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Nicole Russin-McFarland Helps Hollywood Female Filmmakers with Her Haus of Film Etsy Shop

Bobby Jansson

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Nicole Russin-McFarland

Filmmaker and film score composer Nicole Russin-McFarland is having the best time of her life, wrapping animation on The Homework’s Revenge: Esther in Wonderland for a summer 2020 online release. Her film score album for the movie has passed 70,000 song streams. Arguably enough to make anyone happy, someone else might take a day off. Nicole chooses to champion women’s equality in Hollywood, granting us a motivational interview about her Haus of Film Etsy shop women in film fundraiser and power changes she wishes to make for women in the performing arts.

Congratulations on Haus of Film. How is your Etsy shop helping women in film?

We’re a small Etsy store right now. I co-founded it with my actor pals, Ryan McGregor, and Samantha V. Hutton. Shout out to them! Tomorrow, I hope to look on that screen and see millions of sales listed on our storefront sales page; we are working towards that. We donate from every T-shirt sale and teddy bear sale listed under our women in the film fundraiser section. And, we have really donated some of what we make to ladies seeking crowdfunding on websites like IndieGoGo.

Your hardest sale to make is your first. Nobody wants to be the person buying from the Etsy shop with “0 sales.” Etsy lists your sales publicly. But while many back away from that, I love that Etsy lists it because you can see how hard my friends and I work on the shop, from designs to within the women in film needs, picking who we donate to.

I look at the men I love in the film industry. They are all involved in creating opportunities for people through business, each differently. I don’t have to be winning an Oscar on stage today to change the world. Things start tiny. Our Haus of Film Etsy shop is a success story in the making. This is only the beginning.

When it becomes $1 million-plus in the bank regularly, we’ll be able to finance so many movies. Movies don’t only create jobs for on-camera talent. They involve everyone. I look at many films where the budget seems wasted and am like, “With that $30 million budget, I’d rather see 30 good $1 million movies giving people their big breaks, hiring lots of crew and cast who don’t always get the chance to work. With people who are rarely given opportunities, they’re going to be more passionate about work, and the combo of all of us would result in a better creative result than the people who waste money, always getting hired because it’s meaningless to them.”

How will you help women in the future when the shop grows?

We will be less concerned with the costs and efficiency of running the Etsy store and more with questions like, “How many more women can we donate to?” I don’t care how bad a woman’s movie is. Women deserve the opportunity to be as terrible as bad male filmmakers who are currently working, don’t you think? And really, it would be amazing to fund thousands of small projects to help women get their first IMDb writing and directing credits. IMDb is everything in the beginning. I don’t care if one is trans, if you are a woman, we will donate to your little indie movie if we’re loaded rich from the Etsy shop!

Being fully honest, this past year, I was asking around trying to start something where women at a studio level befriend and mentor indie female filmmakers. I was met with people saying things like, “We already have that,” pointing me to general workshops, luncheons where nothing gets accomplished, and summer programs that talk about minorities but don’t really have a female focus. Nothing exists for women in film within LA or elsewhere like the gatherings men have. Imagine how men on Wall Street all hang out, they’re buddies in a professional sense, they toss out bad and good advice and some of it actually resonates with someone, they chat everything.

Nicole Russin-McFarland

Actually, I joke about men in business and finance a lot because I wrote a children’s novel about the Big Bad Wolf becoming a big-time New York businessman, but in their defense, Wall Street men and some business owners in New York are the most open about themselves, the most honest, you can talk about a mix of professionalism and your personal life, down to how personal life things have changed your views on your work. In fact, I extend this to whenever I have met primarily filmmakers from indie to studio levels, primarily men it seems, with how they’re so well rounded and normal. We’ll get a quick bite over a soda and just chat like normal people. We each gain from it and respect each other. Women in the film deserve something like this. It’s funny how much people complain about “the boy’s club” of men’s hangouts, and obviously they aren’t because women like me can join in on those hangouts, but women aren’t doing anything about it creating a girl’s club social system that is professional first but you’re allowed to be a human being. The biggest business deals and relationships are cultivated from socializing as a mix of friendship and mentoring. I absolutely intend to do that when I am a big-time A-list studio film director and composer. Why isn’t that available now? I get completely shut down. Nevertheless, it encourages me because it makes me want to do it more. It might take decades, but I will form some sort of gathering system and means of studio people helping women.

