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Solar Homes

Solar homes may entails many different types of residential housing based upon the use of the sun's energy to create power or heat for the house. When one thinks of solar homes, one is generally referring to those that use photovoltaic panels to capture the sun's energy and create electricity for the residence.


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There are however a few other kinds of solar homes worth mentioning. Passive solar homes are actually constructed without photovoltaic cells in mind.

Passive solar homes use the thoughtful design of the house and direction of the sunrays to warm the residence in winter and cool it in summer.

Newer passive solar homes use the wood, air flow, insulation and paneling to create a geothermal envelop by which warm and cool air in the house will invert to create a comfortable climate. This type of structure minimizes heat loss and gain for a more controlled environment.

Solar thermal homes use the sun's energy to heat water. This heated water can then be used to heat the house or swimming pool, reducing the monthly utility bill especially in the winter months.

But, when most people talk about solar homes, they are thinking solar electric since this technology will work in winter or summer months and all months in-between. Photovoltaic cells and panels will create electricity to run air conditioners as well as provide heat.

Even the Vatican has decided to go solar as Pope Benedict XVI has announced that the Paul VI auditorium will be rebuilt using photovoltaic (PV) cells that will provide enough electricity to power the building.

With industry experts forecasting the cost of PV cells and panels to drop by 40-percent over the next two years, solar homes are sure to become increasing popular. If you live in the Golden State, you can take advantage of the California Solar Incentive bill that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger passed that gives tax incentives to solar homeowners.

But, no matter where you live, the price of having a home powered by PV panels is coming down. In the past few years their has been a worldwide shortage of silica necessary to make the cells. This shortage however has passed as recent cells use less silica and some leading edge panels use no silica at all.

So, solar homes are no longer a pipe dream as the cost of the pipe is being slashed and people are putting up new houses or retrofitting older ones all the time to take advantage of the heat and energy the sun has to offer. Why not get active in creating your new solar home today?

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