Image courtesy of the San Diego Reader

We all know that solar energy can offset electricity use, but we recently learned that solar panels can also keep buildings cool in the summer.

According to this article in the San Diego Reader, a 2011 study done by the University of Southern California, San Diego concluded that the portions of the roof covered by solar panels were kept an average of five degrees cooler during the day, and that the same areas also retained more heat through the night, potentially reducing heating and cooling costs. It makes total sense, we just hadn’t thought of it!

And now, engineers at Stanford have developed a new passive solar radiator that cools buildings, even in full sunlight. As noted in a press release from the university, engineers have developed a device that combines a highly-effective solar reflector with a highly-efficient thermal emitter that reflects sunlight back into the atmosphere, avoiding the greenhouse effect.

The result is a cooler building, which means less air conditioning for commercial buildings and some homes as well!

Making our home more energy efficient and adding solar is clearly paying off for us. Next spring we will have a more comprehensive reporting of the outcomes, but don’t wait until then to learn about our story – call us!