Learn: Learn What Are Home Weather Stations

By Phil Zertisky

Home weather stations offer a great opportunity for someone who wants to have a hobby. There are a lot of options when it comes to the kinds of equipment that a person can own. In addition, the person no longer has to worry about having to look around for the information that they want, since they have it in front of them.

The information that someone has access to within their home is something that no one can compare to. It is instant and available when the person wants it. Many times this is something that people find as an advantage when they are planning different outdoor events. It is the kind of thing that can help people to avoid an outdoor catastrophe.

Since there are so many options in relation to the kinds of things that a person can add to the system, the price can get up there. Most tend to buy things separately and not all at once, since this is not something that many can afford. Other than price, the system itself is easy to operate for most.

With any of the home stations there is a requirement for a variety of different tools. All of the things are a combination of different things such as recording devices, as well as things that are used for measuring. Most of the professional home weather systems come standard with things such as a hygrometer, thermometer, barometer, anemometer, rain gauge, and wind vane.

With a home weather station, you will find two major components. One of the first is the central unit. This is used for calculating the sensor readings that are received. Most of them are either wireless or hard wired LAN. Throughout time it collects information regarding the highs and lows in relation to historical data. In addition, it has the ability to calculate things such as the heat index, UV index, wind chill, dew point, evapotransporation, as well as many other things.

The second component that makes up a large part of the system is the sensors. This is the part that is needed for the collection of information. Some examples of such sensors are the ones that are used for information regarding the wind speed and direction, as well as information regarding the solar radiation and UV index for that day. Some others are things like a self emptying rain gauge.

There are many options in regards to the kinds of sensors that a person can add to their set up. In most cases, it really depends on what the person wants.

Home weather stations offer access to a great hobby. Its educational in the way that it allows a person to learn how to read and predict the weather based off the information they are provided. Generally, this kind of information gives a person more of an understanding in relation to the world that surrounds them. - 30827

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What is Solar Energy?

By Walter Hull

For whatever the reason, we have a giant and extremely dense sphere of hydrogen in the sky called the Sun. How lucky for us this is, since the Sun is constantly undergoing Nuclear Fusion and cranking out megatons of solar energy on a regular basis.

Electromagnetic radiation is the technical term for solar energy. This radiation is emitted by the sun and is absorbed into Earths biosphere in many ways. Because of its widespread importance to the biosphere, solar energy plays a crucial role to our existence.

Electromagnetic (EM) radiation comes in many different wavelengths. We describe EM radiation based on its wavelength with Gamma rays being the shortest, and Radio waves the longest. Earths solar energy falls in the middle, composed of infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light waves. This is a good thing because all wavelengths between Gamma rays and Ultraviolet rays are harmful to humans and most other things on Earth.

Solar energy is the primary element for Photosynthesis, the method by which plants make energy for growth. Plants in term provide us with food, wood, medicines, and more.

The Earths natural landscapes, they absorb solar energy and produce heat. It is the heat absorbed by mountains and plains that create local wind patterns. It is the heat absorbed by the oceans that creates the famous currents. Solar energy is responsible for thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. It melts the mountain snows which form many of our rivers.

Solar energy is the catalyst for almost everything that occurs on Earth. It is as though the Earth has its own power plant, a giant Nuclear Fusion Reactor in outer space. It is a good thing too, because without it we would all be screwed.

Imagine if the Sun suddenly burned out, which scientists predict will happen someday. It is a reminder of the delicate balance to our existence, that Mother Nature will always hold the trump card to human prosperity. We should offer thanks for each and every day that we are blessed with the Sun.

Thinking about it like that, we should probably all wake in the Morning and give thanks to the Sun. It is the single item in our existence we take most for granted. What if the Sun disappeared for one day? Just think of the mayhem and chaos this would create. And think of all the solar energy that would be lost all over the world.

With the recent advances in materials and industry, we now find ourselves with some new inventions for working with solar energy. It is now possible to make electricity directly from sunlight in a photovoltaic device. We can harness solar energy in absorption and concentrating collectors and store the heat.

