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Solar Energy Facts El Paso, Tx

Interesting facts about solar energy and the sun

The size of the sun is about 1 million times larger than Earth – that is the diameter of the sun is 1,392,000 km compared to the diameter of earth being just 12,756 km – which is about 109 times smaller; for comparison you may consider that the sun can contain upto 1,000,000 earths!

The speed of light travels at about 299,792,458 meters per second – i.e. approximately 300,000 km per second or (1 billion km per hour!)

Light traveling from the sun takes about 8.2 minutes to enter the earth atmosphere covering a distance of approximately 150 million kilometers – or 8.2 light minutes.

Assuming 100% absorption of solar energy, it takes about 88 minutes of solar radiation to cover for overall human energy consumption for a whole year!  However, actual absorption of solar radiation is limited to about 1% leaving 99% of solar radiation energy being wasted – see: solar energy potential in solar energy facts.

Solar energy striking the Earth goes about 50% absorbed by Earth itself while 30% of solar energy is being reflected back into space.

The average direct solar radiation (subject to exact location and angle of solar radiance) is estimated at about 1.37 kw per square meter (1370 watts per square meter).
Solar Power facts and solar energy systems – Green house gas equivalents

Solar energy can be used with renewable solar technologies to replace conventional energy systems that consume fossil fuels, thus help reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere and help reduce greenhouse effect and global warming.

A 10 kw solar panel installation (under certain conditions) is estimated to generate about 17,000 kwh in a year. In environmental terms, this is equivalent to avoiding the emission of 11.7 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. To help you understand this in real terms consider the following equivalent statements:
Equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 2.3 cars in a year.
Equivalent to CO2 emissions from burning 27.3 barrels of oil
Equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the annual energy use of a house.
Solar energy can be used indirectly as stored thermal energy or directly for generating electricity with solar photovoltaic panels; stored thermal energy can in turn be used for supplying hot water for use, for space heating ( and cooling – solar cooling) or for indirect electricity generation – as in concentrated solar power (CSP).
An example of direct and indirect solar energy system is by comparing solar Photovoltaic panels (PV) and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technologies, in CSP vs PV.

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Press Release Border Solar 2/25/13

Border Solar with aleo-Bosch Solar to Provide the Industry’s First
2.99% Financing for El Pasoans to Go SOLAR

A new partnership between Border Solar and aleo-Bosch solar allows
El Paso residents the opportunity to receive the lowest solar financing
solution offered in the entire State of Texas or New Mexico.

El Paso, TX (PRWEB) February 23, 2013

Border Solar, El Paso’s leading Solar Integrator, today announced its partnership with
aleo-Bosch Solar to provide 2.99% No Money down, low interest loans for residential
solar power systems in El Paso and Southern NM.

As opposed to a solar lease, what has become a financing method offered in other Solar
markets, homeowners now have the opportunity to own their solar power system with
incredible 2.99% interest rate and No Money Down.

“Border Solar has offered every type of financing available from loans to leases to PPA’s
and the aleo solar loan program is the most cost effective financing solution for our
Residential Customers, the response in El Paso alone has been incredible” said Javier
Ruiz, Co-founder and Vice-president of Border Solar.

For the average El Paso homeowner, the new financing option translates into a low
monthly payment similar or lower than what they pay for to the electric company, with
no money down required. The aleo solar loan has a total project cost that is less than
any other lease or financing that we have used since 2008.

Equity in the home is not required for approval.

“We are proud to introduce this new solar loan to homeowners,” said Ruiz “This
financing is a game changer for El Paso residents who want to go solar. Solar is now
more affordable than ever”

For additional details on the newest solar industry financing, homeowners may call 915-
875-1305 or visit www.bordersolar.com, credit restrictions apply see store for details.

About Border Solar is a turnkey solar system provider that delivers solar electric
projects from concept to completion. The company focuses exclusively on Solar
electric system ranging from small-scale residential to large-scale commercial and
municipal systems. Border Solar is headquartered in El Paso, TX and is locally owned and
operated. Regardless of project size and scope, Border solar is committed to delivering
the best products and the most qualified professionals to its customers. Visit http://
www.bordersolar.com for more information.

