We find ourselves searching for titles such as Alternative Energy for Dummies because there is so much to learn about different forms of energy that at times can seem somewhat confusing. At times we need to orient ourselves to get a better idea as to what this is all about and to find out how we can use it to our advantage.
So what is it all about? Basically it is about using renewable energy instead of energy that is produced from limited planetary resources. Renewable energy is energy that uses replenish-able sources and that has little or no environmental impact. One of the main types of energy we rely upon today is of course electricity so just to make this a true guide to alternative energy for dummies I will be discussing the various methods of alternative production of this.
The two main alternative sources for producing electricity are the Sun and the wind. It is becoming quite common place to see solar panels on building and even street signs. The large wind turbines in the form of windmills are also now not so foreign to us as they were a couple of years ago.
On using the sun to produce our electricity we need to use solar panels that are made up of many small photovoltaic cells. These cells convert the suns rays into an electrical current. The theory is that if you put enough of these cells together then the amount of electricity generated can be substantial. Electricity companies through out the world are beginning to use energy sent to them from huge fields of solar panels but generally they only provide enough electricity to supplement what they are already generating by other means.
Solar panels can also be installed on a property or a business. The electricity generated from these normally goes into banks of special gel batteries which store what is being generated. The electricity is then fed through a current inverter to change the batteries’ DC current into useable AC electricity.
To set this up can be very expensive with the inverter the batteries and the panels each costing more or less the same as each other. It requires a huge amount of panels and batteries to be installed in order be able to generate enough electricity to run a small household entirely and to have a couple of days of autonomy in case it rains. The solar panel can however supplement a domestic supply and drastically reduce the monthly bills.
Another form of alternate energy is wind power. You have probably seen in the countryside and on mountains huge wind farms cropping up. These giant windmill or wind turbines as they are called are generating huge amounts of electricity which is being fed into the supply grid. Just as with solar energy, although the typical wind farm will produce enough electricity to provide for a small village it can only really be used as a supplement.
Wind turbines can be installed domestically but on their on are not very efficient. They are most commonly used domestically in conjunction with a solar panel installation where the batteries and the inverters are already in place and the wind turbine simply serves as a boost to the energy productions when there is wind and no sun.
There are several projects and plans on how to build your own solar panels and wind generators that can be found on the Internet. If you are considering doing this then this really is where you will need some sort of alternative energy for dummies guide to help you.