The modern home can benefit greatly from solar technology, and the implementation has only just begun. Whether retrofitting your house, or building a new home, harnessing solar energy can bring tremendous savings and true energy independence. As a side benefit, we can feel good about lessening our impact on the environment.

With all the choices on the market its hard to know exactly where to start. What kind of benefits can be obtained by harnessing solar energy? How practical is it, and how much money can be saved in the long run? The truth is, in utilizing solar energy everybody will have a different idea and different purpose. Its best to begin with a discussion of the various technologies and their rewards, and allow the reader to form his own concepts for moving forward. - 30827

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Wind Power Generators

By Walter Hull

Throughout history human civilizations have been harnessing the energy of the wind. It was a major advancement that opened us up to sea travel, exploration, and international trade. It was also a handy tool on farms in the creation of windmills. Wind power has been taken to the next level in the modern age and is now being used for electrical generation.

To use a wind turbine requires a steady supply of wind. Those of us who live in these locations will know right away. By a steady supply of wind, we mean a 7 mph breeze minimum and on a fairly consistent basis. The Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, and some coastal areas come to mind when it comes to wind power potential.

A typical wind turbine can generate AC or DC electricity, depending on the installation. The difficulty with AC generation, however, is that variations in blade speeds will produce a different frequency of electricity. It is for this reason that many wind power systems feed their energy into a DC battery bank. With some power conditioning, a battery bank can accept almost any form of energy. A wind power system may or may not be coupled to the electrical grid, it just depends on the benefits and the applications.

The most common type of windmills used throughout history are the horizontal axis wind turbines. They typically involve two, three, or four blades units oriented for axial flow into the wind. A wide variety of these units are available for both small scale and heavy industrial wind power generation.

A less conventional wind power design is the vertical axis wind turbine. They are comprised of a systems of blades enclosed in a housing, which is designed to receive tangential air flow. Historically, they were mounted to roof tops for small scale wind power generation. Their designs never evolved to the extent of the horizontal axis units, and so their performance was not as great. They are rarely seen in the market place today.

Mathematically speaking, the amount of wind power we generate is proportional to the wind velocity cubed. And so once can imagine the difference between a 15 mph and 7 mph wind source can be huge. When installing our wind turbine systems, we should try and keep them at the highest elevation that is possible. This reduces the effects of trees, structures, and other land based obstructions on wind velocity.

This cubic relationship between wind power and wind speed is nice, but there is such a thing as too much wind. When we get into heavier gusts and storm like conditions, then the aerodynamic stresses can become too great. Therefore, we must protect our systems from overload and overspeed in some way. This could mean decommissioning the units when we've exceed our load regulating capabilities, and orienting them to the least stress position.

By now, most of us know whether we have a good supply of wind. Some field measurements or a quick check at the local weather station can tell us our average speeds. If you like the idea of energy independence, and have ample supply of wind, then a wind power system is absolutely right for you.

Wind, historically, is one of our oldest sources of energy. If you have this valuable resource, then a wind power system is well within your capability. The benefits of energy independence are many. You will have to size your wind turbine and put some thought into the installation. But once in place, just kick back and let the energy pile up in your battery banks, and best of all its clean and its free. - 30827

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Generating Future Energy With Wind Turbines

By Jake Zertosky

Wind turbines are quickly becoming the energy source of the future. By using the power of wind, these machines promise clean energy sources by using sustainable products. The wind will always be sustainable; it will always be available! These machines rotate and use what is known as 'kinetic' energy from the wind. The energy is converted into 'mechanical' energy. The energy produced from wind turbines is easily transformed into electricity. Sometimes wind turbines are known as 'wind' generators, 'wind' energy converters or 'wind' power machines.

There are two well-known types of wind turbines:Horizontal axis: These wind turbines will rotate with the main components (electrical generator unit and rotor shaft) on the top portion of a tower. These components must be directed into the force of wind.

Bigger turbines have all types of sensors and motor components. Gearbox pieces are part of the horizontal axes' turbine. The blades are rotated at a faster rate with gearboxes. More efficient and powerful energy is available for the electricity components.

Customarily a tower will have 'turbulence' as the force at its back. Then the turbines are generally pointed 'upwind' of any tower. To prevent the wind turbine blades from being pushed to the tower by forceful winds, the blades are manufactured rigidly. The blades are also positioned a larger distance at the front of the tower. They are also often tilted into the wind and forward to a degree.

