September 30, 2023

Illuzzi Letter

Envisioning And Creating Your Dream Home

Home Solar Power – What Are The 2 Most Common Ways to Harness Energy From The Sun?

Home solar power systems involve different techniques to harvest power from the sun. They are largely classified into 2 main categories — active and passive.

Active solar techniques involve inventions like photovoltaic panels, pumps, and fans. These are responsible for converting solar energy into useful output. Passive solar techniques involve positioning materials (with desirable thermal properties) along the path of solar radiation and designing spaces that allow natural convection (air circulation).

You have to consider the benefits of each approach (active or passive) before you implement them. Active solar techniques are somewhat more expensive to implement. However it gives you more control and the energy can be converted into a wider range of output other than heat. Passive solar techniques involve careful thought to the architectural design of your house. However it does not drain as much financial resources. Most people will consider implementing both types of system in complement with one another.

The most common installation you can consider is the solar heater. They are cheap, easily installed and are efficient. These nifty devices can help you cut a large percentage of your energy bill by taking care of your heating needs. You can heat up your rooms without using any electricity. You can also heat up water so you can have a warm bath or swim after work.

Heat gathered during the day can be stored in materials with high specific heat capacity (or thermal mass). They act like rechargeable batteries for storing heat in the day. At night, they provide you with warmth while the ambient temperature outside falls. Some of these materials include water, bricks, cement and stones.

The next most common installation you can consider is a solar panel. Solar panels convert the energy from the sun into electricity via a process known as Photovoltaics (PV). Thus these contraptions are also known as photovoltaic panels.

Photovoltaic panels are popular because of their practicality and convenience. While solar heaters gives out only heat, electricity from solar panels can be converted into heat, movement and light. Electricity can also be stored in battery banks so there will still be electricity supply even at night or when the sun is not shining. However the flip side of this installation is the cost. For the average household, it may cost you up to $8 per watt to install. A 2.5kW system can easily cost you $20,000.

There are also other systems that can be built into the architecture of your house. However using only the solar heater and photovoltaic panel, you can design a world-class home solar power system that can effectively gather energy from the sun for your household needs.