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There are many different methods of harnessing solar energy. One of the more common I referred to as thermal energy. Solar thermal energy is a specially designed technology that harnesses the energy from the sun for heat. The temperature collectors range from low to medium and then to high.

The low temperature collectors are designed in flat plates are can be used to heat up swimming pools. The medium collectors are also flat and are used to bring how water to commercial businesses and residential homes. The high collectors use mirrors and lenses to collect the sunlight and are used for electrical power. These are slightly different from the average solar energy panels that work to convert the sunlight immediately into electricity.

Low temperature collectors are the most commonly used solar thermal energy panels that are used in the United States. There are approximately 21,000,0000 square feet that utilize these thermal collectors and 16,000,000 square feet of them are all the low temperature kind.

There are five main things that help to guide the heat from the solar thermal system to its destination these include; heat transfer, heat gain, heat transport, heat storage, and heat insulation. In these methods the heat is measured by the amount of thermal energy that the object holds.

The method of heat gain is the amount of heat that is gathered from sun and pushed into the thermal system. The heat is then trapped through the use of the common greenhouse effect. This is accomplished through the use of a reflective surface that sends out short wave radiation and will reflect the long wave radiation.

Both infrared radiation and heat are made when the short wave radiation light connects with the absorber plate where it is kept inside of the specific temperature collector. Water contained within the absorber tubes will hold the heat and transfer it to the storage vault.

At this point the heat will be transferred by conduction. The water will be heated by kinetic energy and is transferred to the water molecules through the collector. The molecules will spread the solar thermal energy and will take up more room than the slower and colder molecules. At this point it will travel to its final destination. Solar thermal energy is very helpful to many people and is cleaner for the environment.

2 Responses to “How Solar Thermal Energy Works”

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