Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Passive - Active Solar Heating
Name: Jenni
Status: Student
Age: 13
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

Could you explain to me how passive and active solar-heating systems work?

A passive solar-heating system simply traps energy from the sun. A greenhouse is a good example. An active solar-heating system also traps solar energy, and does something to improve the collection, storage, or distribution of that energy. A turtle sunning itself on a rock is an active solar-heating system: its blood distributes the energy throughout its body, and this also improves the efficiency of the heat transfer into the turtle by moving cool blood near the heated surface of its shell.

Tim Mooney

Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory