Solar Power Homes
Passive and Active Energy from Sun
Solar Power Homes are built by design to utilize optimally the principles of passive solar home design and to use actively solar radiation.Active solar systems use two effects. The first effect is the greenhouse effect. It is used in solar energy water heaters, that heats water for bathing and for swimming pools. The second effect is the photovoltaic effect used in solar energy power generation. The optimum is a zero energy home, home that on the average is not consuming energy from external sources.
Solar Power Homes use Sustainable House Design Principles
Passive Solar technologies use energy from sun radiation to passively heat up the home interior and to naturally light up the home or office. Passive solar cooing principles utilize sustainable house design principles to reduce the hot season cooling requirements.
These design principles were known for centuries and were utilized successfully by people around the world. With the advent of electrical power generation and distribution, the historical cheap energy resources and the increased density of population people resorted to artificial active means to heat up, cool down and light up their homes and offices
The era of cheap energy is over, fossils like crude oil and coal prices are rising and are on the way to full depletion.
It is time we adopt back the old passive solar design concepts that are now backed up by modern age engineering models and calculations.
Passive Solar Building Design Principles
The passive solar building design principles are :
- Lighting: a large floor or roof glass window through which sunlight enters. Shutters are used to control the amount of light entering the building
- Heat absorption: a large dark surface with good absorption capabilities.
- A substantial thermal mass to store the captivated heat. Concrete, stone, bricks have good thermal mass properties; Water is one of the best materials to store heat
- Heat distribution: heat naturally travel from warmer areas to cooler areas until the temperature is homogenous. The non purists will use fans and vents to accelerate this process
- Insulation and certified energy efficient windows reduce the energy invested in winter time heating and summer time cooling
Active Energy from Sun
It is easier to implement passive solar design to new homes approaching the objectives of zero energy homes. Some retrofits can be implemented though after a home energy auditing has been done.
Energy from sun can be utilized actively in almost any building. Below are the different ways with the most cost effective active solar technologies on top.
Solar Power Homes can lower your energy bills and reduce the carbon foot print of your home.
More on solar energy: what is solar energy
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