Dear Solar Owners,
Sign the petition now - www.solarcitizens.org.au.
Unfortunately there is more bad news on the horizon for solar owners, with Energy Minister Mark McArdle announcing today that the Newman government will be completely removing the 8 cent feed-in tariff, effective as of 1 July this year.
If this policy is introduced then the only way to negotiate a feed-in tariff will be directly via a retailer, which we feel is a lose-lose for the 40,000 solar owners throughout Queensland.
Queenslanders have managed to stop the government implementing unfair solar charges in the past and we are hoping that we can do it again. If you feel these proposed changes are unfair and may affect you, or people you know, please sign the Solar Citizens Petition today!
|Posted in:solar powersolar
A massive solar flare could cause global chaos in 2013, causing blackouts and wrecking satellite communications.
Nasa has warned that a peak in the sun's magnetic energy cycle and the number of sun spots or flares around 2013 could generate huge radiation levels.
The resulting solar storm could cause a geomagnetic storm on Earth, knocking out electricity grids around the world for hours, days, or even months, bringing much of normal life grinding to a halt. (Protect yourself from blackouts by installing our Hybrid Energy System).
Defence Secretary Liam Fox, who delivered the keynote address at an international conference on the vulnerability of electricity grids around the world, warned that modern societies' dependence on technology leaves them vulnerable to such events.
A massive solar flare is caught on camera on September 8th 2010. Scientists fear that the Sun's activity could cause havoc on Earth in 2013.
The Sun follows an 11-year cycle of high and low periods of solar activity. It is now leaving a notably quiet phase and scientists expect to see a sharp increase in the number of solar flares as well as unprecedented levels of magnetic energy.
The rings of fire, which have the power of 100 hydrogen bombs, could cause twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina.
Experts met in Washington DC in June 2010 to discuss how to protect Earth from the ferocious flares, which are expected sometime around 2013.
Nasa is using dozens of satellites – including the Solar Dynamics Observatory – to study the threat.
The problem was investigated in depth two years ago by the National Academy of Sciences, in a report which outlined the social and economic impacts of severe space weather events.
It noted how people of the 21st-century rely on high-tech systems for the basics of daily life.
Power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications can all be knocked out by intense solar activity.
But much of the damage could be minimised if it was known in advance that the storm was approaching.
You can protect your home from surges, dirty power and electromagnetic radiation by installing our POWERWORX E3 – You can also protect yourself from blackouts by installing our all of home UPS Systems.
This Blog was provided by The Daily Mail Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1313858/Solar-flare-paralyse-Earth-2013.html#ixzz2YaFyw3z4
Perhaps the most dangerous, damaging form of pollution facing people every day is invisible, soundless, and cannot be touched or felt. It is electromagnetic field radiation (EMF) and it is emanating from virtually every single electrical appliance, computer, electric wire, and especially high voltage lines (overhead and underground), which are carrying current. EMF is specifically causing cancer in children and in older adults and may be triggering countless other immune deficiency and psychological diseases and disorders in anyone in close proximity. Make no mistake about it: electric fields are bad news for your health and can be killers.
The government of Sweden funded an official, massive study of the effects of electric fields from overhead power lines on 500,000 people over a period of 25 years and found overwhelming evidence that electric fields generated cancer in children at 4 times the normal rate and tripled the rate in adults. Sweden lists electromagnetic fields (EMF) as Class 2 Carcinogens, right along with tobacco.
As far back as 1979, University of Colorado epidemiologist Nancy Wertheimer, Ph.D., firmly established a connection between low-voltage power lines in residential neighborhoods and instances of childhood leukemia. Her study showed that children living near these ordinary backyard variety power lines had three times the likelihood of developing childhood cancer. Larger gauge, high voltage transmission lines pose a much greater danger than typical backyard lines. Since then, many other studies have confirmed her findings and substantiated the link between 50-60hz AC electromagnetic radiation and increased risk of leukemia, lymphomas, and cancer of the brain and nervous system. Many scientists warn people not to live within 200 yards of large high voltage transmission lines. Of 35 international research studies on electric field radiation, 33 established a conclusive link between brain tumors, leukemia, and other forms of cancer. (Buy an EMF Solution Now)
Scientists in Russia have done more studies on EMF than any other country and for decades have been reporting that electric fields cause high blood pressure, chronic stress effects, immune system dysfunction, changes in white and red blood cell counts, increased metabolism, chronic fatigue disorders, and headaches.
