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Alternative Energy Tutorials on Energy Articles

Collecting Solar Power More Effectively

roof solar panels

Solar panels produce electrical energy using photovoltaic cells.These photovoltaic or PV cells are made of semiconductor silicon based materials similar to those found in modern day computer chips. When the suns rays hit these silicon cells, it knocks electrons loose from their atoms to generate electricity as they flow through the cell. By improving the way in which the suns rays are absorbed by a PV cell using tracking, collectors or new materials solar panels are able to collect solar power more effectively improving a systems performance.

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Passive Solar Energy

roof solar panels

Passive solar design increases energy efficiency and comfort in homes. Sunlight can supply ample heat, light, and shade into a well-designed home without the need for HVAC machines and as such designing your home to use passive solar can reduce your heating and cooling energy bills. Passive solar energy design is nothing new but by designing the layout of your home with the sun in mind will make it more energy efficient, comfortable, and affordable

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Solar Thermodynamic Heating

thermodynamic panel

Solar thermodynamic heating systems use solar energy to heat water in the home. Thermodynamic solar panels absorb the environmental heat around themeselves to heat up water for a range of different uses, from domestic hot water to home central heating systems, to swimming pool heating. Thermodynamic solar collector use a heat transfer fluid refridgerant which can heat water 24 hours a day. Unlike conventional flat plate solar panels, solar thermodynamic heating systems do not require direct sunlight and can produce heat no matter what the weather conditions even at night, in rain or on overcast days

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Concentrated Solar Power

solar dish

Concentrated solar power uses mirrors, lenses or parabolic dishes to concentrate the sun’s rays and energy to small area producing enormous amounts of heat used to generate electricity. Concentrated solar power offers many environmental benefits compared to conventional nonrenewable energy sources because of the reduced green house gas emissions and air pollution and waste. However, concentrated solar power does requires the potential use of large areas of land in sunny areas to collect sufficient sunlight and high working temperatures to produce usable energy

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Solar Pool Heating

solar pool heating

Swimming pool heating systems use solar energy or heat pump technology to heat the water of a pool during the day. Solar thermal technology and heat pumps have long been used to heat houses and produce domestic hot water but they can also be used to heat your pool. During the summer months when the solar irradiance is strong, solar thermal panels and pumps can be used to heat water. In the cooler months when the temperatures drop, geothermal or hot air heat pumps can be used. Using solar energy can more than double your swim season as long as the sun keeps shining

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Solar Power Tower

solar power tower

Solar power towers are the big daddy of all the different types of concentrating solar collectors. Solar towers uses hundreds if not thousands of small sun tracking mirrored solar dish collectors, called heliostats, to reflect the suns rays directly onto a centrally located heat absorbing receiver. As these heliostat mirrors concentrate the sun light energy on a very small area at the top of the tower. The concentrated radiant energy is then converted into heat using a heat exchanger which transfers the immense temperature generated into a transfer fluid such as oil, molten salt or super heated steam for electrical energy generation.

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Flat Plate Collector

flat plate collector

Flat plate collectors absorb the suns solar radiation, converts it into heat using a thermally sensitive absorbing surface, then transfers this absorbed heat to a moving medium such as air or water which is flowing through the solar collector. The resulting solar thermal energy converted by a flat plate collector can be used in solar hot water heating systems, solar pool heaters, and solar space-heating systems making flat plate collectors a major component in many solar heating systems.

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Solar Thermal Energy

solar thermal energy

Solar thermal energy uses the suns solar energy to heat water or other such liquid providing lots of hot water and space heating for the home making it a viable solution for a future renewable energy system. The solar thermal potential of the sun as a continuous heat source makes it an excellent choice for powering alternative energy systems thus reducing the consumption of fossil fuel energy sources and renewable energy fuels such as biomass. Then solar thermal energy technologies have the potential to be a major contributor to the global energy supply

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