Solar energy systems are not a new idea, they have only lately gained media attention due to advancements like solar-powered aircraft, which have just taken off. Here is what you need to know about solar energy systems, what is the difference between active and passive solar energy?
Table of Contents
- How Does Solar Power Operate?
- What Is Active Solar Energy?
- What Is Passive Solar Energy?
- Difference Between Active And Passive Solar Energy
- Active or Passive Solar, Which One Should You Get?
How Does Solar Power Operate?
In 2015, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) revealed that a record-breaking 66,440 solar systems were installed in residences during the first quarter of the year, demonstrating how popular rooftop solar paneling is growing. How can solar panels convert sunlight into electricity so that your home’s heating system or appliances can be powered by them?
Each panel is primarily made of solar cells, which are silicon semiconductor wafers that, when exposed to sunlight, undergo a process known as the photovoltaic effect (PV), which converts photons from the sun’s light directly into electricity. Don’t worry if you’re concerned about how this procedure continues at night after the sun has set; the solar panels store the extra energy they’ve collected during the day so they can use it at any time, even at night or on cloudy days.
By offering a source of clean, renewable energy and creating a less polluted environment, investing in solar panels can significantly reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. The total amount of coal, gas, and oil available on Earth would be used up in just 18 days of sunshine. Are you persuaded enough to switch to a more sustainable way of life? The choice between an active and a passive solar energy system must now be made.
What Is Active Solar Energy?
Active solar systems: Active solar power systems depend on backup energy sources, such as heat pumps and radiators, to capture, store, and then transform solar energy into electricity. Depending on the design’s complexity, it may be able to heat or cool your home or supply electricity to an entire neighborhood. Active solar systems include the following features:
- Flat-plate PV panels are used in the collectors, which are typically mounted and stationary. Panels are frequently connected to one another to create modules in more complex designs.
- Solar collectors use liquid or air conductors to store and convert energy. The term “hydronic collector” refers to those that use liquid, while the term “air collector” refers to those that use air.
- Although air-based solar systems have the advantage of not freezing, liquid conductors are more common than those that are air-based because the liquid is typically more efficient at conducting heat.
What Is Passive Solar Energy?
Passive solar systems: Passive solar systems function independently of external devices, in contrast to active solar systems. Instead, solar energy is captured through glass windows that absorb and retain heat, as in greenhouses, solariums, and sunrooms. Passive solar systems include these features:
- Passive collectors typically rely on south-facing windows to convert light into sunlight instead of PV panels.
- The law of thermodynamics asserts that heat transfers from warm to cool surfaces, including through convection, is the foundation upon which passive solar collectors are designed.
- The passive solar system’s performance is influenced by its orientation and the thermal mass of its walls, which determine how well it can absorb heat.
Difference Between Active And Passive Solar Energy
Positives of Active Solar Systems
- PV flat-plate panels are used as the primary building material. This type of panel utilizes cutting-edge designs that are created by joining all the panels together.
- The standard procedure is to use liquid or air as a conductor in solar collectors. The solar collectors’ primary functions are energy storage and transmission.
- Ordinarily referred to as hydronic collectors, conductors that use liquid are. Air collectors are those who make use of air.
Negatives of Active Solar Systems
Active solar systems, like any other product, have some shortcomings. Let’s have a look at each one of them:
- It costs a lot to buy the necessary equipment.
- It can be expensive to maintain your equipment.
- Toxins may be released into the air by the fluids in solar panels that store heat.
Positives of Passive Solar Systems:
- Since no additional equipment is needed, the setup is automatically inexpensive.
- Eventually, all your energy expenditure costs are down by 14%
- It’s beneficial to your health because it doesn’t trigger allergies or dry out your mucous membranes.
Negatives of Passive Solar Systems:
- Directly impacted by the weather is efficiency. Your buildings run the risk of overheating, especially if you live in a warm climate.
- The weather has an immediate impact on its effectiveness. There is a possibility that your building could overheat if you live in an especially hot area.
- For the best chance of success, you would need to pick the appropriate kind of windows.
Active or Passive Solar, Which One Should You Get?
Making the decision to switch to renewable energy sources is a significant decision, so you want to be sure you are choosing wisely. Since its inception, solar energy has advanced greatly and continues to do so.
Benefits of active solar energy include the fact that it only uses the sun as a power source. External, highly dependable, and low-maintenance equipment is also used for active solar energy, such as solar panels.
On the other hand, passive solar energy is typically less expensive than active solar energy. Unfortunately, passive solar energy is more dependent on the weather. In a warm climate, you may also run the risk of overheating a building because you won’t be able to control the temperature as well.