In 1990, The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study on the use of electric blankets which demonstrated “a quadrupling in the risk of brain tumors among children whose mothers slept under electric blankets during the first trimester of pregnancy.”
Other studies report a clear linkage between EMF exposure and illnesses such as immune disorders, brain wave modification, and many other serious physical and psychological abnormalities and deficiencies.
50-60hz Alternating Current (AC)
Global electricity is primarily derived from 50-60hz AC which create an EMF that penetrates every cell in the body. The primary health risks caused by EMF’s result from the conversion of AC electricity into a DC pattern of energy. The actual conversion of AC electricity into DC is primarily accomplished by the use of transformers and electric motors.
Overhead power lines and ’step-down’ transformers present the biggest dangers to the average citizen. Step-down transformers look like large metal canisters and are found hanging on many utility poles and are commonly seen throughout residential neighborhoods. Electric motors are found everywhere from vacuum cleaners to hair dryers to refrigerators. (Buy an EMF Solution Now)
In the U.S., the EPA states that an electromagnetic field of only one milligauss is the maximum safe level of exposure. However, some Russian researchers assert that an electric field of only 1/1000th milligauss should be the maximum permissible exposure.
By these standards, many of us are in big trouble. We are exposed to EMF countless times a day from electric shavers (14-1600 milligauss), hair dryers (3-1400 milligauss), electric blankets (extremely dangerous), TV’s, stereos, VCR’s, radios, computers, copiers, toasters, ovens, electric heaters, all electric appliances, microwaves, lamps, fluorescent lighting, home and office wiring, electric toothbrushes, and waterbed heaters (all of which use AC to DC conversion for their operation). Many of these electronic devices are used intermittently and that is why regular consistent exposure to overhead high voltage power lines is considered the most dangerous of all.
There is also major electric field and extreme low frequency radiation (ELF) of many kinds being emitted from military installations, industrial machines, TV and radio transmitters, microwave transmission systems, cellular phones, substations, and dozens of other sources. In fact, we live in a virtual fish bowl of radiation; a chaos of random photon bombardment which if exposed can affect every living cell of the human body.
The Vulnerable Human Body
Human beings are, in reality, bio-electric machines usually operating at between 2 and 12 hz. Normal household current is 50-60hz and is completely incompatible and disruptive to the body’s natural electric frequency range, neural transmission system, and its sensitive neuro-chemical equilibrium. 50-60hz electromagnetic radiation can penetrate the entire body and brain.
Each cell in the body contains positive and negatively charged elements that are kept in a delicate balance on the inside and outside of the cell wall. Electromagnetic, ELF, and microwave radiation disorders and disrupts this critical balance and plays havoc with the millions of electrical impulses that the body uses to regulate all cellular activity. The random and unorganized photons radiating from these fields also act as electromagnetic ‘free radicals’ which are often stored in cells as significant electrostatic charges which can cause major dysfunction at the cellular, molecular, and atomic levels. (Buy an EMF Solution Now)
Have you ever been in a car and driven under a high voltage power line and had your radio sound drowned out by static electricity? The human body takes the very same kind of punishment in the car, home, and office from the numerous sources of electric radiation which abound everywhere. And speaking of cars: many of them produce electric field radiation in the area of the front seat which can be two to three times stronger than EMF from some home appliances.
