Renewable energy

Photovoltaic solar panels
Renewable energy

Solar heating and energy generation

It has been estimated that the sun provides as much energy in 15 minutes as humans use in a year. By taking advantage of that with heating and electrical generation, we can work to end our dependence on fossil fuels. Solar energy Our future truly depends on us continuing to develop and implement renewable energy syste…

Are Small Wind Turbines for Homes Any Good?
Wind power

Is this the safest and most powerful small home wind turbine yet?

We were told about the PowerPod compact home wind turbine appearing on a Kickstarter campaign, but having seen a fair few home wind turbines in the past that failed to deliver on their promises, Ecohome decided to investigate. Countless inventors are stepping up to the plate with the latest and greatest green technol…

Tesla Solar Roof Cost Comparison, Competitors & Reviews
Solar photovoltaic

Are Tesla solar roofs worth the money? Are there any competitors? Our take on the future of BIPV

BIPV solar roof shingles are poised to take over rooftop solar installations with better durability, pricing and aesthetics announced for the Tesla solar roof - here we look at the competitors in the solar roof market. Rooftop solar-power production is fairly commonplace now, and you always know exactly which roof has…

Tesla Solar Roof Tiles installation just got easier
Solar photovoltaic

Tesla solar roof gains ground with target of 1000 solar roofs / week

Finding a long-term roofing solution hasn't been the norm in the US & Canada, but the times they are a changing. Sustainable homes are gaining in popularity and the Tesla solar roof tiles are starting to make sense. The Telsa solar roof tiles are in the news again. They now have solar panel shingle installations going…

Solar thermal collectors

Product of the month: Solar water heater with overheating protection

The flat plate solar thermal collector from Viessmann has a modulating collector to prevent overheating.   Solar thermal panels in cold climates are at risk of freezing in winter, so in the North, we use a glycol mix as a heat transfer fluid. This prevents panels from freezing but introduces new problems in the summer…

Solar thermal collectors

All about solar thermal collectors

Choosing the right solar thermal water heater system. What is a solar thermal collector? A photovoltaic (PV) solar collector converts solar radiation into electricity, but a solar thermal collector is much simpler than that. It refers to a device that collects heat directly from solar radiation. That can be as simple…

Solar panel reflectors
Solar photovoltaic

Using reflectors to increase the yield of solar panels

A study showed that reflectors on solar panels can increase their performance by up to 30%. The continuing drop in cost for home solar power generation has led to a dramatic increase in the rate of installations, for both residential and commercial use. Increasing the yield through reflection could make that an even m…

Lithium-ion solar home battery
Solar photovoltaic

Lithium-ion solar home batteries

How to choose and properly size a solar home battery system. Home battery systems have recently improved in two substantial ways, and the first big improvement is in the batteries themselves. Lithium-ion batteries on the market today are much more robust and functional than the lead-acid batteries we have relied on in…

Dual axis solar tracker
Solar photovoltaic

Choosing between solar trackers and fixed solar panels mounts

What to consider when choosing between a fixed-angle solar mount or one that tracks the sun all day. When considering home solar power you will first want to: Update your appliances and get your demand down as low as possible. Convert any appliances that you are intending to convert (such as installing heat pumps to…

Flexible 'solar glitter' from Mpower Technologies
Solar photovoltaic

Flexible PV 'solar glitter' panels coming soon

Not only are they more durable, they are also pliable, lightweight and easily transportable. Standard solar panels are rigid, relatively heavy and fragile. A new product on the market called Microsystems Enabled Photovoltaics (MEPV) from mPower Technology may change that. The cells in these pliable sheets are made fro…

Solar Air Heating Panels for Homes - How to Build DIY
Solar thermal collectors

All about solar air heaters - DIY or purchased

Passive solar air heaters are easy to make for competent DIY'ers from downspouts, pop-cans or roofing sheet or there are affordable heaters for sale online & both offer a quick payback - discover more here. How solar air heaters work: Solar air heater diagram © Ecohome The above diagram indicates the basic concept o…