Types And Applications Of Solar Collectors Essays Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Solar Energy, Energy, Heat, Sunlight, Electricity, Surface, Collector, Alternative Energy

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/01/08

In the modern days, the sufficient energy has become a fundamental need. Individuals, business organizations, and governments are trying everything they can gain to cheap and reliable sources of energy. The tradition sources have become environmental pollutants. So they are referred inefficiency and unsustainable. Based on this reason, most people are turning to engineering expecting them to give solutions to this issue. However, solar energy is one of the best alternatives that have been created to replace the non-renewable energies, which are connected to environmental pollution (Fernandez-Garcia, et al. 1696). Solar generation plants have been developed for home appliances, institutions and in the national grids, and they have ensured environmental sustainability and zero pollution energy generation.


In order to harvest solar energy, one must have solar collectors. A solar collector is a flat box mainly composed of three parts that are technically connected to enhance the whole process of harnessing the solar energy. They absorb the sunlight radiations upon heating the surface of the collector and transform it into either heat or electric energy (Fernandez-Garcia, et al. 1696). Radiation is a form f power that is in the form of an electromagnet, which ranges from the infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths. Electromagnetic radiations are in different ways, and they are the ones that have enabled most of the technologies around today. Almost every technology uses electromagnetic radiations, starting from the networking, radio, and TV transmissions to x-rays and microwave technologies. Most of these radiations emerge from the sun and travel through the space into the earth's surface in deferent magnitudes. For instance, According to the energy measurements, the amount of solar energy that hits the earth crust per square meter is 1000 watts. The amount of solar energy ranges from one place to another depending on the weather condition, clearance of the sky and the orientation. For instance, if the sky is much clear, the sun rays are directly hitting the earth surface, and then the amount of the solar energy collected seem to be maximum. Based on this fact, every solar collector receives a certain amount of energy depending on those factors.
There are two main types of solar collectors, the photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal (ST) (Apricus Solar 1). These solar collectors use almost the same mechanism and principles. The only main difference is that photovoltaic converts the solar radiations into electricity while the solar thermals concert the same radiations into heat energy (Apricus Solar 1). Good examples of solar thermals include the solar hot water panels, solar parabolic troughs, and solar air heaters. Solar hot panels are kind of solar collectors that convert solar radiations into renewable heat energy. The converted heat energy is used for water heating in bathing showers or swimming pools. It also used in a commercial application, such as in industrial incubators (Apricus Solar 1). Similarly, solar heaters collect the radiations and convert their energy into a hot air that is applied for temperature variation in houses during the cold weather. Finally, the parabolic troughs are typed of the solar thermal collectors, which are straight in one dimension and curved as parabola (Fernandez-Garcia, et al 1696).
Solar heaters comprise of three parts, which include insulated black plate, a transparent cover, and tubes that carry a coolant. Solar heaters work by absorbing sunlight and converting it into usable heat energy. A good example of how solar heaters work is a dark object that when exposed to hot sunlight becomes too hot. Similarly, solar heaters also work the same way, using the same principles although in a more advanced technique (Apricus Solar 1). They are designed using the material that maximize heat absorbing thus ensuring efficient collection of enough heat to boil water or to heat the air to a certain unit of temperature (Apricus Solar 1). The surface of a solar heater is coated by materials, like products of Apricus, which are capable of absorbing up to 95% of sunlight energy through a full spectral range (Apricus Solar 1). The diagram below is a clear indication of how a quality absorber works by absorbing up to 95% of the sunlight energy and converting it into usable heat (Apricus Solar 1). The yellow part represents the amount of solar radiation while the blue part represents the amount of that radiation that has been absorbed by the collector (Apricus Solar 1). It is clear that the amount of the sunlight radiation is almost equal to the number of the photons absorbed into to the collectors (Apricus Solar 1). It is, therefore, a clear indication that solar heater are very efficient and useful, especially when engineered correctly.
Apart from surface collector, there are those heaters that use evacuated tubes. These cells are coated with absorbing dark materials. They can absorb more that 80% of the sunlight radiations and convert it into heat energy. 80% is also a very relevant amount because the collector using evacuated tubes are normally very wide (Apricus Solar 1).
Solar thermal technology has been of great help in most places. It has assisted people and organizations cut the energy costs while ensuring environmental conservation. The technique is well applicable to domestic appliances and also in commercial purposes thus making it various useful.
Photovoltaic solar converts radiations into electricity using semiconductor materials, mainly, silicon (Apricus Solar 1). When the sunlight hits the cells at the transparent surface, a portion of it is absorbed by the semiconductor material thus extracting the electrons out and allows them to flow in a form of a current. Radiations are in the form of photons, which are in molecular forms (Apricus Solar 1). These photons hit the surface of the semiconductors, and after going through some transformation, convert into charged electrons (Tian and Chang-Ying 550). Because the electrons are the primary components of electricity, when they form a continuous flow along a conducting material, a direct electric current is then formed. Such a current can be either converted into AC or stored in batteries in its initial form. An AC is connected to a grid and then transmitted to various applications (Apricus Solar 1). In commercial solar generation plants, the electric energy generated is usually converted, using converters, into AC electricity and fed into a grid, which then connects to different users. On the contrary, small scale usage, such in homes or small institutions, the electric energy is just stored in barriers in a form of DC (Tian and Chang-Ying 540).

Works Cited

Apricus Solar. Solar Collection. n.d. Web. April 1, 2015.
Fernandez-Garcia, A., et al. "Parabolic-trough solar collectors and their applications." Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 14.7 (2010): 1695-1721.
Tian, Yuan, and Chang-Ying Zhao. "A review of solar collectors and thermal energy storage in solar thermal applications." Applied Energy 104 (2013): 538-553.

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Types And Applications Of Solar Collectors Essays Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/types-and-applications-of-solar-collectors-essays-example/. Published Jan 08, 2021. Accessed May 25, 2022.

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