NEWS

True Value Solar & Melbourne Renegades Lock in 2014/15 Partnership

November 20 2014

 

Australia’s largest solar company, True Value Solar, will continue as Principal Partner of the Melbourne Renegades for a further two years after extending its relationship with the KFC Big Bash League team.

Big Bash League - Renegades v Stars

True Value Solar first joined the Melbourne Renegades family in 2012, and has sinceenjoyed a fantastic relationship with T20 cricket over last two years, highlighted by a hugely popular BBL|03 season.  True Value Solar Chief Officer Leon Siebel said the company was pleased to extend its agreement with the Renegades.

“After such a big season in BBL|03 and the ongoing growth of the competition, True Value Solar sees a perfect fit with the Melbourne Renegades and we’re excited to extend our relationship with the popular team,” he said. “True Value Solar understands the importance of team spirit and is looking forward to supporting the Renegades again as Principle Partner this summer.”

Melbourne Renegades Chief Executive Stuart Coventry said the new deal was a terrific boost for the side ahead of the upcoming BBL|04 season.

“We’ve had a great relationship with our friends at True Value Solar since 2012 and we’re delighted to have them on board for the next two seasons,” he said. “With the likes of new Australian T20 captain Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and the best international talent on the field as well as unparalleled match night entertainment for families, we’ve got the right formula for a huge season ahead for our members and fans.

As Australia’s largest solar company, True Value Solar has installed more solar systems than any other competitor in the market, installing over 1 million panels Australia wide, all the while offering the best quality product and price in the market.

 

What are the Benefits of LED Lighting?

November 19 2014

The Increasing Benefits of LED Lighting

The use of LED lighting is growing as users begin to understand their true benefits and their potential in the future. Traditional bulbs are being phased out in a number of industries in favour of LED – such as architecture and the aerospace industry – because of financial benefits and other advantages but home owners are also coming around to this lighting option. As this guide aims to show, there is more to making the switch from incandescent bulbs to LED lights than large scale projects and saving money because there are aesthetic advantages and safety aspects that can have an impact in the everyday household as well as much wider environmental implications.


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LED lighting provides a sense of longevity and durability that is not often seen in traditional bulbs

Some users of LED bulbs feel that longevity is the product’s main advantage over traditional bulbs, from a practical standpoint at least. Estimates on the lifespan of an LED lights do vary depending on which site you read so it can be difficult to understand exactly how long your bulb will last; however, what is clear is that LED light lifespans are substantially longer than those of incandescent bulbs and they can last as long as 7 years, even with constant use. This is ideal for consumers considering changing to LED for financial reasons as it can save on costs in the long-term. Another interesting factor relating to the longevity of these lights is that they can be switched on and off quite often without fear of damage or any negative impact on their brightness.

Continuing with this idea of LED being more beneficial in the long run and the practical side of lighting, there is impressive durability to these bulbs as well as a long life. This benefit all stems from the materials that are used and the way they are constructed, as LED bulb materials consist of chips securely encased in resin whereas standard bulbs have delicate materials like filaments and neon gases. The former is much less fragile and can be subjected to conditions and impacts not possible with traditional lighting, such as vibrations, shock and rough weather conditions. This is why LED light sources are becoming so widely recommended for outdoor use.

The numerous environmental implications of choosing LED lights

The biggest concern for many consumers looking for reasons to make the switch is not the practical, money-saving side of new lighting but the environmental one. Switching to green energy for our electric is brilliant but LED lighting is now showing us that we can go even further because it is so energy efficient and much kinder to the environment than conventional bulbs in many ways:

  • The long life and durability means less materials being used and fewer emissions from their production.

 

  • LED lights are free of toxic chemicals – fluorescent lighting often containing harmful materials like mercury.

 

  • LED bulbs are also 100% recyclable.

