In the form of heat, light, and electricity, solar energy is an abundant clean, renewable resource that will never run out. It can be readily converted into other forms of energy such as mechanical power using solar cells or used directly for heating buildings and water.
Active solar systems use a piece of equipment called a collector, which absorbs the sun’s heat through solid insulation and converts it into electricity or heat. This essential equipment varies only in the method it transfers this thermal energy to its surroundings.
What Is Active Solar Energy?
Active solar energy refers to the solar energy that we capture and store for future use. The term ‘active’ means that a mechanical device collects and stores energy.
Types Of Active Solar Energy
There are three main types of active solar energy: space heating, water heating, and pool heating.
1. Active Space Heating System
The most common type of active solar energy system heats air or liquid in a storage tank for later use as either air or hot water. This stored heat can be used directly for space heating in most cases without any additional equipment. They provide adequate space heating by generating electricity.
Space heating is done by absorbing the sun’s rays on collectors outside your home and transferring those rays into a fluid (liquid or air), which becomes super-heated inside a storage container. The heated fluid is then used directly for space heating, or it can be circulated through a heat exchanger within a forced air furnace to make your entire house warm.
2. Active Solar Water Heating
Water heating with active solar energy is done by absorbing the sun’s rays on collectors outside your home and transferring those rays into a water tank inside your home.
This stored hot water can then be used directly in sinks, showers, tubs, dishwashers, etc. as if you were using an electric or gas water heater. When there is enough winter sun available in cold winters, this same system also makes an excellent backup water heater in case power goes off.
3. Active Solar Pool Heating
Pool Heating with active solar systems uses either liquids or air to absorb the sun’s rays and then warms up a swimming pool. In most cases, this heated liquid or air is circulated through a heat exchanger within the pool’s filter to make your entire pool warm.
Working of Active Solar Systems
An active solar system employs solar collectors to collect heat from the sun. The heat is then used to heat a fluid, which is used to generate power or heat a building. Active solar systems are more expensive than passive solar systems, but they are more efficient at converting sunlight into valuable energy.
Solar collectors are the devices used in active solar systems to absorb sunlight. They can vary significantly in design, but they all serve the same function. The absorbed energy heats a fluid, which is then piped into a heat exchanger where it either transfers or generates heat through some other means. This process is called cogeneration.
They also include photovoltaic cells that generate electricity directly from sunlight, often in conjunction with heating systems where the generated electricity powers the pumps for circulating water through panels.
Difference between Active and Passive Solar Energy
The main difference between active and passive solar energy is in the source. Passive systems use naturally available heat from sunlight to maintain a building’s temperature, while active systems collect heat from the sun for later use. Active systems are more common than passive, but both can be equally effective.
- Active solar systems employ solar collectors to collect heat from the sun. The heat is then used to heat a fluid, which is used to generate power or heat a building. Active solar systems are more expensive than passive solar systems, but they are more efficient at converting sunlight into useful energy.
Passive solar systems use naturally available heat from sunlight to maintain a building’s temperature, while active systems collect heat from the sun for later use. Both can be equally effective.
- An active solar heating system collects energy directly from the sun. In contrast, passive systems use sunlight as an indirect source of energy (passive approach will lose twice as much heat through conduction and convection because the Sun only heats one side of the passive system while active collecting systems will collect heat from both sides.
Passive solar heating does not require any mechanical parts to operate, but it cannot produce energy as high as an active system if there is cloudy weather during the daytime.
- The term “active” means that some form of the auxiliary device must be employed to achieve useful temperature differentials between the absorber and ambient air. For example, moving parts, pumps, valves, etc. A storage system must also be used because the output is not available when the sun is down or cloudy.
“Passive” means no mechanical devices are employed to collect heat energy. For example, flat panels with absorber surfaces are exposed directly to sunlight.
Components Of Active Solar Power System
There are three main components of solar energy systems:
Solar Energy Collection: Solar panels collect direct sunlight and turn it into electricity.
Solar Energy Storage: Batteries store energy to be used even when the sun isn’t shining.
Solar Energy Distribution: Power inverters change direct current (DC) power to alternating current (AC). AC is what your home and most appliances use. The final step is to feed the power into the grid where consumers can draw from it as they need to be used.
Why Use Active Solar Energy?
Active Solar Energy technology is a great way to generate energy for your home. It can be applied to heating water, space heating, and cooling the air in your home. There are many advantages of using active solar technology over the conventional central heating system and power sources.
1. Best Alternative In Cold Climate Conditions
One of the most significant reasons you should use this technology is that it’s one of the best alternative energy sources in cold climates. It works well in both winter and summer conditions.
2. Offer Of Tax Exemptions
There is a federal law that offers tax exemptions on any solar power installation used for residential and commercial purposes. This will allow individuals and businesses to invest in solar power at virtually less cost to their pockets.
3. More Than 10 Years Warranty
The warranty given by manufacturers is usually more than ten years. Since the system doesn’t need very much maintenance, they give such long-term warranties.
Since solar energy is generated from the sun’s radiant heat, it is eco-friendly and doesn’t harm the environment in any way. This is one of the main reasons governments worldwide are pushing for using this type of power system.
In conclusion, solar power is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on electricity. It’s also an affordable option with various technologies that can be tailored for any home or business. Solar energy has come a long way since its inception, which means it’s never been more accessible to people today.
Suppose you’re considering making a switch from traditional fossil fuels like coal or oil for home heating and electricity generation. In that case, we hope this guide will be helpful as well as serve as an introduction to what active solar heating systems mean.