Solar Thermal Energy Study

Topics: Solar thermal energy, Solar energy, Concentrating solar power Pages: 24 (8872 words) Published: September 27, 2012

Solar thermal energy
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Solar thermal system for water heating in Santorini, Greece. |
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Solar Thermal Energy (STE)[1] is a technology for harnessing solar energy for thermal energy (heat). Solar thermal collectors are classified by the USA Energy Information Administration as low-, medium-, or high-temperature collectors. Low temperature collectors are flat plates generally used to heat swimming pools. Medium-temperature collectors are also usually flat plates but are used for heating water or air for residential and commercial use. High temperature collectors concentrate sunlight using mirrors or lenses and are generally used for electric power production. STE is different from (and indeed much more efficient than[citation needed]) photovoltaics, which convert solar energy directly into electricity. While only 600 megawatts of solar thermal power is up and running worldwide in October 2009 according to Dr David Mills of Ausra, another 400 megawatts is under construction and there are 14,000 megawatts of the more serious concentrating solar thermal (CST) projects being developed.[2] Contents[hide] * 1 Low-temperature collectors * 1.1 Heating, cooling, and ventilation * 1.2 Process heat * 2 Medium-temperature collectors * 2.1 Solar drying * 2.2 Cooking * 2.3 Distillation * 3 High-temperature collectors * 3.1 System designs * 3.1.1 Parabolic trough designs * 3.1.2 Power tower designs * 3.1.3 Dish designs * 3.1.4 Fresnel reflectors * 3.1.5 Linear Fresnel reflector technologies * 3.1.6 Fresnel lenses * 3.1.7 MicroCSP * 4 Heat Collection and Exchange * 5 Heat storage * 5.1 Steam accumulator * 5.2 Molten salt storage * 5.3 Graphite heat storage * 5.4 Phase-change materials for storage * 6 Use of water * 7 Conversion rates from solar energy to electrical energy * 8 Levelised cost * 9 Standards * 10 See also * 11 References * 12 External links| [edit] Low-temperature collectors

Of the 21,000,000 square feet (2,000,000 m2) of solar thermal collectors produced in the United States in 2006, 16,000,000 square feet (1,500,000 m2) were of the low-temperature variety.[3] Low-temperature collectors are generally installed to heat swimming pools, although they can also be used for space heating. Collectors can use air or water as the medium to transfer the heat to their destination. [edit] Heating, cooling, and ventilation

Main articles: HVAC, Solar air heat, Passive solar building design, Thermal mass, Trombe wall, Solar chimney, and Solar air conditioning

MIT's Solar House #1 built in 1939 used seasonal thermal storage for year round heating. In the United States, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems account for over 25 percent (4.75 EJ) of the energy used in commercial buildings and nearly half (10.1 EJ) of the energy used in residential buildings.[4][5] Solar heating, cooling, and ventilation technologies can be used to offset a portion of...
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