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Energy Green Energy

Solar Controller Vs Retrofit – Which One Is Ideal for You?

In a world with an increased awareness of the catastrophic impact of greenhouse emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels for energy generation, governments and people are making the switch towards more sustainable sources of energy every day. Furthermore, one of the cheapest and most cost-effective renewable sources of energy is solar power, and its easy accessibility to almost everyone on the planet has made it the best option for generating electricity. 

Plus, solar power has also helped in significantly reducing the overall damage caused by traditional sources of energy. However, India, in particular, is one of the countries with an increased emphasis on the switch to solar energy. In addition, the government is investing in solar power big-time and is also actively encouraging the citizens to make the switch by offering attractive subsidies and schemes on investing in renewable sources of power. 

However, what we don’t know is that one of the most important components of a solar system is the solar controller, as it is responsible for controlling the flow of charge that your battery receives from the solar panels. So, in this guide, we are going to take a look at solar controllers and the active role it plays in a solar system. Plus, we will also briefly discuss how a solar controller system is different from a retrofit to help you make the right decision. So, keep reading to know more. 

Solar Controller Vs Retrofit
In this article, we are going to detail how a solar controller work while comparing it with a retrofit solar setup.

What is a Solar Controller?

A solar controller helps in modulating the variations in power produced by a solar panel and then controls the flow of energy to the batteries for optimal charging. It’s also responsible for preventing any overheating and overcharging of the batteries, as it could result in a fire. 

Types of Solar Controllers

There are generally two types of controllers effectively in use: 

1. PWM or Pulse Width Modulation:

A PWM controller is a type of solar controller that acts as an electrical switch, which assists in providing the desired voltage to charge batteries, in which the charge current decreases slowly as the batteries get charged. 

2. MPPT or Maximum Power Point Tracker:

An MPPT charge controller works in real-time by matching the voltage of the solar panels with the battery to increase charging efficiency and is better compared to a PWM-based charge controller. 

However, for anyone trying to go solar for the first time, you might have heard about charge controllers and retrofits. But for a layperson, it can get quite confusing as to which one is better. Well, they both have their purposes, but here’s how a retrofit differs from a charge controller. 

How Is a Retrofit Different from a Charge Controller?

Unlike a charge controller, a retrofit is essentially a conversion kit that can be used with your existing unit and allows you to convert your existing inverter and battery into a solar unit without disturbing any of the existing wirings. 

So, if you are thinking of getting a solar controller for your solar system or thinking of upgrading your existing backup system to solar, Luminous has an impressive range of solar charge controllers and retrofit available across a range of budget options. 

Better yet, all of their products come with Luminous’ stellar track record of building some of the best solar systems in the industry, using only the best of components and exceptional service lives and value for money. So, if you had been holding back on making the jump to solar, don’t hold back anymore and make the switch today for a greener planet and for incredible savings on your electricity bills

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Asia Energy Green Energy

4 Ways Indian Solar Industry Has Been Impacted by COVID 19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had large-scale effects on all industries across the world. Unfortunately, the solar industry is not isolated from this impact, and uncertainties are leading to concerns for many businesses. Moreover, the crisis comes at the peak of India’s solar project execution. The country has ambitious goals of meeting the 100GW Solar Energy target by the coming year, and while we’re still behind on these targets, the industry is plotting strategies to get closer to the goals. 

Image Source: Luminous

Challenges Posed by COVID-19

  • Ongoing solar projects in India have come to a halt. The developers are concerned about their delayed projects due to the slowdown all across the world and lockdown restrictions in India
  • With the industry depending on China for close to 80 per cent of their solar supply requirements, the manufacturers are facing major disruptions. 
  • Manufacturers are witnessing delays in procuring modules, solar cells and other essential supplies. 
  • 85 per cent of the workforce in the industry are migrant labours who have returned to their hometowns and villages. 

Tackling Challenges and the Road Ahead 

The government of India has taken some major steps to provide respite to the solar industry and formulate a stimulus plan that is efficient and green. 

  1. The government has classified solar as an essential service and allowed the movement of commodities. This has proven to be incredibly helpful in tackling these challenges. 
  2. The Reserve Bank of India has offered a moratorium for a quarter on the repayment of term loans.
  3. The Ministry of Power has recently proposed the Electricity Act (Amendment) Bill 2020. This bill is undoubtedly a step in the right direction and can bring about some critical reforms in the renewable energy sector. 