Another key concern when it comes to the environmental impact of our lighting is energy efficiency but thankfully these environmental LED lighting options buck a currently worrying trend in bulbs. While many standard bulbs waste more energy via heat than they use for light, around 80% of electrical energy in LED bulbs becomes light with just 20% being lost as heat. Many LED advocates talk about the positive impact this will have on large scale projects, like the lighting of major public buildings and infrastructure, but this massive difference in energy use can have a big impact in the home too. Furthermore, LED lighting is low-voltage meaning it can be coupled brilliantly with a green energy source like solar power.

Light dispersement is an aspect of LED illumination that many consumers may not initially consider but it too has a number of benefits. LED lights are widely used in certain industries because they deliver light in such an efficient way and can brightly light a work site or object with greater impact than an fluorescent option – this intensity of the light becoming brighter and better all the time. This efficiency in dispersement means that even less energy is wasted in trying to illuminate a specific feature and less lights may be needed overall, lowering the environmental impact even further.

There are other safety considerations with light bulbs that can be addressed by making the switch

We do not always think about the danger that standard bulbs can pose when all this wasted energy becomes heat and it is far too easy to burn ourselves on them or for discarded bulbs to pose a fire risk. LED lighting safety is much better for two rather interesting reasons:

  • Because the energy transfer is so much more efficient, bulbs are therefore significantly cooler to the touch. It is possible to leave them on for quite a while and suffer no ill effect from touching them.

 

  • LED illumination produces little infrared light and close to no UV emissions – unlike standard bulbs – which will be welcome news for many because of the concerns we have over the way UV can be damaging to our health in heavy doses.

There is another, practical side to this lack of UV – it means that LED lighting has another potential use within institutions like art galleries and museums because they are less likely to damage the exhibits.

Finally, there are other, slightly more superficial benefits in the use of LED lights and their aesthetics.

It can’t all be about a practical and ethical perspective and there is the final benefit that LED lights are actually much more attractive and versatile than traditional bulbs – with many more colour options and designs being created all the time. The different brightness levels and the range of colours that can be made – from reds to blues and much in between – mean that lighting can be more purposeful, dramatic and artistic and this has been used to great effect in many industries and homes already.

Summary: why you should choose LED lighting

It is definitely worth making the switch to LED bulbs and discarding your old-fashioned, fluorescent lighting no matter the scale and purpose of your project – large or small, artistic or energy-efficient – because there are so many different advantages to these new lighting options. Whether you are just keen on a new, versatile form of lighting, have a need to cut costs or have an environmental conscience to appease, LED lighting is the way forward.


How To Be More Eco-Friendly Around The Home

November 06 2014

energysavingThe amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of what you do every day is referred to as your carbon footprint. It is an established fact that carbon in the atmosphere directly affects the climate and leads to several climatic changes, including global warming.

Fortunately, you can reduce your carbon footprint in a number of ways to ensure that you do your part in saving the Earth’s atmosphere from being polluted. Generally, all it takes to reduce your carbon footprint is a slight change in your habits to conserve energy and increase efficiency.

Read on to find out some methods for reducing your footprint.

 

Choose Local Food

Food stuffs often have to be transported long distances from the point where it is made to the point where it is to be consumed. This transportation uses extensive amounts of fuel in the form of petrol or diesel. These fuels emit significant amounts of CO2.

Choosing local food means that not only do you reduce CO2 emissions by limiting transportation, you’re also supporting local businesses and helping your local region thrive.

 

Reduce Meat Consumption

Studies have revealed that meat diets contribute twice the amount of CO2 as compared to vegetarian diets, because meat processing consumes a lot of fossil fuels.

Vegan diets, on the other hand, reduce carbon emissions by up to 7 times that of diets that include dairy items or meat.

 

Insulate Your Home Properly

A lot of heating and cooling loss occurs as a result of poor insulation in homes. You need to insulate your home properly to increase the efficiency of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

Make sure all drafty areas are sealed. Windows also play a crucial role here – it is a wise decision to go for double-glazed windows if you don’t already have them. This will help keep out noise pollution as well.