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Solar Energy El Paso, Tx

Every hour the sun beams onto Earth more than enough energy to satisfy global energy needs for an entire year. Solar energy is the technology used to harness the sun’s energy and make it useable. Today, the technology produces less than one tenth of one percent of global energy demand.

Many people are familiar with so-called photovoltaic cells, or solar panels, found on things like spacecraft, rooftops, and handheld calculators. The cells are made of semiconductor materials like those found in computer chips. When sunlight hits the cells, it knocks electrons loose from their atoms. As the electrons flow through the cell, they generate electricity.

On a much larger scale, solar thermal power plants employ various techniques to concentrate the sun’s energy as a heat source. The heat is then used to boil water to drive a steam turbine that generates electricity in much the same fashion as coal and nuclear power plants, supplying electricity for thousands of people.

In one technique, long troughs of U-shaped mirrors focus sunlight on a pipe of oil that runs through the middle. The hot oil then boils water for electricity generation. Another technique uses moveable mirrors to focus the sun’s rays on a collector tower, where a receiver sits. Molten salt flowing through the receiver is heated to run a generator.

Other solar technologies are passive. For example, big windows placed on the sunny side of a building allow sunlight to heat-absorbent materials on the floor and walls. These surfaces then release the heat at night to keep the building warm. Similarly, absorbent plates on a roof can heat liquid in tubes that supply a house with hot water.

Solar energy is lauded as an inexhaustible fuel source that is pollution and often noise free. The technology is also versatile. For example, solar cells generate energy for far-out places like satellites in Earth orbit and cabins deep in the Rocky Mountains as easily as they can power downtown buildings and futuristic cars.

But solar energy doesn’t work at night without a storage device such as a battery, and cloudy weather can make the technology unreliable during the day. Solar technologies are also very expensive and require a lot of land area to collect the sun’s energy at rates useful to lots of people.

Despite the drawbacks, solar energy use has surged at about 20 percent a year over the past 15 years, thanks to rapidly falling prices and gains in efficiency. Japan, Germany, and the United States are major markets for solar cells. With tax incentives, solar electricity can often pay for itself in five to ten years.

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How Do Solar Panels, Solar Cells and Solar Energy Work? El Paso, Tx

The short description goes something like this: Silicon is mounted beneath non-reflective glass to produce photovoltaic (PV) panels that collect photons from the sun and convert them into DC electrical power. That DC power then flows into an inverter, which transforms it into basic AC (alternating current) electrical power.

Okay, that’s the short and simple answer, but others may want more information. A useful website, Solar Home, offers an in-depth answer to the question, especially about one of the key materials, silicon.

Solar Home writes: “Silicon has four electrons in its outer shell. However, it has the capacity to hold eight. By sharing these four electrons with other silicon atoms and their four shell electrons, the capacity of eight is filled. When they combine with each other in this way, silicon atoms develop a strong, stable bond. This structure is known as pure, crystalline silicon.”
Pure silicon, however, is not a good conductor of electricity because there aren’t any electrons that are free to move. In other words, adds the author, “The silicon is better off with impurities.”

Thus, silicon is combined with an element such as phosphorus, which has five electrons to share. As a result, a negative charge is created. Silicon can only take four of the five electrons, leaving one free electron – called a free carrier – to carry an electrical current.

Other methods for manipulating silicon are also used. For instance, when silicon is combined with an element containing three electrons, a positive charge can be created. Boron is one material that suits this purpose. When silicon and boron are combined, holes are created.

“These silicon combinations and their differing charges are used to make solar panels. As photons come down from the sunlight and strike the silicon, it shakes everything up. The free electron that was hanging onto the silicon/phosphorous combination is now forced to the outer ring. From here, it gets sucked up to the outer ring of the silicon/boron combination. This is how electricity is created.”

