How Passive Solar Systems Work

ABEST1 How Passive Solar Systems Work

Article by Sam Braidley

Many people understand how active power systems work. The distinctive solar panels make it easy to understand. Either they use photovoltaic cells to produce an electrical charge (which can then be stored) or they use a series of pipes in order to heat water which can then be used by a home. Regardless of whether it is hot water or electricity, it is easy to understand, even if only on a basic level, how a solar powered system works.Passive solar systems are different, however. Because of the way a passive system works in a home, it is difficult to even identify which homes use passive solar in some cases. This can be a blessing in many ways. It can actually be easier to sell a home that is heated through passive solar power as it does not require overly specialized equipment in order to take advantage of a natural heat source.What passive solar power involvesPassive systems are simply that- passively using the heat and light that the sun puts out in order to heat a home. By orienting a home in a southerly direction when it is being built, and placing windows and architectural details in certain areas in a home it becomes much easier to let in the light and heat that the sun provides.This heat and light are often harder to come by during the winter months but it is often still possible to have lower energy bills in general by using passive solar systems. Some of the features include large windows that are constructed using low-e glass and placing those windows in areas of the home where they will receive the most sunlight all year long.Construction VS retrofittingAn active system can be installed at any point. A homeowner can choose to install a panel system and begin to enjoy the benefits that they offer. It may take modification of some areas of the home (such as a change to wiring or plumbing) but in general, it is fairly straightforward to install an active solar system.A passive solar system, on the other hand, should be built into a home from the beginning. If your home has a southerly orientation, it may be possible to take advantage of passive solar radiation by replacing the home’s existing windows with ones that are more energy efficient but if the home is not positioned properly it can be much more difficult to use a system such as this.Only you know which system, if any, will be right for your needs.

About the Author

Sam Braidley is a author who writes on topics centred around green technology, for more information please visit his website.

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