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Introducing Your Family To Solar Energy
By Jim Fritz, Fri Dec 9th

One of the difficulties that solar and renewableenergy have faced in the past is that it requires people tolearn about it. People are busy and they are also reluctant tochange and learn. It is much easier to get energy fromtraditional sources that seem to “magically” transfer power andelectricity to homes through the wires of the electricity grid.However, we are becoming increasingly aware of problems withthis entrenched attitude. We seem to hear almost daily aboutpower blackouts and brownouts, along with warnings aboutdwindling energy supplies.

One way to begin to educate yourself and your children aboutenergy and electricity is to purchase one of many differentkinds of small solar energy systems. From solar toys to solarlights to portable solar panels, small solar electric systemsmake it easy to learn some of the basics of energy. You canlearn about the generation of energy and get an idea of how itis limited by certain factors. Your kids can use a small solartoy or solar energy kit to see directly the relationship betweenenergy generation and availability. From your solar light, youwill learn that a sunlit day will make the light shinepowerfully that evening. Conversely, you will notice arelationship between cloudy days and dimness or lack of lightfrom your solar light. While a small portable solar panelprovides energy for your boat or RV, it can also teach the needfor energy storage (the battery) and conservation. Even a solarlight gives you a micro-version of all electricity systems: thepanel generates energy, the wires transfer it, a battery storesit and the light bulb uses it.

One of the unfortunate effects of the convenience of the energygrid is that people remain largely unaware of aspects


of energyproduction and the need for its proper management. When we pluginto a wall and get instant energy, it’s easy to forget thatthat energy is finite and inhibited by circumstances.

The effect of holding a small solar electric system in your handstakes some of the mystery out of energy and power. Energy is nolonger something “made” at a distant generating station or powerplant. The effect is, well, empowering. It’s similar to the waythat personal fitness and some styles of alternative health giveyou a measure of control over your own health. Build on theknowledge you get from a small solar electric system, learnabout generating your own energy and you will have increasedauthority over your household power, a vital area of your life.

Purchasing a small solar electric system like those found insolar toys or other gadgets can be a simple and efficient way tointroduce both you and your family to solar energy. Thisknowledge just may come in handy in the coming years, as solarenergy and other kinds of renewable energy systems become abigger part of grid generation and more popular as the publiclyowned “power plants.”

About the author:Jim Fritz has been researching the benefits of solar energy forseveral years and is a contributing writer for the solar a site that offers information about solar energy solar panels, information about the costs of solarenergy and much more.


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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.

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