What products are on the store beside the women in film fundraiser?

Kitchenwares, tees, and all-around cool things! We definitely are going to end up using it for day job income as a small business. Things take time, and we work hard. Samantha designed the diamond and star patterns for our kitchen goods. I designed the polka dots and pastel stripes. Ryan was involved in some more designs. Our placemats are our most popular items! Our store’s items make amazing gifts for people of any age.

What is difficult for women in the film besides fundraising?

Women complain about misleading comparisons. They are coming in with things that are legitimately low budget from $500-100,000 ranges and being compared to people making “low budget” $5-25 million films. Or if applying to work on blockbuster films, compared to someone who made a $150-300 million movie. “Your work isn’t on the same level” is a phrase all of us have heard one too many times. It cannot be on the same level if you don’t get hired for studio gigs to have in your resume. If you compare notes with people, everyone gets the same phrases.

How will you help women as your filmmaking career grows?

First thing, to be as much of any casting process myself, ideally if I can run it, to ensure safety for women. And, for men. Men are the hidden victims. Rarely do men come forward because their workplace abuse stories are doubted probably twice as often as women’s stories, and you already know how few believe female victims. I don’t want to ever know someone is cast in my work because he or she had to do something that isn’t part of the job description.

Having security if it is a physical film set is really important. People think, oh, it’s to keep those stalkers out. Maybe so. The second duty of security for me would be protecting on-camera talent and behind the scenes men and women from situations where things might be happening in public view. I would try to emphasize always having another person in the room with you, so if someone is like a makeup artist going into a person’s area to apply makeup, there needs to be someone there. A policewoman I met in New York told me how many crimes happen in public view. Nobody stops it. In this case, I want to hire security or at least some sort of third party people who have no bias towards someone to be there so if something happens, someone can scream or have someone eyeing everything going on. They will be paid partially to keep an eye on that sort of stuff. We have stories in the media now about things like young people having been assaulted by someone on set in full view without people noticing or stepping in, and I want to do my best to prevent that sort of thing from happening. Particularly, to young people, because I relate to experiencing all kinds of horrible things as a teen and a person in my 20’s. Private security would also be of immense value to me if we are ever working on harder things, from kisses on camera to love scenes.

Some high profile women have complained in the press about being branded “difficult” and “horrible” by predators they didn’t give into. I would definitely insist if that is something I hear on personally checking in with those women to see their side of the story and give them chances. Usually, based on my personal experiences, I know someone badmouths you because you don’t put up with their sexist garbage or harassment. Things like me not being paid by a publication anymore because I didn’t want to date an editor, as one example of many. If it turns out someone is making up stories because of something sexist, I will do my best to hire them giving them chances, because I have personally been in that situation long before #metoo so many times.

Do people speak down to women in the film industry?

Yes, and the worst bit, sometimes it’s women to women or from LGBTQ men, people you would least expect to hear the throwing shade from. The term mansplaining is kind of undeserving for men because most regular men don’t do it so for the sake of this, let’s call it jerksplaining. You shut up because you hope for the best that someone can work with you in the future, and everyone is always saying, “Don’t burn your bridges!” Maybe it’s a talent agent who gave someone his big break on screen. A publicist who has good placements for his clients. A top hairdresser you must go to, according to a pushy agent who thinks you aren’t pretty enough. Hire this makeup person. Oh, you need a stylist? Great! Someone who gets away with telling you rude stuff and belittling you, your work goals, and your work projects. If you trade stories with women in the entertainment industry, the films of our daily lives all “star” different bullies saying the same things. “Weird.” “Strange.” “Unattractive.” “Overweight.” “Too … old.” “Not marketable.” “Unprofessional.” “Difficult.”

