Portable Solar Chargers: Light Modules for Heavy Users

March 31st, 2015

Portable solar chargers are getting lighter and better. And the choices are expanding. One of the most popular purchases at SolarTown are portable solar modules. When you just have to have access to your cell phone, then there are various alternatives for portable solar chargers that you can purchase at SolarTown. We now are carrying the P3 and Sunlinq portable solar chargers, which you can find in our section on portable solar modules. These portable solar chargers provide a lot more power than the solar bags. The largest we now have is 124 watts, which can provide a lot of essential power. These solar chargers can provide power for GPS devices, satellite terminals, laser rangefinders, laptop computers and other devices that require much more power than just a cell phone. And the largest portable solar charger weighs just 6.1 pounds. We are not recommending that you spend your time cruising the Internet when you should be looking at the stars. But for power for some of your essential equipment, and particularly for emergency and rescue workers and others who need a lot of power, these portable solar chargers are a great choice.

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Solar Power: A Must-Have When the Power Goes Out

February 27th, 2015

Every winter, we hear the same complaints from homeowners who have lost their power. We live in a civilized world but we can’t even provide power to our abodes during a minor storm. When an emergency strikes, some of our customers are looking for a complete backup system and we have some of those systems under our solar backup and emergency kits. They are not going to power everything in your home but they will generally get you enough power for the essentials until the grid comes back on.

In previous years, you were told to prepare for emergencies by packing away the water, a flashlight and other sundries that would get you through the hardest time. Now you can add to your list a backup solar energy system just in case…

Even those with solar power may not have electricity. If you have home solar panels on your roof and are connected to the grid, when the grid goes down, so do your panels. The grid acts like a huge battery and you store your power there. When the grid is not supplying power, then you are like all your neighbors dependent on grid power.

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Your Help is Needed Now to Defeat Solar-Unfriendly Utility

January 16th, 2015

Join the momentum that is building against the proposed Exelon-Pepco merger right when we need it most. DC residents and business leaders turned out to set the record straight on why the merger would be a bad deal for the District. On Tuesday, more than 100 Maryland residents appeared at a Montgomery County hearing, demonstrating overwhelming opposition to the proposed merger.
But it’s not over yet, and the battle is far from won.

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Solar Lighting Manufacturers Kiss and Make Up

December 11th, 2014

The technology behind solar lights has not changed in many years. There have been a couple of changes. One major change has been in the cost of manufacturing and now almost all solar powered lights are manufactured in China. Another major change has been in the design of the solar light. Some of the manufacturers we represent at SolarTown have been innovating brighter solar lights with updated design. This is all well and good until they find that some of their competitors allegedly have ripped off their design. Some of the lights have a cord so that the light can be in the shade but the panel is in the sun. During the day the solar panel can catch the sun’s rays and send the electrical charge to the battery for storage. Then at night the solar light grabs the charge from the solar battery to light up your backyard. Now that would be an innovation, how to design a solar light that doesn’t need the sun to work.

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Solar Duels with Natural Gas and Oil

November 28th, 2014

There has long been a debate regarding whether solar power will compete effectively with other energy resources in price and reliability. States such as California that have provided economic incentives to solar energy have experienced explosive growth in solar energy utilization. Nevertheless, most states in US are still highly dependent on coal and natural gas. Solar energy is starting to compete with natural gas and oil, but the drop in the cost of natural gas has dimmed solar energy’s prospects. To solve the high front-cost issue, solar power is now still relying on government subsidies. Some researchers have been doubting if there is any way to end subsidies while still promoting green energy. One way would be to place a fee on CO2 emissions. Compared to expensive oil, relatively dirty coal and troubled nuclear power, renewable energy can definitely play a leading role in the energy needs of the United States. It will be a balance of cost, reliability, consistency, and government policy.

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Cooling Solar Panels to Increase Efficiency

September 24th, 2014

Just like you, the solar panels on top of your roof are not as productive at high temperatures! Most people think that with the more direct sunlight the more energy the panels will produce, but then don’t worry about the accompanying high temperature. Cooling solar cells can often be a pretty expensive and time consuming process with previous solutions including the use of chemicals or gallons of water. Solar panels could actually be more efficient if they did not “overheat” as often. The problem is how to do this in a gentle and inexpensive way. Researchers at Stanford University have recently unveiled new coating made out of silica glass that will allow the solar cells to cool themselves, but still receive the same amount of sunlight and produce the same amount of energy. A silica, pyramid patterned coating was seen to work the best by being transparent to visible light and easily able to redirect thermal rays back into the atmosphere.

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Protect DC Solar: Help Stop the Exelon Merger!

August 29th, 2014

Guest blog from DC Sun. As you have probably heard, Exelon has plans to take control of Pepco, our local electricity utility. This deal would make Exelon the biggest power distributor in America. And they’re not interested in working with local stakeholders to bring more solar to the District. (Exelon has a history of undermining local stakeholders and opposing renewables.) As frustrating as Pepco can be, Exelon would be even worse.

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Solar Energy: Don’t Leave Home Without It!

August 5th, 2014

Are you going on that summer holiday in August? If you plan on staying at a five-star hotel on Oahu, then please do not read this post. If you are planning on getting out of the city but want to stay connected, then you should read on about how solar energy can help make your trip easier. I just came back from a glorious vacation with the family. We couldn’t get enough of the fresh air, the vistas and just the immense and penetrating beauty that the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion have to offer. And the kids were especially happy that we could stay connected. You may enjoy the hiking or admiring the views, but you need to remember that the kids want to be able to use their electronics even when the nearest outlet is miles away. And in an emergency, you don’t want to look down at a drained cell phone. This risk is especially acute when you are using a lot of energy on your cell phone to take pictures. Then you need to make a telephone call and you may not have enough juice on your tablet or cell phone. That is no problem. Just connect your telephone or tablet to a solar backpack and you can stay connected.

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Solar Energy at the World Cup: FIFA Goes Solar

August 4th, 2014

Are you still suffering withdrawal after the exhilaration of the final game of the 2014 World Cup? It is now less than four years before the World Cup reconvenes in Russia. Russia is already preparing for the next World Cup and trying to match the renewable energy commitment that Brazil devoted to the 2014 World Cup. Germany will defend its title as Russia prepares eleven cities to host the World Cup in 2018 and if the Winter Olympics is any clue, the Russians will not spare any expense to impress the world. Since FIFA makes sustainability a priority, Russia will toe the party line and develop the sites for the next World Cup with sustainability in mind. FIFA looks to advance its role as the topic of sustainability encourages city officials to revisit financial plans due to future savings in energy costs. In 2010 the organization added for the first time a renewable energy company to its list of sponsors and has since been outspoken in favor of those countries who invest in their future energy sources.

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Women, Grab Your Solar Panels: Gender Diversity in the Growing Solar Industry

July 21st, 2014

Come on ladies, shatter that glass ceiling! It seems to be that more women are gaining ground in the solar industry with positions not only in engineering and installation, but also in sales and management. Studies have shown that diversity in the workplace results in more revenue and boosts morale. Individual women as well as associations are changing gender diversity in the solar industry. And this is happening in both developed and underdeveloped countries creating better opportunities for women everywhere. Non-profit organizations and women high up in companies are creating projects and methods to further the employment of women in the solar industry.

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