Active Solar Energy Examples
Active solar energy is a type of solar energy that involves the use of mechanical or electrical devices to convert sunlight into usable energy. This type of solar energy is commonly used to power homes, businesses, and other types of buildings. In this article, we will explore some active solar energy examples to help you better understand this renewable energy source.
Solar Water Heaters
One of the most common active solar energy examples is solar water heaters. These devices use solar collectors to absorb sunlight and convert it into heat. The heat is then used to warm water, which can be used for a variety of purposes, including showers, washing dishes, and laundry.
There are two main types of solar water heaters: flat plate collectors and evacuated tube collectors. Flat plate collectors are the most common and consist of a flat, rectangular box with a glass cover and a dark absorber plate. Evacuated tube collectors, on the other hand, are more efficient and consist of a series of glass tubes with a vacuum inside. The vacuum helps to reduce heat loss and improves the collector's efficiency.
Another common active solar energy example is solar panels. These devices use photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. Solar panels are commonly used to power homes, businesses, and other types of structures. They are also used to power off-grid systems, such as remote cabins and RVs.
Solar panels are made up of individual solar cells, which are connected together in series and/or parallel to produce the desired voltage and current output. The cells are typically made from silicon and are coated with a thin layer of anti-reflective material to improve their efficiency.
Solar Air Heaters
Solar air heaters are another type of active solar energy example. These devices use solar collectors to absorb sunlight and convert it into heat. The heat is then used to warm air, which can be used to heat a building or provide ventilation.
There are two main types of solar air heaters: glazed and unglazed. Glazed solar air heaters have a glass cover, which helps to trap heat and improve efficiency. Unglazed solar air heaters, on the other hand, do not have a glass cover and are typically less efficient but can be used in a wider range of climates.
Solar chimneys are a type of active solar energy example that uses natural convection to circulate air. These devices consist of a tall, vertical shaft with a glazed top and a dark absorber plate at the bottom. Sunlight heats the absorber plate, which in turn heats the air inside the chimney. The warm air rises and creates a vacuum at the bottom of the chimney, which draws in cooler air from the surrounding area. This process creates a natural flow of air, which can be used to ventilate a building or provide cooling.
Active solar energy is a versatile and renewable energy source that can be used to power homes, businesses, and other types of buildings. Solar water heaters, solar panels, solar air heaters, and solar chimneys are just a few examples of the many ways that active solar energy can be used. By harnessing the power of the sun, we can reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy sources and help protect the environment for future generations.