All you need to know about solar collectors
Solar collectors as devices can vary in form from small installations for gathering solar heat, to big and complicated units that can produce voltage in power plants.
Most collectors are based on the method to absorb sunlight and are made from special materials.
The collectors can be of two kinds: flat plate design and evacuated tubes design.
In domestic solar installations flat plate collectors are put up in house roofs to gather sunlight for electrical power or heating.
Flat plate collectors are composed of absorbent silicon rods between two plates.
The rods convert the sun’s rays into heat or voltage.
This is a technology that is still constantly improving, as it is important that the panels must also keep working in extreme conditions, such as in winter time.
The evacuated tube collectors are composed of a copper manifold connected to a series of evacuated tubes.
Each evacuated tube is made up of layers of glass with the inner layer coated with a solar energy absorbing layer.
The tube contains a copper heat pipe which converts the sun’s energy into thermal energy and diverts it into the manifold.
These collectors are more efficient than its flat counterpart when it comes to reducing heat loss either by convection or conduction.
This type of solar collector is more expensive and there is still the question of its durability and life span.
There is no single solar collector design that is best for all electrical or heating applications.
It is necessary for the consumer to do some research before choosing and installing a solar energy system.
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