Category Archives: Environment and Clean Technology

Articles about environmental issues and clean technology products besides solar.

solar charge controller

Guide to solar charge controllers: what you need to know

If you’re considering installing an off-grid solar project with a battery attached, you’ll want to look into a solar charge controller for your system. Charge controllers act as a gateway to your battery, and ensure that you don’t overcharge and damage your energy storage system. In this article, we’ll cover what a solar charge controller is, and how the two major types—pulse width modulation (PWM) and maximum power point tracking (MPPT)—compare.

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Utility bills

What is a utility bill?

Utility bills are a regular occurrence in most people’s lives – and can add up hundreds of dollars a month in expenses! Generally, you’ll get utility bills for things like electricity, gas, and water (typically each month) to your home or business. We’ll break down what utility bills you’re likely receiving, what makes up the final utility bill you see at the end of each billing cycle, and ways to save on your utility bills in the future.

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solar battery charger

Best solar battery chargers: marine, RV and car battery chargers

Among today’s many uses for solar energy, one increasingly popular way to harness sunlight is with battery chargers that can power common home products. Outside of rooftop and utility-scale photovoltaics (PV), battery chargers might be the next best use for solar energy in terms of efficiency and practicality. A small panel can easily be placed next to a window to charge a phone, and a portable charger can be an easy way to power your car’s battery through the sunroof. In this article, we’ll discuss the many ways a solar battery charger can be useful, including how solar works with cars, boats, RVs and small devices.

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solar light

Guide to outdoor solar lights: what outdoor solar lighting solutions are available?

Solar power can be used in many ways. Aside from a traditional rooftop solar panel installation, you can Solar power can be used in many ways. Aside from a traditional rooftop solar panel installation, you can take advantage of solar energy with outdoor solar lights that capture, store, and then use the sun’s energy to light your property. There are a wide variety of outdoor solar lighting options that fit most needs. In this article, we cover the basic types of outdoor solar lighting that you may want to use on your property.

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generator vs. battery

Home battery backup power vs. generators: which is right for you?

If you live in an area with frequent power outages, you already know the benefits of having a backup power supply for your home. Propane, diesel, and natural gas-powered generators have long been the system of choice for homeowners and businesses that want to ensure that the lights stay on when the power goes out in the neighborhood. Now, an increasing number of people are considering newer, cleaner battery options like the Tesla Powerwall.

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Lumin Edge

The Lumin Edge: what you need to know

Energy management in an emerging industry that helps you take full advantage of your solar or solar-plus-storage system. With an energy management system, you’re able to both monitor and control your energy consumption, allowing you to maximize the energy generated by your system and lower your electric bills. Lumin was one of the initial leaders in this industry with their Smart Panel that allows you to turn the ordinary circuits on your electrical panel into smart circuits. Building on that initial success, Lumin recently launched their newest energy management product that provides unique opportunity and flexibility for those who don’t want to rewire their entire electrical panel: the Lumin Edge

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Energy monitors overview

What you need to know about energy monitors

Electricity is expensive – and finding ways to cut your usage can save significant money down the line! One way homeowners are starting to take their energy management into their own hands is through energy monitors, devices that provide insight into how much energy you’re using, and when you’re using it. With this information, you can adjust your behavior and ultimately cut down on your electricity costs, all while helping the environment. In this article, we’ll explain some things to consider when evaluating energy monitors. 

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How does cryptocurrency contribute to fossil fuel emissions?

In February 2021, Tesla announced that it had purchased $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and planned to accept the cryptocurrency as payment, causing the price of Bitcoin to soar to record high numbers. However, three months later, Elon Musk disrupted the cryptocurrency market when he tweeted, “Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin,” citing concerns about “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.”

Overnight, the Bitcoin market dropped by almost 10 percent–so how founded are these environmental concerns in cryptocurrency mining, and could cryptocurrency have a clean energy future?

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electrification overview

What is electrification?

As more and more homeowners make the switch to both solar panels and electric vehicles in the US, the clean energy transition is now about more than just increasing clean energy. Increasingly, an important piece of the clean energy transition is electrification. Electrification is a vital piece of any carbon reduction plan, and could have some big implications for the appliances in your home–and your garage!  

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Smart thermostats

What are smart thermostats and how do they facilitate energy management?

As we accelerate home electrification across the United States, the energy management industry continues to grow. More and more homeowners are looking for actionable insight into their energy usage so they can reduce their consumption – and save money! According to Energy Star, the average American household spends over $900 on heating and cooling each year. So, it’s no surprise that one of the first products to gain major traction in this space was the smart thermostat.

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