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Solar Lighting

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One of the most common ways to light your home at night in Asia is solar lighting. Amazingly China are leading the way in the battle against use of outdated lighting methods. They are mass producing solar lighting which are lasting for over ten years as well as costing the home absolutely nothing to run, now don’t call me a conspiracy theorist but why on Earth is a part of the planet this is so over populated coming up with brilliant ways to not necessarily save money but actually produce power that a centralised government simply is not capable of doing.

Now take a look at a developed country such as The UK or anywhere is Europe for that matter solar lighting is extremely expensive and very scarce. I’ll give you an example. This nice little light that produces ample visibility for your garden path is 1$ for one in China, now in the UK this very same item is £15 in most retail shops.

solar-lighting-projectLook I’m getting out of control here with my rants this was supposed to be about solar lighting and I am going off on a tangent. Here’s the bottom line. Solar lighting in China costs peanuts, please if you have a night light use it. They work in a simple but brilliant way. They have a small storage capacity which will allow the solar panel to absorb energy enough that the light can stay on all night whilst the next morning the power will be close to low and the charging process will begin all over again. By making sure the power charges up and down slowly everyday the battery will continue to hold power for ten years no problem at all. For the small cost of plastic the saving to the environment is massive. Just imagine if we all swapped over to this form of lighting. The savings in electric produced would be phenomenal as we ll as the jobs that are created by manufacture! Seriously guys solar power is affordable and we’ve got to start taking advantage of it.

If you think we will buy a normal light there really is no damage to the environment at all as it’s simply a case of swapping over the method in which we light our homes. Solar lighting is one way we are going to keep our homes relevant and up to date. Now you might be wondering if this truly is the future because Elon Musk has released unbelievable roofing technology for solar power however, for the average home it just is not viable yet and he is being hit by governments not willing to reduce tax on increase property value, as well as the cost of the install itself.

Are Solar Panels Affordable?

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Solar panels and solar setups work in two distinct ways. One is on grid, the other off grid. Off grid is currently rather expensive because the cost to replace batteries is prohibitive. As technology has improved, so has the viability of an off grid system because batteries are holding more power, longer. It’s still not quite there in terms of a cost efficient mechanism to replace coal power stations. We are not that far away however.

If you have access to the grid, then you should have solar panels installed. It’s as simple as that. In most countries around the world solar panels are relatively cheap. A full 5000 Watt system should not cost anymore than £4000 and another £1000 to install. This will power most homes comfortably to the point minor top up may be required from the grid, however that’s unlikely. You are more likely to be feeding the grid.

One major requirement for solar panels is roof space. To get a 5000 Watt system on your roof would require 40m2 of free space. This is normally going to be ok for your average 3 bed home. The maintenance is absolutely minimal and mid quality cells from China are still going to last fifteen years providing an astonishing payback. By the way after fifteen years your solar panels are not useless they will have lost a fair amount of performance however, in the region of 30%. It is certainly not even close to throw away. Many homes run on 3000 Watt systems according to varying sources. There is every reason to think a solar system will last twenty five years.

The only thing stopping this revolution is the upfront cost. Government incentives will hopefully make this all the more attractive proposition in the near future and continued improvement in battery technology allowing for homes without grid to become normal. Government have already recognised many other technology savings, such as sash window draught seals, so why not cut solar tax? It’s an exciting time in human history. Think about it – Elon musk has just announced his new high tech roof will only cost a mere $22 a square foot. Now combine the over supply of electric with an electric car – and that is a warm thought to not be powering our vehicles and home on dirty fossil fuels. He’s also gone on record as stating that his wonderful system may only require 40% roof coverage in the high tech beautiful solar tiles, the rest being ordinary. That means the remaining 60% can be used to power our car, or heat our water with electric, and maybe do away with gas in the home as well. I believe the future to be solar and it’ll be in every home as standard pretty soon.