NASA Science also provides solid information on the subject, writing that the photoelectric effect was first noted by a French physicist, Edmund Becquerel, in 1839. He learned that certain materials would produce small amounts of electric current when exposed to light. Here we learn that, in 1905, Albert Einstein described the nature of light and the photoelectric effect on which photovoltaic technology is based. For this discovery, he eventually won a Nobel Prize in physics.

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How does solar energy work? El Paso, Tx

Outside of the three scenarios above, solar energy usually requires a little human input to really work (photosynthesis, which helps grow crops for food and fuel, is a notable exception). This help can come in lots of different forms, from architecture and urban planning, which uses techniques to maximize light and heat from the sun to our benefit in our buildings, to solar thermal, the most widely used category of solar energy technology, including solar cooking, water distillation and purification and lots more, to heating water for our use and desalination.

But, by far, solar energy’s most talked-about use is electricity generation. For now, photovoltaic (PV) cells and panels remain the most-used method for turning sun into electricity. Basically, photovoltaics cause photons from sunlight to knock electrons into a higher state of energy, creating electricity. Photovoltaic production has been doubling every two years, increasing by an average of 48 percent each year since 2002, making it the world’s fastest-growing energy technology.

But it’s not alone in the solar world; concentrating solar systems use lenses, mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small, concentrated beam, which is then used to generate electricity. This can be accomplished using a trough system; by allowing direct sunlight to hit troughs, the solar collectors concentrate it into a single area that boils liquid in order to make steam, which in turn moves turbines to make electricity. This up-and-coming technology can be made even more efficient with the use of a solar tower, which is just what it sounds like: a tower that uses careful sun tracking to concentrate solar energy near its top. There are various other technologies that can create solar power from solar energy, but, for now, these remain the most popular and most viable.

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What, exactly, is clean energy? Border Solar El Paso, Tx

By Sandy Bauers
By 2035, 80 percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources.” Easy to say. Who is going to stand up and say, “No, we want dirty energy!” But so far, agreement on the definition of “clean energy” has been elusive. As the president said next, “Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.” The coal industry certainly touts clean coal. Critics say that with current technology, there is no such thing. It’s an oxymoron. As for natural gas, will the dirty extraction that some say exists make up for the cleaner-burning flame? And until the nation comes up with a way to deal with spent fuel rods – not to mention a way to fund these behemoth projects – is nuclear power really a satisfactory answer? Thorny questions, all. Here’s a smattering of reaction to this new goal. – Eileen Claussen, president, Pew Center on Global Climate Change: “President Obama understands that capitalizing on today’s clean energy opportunities will propel American job growth and help ensure that the United States has the most competitive and innovative economy in the world. Providing the regulatory certainty businesses need for industries to invest in clean energy to drive economic growth should be a key Administration priority over the next two years.” – Scott Segal, an energy expert at Bracewell and Giuliani, a firm that often represents industry: The President’s challenge is interesting because he mentions a wide range of clean technologies, including coal, that could meet his clean energy standard. That is a positive development and underscores the notion that traditional fuels, including coal, can be utilized in an environmentally-friendly way. But the devil is in the details; what will qualify and in what proportions. A poorly calibrated clean energy standard can be as harmful to the economy as a restrictive renewable portfolio standard. As a general proposition, governmental mandates can have unintended consequences. For example, the cost impact of the President’s proposal must be viewed in the context of the substantial regulatory burdens his Administration is also imposing on the power sector. These regulations, which include Clean Air standards, waste regulations and water regulations, collectively place approximately half of US electric generation at risk. Coal-fired capacity, for example, indirectly or directly represents over a trillion dollars in gross economic output and almost seven million jobs. Adding an ill-fitting clean energy standard to a substantial regulatory burden could be a great risk.” – Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council: “The president got it right. Nothing’s more urgent than creating American jobs and protecting our health. The best way to do that is to invest in a clean energy future that makes our workers more competitive, our companies stronger, our country more secure and all of us healthier.” – Alex Flint, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president of governmental affairs: “It was encouraging to hear the President lead with a call for an inclusive clean energy policy. Nuclear energy provides 70 percent of the nation’s carbon-free electricity supply and, especially if we are to develop 1 million electric cars by 2015 as he proposed, we’re going to need to develop every possible form of low-carbon technology. The President’s continued commitment to nuclear energy has reinforced the bipartisan nature of support for nuclear energy. This properly highlights as a policy issue the strategic importance of the United States maintaining a leading role as a developer of advanced nuclear energy technologies, for use domestically and for export to a fast-growing global market. The President, House Speaker Boehner and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have identified nuclear energy as an area of potential cooperation; it is a linchpin to the success of meeting the significant energy challenges that our nation faces.” – A joint statement from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Environment America, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists: “We are … pleased that the President recognized that we cannot rely on 19th Century energy technology to power our 21st Century economy. In establishing a clean energy goal, getting the details right is crucial: we need a goal that will promote truly clean energy innovations, not become a Christmas tree for nuclear subsidies, interference with critical pollution standards, and environmentally destructive fossil fuel development. … Any energy proposal that blocks, weakens, or delays vital clean air standards to reduce harmful carbon pollution is a non-starter because it will stifle innovation and eliminate clean energy jobs. “

