Earth911 Conscious-Shopping Guide: Best Solar Panels

May 14, 2019 by  
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Technological advances have transformed the solar energy industry in recent … The post Earth911 Conscious-Shopping Guide: Best Solar Panels appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Conscious-Shopping Guide: Best Solar Panels

Earth911 Conscious-Shopping Guide: Best Solar Panels

May 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

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Technological advances have transformed the solar energy industry in recent … The post Earth911 Conscious-Shopping Guide: Best Solar Panels appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Conscious-Shopping Guide: Best Solar Panels

Why it’s a brilliant time for companies to invest in solar power

October 21, 2016 by  
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Here’s what your company should know before the solar opportunity window closes.

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Why it’s a brilliant time for companies to invest in solar power

CSRHub’s CEO: Dark data in sustainability reporting

October 21, 2016 by  
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Bahar Gidwani dives into recent reporting trends and barriers to accurate data collection.

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CSRHub’s CEO: Dark data in sustainability reporting

Renewable Energy Roundup: 5 Myths About Solar Energy

April 13, 2016 by  
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Renewable energy continues to advance, particularly the solar energy market which is dynamic and evolving quickly. Proof you say? Let’s take a look at a few facts first. The solar industry had another record-breaking year in 2015, with installed…

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Renewable Energy Roundup: 5 Myths About Solar Energy

209,000 and counting: The solar job boom by the numbers

January 12, 2016 by  
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With more people now employed in the solar industry than in the oil and gas pipeline business, what is the future of the clean energy workforce?

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209,000 and counting: The solar job boom by the numbers

Tapping into Nature: Fluid dynamics

January 12, 2016 by  
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Studying how various organisms move through fluids can inform our design decisions.

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Tapping into Nature: Fluid dynamics

How Ohio State is tackling clean energy and zero waste

January 12, 2016 by  
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Buckeyes football is taking the sustainability offensive on logistics, fan engagement and waste, form the stadiums to the tailgates.

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How Ohio State is tackling clean energy and zero waste

How to make a solar powered battery charger for less than $5

October 18, 2011 by  
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Satyajit Bera: Use solar energy to charge up your batteries An eco-friendly DIY battery charger driven by solar power A battery charger always comes in handy for charging up your exhausted AA or AAA cells (of course the rechargeable ones). Most of the battery chargers available in the market are either AC or DC powered. Though solar powered models are also available, they are quite costly. The DIY model described here is not going to cost you more than $5. It consists of a simple solar panel which converts the solar power into DC output and supplies the same to the battery holder, thus charging up the rechargeable batteries. The benefit of this model is that you can charge up your cells being off the grid, following an eco friendly concept. Difficulty level Moderately challenging (may require expertise in few areas) Time required The maximum time required is about an hour. A skilled person can do it in 30 minutes. Resources required A transparent moisture proof container AA or AAA battery holder A pair of AA or AAA sized rechargeable batteries (Type-NiMh, 1.2 volt, 2000 mAH) A small solar panel (output-4.5 volt, current – 80 mA) A blocking diode Soldering iron Solder wire Connecting wire Electrical insulation tape Transparent adhesive tape Estimated cost The total cost involved in this project is about $4 (price of the tools are excluded). Instructions First of all, mount the two series connected AA or AAA sized batteries onto the battery holder. Solder two wires from the battery holder’s terminals. There after, mount the battery holder arrangement inside the moisture proof container and fix it with the base with the help of an adhesive tape. Next, solder two wires on the two terminals of the solar panel. Be very careful while doing the soldering work as it may damage the panel permanently if the semiconductor layer gets overheated. Cover the soldered terminals using insulation tape Fix the solar panel on the top of the container’s cover with lots of transparent adhesive tape. Make sure that the panel is not loose and well covered from rain or water that may fall on it when kept outdoors. Next, solder the blocking diode in series with the positive terminal of the battery holder arrangement and the corresponding positive terminal from the solar panel. Solar panels trap the solar energy and charges up the battery when exposed to sunlight. In the dark, these solar panels retract the same energy back from the cells which ultimately damages the panels. To prevent this back-flow of current, a blocking diode has been used here to ensure a one-way flow of current. Make sure that the black end of the diode points in the direction of the batteries. This will only charge up the cells and ensure that they don’t get discharged in the dark by the solar panel itself. Next, solder the negative terminal of the solar panel with the negative terminal of the battery holder. That’s it. All the electrical connections are done. Make two small holes in the container cover for the wire entry from the solar panel to the inside components. Close the container and take it in the sun for charging up the cells. Frequently asked questions Can I use a bigger solar panel for faster charging? Yes, of course you can do so. But make sure that you use a maximum of two such solar panels in parallel (well that will increase the cost as well) which will make the charging current double i.e. 80mA x 2 = 160 mA. This will charge up the cells faster. Is there any option to provide over current protection for the batteries? Well some cells come with inbuilt overcharge protection systems. But all you can do to protect any over current condition is to use a low rating fuse in series with the circuit. In that case you need to keep some spare fuses in case of a blown fuse, due to an over current condition. Quick tips Fix the solar panel using clear and transparent tape only. Otherwise a blurry tape may hinder sufficient incidence of sun rays on the panel and produce low power output. Fix the components inside the container properly with the base in order to avoid any vibration while taking the solar charger from one place to another. Use a good quality soldering flux while doing the soldering works. This will ensure a permanent good quality soldering joint and avoid loose connections. Things to watch out for Never depend upon solar systems completely. Cloudy weathers can affect solar powered gadgets largely. So always carry spare batteries and A.C./D.C. powered battery chargers with you outdoors. Rechargeable batteries produce oxygen and hydrogen gases (both are combustible) while charging and discharging. As the arrangement described above is a moisture proof one, there is no space for gas escape. A small short circuit may cause a serious accident. Thus, vents can be provided in the lateral walls of the container to be on the safe side. Never try to charge leaked, damaged or dead batteries by the battery charger. This may cause explosion causing accidents.

