The solar energy that we actively catch and store for later use is referred to as active solar energy. In other words, active solar energy is solar energy that has been amplified by the use of mechanical or electrical devices. It makes use of sunlight sustainably.
It is necessary to set up mechanical and electrical devices like fans, water pumps, and other things in order to store solar energy for later use. It is a practical method of utilising solar power.
Types of Active Solar Energy
Active Solar Space Heating
Active solar space heating collects, stores, and disperses heat throughout the air and space inside our homes using mechanical devices like fans, pumps, blowers, and ducts.
Air- or liquid-based active solar systems are also possible. Large water tanks are used in the liquid-based systems to store and transport heat. Pumps, radiant slabs, centralised forced air, or hot-water baseboards are all used in these systems.
We use rock bins or thermal mass in air-based systems to store heat, and ducts and blowers to disperse it.
Active Solar Water Heating
The water in homes is heated using active solar water heating devices. To move the water or heat-transfer fluid through the system, pumps are used.
Active solar water heating systems come in two flavours: indirect and direct.
An anti-freezing fluid is used in the indirect system. This fluid is heated in the collector first, after which it is sent to the storage tank, where a heat-exchanger converts the heated fluid into warm water for domestic use.
While in direct systems, solar collectors themselves are used to directly heat the household water. The heated water is pumped into storage tanks, where it is later piped into faucets to be used.
Active Solar Pool Heating
The water in your pool is heated using active solar pool heating, as the name implies. Is it the same as active solar water heating, you could ask?
Active solar pool heating involves piping heated pool water back into the pool area after it has been heated in solar collectors. Thus, there is no longer a need for storage tanks.
Active vs Passive Solar Energy
Based on how sunlight is processed and used, solar energy is split into two kinds. The following list outlines some of the ways the two categories differ.
- Electrical and mechanical machinery is used in the production of active solar energy. Passive solar energy, on the other hand, is solar energy that does not require the use of any other energy sources or mechanical devices. We can refer to it as the direct and immediate use of sunlight to produce heat or electricity.
- Passive solar uses the architecture of the home to gather sunlight, whereas active solar uses special containers called solar collectors to collect sunlight and transform it into heat.
- Another way to put it is that active solar energy is a modified version of solar energy, whereas passive solar energy is a more natural form.
- Passive solar energy can be used if your home is oriented properly, but active solar energy is more advantageous because it does not require you to adjust your home’s orientation.
- The uses of passive solar energy are passive heating, passive cooling, and daylighting, while the uses of active solar heating include active solar space heating, active solar space water heating, and active solar pool heating.
Working of Active Solar Systems
Active solar systems heat a fluid, which can be either liquid or air, using solar energy. The heated fluid is then directly transferred to a storage system for later use. The fundamentals of thermodynamics underlie how the active solar systems operate.
In the event that the solar system is unable to adequately heat the space, these systems also include an auxiliary system to fall back on.
When a storage system is included, liquid-based active solar systems are more frequently utilised. Radiant heating systems, boilers with hot water radiators, and even absorption heat pumps and coolers can all be effectively used with these systems.
Solar collectors are used in active solar systems to harvest sun energy. The heated fluid is then transferred to the storage tanks for subsequent usage.
The fluid is passed via a heat exchanger as needed. Either the house’s interior space or the water that is now in use are heated using this.
Components of Active Solar System
There are three crucial elements since an active solar system comprises the gathering, storing, and delivery of energy:
Solar Energy Collection: This is accomplished with the aid of a solar collector, most often a flat-plate collector, which is nothing more complicated than an insulated box covered in glass. Black absorber panels in the box capture solar energy and transform it into heat.
Solar Energy Storage: For liquid-based systems, thermal mass or water tanks can be used as energy storage. We can store the warm air in rock bins for air-based systems.
Solar Energy Distribution: Radiant slabs, central forced air, or hot-water baseboards can be utilised to transfer heat in liquid-based systems, while fans and ducts can do the same for air-based systems.
Why Active Solar Energy?
Installing an active solar system in your house may be advantageous for you. Why not make the most of solar energy because it is likely the cleanest energy source now available?
Here are a few key advantages of solar energy that you should be aware of.
- When there are good solar resources accessible and a cold climate, active solar energy is the best solution. It can take the place of more expensive heating fuels like oil, propane, and electricity.
- For solar energy systems, several states provide sales tax exemptions, income tax credits or deductions, and property tax exemptions or deductions. For instance, the programme allows you to earn payments for the excess energy if you reside in Great Britain.
- Your home can have an active solar system installed, regardless of its orientation or layout.
- A warranty covering more than 10 years is provided with solar collectors. It can therefore last for ten years.
- There are numerous uses for the energy produced by the heat. In the end, it might lower our electricity costs.
- The use of fossil fuels for heating or producing electricity results in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, which a solar heating system will also have an impact on.
If we wish to stop the earth’s temperature from rising any further, active solar energy is a fantastic option to take into account. Due to its affordability and environmental friendliness, it may even aid in lowering the temperature.