• solar energy
    solar energy

Solar energy

Natural resources that we use every day, such as coal and oil, are gradually ending. The alternative for them is practically inexhaustible, solar energy.

Its use in the close future, may become increasingly common due to lower costs and possible funding.

As reported by Reuters, in 2010 the power that comes from solar installations grew by 120%. In the development of photovoltaic (an area which deals with the conversion of sunlight into electricity) Europe still leads, but in the top ten countries, using solar energy were also China and Japan.

In 2007, project “Desertec” was established, which envisages the construction of solar power plants in the Sahara, and by 2050 is to meet up to 15% of European electricity demand.

But what if we want to live economically and ecologically now?

The solution could be solar panels. The principle is simple. The sun heats the absorber (which is solar, or photovoltaic cells in series), which absorbs sunlight and converts it into heat.

Then, from the absorber heating fluid is warmed up, which flows through the collector. Most commonly, anti-freeze fluids, such as glycol is used. When the temperature of the fluid in the collectors is higher than the water in the tank, the driver turns on the pump. Hot fluid is pumped to the coil located in the tank and gives heat to water. Next, it is  pumped back into the solar panel for re-heating.

Companies offer two basic types of solar collectors - flat and vacuum tubes.

Mainly due to its price, the most popular is the flat-plate collector. Its drawbacks are the slightly lower energy efficiency and faster heat loss than in the collector pipe.

In flat collector there is absorber of solar radiation combined with copper pipes, in which working agent (liquid) goes. Absorber plate is made of steel, copper, aluminum or plastic, coated with a thin layer, increasing efficient absorption of solar radiation.

From the outside, the collector is secured by tempered glass, teflon or transparent plastic, protecting against weather conditions. In addition, the glass stops the radiation inside the collector, resulting in higher temperature heating fluid. From the bottom, the collector is protected by a layer of thermal insulation that prevents heat transfer to the outside.

Efficient, but more expensive are vacuum tube collectors, which, thanks to a more technologically advanced glass tubes are very effective. They use both direct radiation and diffuse, that is, the one which flows through a thin layer of clouds. Thanks to that, they work even on cloudy days and winter.

Solar collectors can be installed both on the roof, and on the ground - on a stand. However, to obtain the best results, remember that solar panels should be turned to the south and, of course, be in place free of shadow.  

Ii is worth investing in solar panels. Heating with solar energy is not only economic and ecological, but also makes independent from economic fluctuations in the international arena, miners strikes, price increases, etc. ..