A Bright Future for Solar Energy: An Alternative Energy Source

I was first introduced to solar energy in the movie, Race the Sun with James Belushi and Halley Berry in the lead. It was a story about low- income and under achieving Hawaiian students encouraged by their teacher to join the Solar Car race. In the movie, a car shaped like a cockroach and covered with solar panels used the sun’s rays as an alternative energy source to run the car.

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Solar energy is the light and the heat from the sun. Solar energy is free and its supplies are unlimited. There are n air and water pollution caused about by using solar energy. But there is still some impacts on the environment although indirect.

Photovoltaic cells used to convert sunlight into electricity uses silicon and also produce some waste materials. There are also large solar thermal farms and these farms can also be harmful to the environment and desert ecosystems if not properly managed.

Solar energy can be used on different aspects. Solar energy can be used in agriculture. Greenhouses (which is entirely different from greenhouse gas) convert solar light to heat to be maximized in enhancing the growth of plants and crops. Greenhouses has been around since the Roman times and modern greenhouses were built in Europe in 16th century. Greenhouses are still an important part of horticulture nowadays,

Daylight systems are also being used to maximize the energy released by the sun. It is used to provide interior illumination replacing the artificial lighting. Daylight systems include sawtooth roofs, light shelf, skylights, and light tube. Daylight systems when they are properly implemented can reduce lighting-related energy consumption by 25 percent.

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Solar energy can also be developed into solar thermal technologies which can be used for water heating, space heating, space cooling and process heat generation. Solar energy can also be used to distil water and make saline or brackish water potable or drinkable.

The solar water disinfection or SODIS involves exposing water-filled plastic polyethylene terephthalate or PET bottles. This process takes a long time, since the exposure time varies on the weather conditions. It requires a minimum of six hours to two days during days with overcast conditions. Currently, there are two million people in developing centuries use SODIS for their daily drinking water needs.

Also sunlight can be converted into electricity using photovoltaics or PV. PV has been mainly used to power small and medium-sized things like a calculator powered by a single solar cell. There are homes powered by photovoltaics. Using solar energy for water and space heating is the most widely use application of solar energy. While ventilation and solar air heating is also growing in popularity.

There are three main ways in using solar energy. The main way of using and converting solar energy is by using the solar cells. Solar cells convert light directly into electricity. Solar cells are also called photovoltaic or photoelectric cells.

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Meanwhile, solar furnaces use a huge array of mirrors to concentrate on the Sun’s energy into a small space and produced very high temperatures. Solar furnaces are also called “solar cookers”. A solar cooker can be used in hot countries to cook food.

With all the benefits if using solar energy, there is still a downside for this alternative energy source. It does not work during night time. The cost of setting up solar stations is expensive, but the benefit of using solar energy when accumulated is so much more.

 

All for today

Alex the Prepper

A-1 Survival

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10 Alternate Energy Sources To Live Well With Global Warming.

Feeling hot under the collar?

Glaciers and polar ice are melting, ocean levels are rising, hot, dry weather, huge forest fires, water restrictions, crop failures…

You name it, if these don’t feature in your life yet, they soon will. Global warming and climate change are facts of life now, according to the International Panel on Climate Change, and many scientists.

Huge problems beyond our control!

But are you hot under the collar?

If you’re not, you probably live in a city where half of the Earth’s citizens live now and take much for granted. Because in city living we are far removed from natural processes that deliver our food, clothing and energy.

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Does your child even know that milk comes from a cow – or a soya bean if you’re that way inclined – and not from a milk carton?

Even in the city you cannot stick your head in the sand (or under the asphalt?) and you are not immune from climate change. Witnesses are the 15,000 mostly elderly people that died in Paris alone in the sizzling hot European summer of 2003. Or the many killed in New Orleans at the ‘hands’ of cyclone Katrina.

And if you are hot under the collar, do you think perhaps that there will be some miraculous scientific break-through so they ever-responsible ‘They’ will fix the Earth? The ultimate stem cell technology maybe that can clone a new home for us!

Seriously, for many of us it is just all too hard.

All we want is to live a life where we may raise our children to have a future.

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A future of some predictability: of schooling, a job, a family, community, of achievements and an enjoyable life – on a healthy planet Earth.

Is this a fading dream, once a reasonable expectation?

Maybe, maybe not.

Our world is changing. There are great challenges ahead and it is too late to stop global warming. The Earth has changed and the processes it uses to regulate itself are adjusting themselves. And these changes will not suit human life as it is.

But you are not powerless.

Each person alone can change the world, one by one. Let me explain.

Do I say that these problems are under our control then?

Well, yes and no.

We are talking about a severely disabled world really.

And from the experience of disability we can learn how to survive and thrive!

“Come on, get real”, you say? Do I hear: “Just show me the right alternate energy sources and we’ll get out of this mess.”

Yes, we desperately do need to switch to renewable energy sources that do not make a greenhouse out of our home, the Earth. But all the technology in the world will never be enough to survive  and flourish.

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Renewable energy sources alone will not teach us to accept limits, unpredictability and what it is to lead a rewarding life.

How we have lived collectively, in our billions, for the last few hundred years, has got us to this point. And by changing what we do we can live through climate change as best as we might.

Even now.

It’s simple and it’s hard work. No way out of that.

Many people with severe disabilities know this. And they report the same or better life satisfaction as anyone else–under highly challenging, vulnerable circumstances.

So, we can learn to live well in a disabled world.

Regardless of what is to come you and I will be well served by the beliefs and strategies that people with disabilities use to – not just to survive – but to live well.

These are true alternate energy sources.

Those that guide us how to use what we have sustainably.

These ‘disabled people’ believe this:

* Accept that all of us are fragile and vulnerable

* The world is full of limits. We need some of these to live well

* Vulnerability and dependence are an inevitable part of a whole life

* No-one is independent, but interdependent

* Connection with others is our lifeline and our wellbeing

And they do this:

* Engage with others to build positive relationship, where you live, work and play

* Pay attention to other’s needs and that of the environment

* Take responsibility for the situation you’re in

* Care for others and the environment competently

* Be assertive and use your humour and creativity

Not all people with disabilities act in this way of course. And I’d be the last to portray people with disabilities as heroes. We’re just people – trying to get on.

You try that!

Talk to that elderly woman in your street. Offer a hand when someone needs it.

Doing such small things will connect you with others and your environment.

And do also use the ‘regular’ renewable alternate energy sources, and recycle too.

You can change your local world by acting in these ways.

And if all fails – regardless?

Well, it’s the only way to go!

Perhaps your world might be just as hot but it’ll be cooler under your collar!

 

All for today

Al

A-1 Survival

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