Monday, 24 October 2011

Geyser Efficiency – blankets, pipe insulation and timers can result in lower electricity bills

Some of us more cash strapped individuals know where the geyser switch is so that we can turn it on and off during the day. But this supposedly clever idea can turn out to be rather frustrating when we forget to turn the geyser back on, which results in a cold shower and a miserable individual.

Geysers supply us with hot water for daily chores and tasks that include washing dishes, our hands and ourselves. The way in which a geyser functions is relatively simple. The geyser consists of an electrical element that heats up when the geyser is on. This electrical element then heats the water up within the geyser, therefore supplying us with hot water for our home.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Solar Pool Heating

 If you have a pool, you know how much heating it can crank up your utility bill. Solar energy systems for pools offer an alternative method that will not devastate your bank account.

Solar Energy Systems for Pools 

When most people think of solar energy systems, they think of the large crystalline structures that are meant to collect a lot of solar energy in order to convert it into solar power. However, there are other uses for solar energy systems. One of the more ingenious uses for this technology is the use of solar energy systems for heating pools. By using solar power to heat your swimming pool, you can be sure that your morning swim will always be nice, comfortable and cheap.

Everyone has to heat their pool unless they are living in a tropical climate where the temperature doesn’t drop at night. Some people choose to purchase a pool cover, but these only work to limit heat loss versus actually heating up the water. Gas heaters work well, but the operating cost of a gas heater can really add up. A low initial cost can draw pool owners to gas heaters, but the charges over the life of the use of the pool can be appalling.

Monday, 17 October 2011

You Can Determine the Solar Efficiency of Your Roof

It is becoming more and more common to install solar panels on roofs in order to obtain green electricity, but not all roofs are equally suitable. Scientists from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have launched a tool that uses the actual conditions to determine the maximum possible magnitude of solar incidence -- in a whole town, a neighbourhood, or a particular roof. The scientists have surveyed Gothenburg in a pilot project.

"The roofs structures of a town may be more or less suitable for the installation of solar panels, depending on such factors as how much a particular roof is shadowed by surrounding buildings and vegetation, the gradient of the roof, and the angle of incidence of sunlight. It is now possible for the first time to determine how much solar energy a particular roof will receive during the year," says Fredrik Lindberg of the Department of Earth Sciences at Gothenburg University.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Collect rain water, help the planet

For most of us, the rain that falls on our roof runs off into the ground or the sewer system. But if you're motivated to save a little water and re-distribute it on your lawns or plants -- or even use it for laundry, dishes or other interior needs -- collecting rainwater from your gutters' downspouts is a no-brainer.

If it's allowed in your state, that is. Utah and parts of Washington State have antiquated but nonetheless tough laws banning anyone but owners of water rights from collecting rainwater flowing off privately owned rooftops. Such laws are rarely enforced, however, and one in Colorado was recently overturned.

According to John C. Davis, writing in E / The Environmental Magazine, just about any homeowner can collect rainwater, given that the roof and gutters do most of the work. And since an inch of rain falling on a 2,000-square-foot roof produces some 1,200 gallons of runoff, one can harvest enough to supply all the water needs of a family of four for about two weeks. Of course, most of us would only use rainwater to irrigate our lawn or garden, and there should be plenty to go around for doing that in all but the most drought stricken areas.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

LED Light Bulbs - Facts & FAQ's

LED lighting is the newest lighting option to traditional light bulbs. But how efficient are they really? How bright? And what is this fuss about their color? Below you'll get answers to the most common questions regarding LED lights

* How efficient are led bulbs compared to incandescent bulbs?
* Are bulbs with more leds brighter than bulbs with less?
* How does the brightness of led lighting compare to incandescent lighting?
* What do "cool white" and "warm white" mean, and what is CCT?
* What is the difference between a floodlight and a spotlight?

How efficient are led bulbs compared to incandescent bulbs?

The efficacy of the newer LED light bulbs is more than five times higher than comparable incandescent bulbs. In other words, led light bulbs use only about 20% as much electricity to produce the same amount of light. However, because led bulbs direct a larger percentage of light where it is needed, in many applications they are as much as ten times as effective as incandescent bulbs, reducing energy use by 90%.

Are bulbs with more leds brighter than bulbs with less?

The number of leds is not the determining factor of bulb brightness. Different types of leds vary greatly in size and light output. The most accurate indicators of the brightness of LED bulbs are the measured lumens or lux. Lumens measure the total amount of light output from a bulb. Lux measures how bright the light is on a surface at a specified distance.

How does the brightness of led lighting compare to incandescent lighting?

Led light bulbs are much brighter than incandescent or halogen bulbs of the same wattage, but led bulbs are not available in very high wattages. Thus, when replacing incandescent or halogen lamps with led lamps, more led lamps are often needed. For example, to replace one 100-watt incandescent bulb you may need two 5-watt or 6-watt led bulbs. Although you have more bulbs you are still using 85% less electricity.

What do "cool white" and "warm white" mean, and what is CCT?

The color (CCT) of our white bulbs ranges from a warm yellow white (2700K) to a cool blue white (7000K).

By comparison, a typical incandescent bulb has a CCT of 2800K. A typical halogen is a bit higher, maybe 3500K. Daylight white is 4500K and a cool white fluorescent is 6000K or more.

The human eye adapts to background light so that even a daylight white bulb will look slightly blue in a room illuminated mainly with incandescent bulbs. Similarly, an incandescent bulb will look very yellow or even orange in midday sunlight.

What is the difference between a floodlight and a spotlight?

Led spotlights output a narrower beam of light, typically less than 45 degrees wide. Most of the light from a spotlight is concentrated onto a relatively small area producing a bright spot. Led floodlights output a wider beam of light, up to 120 degrees, so the light from a floodlight is spread out over a much larger area.

Because the light is more concentrated, a spotlight will appear brighter than a floodlight but only within its narrower beam. A spotlight is more suited to illuminating objects and a floodlight is more suited to illuminating areas.

So now you know more about LED light bulbs and also knows more about how much energy they save compared to ordinary light bulbs.

Monday, 10 October 2011

How to use your existing geyser and add a solar heating system to it

We recommend thats you use your existing geyser and add a solar heating system to it. When your geyser next needs replacing, then upgrade to solar geyser.

How the conversion works.
Using a pumped system it is possible to convert your existing geyser. You will need one conversion jet, one pump and one Photovoltaic panel and of course the Evacuated Solar Panel.

What it involves :

1. Mounting a frame and evacuated solar vacuum tubes on your roof.
2. Adding 1 conversion jet to the your existing geyser outlet. This connects the evacuated solar panel to your geyser
3. Installing a low power DC circulating pump to move water from the hot evacuated solar panel to your geyser.
4. Installing the 10W Photovoltiac solar panels that produces power for the DC circulating pump.

Evacuated solar panels are sized according to the amount of hot water usage per day and the part of South Africa where the installation will take place. This is guided by the annual sunshine received in that area.

Radiation example : Durban has 30% less sunshine energy than Johannesburg, so would need a larger panel.

Visit our commercial site GreenerZA for a range of photovoltaic solar panels.