Solar energy for modern house heating

It was estimated that the sun in 15 minutes provides the same amount of energy as mankind uses during the year. Taking advantage of solar heating and electricity generation, we can work to put an end to the dependence on fossil fuels.

Solar energy

Our future really depends on how we continue to develop and implement renewable energy systems. Moscow is at the forefront of this movement, thanks to the large financial resources of the population. Nevertheless, the state does not yet offer financial support for homeowners producing energy independently and does not even include the possibility to sell this energy that can be returned to the grid, which makes domestic renewable energy production a noble but unprofitable enterprise for homeowners.

This backwardness of Russia is associated with relatively cheap electric energy and gas. It is also necessary to take into account the geographical position of Russia and the inability to make the most efficient use of solar energy in winter when this is especially necessary. Although in recent years much has been done to change the situation, solar power plants are being built and it is planned to assist homeowners who want to use solar heating technology and produce electricity for the home.  

In other countries, the government provides financial assistance, wishing to use renewable energy sources produced by the sun, wind and geothermal sources.

Despite the financial return, any home renewable energy system is a clean energy and reduces the demand for our energy infrastructure and, consequently, harmful emissions into the atmosphere of the planet.

Passive Solar Heating

Passive solar heating is the concept of using the architecture of a house and its orientation to collect heat directly from the sun. No panels, no wires, so they are called "passive".

If 60% of your windows are facing south, and when building a house within 15 degrees east/west, you can reduce your heating needs by as much as 25%.

A successful passive solar home also includes the use of materials with a high heat capacity, which helps absorb the energy of the sun (stone, brick, ceramics) on a direct path of sunlight; and the use of darker colors for the decoration of the facade and roof, which absorb more heat than lighter colors.

High-quality windows with triple-glazed windows filled with argon allow to receive heat, and also reduce heat losses at night.

In a passive house, it is important to make the right shading. Omitting this part can mean that you will save on heating, and in summer you will have to spend on air conditioning. Shade can be overhangs of the roof, canopies of verandas, internal reflecting shutters or landing of deciduous trees in front of the window, which create a shadow in the summer, but in autumn they lose leaves and let the sun go.

The windows should be designed and located for maximum exposure to the sun on December 21 and completely shaded on June 21.

Pros: This should be the first thought for any home design. It offers reduced costs for heating and improving the quality of life. Long Russian winter seems shorter in a bright sunny house.
Disadvantages: Poorly designed houses are subject to overheating. Moreover, this system is difficult to use in existing homes.

Cost and lifetime: no additional cost and the system will continue to provide the house with heat until it stands.

Solar heaters and solar water heaters

This refers to the use of solar panels to absorb heat in the liquid (a mixture of glycol and water) and redistribute it throughout the house, through radiators or radiant heat. The system can work for house heating, as well as for preheating hot water.

Использование энергии солнца для нагрева воды

They can easily provide 60% or more of heating and hot water in winter, and almost all of your needs for hot water in the summer. With a well-built passive solar house, you can provide all the heating needs.

Pros: Undeniably eco-friendly, very low maintenance costs. Can be combined with other systems for heating the house, as well as for preheating hot water.
Cons: systems are expensive ($ 7,000 and above) and have a fairly long payback period of 10 to 15 years, but still offer final net savings. You still need to have a conventional water heater and, possibly, another heating system.

Cost and service life: the price for $ 7000 USD and above will be for installed panels and a basement tank. You still need to consider the heat distribution system, it would be radiators or a radiant floor. Estimates of the service life vary, but most manufacturers say that you can expect 20 to 25 years of operation.


Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels

Without using the technical language, photovoltaic solar cells convert the sun's rays into electricity. Systems can be large enough to provide all the energy needs of a home, and also store them in batteries or return them back to the grid.

When you hear the words "clean meter" means that you give your excess energy back to the network and take it when you need it. What you provide in comparison with what you consume is calculated, and you receive an adjusted account or even a sweeter bank check, but not in Russia.

The highest solar gain comes during the midday sun when most are at work. And the greatest consumption of energy falls in the evening when the sun is low. A clean meter eliminates the need for battery systems to benefit from the generated power.

Ideally, annual consumption will be satisfied or even surpassed by solar panels. In Canada, if you have a roof facing south, you can save or earn. in the city of Ontario, they buy electricity more than the market value per kilowatt-hour.

New innovations in nanotechnology look promising, which will make the panels smaller in size, thinner, more efficient and less expensive.

Pros: Clean energy means a cleaner environment.
Depending on where you are, you can earn money by installing solar panels.
A large market share means that costs continue to decline at the same time as technological advances make solar panels more efficient.
PV solar panels work on cloudy days, but less efficiently.

Cons: PV panels cost more than solar thermal panels.
A fairly large roof area is required, photovoltaic panels can be quite large.
Roof lines and orientation of the house do not always facilitate easy installation, but they can be installed next to the house on poles. Tracking systems are also available, but it will be worth the money.

Cost and service life: most manufacturers give a 20-25-year warranty, but the service life is likely to be more. The cost largely depends on the region and government incentives. Focus on $ 20,000, at least.

PV roof tiles

Solar roof tiles are a relatively new system of photovoltaic panels and much smaller and thinner than conventional PV panels. It is not as effective as its larger counterparts, and with current projects, energy generation opportunities tend to decline in 10 years.

Using a thinner solar cell film, solar tiles are generally less effective in bright sunlight and are actually more effective on cloudy days, at dusk and at dawn.

The costs of buying and installing are still quite high for the power they provide, so they are not a tough competitor to conventional photovoltaic panels.

To make this option a little more economical, the installation is not too complicated, it just takes a long time, so you can do a lot yourself and save money.

A hole must be drilled under each panel and a wire laid, then you get up in the attic to connect all the wires, which may seem like an eternity depending on the season.

Perhaps this is not yet a strong competitor in the market, but conceptually solar tiles have a huge potential. In the near future, since nanotechnology increases efficiency, the idea of using roofing and producing solar energy will make more sense.

There is a product that must offer the same electricity as conventional PV panels, and attach directly to roof farms, eliminating the need for plating and roofing materials.

By replacing plating and roofing, this can potentially provide a net saving on the roof when building a new home, before you even be able to complete the house. If the rumors are true, then you can use both solar tiles and existing panels. Stay tuned for more details later.

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