Athol, Massachusetts Conditions

Member since 2003

What is Solar Heating?

Are you motivated to reduce your dependence on traditional forms of energy? Due to undependable energy prices and the fluctuating cost of gasoline, many people have started looking at ways to save money. Driving more energy efficient cars and purchasing energy saving appliances and light bulbs is a great start. Now you can do even more. Build your own solar heating system and start taking control of your energy usage.

Below you will find some research I have gathered that should help you with your decision on solar heating alternatives.

The sun's heat and light provide an abundant source of energy that can be harnessed in many ways. There are a variety of technologies that have been developed to take advantage of solar energy. These include concentrating solar power systems, passive solar heating and daylighting, photovoltaic systems, solar hot water, and solar process heat and space heating and cooling.

Solar power can be used in both large-scale applications and in smaller systems for the home. Businesses and industry can diversify their energy sources, improve efficiency, and save money by choosing solar technologies for heating and cooling, industrial processes, electricity, and water heating. Homeowners can also use solar technologies for heating and cooling and water heating, and may even be able to produce enough electricity to operate "off-grid" or to sell the extra electricity to the utilities, depending on local programs. The use of passive solar heating and daylighting design strategies can help both homes and commercial buildings operate more efficiently and make them more pleasant and comfortable places in which to live and work.

Beyond these localized uses of solar power, utilities and power plants are also taking advantage of the sun's abundant energy resource and offering the benefits to their customers. Concentrating solar power systems allow power plants to produce electricity from the sun on a larger scale, which in turn allows consumers to take advantage of solar power without making the investment in personal solar technology systems. Solar power technologies, from individual home systems to large-scale concentrating solar power systems, have the potential to help meet growing energy needs and provide diversity and reliability in energy supplies.

Information Obtained From: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

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