy using photovoltaic cells.These photovoltaic or PV cells are made of semiconductor silicon based materials similar to those found in modern day computer chips. When the suns rays hit these silicon cells, it knocks electrons loose from their atoms to generate electricity as they flow through the cell. By improving the way in which the suns rays are absorbed by a PV cell using tracking, collectors or new materials solar panels are able to collect solar power more effectively improving a systems performance.

Read more »


Pico Solar Systems

pico solar light

Pico solar systems use small scale photovoltaic panels for lighting and battery charging applications. There are still many people around the world who have no access to an electricity grid connection or require a portable energy source for camping or RV’s so pico solar systems can help in provide the essential energy required to fill this gap. Pico solar systems of only a few watts have experienced significant development in the past few years, combining very efficient LED bulbs with sophisticated charge controllers and energy efficient storage batteries providing power for lighting, phone charging or powering a radio, etc.

Read more »


Solar Radiation

solar radiation

Solar radiation from the sun is the major component of a photovoltaic panel in the generation of electricity. The sun emits huge amounts of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation which travels from the sun’s core to the Earth’s surface throughout the day. The amount of solar radiation which reaches the Earth’s surface varies daily due to atmospheric conditions of dust particles, water vapour and clouds. The performance of any PV system is mainly influenced by the amount of solar radiation that arrives at the surface of the PV’s panel

Read more »


How To Size A Solar System

alternative energy sources

Sizing a solar system for your home or garden, whether off-grid with battery backup or grid-tied can be a daunting task. But reducing your electricity usage through conservation and efficiency measures as wellas a good home design plays an important role in keeping down the size and cost of any photovoltaic (PV) system you want to install. Using energy efficient appliances and lighting, as well as non-electric alternatives wherever possible, can make an off-grid solar photovoltaic powered system a cost competitive alternative to the utility power grid

Read more »


Solar Cell I-V Characteristic

solar cell

Solar cell I-V characteristics curves show the current and voltage characteristics of a particular photovoltaic cell, module or array in order to give a detailed description of its solar energy conversion ability and efficiency at different light intensities. Solar cell I-V characteristics curves are use to measure a cells open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current, fill factor and efficiency with the rating of a PV cell or panel depending on these parameters

Read more »


Connecting Batteries Together

deep cycle battery

Batteries connected together in a variety of combinations can increase both storage capacity and power output compared to a single battery. When two or more batteries are connected together the resulting battery pack will have either a different voltage or a different amperage depending upon the confguration. In series connected batteries, the individual battery voltages add together to determine the battery pack voltage, while parallel connected batteries produce a battery pack capacity which is the sum of the capacities of the individual batteries

Read more »


Solar Cell Turns Photons into Electrons

solar cell

Photovoltaic cells turn the photons from sunlight into electrons producing a current flow, thus photovoltaic PV cells are powered by incident sunlight and so are commonly called solar cells. Solar cells are made using silicon based semiconductor materials with different electrical properties. An n-type semiconductor material with excess negatively charged electrons is fused together with a p-type semiconductor which has an excess of positively charged holes to create a p-n junction. When a photon of light hits this p-n junction, electrons are release to form an electrical current

Read more »