Jerksplaining happens to me. Oh, this cute little girl needs to learn sheet music by John Williams! Did it for junior high music homework. How many times am I going to be told that? Maybe she can take a UNIVERSITY CLASS in writing, or get a university degree! I earned a minor in journalism a long time ago. Graduated early. Ring a bell if you actually paid attention to what I was saying?

Never pay someone a dime who doesn’t value your life’s journey impacting your career goals today.  She, meaning me, honestly wants to hire youth orchestras for studio film music someday thinking young people are more driven than people in their 50’s?! What a loser! A celebrity hairdresser ridiculously accused me of having dated my teacher when I said nice things about him as a positive career role model for the students; my teacher is a hugely successful businessman. People tell you the most terrible things they wouldn’t tolerate themselves. In a typical culture of silence moment, I couldn’t put him in his place other than a simple “that’s not true” because I was afraid of being removed from the modeling photoshoot and charged for the expenses like my car transportation and travel.

I repeat. You have to shut up as people tell you degrading things about yourself, your life, and your work projects. It’s OK for someone to trash my young adult cartoon’s film score music based on classical standards and tell me I have no future, or how my goals are stupid and I should spend the next decade or two being an unpaid filmmaker or supplying student film music. Bunches of men have told me that over the years: work unpaid for a decade or more on projects no one is going to watch. I mean, I’m only turning 33 this June. So basically, I have to be 53 years old being a starving artist according to some of these sexists.

Meanwhile, a guy with several music credits working on indie films made for the web, his music all him banging the same two chords on a piano with no melodies? He gets snapped up by an agent and shopped to every studio project in town as the next it guy. My female friends, acquaintances, and I don’t have enough IMDb credits as a filmmaker, actor or composer, but someone with two $200 shorts made for the web with like 500 hits on them is the new creative genius of our times and gets his script shopped to studios. When I compare my stories with other women, they all have the same things going on as filmmakers and actresses, and I find some men transitioning into film music out of rock and metal bands are too told the same things struggling to transition into larger film music jobs because they don’t fit the mold of what men are supposed to be like. They’re “wild,” “inappropriate,” and “unprofessional,” because they come from the metal world. Talented, beautiful actresses with IMDb credits like a supermarket list are told they aren’t enough, particularly if they are women of color, but a bikini girl from a hamburger commercial with no acting experience or frankly, any talent nor interest on bettering herself with studying acting, gets hired. Hypocrisy is everywhere.

How common is this?

Every woman in the performing arts says she has been called “weird,” “difficult,” “unprofessional,” and “not commercial.” “Not marketable.” Compare notes. The same phrases said 24/7. To her face! In writing! We all get pressured to be polite as people from casting people to people you are paying somehow, think hair and makeup, PR, an agent, all tell you absolutely terrible things. There are only two exceptions to this. Either you’re an Amy Adams type who has already made it huge, or you are Hollywood royalty, the celebrity child breaking into film or modeling. In those scenarios, everyone will be soooo nice. Let’s do lunch. You are gorgeous! Fabulous! Fashionable! Talented! Let’s not offend her. That random actress with the two TV acting credits? Let’s remind her how that expensive special evening dress she wants is made for thinner women’s figures. I can go on all day repeating the things people say have happened to them.

Nicole Russin-McFarland

And it goes both ways. Straight men and LGBTQ men who don’t really fall into LGBTQ stereotypes and the world thinks they are straight, now are concerned how they’re going to see after #metoo because now they worry that their job opportunities are going to be given away, all the while the actual predators aren’t going to have anything happening to them. It will continue being buried with good men getting punished. Women are worried they can’t compliment men anymore because it gets viewed as hitting on someone if you say “great suit.” Everyone male and female is worrying about how they are perceived, and as some have said, the actual bad people in all of this don’t tend to have anything happening to them. #metoo exists, but we still have women, and some men, on the receiving end of harassment or being mocked for their physical appearances and career goals. It’s almost like #metoo is over. It was a time in the period, it started well, and it became something like the basis to be offended because someone complimented you on your fashion sense and that’s “harassing,” but to this day, every working day in LA, someone is told she is overweight, has the wrong image, doesn’t have her work on the same level, or gets told she needs to “know me better” at someone’s apartment, or meet in a bedroom to get that job. #metoo is treated like, “OK, good. It looks like we all care. Let’s get back to the way things were.” And that saddens me so much.

