In the past, we thought nothing of coal-fired energy. These days, however, we have realized the damage that has been done by fossil fuels over the years. No wonder, then, that so many companies have been investing in the latest technologies to find ways of producing power in an eco-friendlier way.
We’re always being told these days that we need to reduce our carbon footprints and find ways of producing electricity that are cleaner and more eco-friendly. When it comes to producing electricity at home, it can be difficult to know what to do. However, the good news is that there are numerous renewable energy options that are new and clean, and can also have the beneficial side effect of reducing your energy bills to save you money. Here, we look at some of the best ways of producing energy without damaging the environment.
Probably the most obvious and commonly seen method of producing energy in a clean and environmentally sound way is to install solar panels on your roof or in your backyard. Depending on the way in which your panels are oriented and where you live, it’s possible to generate at least 10 watts for every square foot, And, since the average house consumes around 1 kilowatt of energy, having a few feet of solar roof or yard panels will power the majority of your family’s electricity needs.
Another great option if you’re already thinking of replacing your existing roof is to consider replacing them with solar shingles. While regular roof solar panels would be mounted onto the existing property roof, these solar shingles replace the roof tiles completely for a more attractive option that will continue to satisfy your electricity requirements and save you money. The only downside of using solar power to generate electricity is, unfortunately, it is only effective if the sun is shining. That means during the night, you will either need to have energy that is on the grid or have another form of clean energy on your property.
Commonly seen offshore or at wind farms, anyone who owns a large amount of real estate is able to have a wind turbine installed on his or her property that can power their home. Of course, wind turbines also come with some downsides. For a start, they aren’t particularly attractive, and they can also be quite noisy. This doesn’t make them ideal for a residential situation, especially with neighbors.
They also take up quite a lot of room, and, in some places, zoning regulations and local laws forbid their construction completely. However, for some people, especially those who live in rural and isolated communities, a wind turbine could be the perfect option. Since wind power will always be a more stable option than solar power, a wind turbine is capable of generating your electricity by day and by night.
A Solar Oven
If you aren’t quite ready to ensure your whole home is being powered from renewable sources, you can power just part of it in an eco-friendly way by creating a solar oven. You’d be surprised by how much electricity your oven actually uses cooking your food; the sun can passively heat it in a much more affordable and environmentally sound way. As an added bonus, if your power goes off or there’s an emergency situation, you’ll still be able to heat up food.
Hydropower is an option for anyone who has flowing water somewhere on their property. It’s possible to divert a river or stream to go through your wind turbine and power your home’s appliances. There are several ways to do this. If there is sufficient vertical distance and volume of moving water, it’s possible to create plenty of power. The advantages that come with hydro-generated power are huge. For a start, it is continuous and stable, so you can always have the same level of input regardless of the weather or time of day.
Solar Air Con and Hot Water
Solar power isn’t just for generating electricity. It’s also for heating your water and powering your appliances. If you invest in a solar water heater, it will use the sun’s energy to warm a water reserve. This is then pumped through radiators or out of your showerhead or faucets. This cheap system costs a lot less than using electricity or gas to warm water and is much simpler to set up than are solar panels.
There are a number of different options when it comes to choosing a solar water heater, so finding the right system for you is essential. You can also use the sun’s heat to cool down your home. While it uses an identical principle to solar water heating, the system instead uses hot water for its air conditioner system. As your air conditioner will always use a lot more energy than virtually any other appliance in your house, it will also cost you plenty each year. However, you can use sun-heated water to cool your property down very effectively. As an added bonus, all the warm water that is made during the air conditioning is also suitable to be used in other applications around the home.
The Powerwall, or, indeed, any other large rechargeable batteries, is not just a renewable source of energy. It also works in tandem with other renewable energy home generators and can save you a lot of money even if you have no other type of renewable system.
A Powerwall is actually a rechargeable battery that is capable of storing several kilowatt hours of renewable electricity. Alone, it is capable of being programmed to use the grid for charging if the price of electricity is low and to discharge energy if the price is currently high to save money at peak times.
At its best, however, a Powerwall functions most effectively if it is combined with another kind of renewable power, such as wind or solar power. It is capable of storing any excess electricity that isn’t going to be used immediately. Therefore, you’re able to use renewable wind or solar energy even if the wind is not blowing or the sun has gone down.
Kinetic energy, which is harnessed from movement, is a great clean way to produce energy for a new generation. Today, companies are starting to use this innovative way of producing power by installing kinetic sidewalks and dance floors. The electric energy that is accumulated is then used for power services within the building or could even be rerouted to another location.
Already in use in Japan, kinetic energy is powering ticket turnstiles, and it is being used in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in a sustainable nightclub that is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. In Israel, a company has installed devices that capture energy on a busy part of the railway tracks, and this is able to harvest sufficient power to work lights, track mechanisms, and signals.
These are just some of the latest ways in which we are learning to use the world’s natural resources to produce new and clean forms of power that will take us into the future.
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