With these steps in place, it is now possible to get a solar panel system for your homes even in the midst of the pandemic. This means that you don’t need to wait in order to enjoy the benefits of solar energy at home. 

Wondering if you need a solar panel system? The following factors will help you decide. 

  • Solar Power is Environmentally Friendly. This means that you don’t need to worry about harming the environment as you run your electrical appliances. 
  • Solar Electricity is Cost-Effective. Once you install your solar power system, your electricity bills will be significantly reduced. 
  • Your Property Rates Go Up Too. Solar homes tend to sell at a much higher rate. This is why getting solar panel systems for your home is a lucrative investment

These factors make it clear that your home needs a solar panel system. However, before you get set to install this system, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. 

  • Consider the condition of your rooftop. This is important because it can get hard to repair your rooftop once the solar panels are installed. So, in case your rooftop needs repair, it’s a good idea to get that done before installing the solar panel system. 
  • Consider your energy requirements. It is important to understand how much energy you would need your solar power system to generate. This would help you choose your systems wisely. 
  • Do you need a battery? In most cases, it is recommended to get a battery along with your solar panel system as it stores the extra energy produced by your solar panels and supplies that energy at night or when there’s less sunlight. 

Aside from these things, another thing you should keep in mind before installing a solar panel system is the brand of your system. You must go for a well-known, reputable brand such as Luminous as such brands offer quality products that are durable and come with a good warranty period. Visit their website to know more about their products. 

Categories
Energy Green Energy

5 Reasons Why Solar Roofing Is More Profitable Than the Conventional Kind

What is that one part of your home that gets the most sunlight? Of course, it is the roof. It is particularly why solar panels are installed on the roof. Have you considered the possibility of converting the entire roof into a solar panel?

Not only is it possible, but it is also profitable.

Tesla might make everyone think that solar roofing is their idea, but the concept has been around for a while. Whether you go for Tesla style solar shingles or the regular solar roof, one thing will remain the same – it will cost you more than a conventional roof.

However, when speaking of cost, people often overlook the benefits of a solar panel. These benefits are not apparent right away, but they prove extremely profitable in the long run.

When it comes to solar roofing installation, the benefits out ways the let downs against the conventional roofing solution. Here are five reasons why solar roofing is more profitable than the conventional kind.

Why Solar Roofing? Is It Worth All The Buzz?

5 Reasons Why Solar Roofing Is More Profitable Than the Conventional Kind
Solar roofing has become a rave of the moment, but not many are aware of its amazing features. Here are five reasons why you should give solar roofing a try in your home or office.

1. Solar Roofing Is Environment-Friendly

There is no second opinion about it. Environment-friendly choices are the need of the hour. The whole world is suffering from the side effects of global warming. And it is all because of the careless choices we have made over the decades. Now it is time to make more conscious decisions, on a much larger scale. Smaller acts won’t add up to a significant effect unless we make a bigger decision. We are talking roof scale big here!

Solar energy is renewable energy. When you power your home with solar, you are not leaving behind any footprint on the atmosphere. There is simply no harmful emission or any adverse effect of solar on human health or the environment. Since it is the only planet we have and the same planet we will inherit, the profits will surely be reaped by generations to come.

Now,by comparison, a conventional roof is a contributing factor in global warming. Scientists are constantly working on ways to reduce the amount of heat created by roofs. Many solutions have been proposed,but nothing is as effective as solar roofing.

2. Solar Roofing Increases the Value of Your Property

Property is an investment. Even if you buy a home you plan to live in, you never know when you will have to sell it. So, it’s important to always think of in terms of resale. Solar energy is now considered a great way to enhance the value of any property. Homebuyers understand the kind of saving they can expect. And we aren’t just talking about one or two panels, we are talking about a whole roof that acts as a solar panel.

According to a recent study in this regard, solar installations can improve your property’s value by around $16000. The difference can be higher in states that offer better tax incentives. A solar roof will make your home appear modern and up to date. It will attract buyers who are more interested in greener choices. Since there is still a dearth of eco-friendly homes, you will have the upper hand in negotiations.

