Easy Ideas for Utilizing Green Energy In Your daily life
It's important for everyone on the planet to help take care of our environment. One way to do this is to adopt a green energy lifestyle, with an eye towards less waste and greater energy efficiency in your home. But how exactly do you do that? Here are some ideas that will get you thinking about the steps you should be taking.
Making small adjustments to the way you use energy every day can ultimately reduce your consumption. If there is an appliance you aren't using, then unplug it. When you are no longer using them, turn off lights and the television. This simple tip can go a long way in saving you money.
Consult a technician for more information about switching to biodiesel heating if your home currently uses oil for heating. Many heating systems can be switched over to run on biodiesel without needing extra modifications or parts. Biodiesel is cleaner to burn than petroleum, making it more efficient to use in the wintertime.
If you use fuel oil to heat your home, ask a professional if you can use biodiesel. A lot of times this can be done with minimal modifications to your existing system. Bio-diesel is more efficient and burns cleaner than conventional petroleum, which in turn, reduces the environmental impact from your home during the winter.
A great tip for green energy use is to ensure that your home is properly insulated and has a high R value with the insulation. The best insulation has a higher R value. Not only will you save energy, but the additional insulation will keep out excessive noise from outside your home.
Start using batteries that have been recycled or else use rechargeable batteries. Disposable batteries are full of toxins and actually take about half of the energy they put off, in order to produce. If you are using disposable batteries, be sure to recycle them. Rechargeable batteries, however, can be used over and over again.
The average washing machine uses a lot of hot water. It can use over 30 gallons each load. Cut down on its hot water usage by washing in cold water. Many people struggle with this because they insist on having the water warm. If you're one of them, try replacing your machine with an Energy Star unit. Many modern detergents clean clothes really well at low temperatures.
In some areas of the world people can sign up for wind and geothermal energy from their power supplier. This is usually a little more money, but it is green energy that you are buying and do not have to invest in the machinery to make it. This helps relive the stress for fossil fuels by your energy company.
If you are attempting to save more money on your utility bills, try selecting a utility company whose focus is on renewable energy. Renewable energy, such as wind power, can help drastically decrease the amount of energy that is used in the home. As a result, you can experience increased savings.
During the holidays, it can be tempting to want to put up a lot of lights, both inside and outside your home. However, this is not wise. Not only will your electric bill be extremely high, but you will be using too much energy. Try to use Christmas lights sparingly.
Start carpooling to take care of many of your daily tasks. Don't think of it as just an option for commuting to work. If you are a parent, set up a neighborhood carpool and take turns with the other parents. You could also start doing your grocery shopping with neighbors or friends and switch on and off with who does the driving.
The Earth is not a renewable resource. It provides us with what we need to survive, but we need to take care of it, to ensure that it continues to be there for us when we need it most. Use the information we've given you here, to use more green energy and help the environment in the process.
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New Research Could Boost Efficiency of Solar Cells
Solar energy could be made more efficient in the future, thanks to new findings published by scientists from Stony Brook and the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL).
As described in a paper published on April 29 in ACS Photonics, the research assembled a nanohybrid structure that contains both biologically derived (biotic) and inorganic (abiotic) materials. This nanostructure could be used to improve the efficiency with which solar cells harvest energy from the sun.
“Today’s best solar panels can convert nearly 23 percent of the sunlight they absorb into electricity, but on average, their efficiency ranges between 15 and 18 percent,” said Mircea Cotlet, a materials scientist in BNL’s Soft and Bio Nanomaterials Group and an adjunct professor in the Materials Science and Chemical Engineering Department in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University.
“If this efficiency can be boosted, more electricity can be generated. absorb incoming sunlight, plants and certain kinds of bacteria rely on a light-harvesting protein complex containing molecules called chromophores,” Cotlet said. “This complex funnels solar energy to the photosynthetic reaction center, where it is converted into chemical energy for metabolic processes.”
The assembled biotic-abiotic nanohybrid shows enhanced harvesting of light and generation of electrical charge carriers compared to the 2-D semiconductor-only structure. These properties increase the nanohybrid’s response to light when the structure is incorporated into a field-effect transistor (FET), a kind of optoelectronic device.”
Co-author Jia-Shiang Chen, an SBU graduate student, contributed to the research.
In designing the nanohybrid, the scientists chose atomically thin 2-D molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2) as the platform for bottom-up assembly. Molybdenum diselenide is a semiconductor, or a material whose electrical conductivity is in between that of a regular conductor (little resistance to the flow of electrical current) and insulator (high resistance). They combined MoSe2 with two strong light-harvesting nanomaterials: quantum dots (QDs) and the allophycocyanin (APC) protein from cyanobacteria.
The scientists chose the components based on their light-harvesting properties and engineered the components’ band gaps (minimum energy required to excite an electron to participate in conduction) such that a concerted stepwise energy transfer can be promoted through the nanohybrid in a directional manner. In the hybrid, energy flows from light-excited QDs to the APC protein and then to MoSe2. This energy transfer mimics natural light-harvesting systems where surface chromophores (in this case, QDs) absorb light and direct the harvested energy to intermediate chromophores (here, APC) and finally to the reaction center (here, MoSe2).
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