Solar Thermal

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A solar thermal collector is a solar collector specifically intended to collect heat: that is, to absorb sunlight to provide heat. Although the term may be applied to simple solar hot water panels, it is usually used to denote more complex installations. There are various types of thermal collectors, such as solar parabolic, solar trough and solar towers. These type of collectors are generally used in solar power plants where solar heat is used to generate electricity by heating water to produce steam which drives a turbine connected to an electrical generator.

A solar collector is a device for extracting the energy of the sun directly into a more usable or storable form. The energy in sunlight is in the form of electromagnetic radiation from the infrared (long) to the ultraviolet (short) wavelengths. The solar energy striking the earth's surface at any one time depends on weather conditions, as well as location and orientation of the surface, but overall, it averages about 1000 watts per square meter on a clear day with the surface directly perpendicular to the sun's rays.

The solar heating system consists of the collector described above; a heat transfer circuit that includes the fluid and the means to circulate it; and a storage system including a heat exchanger (if the fluid circulating through the collector is not the same liquid being used to heat the object of the system). The system may or may not include secondary distribution of heat among different storage reservoirs or users of the heat. The system can be used in a variety of ways, including warming domestic hot water, heating swimming pools, heating water for a radiator or floor-coil heating circuit, heating an industrial dryer, or providing

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heating swimming pools, warming domestic hot water
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