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Posted on August 20th, 2012, by

For this analysis we are going to make a brief review of the issues, related to the solar energy, namely the usage of passive and active solar systems, how they can be utilized for space heating, their advantages and disadvantages if compared to each other.

Solar energy might me used for heating space as a perfect alternative for other types of energy. There are two major types of solar-heating systems active and passive, however there are combinations of them as well. Active systems are considered to be more expensive and complex for constructing, but for retrofitting a building active systems are the only source of solar energy (Baker, 2003).

Passive solar space heating systems are based on special design features, like for example very big windows from the south side and special materials used for floors and walls for absorbing the warmth during the day and giving it out during the night (Baker, 2003). One of the most commonly met applications of passive solar systems are greenhouses. Passive solar systems are split into: direct gain, indirect gain, an isolated gain. The difference between them lies in the way of collecting, storing and releasing the heating power. If to compare those to active solar systems, it is evident, that they are less expensive and not difficult to maintain.

Active solar heating systems are built with the help of collectors for absorption of solar radiation and electric pumps for later distribution of the heat, the main difference from the passive ones is, that these systems are able to produce energy even during the time, when the sun is not shining. There are two major types of active systems, based either on liquid or air heat transfer medium in their collectors (Swartman, 2005).

At the very beginning the sun energy was the primer source of light for people, then it was substituted by electric lamps. However nowadays, the researchers come back to inventing the lens collectors for using sunlight instead of electricity or in combination with it.

Overall, we can conclude, that development of alternative energy sources, like for example solar energy applications, is vitally important issue for most of the countries, first of all due to their constant availability and cost savings.

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