The reports of death and disease caused by electric field exposure are prolific; 11 of 65 workers on the first floor of a telephone company developed cancer from the electric field generated by a mass of electrical equipment housed in a room adjacent to their office; a San Francisco elementary school had 22 cases of cancer among the staff who worked in the front of the building near the overhead high voltage lines and four pole-mounted transformers outside; and clinical research showed human cancer cells in a lab experiment exposed to 50-60 hz (household variety) electric fields proliferated and within one week were cloning six times as fast as normal.
Furthermore, UCLA studies showed that electric field radiation on animals caused changes in the firing rate of brain cells, changes in their EEG’s and lowered behavior scores on repeat testing; permanent changes in learning ability have been documented. Short term memory impairment has been reported on subjects exposed to common 50-60hz fields and an American study showed a 300% increase in brain tumors in children whose mothers used electric blankets during pregnancy. Even many police departments have banned the use of hand-held radar guns because of the proven link between long term EMF exposure from these devices and cancer among police officers who use them. (Buy an EMF Solution Now)
The Bedroom Is Often the Most Dangerous Place In the Home
A good night’s sleep. For many, it has been years since they have been able to use that expression. Tired of laying awake nights? Tired of waking up ‘half-dead’ in the morning? Tired of taking sleeping pills and tranquilizers to sleep? If so, you are not alone. There are from 20-70 million chronic insomniacs in the U.S. and millions more who sleep poorly.
After a rough night of tossing and turning, the gritting and grinding of teeth, having nightmares, sweating, suffering through muscle cramps and spasms, millions of these people will get up and drag themselves through the day in near exhaustion, working at levels far below normal efficiency. Lost productivity in the U.S. from poor sleep runs into the billions. And how many accidents on the road are caused by fatigue and poor sleep?
Many researchers and scientists now feel that electromagnetic field radiation, both from within and without the bedroom, is the single biggest factor in poor sleep. And poor health. Look around your bedroom. Is there a clock radio on the nightstand near your pillow or in your bedhead? A tv? A stereo? A bed side lamp? Do you see an electric blanket? Are there high voltage power lines close to your residence? Do you sleep near the outside meter box? All or any of these electric sources can ruin your sleep and can substantially increase your risk of developing cancer and any number of diseases, both psychological and physical.
While you sleep, your body relaxes and is unconscious. In this state of vulnerability, research indicates you are 100-150 times more open to the damage of electromagnetic radiation than when you are awake. Children are often up to 1,000 times more sensitive to these fields when they are asleep.
The worst of all electrical bedroom appliances are clock radios, electric alarm clocks, electric blankets, and waterbed heaters. Scientists have established that a simple clock radio or electric alarm clock on the nightstand near your head can radiate an electromagnetic field into your brain and body that can cause very serious health problems. Some beds have a clock radio built into their bedhead. (Buy an EMF Solution Now)
Electric blankets radiate fields much higher than normal acceptable levels. If you insist on using an electric blanket, warm your bed and then unplug it before you retire for the night. Do not leave it plugged in while you sleep, even if it is turned off. Outside high voltage power lines continually radiate EMF 24 hours a day. Be carefull not to sit too close to CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions & monitors as they produce much stronger emf fields than lcds. Lcd tvs & monitors dont generate much emf.
A Siege of Electromagnetic Radiation
Ever since Thomas Edison energized the first electric power plant in 1882, humanity has made ever increasing use of electricity. The result is that we now live in a sea of dangerous and deadly electromagnetic radiation that we cannot sense and has never before existed on the earth. This massive onslaught of new radiation is causing stress, disease, and other harmful and destructive effects the world over by interfering with the most basic levels of the body¹s cells and especially the human brain.
Specifically, the human brain (and the brains of all living things) have been regulated since the dawn of time by the earth’s naturally-occurring narrow band of extreme low frequency radiation, commonly known as ELF. Throughout history, this narrow range of frequency occurred only in the 1-30 Hertz range and was produced by the natural resonance of the earth’s surface. The only other electromagnetic radiation of any magnitude was in the 1,000 HZ range which is produced during lightning discharges in storms. The remainder of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum was empty. There was nothing there!