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10 Benefits of Solar Energy Border Solar El Paso, Tx

Benefits of Solar Energy:

1. Solar energy is renewable. We never have to worry about running out of sunlight or using it all up. The sun is a consistent power source meaning it’s always going to be there every day.

2. Solar energy is environmentally friendly. Compared to fossil fuels which release greenhouses gases, carcinogens and carbon dioxide, solar cells don’t release anything into the air.

3. Solar energy panels are extremely reliable. There are no moving parts so you don’t have to worry about replacing anything. In fact, most people generate electricity for 1000s of hours with little or no maintenance.

4. Solar cells make no noise while collecting energy. There are no other renewable energy sources that are completely silent.

5. In the long run, solar electricity is cheaper than buying it from the power company. There is a start up cost, but then it starts paying for itself. Once you break even, everything after that is profit. Compare this to paying a monthly bill and getting no return on investment.

6. There is a huge variety of solar panel systems available. Some can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and some cost just a couple hundred. This means anyone can get into solar, there’s an entry point for just about everybody.

7. You’re not required to connect to the power grid. You can be completely self-sufficient and live off-the-grid. Imagine never paying another monthly bill or hook-up charge.

8. Sell excess electricity. If you build a large enough solar panel system, you can make your electric meter spin backwards! Most power companies will gladly buy or credit you for this excess electricity. Contact your local power companies for more details.

9. Government tax credits. Most governments will provide some kind of tax credit or incentive for people purchasing solar energy systems. On average, rebates usually cover 20-30% of the system cost. Contact your local representatives for more details.

10. Solar technology is constantly improving. Solar installations are increasing by an incredible 50% every year, most of which are small homemade systems. Learn how to make your own solar panels and use the benefits of solar energy to your advantage.

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Advantages of Solar Power Border Solar El Paso, Tx

There exists many different advantages of solar power related to using solar energy on a large and small scale.

You are able to produce solar power for your home through increasingly easier and cheaper methods related to this natural energy source.

One of the main advantages of a solar power system for your home is the lack of pollution given off by solar panels when generating electricity.

The only pollution you could associate with a solar power cell would be the production of the cell, and transportation of the cell until it reaches your home, then maybe the use of electricity to power the tools needed while your panel is installed and maintained.

An example of a disadvantage would be the initial cost (one of the very few disadvantages associated with solar technology).

The initial investment of solar panels is quickly seen as a small price to pay when you realize the savings you could make over the coming months and years on your electricity bill.

Another advantage of solar energy is that the energy source (the sun) is completely renewable unlike the source which is probably generating your current power supply.

Take a moment to think of the most likely source of the power you are using to read this article.

