Solar homes are a prudent way of tapping solar energy for various purposes. For producing the electricity, passive technologies are a terrific way. Not only do they help in generating power but also they are a perfect way of reducing the temperature level in summers and increasing the same in winters.
Passive Solar home Technologies work not only in absorbing the heat to power electronics in winters but they also help in emitting heat in summers.
General Working of Passive Solar Home Tech.
The basic working principles of conduction, convection and radiations are used for the heat trapping mechanisms in passive solar homes. Moreover once implemented these technologies only depend on the local climatic conditions for proper working.
Surfaces like walls and windows are used for trapping solar energy. They attract solar heat in winters and repel it in summers. Passive solar homes majorly use the local climatic conditions to provide the solar power. Proper designing with implementation of other resources like glazing, shading, compact windows for avoiding air infiltration are key issues to be considered by the user.
Popular passive solar home technologies
Direct methods of implementation
Direct methods of implementation include use directed to a particular purpose. The purpose may lead to the powering of a specific machine. Using the direct methods of implementation is easier and they can be implemented relatively comfortably.
Some of the direct methods are-
- Solar water heaters – Solar water heaters are a developing technology which uses passive solar power to heat water. With a wide base due to the important application, solar water heaters seem to be promising in the future.
- Solar cookers – Solar cookers are solar technologies which use solar power to cook food. Solar cookers are purely passive as the technology is dependent on no external device for use. Solar cookers have been used for a fairly higher amount of time though a substantial rise in the usage can still be expected.
- Solar chimneys – Solar chimneys are chimneys which use passive solar technology. Easy to implement and maintain, they provide a useful alternative to the normal orthodox chimneys.
- Solar furnace – Solar furnaces are technologies which use the solar energy falling on them to perform the job of a furnace. Not only are they viable, they also provide cost benefits and functional edge.
Indirect methods of implementation
General solar homes having favorable architecture are said to be indirect methods of implementing solar technologies. Some indirect methods may include using proper color shade and house orientations and shapes to tap in the maximum amount of energy.
Passive Solar technologies have numerous benefits which are majorly construed through the flexibility of usage and ease in maintenance. Also they are economically feasible and have almost no maintenance. Some of the major benefits can be categorized into :
- Maintenance -These technologies have lower maintenance and are more durable. Passive solar technologies once implemented can last up to some years without any major issues. Though the efficiency can decrease by a certain rate.
- Flexibility and ease of implementation – Passive Solar technologies have a major advantage of flexibility. Unlike the active sources of solar energy, passive sources are majorly inherent and can easily become a part of the housing architecture The implementation of these is hardly there and the Hardware required is much less.
- One time investment – Passive technologies are majorly affordable with investments being singled out to the time of operation. Most of the costs incurred may even be overlooked as additional housing expenditure.
- Green Energy usage – The ecological importance of solar home and passive technologies is indisputable. There are no emissions, no by products and there is substantial energy production.
Major disadvantage of the passive solar heating is that the technology is overly dependent on the climate. If the climate is not suitable for the trapping heat then the passive means are less effective than the active solar technological means. Moreover the technology cannot be optimized for user’s needs once the implementation has been done.
Also wrong implementation can lead to a rapid decrease in the amount of solar power being generated by the system. Therefore the implementation and the usage must be precise and should adhere to the climatic conditions of the locality.
Passive technologies are beneficial due to the ecological returns they provide. Their ease of usage and low maintenance-high durability is added on incentives for implementation. Passive solar technologies are affordable and can be easily used in remote areas where the energy usage has increased importance.
Passive solar technologies are inherently dependent on the local climate and major emphasis while implementing is on the need to optimize benefits.