It does not require great insight to realize that the vast new spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that has been unleashed on humanity in the last 100 years is overwhelming, highly-destructive, and disruptive on a scale unprecedented. (the potential use of electromagnetic radiation to control and influence the psychological behavior and health of human beings has not been lost on the military-industrial complex either. But that¹s another story).
In summary, the research done in the common 50-60hz range (household current) has demonstrated repeatedly that electromagnetic radiation can cause serious, sometimes fatal disease, major psychological and physical stress, and changes in hormones, body weight, and blood chemistry. EMF-induced decreases in immune competency alone have contributed to a wide range of illnesses and psychological disorders that have resulted in vast suffering, loss of productivity, and shortened lives. The current epidemic of numerous degenerative diseases including cancer and leukemia and other immune dysfunctions is not purely coincidental and often relates directly to the catastrophic effects of uncontrolled electromagnetic radiation in our ever-declining environment.
One of the questions people ask us when installing grid connected solar power systems is: Do they keep my power on during a blackout?
Alas, no. When the grid goes down, a grid connected solar array goes down. This is because the grid connected inverter which converts DC photovoltaic power to AC household current, is designed to trip out during a blackout and not feed power back to the grid (saving a linesman’s life if he is working on a power line that is down nearby).
The problem is after a big storm clears or if there is a problem with the grid causing a blackout for some time; the sun could be blazing and your solar power array could be developing hundreds of volts with nowhere to go. Without a battery backup system connected to the inverter to complete the circuit, not a single electron flows into our homes.
With our State and Territory Governments constantly moving the goal posts with Feed-in Tariffs, suggesting extra fees and charges be applied to solar power users and the unkown factor of constant rises in grid power coasts and our ageing sometimes unreliable infrastructure there has to be a better way.
Backup generators are an option, but are not a renewable energy, are expensive on fuel, require servicing and have a large upfront cost that puts many people off. Hybrid Solar PV Systems with UPS or Battery Back-up use bidirectional inverters which can convert DC to AC (so the array can power the house or feed into the grid) or AC to DC (so the grid can charge a bank of batteries). If there’s a power outage, the system can drop the grid and continue powering the house.
Not only do a bidirectional inverter and battery bank light up the darkness, they give solar homeowners the flexibility of choosing when to buy power from or sell power to the grid, so you can take advantage of tiered rates. In some countries like Hawaii, the utility doesn’t allow you to sell power back to the grid at all – this seems to be the way our Australian Governments want to move, because too many people are already selling power back to the grid with the extremely over generous feed in tariffs that were originally offered.
The problem is the states can’t afford to continue paying excessive amounts of money when it is cheaper for them to make carbon based power and maintain the grid at lower rates
A battery system at least lets you buy power when it’s most advantageous to do so. In fact, this is the future we all face, because all grids have only a limited capacity to absorb electricity from panels on people’s roofs and wind turbines in their yards. Not only does solar and wind output fluctuate, distributed power generation can make the network prone to cascading failures. For instance, if the grid frequency wavers, inverters might take themselves offline, which reduces the total generating capacity, which worsens the frequency deviations, which causes other inverters to trip, and so on. This means in the future you may not get the benefits from your solar power system that you first had when it was originally installed. If your inverter trips because of the constant change in grid current, your home may run lights and appliances however these appliances will have shortened lifespans due to the electrical damage caused. (Our Powerworx E3 unit can help with this issue). The worst case of all is the number of brown outs or blackouts you may have in the years to come, causing you to lose refrigerated or frozen foods etc., not to mention the inconvenience.
As you get greater saturation of intermittent renewable supplies, you’ll see less and less grid stability, the grid cannot turn up loads at the flick of a switch, it has to balance loads, power stations cannot just wind up their capacity, it takes hours for them to come up to the loads required. Countries like Germany have already reached this point and experienced grid imbalances. But if distributed generation creates a problem, it also offers a solution. Batteries in people’s garages or sheds would even out the power swings. In addition household inverters could help to stabilize the grid by tweaking their AC waveform, compensating for devices such as electric motors that muck things up by momentarily storing energy in their magnetic fields.
