Active Solar Heating By: Atif Mian
The objective is to teach everyone more about active solar heating systems and what its advantages are.
What is Active Solar Heating? • Basically, active solar heating is the use of a system that converts and stores energy from solar radiation to heat a home or its water. It is called “active” solar heating system because it uses pumps and fans to transfer the heat • Active solar heating uses concepts similar to passive solar heating. However, active solar takes the power of the sun and amplifies it. Using specially designed mechanical systems, active solar heating can generate much more heat for space heating and hot water than passive solar alone
How does it work? • Solar collectors are at the heart of most active-solar energy systems. The collector absorbs the sun's light energy and changes it into heat energy by the aid of pumps or fans. The heat is then transferred to another location for immediate heating or for storage for use later
Applications • Applications for active solar energy include heating swimming pools, domestic hot water use, ventilation and industrial process air and water for commercial facilities such as laundries, car washes and fitness centers
Types • There are two basic types of active-solar heating systems, the air or liquid systems. A liquid-based system heats water or an antifreeze solution in a "hydronic" collector, and an air-based system heats air in an "air collector"
Advantages • Solar energy is a renewable resource that is environmentally friendly. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy is available just about everywhere on earth. And this source of energy is free, immune to rising energy prices. Solar energy can be used in many ways to provide heat, lighting, mechanical power and electricity
How to minimize heat loss • Minimize the distance from collection to the storage source. The longer the run from the collectors to storage, the greater the heat loss and reduced system efficiency. • Optimize insulation of collectors, ducts, pipes, and storage. • Place duct and piping runs within conditioned space.
Cost Some people may install a solar water heating system to help conserve the world’s supply of fossil fuels. Most people, however, will be more concerned with the money that the system could help them save in the future.The cost of a solar water heater consists of: - Cost of the components (the components depend on what you are trying to heat such as for pool you would need a smaller size collector than for a house) - Cost of paying the installer to fit it
Conclusion • It is easy to see and feel the power of the sun as it warms and lights the Earth. Today, we are able to harness to power of the sun in numerous ways, including using it for water heating, space heating, and space cooling in buildings. Many buildings are now designed to take full advantage of the sun's warmth. Solar heating can be fully integrated into a building during the design phase or an existing building can be retrofitted to take advantage of solar heating.
Questions • What are the 2 basic types of active solar heating? • What does the cost of active solar heating consist of? (2 things)
References Books: Natural Resources Canada, Solar Water Heater's: A Buyer's Guide, (Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services, 1987). Noble, Duncan and Robert K. Swartman, The Canadian Renewable Energy Guide, (Burnstown: General Store Publishing House, 1995). Internet: http://www.newenergy.org/sesci/publications/pamphlets/active.html http://www.healthgoods.com/Education/Energy_Information/Renewable_Energy/heating_with_active_solar.htm http://www.esru.strath.ac.uk/EandE/Web_sites/01-02/RE_info/active_solar.htm