Chapter 13

ACTIVE SOLAR-POWERED DWELLINGS

Active solar systems employ mechanical means to generate energy, which distinguishes them from methods that include passive principles. As energy costs rise, living ‘off the grid’ or consuming very little power has become attractive to designers and homeowners alike. In addition, recent technological innovations have made active solar power systems costcompetitive with conventional ones, and have lowered their pay-off period to between five and 15 years (Strongman 2008).

An important part of an active solar system is its harvesting method. They can be arbitrarily sorted into two categories: those that produce electrical power and those that produce thermal energy. Electricity-producing systems are typically ...

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