3 Solar thermal applications you probably didn't know about

One of the greatest challenges the solar industry is facing is educating the public about solar thermal systems, and I know most solar thermal companies have wrestled with this, is the idea that a solar thermal system can have other applications in your home or business beyond domestic hot water for the dishes or showers. Solar thermal systems that use evacuated tubes perform very well to create very hot water, which can be used for a number of innovative applications, such as:

  1. Radiant heating: Radiant heating is an effective way to augment your home’s heat needs and, with a floor installation even makes your floor comfortable on a cold winter’s night. While the installation would preferably be made in new construction, the radiant tubes may also be retrofitted to be placed in existing floors and walls to allow the warm water to travel throughout the system and emits heat throughout your home or building. This heat will radiate from your floor or wall panels, and though it will not significantly raise the air temperature in your home, radiating from the different surfaces it will make you warmer without having to run your thermostat on high all winter long. Evacuated tubes are ideal for this type of application because they are able to operate efficiently even in low outside temperatures. Radiant heating makes a huge impact on your energy bill by decreasing your dependence on your current heating system and relying on the solar-powered-heating being emitted from the floors or walls.

  2. Hot tub, swimming pool and spa heating: Solar thermal systems can divert heat from hot water for everyday chores; solar thermal systems to also provide hot water for your hot tub, spa, or pool. A solar thermal system that uses evacuated tube technologies like Apricus, is designed to heat water to a high temperature, and can do so even with low outside ambient temperatures. So while a solar thermal system is beneficial for a swimming pool or spa, hot tub owners are truly the best candidates for the solar thermal system because of the high temperature and amount of water needed. From an economical stand point, a solar thermal system makes a serious impact on your monthly bills. The average outdoor hot tub can cost $300-400 a month to power. A solar thermal system, because of the amount of power it is able to produce, has the ability to cut those monthly bills by 50-60%. The environmental benefits are tremendous for hot tub owners invested in solar thermal – and imagine if the hot tub in your backyard or in the hotel swim area was heated from clean energy?

  3. What’s ahead for solar thermal – Air conditioning: One of the most surprising applications of all – solar thermal systems can actually help to cool your home as well. There are two applications in which solar thermal can help with your air conditioning. First, solar thermal can aid in the regeneration of the desiccant in your air conditioning system. Solar thermal energy can be used to create hot air that is blown over the desiccant in your air conditioner. The desiccant is then dried considerably and able to absorb more humidity out of the air and create more pleasant cooling. Also, solar thermal can be used in absorption chilling applications. Absorption chilling is one of the original forms of mechanical cooling ever employed, and involves putting different liquids under pressure that absorb heat as they expand – originally ammonia. The heating element in these systems is often electrical or combustion based and creates the pressure for the liquid element used – but a solar thermal system can effectively provide the power to drive these systems at a fraction of the cost. Though it may seem counterintuitive to some, solar thermal applications to help cool your home and make the air more comfortable have been evolving for years, and we are already seeing a number of innovative applications come onto the market in the United States.

These are just three ways that solar thermal can be integrated into practically any lifestyle. When installed and used properly, solar thermal systems provide the most reliable and cost-effective energy for your home, office, factory and every building in between. Solar thermal is just more than hot water for your dishes and laundry; it can be a realistic change for those looking to have a more environmentally responsible lifestyle.

November 5th in Solar Thermal by Renee.
www.solarcalfinder.com

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