Solar panel systems have always been criticized as bulky and unattractive. New solar technology is beginning to make such criticisms a thing of the past.
While everyone agrees solar energy is a clean, cost-effective energy source, there has always been one problem. The solar panel systems tended to be large and rather bulky. Frankly, they don’t add to the beauty of a home. While solar panel designs have improved over the years, a new development involving shingles is getting a lot of attention.
Photovoltaic shingles are a major design breakthrough for those who have a distaste for large solar panel systems. These shingles are, well, shingles. The replace the shingles on a roof, but have the physical appearance of a regular roof. Although they are black, they do not standout from the roof in the manner of panels. Instead, the they simply look like a regular roof and many people cannot tell the difference. Obviously, this seamless design is much better than the bulky designs of panel systems.
The technological breakthrough that makes this new technology possible is the invention of thin film photovoltaic cells. Known as “amorphous silicon thin alloy technology”, the designers essentially stepped back from traditional solar panel designs and did some thinking. What they realized is the materials used in panels were not the only ones that could be used. Without getting overly technical, the design team came up with a solution where more efficient cells could be built on a steel substrate. Each super thin cell was tailored to capture different spectrums of the sunlight. When layered on top of each other, they became extremely efficient at producing power.
The ultimate result is a system that can sit directly on the roof of a home or building, is more efficient than regular solar panels and far more appealing from a visual perspective. If you’re excuse for not using solar in the past was the bulky system, you need to rethink solar.
Will this new technology become the breakthrough we have been waiting for in solar power? It already is if you consider just the following:
1. The United States Army is building a solar powered community using it.
2. Museums in Beijing, China are converting to it.
3. Habitat for Humanity is using the system on many of the homes it builds.
4. Lockheed Martin is experimenting with the technology as a power source for high altitude flights.
In the opinion of many experts, this new technology represent a major breakthrough in solar energy. With energy prices exploding, solar represents the best solution to decreasing our dependence on limited oil and natural gas resources. Fortunately, the sun will be providing free power for the foreseeable future.
Building a greenhouse is easier than you may think. You can choose different designs and sizes that you would like to build. A greenhouse will give you comfort whenever you visit your plants, vegetables, flowers, or orchids. It also provides the needed sunlight and humidity for these plants. You may relax and enjoy it every time you visit this place where you have exerted all your effort of building such a wondrous place.
You may save more money if you decide to build a small greenhouse. There are supplies and materials that you can use which should be just enough according to your own prepared budget. If there is enough space that can accommodate a larger greenhouse, do it because you may want to develop more plants and vegetables.
If you really desire to build a greenhouse where you can develop and propagate more plants, you should consider the different factors that would be necessary on the type of greenhouses you would like to build. Here are some tips and factors you should consider in building your own greenhouse.
1. You may consider using salvaged materials if you intend to make a larger greenhouse. You may use these materials in designing and planning for a low cost budget greenhouse. This will also help you minimize the expense of the other supplies and materials needed.
2. You should also determine the climate of the place where you live. An insulated greenhouse should be appropriate for cold climate areas. This will help you provide the needed warmth and heat for your plants. For warm places, a greenhouse that has a shade control would be advisable.
3. You also needs to make sure that your greenhouse will be designed with proper air circulation spaces, ventilation, pest control soil, heaters for winter season, and humidity control devices. You should create an environment that is appropriate for the types of plants that will grow in your greenhouse.
4. The location of the greenhouse should be built where there is enough sunlight. If you choose a solar greenhouse for vegetables and exotic fruit bearing plants it is best if the greenhouse is situated on the east-west part of where you live because facing it this way it is more exposed to sunlight.
5. It is also important to consider the covering of the greenhouse. The most advisable shades are the glass made coverings and fiberglass which might not fit in your budget. But just know that they provide more durability and they do not deteriorate quickly compared to plastic coverings. A greenhouse covered with glass or fiberglass allows more humidity and warmth.
6. You have the option to choose what kind of foundation you would like to use. The foundations can be concrete for a more secured greenhouse. Others prefer the less expensive lightweight foundation where they use improvised materials such as railroad ties, which they can easily attach to the ground. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend on the structure of the greenhouse.
7. You may also consider building a greenhouse that will maximize its full potential. You may want to add benches or materials that will be used for your comfort every time you want to relax in the greenhouse. You may also want to add many accessories to the place like automatic watering systems, heating systems, ventilation system and other automatic equipment that are effective in maintaining the plants.
8. You should use the “good bugs” for you pest control chemical. They prevent and control the spread of the bad bugs in a greenhouse. If you ever find insects in a plant, you should isolate the plant and if possible place the plant outside the greenhouse so that the insects do not house in the other plants.
9. You should allot a space where you can store fertilizers, potting soil and other tools that are essential in the greenhouse. You should place a tool rack nearer to the potting place so that it would be easier for you to transfer the soil from the pot of the plants. You should also place buckets and tool holders to accommodate the other equipment when they are not in use.
You can develop and grow all sorts of plants with a versatile greenhouse. You may also want to reproduce the grown plants to fill the greenhouse with a variety of plants. Putting up a greenhouse will be more enjoyable if it done with the help of the family and friends. So get them involved too.