Sometimes 'down' wind machines have been constructed despite any turbulence. These machines don't need more part to be sure that they are aligned with the source of the winds. In spite of the turbulence problem, 'downwind' machinery has been built. This machinery doesn't require more mechanisms for ensuring that they remain in line with the wind. Often blades will bend in high winds; this will reduce their ability to catch the power of the wind. A turbine can break with too much resistance.

Wind turbines with vertical axes: These turbines vertically arranged main rotor shafts. These turbines don't need to point into the wind in order to produce decent amounts of energy. If the wind direction changes at the sites, this type of wind turbine really has its advantages. The wind turbine with a vertical axis has the machinery placed near the ground (gearbox and generator). Therefore, it isn't necessary for the tower to support the turbine; maintenance is easily. Negatives include that some types of these vertical turbines produce a pulsating movement.

Often, with vertical turbines, the components are supported closer to the ground. The gearbox and the generator seem to work best in this configuration. It isn't imperative that the turbine is propped up by the tower for the turbine. Fixing and maintaining this machinery is easy. Some negative points are that pulsing movements can come about with these components.

Near the ground, the air flow can be turbulent which can causes vibrations. Noises and wear on the bearings could decrease the life of the turbine and increase the maintenance. Often, when a turbine is placed on a roof, the wind is re-directed by the structure; sometimes these can double the speed of the turbine. When the rooftops' height is 50% of the buildings', a mounted turbine will be able to produce maximum energy from the wind and have a minimum of turbulence. - 30827

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The Challenges And Advantages Of Residential Wind Turbines

By Manuel Vintagoli

Using our natural resources to produce energy is certainly not a novel idea. A few familiar examples of harnessing nature to power our world are steam power, solar power and hydroelectric power. However, as worries about global warming continue to increase, people are turning to other ways of producing even cleaner energy. One method getting more interest lately is the idea of wind power. Windmills have been used for decades, but now power from wind turbines is starting to become popular. You will have seen this phenomenon in the form of large wind farms.

But can the homeowner use a wind turbine system to power their home? It depends. Like solar power, wind power is easier to implement on a large scale. Residential uses of solar energy could only happen after years of dedicated research and advancements in technology made solar panels smaller and less expensive. Wind turbines for individual homeowners is following a similar path of development.

To get a better understanding of whether or not wind energy is right for you, you need to know how it works. A windmill and a wind turbine are different in that a windmill uses the power of the wind directly to perform the desired task, usually pumping water. A wind turbine uses the power of the wind to create electricity which can then be used for any application. Essentially it is a wind-powered generator.

There are many advantages to having a wind turbine. Primarily, you get amazingly clean, environmentally friendly energy from an endlessly renewable resource. You will have no power bills. Plus, if you power your home with this energy, any excess may be sold back to the power grid and you can actually make money!

There are some considerable challenges to face, however. The availability of good-quality residential wind turbines is limited. Only a few companies sell them. You will need to make sure any power you want to sell back to the electric company can be accepted by them. There may be zoning restrictions.

In addition, you need to research local wind charts to be sure you have enough, consistent wind in your area to produce the amount of energy you need. There are also requirements on how much land you need and how high the tower has to be in order to avoid interference in the wind patterns. This is why wind turbines in highly populated areas are unlikely at this time. There are also some who object to the noise and vibrations wind turbines can cause.

The fact of it is, though, if you really want to use wind energy for your home, it is possible. If you meet the necessary requirements and do your research, it really could turn out to be a viable option for you. When you consider all the clean, free energy you will produce, the investment in time and capital will give you great returns down the line.

If you are not quite ready to put in this kind of work, just wait awhile. There are such strong governmental incentives to develop technologies to support clean energy, the wind turbine for residential use may just get the attention it deserves. Already they are working on designs that are more powerful, efficient, and quieter. Soon you may see wind turbines powering homes just the way you now see solar power being used!