3. Solar Roofing Can Offer Tax Benefits

As the mercury rises beyond historical limits every year, the government is trying to encourage more and more people towards eco-friendly choices. It is why they are constantly offering tax cuts and credits for people who invest in green energy in their homes.

With Solar roofing, you will be eligible for the 30 percent federal tax credit, plus any additional credit applicable in your state. Moving forward, we can only expect improved incentives for solar installation. We might even see better incentives for solar roofing as compared to simple solar panel installations. Some states have an additional 20 to 25 percent credit. This means the cost of roofing will be slashed in half, which will be close to if not lower than the cost of the conventional kind.

A fair estimate is that you can easily recover the cost of solar roof installation within five years. That is just one another reason why overhead cost should be the last thing you should worry about when thinking of solar roofing.

4. Solar Is All About Long Term Savings 

Take out the solar installation calculator and get an estimate of solar roof installation. The figure might seem too high as compared to the cost of conventional roofing, but that is just half the story. The easiest way to understand the difference is to think of a conventional roof as an expense, and solar roofing as an investment. Whatever you invest in solar panel installation, you are likely to get it back within five years or even less. We can always count on better tax credits and policies.

As mentioned earlier, a solar roof will bring in plenty of tax incentives your way. There are federal and state tax credits. There is a significant increase in your property’s value. Not to mention, solar roofing is better at insulation,and your overall heating and cooling needs will also subside.

Categories
Energy Green Energy

Top Five Reasons Why Your Company Should Invest in Solar Energy for Long-Term Benefits

Earlier this year, solar energy marked a milestone in the UK by providing power to more British homes and businesses than coal power stations over a 24-hour period. Over the same day, it was seen that solar generated 29 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power compared to the 21GWh generated by coal-fired power stations.

What’s more?

In October, it was revealed that solar panels provided more power than coal for six months of the year in total, with April to September being heralded as prolific months in the history of clean energy.

There has been an increasing move towards alternative energy sources in recent years, with a number of businesses moving to install solar before changes to the government subsidy program were introduced in February (more on that later). The shift isn’t just happening across the UK though – over £113 billion was invested into solar power globally in 2015. So could solar be right for your business?

We take a look at five compelling reasons to give solar investment some serious thought…

Should you consider solar energy for your business? Consider these:

Solar Power - Solar Energy Systems
Thinking long-term for your small business? Here are 5 reasons why your company should invest in solar energy to take charge of the future. These are valid and well-detailed reasons to Invest in Solar Energy Systems | CC:- Tropical Solar Energy

It’s easy to do

With solar panels now costing 80 per cent less than they did five years ago, utilising solar energy has become a more realistic option for business premises across the UK. Solar panels can be easily installed, too; photovoltaic farm panels are laid and connected via a solar cable, and these panels last for a minimum of 25 years. You should ensure your system is installed by professionals using accredited panels, and that the solar cable used has a TUV certification to be sure of it’s high quality.

Lower your energy bills

The solar energy generated will greatly reduce your utility bill and lower your carbon emissions, both positives for business owners. Rising energy costs are becoming an increasing point of concern, and so with solar in place, you will have some protection from price inflation that may occur in the wake of both Brexit and the US election results. 

Claim tax benefits

The government overhauled it’s feed-in tariff”(FIT) scheme in February of this year, but businesses can still apply to receive rebates from their energy supplier for generating it’s own electricity. Once your solar system is connected to the grid, you will receive money from your supplier for the units of electricity generated, and any surplus units can be sold back to your electricity supplier in exchange for an export tariff. There are calculators on the government website designed to help you work out how much you could receive – for some businesses, it could amount to recouping the cost of the installation in as soon as 10 years.

Increase your business

Positioning environmental responsibility as a key focus for your business can be attractive to investors and consumers alike. Making sustainability a priority can therefore be good for business, and help improve your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts. 

It’s the future

Finally, alternative sources like hydro, wind and solar are becoming the future of energy provision as traditional resources fall in supply. It’s projected that 13GW of solar capacity will have been installed throughout the UK by as soon as 2020, and so as more businesses and homeowners will move to make the smart choice, you can be ahead of the curve and start enjoying the many benefits of solar power sooner.

