Passive Solar Windows for Different Climates

Passive Solar Windows for Different Climates

Passive solar windows are a one-time investment that can help you save energy over a long period of time. During summer, it can help keep the heat out and the cool in. During winter, it can help keep the heat in and maximize the heating rays of the sun.

Different climates means that people need to position and install their windows differently to take advantage of solar windows’ various properties.

Passive Solar Windows for Hot and Sunny Climates

In hot and sunny climates, glazed windows should be installed towards the south of the house.

This allows the windows to collect heat when the sun is low in the sky during the day. That means the heat won’t overheat by allowing the sun’s rays into the house during peak hours.

You can also use a number of shielding devices such as awnings or overhangs to prevent overheating during summer.

Other windows in the house can still be installed, but they should have a shade or glaze installed so they let less light into the house. Having north facing windows in a hot and sunny climate can lead to overheating.

Passive Solar Windows for Cool Climates

There are two main strategies for heating up a home with passive solar windows in cold climates: trombe walls and using a greenhouse methodology.

A trombe wall is a big wall, usually painted black, which allows you to absorb heat into the house without heat leaking out.

The main concern with using a big window is that while the sun’s rays can come into the home and heat up the air, the glass conducts heat so well that it can all escape back through the glass.

The trombe wall solves this issue by trapping the heated air between the glass and the trombe wall, then circulating it into the house before the heat has a chance to escape through the glass.

The greenhouse approach uses similar technology to a greenhouse to keep heated air in the house. You use a large number of windows to let the sun’s rays into your house, then you use a controlled timer to circulate the air within your house in a way that optimizes the heat and reduces the amount of heat that escapes through the same glass windows that let the heat in.

Are Passive Solar Windows for You?

Passive solar windows can work for both hot and cold climates, whether there’s a lot of sun or just a little bit of sun.

To determine whether or not your home qualifies for passive solar windows, talk to an environmental contractor in your area. Make sure you get several different opinions to get a definitive sense of whether or not it’s worth the investment.

 

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Solar Power: Advantages vs. Disadvantages

Solar Power: Advantages vs. Disadvantages

Perhaps the greatest argument that could be leveled about having to use fossil and nuclear fuel is our dependence on it. Global warming, though a real serious threat, maybe something that we could only be very worried about. Singly nothing much could be done about it as it will take serious political will if it is to be addressed effectively and for now, other countries are not cooperating. But the choice between traditional and alternative sources of energy, that is something most of us can choose to do.

First the advantages:

Solar energy is abundant and is free. We can count the sun to rise tomorrow and the day after that. Oil and natural gases on the other hand are non renewable, once the source taps out, it is gone forever. Sure there are other areas that could still be tapped but sooner that could run out of oil as well.

Solar energy does not pollute the air. If ever, the heat coming from the sun cleans the environment and maintains the earth’s eco balance. Not so with oil. Oil, its derivatives and its byproducts are great pollutants. In fact, 22,000 pounds of carbon monoxide will need to be produced first for the oil to be processed and supply a home with electrical energy for a year.

Solar energy harnessing panels are silent operators. Except maybe for the mechanical contraptions that are built into the panels so it could track the sun, from the collection of the suns rays to its photovoltaic conversion, they give neither a peep nor a squeak. It is a world of difference from the cacophony of giant drills and pumps that are used to extract oil form the ground.

Maintenance for the solar panels is very minimal. Except for the mechanical parts that are optional, almost no maintenance is needed. Once it is installed nothing much will be the cause for worry. The energy that is derived is free. With oil there is no telling what the next pump price would be and when. Oil, being a commodity, heavily depend its prices on market forces. Often with the right strategies, even market forces could be manipulated that could cause volatility in pricing.

The Disadvantages of Solar Energy

The cost. While solar energy is free, the cost of installation setbacks many household from installing it. Brand new solar energy generating systems are expensive. Although it tends to pay off overtime, initial cash out could range into several thousands of dollars depending on the quality and volume of generated power a household or an establishment would require. While solar energy technology has been around since the 1950ís it is only in recent years that its development was spurred. While costs of installation could also be subjective depending on the purchasing capacity of a customer, the benefits that could be derived out of it is enormous although mostly in unquantifiable terms.

For mass consumption, distribution lines are needed and this remains to be a big issue. Old antiquated distribution lines used to transfer electricity and other modes of fuel into the homes are clogged in many regions that to deliver solar energy power into the houses of consumers will require a different approach.

Be that as it may, the benefits from solar power far outweigh its disadvantages. It is an ideal source of energy that it may soon be the norm in power generation.

 

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