As the cost of green energy continues to drop and the cost of fossil fuels (and hence of commercially-
These products range from simple and useful guides to producing solar or wind power at home, to scams involving scientifically unlikely (and usually unexplained) techniques. So that’s the first thing we should always determine up front: are the methods of power generation or saving being addressed here ones that we know are real and will actually work?
In the case of Green Power Easy by Peter and Jennifer Lowe, the answer is yes. There is nothing controversial here. The power sources described are solar power using photovoltaic panels and wind power using turbines. In addition, the four-
set goes into ways to improve energy efficiency and conserve power.
It’s advertised at a regular price of $49.97 (currently discounted to $39.97) which includes all four e-
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The authors come with plenty of experience: twelve years in the green energy consulting business, and seem to be something in the way of missionaries for green energy. So far, so good. Let’s take a look, then, at some of the claims the authors make for their guide.
One claim is that the guide will tell you how to build solar panels for as little as $125 and a wind turbine for as little as $100. So let’s consider whether that would be possible, and if so what the specifics of these devices would be. First with regard to the solar panel, a solar panel is built of photovoltaic cells, and the cheapest solar cells that I could find came to about 25 cents a watt (on Ebay). So this claim is certainly true, but may be a little misleading; allowing for costs other than the solar cell (frame materials, leads, wiring), you could create a solar panel generating at most a few hundred watts of power for that price, if you shop carefully. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that!
It means that a 3 kilowatt home solar system could be constructed for much less than the cost of having such a system installed. But you certainly could not do it for $125, although you could indeed make one solar panel for that price.
Still, this looks like a decent guide to home-
Its tips on how to improve energy efficiency are sound and common-
As anyone knows who has looked into converting a home, wholly or in part, to renewable energy, the up-