How can women in entertainment stop being mistreated by people earning a profit from their livelihoods?

Save yourself the headache by not doing business with people who will gladly take your money but can’t read a one or two-page letter detailing your career goals and how your personal life events influenced your career today. Whether it’s you being a single parent, dropping out of high school, or having been an assault victim, your life story and why it defines your outlook on your own career and public image is important. Me, I have had a few folks act like jerks because I share how my not controlling my public image literally led me to be assaulted a decade ago, and how that makes me so outspoken with me telling folks about my love of wanting to be a blend of Hans Zimmer and Peter Jackson, me fighting to be seen as a serious business person and filmmaker/composer with big dreams. I am not a silent idiot who makes a good victim anymore. Without going into great detail, it was a person who knew me for work reasons who gave me drugs to do it when I least expected him to do so. And these horrible, awful LA people are like, “Off subject,” or “That has nothing to do with my work.” My goodness, sir, if you had a pulse and some empathy for fellow human beings, you would know it has everything to do with your work because I am telling you so as a person who wants to work with you as a publicist and pay you about why I have this passion for protecting women at work with safe environments. On why I am so passionate about being a publicly well-known person because I am going to be the only person who is in control of my life story. I am not going to be a victim of anyone again for the rest of my life. And you have the indecency to say that I just waste your time? You aren’t even human.

A person profiting thousands of dollars if not more from your career must take your life’s ups and downs seriously, or you should work that block button. For the kind of crazy money some of these people take that women like up and coming actresses may not possibly have and might be charging on credit cards, they should be delivering breakfast in bed to them, or to me! But no, these people feel entitled to tell you anything. I had a male hairdresser working on my hair once tell me I needed to get plastic surgery on my figure, it was said in a really mean tone with too much detail almost like an Internet troll-like how I was chunky and curveless in his view (I was wearing a giant T-shirt from working out before the hair appointment in 2011), and he felt he could get away with it because he is LGBTQ when I told him about it. I’m sorry, LGBTQ people are awesome, and it takes idiots like that to make everyone else look bad. When I told his boss, they told me to get lost and he would never say anything like that. They think they can get away with everything because they have some celebrity clients and have worked on some big campaigns.

A female hairdresser who used to work with that same team told me her boss, the guy I complained to about his employee, said he used to make horrible remarks about things he would like to do to her or explicit remarks about her body, and nobody believed her. She had to quit and find a safe employer. Lots of hypocrisy. A trans woman I met in the beauty industry was harassed by a big deal employer who claims to be LGBTQ friendly with his celebrity clients and I believe is a closeted LGBTQ himself based on some brief conversations I had with him long ago. Lots of stories, and I talk about these because I want people to know that many untold stories we never hear about of workplace disrespect and abuse are of people from behind the camera, film crews, or the businesses supporting the film community off hours. And of this, the most insulting bit is lots of the hatred directed towards straight and LGBTQ women is done by people who are themselves part of the female and/or LGBTQ communities. Unbelievable.

How can women direct and write films if they don’t have enough financing?

Successful filmmakers from indie to studio levels say you need to do the most you can with the least amount of money. Having ideas and techniques is a good indication of talent. Hiring it out? Anyone can do that. What artistry is involved in making other people do all the work as you don’t understand most of the technique? At this point, all you need to care is your films have heart and people watch them. My belief. Having films full of passion and ideas that thousands of people watch on YouTube is better than a super expensive film without any heart that 15 people watch somehow at a weekend screening. I am really happy seeing my stuff is seen and people supporting my work. I only compare myself to myself.

