Realities Of Solar Power For The Typical Household 2021: How Does Solar Power System Fit Into Domestic Functions


Most people want to help out the environment, but there are still so many different ways to achieve this goal. One eco-friendly choice for your household is going solar. Solar power is one of the oldest and most widely-used forms of alternative energy.

As early as 400 B.C. the Greeks were designing their homes to utilize solar power. Yet in modern times, procuring solar energy for your residential home has been fraught with many challenges. The technology has an expensive start up cost and it’s also constantly evolving.

However, if you can manage to find the right balance of technology and design, you can make your solar dream home a reality.

Passive Solar Design

Passive solar design relies on the alignment of your home and its particular climate zone. Passive solar homes are built with large, south-facing windows. The sun’s radiant energy pours in through these windows, heating the home’s interior during the day and cooling it down by night.

Passive solar design also makes use of heat-absorbing materials in the home’s construction, like brick masonry. Passive solar design is a great way to utilize the sun’s natural energy.

However, it requires the right architecture. Your home must either already be built according to passive solar design or you have aspirations to build your own home from scratch.

PV Solar Electricity

Photovoltaic panels (PV) collect the sun’s energy and transform it into usable electricity for your home. You might recognize them as the square modules placed on the rooftops and sides of buildings. These solar panels are one of the most economical ways to capitalize on solar energy.

You can choose between having a PV system that runs its own electricity, both supply and demand. This is what’s known as an “off the grid” system. You can also choose a solar electric plan that ties into the existing grid. You can work with your energy provider to lower your power bill and in some cases get money back from them instead.

A typical photovoltaic system consists of a solar panel, comprised of solar cells, a mounting rack to harness the sun’s light, and an inverter.

The inverter takes the DC current collected from the solar panel and translates it to AC current, the same current used by all your household appliances. The main drawback to PV solar power is that the technology is evolving rapidly. There are new technologies created every year that increase the capabilities of solar power.

Solar Water Heating

Solar water heating involves just as much hardware as solar electricity, but can be used to drastically reduce your hot water costs. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), water heating makes up 9% of total home electric consumption in the nation.

That’s because people are constantly washing their clothes, dishes, and taking long showers. Solar water heating is a great way to combat the rising cost of hot water. You can choose between a passive or active system. The passive system has a collector plate, which heats a liquid inside.

That super-heated liquid is then transferred to a storage tank where convection and conduction currents regulate the flow of hot and cold water. An active system, on the other hand, employs the use of pumps to circulate the heating liquid.

Active systems might have more equipment to install, but they work in all seasons. Having a reliable system is the most important factor when watching your bottom dollar.

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