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Solar Heating Panels Explained

Aug 17, 2007
If you look at a modern home today you will see that there is a lot of energy needed. All this energy is needed to keep your house warm and use all the electric equipment or just to shower with warm water. The modern home needs and uses lots of energy and the costs are high. The energy demand is increasing every day world wide and energy prices are rising. For energy plants it is hard to keep up with the increasing demand and this will have its effects for the consumer. It has already happened in states like California where energy demands could not be met and total chaos was the result.

The answer for this problem can be found in alternatives for traditional energy sources. One of the alternatives is solar energy. The advantage with this source of energy is that it can be used by a single household through individual systems. The generated energy can be used to complement the traditional hot water supply, if you live in area where sunlight is in abundance it can be substitute the whole traditional electric supply. In many places, including the United States, a solar heating system can give a satisfactorily high percentage (usually between 50 to 75 percent) of domestic hot water energy. In northern European countries, combined hot water and space heating systems can produce 15 to 25 percent of home heating energy. These percentages up to 75% can make a huge difference on your monthly bill.

Solar heating system uses the energy of sunlight to provide heat on a certain structure. It can be used to heat water (either for shower or for washing) or a swimming pool, or to supply heat for a heating circuit (usually radiators or floor heating coils) that makes inside the house warm.

A solar heating system generally consists of the following components:

- A solar heating panel- this panel collects the sunlight that will be converted into thermal energy;
- A fluid system- it transports the converted energy from the panel to its point of usage; and
- Heat reservoir- this stores some of the heat produced for subsequent use.

However, this article will be focusing on the first component, which is the solar heating panel.

Solar Heating Panel in Work

Solar heating panels (SHP) are collections of solar cells and solar thermal collectors that are used primarily to capture energy from the sun. It is quite distinctive to the solar photovoltaic panels (SPP) in the sense that the latter is used to provide electricity to the structure. However, SPP and SHP have the same function in capturing energy from sunlight.

SHP works by placing it on direct sunlight, preferably on the roof of your house, or on a wall facing the sun. It has the usual solar cells which will convert solar energy into thermal energy, and solar thermal collectors which have a set of metal tubes surrounded by a glass cylinder. It has also a parabolic mirror to concentrate the sunlight on the tube.

The heat that is generated will be stored in a hot water tank that will be the source for hot water in case of cold weather condition. For home heating purposes, that hot water tank is connected to an internal radiator or floor heating coils that will provide heat inside the house.

The usage of the SHP can really make a difference in the warm comfort in your home. The usage of warm water and the heating of your home with these panels can really make a difference in your monthly bill. This really depends on the place you live on this beautiful planet. Using this system will not only save you money but will keep this planet a beautiful place to live in.
About the Author
Bryan Wong is the owner of the solar information website www.GetEasyInfo.com/solarpower> - A great website that shares quality Info, News and TIPS on solar energy.
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