Advantages of solar energy also include the ability to harness power in remote locations.

This has proved a very important advantage of solar power in order to bring electricity to some of the most remote places on earth.

A home solar power system can make a huge difference to mountain communities where it may be hard to construct power lines in order to reach such areas.

Newer technologies have enabled us to store the solar electricity we harness though the use of solar power battery chargers. This is a huge advantage of why you should integrate solar power to influence your home power supply.

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Uses of Solar Energy Border Solar El Paso, Tx

Residential

The number of PV installations on buildings connected to the electricity grid has grown in recent years. Government subsidy programs (particularly in Germany and Japan) and green pricing policies of utilities or electricity service providers have stimulated demand. Demand is also driven by the desire of individuals or companies to obtain their electricity from a clean, non-polluting, renewable source. These consumers are usually willing to pay only a small premium for renewable solar energy. Increasingly, the incentive is an attractive financial return on the investment through the sale of solar electricity at premium feed-in tariff rates.

In solar energy systems connected to the electricity grid, the PV system supplies electricity to the building, and any daytime excess may be exported to the grid. Batteries are not required because the grid supplies any extra demand. However, to be independent of the grid supply, battery storage is needed to provide power at night.

Holiday or vacation homes without access to the electricity grid can use solar energy systems more cost-effectively than if the grid was extended to reach the location. Remote homes in sunny locations can obtain reliable electricity to meet basic needs with a simple system comprising of a PV panel, a rechargeable battery to store the energy captured during daylight hours, a regulator (or charge controller), and the necessary wiring and switches. Such systems are often called solar home systems (SHS).

Commercial

On an office building, roof areas can be covered with glass PV modules, which can be semi-transparent to provide shaded light. On a factory or warehouse, large roof areas are the best location for solar modules. If the roof is flat, then arrays can be mounted using techniques that do not breach the weatherproofed roof membrane. Also, skylights can be partially covered with PV.

The vertical walls of office buildings provide several opportunities for PV incorporation, as well as sunshades or balconies incorporating a PV system. Sunshades may have the PV system mounted externally to the building, or have PV cells specially mounted between glass sheets comprising the window.

Industrial

For many years, solar energy has been the power supply choice for industrial applications, especially where power is required at remote locations. Because solar energy systems are highly reliable and require little maintenance, they are ideal in distant or isolated places.

Solar energy is also frequently used for transportation signaling, such as offshore navigation buoys, lighthouses, aircraft warning light structures, and increasingly in road traffic warning signals. Solar energy is used to power environmental monitoring equipment and corrosion protection systems for pipelines, well-heads, bridges, and other structures. For larger electrical loads, it can be cost-effective to configure a hybrid power system that links the PV with a small diesel generator.

Remote Applications

Remote buildings, such as schools, community halls, and clinics, can benefit from solar energy. In developing regions, central power plants can provide electricity to homes via a local wired network, or act as a battery charging station where members of the community can bring batteries to be recharged.

PV systems can be used to pump water in remote areas as part of a portable water supply system. Specialized solar energy water pumps are designed for submersible use or to float on open water. Large-scale desalination plants can also be PV powered using an array of PV modules with battery storage.

PV systems are sometimes best configured with a small diesel generator in order to meet heavy power requirements in off-grid locations. With a small diesel generator, the PV system does not have to be sized to cope with the worst sunlight conditions during the year. The diesel generator can provide back-up power that is minimized during the sunniest part of the year by the PV system. This keeps fuel and maintenance costs low.

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Is the Cost-Effective DIY Solar Panel Within Reach? Border Solar El Paso Tx

Homeowners trying to save money on their electric bill and take advantage of tax credits by buying and installing solar panels may run into one major setback: It can, quite literally, take an advanced degree to install rooftop photovoltaics. A new AC panel for sale by Andalay Solar, however, takes a step in the DIY-friendly direction by getting rid of the dangerous DC wiring and inverter setup. Could this be the beginning of the cost-effective, truly DIY solar panel?

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