Nicole Russin-McFarland

If all you have is friends willing to act and $150, making use of that! Get your first IMDb credit! Be as creative as you can. In time, the right people who have the power to pull strings bumping you up into studio directing will love your originality.

What do you love about Etsy?

Etsy changed my life! I longed forever for a means of bettering women in film. Etsy gives us a huge platform to make that come true at the lowest costs possible. Dreaming of something and making it happen are two very different things. Etsy makes it happen! Smaller today, big tomorrow. We’re going to end up changing many female filmmakers’ lives as time goes on! And the small business aspect of our other products for sale is going to be a dream day job as more sales come in!

The Etsy storefront and its staff are great. Everything runs really well. I can be sleeping as a customer’s shop. All the tax info is done for us. It’s a dream come true. We built it. And now, they will come. Like Field of Dreams. But with living customers who love our products. No ghosts! Do ghosts have usable credit cards? If so, let’s welcome ghost customers to the Haus of Film Etsy shop!

Etsy is creating opportunities for people who might, as I mentioned, face workplace discrimination or have to find ways to work for themselves. Things take a bit of time to take off, but they will. You know with Etsy, you have a future earning income. I am eternally grateful for Etsy providing a safe space for me in this world after all I have dealt with and continue dealing with.

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Ramadan is tough for Everyone Sometimes

Umar Nisar

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Ramadan is tough for Everyone Sometimes

Ramadan is tough for everyone sometimes, and the first few days can be almost impossible if you are not used to the month. It can get even worse if what’s on the menu just makes you feel hungrier and may make you break your fast for the day. Try drinking plenty of water to keep tiredness at bay and make the most of your fasting, as looking after your health during this time is easier as you are fasting. Don’t get disheartened with what’s on offer – you can make many recipes easily, without fuss and cheaply too without cutting on quality, which is important during ramadan too.

Vermicilli -found in many Asian stores, simply grab a pan, add the vermicilli, milk and sugar and bring to the boil…delish! You can swap the vermicilli for rice instead for a creamy rice pudding! If you are a beginner be careful the dish doesn’t stick to the pan by ensuring you keep it on a low heat, and stir regularly!

SHANA PARATHAS AND SCRAMBLED EGG- have you ever tried Shana paratha’s? If you can’t stomach the spicy foods on offer during ramadan try a light Shana paratha with a scrabled egg + a chopped spring onion + some butter for sehri time…delicious!

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Secret Unleashed: Making the best animated video newbie

Umar Nisar

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Secret Unleashed: Making the best animated video newbie

Are you a newbie ready to acquire expertise in making YouTube Animated Videos? You will come across different types of animated videos.  For example, you may come across 2D animation and 3D animation. When we talk about 2D animation, then it involves the use of two axis only. However, when we talk about 3D animation, then it adds depth also.

 Becoming familiar with different terms used when animating videos

Timeline

 A common feature of most of the animation software is the Timeline. It shows the progress of the animation over the passage of time. You can even change the position of the elements using the Timeline.

Frame rate

Another term you might come across when making animation videos is the Frame Rate. It represents the individual images that get displayed in one second. Most of the animation software allow you to set the frame rate.

Scenes and Shots

The images between the edits of the camera get referred to as Shots. The collective shots make the scene.

 Keyframes

 The Keyframes represent the significant poses in a scene.

 In-between

Well, In-between refers to all the frames that help in defining a scene.

 Understanding the Types of Animation

3d Animation

 One of the most popular animation is 3D animation. It helps in creating digital characters. It makes use of motion path for defining character movement. The frames get interpolated between the key frames.

The texture and light need to be adjusted for the 3D animation to improve the final output.

2D Animation

 Well, 2D Animation involves drawing the characters frame by frame. The hand-drawn animation can get done analog or digitally.

