In these modern times, there are several ways that you can do in order to improve your home and one of them is the use of solar panels. However, if you are quite hesitant on putting panels on your roof, you just need to understand the concept of gain. The gain that I am talking about refers to how you can generate heat for your home without using solar panels. It is just like manipulating the sun’s power in order to gain heat. So that you will have a better understanding on what exactly I am referring to, I will discuss further regarding the benefits that you will get.
To begin with, there are actually three categories of gain and they are direct, indirect, and isolated gain. Once you improve your home in such a way that you allow the sun to directly provide power to your home in the form of heat, you are already having a direct gain. This is similar to installing large windows in the south that faces the side of your home, and using heat storing flooring like masonry which gives direct gain. Aside from providing direct heat to your home through the windows during daytime, the sun can also heat up your flooring. Even if the sun goes down, heat is still produces continuously by your flooring. The main advantage of direct gain is that you will be able to implement it easily. Nevertheless, its disadvantage is the fact that it only works during the day for a few hours after placing a heat storing flooring material.
Meanwhile, indirect gain is something that is more complicated than direct gain. It pertains to the idea of using a structure between the interior and exterior of your house so that you will be able to store heat that is produced through sunlight exposure. Basically, your aim here is to obtain more heat production that can be used for a longer period of time. You can acquire indirect gain by building a thermal wall from masonry, which is commonly known as a trombe wall. Nevertheless, you just need to make sure that it is built on the south facing wall of your home, or somewhere that is a part of it. When you build this type of wall, the materials that you should use must be capable of absorbing heat such as brick or concrete. Moreover, you also need to place a glass over it. In other words, the south wall will look like a window that has a brick wall behind it. Heat will then be stored as the wall materials suck up the sun’s power. When you need this heat, you can radiate it by opening the vents in the wall. A longer and more controlled heating is the main advantage that you can get from indirect gain. The disadvantage, however, is that you will have a weird looking window on your home that faces the south side.
The last category of gain is isolated gain and this uses a simpler concept. If ever you have already tried using a greenhouse to grow tomatoes or flowers or anything, then it is easier for you to understand how this type of gain works since they use a similar idea. The only exception is the fact that you are providing heat for yourself instead of your plants. Isolated gain can be obtained by building a self-contained glass structure on your home’s south side that is insulated well. During the day, the structure can heat up through the sun at very high temperatures. Thus, if you need heat, you can simply turn on your fan and it will automatically move through the vent that you have installed in your house. The good thing about these systems is that they are simple concepts that can be understood easily. So if solar panels are not that appealing to you, then go for some gain.