Most people have a vision of a gigantic pile of batteries taking up a huge amount of space in their homes, however the basic battery storage unit is the size of 2 very small washing machines (see photo above). The crucial difference between a household battery system vs a commercial system is it doesn’t go through nearly as many charge-discharge cycles. Their battery life is determined mostly by the level they are discharged to – this can be overcome by correctly programming the inverter and battery system to discharge to the right depth.
SolarGreen’s hybrid energy systems are connected to the grid via your switchboard smart inverter and meter. Our Hybrid systems can be connected to the grid or off-grid by including an uninterruptable power supply/ battery bank as well.
Our systems give you a solution towards energy independence and slash your electricity bills even if there are no government feed-in-tariffs. This solution begins with an inverter that can automate and manage all the functions required to run your electrical system, right down to individual electrical circuits if you so desire. The options are endless, and it doesn’t stop there, you can also add extra battery storage to it over time!
For more information why not contact us today.
Solar system specialist Glen Morris wears many hats. The Vice-President of the Australian Solar Council, a technical presenter at workshops and conferences, and contributor to Solar Progress Magazine (where we found this article). More recently Glen took on a role as guest lecturer at Swinburne University teaching Solar Power Systems and Grid Connect short courses. Between commitments he penned these insights into the importance of PV maintenance.
“Recently I had a group of students up at my place learning about installing off-grid renewable energy systems. One of their tasks was to mount some second-hand thin film modules onto the roof of my house. These modules been out in service for about four or five years and had collected some dust in use and subsequent storage. In numerous installation standards and guides for calculating the performance of a PV system we are told to allow 5% for dust and dirt derating. I thought I’d test the thesis. Washing with soapy water first gave about a 5% increase in performance under full midday sun but left a film of soap scum on the modules.
Subsequent hosing and mopping to remove the soap scum added another 5% performance, even after leaving the modules to warm up to normal operating temperatures. The overall outcome was a 10% gain by cleaning what looked like lightly dusted modules.
Maintenance of a PV system is far more than just cleaning though. Considering the investment in power generation that many have made, it is really about ensuring the financial productivity and safety of that system going forward. Apart from cleaning, other important tasks are checking for any physical damage, checking the performance of the system and inspecting the modules for any visible changes to the cells and module structure.”
Some matters to consider:
- Confirm the system is working - compare commissioning records (if any) with actual performance. Remember that modules derate their power very slightly with age (usually <0.5%/year) but this may not be a linear process. Some modules have a very noticeable drop off in performance in their first year or so and then stabilise.
- Working at heights is dangerous. Consider engaging professionals to perform this task safely if you don’t have the necessary skills and equipment.
- Before undertaking any physical checks or cleaning, turn off the system. An electrical fault on the system could make the modules or frame live.
- Perform visual checks first - are there any damaged cables, modules or isolators? If so, call your installer before commencing any further maintenance.
- Wash the modules with plain water – a long handled brush with a hose fitting can make this activity much safer - sometimes even from the ground or the roof edge.
- Wait for the panels to warm up again and recheck the performance. Cool panels produce more power and may give a false sense of gain if you’re too quick in checking the change in output.
And finally, while cleaning your panels, take the opportunity to look closely at the PV modules. If you notice any changes to the colour or evenness of the modules it may be worth having your installer investigate further.
Some visual changes are harmless and just part of the natural aging of the modules but any evidence of overheating or “hot spots” are serious and the systems should be shut down immediately and professional advice sort.
Since the publication of the new PV array standard AS/NZS 5033 last year, it has become mandatory for all systems to provide user documentation that includes a maintenance schedule. Check that you have one and observe its recommendations. Remember that after the installer’s workmanship warranty has expired the owner is responsible for the upkeep and safety of their electrical system.
SolarGreen offer a panel clean and system inspection service - why not enquire today: http://www.solargreen.net.au/contact-us.html