solar power

Passive Solar Power Works Without Other Influences

If you have ever been doing work in your yard and left the garden hose hooked up but turned off when you took a break, water remained in the hose while you stopped for a cold drink or a snack. When you returned to work and opened the hose nozzle you found the water left in the hose had been warmed by the sun. You have just witnessed the effects of passive solar power.

Harnessing passive solar power has been a quest for many years and there are a few instances of success, but many require the use of other types of power as well. For example, using passive solar power for heating water for a swimming pool has been available for several years, as water is removed from the pool, heated in a rubber bladder or plastic pipe and then returned to the pool. However, moving the water generally requires the use of a pump.

Operating the pump by hand may not be an attractive alternative, but using active solar power to charge batteries, and the battery power used to operate an electric pump to move the water from the pool to the bladder or through the pipes, can be an efficient means of using passive solar power, coupled with solar energy to save on your electric bill.

Slower Results From Passive Systems

If you want to experiment with passive solar power, take two equal size tubs of water and place them in the direct sunlight. Cover one tub with bubble wrap, usually used to protect items during shipping. The other tub should remain uncovered. Wait about two hours and then test the temperature of the water and you will see the tub covered with bubble wrap is considerably warmer than the one left open.

Pool heating covers work much the same as the bubble wrap in focusing the suns electrical generating capabilities into the tub, while water left open will lose heat almost as fast as it absorbs the heat. Using passive solar power to heat the water works the same as heating and circulating air.

It is a well-known fact that hot air rises and when passive solar power is used to heat air in an enclosed space, the warmer air will rise, causing the cooler air to flow to the bottom of the area. This will cause the air within the closed area to circulate allowing the space to heat from the benefit of the passive solar power.