Solar Conscious: Method or Myth by Teri Ferreira |
For most people the words harnessing solar energy are enough to conjure up images of the musical “Hair”, of hippies and of free-love. Right or wrong, there are certain preconceptions regarding “typical green freaks”, their mindsets and the principles for which they stand – preconceptions that may or may not be suppositional upon fact and truth.
It is not without frustration that it is to be noted that many a planet-saving-conscious person has a thing or two to learn about contributing and conserving in an intelligent and very specific manner. There are many people who have invested large amounts of time and money into this, our cause so believed in, that are unwittingly firing on only two cylinders due to lack of accurate information. The magnitude of the green silhouette we can leave is largely made defunct by plain ignorance. Being on the right path does not equate to cruising on the green super-highway.
It’s in the small detail of things. An example at hand is the use and application of the solar geyser controller. The controller regulates the temperature of water. The very nature of the controller is, ideally, the utilization of solar energy to generate desired water temperature for use. These controllers have the option to regulate by temperature or by time. The simple choice between the two alternatives defines or defies the very foundation of the purpose of the product. It’s all in the programming. Mr. Green, his lovely wife and two small children have a solar geyser and a solar geyser controller. The workings of a geyser are such that water is heated either by electricity or solar power. When water is used for bathing or other domestic use, the water temperature naturally drops. Should the temperature option be the one chosen, as soon as water use has taken place electricity initiates and heats the water back up to the desired temperature. On the time option Mr. Green needs to know what his family’s water usage habits are. Should the children be bathed in the evening and the Greens shower in the mornings, the time option is chosen and activates to prepare for the demand. This is key. The well informed energy conscious individual will choose the time option so as to ensure that the solar energy is not duplicated by electricity, (as with the temperature option since as soon as the temperature drops electricity kicks in), in so doing truly harnessing the sun’s energy to fuel their solar geyser needs 100%. This scenario also ultimately allows for the savings that consumers hanker after - that is after all one of the greatest benefits of going solar – it is a free natural resource. Truth be told, yes, it does take longer for the sun’s energy to heat the water but the desired result is still the same and as predictable. What is noteworthy of mention here is that many a supplier of solar energy products concern themselves more with the closing of a sale than educating and facilitating optimum results from the products to the people that they service. Mr. Green needs to be a selective when choosing his supplier as a discerning contributor to his cause when setting his solar system in place. One thing that can be said, is that it is time for those of us who have a genuine interest in saving our planet, contributing to a better life for all, and using the resources that are freely available to all of mankind, to stand up and be counted as serious heavyweights in what is often made to be considered a lightweight division. The truth is that individuals who think pertinently regarding the use of alternative energy should be topically educated and well informed and not fall prey to idealistic notions that belong in folk lore and belong in myth by very nature. Ideologies do not reduce one’s carbon footprint! Ideologies do not necessarily make for a greener and more promising tomorrow for the generations still to come. It is indeed a myth that believing in something noble makes that very thing then by nature noble itself. We have to be able to put our money where our mouths are – there is method to being succinct, knowledgeable and balanced in our approach to the way we conduct ourselves and the things we believe in and are responsible for. And yes we are responsible, each one of us for making this, our heritage, a better prospect for those who follow in our footsteps.
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