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The History of Solar Energy

Although Jan 6 was a dark day, this is a light blog. Now, solar energy will receive more funding and attention as the democrats push for clean energy. While we wait to find out how solar power will rise, let’s go back and see first sunpower rise. Here is the history of solar energy.

A Bright History

Technically, humans have been utilizing solar power since the beginning of time to light fires. They would use glass to reflect or intensify light. The earliest civilizations, such as ancient Romans and meso-Americans, would create sunrooms to capture the sun’s warmth and light. For the Romans, it was used to heat water in bathhouses. For thousands of years, humans used various methods to keep themselves warm. Then, in the time of voyages, the sun was a blessing and curse to sailors. While the sun burned their skin, the sailors figured out a way to cook food in solar stoves.

Solar Panels Are Born

Scientists experimenting with solar power in the 1800’s. Edmond Becquerel first discovered the photovoltaic effect, which is light producing electricity. Remember, electricity was still a relatively new concept at this time so this was a futuristic discovery. It will take a couple more engineers, scientist, and years to create the first solar cell. It couldn’t generate power yet, but it set scientist on the right track. In 1883, Charles Fritts nabbed the backbone of solar technology with his solar cells. They now contain selenium, which allowed solar power to convert to electricity. As of 1883, scientist know how to create & store solar energy.

Then, it would take 70 years for the modern-day solar power panel to enter the stage. Selenium cells evolved into silicon solar cells in 1954 at Bell Labs. The cutting-edge engineering now allowed objects to be powered by solar energy. Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson are to thank for finalizing the solar panel design. At this time, solar cells operated at 4% efficiency. The United States used this new technology to power satellites and for the infamous Space Race. The first home to have solar panels was in 1972.

 

Solar Power Today

Today, solar panels typically reach in between 15-20%. But, some have the ability to hit 42% efficiency! Modern-day solar panels are a little over 5’x3′ big. They are made of silicon, wafers, and lead making up one solar cell. Then, about 32-36 cells make up one solar panel. Finally, a protective coat is applied to capture the rays, as the shiny silicon can cause the rays to bounce off. Solar power is used for everything, and more homes are seeing solar panels. It took about 100 years of history to arrive at the solar energy we have today.

 

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Solar Power in 2021

Solar technology is on the rise, and we are here for it! Environmental awareness is inspiring people to move away from non-renewable resources. We will take a look to see what solar power will look like in 2021. First, we will look at area that are prevalent in solar energy and see how it’s working for them. Then, we’ll look at potential areas that it’ll spread to.

 

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 Current Solar Energy

Now, China, Germany, and USA are all leading in solar power, with China at #1. Japan and India follow. However, China could generate 13% more solar power if it wasn’t for the ever-lingering smog. In fact, there are times when the pollution is so bad that solar panels can’t receive any of the sun’s rays. So, right now China is focused on trying to reduce their pollution levels so the solar panels can be used to their full potential. As of 2019, they produce 204,700 megawatts.

Right behind China, USA falls at #2 in solar energy production. The Us produces enough solar power for over 11 million homes! Places like California, Texas, and Florida are popular solar panel areas. But, panels can be found in nearly all states. States like Oklahoma are suffering earthquakes from oil drilling, so this will help put a stop to that.

The third one is Germany. The mountainous country has the advantage of higher altitudes to help their panels intake more power. Germany actually was the leading country in solar power before China and USA caught up.

 

 Solar Power 2021

As mentioned, Japan is one of the leading countries in solar power. After a nuclear plant disaster inlandscape photography of blue solar panels 2011, Japan re-vamped energy sources and shifted their focus onto solar. We can look at their technological advances and draw inspiration from their solar islands. We can also encourage cleaner skies in order to optimize sunlight intake. The US plans on adding more solar panels to the southwest region, such as Nevada. If Biden is confirmed President, then there will surely be an increase in solar power in 2021, both USA and worldwide. Germany also plans on adding more solar panels around the country. And, Japan is looking to turn their abundance of abandoned golf courses into solar farms.

By spreading awareness, solar energy can gain more momentum. With solar power replacing non-renewable resources, we can hope to see cleaner air and less earthquakes.

 

 

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Best Professional Podcasts to Follow

Staying at home more means more time to listen to podcasts! There’s a podcast for everything: news/current events, Hollywood, and product reviews. Here are the best podcasts to follow for professional inspiration.

