Solar Thermal

Solar Thermal

Thermal technology differs from solar photovoltaic technology in that the former generates heat and the latter generates electricity

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Solar Thermal

Solar thermal technology is one of the most common forms of alternative energy in use today in both residential and commercial settings. This technology harnesses the freely available energy from the sun rather than that stored in fossil fuels in order to generate heat-based energy that can be used for a number of useful purposes. Thermal technology differs from solar photovoltaic technology in that the former generates heat and the latter generates electricity. Thermal systems help homeowners cut their monthly expenses and are engines of business growth because they allow companies to:

  • Reduce their energy expenditures - Companies that consume large amounts of hot water are typically saddled with enormous energy bills. Using solar energy to heat that water can help them cut the amount they spend on energy by up to 70%.
  • Comply with government mandates - 20 years ago energy savings were something you were free to embrace or ignore. Not anymore. Today nearly every level of government mandates energy conservation and failure to comply can cost a company big. Solar heating of water can go a long way toward helping a company comply with these mandates.
  • Achieve environmental sustainability - The goal for most enlightened businesses and homeowners today is a carbon neutral existence. While few businesses at this juncture can actually claim carbon balance solar thermal technology nonetheless helps them progress down the road toward the day when their carbon profile will be a neutral one.

Different Types of Solar Heating Systems

This type of renewable thermal technology comes in a variety of guises and is used not only to heat water for the average householdbut in an array of commercial applications including:

  • Heating systems for swimming pools and hot tubs.
  • Residential hot water systems.
  • Space heating thermal systems.
  • Combination systems comprised of any 2 or more of the above.

Solar water heating systems work by collecting energy through solar panels. Fluids flowing through the panels absorb the solar energy and circulate back to a water storage tank. The solar energy thus delivered to the water tank heats the water and it remains in the tank until called upon by someone in the home or business.

More than Just a Hot Bath

Before you start thinking that solar sounds like little more than a quaint way to heat up some water for your shower keep in mind that, in California alone, thermal energy power plants produce more than 350 megawatts of power annually that’s used in more than half a million homes. During massive power blackouts in 2008 the solar plants were the only ones in the state that continued to produce and deliver electricity keeping many crucial services viable until full power could be restored.

Solar thermal energy has proven its viability in myriad ways and is today considered an important component in the alternative energy matrix. If you’d like to learn more about this carbon-friendly, fully renewable energy resource and how to put it to work for your home or business give us a call and talk to one of our solar experts, if you want to find out more about pricing find out about our solar panel costs and pricing.