Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS
AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
AIR LEAK MINIMIZATION
AIR LEAK SEALING PROCEDURE
AIR SEALING STRATEGIES
BIOGAS PRODUCTION & USE
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
FLOOR POURED FINISH ON CONCRETE SLABS
FLOOR RADIANT HEAT Mistakes to Avoid
FRAMING DETAILS for BETTER INSULATION
FRAMING DETAILS for DOUBLE WALL HOUSES
FRAMING METAL STUD PERFORMANCE
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
FROST HEAVES, FOUNDATION, SLAB
GREEN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION CODES GUIDES
GREENHOUSE DESIGN for SOLAR HEATING
GREENHOUSE / SUNSPACE GLARE
HEAT LOSS in BUILDINGS
HEAT LOSS DETECTION TOOLS
HEAT LOSS INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS PREVENTION PRIORITIES
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEAT LOSS RATE CALCULATIONS
HEATING SMALL LOADS
HOUSEWRAP INSTALLATION DETAILS
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
INSULATION LOCATION - WHERE TO PUT IT
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LEED Building Designation & IAQ
RADIANT SLAB FLOORING CHOICES
RADIANT SLAB TUBING & FLUID CHOICES
ROOF VENTILATION SPECIFICATIONS
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VAPOR BARRIERS & HOUSEWRAP
VAPOR CONDENSATION & BUILDING SHEATHING
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
WINDOWS & DOORS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Solar energy design & products home page: these solar energy articles discuss how to choose, install, diagnose, & repair renewable energy systems for buildings including active and passive solar heating & solar hot water heating systems, solar powered electrical systems (photovoltaics), along with building insulation & ventilation design & retrofit tips to save energy where solar or other alternative energy systems are in use or planned.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
The green power solar electrical panel array shown above is distributed by Desmex Solar and is installed in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This solar energy system provides all of the electrical energy required by a small restaurant, including powering lighting and nine refrigerators and coolers in the building.
Our page top photo illustrates an extensive photovoltaic solar panel system installed on a building providing commercial rental space in New Paltz, N.Y. The property owners expect a rapid payback on the system cost thanks in part to government incentive program assistance. Satisfied with the performance of the solar panels in reducing building electrical costs the owners intend to install a similar system on residential apartment space in New Paltz as well.
Solar Energy Articles, Information, Products, Sources
Articles in this series include solar energy, solar heating, solar hot water, and related building energy efficiency improvement articles including material reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
We include links to solar design guides and other authoritative sources.
Our photograph (left) shows solar panels, both photovoltaic and domestic hot water heating systems, on a rooftop in Surprise, Arizona.
According to the Pennsylvania DEP who provide a nice introduction to solar power, solar energy systems are divided into three major categories: passive solar systems, solar-thermal systems, and photovoltaic solar systems.
The text below is adapted and expanded upon from that source:
Definition of Passive Solar Systems: Using Building Design Features to Take Advantage of & Control Solar Heat Gain
Our passive solar gain photo (above left) is from the author's New York home.
Definition of Solar-Thermal Systems: Using Solar Energy to Heat Water to Operate Electricity-Generating Turbines
Definition of Photovoltaic Cell Solar Systems: Using Solar Energy to Create Electricity in Arrays of Devices that Change Sunlight into Electrical Energy
Our photovoltaic solar panel photo (above left) shows the use of passive solar energy to power street lighting in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
Our photo illustrates snow-coated solar hot water heating system panels on a Poughkeepsie NY rooftop during snowy winter weather.
Index to Solar Energy Information at InspectApedia
Solar water heaters use renewable energy - sunlight - collected in outdoor rooftop or ground-mounted solar collectors to heat water which is circulated by a pump between a hot water storage tank and the panels.
The upper end of a simple solar water heater collector is shown in our photo at left. Look closely and behind the corrugated plastic surface, at the top you can see the horizontal black tubing that moves water through the top end of this collector.
Solar water heaters have been in use for decades, with popular use at remote cottages or off-the-grid buildings and are likely to see increasing use in much of the world as energy costs continue to climb.
Alternative Energy, Green Energy, Energy-Savings Topics & Articles Supporting Solar Energy Systems & Designs
Continue reading at PASSIVE SOLAR DESIGN METHOD or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.