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Podcasts

  • The Internet of Things. Stacy of IoT runs this podcast about Internet trends. She covers influencers, news about corporations, and more. So, give her a listen for the latest on Amazon and computers.
  • Jeff Bullas. As a chief social media expert, Jeff could give some advice. Also, he offers services to help boost websites.
  • Melinda Emerson. An advocate of small business, Melinda inspires hope for those just starting out. Additionally, she gives advice on managing a new business.
  • NowThis News. Because this is a digital news source, they interview guests on their podcasts. Stay updated on current events.
  • Follow NPR for their Business Story of the Day. Featuring stock market reports, major lawsuits, and more. They have several choices of podcasts, so you’ll never run out of stuff to listen to.
  • For Apple podcast listeners, try out Ace Weekly. He encourages entrepreneur ways of thinking.
  • If you just want a quick podcast fix, then 10 Minute Entrepreneur is for you. If you need more than 10 minutes of Sean, then pick up his book.
  • The Tim Ferriss Show. Tim invites guests onto his show to discuss business happenings and tips. In fact, he’s one of Apple’s top podcasters.
  • Impact Theory goes beyond just business. They explore psychology, personal stories, and other personal aspects that aren’t always noticed in the industry world. They also interview well-known people, offering more insight into human behavior.
  • Here’s one for the ladies. The BizChix inspires women to navigate their way through a male-dominated workforce. Here’s to equal pay!

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While these are all good podcasts to follow, what’s important is listening to podcasts relevant to you. Listen from the experts on how to run your new business, how to gain following on social media, and more. Feel free to comment your favorite podcasts!

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The US Stock Market 2020

The stock market went through drastic highs and lows this year. This is due to the pandemic, the presidential race, lawsuits, and even tweets. Read on for how these factors affected the biggest stock holders. Also, see who’s rising in the market and consider investing in them in 2021!

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S&P 500

First, we’ll look at the S&P 500 Index. Statista says,

 “Between March 4 and March 11, 2020, the S&P 500 index dropped by twelve percent, descending into a bear market. On March 12, the S&P 500 plunged 9.5 percent, its steepest one-day fall since 1987. The index began to recover at the start of April.”

As of April 14, the value was $2,850 per share, just a few hundred dollars below their pre-COVID era. Then, their value rose above $3,000 per share at the end of May. Since then, it’s gradually been rising. Now, as of December 15, the value is at $3,666 per share.

closeup photo of silver iMacSo, which companies fell out and which ones rose? The five biggest companies to soar in 2020 are:

  • Amazon (AMZN). Due to stay-at-home orders, Amazon revenue and stocks gained profit. CEO & Founder Jeff Bezos is now the richest man on the Forbes list! Each share is valued at $3,157.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM). America’s largest bank and 7th largest bank in the world. They faired okay during the pandemic. However, they did see a drop after making changes to their borrower policy. Their value is now worth $120 per share.
  • Visa (V). Overall, banks survived the pandemic thanks to the Federal Bank Act. Visa saw more success in 2020. Today’s value is at $209 per share.
  • Tesla (TSLA). Elon Musk’s engineering and company management skills are earning him big bucks. He also soared up on the Forbes list and is now at #7. But, his stock value does fluctuate according to what he tweets. Tesla is worth $639 per share.
  • Brookfield Property Reit Inc (BPYU). Despite worries that the housing market would tank due to evictions, business is good. BPYU is at $15.90 per share.

2020 Stocks

While the stock market tanked in March, overall it has been steadily returning back to its normal rate. However, the presidential race is an important factor now. Now that Joe Biden is confirmed for inauguration while son Hunter Biden is under legal fire, we will have to closely watch the stock market. Also, another factor affecting stocks is Bitcoin. It has recently seen a drastic increase in December. One Bitcoin is now worth 19,531.20 US dollars. Also, technology development and releases are contributing to the rising stocks. While Apple stagnated a little this year, they are expected to stay as the leading smartphone company.

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Overall, there’s no danger of a stock market crash. While Biden’s confirmation will affect Wall Street, stocks are expected to rise more in 2021. Check back for our 2021 stock prediction blog! And, please feel free to comment and let us know what shares you’re investing in.

 

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The Energy Industry Under Biden

Now that we know that Joe Biden will be our new president, we can follow up with our previous blog and take a look at what the energy industry might look like in the next few years. It appears  that Biden plans on battling climate change with clean energy. This blog will continuously update as time and policies progress.

Clean Energy, Clean Economy

According to his own personal website, Biden plans to push for cleaner energy with the Clean Energy Revolution. In this policy, he addresses how the economy relies on the environment. Therefore, his policy will go in a clean economy direction. Specifically, eliminating fuel emissions by 2050. It’ll start by initiating clean energy in environments that need it most. Factories and refineries that heavily pollute the air will have to adapt to cleaner emission policies. Or, revamp into a clean energy facility. Soon, solar and wind energy will take over oil and coal. But, Biden plans to transition out, not completely shut down fossil fuels. It is important to remember the Clean Energy Revolution will be a hefty project. Due to the time and engineering this change requires, there’s time for compromise between Biden and the oil industry.

One of the rising issues in our environment is fracking. In the second debate, Biden claimed to want to put an end to fracking. Currently, fracking is causing tectonic plate problems in Oklahoma and other areas. Oil companies may have to find another way to drill, or restrictions may be placed on fracking.

