Solar power is much more than planting some solar cells on your roof and getting the electric company to pay you.
Elements of Solar Architecture for Tropical Regions is a free PDF is a lay guide on inexpensive principles for cooling and air conditioning such as:
- building orientation
- reflecting, absorbing, and insulative building materials
- using trees for shade and channeling airflow
- evaporative cooling
There is a vast amount of information on the subject of solar architecture, this book gives a good basic start, I also recommend Sunshine to Dollars, which is a another basic book on using the sun for more than just making electricity.
Using nature to help with utility bills is more than just ‘green” it is common sense. To my mind, every effort that reduces my need for utility consumption is both money in my pocket and protection against disruption.
If I build traditionally, and heat and cool my home using traditional electric heat pumps and central air, then I will need much more heating and cooling than if I built my home to make use of the principles outlined in this book. Additionally if I lose electric power to my traditional home then I won’t have hot water, heat, or cooling.
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