Have you ever wondered how solar energy works? There are two main types of solar energy: active and passive. While both types harness the power of the sun, they work in different ways and have different applications.
Understanding the difference between active and passive solar energy is important if you are considering using solar power for your home, business, or other project. In this blog, we will explore the key differences between active and passive solar energy, how they work, and when each type is best suited for different applications.
Solar power has been on the incline over the few years and is gaining popularity as the earth is starting to deteriorate from the harmful emissions and greenhouse gases due to burning and usage of non-renewable resources. Solar energy is a renewable energy source and can help us to press the harmful effects caused by other fossil fuels and energy-providing methods and build a low carbon emission world and cleaner earth. Did you know, that the solar energy collected in one hour from the sun is enough to power the entire world for a whole year? Shocking!
Even though solar power has many benefits, there are two main types we should know about:
- Active Solar Energy
- Passive Solar Energy
Active solar energy is where external mechanical and electrical devices are used to harness and store solar energy, while passive solar energy is the use of design elements to capture and store solar energy without the use of external and additional devices. In this blog, we will take an in-depth look at them and help you choose which one is for you.
What Is Active Solar Energy?
Active solar energy is where additional devices are used to collect and harness the energy from the sun. This type of solar energy is typically used to produce electricity, heat water, or provide heating and cooling for homes and buildings. Active solar energy systems typically include solar panels, batteries, inverters, and other components that work together to collect and store solar energy.
The biggest benefit and one that stands out from passive solar energy is that active solar energy has a greater efficiency and can produce a greater energy output. However, active solar energy systems can also be expensive to install and maintain. They require regular maintenance to ensure they are working properly and can be costly to repair if something goes wrong. Additionally, active solar energy systems require a significant amount of space and may not be suitable for all locations.
What Is Passive Solar Energy?
Passive solar energy is the use of design elements to capture and use solar power without the use of mechanical or electrical devices. This type of solar energy is typically used to provide heating and cooling for homes and buildings. Passive solar energy systems typically include design features such as south-facing windows, thermal mass, and shading devices that work together to capture and store solar energy.
One of the main benefits of passive solar energy is that it is efficient and cost-effective. Additionally, passive solar energy systems are typically less expensive to install and maintain than active solar energy systems. However, passive solar energy systems may not produce as much energy as active solar energy systems and may require additional heating and cooling systems to supplement the passive solar energy.
Which One Is Right for You?
Selecting the right solar power system for you depends on your needs, to be frank. The usage, consumption, cost, the location, all of these play a key role in determining which method to go for. For example, active solar energy systems may be more suitable for areas with less sunlight or colder climates where heating and cooling are necessary. Passive solar energy systems, on the other hand, may be more suitable for areas with more sunlight or warmer climates where heating and cooling are less necessary.
When finalizing, make sure about the needs and the cost of the package. Active solar energy is more expensive, but the output is more reliable and efficient. Whereas passive solar energy is comparatively cheaper and may not produce energy up to the standards of an active solar energy system.
How to Get Started with Solar Energy
Installing a solar energy system can be a significant investment, but it can also provide significant long-term savings and environmental benefits. Here are some steps to get started with solar energy:
- Assess Your Energy Needs: Before deciding on a solar energy system, it’s essential to assess your energy needs. You can use your energy bills to calculate your average daily energy consumption and determine how much solar energy you need to generate.
- Choose a Contractor: Look for well-reputed and famous contractors that have years of experience and are masters in their job. Check for certifications and references from previous clients.
- Obtain Permits: Before installing a solar energy system, you may need to obtain permits from your local government. Your solar energy contractor can guide you through the permitting process and ensure that your system meets local regulations.
- Select Your Solar Panels: This process comes down to you, your usage, consumption, budget, and durability, discuss these factors with your contractor and or provider and make the best decision for you.
- Install Your System: Once you have selected your solar panels and obtained permits, it’s time to install your solar energy system. Usually, to install it, it would take around a week or two, this mainly depends on the size and complexity of the task at hand.
- Maintain Your System: To maximize the efficiency and lifespan of your solar energy system, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance. This means you’ll have to clean the panels regularly, make sure about the wirings and check if all the components are in good running order.
- Monitor Your Energy Production: Keep monitoring and performing regular checkups and make a record to see if the efficiency is on point or if you can see a decrease in it. You can use monitoring software or apps to track your energy production and identify any trends or abnormalities.
Do consider these steps and get started with installing your own solar energy systems make an effort and strive towards a cleaner and greener energy source, which in turn provides us with a healthy environment.
In conclusion, solar energy is an important and renewable source of energy that has the potential to transform our energy systems. Choosing between active and passive solar energy systems depends on various factors such as location, climate, and energy needs.
Active solar energy systems are more suitable for areas with abundant sunlight and higher energy needs, while passive solar energy systems work best in areas with a moderate climate and lower energy needs. Getting started with solar energy involves selecting a reputable contractor, obtaining permits, and proper maintenance to maximize efficiency. As the demand for renewable energy sources increases, it is important to consider solar energy as a viable option for meeting our energy needs.