Hey there, it's Paksond again, and I'm here to tell you about solar energy. For each passing year and month, solar heating and cooling generates increased curiosity, anticipation, and, for many of us, excitement. It brings a lot of excitement to me! Isn't it interesting how the sun can give us so much energy even though it is so far away! It promises to bring warmth to our homes and so much more. All from the ultimate renewable resource, the sun's radiant energy! Did you know that the amount of the solar energy being collected all depends on solar panels or collectors? There are lots of types of collectors being used.
Flat plate collectors usually have one or more transparent cover plates that minimize heat loss from the plates that absorb heat. That makes the collectors the hottest they can be! Did you know that these collectors can heat fluids up to 82 ° C or 180 ° F. Flat plate collectors have been used efficiently for water and comfort heating. Even I, an electric plug, sometimes uses solar energy!
This is an illustration of passive solar energy in the summer
This illustration was adapted from Microsoft Encyclopedia
This is an illustration of passive solar energy in the winter
This is an illustration was adapted from Microsoft Encyclopedia.
The diagrams above shows passive solar heating during the winter and passive solar cooling during the summer. It explains that during summer the solar shades are closed so that no heat from the sun can get in and a small area is opened so a cool breeze can blow throughout the house. During the winter the cycle gets a little more complicated. The solar shades are open so now the heat from the sun enters the house and the breezeway is closed. The large red arrows show suppressant warm air and the smaller red arrows show the heat that is being produced within the house. Notice how the warm air circulates around the outside walls and once it gets to the water compartments it warms the water so the water keeps the house warm.
Flat plate collectors cannot heat carrier fluids, like water, to temperatures high enough to, say, boil water. If we need fluids to get really hot, more complex concentrating collectors can be used. Concentrating collectors focus heat on smaller areas. Did you know if you were to warm both a large and a small house for the same amount of time your result would be that the small house is warmer because it takes more time to warm large places. The largest number of collector furnaces in the world are located in France. They use 9,600 reflectors to produce temperatures as high as 7200°.
So solar energy is an energy we can count on as long as the sun is here.