Categories
Energy Green Energy News

The World’s First Solar Panel Road Unveiled in a French Village

World’s first solar panel road unveiled in a French village. Innovation they said would certainly rule the world, and that’s exactly what is happening at Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy, France. The small village is determined to take solar panels off the roof to the street. The town is boasting of housing the world’s first solar panel road ever to be recorded. The 1 kilometer long route approximately 0.6 mile enclosed by 2,800 sq/km of electricity generating panels was unofficially declared opened yesterday by the country’s minister of ecology, Ségolène Royal.

French village boast itself as home to the world’s first ever solar panel road network.

WattWay - Solar panel road

While thinking about the rationale behind the solar panels being installed on a road as per longevity of the panels, the officials reported that the panels have been protected with a protective resin made of silicon sheets to assist to resist the heaviness of over 2,000 motorists which make use of the road, while taking into care the friction between the tyres and the solar panel road.

This is not the first and yet, it is not going to be the last time such an interesting idea like this has surfaced. A very similar project of such was pronounced back in 2014 in Amsterdam, Netherlands but the difference is, it was to be constructed on a circle path unlike this one that’s on the road.

Solar panels well-layed on a road network in Normandy, France
Solar panels well-layed on a road network at Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy, France.

The project is half-way up to its acceptance level and officials are really looking forward to WattWay’s answer to generating enough energy to power street lighting all across the town with 3400 residents before 2019, says The Guardian. If the project proves to be successful, the Royal would want the panel to be installed in every 1,000km (about 621 miles) of road in the country, and they currently have a total of 1 million km (approx 621,000 miles) of road network.

But there’s a problem!

The cost implication of completing a stretch of road goes for about 5 million Euros (approx US$5.2 million), leaving us room to question the project’s actual value. Here’s what Marc Jedliczka, the vice-president of Network for Energetic Transition (CLER) told Le Monde regarding it:

“It’s without doubt a technical advance, but in order to develop renewables there are other priorities than a gadget of which we are more certain that it’s very expensive than the fact it works.”

However, in its effort to reduce the cost of production of the solar panels for the road energy distribution system, Colas, the manufacturing company behind the solar panel roads, is working around the clock to make it work for a better and affordable rate. In the same vein, the company is also working on hundreds of other solar side-projects both in France and abroad.

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Energy Green Energy News

10 Reasons to Invest in Solar Energy Systems – #EarthDay Wake

“Here comes the sun, and I say, it’s all right.”According to the Beatles, the sun is a great subject for lyrics. It’s also an excellent source of energy.

There are financial, ecological and environmental reasons to switch to solar. As an investment opportunity, solar power is an up-and-coming energy system with a lot of potential.

When homeowners and businesses chose solar, investors profit. And there are a lot of reasons why people are rethinking their current energy suppliers and taking a closer look at solar systems.

Solar Energy Systems
Here are the valid and reasonable factors to consider if you want to Invest in Solar Energy Systems | CC:- Tropical Solar Energy

We Think You Should Invest in Solar Energy, and here’s why:

1. Easy Does It

Compared to other power systems, solar energy is simple. There are no mechanical parts to break. Even if an issue develops, many homeowners have maintenance contracts with their installers.

Wind turbines get a bad rap for their noise levels, even though a typical home turbine makes less noise than a refrigerator. However, solar panels have the benefit of being completely silent.

2. Get Rid of the Grid Inspectors

Homeowners who want to be free of the massive energy grid in the U.S. can use solar energy and be completely independent. Solar power isn’t just for hermits, ecology fanatics and political activists — people throughout the country have gone off the grid.

Perhaps more importantly, solar energy offers an option for developing countries that essentially have no grid. Solar energy is a safer, cleaner and more reliable alternative.

3. Choices, Choices

Homeowners who buy solar systems outright receive the largest savings most quickly. However, people without ready cash can also go solar.

Some solar energy companies lease their equipment. Maintenance costs are included. Consumers save 10 to 20 percent on electricity. Average savings are $10 to $40 monthly.

Certain lenders offer solar loans. These loans typically cover the entire installation and are paid off within 10 to 20 years. Meantime, homeowners save $40 to $120 each month —an average of 40 to 60 percent of their electric bill. Once you settle your loan the savings jump dramatically.