There are some simple fixes, such as using a door stopper for drafts. Other solutions, such as installing insulation in your home, should be done by a professional. However, it is a worthwhile investment that will reduce your carbon footprint and power bills, as well as adding value to your home.

 

Carry Out Regular Maintenance of Heating and Cooling Systems

Regular maintenance of your heating and cooling systems will ensure that they are working at their optimum capacity with the maximum efficiency possible.

Contrary to what some people believe, maintenance is not carried out only when something breaks down – preventative maintenance will keep your equipment working in the best condition for a longer period of time.

 

Do Away with Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs have been common for many years now; however, it is now time to replace them with CFL (compact florescent light bulbs) that consume around 75 percent less energy.

If you want to bring down your lighting electricity consumption even further, consider getting LED bulbs. They involve a higher cost initially, but are more cost efficient in the long run due to their longer lifespan.

 

Adjust Your Water Heater When Leaving for Extended Periods of Time 

Don’t forget to set your water heater to ‘vacation’ mode if you are leaving your home for an extended period of time, such as on holiday. This will reduce the amount of energy the heater uses.

 

Recycle
We’ve all heard the saying “reduce, reuse, recycle”. Doing just this will reduce your carbonfootprint substantially, and is so simple to implement into daily life.

As well as putting recyclable containers in the recycle bin instead of the rubbish, you can recycle in other ways, too. Use rechargeable batteries instead of regular ones. You’ll save yourself a whole lot of money doing this, and you’ll never have an emergency when the remote batteries run out.

You can also look into composting if you have a garden. Contact your local council, as they can supply the equipment. All you have to do is tend to it occasionally and put it on your garden, and you’ll have the best plants around.

These are just a few simple ways to be more eco-friendly around the home. You can feel good about helping the environment, and saving money!

The Best Eco-Friendly Houses Around the World

November 03 2014

With the increasing levels of global warming and hoards of factors that are degrading the environment; more and more people are turning towards building eco-friendly houses all over the world. While it is true that these houses are not cheap to build, they do promise to save energy costs (and the environment) in the long run.

In this post, we will look at some of the best eco-friendly houses located all over the world and what makes them unique in their own class.

Plastic Bottle House, Honduras

Built by Eco-Tec, this house is truly the first one of its kind. It is made of 8000 plastic bottles (PET) that are filled with mud. The roof of this house is made of grass, which provides numerous benefits, including comfortable indoor air temperature, improved air quality, storm water management, and great energy efficiency.

Included with the house is a self-sustaining solar water heating system that greatly reduces the reliance on electricity.

Fish House, Singapore

Guz Architects are the designers of the Fish House in Singapore. It is located on an

GUZ-SENTOSA-014-630x557oceanfront with windows that provide exhilarating views of the ocean and the pool. Featuring an open space concept, this home is designed to provide optimum ventilation.

The curving roof of the house is almost completely covered with solar panels that generate sufficient electricity for the needs of the house. The rest of the house is made from wood, glass and steel.

White Steel Villa, Costa Rica

This 100 percent self-sufficient home is truly amazing. A truly peaceful getaway, the closest city is 20km away, and the home has its own energy, sanitation, and water systems that make it fully independently functional. The water source is located in a nearby forest and the energy needs are met by a combination of solar panels and a pair of hydroelectric turbines.

The house is designed by Robles Arquitectos.

Finca Bellavista, Costa Rica

Situated at a height of 150 feet up in a forest, this community of tree houses are 100 percent self-sustaining and are connected to each other by platforms. They share the same electricity grid, which is generated by hydroelectric turbines and solar panels. Spring water and rainwater are the primary sources for the water supply. A biodigester is employed to process food and waste.

One of these homes is available for purchase, with a small plot costing between $50,000 and $60,000.

