Your Questions About Solar Power

Jenny asks…

Can you run an entire home strictly on solar power?

I am building a log home several miles from the nearest power hookup. It will take nearly $30,000 to run power to my homesite. Solar appears to be a viable option, if it is possible to run the whole house. I can get propane delivered if necessary, but if I can do it all with solar, I'd be more likely to go that route.

ssadmin answers:

Well, I think it should be possible, im sure it will be much more economical than the $30,000
the big question is: how much sun do you get?
Sunlight would roughly have an incident power of 1000 W/m^2, and if u have a solar cell efficiency of say 12% that would give you 120 W /.m^2
also, u dont have to use solar cells for all your purposes:
build your hot water tank on a tower, make it to be out of some metal and paint it black, that would give you really hot water. ( you may need to cover it with insulation at night, or build two tanks, one to heat the water in, and a lower insulated tank to transfer the water once it is heated)
also, you can do your cooking on solar power, the cooker will look like a wierd contraption consisting of various lenses and mirrors, but it can be done, you can design it yourself with some basic knowledge of physics, i have built models in school projects which cook really great food. ( it may require a small opening on your kitchen ceiling, and apparatus mounted on your roof.)
finally, i would strongly advocate the use of solar power, and encourage you to use it, as it is THE cleanest way of energy, and THE solution to the world's upcoming energy crisis.

Carol asks…

The parabolic collector of a solar power plant is 12m wide and 4 m deep. Where should the steam pipe be?

The parabolic collector of a solar power plant is 12m wide and 4 m deep. Where should the steam pipe be located (distance from vertex) so that all incident rays will be concentrated on it?

ssadmin answers:

First, Assuming an arbitrary plane perpendicular to the parabola axis – say the plane connecting the edge of the parabolic collector – then the length of the line connecting the plane to a point at the parabola surface plus the length of the line connecting the same point on the surface to the parabola focus will be the same at any point on the parabola surface.

From the above fact the focus of the parabola can be determined hence the location where the steam pipe should be located for max. Power.

To find the focus distance from the vertex we assume the following:
a = the perpendicular distance on the axis to the collector edge = 1/2 parabola width = 6m
b = distance from the focus to the collector edge
c = collector depth = 4m
d = distance from the vertex to the focus

Now according to the above stated fact:
(d+c) = (b+0) = sqrt(a^2 + (c-d)^2), squaring both sides,
d^2 + 2dc + c^2 = a^2 + c^2 – 2dc + d^2 , making reduction leads to,
4dc = a^2, so d = (a^2) / 4c = (6^2) / (4*4) = 2.25m

Then the steam pipe should be located 2.25 meters above the vertex and at the center axis of the parabolic collector.

Robert asks…

Where can I find an argument paper from a scholarly source about solar power?

I have to find an argumentative paper about 3 to 5 pages long from a scholarly source. Id like it to have something to do with solar power.

ssadmin answers:

JSTOR and ProQuest are the two popular databases for scholarly sources. Most schools have subscriptions.

Atma, don't assume he is going to plagiarize. He's most likely gathering research, which is why he's asking for a scholarly source.

Paul asks…

How do you install solar power direct to your meter, and do you need a power inverter?

how do you install solar power to your meter without useing batteries do you still need a power inverter and do you need a special permit in indiana

ssadmin answers:

You would use a grid-tied inverter to connect between the solar panels and the electric grid meter. Here's an example of a 1000W solar system, http://www.altestore.com/store/Kits-and-Package-Deals/Grid-Tied-Systems/Alt-E-Designed-Grid-Tie-Packages/AltE-Grid-Tied-Package-System-A-1kw/p6629/. Click on the box that says schematic to see how everything goes together.

You need to talk to your electrical inspector to see what their requirements are for installation. You also need to have a net metering agreement with your electric company to connect to the grid. You are probably going to require a professional solar installer. Her's a list of NABCEP certified installers in your state. Http://www.nabcep.org/installer-locator?state=IN.

Mandy asks…

Where can I find Solar Power Information?

I'm looking for ways to save some money on my electrical and gas bill at home. I've heard that solar power is a great way to do that, but it looks pretty expensive to have it installed. I'm thinking that I may have to spend some time installing it myself. Where can I find Solar Power Information to install my own solar power equipment?

ssadmin answers:

Solar power is a great way to save money on power bills. For instance, I had a solar water heater installed for my pool. It uses the sun's energy to keep my pool heated throughout the day, even during the winter. It's really nice having a warm pool to jump into, even during the winter when it's cooler.

But anyways, I installed the solar water heater myself. It's fairly easy, and the trick is to find a good deal on the equipment. However, once you have the right equipment, you'll need to find the right solar power information. Awhile back I found some good books that will help you with your solar projects. It's been extremely helpful for me, so I hope it works out for you too, especially if you're looking to try and save some money from your power bill. Check out the sources section below.

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