 Stop Motion Animation

 The Stop Motion Animation involves the manipulation of the real-world objects. The object gets moved and then photographed one frame at a time. When the frames get shown in a sequence, then they create the illusion of Movement.

 2D Vector Animation

 Well, 2D Vector Animation gets carried out using 2D digital Puppet. What makes 2D Vector Animation stand out is that the characters can get manipulated similar to 3D Gigs.

 Motion Graphics

You can make dynamic presentations in Motion Graphics. What you need to keep in mind is that the Motion Graphics can be both 2D and 3D.

 Figuring out the steps of YouTube Animated Videos

 Step 1: Choose an animation tool

 When you want to make an animated video, then you need a great animation tool. For example, you can consider using Moovly. It is cloud-based animation tool. The best thing about cloud-based tools is that you do not have to download anything.

 When you are new to animation, then you need to go for software that is easy to use. One such option is Visme. It is also a cloud-based software. The best thing about this software is that it has pre-made templates. Plus, you will be able to access free stock photos. You will also get access to pre-animated characters through this tool.

You will also find different types of animated charts through this tool. You can also go for Crello. It has plenty of animated templates. You can get access to library of videos. The novice animators need this help because they need a starting point.

 Step 2: Select a template for your video

You do not need to create a clip from scratch initially. What you need to do is make use of a pre-animated clip. You can modify the content of the clip so that it suits your story.

 Step 3: Commencing with Animation

 You can drag and drop objects on the software stage. When you add the objects on the stage, then they appear on the Timeline also. Now, here you have the freedom to edit your object. You can lengthen it. You also have the option to shorten it. You can also synchronize your objects with sound here.

 You can add many animation effects to your object on the Timeline. For example, you can fade or bounce the object.

 Step 4: Adding a music track to your animation

 Now, you need to use your creativity when choosing the track. It needs to set the right mood for the animation video. For example, you can add the sound of an explosion or ticking clock. First you should search the sounds or music. You should create a separate folder to save the music.

After that you will need to import the music to the tool where you are creating the animation. You will need to copy the imported sound to your side bar. One thing you must keep in mind is to use Royalty-free music for your videos.

 Once you get done with the animation, you will need to publish your videos. Go for a software that allows publishing. When you create animated videos, make sure that they are not lengthy. You need to keep one thing in mind.

The Animation videos are more of Teasers. They should not be lengthier than 60 to 120 seconds. It will be great to have an engaging script with your video. The speaking speed should be about 150 words every minute.

 It is crucial that there should be visual consistency in your videos. Remember, your animated video will not work if you do not have a defined goal. It is essential to have an effective call to action with your animated videos.

 When making an animation video, you need to create a story that gets into the heart of your audience. You need to choose the perfect color and tones for your video. The reason is all these things make an impact at the end of the day.

When you want to make an animation video, then make sure that you do some research. See the kind of animation videos people are making and this will give you a basic idea about what you need to make.

Remember, coming up with an animator video is going to be a trial-and-error process. You cannot come up with a perfect video in one go. The best approach will be to consistently build your learning curve. Try to overcome the imperfections in your video with the passage of time.

Author Bio

Jane Collen is a creative content writer and digital marketer at BuzzFlick. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing blog writing, video script writing, ghostwriting, copywriting and social media marketing services.

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Solar Power – The Green Source of Energy

Umar Nisar

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Solar Power - The Green Source of Energy

Solar Power, a renewable source of energy, is one of the most available sources on Earth. However, being an intermittent source of energy, it needs to be enhanced by storage or another energy source. Even though solar energy systems nowadays still have low average efficiencies, due to modern technology, research is being put into developing high-efficient and low-cost systems daily. Using solar energy is beneficial because it allows a more environmentally friendly or a “greener” way of living. It is also a freely available resource, which is one of its many advantages as once installed and does not cost more than the cost of setting up and routine maintenance.

Concentrating Solar Energy Systems such as “Stirling Disks” are large solar power plants that use modern technologies to convert light energy into useful electric energy. A direct technology of using solar energy involves the usage of Photovoltaics, which is a system is directed for small appliances and homes.

