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Putting CPD into action: FutureTech: Renewable technologies module 3: Renewable energy applications

Solar thermal and white house with solar panels

Solar thermal installations have the following applications:

Domestic hot water heating

The technology involved in solar thermal systems is relatively simple, with two main types of collectors. Flat plate collectors are glazed, insulated panels containing a solar radiation absorber surface. This collector is connected via a flow and return pipe to a heat exchanger in the hot water cylinder.

Swimming pool heating

This application requires large quantities of relatively low temperature water. Conventional flat plate, metal tube collectors are well suited to providing this.

Hot water for industrial processes

Such processes could include laundries and hospitals which have a large hot water requirement regardless of the season. Processes requiring high temperature water are best fed by the vacuum tube types of solar collectors.

Direct solar drying

In equatorial regions some foodstuffs (e.g. chilli peppers) are dried by laying them in solar heated boxes through which air is circulated in order to preserve them.

Did you know that high performance solar panels using evacuated tubes to provide low heat loss can heat water up to temperatures of 150 degrees Celsius?

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Info on solar thermal collectors

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Water heating processes