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How to make a solar powered battery charger for less than $5

How to make an inexpensive solar powered charger

September 5, 2011 by  
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Nitesh Seth: Solar Charger Inexpensive solar charger Building a solar powered charger to fuel small appliances can be structured by using some basic equipments. Increased use of solar panels has made its availability easier. Solar panels are available in all possible sizes from bigger to a smaller one and that too at affordable prices. It is not a very complicated procedure to structure a solar powered charger. Here are the steps to make a solar powered charger: 1. Collection of the required tools There are certain specific tools which are required for making a solar powered charger. So the first step is collection of the required tools. The required tools include AA batteries, Battery holders, a USB extension a/a cable, electrical tape, glue gun or tape to hold the pieces in place,terminal strip or soldering iron, blocking diode, a drill, a 6 volt solar panel. 2. Selection of the diode Standard diodes drop the voltage by 0.6 V, while the Schottky diode drops it by 0.2 V which can be a deciding factor in whether the charger works or not. So it’s better to choose a standard diode which will ensure quality of the functioning of the charger. 3. Cutting the USB cable To build the kit, cut the USB cable at the end which has the jack and remove everything except the red and black wire. This cable will be used in constructing the circuit. 4. Testing the solar collectors Check the solar collectors before connecting it to the circuit to be sure that it is working. It should yield the output of 2 volt inside the room and 2.5 volt in bright sunlight. 5. Soldering The next step is soldering to make a circuit. Solder the red wire of the cable to the diode and then the diode to the red wire from the solar panel. In the next step solder the black wire from the solar panel to the cable. This completes the step of soldering. Soldering creates a serial connection which adds the voltages together, giving an output between 4 and 5 V, which is the required voltage for operation of a standard charger. 6. Drilling The next step is drilling. Drill a hole for the cables, to make it pass through the solar panel. This completes the step of drilling. 7. Finalizing the setup The next step involves the fitting of the components of the solar charger into the project box. It should be done with caution as recklessness in final step could disturb the whole model. 8. Testing the finalized solar charger Connect any one of the gadgets with minimal power requirement to the finalized solar charger to test it out. Ensure that solar panels are exposed to bright light and allow the charger to charge the gadget. It’s better to turn off the gadget while charging. Caution while using solar charger 1. Place the charger in an open area where the solar panel gets enough light to convert it into electrical energy. If the solar panel does not gets ample light, it will not function appropriately. 2. Don’t connect the charger to a gadget with higher energy demands as solar charger has its own limit as it should be used in accordance with the outermost capacity. 3. Don’t cross connect the charger to any other source of electric charge as it may damage the charger. It should be ensured that the charger is properly connected to the gadget . 4. Use the charger to charge the gadgets in switched off condition. It will increase the life of the solar panel. 5. Give appropriate time to the solar charger to charge the connected gadget as it depends on the intesity of light hitting the solar panel.

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How to make an inexpensive solar powered charger

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