Solar Power Information

It is important to know of some information about solar power before purchasing it. The definition of solar power is “energy systems that produce energy directly from sunlight”. It is the conversion of sunlight to electricity. Most of our energy resources are anyway indirect forms of solar energy. Without the sun, the wind would not blow. Additionally, the sun causes evaporation of water which results in water collecting up in rivers after condensation. This water is used for hydro electrical power. Without the sun, water would be eternally locked in a solid state: ice. Moreover, bio-fuels cannot exist without the sun as well. If you were to go more into depth it is also the sun that allows life, which in turn, would provide fossil fuels. An essential fact about Solar pv energy is that it is a renewable source of energy as sunlight could be used any time.

Solar power is transmitted directly by “photovoltaics” (PV), or indirectly with “concentrating solar power (CSP). Photovoltaics are used to power small to medium sized equipment such as calculators to off-grid homes. CSP involves two methods: the first method is to simply boil water which is then used for providing power; the second and more complicated method entails technology such as the sterling engine dishes which use a sterling cycle engine to power a generator. Another detail to keep in mind that even though installation of solar power is costly, this cost has decreased significantly over the past couple of years making it affordable for almost everyone. Furthermore, small solar applications are also being used to replace other sources in the developing world. Since solar power is a renewable source of energy, this means you can pay up front for the next twenty years or so of energy. However, non-renewable energy sources are purchased as consumed.

Solar Power Efficiency

So how efficient is solar energy in reality? Research states that the current photovoltaic conversion efficiency is about 15% and improving day by day! Additionally, some experimental models are yielding over 40% efficiencies! This shows that solar energy is becoming more superior than what is was about twenty years ago. Solar panel efficiencies are averaged at 20%. However, do not be discouraged. The most advanced solar energy systems are estimated to have an average of 40% efficiencies. However, when converting the resulting electricity (from solar energy) into light the efficiency does reduce by 15%.

Thus, solar panels do have a reduced efficiency when it comes to lighting up our homes. Nevertheless, the most proficient way of making most of solar energy is to utilize as much direct sunlight through day light and passive solar heating technologies and also use the highest efficiency solar panels for the rest of our energy requirements. High efficiency solar cells are a type of solar cell that averages the highest efficiencies in comparison to standard solar cells. Even though solar power systems generally still have low average efficiencies, a lot of research is being put into developing high-efficient and low-cost systems daily.

The Advantages of Solar Energy Technology in Your Life

Even though solar energy does have its downsides, such as intermittency, where it has to be combined with a form of storage or another source of energy, it still has many advantages to it. Such advantages include reliability, cost, environmental friendliness, aesthetics, and sustainability. Solar energy, for one, is more reliable than wind power and hydro power. This is because the sun will continue to rise for the next 4 billion years without fail, whereas, wind and water might not be available daily. In cases such as during the night and cloudy nights, where solar power is not useful the problems are eased as intermittency is 100% predictable. Furthermore, another advantage of solar power is that although clouds diminish solar power it does not eliminate it.

One essential advantage of solar collectors is that they require minimum maintenance one installed and also provides free energy. Additionally, although solar cells do wear out, their lifespan is measured in decades. The durability of photovoltaic cells improves year by year. More importantly, even though solar cells have been an expensive method of generating electricity, this cost is reducing per kilowatt per year. In addition, solar cells also operate cheaply after installation. Furthermore, solar power has its advantages when it comes to environmental friendliness. Nowadays, everyone is going “green” in order to conserve and protect our earth. Solar power is an efficient way of going green, since it produces zero pollution.

Solar powered generators are known not to even produce any noise! Moreover, even though solar energy requires a lot of space, space that is found on rooftops of existing structures is more than enough to produce an adequate amount of solar energy without occupying any extra land area. One of the advantages of solar power is that it is estimated that our earth is continually flooded with 175 trillion Kilowatts of solar power per day. This means that there is an extraordinarily reliable annual energy supply of 1,530,000 Terrawatt hours daily. On the other hand, resources such as oil, coal, gas, nuclear power and wood produce 15 times LESS than this. So presuming that the sun is going to keep on shining for another estimated 4 billion years, solar power is a highly sustainable resource.

