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Posted by on Mar 31, 2010 in Technology, TG Roundup

Converting Your Home Into A Solar Home

When it comes to converting your home into a solar home, there are several alternatives, because not all homes have the same problems, the same requirements or the same potential sustainable power sources. Therefore, if you are going to attempt a total conversion or even get off the grid entirely, you will either need to do some do research or call in an expert to make a survey for you.

If you call in an expert, try to get an independent one, so that you can work out the prices of satisfying your energy needs yourself. You will have to pay for such a survey, of course, but you could carry out a report yourself with a bit of work on your behalf. In order to create a solar home, you may find the rest of this article interesting.

There are fundamentally two kinds of solar design: passive and active solar energy. Passive solar energy can be used to provide heating, cooling and natural light for your home. Active solar energy is used for powering home appliances, tools and lighting. It is the perfect blend of these two types of solar energy that you will attempt to accomplish, if you are trying to convert your home into a solar home.

You can make use of passive solar energy methods in many ways, although they are more easily built in during the actual construction phase of a new home. The largest area of glass should face south or be within 30 degrees of due south. This will catch the maximum amount of heat. This heat can then be distributed around the house by stone floors and stone walls.

The central heating ducting and furnace fan can be used to assist, if necessary. If the house becomes too hot in the summer, awnings or even solar panels could be dropped down in order to put the windows in shade. When thinking of passive solar energy, you should try to think of means of supplying warmth and coolness without using electricity. For instance, a skylight at the top of the stairs will permit the warmest air in the house to escape, since hot air rises. This will cause cooler air to be sucked into the house at lower levels.

The other aspect of a solar house is the creation of electricity by the use of solar panels grouped into solar arrays. Solar panels make use of photovoltaic cells to convert light into energy. This energy can then be used to power everyday electrical appliances of all kinds or some or all of it can be stored in batteries for later use. Conversion from AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current) and back again, if needed, is a straightforward affair.

Solar energy can also be used to heat water for the pool or for the home. The most usual type of system uses pipes filled with a type of anti-freeze to collect the sun’s heat and pass it on to tanks of water by means of a heat exchanger.

A solar home uses energy efficiency to reduce the necessity for heating, cooling and electricity. The use of higher grade lagging, more energy efficient windows, kitchen appliances and lighting than those used in traditional homes, will save you a lot of money and energy. As you can see, some of these modifications, particularly the passive ones are structural, so hard to implement in many homes, but there is always something you can do to cut your energy bills and slowly convert your home into a solar home.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with a favorite subject – alternative power sources. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.