 

Jobs

Because the policy’s main goal is to transition efficiently, oil & gas-based jobs will be replaced with clean energy jobs. And, the project will create new jobs for the energy industry, too. According to The NY Times, Joe is not sleeping on this- he’s already drafting ideas and plans. His administration is also considering creating a White House branch specifically for climate change. You can read here about what Biden plans to do for the energy industry’s job sector.

 

We hope to see the Biden administration leading the energy industry with care. Clean energy and a clean environment is important to us. But, we understand that many depend on petroleum and coal. With careful innovation and compromise, every factor of the energy industry can prevail under Biden.

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Electric Cars: How Do They Work?

Today’s automobile technology and engineering is impressive. Specifically, electric cars and how they work. From the first experience with electric automobiles in the 1800’s, here’s how electric cars work today.

Hybrids: Gas and Electric

First, electric cars use different types of batteries. This depends on if the car is hybrid or purely https://afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/how-do-hybrid-electric-cars-work#:~:text=Hybrid%20electric%20vehicles%20are%20powered,in%20to%20charge%20the%20battery.&text=The%20extra%20power%20provided%20by,allow%20for%20a%20smaller%20engine.electric. Hybrids use Lithium Ion, Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), and Lead Acid batteries. These batteries are similar to regular car batteries. Just as a regular battery recharges itself, so do these. Because these batteries have two sources of power, they can last roughly up to 10 years. Surprisingly, most hybrid cars do not have the plug-in option. U.S. Dept. of Energy says, “Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which uses energy stored in batteries. ” DC/DC electrical current recharges the battery. Also, hybrids have an electric generator. The electric power helps reduce gas emissions, especially when stopped. So, less fuel emissions in the air when you pull one of these through a long drive-thru.

Hybrid cars use electric power until it needs the gas. Then, the gas fuels the engine itself and the electric generator for restoring electric energy. The transmission transfers mechanical power from the engine or electric traction motor. Hybrid cars do use oil.

 

Electric

Unlike hybrids, the only way to power your car is by plugging it into an electric grid. According to EDF Energy, there are five components that make up an all-electric engine. First, the current is typically AC, but can be DC/AC. The inverter takes care of the electrical currency. Then, the drivetrain is responsible for the single-speed transmission. However, the batteries do not recharge while the car is in motion. Newer electric cars will last roughly 250 miles before it has to stop at a charging station. There is talk about “electric roads” that will recharge cars from pavement to car in the future. Electric cars are purely electric as they don’t require oil.

 

And that is how electric cars work. They are becoming increasingly popular as electric automobile engineering and technology improve. Soon, they’ll be all over the road and we can reduce our carbon dioxide emissions! Would you buy a hybrid/electric car? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Paid Ads and Organic Ads

Trying to decide if you should go for paid ads or organic ads, or both? You can pay to boost your ad on Facebook if it’s not reaching enough views or engagement organically. You can share and ask others to give you a shout-out for free, but if you want to reach a large audience, you should consider paying a little extra.

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Organic & Paid Ads

Organic ads are ads that you post yourself onto your site and social media pages. Then, it organically spreads when others engage with your post. This could reach an audience of about 15 people, maybe 30 depending on your following and content. However, many marketers are opting to boost their boost on social media. This will spread to your ad to your target audience, especially Facebook. From there, your posts should have enough views and clicks to start spreading organically. Social media algorithms can help your target audience see your post as well.

Paid search ads is the most common type of pay-per-click advertising. This pulls up your ad in search engines results. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to pay until someone clicks on your ad. However, with your ad being on Google, there’s a good chance it will get high views, then a traffic jam to your site. If you’re a beginner, it’s crucial to keep track of your ROI. This way, you can adjust your marketing strategies accordingly. Paid search ads can help you keep track of everything you need.

 

So, for optimal results, you should opt for both organic and paid ads. Start by boosting your posts about every two weeks. Then. build up until your followers can organically spread your ads. Just as the biggest oak trees originated from an acorn, your business can grow successful with the right boosted ad. With the right content and marketing strategies, you can grow your business in no time.

 

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Wind Energy: How It Works

AWEA says, “Wind energy (or wind power) refers to the process of creating electricity using the wind, or air flows that occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere.” Modern wind turbines capture kinetic energy from the wind. Then, the spinning action generates electricity. This method is renewable and ideal in windy climates. Places such as the Great Plains and coastal areas have them. Read on to find out about the process and the benefits of the wind industry!

 

Wind Energy

Wind turbines are in 40 states. Texas produces the most electricity from its wind farms at around 28,000 MW per year. The wind industry builds wind farms. These contain numerous wind turbines, from around 10 – 500. The average wind farm will have about 150. The largest one is in California, with over 4,000! They are versatile in use. In fact, one home can rely on just one turbine for power. There are three different categories: small power, offshore, and direct. Small power refers to one or two turbines used to power a home/building. On the other hand, direct has the electricity gather at a power grid.