Nomad Micro Homes, Worldwide

These tiny prefabricated homes utilise space saving strategies quite effectively to turn a 100 square foot area into a fully functioning house. Consisting of two floors, the first one has the living room, kitchen and bathroom; the second floor is the bedroom.

The energy supply is quite abundant, and allows the owners to happily live off the grid if they want. The homes are movable, and can be purchased for $30,000.

Casa BB, Mar Azul, Argentina

Located in the dense forests of Argentina, this house has been cleverly designed and uses pine trees to its advantage in order to preserve the environment. The large windows at the front of the house allow ample sunlight to get through, while rainwater is collected in a water tank. Concrete provides sound insulation. To add to the sustainability, recycled Canadian pinewood is used for the interior.

110Residence Amongst Trees, NSW, Australia

The delicacy in dealing with the environment is the main reason Residence Amongst Trees is remarkable. It has been built in a protected area, and the designers have gone to great lengths not to disturb the surrounding trees. Sitting on 8 steel pillars, the house is also designed to gather rainwater with a “butterfly” roof. Another standout feature is the 30-foot eucalyptus tree that passes through the deck.

 

Common Solar Power Myths and Truths

October 26 2014

When it comes to the renewable energy market, solar panels are among the most popular technology because they’re widely available and practical to use.

There is no doubt that solar energy offers some excellent benefits for the consumer in terms of money as well as the environment (it does not produce any fumes, except during the production of solar panels). However, there are some myths circulating around that cause confusion for many people.

In this blog, we will clear up some common myths and will also reveal some interesting facts about solar power. Read on to learn more about this fascinating technology!

 

Myth 1: You Have to Invest a Lot Of Money to Get Started

Some people believe that it takes around $10,000 to have solar panels installed. This figure is misleading as it does not include the subsidies offered by the government. The Australian Government is highly supportive of solar technology, and it encourages people to install solar panels as well as placing emphasis on using renewable energy sources in general.

Search the market and you’ll come to know that you can have solar panels installed for a reduced cost. To learn more about Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target, visit http://ret.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/solar-panels.

 

Myth 2: Solar Panels Will Damage Your Roof

This is yet another common myth that keeps many people from installing solar panels. Some say that these panels will lead to leaks and weaken the roof to such an extent that it may collapse. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Solar panels actually protect the roof from severe weather, and they are not directly attached to the roof itself. Instead, they are only attached to metal rails, which are installed on the roof. Any gaps that may have appeared are filled completely with sealants to enhance protection. Therefore, if your roof needs to be repaired, you can easily have the panels removed with no problems at all.

 

Myth 3: You Have to Have Batteries to Store Power From Solar Panels

In the majority of installations, the solar panel system is connected to your main electricity grid. This means that during the day when your panels are generating electricity, you use it. At night, you use the electricity from your conventional power grid. As for any excess electricity during the day – it will automatically be fed into the power grid and your power company will credit you for this; there’s nothing sweeter than seeing your electricity meter run backwards!

A battery is only required if you wish to completely isolate yourself from the power grid, which may be the case for those who live in rural areas, but it’s unusual for city and suburban residences.

 

Myth 4: Solar Panels Require Lots of Maintenance

Due to the fact that solar panels do not have any moving parts, they require very little maintenance. You may want to rinse your panels every year or so – but even this is not a necessity. If you live somewhere where it rains, you can let nature do the cleaning for you.

The only major cause of concern would be if something big falls on your panels and damages them physically. Any loss of efficiency can be noted using the monitoring software that comes with solar panels, so you don’t have to get onto your roof to visually inspect them.

 

Myth 5: To Use Solar Panels, You Have to Live in a Sunny, Hot Climate

Solar panels work quite well in different types of climates. While it is true that solar panels will generate the maximum amount of electricity in sunny areas, they will continue to work even if it’s foggy or cloudy outside. In fact, they are often more efficient in cooler environments!

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