Maximizing the Efficiency of Solar Thermal Energy
Solar Thermal Energy (STE) is a relatively new technology enabling us to convert solar energy into usable heat, through a
process of capturing the sun's ultraviolet rays and converting them into measurable output. It's also sometimes known as
solar thermal heat (STH) to differentiate it from photovoltaic electricity. Solar thermal energy can be used in residential
applications for heating water, cooking, and home heating. It can also be put to use in multiple commercial applications.
The difficulty with STE is efficiency. Many of the early systems were designed using the same concepts employed for
photovoltaic energy. But such designs don't produce enough usable heat to make them marketable or useful on a large
scale. With Solar America Solutions' new evacuated tube technology many of the efficiency issues have been addressed.
Our evacuated tube system produces up to six times more heat than traditional flat panel systems, making them ideal for
just about any application.
How the System Works
Traditional flat panel systems take advantage of the infrared heat produced by the sun. Infrared heat is what you feel on
your skin when you're outside on a very sunny day. The problem is that such systems are terribly inefficient and
measurably less effective on cloudy and overcast days. Solar America Solutions' evacuated tubes rely on the sun's
ultraviolet rays to generate heat. The advantage of ultraviolet is that it's present even when the sun is blocked by clouds
and on the coldest of days. That is why you can get serious sunburns on cloudy days and while skiing on the coldest day
of the winter.
Our system relies on three primary components:
Black Absorption Layer - All solar systems need some means of absorbing solar rays in order to convert them into
heat. Our black absorption layer does just that. More importantly, as the UV rays penetrate the absorption layer
they expend energy, thus generating heat.
Vacuum Insulation Tube - Our double walled vacuum insulation tube is another secret to efficiency. The heat
generated by the black absorption layer is captured inside this sealed tube so it cannot escape back through the
vacuum. By retaining heat in this way our evacuated tube technology is more efficient and produces greater
Heat Condenser Pipe - The heat condenser pipe transfers heat energy from the vacuum tube to the collector's
header, with minimal loss of energy.
Solar America Solutions' SunQuest 250 panel is so efficient it can produce up to 30,000 BTU's per hour. A standard flat-
panel system averages about 40,000 BTU's for an entire 10-hour solar day.
Solar Thermal Heat for the Home
One of the most obvious uses of solar thermal heat is to provide efficient and inexpensive heating for residential homes
and this is especially true in the case of radiant floor heat. By marrying STH and radiant floor technologies home builders
can maximize potential while saving incredible amounts of money. Even in the Northeast, the two technologies together
are proving very effective.
Radiant floor heating takes advantage of the passive thermal properties of certain flooring materials like natural stone,
synthetic tile, and even concrete. These materials absorb heat very throughout the day and hold it overnight, slowly
releasing it as the hours pass. It is much more efficient than forced air heating because:
heating is gradual and constant throughout the day and through the night
heat radiates upward from the floor providing even distribution throughout a room
it doesn't dry out the air, thus making the whole house feel warmer even at lower temperatures
Solar thermal heat adds to the efficiency and comfort of radiant floor heating by providing a constant heat source
throughout the day. Rather than having to wait for a gas or oil-fired furnace to heat up to operating temperature before
it blows warm air, STH feeds a continuous stream of heated water into a radiant floor system.
The same principle provides a home's water system with continuously hot water at all times. A solar tank is installed to
provide hot water for both radiant floor heating and an adjacent water tank. The water from the radiant floor heating is
constantly circulating, so it's always hot and ready to replace water that's drawn from the water tank and plumbing
system. Even under heavy usage it's difficult to run out of hot water in a residential setting.
Solar Thermal Heat for Commercial Applications
It's been estimated that up to 25% of all the energy used in commercial buildings goes toward heating and cooling. When
commercial buildings utilize standard heating and cooling methods, that 25% represents incredible inefficiency and
waste of financial resources. By tapping solar thermal heat for commercial purposes, efficiency is increased while cost is
Solar America Solutions' SunQuest 250 system is especially well-suited for hotels, universities, prisons, hospitals, large
office buildings, and manufacturing spaces that rely on traditional boiler systems. Gas and oil fired boilers are certainly
more efficient than forced air, but much more efficient when coupled with solar heat.
By utilizing STH the water inside a commercial boiler can be kept at a constant temperature so it's always ready to be
injected into the system at any time. Even on a cloudy day Solar America Solutions' evacuated tubes can keep a boiler at
optimal operating temperature. Water from the boiler can be used for radiant heating as well as any commercial
applications that rely on hot water.
SunQuest 250 Pays for Itself
The real test of whether or not a new heating and cooling technology is worth the investment is whether or not the
customer sees any real savings. The SunQuest 250 provides an energy savings of 40% or more in most environments. Net
savings translates into the system paying for itself within 3 to 5 years.
Standard flat-panel systems or traditional evacuated tube technology cannot match those savings. In fact, a good number
of them wear out and need to be replaced before, or very soon after, the customer has recouped the cost of installation.
An investment of that type is simply not wise business. But with such dramatic power savings, Solar America Solutions'
evacuated tube system puts your investment dollars to work for you.
In addition, the SunQuest 250 allows homeowners and businesses in some states to take advantage of renewable energy
incentives. In locales where such incentives are available financial savings are even greater. Our system offers an
environmentally friendly footprint, quiet operation, energy efficiency, and reduced energy costs.
The time for you to get on board with Solar America Solutions is right now. Our patented technology is sure to shake up
the entire industry moving forward; you need to be on the leading edge so you're not playing "catch-up" a few years
down the road. Solar thermal energy is the wave of the future with lots of promise. Get in touch with Solar America
Solutions today and let us get to work for you.
Bought to by SolarAmericaSolutions.com