Aug 172012

The iphone is undeniably one of the pinnacles of modern day technology at present. Utilizing a healthy slew of cutting edge design and hi-tech equipment, it became a sort of phone of all trades. And who could argue? A light, portable device that could surf the web, play games and video and music, organize your work schedule and much more, what else do you need for a hassle free life? Well, despite setting the standard for smart phones everywhere, the iPhone still suffers from the same recalcitrant problem as any portable gadgets today: limited battery life. While many people tend to disregard this as a minor flaw, wouldn’t it be nice if we can play, surf and work with our iPhones without the fear of suddenly running out of juice in a very untimely moment? Luckily, we have an answer for that: the solar iPhone charger.

The solar iPhone charger is technically an iPhone case with a built in solar panels. As the name suggest it gathers energy from the sun to power up your iPhone. It can also store energy as backup supply in case the energy collected is inadequate. The solar iPhone charger can charge your iPhone as long as necessary, provided that there is a sun to continuously supply energy to refill it. But if you find yourself, in a dire need of recharging your battery at night, better stick to the USB cable. Other than that, it’s a piece of equipment recommended for travelers and adventurers alike.

iPhone Solar Charger

iPhone Solar Charger

There are other innovative features for the solar iPhone charger including a durable and lightweight design that doubles it up as a stylish carrying case while also enabling you to charge your iPhone while you’re running, walking, jumping, or biking. No swimming of course, we all know what would happen if we try that. Other features to be noted are the LED status indicators, to prevent overcharging, an ergonomic design with a non slip finish and several ports that enables you to fully use all the functions of the iPhone without needing take it out from the solar iPhone charger case.

More importantly, it’s a clean and efficient way to energize the iPhone for free. Needless to say, the only problem here is if you need to recharge at night or on a rainy day as we mentioned earlier. Otherwise, this is some sweet piece of technology that even Mother Nature would approve, whether or not she has an iPhone of her own.

Various Color Available for iPhone Solar Charger

Various Color Available for iPhone Solar Charger

Jul 202012

With our current economic melt down and energy prices fluctuating daily, many of us are thinking of installing solar panel power to contribute to our homes’ energy needs, and reduce our power bills.

But how much solar panel watt power do we need to say halve our power bills? And how much will that power cost us to install?

Here is a four step process that you can follow to answer these two vital questions:

1 – What Is Your Daily Power Consumption?

To do this, get your last 12 monthly power bills and calculate your average kilowatt hour (kWh) usage per month. The reason we use 12 is because our power consumption fluctuates with the seasons. The calculation would be to add up the power used over the past 12 months and divide it by 12. But if you do not have all your power bills, then simply use last month’s one.

Now take your average kwH per month and divide that by 30 to get your average kWh per day.

- Here is an example: Lets say the power used last month was 800 kWh. Your average daily usage would be 800/30 = 26.7 kWh per day.

- Now if you want to only halve your power bill then you need to produce 26.7 / 2 = 13.4 kWh of solar panel watt power per day.

2 – Calculate Total Solar Panel Watt Needs

To do this, you first need to determine how many usable hours of sunlight your area receives per day. This is where a solar insolation map comes in handy – you can view one from our original article on our website.

Once you know your daily sunlight hours, go back to your daily kilowatt hours needed and divide it by the daily sunlight hours, then multiply it by a factor of 1.25 (takes into account energy losses from the solar panel watt wiring, battery , and inverter)

- From the previous example, if you live near California where the average daily usable hours of sunlight is 5.5 hrs, the solar wattage needed is:

13.4 kWh / 5.5hrs x 1.25 = 3.045 kW or 3045 Watts per day.

This indicates that our home solar power system must have the minimum capacity to produce 3045 Watts of power.

3 – Calculate Solar Panel Watt Costs

Now you you need to calculate how much these solar panels will cost you. At the moment $4.85 per Watt is the highest average cost in the United States.

- Continuing with the same example, the cost of the solar panels will be 3045 x 4.85 = $14,768. This is only to reduce our power bill by 50%, and it is before the costs of charge controllers, inverters, batteries, and electricians.

4 – Offset Tax Credits And Rebates

Before thinking that your solar power investment is going to be $14,768 to only halve your power bill, you need to subtract any tax rebates and subsidies on offer.

2009′s Federal renewable energy tax credits came into effect from the beginning of the year, and coupled with the state-side incentives in places like Connecticut, California, New York and New Jersey, the cost of the solar power system will be much less.

- Let’s use our example: If we were from California we would receive tax rebates of about 20% of the cost, and a federal tax credit of 40% on the remainder. So after rebates and credits, our solar panels would cost us:

$14,768 – $14,768 x (20%) – $14,768 x (1 – 20%) x 40% = $7,089.

Since there are many factors that go into calculating your solar panel watt costs, please only use our steps as a rough estimate. Some things were impossible for us to take into account, such as special offers by solar installation companies, where they offer you discounts on the full installation (including charge controller, inverter, battery, grid-tie electrician costs, etc).

But, from our example it would cost a Californian about $7089 to invest in solar panels that can reduce his electricity bill by only 50%. We, on the other hand, know how to source cheaper and even free solar cells, and build our own solar panels, which makes the cost MUCH lower. If you are a DIY fanatic then it would save you a lot of money if your bought a solar power guide that show you how build your own solar panels.