The Difference Between Passive and Active Solar Energy
Perhaps you are no stranger to green energy, especially if you get great TXU rates and your energy is supplied by environmentally conscious companies. And, chances are, you know all about solar energy but do you understand the difference between passive and active. Not knowing the difference does not diminish the importance of this renewable resource but it can help you get the most out of it if you are planning on utilizing the sun’s energy for additional power.
Passive Solar Energy
Just like the name implies, it is passive. There are no instruments used to harness the sun’s rays or focus them – no collectors, grids or cells. Many houses that utilize passive solar energy have sunspaces (like greenhouse panels) and trombe walls built into the south side of the building to absorb the most from the sun. The sunspace absorbs the heat from the sun and, if properly ventilated, it can be cycled through the home and trombe walls can absorb and hold the heat.
Active Solar Energy
Mirrors and metal plates are used to capture and focus the solar radiation where it can then be transferred to air or water. This means home heating is possible through solar panels and even hot water. This energy can also be harnessed and used in special floor heating systems, as well. Plus, fans and pumps can be implemented to circulate the hot air.
Understanding how both systems work, and implementing them in your home can save you thousands on energy costs.