The Many Faces of Solar Power Technology

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Living in Nevada, the sun is a nearly consistent buddy. This offers Nevadans a distinct chance to utilize solar radiation powers for good. In April, a trip of southern Nevada houses shed some light on the subject of solar powered houses.

Hosted by the American Solar Energy Society, this Nevada branch of the National Solar Tour explored homes that used both passive and active solar power, thermal warm water systems, and other environmentally functions.

However, unless you’re a green technologies specialist, or took the trip, you might not know the difference in between passive and active solar, or how thermal hot water is different than average. Let me assist you comprehend!

solar power technology

Active Solar Technology

Active solar innovation is the one that the majority of people might recognize with. It involves having a solar panel that gathers the sun’s energy and transforms it into electrical power. These have a battery where energy is kept, so electrical energy can still be used during the night, and, to a certain level, on cloudy days.

Photovoltaic panel are an outstanding way to make electrical power, especially in remote locations. While they are moderately pricey to establish, and do need some upkeep, they offer reputable and complimentary electrical power, even in climates far less warm than Nevada’s.

Passive Solar Technology

Passive solar technologies are far older than active ones, and include using the natural heat and light the sun creates, without converting it in any other way. Have you ever saw that after a long, hot day, south-facing rocks, pavement or brick and adobe buildings will radiate warmth? They have invested the day passively collecting solar power, and are releasing it.

Wooden Insulating

Some materials are better at absorbing and keeping that heat than others. For instance, wood insulates, implying it will obstruct temperature levels, whereas stone will soak up and release temperature levels. Houses that are built to make the most of passive solar are frequently constructed of brick, adobe or concrete.


Cob is another passive-solar-friendly and ancient structure product that is going through a revival of sorts. It is made of sand, clay and straw, similar active ingredients as adobe, however adobe is baked into bricks and stacked, whereas cob structures are free-formed while the material is wet.

Windows Line

Passive solar houses generally have a lot of windows lining their south walls, and less so their east and west walls, with little to no windows on the chillier north sides. These windows do two things.

  • First, they provide natural light inside the house, one aspect of passive solar.
  • Second, they permit heat to come into the house.

If the house has a stone tile floor and even walls, that tile will absorb the heat, releasing it later when the outside temperature level drops.

Passive Solar Home Design

Passive solar houses can be developed to be cool in summertime while using the sun to warm them in winter season. If shutters are closed throughout summertime months, the home will remain much cooler. Likewise, the height and angle of overhang can be considered to take full advantage of the windows exposure to low winter season sun, but lessen direct exposure to the high summer sun. Alternatively, I saw an intriguing example of somebody planting deciduous trees on the south side of their house.

In the winter, the trees had no leaves therefore let in a lot of light and heat. In the summertime, their thick greenery offered shade that kept your home cool. That is the significant difference in between active and passive solar innovations. Since passive solar is basically complimentary, it would be smart for any architect or house designer to take it into consideration when constructing brand-new homes.

Well designed passive solar homes can considerably lower their electrical energy needs. And while active solar is fantastic innovation, it still takes numerous resources to create. Plus, it might be unnecessary in an area with an existing electrical source.

Thermal Hot Water System

As for thermal water heating, it too is a really basic concept. House made thermal hot water heater can be as easy as an outdoor water tank painted black, but that’s a little crude for most tastes. There are a variety of designs out there.

Some have panels that are metal painted black and enclosed with glass, with copper pipes filled with water going through them. This water will warm, and is then pushed by gravity into an insulated tank.

Some solar hot water heater utilize a similar set-up but with tubes filled with anti-freeze that are then connected to a heat transfer loop, where water in a storage tank is warmed. Whatever system you utilize, thermal water heating is surprisingly affective.


There are a lot of ways to make the most of the sun and utilize less electrical energy. Have a look at next year’s National Solar Tour to see them for yourself. If you are looking for a step-by-step course that teaches you how to lower your energy bills and become more energy independent and self-sufficient by building your own power at home with professional quality solar panels then this is the right system that you can count on.