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Homesteading with Solar Power

By: James Murray-White - Updated: 2 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Solar Power Solar Energy Solar Energy

Solar power is an easy and efficient source of energy, and solar energy is readily available to anyone who wishes to power his or her home this way.

Solar energy really is energy derived from the sun, and it is one of the most efficient forms of energy available, along with energy derived from wind and water power. In terms of energy efficiency, solar power needs technology to capture and convert it, and solar power is nigh on impossible to store as energy or power, but it can be connected to a national power grid system, and used anywhere.

Solar energy is clearly most effective and efficient in Countries and regions that have longer exposure to the sun: the Middle East for instance and other desert areas, where the sun can burn intensely for up to 10 hours a day. It is least effective and efficient in some of the Nordic countries or the far north of Scotland where solar energy can barely penetrate cloudy conditions, but despite this, it is possible to capture energy in these conditions for some parts of the day and through different seasons.

Using Solar Power at Home

To homestead or run a house on or with some element of solar energy is relatively straightforward and well worth considering. There are several options of the solar technology available within the UK, made, sold and installed by several companies, and some Local Councils and the Environment Agency have offered grants over the years in some regions to pay for at least some of the high cost of equipment and its installation.

Check with the Council in the local area, and they should also be able to advise on any National grants that are available. Companies that make and sell solar power technology in the area will be listed in the phone book or in a local ‘green’ pages directory of green suppliers. In this area it is certainly worthwhile comparing different options from different companies, or enlisting the help of a professional consultant who can assess what is needed and what is possible in this particular case.

The range of options to capture solar power to use as energy is varied. They start at small portable gadgets that are positioned daily in the full glare of the sun, which can charge cell phones and mp3 players,to the other end of the scale, which are large static solar panels permanently installed upon the roof.

In between these options are smaller moveable panels, which can be turned to face the shifting angles of the sun, and ways of using thermal heat, or passive solar heat, which would be built into a buildings original design.

Whichever type of technology and system is chosen, be assured that using solar power and solar energy, to power some or all of the apparatus within a house, is an easy and eventually cost effective and efficient means of doing so, and it’s the greenest way possible of powering a house. By using solar power, the environment is not damaged in energy extraction or creation, and by using solar power, humans are literally using abundant energy from the sun.

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