 

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So, how does wind turn into electricity? First, the turbines are engineered strategically for optimized wind capture. The blades are especially angled a certain way. Ideal wind speed is in between 6-50 MPH. Then, the heavy momentum keeps the blades going, powering the generator. Next, the generator produces electricity that flows to a power grid. Finally, the power grid sends out electricity through distribution lines. These are connected to homes and other buildings.

 

There are a few benefits to wind energy. According to energy.gov, wind power is inexpensive. Over time, wind farms or single-use turbines pay for themselves. Obviously, it’s a renewable resource, so it’s a great alternative to oil and coal. Actually, it’s the largest source of renewable energy. On that note, the wind industry has a great job sector. Such as, a variety of opportunities in engineering.

 

If you want to make a difference in our environment, then consider investing in the wind industry. This clean, renewable energy source won’t pollute the air and is cost-effective. Or, if you live in a remote, windy area, maybe your home needs its own wind turbine.

 

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Books About the Business Industry: Pro Reading

There’s always much to learn about the business industry. Magazines and blogs are a great way to stay updated on current business news. But, if you want to really find out the inner works of it all, a detailed book would be very helpful. Knowing the inside secrets could help you become more successful. Here are some insightful books about the business industry.

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Books

In order to do business with people, you have to understand them. The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene breaks down and analyzes our cognitive abilities and natural human behavior. Barnes & Noble rates it 5/5!

If you’re curious as to where the apps on your phone/tablet came from and how they work, then APPower may have the answers you need. Written by Carson Barker and Clif Haley, who conducted their research in the early days of SEO and ASO. So, you can read on to find out how e-marketing works, too!

Another good read would be The Business Book. This is a helpful, detailed guide on how to build & maintain your business. Also, it will help you understand others’ businesses as well. It teaches you everything you need to know about business transactions, supply & demand, and more.

To help our business industry become more diverse, pick up a copy of “Inclusive Leadership: The Definitive Guide to Developing and Executing an Impactful Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.” One problem in the working world is feeling superior over peers, or ignoring them. This book explains how to integrate everyone’s ideas and work styles to work harmoniously.

 

Reading is crucial for strengthening your mind and learning. Most of the influential and intelligent people we know of, such as Elon Musk, read constantly. These books about the business industry are good for motivation, ideas, or just killing time. Here’s more about reading like a pro, including more suggestions, such as “Business Adventures” by John Brooks.

 

 

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Top Technology Releases in 2020

November and December are popular times for brands to release their newest product. Coming in just in time for the holidays are the top upcoming technology releases. For items already released, we have the scoop on what customers have to say about it. Read on about Apple’s newest iPhone, the newest gaming system, and more!

Smartphones & Tablets

Apple normally release their newest iPhones in September, but this year, the iPhone 12 will unveil space gray iPhone X on blue surfacein November. Available for pre-order on 11/6, it will become fully available on 11/13. The iPhone 12 will have cameras be able to capture the perfect nighttime photo. Also, a ceramic shield will add better protection.

Samsung released their Galaxy S20 in February. And, the past 8 months were kind to Android’s newest smartphone. The video chat quality is top-notch, even if your signal is not. And, the cool thing about Samsung is that there are a variety of phones you can get, so you can pick the perfect one. Tech Radar leaves an honest but positive review.

 

Tablets are ideal for playing games, browsing Facebook, and watching movies/TV shows on the go. I’d recommend the iPad if your friends and family all have one, due to easy sharing and connecting. It also has a simple, easy-to-use design. But, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 is better for more hands-on tasks, thanks to the S (stylus) pen. The newest iPads came out earlier this year, and people seem to like the 4th generation iPad Air.

 

Game Time

The heavily-discussed PlayStation 5, coming out Nov. 12, is set to sweep the gaming nation. The all-new design for both the console and the controller is will offer a refreshing gaming experience. The previous generation, PS4, was released 4 years ago, so it was time to match up with today’s technology.

Or, get the Nintendo Switch. Although it came out almost a year ago, it’s still all the rage and heavily used. With two-part controllers attached on each side, the user can easily switch from single player to multi-player.

Computers and Laptops

The best laptop depends on what it’s needed for. For gamers, PC Mag recommends the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. If the work-from-home laptop needs an upgrade, then try out the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14. Or, you can pick up the newest MacBook Pro and check out the magic keyboard.

In the age of rapidly-evolving world, keeping up with the latest technology releases can be a challenge. That’s why we wanted to give you a heads-up, in case you’re thinking about upgrading your gadgets or starting to form a holiday shopping list. You can count on us to help you stay updated!

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