4. Solar Selections

Not all solar systems are the same, so homeowners can use what best meets their needs. Early solar panels were monocrystalline, grown from a single crystal of silicon. These are typically black and very efficient.

Polycrystalline panels, somewhat lighter in color, are cast from molten silicon. This process results in more imperfections, so efficiency is affected. However, manufacturing polycrystalline panels requires less energy and fewer materials.

5. Businesses Are Big Business

Homeowners aren’t the only ones interested in solar systems. Businesses are seeing the advantages, as well.

In addition to lowering electrical and maintenance costs, businesses can use the shadows from their large panel arrangements to shade parking lots or outdoor work and leisure centers.

A company can focus its adoption of solar energy in order to market itself as environmentally conscientious. Solar has increased in popularity because the cost of solar has dropped 50% since 2008. It can make a commitment to using greener power and reducing its carbon footprint, a move that can also encourage media attention.

6. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

When energy comes from fossil fuels, much of the work is mechanized. The production and installation of solar energy systems on the other hand needs actual workers.

Over 200 thousand people work in the solar energy industry, manufacturing products, making sales and installing systems. Employment grew more than 100 percent in the first half of the 2010 decade, and expansion is expected to continue.

7. Energy to Spare

The sun is full of energy. Every 18 days, it releases the same amount of energy as earth’s remaining stores of coal, oil, and natural gas, which are finite.

The sun releases an enormous amount of energy — about 1,300 watts per square meter. Not all of this energy reaches earth, as the atmosphere reflects some away. On average, the sun delivers 4.2 kilowatt-hours of energy to every square meter on the planet. For comparison, one kilowatt-hour is enough to run a smart phone for a year or power ten 100-watt incandescent light bulbs for an hour.

It’s not just the hot and sunny southwest that can collect solar energy. Even in cloudier regions, the sun still shines —but it’s usually not as strong. Solar panels also work more efficiently in colder weather.

8. Money in Your Pocket

Most households save $100 to $200 monthly on their electric bill after installing solar panels. That means the system pays for itself within five to 10 years. After that, electricity is essentially free.

Through 2016, a federal tax credit covers 30 percent of installation costs. Homeowners who stick around after setting up a solar system experience a terrific return on their investment.

9. Help for the Planet

Have you heard of global warming? Energy needs contribute to that. Most power plants are guilty of producing significant amounts of carbon dioxide and other gasses that capture heat inside the atmosphere, altering temperatures.

At the other extreme, solar systems cause almost no emissions. Preventing the formation of greenhouse gasses is just one advantage.

Coal and natural gas power plants cause air and water pollution, which are associated with lung, heart, and neurological problems. Solar energy systems don’t release any toxins into the air or water. Not only would the earth be cleaner with less fossil fuel use: People would be healthier, too. We believe in greener economy and here are the valid and reasonable reasons you should invest in solar energy systems for the betterment of our economy and the world at large. So, let’s invest in solar energy system and we will all reap its benefits.

Megan Ray Nichols is the editor of Schooled By Science. She enjoys discussing renewable energy innovations and other scientific discoveries on twitter @nicholsrmegan.

Categories
Designs & Invention Energy Green Energy

Can Your House Rely 100% on Solar Power?

Solar energy hasn’t always been available to homeowners, but in the past few years more and more people have looked into the option of replacing the traditional energy sources. Since solar power provides cleaner and more sustainable energy, it lessens the impact that each individual living in the home will have on the environment. It can also provide significant cost savings over the life of the panels.

How to Start

You may know people at work or in your neighborhood who have installed solar panels on their homes to help save energy and cut costs. The process does require an initial investment; you have to pay to have the panels installed on your roof. You can learn more about the pros and cons of solar energy, as well as gain information about how many panels you might need on your home, by asking an expert or doing some research. Some homeowners choose to install solar panels themselves, but this can be a dangerous undertaking since you will have to be on the roof.

Is It Really Possible?

