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Take advantage of the sunshine states natural resource, solar energy

  • June 17, 2011 2:22 pm ET

Using renewable energy seems logical since it is continually replenished, naturally.  Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, water, and geothermal heat. Living in Florida provides us access to one of the most abundant natural resources, the sun. Since electricity and heat can be generated directly from the sun, solar energy makes sense for most Floridians.

Solar energy, light and heat from the sun, have been harnessed by humans since earliest times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Ironically, only a tiny fraction of the available solar energy is actually used.  Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaic (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaics convert light into electric current using the photoelectric effect.

Solar technologies are largely characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and dispense solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar systems include positioning a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

Although there is an initial investment necessary to convert your home or business to solar power, the general consensus is that the energy cost savings provide a solid long term solution. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar design, day lighting, and solar hot water. Solar panels seem to be the most common way to produce solar energy.

To learn more about Solar Power and to begin using solar power in your Fort Lauderdale home or business, check out these local retailers providing solar lighting and panel solutions.  The Energy Store, Sunshine Solar Services, eMarine Systems, and Bob Scott Lighting. For additional solar technologies including solar hot water systems, solar charger kits and solar pool heating, visit The Energy Store and eMarine Systems.

For more information on Florida Solar Energy projects and providers, visit the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association http://www.flaseia.org.

Paula Lobsenz, living in Fort Lauderdale, FL is the Show Promoter of Green Light Expo, a Virtual Trade Show for the Green Industry. Paula has a graduate degree from East Carolina University (2005) with a MA, International Studies. At ECU, she studied global issues including the environment. Paula is passionate about sustainable living, preserving the environment and promoting eco-friendly products and services that reduce environmental impact. Email with comments, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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