What Is the Difference Between Passive and Active Solar Energy?

Solar energy is one of the most fascinating and promising areas of renewable energy. With increasing energy costs and the danger of climate change, more and more people are looking for ways to generate electricity without damaging the environment. While solar power is a proven technology with many benefits, there is often a lot of confusion about what exactly it is. The following article will try to clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding solar energy and help you determine if it is the right choice for your home.

Passive Vs. Active Solar

When most people think about solar energy, they will probably imagine large, power-generating panels installed on the roofs of factories and other large buildings. In reality, solar energy can be generated in a wide variety of ways and by anyone, even at home. This includes things like solar hot-tubs and solar ponds, to name just a few. While these methods might not produce energy on a large scale, they can have a major impact on the environment.

This is where the distinction between passive and active solar comes in. Passive solar energy is essentially energy that the sun provides without any action being taken, such as collecting it or using it directly. The array of windows and doors in your home are, in a sense, passive solar panels – they let the sun in but don’t really do anything with it. Active solar energy, or solar power as it is often called, is energy that is generated by an action or process.

Solar power in this sense can be collected using a variety of methods, from solar panels to concentrating solar power. When you use solar energy actively, you are turning it into something – usually electricity but sometimes other forms of energy as well. This could be done through a series of simple actions, such as powering an appliance like a water heater or generating electricity through a wind turbine.

Benefits Of Solar Energy

When you consider all the benefits that solar energy has to offer, it’s easy to understand why more and more people are interested in it. Not only does it provide an environment-friendly way to generate electricity, but it also reduces your utility bills if you are already using solar energy to meet your household’s needs. This can help people who are on fixed income or live in areas with higher utility costs.

There are also countless ways that solar energy can be beneficial to human health. If you have ever had a solar eclipse where the lights were out and there was no electricity, you probably experienced how beautiful and calming the sun can be. During an eclipse, sunlight is not only beneficial to humans but the plants as well, providing them with vitamin D and brightening up their environment – all beneficial for your health.

If you live in a region where sunlight is scarce or nonexistent, then solar energy can be a true lifesaver, especially when combined with a water heater that produces hot water for your use. Remember, the sun gives off more energy in the summertime, so if you can, try and time your water heater controls so that it turns on when that energy is at its peak, allowing you to take a relaxing shower or bath without worrying about whether or not your water will be hot enough.

More Ways To Collect Solar Energy

While rooftop solar panels are the most common method of collecting solar energy, there are other ways to generate it as well. If you live in a place where the sunniest seasons are winter and spring, you might want to consider a solar pond. This is essentially a large glass or plastic container that holds water. When the sun (or the moon) is shining down on the pond, the liquid is warmed, causing small fish to swim around and creating a natural UV light source.

A fish tank with a few tropical fish can also be a rich source of UV light and a relaxing place to be. Just make sure that the water in your tank is changed frequently and the tank itself is shielded from direct sunlight.

More Ways To Use Solar Energy

Once you have your solar energy, there are many ways that you can use it. If you are located in a region where the sun is strong, you might want to look into purchasing an energy storage system. These systems allow you to charge up your batteries and use them later when the Sun isn’t shining. This can be a great way to store energy for later use and prevent your batteries from being damaged by overuse when charging them up during peak hours. An energy storage system can also help you balance your electricity use with solar energy and prevent your batteries from being drained due to a sudden and frequent change in your home’s source of energy. In some cases, this could even be a financial advantage as many energy companies charge a premium when they deploy energy storage systems.

If you live in a colder climate, you might want to keep some of your heat in the winter by using solar thermal energy to heat water. Solar thermal energy means using the sun’s heat to either heat a liquid or maintain a constant temperature. There are many different ways that this can be accomplished, such as with solar thermal power plants that use lenses, mirrors, and/or other reflective surfaces to either concentrate or diffuse the sun’s light so that it heats up a liquid or maintains a specific temperature. These systems are very efficient and require very little energy to operate.

What Is The Difference Between Passive and Active Solar Energy? was last modified: September 3rd, 2018 by Kevin Fong.

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