This page describes various renewable energy systems and provides links to other web sites that go into as much detail as you could possibly wish for. Each link will open in a new browser window. Close the new browser window to return to this page from the links.

Note that there are two sections at the bottom of the page named On-Line Catalogs and Glossary of Renewable Energy Terms. On-Line Catalogs presents links to several web sites that offer renewable energy products and services. We suggest that you visit these sites to learn as much as possible and then view our Products page to see which of the products that we recommend. The Glossary section presents links to several web sites defining renewable energy terms. We suggest that you visit these glossaries and see if you are familar with or understand all of the terms.

Solar Photo-Voltaic Electricity Generation: Solar PV systems generate electricity when sunlight falls on panels made of special semi-conductor materials. This direct current (DC) electricity is used to charge storage batteries or is fed into an electronic device called an inverter which turns it into the familar alternating (AC) current that is used in our homes. If you happen to be producing more current than you are using, then the power can be sold back to the utility company. Click on the following links for more details:

  • Photovoltaics: Basic Design Principles and Components of PV systems
  • Department of Energy: overview of solar electricity and types of PV panels
  • Consumers Guide to buying a Solar Electric System

Backup Electrical Power system:A backup power system is designed to sense when the electrical grid goes down and to turn on and produce electricity for your home or business until the electrical grid comes back up again. Unlike gasoline powered generators, these systems turn on within a fraction of a second so that the appliances in your house do not even know that the power grid is down. The turn on time of 20 to 35 milli-seconds is so fast that not even computers are affected. You do not lose valuable data and even Windows continues to run. These systems use several of the components of a solar PV system to create backup power for you, namely, the batteries, inverter, and some controls. If you remove the solar panels from your PV system, then you have a backup power system.

  • Backup Basics: How does it work?

Solar Hot Water: Solar hot water heating systems are the most cost effective use of solar energy especially when one uses an electrical hot water heater. The system uses the sun’s heat to pre-heat the domestic hot water thus saving electricity since electrical heating of hot water is one of the most wastful uses of electricity.

  • Solar Water Heating: Overview of solar hot water heating systems from NREL
  • Solar Hot Water: Another description from “Whole Building Design Guide”
  • Residential Solar Heating Collectors: Types of solar hot water collectors for homes

Solar Powered Water Pumping: Solar water pumping systems are mostly used on farms where the electrical grid is located at some distance from the water well. These systems are particularly effective when the need for the water is the greatest during the summer months when the maximum power of the sun is available. These systems use a tracker mount which follows the sun during the day to maximize the production from the system.

  • Sunelco: Photovoltaic Water Pumping Systems

Wind Energy: Wind turbines is the fastest growing renewable energy alternative. Look at the following links to understand the technology and to see if there is enough wind available where you live.

  • American Wind Energy Association: factsheets on wind energy
  • Small Wind Energy Systems in Maryland Will wind power work in Maryland?
  • Small Wind Energy Systems in Virginia Will wind power work in Virginia
  • Small Wind Energy Systems for the Homeowner: Factsheets from NREL

Fuel Cells: Fuel cells are not quite ready for the marketplace although there are some products available for sale. We expect this area to be one of the best alternatives in the future especially when you tie solar PV electricity, production of hydrogen, and fuel cells together.

  • Residential Fuel Cells overview document with references.

On-line Catalogs: LBA presents these catalogs because they are very good sources of background information as well as sources for specific product information. In you become familiar with the products in the marketplace then you will be able to readily understand why LBA has selected the specific products that we have for our systems.

The following are links to several on-line catalogs.

Glossary of Renewable Energy Terms:

This section presents some links to web sites that are glossaries or definitions of renewable energy terms.

  • Department of Energy
  • Odysen Renewable Energy Portal

Facts about the Sun: To learn some interesting facts about the sun and to see some incredible pictures, click on the following links: