Solar energy is present in different kinds. This is categorized according to the manner of conversion, as well as the type of energy that it gets converted into. It is important that you learn more about the types so that you can see how much energy you will need for your setup. The levels and features will also differ based on the type. Knowing the categories will help you determine if it is wise to pick a certain system or not. Here is some more info.
The First Category
The first way to view solar energy will depend on how the energy is transformed into useful energy. There are a couple of types in this category – passive solar energy and active solar energy. Passive solar energy describes the harnessing of the energy of the sun without the need for mechanical devices. You can use windows that face south to give you natural light and additional heat for the home. There are many solar applications that a homeowner can rely on to get the most benefits out of passive solar energy like passive cooling, passive solar heating and daylighting.
Active solar energy involves the use of mechanical devices in collecting, storing and distributing solar energy inside the home. Pumps, for example, are used in active solar energy water heating systems to circulate the water through the system. There are plenty of solar applications that a homeowner can use to get the most out of active solar energy. Included are active solar space heating, active solar pool heating and active solar water heating.
According to Energy Type
The second means of viewing solar energy relies on the kind of energy that it converts into. There are three types that belong in this category namely photovoltaic solar power, solar thermal energy and concentrating solar power.
Active solar space heating is done to heat the air within the house. It uses mechanical tools and equipment like fans, pumps and blowers to help people gather, store and distribute the heat all over the home. The systems can be air-based or liquid-based. Liquid-based systems involve the use of large water tanks or thermal mass for the storage of heat. Distribution is managed through radiant slab systems, hot-water baseboards and central forced air systems. Air-based systems involve rock bins or thermal mass that hold the heated air for storing. The hot air is circulated within the home using blowers and ducts.
About the Energies
Solar thermal energy is the energy made by transforming solar energy into heat. There are plenty of solar applications that a homeowner can use to get the many benefits of solar thermal energy, such as solar space heating, solar pool heating, solar water heating and solar thermal cooling. Photovoltaic solar power is described as the energy made by converting solar power into electricity via photovoltaic solar cells. There are many solar applications that homeowners can take advantage of using photovoltaic power like solar electricity, photovoltaic solar lighting and photovoltaic cooling. Concentrating solar power or CSP is used to create solar power electricity.