Technology for Teens

Modern teenagers are power technology users. Teens consume technology and electronics for hours upon hours.

Making the right decisions about which electronics and technologies to buy for teens is difficult. As with most purchases, cost of technology is also a big factor.

Computers and Laptops

As kids grow up and become teenagers, they require more and more technology. Schools assign teens homework that needs to be done on the computer. There has been an explosion in social networking sites, blogging, and instant messaging. Before you know it, the teen has taken over the family computer.

Should a teenager have his own computer? That decision is up to the teenager and his family. But once the decision to buy the teenager a computer of his own is made then the family should make sure that the system integrates well with the family’s existing technology. The parents should know how to use the teens computer operating system.

The Technology of Music

Mp3 players come in all shapes and sizes and every teen seems to have one. But they are not all created equal. In order to pick the right music technology for your teen you should careful thought to the music service and type of music files your teen is going to use.

Apple’s music service, called iTunes encodes all downloads in .aac extension and plays only AAC and mp3 files. An iPod can play these music files but some other players may not be able to.

Music files come in many formats so you need to ensure that the music player that you choose for your teen is compatible with the music files that you already have. If you have a digital music player of your own you will want to make sure that it plays the same type of music files as your teen’s music player.

Gaming Systems

Between the Nintendo Wii, Playstation, Xbox and a variety of handheld devices, there is a lot of video game technology for your teen to choose from. This decision is largely one of personal preference. But to get the best value your teen should be satisfied with their decision for many years to come.

One key point to remember is that the newer versions of game systems are generally compatible with their older counterparts. Which means that a PlayStation 3 console can play PlayStation 2 games but not vice versa.

The Price of Technology

The latest technology can cost a bundle. So, it is important to set limits on how much your teen can spend on technology. One way to cut technology costs is to make sure that all family members are using the same technologies. Once you make the investment in the hardware then the family can share the add ons like software, games, and music (subject to licensing requirements and copyrights, of course).

However, the price of technology can be looked at as an investment in a teenager’s overall education.

What Is Solar Photovoltaic Technology?

Understanding Photovoltaic Cells

Photovoltaic cells, also referred to as solar cells, have a basic process that takes sunlight and convert it into electricity. Discovered in 1954, scientists found that silicon could be used to make an electric charge, if it was exposed to direct sunlight. Technology advanced, and with it solar cells were soon powering satellites, and even our most basic commodity; a watch or calculator. In today’s high tech world people now use these cells to power their homes, businesses, and utilities companies are now taking PV technology even further, by using this technology for power stations.

First generation solar panels that are used in businesses and homes, will normally use modules that hold as many as 40 cells. In order to provide electrical needs for an average home, one would need to use 10 – 20 panels, that are fixed at an angle; usually south. Some will use a mount design, that allows for a tracking device, that then moves with the sun, allowing for optimum sunlight to hit the panels. When you combine panels together you’ll hear them referred to as a solar array. Large solar arrays are most often used to power electric utility companies, or large industrial complexes. When interconnected, these solar arrays enable large PV systems to power thousands of homes and buildings combined.

As stated earlier, these cells are made from silicon, often found in sand, and are considered to be one of the most efficient types of solar panels. Cells that are second generation are comprised of amorphous silicon and nonsilicon materials. These cells are thin film cells, use semiconductor materials, and their thickness is measured in micrometers. Their flexibility and thinness gives them the appearance of house tiles or shingles, thereby making them a perfect choice for roofs, tiles, glazing on skylights and building facades.

Third generation cells are made from a variety of materials. Inks used in printing press technology, conductive plastics, and solar dyes are the main ones currently being produced. As technology continues to advance in this field, we’re seeing solar cells using lenses made of plastic or mirrors, as a way to concentrate and enhance rays from the sun, into smaller than ever and more efficient PV materials. Although more expensive to purchase, less panels need to be used, thus making them a cost effective option for industrial uses, and for whole utility company usage. Concentrating collectors that use lenses have the drawback, that they are only suitable for some areas where there is a higher concentration of sun yearlong.

As we head into the future, it’s expected that solar technology will accelerate at an amazing pace, due to solar technology advancing and becoming smaller every year. Currently many homes are using this technology, as are businesses, but as solar become smaller and more affordable, prices will continue to drop, thus enabling the average homeowner to afford this new technology and go off-grid or sell power back to the grid.

The National Center for Photovoltaic offers information on all the latest research in solar cell PV technology, and currently supports the DOE SunShot Initiative, that plans to have large scale solar systems, that are cost effective by 2020. Everblue Courses are designed to teach about home energy efficiency and create knowledgeable technicians for the coming expansion of sustainable energy.