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What are passive solar systems?

Passive solar systems allow the heat coming from solar energy to be captured and accumulated through windows, walls or, for example, roofs without the need to use other electromechanical devices such as fans or recirculation pumps, hence the denomination of passives.

Its energy efficiency takes advantage of the solar resources from the basic mechanisms of heat transfer (convection, conduction and radiation) that combined give rise to a net transfer of heat towards a receptacle, taking advantage of said accumulated energy for a particular purpose. This is how it is possible to capture and accumulate the energy that comes from the sun in a discreet and economical way, since they are systems that are part of the building design. In fact, they are widely used in bioclimatic architecture.

Thanks to their ability to isolate indoor environments from the outdoors, they help avoid strong temperature contrasts. This is possible, basically, because they accumulate heat and then transfer it to the indoor environment, just when the temperatures drop outside .

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  1. Bioclimatic houses
  2. Direct or mixed solar collection
  3. Disadvantages of passive solar systems

Bioclimatic houses

They take the form of walls, windows, roofs, or, what is the same, the capacity of these basic elements of any home is used to give them this bioclimatic functionality . In addition, the construction of other less common elements such as attached greenhouses, solar chimneys or interior galleries are also considered passive solar systems.

The objective of all of them is to take advantage of the constructive elements to capture the sun spontaneously, ideally in order to add its effects to achieve greater thermal comfort without the need to resort to other types of energies with a greater environmental footprint , from the renewables that require electromechanical support even those that depend on fossil energy.

On the other hand, either by conduction, convection and radiation, passive solar systems are ideal for obtaining heat from solar energy , of course, in a way that is compatible with other energies, thus offering greater versatility than solar energy obtained from starting from solar thermal energy or popular photovoltaic panels.

Direct or mixed solar collection

Among the passive energy capture systems , the most basic consists of capturing solar radiation directly through windows, large windows, glazed patios, skylights and other transparent or translucent elements of the facades. In this way, it is captured through these strategically oriented glasses.

Greenhouses, inertia walls or Trombe walls, on the other hand, are indirect capture systems that capture solar heat in an intermediate space between the exterior and the space on which it is interested to act.

As in the direct system, it starts with direct radiation through glazed surfaces and then sends that heat where it is of interest through different methods, such as elements of thermal mass or convection, regulation openings, or through a combination of both systems.

If not given the necessary conditions for the solar collector to the required levels, there is also the option of implementing feedback systems remotely as solar collectors independent air that perform their function through ducts of air , although in this case It requires a mechanism to make it arrive, so they are not passive in the strict sense.

Disadvantages of passive solar systems

Each of the systems has advantages and disadvantages that in many cases can be minimized, such as glare from the reflection produced or productivity that exceeds or is insufficient. Precisely, the bioclimatic design must take into account these risks in each specific case.

Evaluating in each case its convenience and better design in combination with conventional or renewable energy sources of another type will be key to obtaining the desired result, which is none other than achieving the lowest possible energy cost through production adapted to the needs that Also, be eco-friendly.

If you want to read more articles similar to What are passive solar systems? , we recommend that you enter our category of Renewable Energies .

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Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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