When thinking about solar energy, the first thing that comes to your mind are those expensive photo voltaic solar panels that transform the solar energy into electricity. Solar heating panels use a totally different technology. Instead of producing electricity, they are designed to heat water or air.
Solar collectors as they are also known can be classified in two different groups according to their use. The first one is designed for solar water heating and the second for heating spaces. Both systems work in a similar way.
- Flat plate solar collectors
Flat plate solar collectors without glass cover are most of the time used to heat swimming pools. There is no need for insulation on such systems. When the collectors are enclosed in a frame equipped with glazing and insulated their main purpose is for air and domestic water heating
- Unglazed Collectors
Unglazed solar collectors are intended for low temperature purposes like aqua culture and swimming pools water heating. The majority of these solar collectors use polymer plastic or rubber. To extend the life of these materials they are UV treated.
- Evacuated-Tube Collectors
Solar heating panels using evacuated-tube collectors are made of a number of glass tubes. Each vacuum-sealed tube contains an absorbent plate attached to a heat pipe. The heat present in the pipe is transferred to a device called condenser. Condensers are fixed to a heat-exchange part. Heat obtained is transferred to the condenser. The cold water run through the system, collect the heat from the condensers before going to a tank. On this kind of water heating system, cold weather or water at high temperature have almost no effect on evacuated tube collectors.
- Glazed Flat-Plate Collectors
Glazed solar heating panels are made of a thin rectangular container and a plate of black color placed behind a glass cover. On the plate is located a circuit of tubes. Water or antifreeze liquid will run through the tubes. While circulating, the liquid will absorb the heat coming from the sun thanks to the solar collector. The hot water is then evacuated to a storage tank connected to the existing water heater. Such solar heating systems using flat-plate collectors perform better in warm weather. They are perfect for applications requiring average to high temperature.
All the above solar hot water systems are a great and efficient way of using solar heating. Such technology is mature enough to be implemented and provides excellent results. Whatever the kind of solar heating panels you decide to install, you can expect to make substantial savings on your energy bills. 5 cool things about active solar heating
Solar power can be available in numerous places in the world. For example you can get solar power in a car parked in the sunshine, in a house without air flowing, in a building with no windows opened and without fans regenerating the atmosphere. When you enter this kind of places that have been heated by the sunlight for a long period of time you can quickly notice the intensity of the heat inside. This high temperature generated by solar heating panels can be used to heat water or air in homes and buildings.
Using solar heating panels is a natural and free way of heating spaces or water
When heating using solar power you utilize a piece of equipment that will capture the heat coming from the sun during the day. The device used to catch the heat from the sun is called a solar collector.
For example, when the windows are closed, your car’s interior gets very hot when parked outside at midday. The dark seats become too hot and will remain warm even when the sun stops shining directly on your vehicle. Because the seats have trapped the heat and released it slowly. This is the way a solar heating panel works.
Making a solar heat collector is not very difficult. For example things like black color, glass, metals and mirrors attract and concentrate the sun rays. There is an infinite choice of ideas to capture the heat and trap it for future use.
To heat your water or house, you need to find a way to circulate water or air through the solar collector. The hot water produced, flows into an insulated water tank then to your taps or the hot air is used for heating the house. No gas or electricity is needed to keep the water warm.
Finding a way to bring the hot water or air into the house is not difficult. For example fans and water pumps are often used for this purpose. Both devices will push the air or water to the desired destination.
Creating a solar collector can be a challenging project for the neophyte
That’s why they are widely available online and in specialized stores. Nowadays, solar power products are easy to buy and affordable. You can also find them in ready to use kits.
If you succeed in implementing your project, you can have solar heating or hot water all year long. Not only you will make substantial savings, but you will also contribute to a better environment.