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What is Active Solar Energy?

Written by K. Miller / Fact checked by J. Fussell

what is active solar energy

Have you decided to utilize solar energy to power your home? If yes, you should consider an active solar system. I love heating my home in winter using this kind of solar energy because I notice a reduction in my fuel expenses.

Therefore, I want to share as much information for you to realize why you should think of using it. I will try my best to answer the question, What is active solar energy?



Active solar energy utilizes mechanical and electrical elements to absorb and convert energy from the sun. Photovoltaic panels, voltage controllers, blows, pumps, and collectors are the systems that process the usable heat from the sun. Also, this solar system can have batteries that can store gathered sun power, in case more energy is needed for future use.

The collected sun energy can be used to create heat and electricity for homes and buildings. More people in the US have opted to install solar panels with active solar systems.



Aside from houses, where active solar energy is mostly used, it can be utilized at any infrastructure that needs heat at a low temperature. Therefore, there have been likely prospects for the use of this energy in cooling productions, air-conditioned building among many others. When cooling demands are its peak, the increased solar power in summer is perfect.

In Greece, there has been a study on the effectiveness of active solar energy. Some applications of active solar energy have also been successful. Therefore, there is an expectation of it developing fast there.

Components of Active Solar Energy System


  • Solar Collector – It collects solar energy, and the most common type is the flat-plate collector. It is an insulated box protected with glass. Inside this box, you can see black plates that absorb collected sun energy and turn it into heat.

This heat is carried into a fluid such as air or water. Then, the fluid flows into the collector. It identifies if the system is either air-based or liquid-based.

  • Storage for Solar Energy – This is done for liquid-based setup with tanks of water or thermal mass. If the system is air-based, solar power can be stored in bins made of rock and keep the warm air.
  • Distribution of Solar Energy – This depends on the type of active system utilized. For liquid systems, central-forced air, radiant slabs, pumps, or hot-water baseboards are used to distribute. While for air-based systems, ducts and fans are used to transfer the warmed air.

Advantages of Active Solar Energy Systems

Electrical controls that can be used to get the most out of active solar energy is one of the main advantages of this kind of solar energy system. Unlike passive solar energy, the active type uses sensors and pumps, so it will begin distributing only when an approximate amount of energy has been gathered.

As long as there’s a useful temperature differential, your sensors and pumps using only a small amount of power can get a large amount of thermal energy. These controls also offer a lot of choices in using the available energy.

For instance, solar panels with active solar energy systems can heat your pool early in the morning. Nevertheless, this is impractical in heating in your domestic hot-water cylinder because of the temperature difference in stored water. In the afternoon, because there’s a rise in the temperature outside, the water that has been solar heated can be transferred to your cylinder.

To simplify, you can use this solar energy system in your home whatever the house design or orientation is. There is also more solar energy produced compared with passive solar energy, and this energy can be distributed easily in your home.


Active solar energy is indeed promising. It is an effective method to harvest energy from the sun. As mentioned, its effectiveness has been gaining attention in Greece and other parts of Europe. The components it has are not complex.

You should consider installing this source of energy in your house because of its numerous advantages. As a result, you can save more money. We hope that the information we gave can help you make the right decision.

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