Passive solar energy (sometimes called “solar-powered” or “free solar energy”) is the energy that your home receives from the sun without having to directly utilize it. The suns energy is transferred to your home through a process called “radiation.” This is how greenhouses and hot tubs are powered. The main advantage of using passive solar energy is that it has zero fossil fuel emissions, creating a more eco-friendly option.
The sun provides free energy to the planet, but a significant amount of this free energy is lost through radiation into space. Only a small portion of radiation actually reaches the surface, where it can be harvested and used by humans. The process of harvesting radiation and converting it to useful energy is called “thermal energy harvesting.” You can use thermal energy to warm your home, provide electricity to your appliances, or even cook with it.
Harvesting and using the suns energy does not incur additional costs. In fact, it costs almost nothing to produce. This is in contrast to most forms of energy, which are very expensive to produce and maintain. This makes it a more cost-effective and eco-friendly option than traditional sources of energy. It is important to note that not all solar energy systems are created equal, and you should consult an expert to find out which type of system is best suited for your home.
- Passive solar energy is the energy that your home receives from the sun without having to directly utilize it.
- Unlike other forms of energy, passive solar energy is free; it has zero cost to produce and zero emissions.
- It is a great option for those seeking a more eco-friendly and climate-conscious lifestyle.
- As the name implies, passive solar energy is obtained from the sun without having to directly utilize it. This allows you to save most of the solar energy that the sun provides without having to specifically purchase appliances and devices that make use of this power.
- Unlike other solar options, which are often expensive and require a lot of space, passive solar energy can be a cost-effective and space-saving option for homeowners. Most notably, it requires very little maintenance.
- Passive solar energy is the perfect solution for those seeking a more eco-friendly and climate-conscious lifestyle.
- It is important to note that not all solar energy systems are created equal, and you should consult an expert to find out which type of system is best suited for your home.
How Does It Work?
The general process of how passive solar energy works is very similar to the process of how solar panels work. The main difference is that with solar panels, you have to collect the energy and convert it to usable electricity. With passive solar energy, the suns energy is already usable without having to do any conversion. This saves you time and allows you to utilize the energy more readily.
The way that this energy is collected from the sun is through the use of large solar-collecting mirrors or “heliostats” that track the suns movement and focus its energy on the solar receivers located around the house. These solar receivers are either blackened areas or slightly raised surfaces (like the roof of your home) that are directly in contact with the sun.
These solar receivers are called “thermal energy converters” or “TECs.” The area covered by the solar receiver is called the “collective solar gain area.” The smaller this area is, the more efficient and effective the system is at collecting energy. Typically, homeowners with two units covered by solar gain area have a very high efficiency. While this may not sound like much, over the course of a year, this can mean a 30% or greater energy gain as compared to systems with one unit covered by solar gain area.
Why Should You Use It For Your Home?
There are several reasons why you might want to use passive solar energy for your home. First, it has zero cost to produce and there are no harmful emissions associated with its use. Second, it is a great option for those seeking a more eco-friendly and climate-conscious lifestyle. Third, it is an inexpensive way to save most of the solar energy that the sun provides without having to specifically purchase expensive and environment-harming appliances and devices.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using This Energy For Your Home?
One of the primary advantages of using solar energy for your home is that it has ZERO COST TO PRODUCE. Typically, homeowners are able to save a significant amount of money over the course of a year, and in some instances, even more than that. This is in comparison to most forms of energy, which are extremely expensive to produce and maintain.
While this is certainly a significant advantage, it is also important to keep in mind the downsides before making any decision. First, you will need to have plenty of space for the sun to shine directly on the solar-collecting mirrors. This is because the greater the distance between you and the sun, the less efficient the energy gain is. In some instances, this might mean planting a tree or building a sky scraper. Second, the sun will only provide energy when it is available, which means that you will need to have enough capacity to capture this energy when the sun is shining. In the winter, this can be a challenge. Third, not all homes are suitable for collecting solar energy. This is because they either have too much shade or not enough space for the mirrors. For example, if your home is located on a windy mountainside, it might not be the best option since the wind can interfere with the energy collection process. The same goes for homes built into the ground or homes with small windows.
When Should You Use It And How Should You Use It?
One of the most important things to consider when using passive solar energy is WHEN to use it. Most homeowners with this system want to use it in the summertime to be able to take advantage of the suns heat and in the wintertime to be able to save on their energy bills. It is important to determine whether you want to use it during the day or night.
During the day, the suns radiation is at its peak, which means that you will obtain the greatest energy gain in the early morning hours. This is why most homeowners with these systems want to get up early in the morning and begin collecting energy as soon as the sun comes up. While it is certainly desirable to make use of the suns energy in this way, it is also important to consider whether this is practical for you based on where you live. If you are far away from the equator, it might be difficult to gain early morning rays due to the time change and the fact that the sun is not yet at its peak when you wake up. In this case, it might be better to come back in the afternoon or evening and capture the energy when the sun is at its peak, which is when it provides the most usable energy for your home.
Who Should Actually Do The Installing?
Installing passive solar energy is not a simple task; it requires a professional. Not all homeowners will be able to successfully implement this system on their own. Even those who can will not want to since it requires a large time investment and there is a lot of work that goes into it. Fortunately, there are companies that specialize in connecting homeowners with qualified solar contractors, who will be more than happy to help with the installation of a passive solar energy system.