Solar home is a great way of using sun as an energy source. Solar homes collect the heat supplied by the sun through passive means unlike various other solar technologies which are active sources of solar energies. Therefore for maximum efficiency of the solar home, heat entering the house should be stored as much as possible.
Heat storage and heat trapping are two primarily important aspects that should be kept in mind before implementing a solar home. They determine the proficiency of the solar home. Heat storage is therefore an area which is majorly important for increasing the productivity.
Importance of heat storage
Since solar energy is available only before sunset, there is an increasing need to optimize the supply and increase the efficiency of solar devices. Therefore attracting maximum heat coupled with storing it is ideal for high efficiency.
Thus heat storage is an important aspect that should be considered before choosing the design of solar homes. Since solar homes can be designed in more than one ways, having a design that suits the heat storing is beneficial. Their design is dependent also on factors like local climate and user needs.
Methods of heat storage in solar homes
There are various methods which help in increasing the heat storage capacity of the solar home. Proper implementation and planning is pivotal for having maximum benefits out of the solar home. Some of the premiere important aspects to be taken care of for heat storage are:
Using high specific heat capacity substances – Solar homes should be built using substances which have high solar heat capacity so as to retain maximum amount of heat possible. The specific heat capacity is the relative heat required by substance to raise their temperatures. Therefore using the right substances can lead to lower increase in temperature for higher heat gains.
Therefore for making the solar homes substances having high specific heat are recommended. They can help in storing more heat than their lower specific heat counterparts.
Glazing – Various glazing techniques are important for adding to the heat storage levels. Different glazes are recommended for different windows for increasing the storage of heat in the solar home. Glazing helps in reducing the amount of heat loss due to windows.
Controlling air infiltration – Uncontrolled Air infiltration in solar homes leads to heat loss which reduces the heat storing capacity.
Therefore controlling the infiltration by making compact structures and proper ventilation can easily lead to increase in heat storing capacity of the solar home.
Controlling conduction losses – Conduction heat losses can occur through a variety of openings like windows, doors and cracks in the house. Therefore proper insulation should be used in solar homes to control the conduction losses. Insulation adds inertia to the flow of heat leading to a control in the temperature of the house.
Having proper shape, orientation and color – If the solar home is having the right shape, color and orientation then the efficiency of heat storing can be increased by a wide margin. Colors like black help in absorbing more heat than the lighter colors. Solar homes should be built using specifications which help them in their working. Proper orientation and shapes are also recommended as they help in the homes’ absorbing and reflection tendency.
Scope and options
There has been skepticism evolving around solar homes for the issue of heat storage. Though it is not nearly as easy to attract solar radiations in the first place to the homes, storing the heat is equally important if not more.
Building solar homes with efficient substances which have high specific heats is a helpful way of storing an increasing amount of heat. It is also a permanent solution as compared to other means like glazing and insulation. Materials like oak and limestone should be preferred. The costing are not affected substantially either.
Other measures which should be taken are adding proper glazing to windows and avoiding extra windows and doors that needed. Compactness in solar homes is a primary requirement. Solar homes having insulation also tend to be of higher heat storage capacity.
Trapping solar heat is an important aspect which has to be looked after before designing a solar home. It leads to an increase in efficiency of solar homes and most options available can serve the user for a long time.
Simple solutions coupled with proper architecture are the key for improving heat receptivity. Solar homes ought to have proper orientation, shapes and color add up to the level of heat stored. Therefore for optimum efficiency it is important for the user to implement the right architecture in their solar home.