A Typical solar panel installation in a home
Image via Flickr by Tim Fuller

Some people use solar power to provide small amounts of energy to specific parts of the home, such as a solar-powered heater for a swimming pool or spa. It hasn’t always been available to provide power to an entire house, but improvements in the technology have made this feasible. Homeowners who want to go solar will have to switch out their incandescent light bulbs to low-watt fluorescents or LED lighting to reduce the amount of energy that each light uses. You might also need to look at other options to reduce energy usage, but after making these small changes, you can power your home completely with solar energy.

Also Read: Alternative energy? Why even Comparing Electricity Prices with Other Fuels?

Things to Consider

If you live in an area of the country where sunshine isn’t very common, solar panels may not be the best option for you. Foggy and overcast climates won’t allow the panels to produce enough energy, which means it will take a lot longer to make the investment worthwhile. On the other hand, if your area does get a lot of sunlight and you choose solar power for your home, laws may require that the utility company pay you for the excess electricity produced by your solar-powered system.

When discussing options for solar panel installation, be sure to talk about warranties and other issues up front.

Also Read: The advent of Solar powered AirPlane by Bertrand Piccard

Other Benefits of Solar Panels

Aside from saving money and reducing the amount of energy you use to power your home, adding solar panels also offers another key benefit: drastically increasing the value of your property. Real estate agents throughout the country are looking for homes that already have solar panels so they can provide this as a selling point to customers. Federal tax credits and other rebates can also help offset the cost of the initial investment you made to get the solar panels. The estimated point at which a homeowner breaks even on the cost is about 3.6 years after installation.

Facts and Figures about Solar power

According to recent studies, the installation and usage of solar panels on your home can decrease your family’s carbon usage by over 35,000 pounds per year. You would have to plant nearly 90 trees every year to offset that much carbon dioxide. You may also be able to save a monthly average of $84 for electricity costs, although the number varies based on size and energy usage of your home. The price of solar panels has also decreased by about 60 percent in the last four years, making it more affordable to choose solar energy.

While there is an initial cost associated with solar panel installation, it is undoubtedly worth the investment if your climate is sunny throughout most of the year. Not only will you save money each month, but you can also feel good about using energy that is completely sustainable and produces no carbon footprint. With the advancements in solar technology, it is now easier than ever to find an experienced professional in your area who can help you determine the best course of action for converting your home to rely on solar energy.

So, my question is, can you solely rely on solar power as the main source of energy in your home? Tell us why.

Categories
Green Energy

5 Solar Energy Powered Gadget Ideas for Geeks

Renewable, versatile and pollution free solar energy is the energy taken from the sun. In the past the sun was used mainly to heat and cool buildings around the world, nevertheless, its popularity and adaptability has grown tremendously with the equally growing concerns about the environment.

Today, solar energy continues to deliver power to residential and commercial buildings as well providing energy to as an impressive list of additional products. Almost everything that is powered by traditional energy sources can now also be powered by the energy of the sun, however the gadget category seems to be the most popular of all solar powered items.

Looking for solar energy gadget ideas? Below are five solar powered gadgets ideas for geeks:

Five Solar Energy Gadgets Ideas for GEEKs


Solar Energy Powered Gadgets

1. Solar Energy Chargers

Versatile solar chargers are popular because they are usable anywhere the sun is, on the go techies can find pocket sized chargers for camera batteries and car batteries as well as larger sized ones for tablets and laptops.

2. Solar Powered Toys

To children as well the self-proclaimed geeky adults, it is almost magical to see a toy move or here the robot speak just by being out in the sun. Solar powered toys are not only educational, they are also cheaper in the long run and whole lot cooler than the traditional ones.

Also Read: US Army Invests in Solar Energy: Maybe that’s What a Greener Military Really Means

3. Solar Energy Powered Lights

With the energy from the sun stored within, solar powered lighting can be used in many forms and in both the daytime and nighttime, flashlights, pathway lights and stand-alone lights are just a few examples

4. Solar Energy Powered Outdoor Products

The sun also comes in handy for the campers and naturist; products like mini fridges, fans, GPS and many more all come in hassle free solar varieties.

5. Solar Energy Powered Remotes

Universal television and radio remotes usually require batteries to work, obviously with the solar powered alternative the batteries are omitted, leaving the user with a more sustainable product of equal quality to the traditional.

Solar energy is the most available source of power on the earth, and with the aid of advanced technology and a more earth aware present we are now beginning to see the sun’s true potential.