By all means, keep watching the trends and evaluating your options. The more we all do to convert to clean energy solutions, the better it will be for our planet. Ultimately, considering a wind turbine for your home could be one of the most important investments you ever make. - 30827

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Weather Stations And How They Can Save You

By Manuel Vintagoli

Weather. It's one of Mother Nature's most dangerous and unpredictable weapons and even with some of the best technology and ideas out there we have yet to confirm how all of it works. Tornados for instance have stumped scientists for years and it's only been in the last decade or so that they've been able to narrow the arrival of a tornado down to the span of a few minutes.

You'd think that a column of air would be simple to understand but that isn't the case. Tornados are nearly impossible to predict and scientists and storm chasers have worked for years trying to gather enough information together so that they can better understand why some tornados form and why others don't, why they take the path that they do, why some buildings can be left alone while others are ripped to shreds.

Very recently tornados have been able to be predicted to within a handful of minutes of their landing. Not perfect but much better than no warning at all. This example just pushed home the fact that any information, no matter how small, is essential when it comes to saving lives. You can curse the weather, worship it, rage against it, use it to your advantage, and depending on whether it's being kind or not, enjoy it.

No matter what your personal feelings in regards to weather patterns and what they offer, it can be assumed that the more you understand about it the happier and safer you'll be in the long run. Hurricanes, tornadoes, rain, sleet, snow all of it has the potential to ruin our plans (whether for a week or a day), or even to take our lives.

Charts are drawn up and the weather patterns and wind currents are always under close scrutiny for the slightest hint of disturbance. It is obvious that the inner working of weather forecasting is difficult. However, despite the level of complication, weather stations have improved their technology to the point that you can now carry around miniature weather stations wherever you go.

There are weather stations for your home that can be placed in your backyard to help you prepare for storms and fierce winds. Invaluable information if you happen to garden whether in a small personal garden or on a production like scale. There are also stations where you can put them in schools government buildings and anywhere else where the bit of extra knowledge or warning could come in handy.

There are certain brands that predict the weather as it happens with the help of IP networking, WiFi and internet software packages. There is little to no delay between when the weather happens and when you become aware of it, extending your time for preparation tenfold. You'll never be caught out in a rain or ice storm again.

Work, school, on the road, no matter where you are or what you're doing you can check the humidity, temperature, dew point, inches of rain, and pressure. If you happen to have allergies or breathing problems there is also software that lets you check pollen level and smog density. - 30827

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Wind Turbines Can Save You Money In Time

By Manuel Vintagoli

You can see many wind turbines if you drive between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California. They were funded by the state when Gerry Brown was governor. People laughed at him for being so wind turbine conscious. He was tilting at windmills many said. But he was on the right track.

The wind turbines are still providing energy to the are. And although the turbines are not providing the majority of the state's power as the then governor had predicted the energy they provide is still substantial. And in these days of global warming and people wanting to go green turbines are a welcome form of power. But as with everything in the capitalistic system unless companies make a lot of money off it they will not pursue the idea.

You can take advantage of this technology on your property if you have the right system in place. You need a tall tower and a wiring system in place in your home or business to use the kinetic energy collected by the turbine.

You will have to of course have your local power company still providing energy because you cannot get any power if there is no wind to propel your turbine. But the more wind you have the less you will have to pay your electrical company.

If your turbine produces more power than you need however the power company will buy that power from you. You need a ten mile per hour wind, which is an average, if this is to make financial sense for you to put up a wind turbine system. The noise created is slight. It is like the noise from a washing machine so you should get no complaints from neighbors for the noise.

And it does not interfere with television reception. But you are looking at a tower of about one hundred feet when you install a wind turbine on your property. You will have to check with your local zoning laws to see if this is allowed in your area. You can expect to pay anywhere from five thousand to twenty five thousand dollars to have a wind turbine installed depending on the size and the manufacturer you contract with.

Expect to pay a yearly maintenance fee. But in fifteen years average your investment, the money you pay for installation and maintenance, will pay for itself. You will have free electrical power from then on out. If you are expecting to retire where you are now living this could be a prudent investment because you will not have to pay for bill increases over the years.

When you are ready to look into installing a wind turbine you can save money by installing it yourself. Or if you can deal with a company that does all the work and then offers a maintenance plan. - 30827

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