Passive and Active Solar Technology Comparison
Passive solar heating. Typically, this
consists of some sort of heat reservoir that has been painted black.
Usually this heat reservoir is contained in an insulating space.
This approach is often applied in sun rooms, agricultural buildings
or green houses.
Active solar heating. This is similar
to passive solar heating except that the heat reservoir is
manipulated in some sort of active way. The most common form of this
technology is the heating of water for domestic hot water usage.
Using a fan in a sun room or storing hot water for space heating all
are examples of active solar heating.
Concentrated Active Solar Heating. This uses
some sort of mirror or lens system to concentrate the sun's light on
the collecting surface. The surface then stores the heat from the
sun with some sort of active system. This system is probably the
oldest form of capturing the suns energy on a large scale. The
concentration allows for higher temperatures to be achieved which
offers higher Carnot efficiencies for mechanical engines. The higher
temperatures also allow solar energy to be used in applications that
exceed 60 degrees C. This includes hot water space heating, or water