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Solar Powered Home Heating

Solar powered home heating through solar water heating, solar air heating or what?


The Solar House - solar home heating and cooling


The concept of harnessing the energy of the sun for heat is ancient.

Since the dawn of life on earth, the sun has provided warmth and energy, and since the dawn of mankind, the sun has been used to provide energy and warmth. In the last fifty years, modern technology has totally changed how this can be done.

Learn here about the development of solar powered home heating and what options are available for you today.

Solar Powered Home Heating Tips


Historic Solar Home Heating

Over eighty years ago, in the 1920's, some towns supplied heated water to homes, via huge storage tanks that were heated by the sun, the concept of a solar shower. However, as electricity and gas prices decreased, solar heating and the infrastructure required became too expensive to survive in a competitive market. However, that was then, and now, hot water heating systems using solar power have been in use world-wide for over thirty years.

Another method that has been in use for thousands of years to harness the suns energy for home heating is the concept of a window, to let the heat in.

Modern Solar Home Heating

Modern solar powered home heating of course goes far beyond using windows. While it is possible to allow sunlight to stream into a house via a window that can lead to problems; areas that are too bright, spaces that are too hot, while other parts of the house receive minimal energy.

Modern solar powered heating systems can redirect the suns energy in order to ensure an even, constant and comfortable temperature through the entire building.

Some systems use water. The pipes and tubes that carry the liquid lie in small mirror-type troughs that concentrate the available light and radiation onto the pipes, leading to an increase in water temperature; this is great for hot water and definitely saves money. This is how many solar water heating kits work. The same base technology and concepts can be used to supply home heat.

Many water-based solar systems are designed to keep the heat from escaping, via insulation and so forth. This way, the water only has to be heated once; and hot water is available on demand. Home heating systems reverse that idea; allow some heat to escape, and that heat warms the house.

One method involves a series of tubes running under the floor. The heat from the tubes gradually flows through the floor and rises up into the air to provide a comfortable environment.

Intelligent designers have taken the idea one step further; water isn't the only common fluid in our environment. Although we don't realise it, air is a fluid; not a liquid as such, but a fluid as scientists define fluids. One of the properties of a fluid is that it flows easily.

Filling the tubes with air makes it possible to absorb and deposit heat where it's wanted. At the same time, because air isn't a liquid, if a leak occurs there's no damage to the home.

This sort of application of air isn't as efficient as liquid based systems, air isn't as dense. But, this sort of system is a lot cheaper to repair if something goes wrong, there won't be water damage across the whole house. If the system leaks, it's only necessary to replace or patch a small part of pipe, while with a liquid/water based system, you may have to replace the floor and walls in the event of a leak.

Such leaks are not as uncommon as one would think; in climates where water freezes in winter; water inside pipes sometimes freezes and fractures the pipe due to the way water freezes; frozen water takes up more space than liquid water. However, there are many cold winter days that could still supply plenty of sunshine to use in a solar heating system for your house.

Learn more

If you further investigate the possible applications for your home, you will discover an immense range of options. A great book on the topic is The Solar House: Passive Heating and Cooling I found this book very inspiring and easy to understand when looking for ways to implement solar energy to the home.

 



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