Solar Energy refers to the Radiant Heat and Light that come from the Sun which when harnessed can be converted to energy. Advances in technology have mean that solar heating appliances are now commonplace in many modern homes.
Solar Energy is used in domestic houses for two main reasons:
- To Heat Water for domestic use via solar panels. The most common types are Evacuated Tubes of Flat Panel.
- To Generate Electricity via Photovoltaic Cells.
Solar Energy can be maximised in a building for Heat and Light with the application of “Passive Solar Design”. This involves ensuring that buildings are orientated to make the most of the sun’s heat and light.
Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favourable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.