Solar energy technologies can supply several different uses in a solar home. Passive solar design will give you heat and cooling as well as natural light for your residence. Home appliances and solar ...
Solar energy technologies can supply several different uses in a solar home. Passive solar design will give you heat and cooling as well as natural light for your residence. Home appliances and solar water heating can provide hot water options for laundry and general household water use (cooking, cleaning and showers). It is important to consider which solar energy options are most efficient and cost effective for your particular situation.
In a passive solar home cooling and natural light can be used without the use of any special equipment. Even without buying special equipment, you can vastly reduce your energy usage by taking advantage of the environment to passively harness solar energy. A passive solar home is made up of materials that maximize use of the sun’s warmth during the winter, and minimize it over the summer. An attached Trombe wall that collects heat and distributes it throughout the home by the use of fans and thermal mass, which are materials that naturally collect and store heat such as brick or stone and passive cooling, which generally includes overhangs for south-facing windows to block the sun during summer months for cooling the solar home.
Another feature found in a solar home is the use of solar electricity. When photovoltaic cells are used to absorb sunlight and convert it into usable electricity. The energy that then is produced by solar panels has to be transferred into DC (energy in your house) in order to work properly by utilizing an inverter. Solar electricity can be used as the only electric source for the home. Should the owners choose the latter, they’ll also need a backup generator.
When someone says their home is powered using solar energy, you can assume that the water is heated using solar power as well since it is the most common use of solar energy. There are two kinds of solar water heating available for solar home use. The first kind can be used in areas that are not prone to freezing and use water filled tubes that are heated directly by the sun. The second kind uses an anti-freeze type liquid to collect heat from the sun and then the heated liquid is used to heat household water via a heat exchanger.
Regardless as to what steps you take, energy efficiency is the most important attribute to a successful solar home operation. This efficient energy use minimizes the need for heating, cooling and electricity. Using this higher level of energy in appliances and lighting which are used in traditional construction can save you a lot money and energy use. These changes may not be possible for your home as it is now but by making any change possible to your home energy efficiency and adapting other solar practices you will be able to convert your existing home into a solar home.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Jean Morse and am a senior citizen (whatever that means) living in the NW corner of the beautiful state of Washington. My main interest is the environment and how to make it better for those who will come after us. We all will benefit from how we manage this planet we call Earth.