However, you might be discouraged by the look of many solar cells. Do not worry. Due to the advantage of modern technology photovoltaic cells are becoming available in many colours such as black or brown, to match roof top colours. Additionally, how often is it that we would look at the rooftops of a house anyway?

Solar Power and its Benefits

This renewable source of energy has many benefits. This is the reason it is being advertised increasingly due to the combination of modern technology and simple sunlight. So what makes solar power beneficial to our lives? Well most importantly, since solar power is intermittent it is not advisable to run a solar power system in areas with low sunlight level. It is helpful to have a backup system in the events that the sun does not shine for a few days. However, on the good side, if there is a power outage you will still have electricity if you run on solar power. If more energy is required simply add more solar panels.

Solar energy is useful because it can be used for many day to day tasks, such as heating water, drying clothes, powering attic fans and small appliances, produce lighting for both the indoors and outdoors of a building, and better yet power cars! Additionally when using solar energy, you eliminate the cost of foreign and other sources of energy in your home. Even better, utility companies might buy that extra energy from you if you solar power system produces more energy than you require.

A further benefit of solar power is that gas or power grids are not required to run solar power systems, so even if the installation is initially expensive, running the system does not cost a thing! Another vital benefit to keep in mind is that solar power technology is constantly improving in an effort to decrease cost and increase efficiency. Using solar power is beneficial because it allows a more environmentally friendly or a “greener” way of living with zero pollution. It is also a freely available resource, which is one of its many advantages as once installed, it does not cost more than the cost of setting up and routine maintenance.

Solar Power Technology

Due to the rapid improvement in solar technology lately many homes are solely dependent on solar power globally. This leads to the question of how solar energy is put to use. It is claimed that most solar systems can collect heat created by sunlight striking an object. An example of this is to simply concentrate light with mirrors or lenses to produce enough heat to start a fire. This indirect method of producing solar power is known as “Concentrating Solar Power” (CSP). As briefly mentioned earlier, CSP systems use the simple technology of lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. The consequential heat is then used as the heat source for a conventional power plant. The “Parabolic Trough” and the “Stirling Dish” are two examples of concentrating technologies. In all concentrating solar power systems a working fluid is heated by the concentrated sunlight.

It is then used for either power generation or energy storage. Furthermore, it is important to provide the continuous availability of energy since solar energy is not available during the night. Since solar power is an intermittent energy source, all available energy made available should be taken when available, stored, or transported via transmission lines to where it can be used. In storage solar energy is stored at high temperatures using molten salts. These molten salts have low-cost, high specific heat capacity and can distribute heat at temperatures compatible with conventional power systems. This expertise helps increase efficiency of the system.

A direct method of solar technology involves the “Photoelectric Effect”. It was in 1839 that Edmund Becquerel discovered the technique of producing an electric current in a solid material using sunlight. Once this method developed it was found out that photoelectric or photovoltaic effects caused certain materials to switch light energy to electrical energy at an atomic level. The Photoelectric Effect uses the simple method of reflecting, absorbing or direct pass of light. However, it is only the absorbed light that actually generates electricity.

Hopefully this information should be useful if you are considering using solar power as an energy source for your home. Just remember even though there are certain disadvantages to think about, the number of advantages outweigh the number of disadvantages. These disadvantages can be improved vastly as technology improves. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that solar powered appliances have vastly changed for the better when compared to ten years ago.

Keep in mind that solar energy systems are suitable in regions with a lot of available sunlight. So do not opt out to get a solar panel system unless you are completely sure of the surroundings. Again, as suggested earlier, it is best to have an alternate energy source in case of low availability of sunlight. Although solar power is an energy source that has only been recently utilized, it might just become the most crucial energy source of the future.

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