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Featured Blog Post: Solar Ideas by Thomas Swaczyna

Solar Panel Sample Pic

.I have two daughters.

Both nine and seven.

Well, they will be in a couple of months.

Ok, ok they are eight and six.

I’m not sure what it is about me wanting them to be older than they are, always in a rush to make my girls frow up, make their own lunches, walk themselves home from school etc. As they grow up, deep inside I will always wish they were the little girls who after school would pick out their dad among the ant filled parents in the field, and run all the way to the other side to welcome me with massive hugs and begin to bedazzle me about the latest news on all the hot topics that happened in their day, I can never hear enough.

Every day they grow, despite me telling them not to. Drives me crazy. Why don’t they listen?

I often remind myself that this is their world, grade school is their job. Just like me they go “to the office” in hopes of learning or talking to someone. They wake up, get dressed, brush their teeth, pack their lunch, and off they go.

Today my oldest learnt about the sun. “Dad did you know the sun, is exploding every day?”, yes, I actually did know that. “Dad, did you know, that when the sun shines on plants, it does something called photsynethese….photosinathis….photosonothose”, laughing I replied,

“It’s photosynthesis”, thank you Google.

Today, conveniently enough, I learnt about the sun too. On my recent podcast episode with Mark Ritvalski, CEO of RitzWerks. ( Mark and I shared our passions in the realm of renewable energy, particularly in Solar Energy. Mark is exceptionally passionate about renewable energy, and so since our passions aligned, I felt it only right that I have him on the podcast.

The urgency to lower greenhouse gas emissions has prompted the exploration of various renewable energy sources. Due to widespread demand, solar energy is poised to surpass all others. Solar offers a means to cut down on our fossil fuel use, and create additional energy security. Solar energy is a pivotal player in tackling renewable energy challenges, seamlessly integrating with various technologies.

What is it about solar energy and solar panels that everyone loves? How can people utilize

solar energy in simple ways around the house? to take the load off the grid. Here are 3

things I learnt about Solar Energy and Panels.

1. What is Solar and how have we grown to utilize it?

Harnessing solar energy through solar panels is nothing new as far as the technology goes. In a nut shell it’s some glass paneling, silicone, and wiring to create the energy differential to produce a voltage. Up until recently solar panels have simply not been economically viable. Over the past few decades, the average cost of solar panels has plummeted from approximately 30 cents per watt to 0.50 cents per watt. And in case you didn’t know, a watt is a unit of power or how much energy is used or produced per second. For example, if a light bulb uses 1 watt of power, it means 1 unit of energy is transferred every second. Businesses are adopting solar energy to cut operational costs and meet their sustainable goals. Residential owners have recently been installing solar panels, to reduce electricity bills, and help reduce their carbon footprint.

Solar offers a means to cut down on our fossil fuel use, and create additional energy security.

2. Solar Panels are not very efficient

When it comes to a renewable energy source, solar panels are not very efficient. When the sunlight strikes the panels, energy converts to useable electrical energy, this is efficiency. Solar panels are approximately 20% efficient, compared to wind, which is 50% efficient, and hydro which is much higher at roughly 70%. While solar panels aren’t very efficient at converting energy the appeal comes from its scalability, in addition to the fact that they can be placed in a wide range of locations, such as commercial and residential rooftops. Research in solar technology continues unabated, with new materials and technologies emerging to address its efficiency challenges.

3. What are some new ways to utilize solar panels?

Mark Ritzer is finding unique ways to help take the stress out of the grid. He’s created some products, that help with some your typical outdoor auxiliary power needs. One of his products helps with supplying all the power while barbecuing. His ingenious retrofit attaches to your standard wood pellet grill or smoker, and the solar panels supply the power. I believe one of Marks most creative products, is his solar pole concept. It’s a street light that runs on solar power. This one feels almost like a no brainer, and while this idea and concept isnt exactly new I have to admit, it’s something I haven’t thought until Mark mentioned it. This being said it makes me wonder what cities have actually done this. Through some quick googling, cities, within the USA, Germany, Australia, are only just a few that put this concept into full practice.

There is so much to uncover when it comes to solar panels, and the future of this renewable energy source. The expansion of solar energy shows no signs of halting, with projections indicating that energy generated from solar sources is anticipated to increase by an additional 41%. (Bright Future for Renewables: Solar Drives Energy Growth in 2024 — CNET). Federal policy is also moving this technology forward, with government incentives, and funding that’s making solar more accessible to the public.

If you’re looking for some more information on solar technology, or wondering about certain topics, please reach out and lets explore your questions, I would love to read and answer them.

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Your feedback on this article is also appreciated, so send comments.

If you would like to be a guest on the podcast or have a topic in mind you want to learn about, contact me and lets get into it.

Thomas Swaczyna

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