Solar Design

Producing the most electricity you can by planning your design

There are many ways to utilize the sun, other than incorporating a solar system into your home. You can build a "green" or "earth friendly" home, with a few adjustments to the norm. This is called solar design. This plan can reduce your dependence on grid electricity. And can lower your use of fossil fuels.

Some of the ways to "design" your home are:

  • Face your windows south - unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere. Use insulated windows that have high ultraviolet transmittance.
  • You can use "solar masses" - these would be any roof or wall material that catches and holds the heat, such as stone, concrete or adobe.
  • You can put up insulating shutters that can be closed at night or on overcast days. They trap the heat and keep it inside the building.
  • Awnings that shade the windows in the summer and allow in the sunshine in the winter.
  • A well insulated and sealed building.
  • Exhaust fans are especially good if you live in high-humidity areas.
  • Passive or Active solar panels. This means that you pass air over black surfaces that are fixed behind a pane of glass or window. This can heat the air and circulates it into the building.
  • You can use active solar panels that use antifreeze or water to heat your home or your water.
  • Passive solar panels that can preheat the water in your water heater.
  • Solar chimneys for cooling.
  • Photovoltaic systems (A system of solar panels) that generate electricity.


Getting the most from your Solar Panels



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