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Solar Thermal
Last Updated on:  06/25/2015 06:31 AM

Solar Thermal Videos     Solar Cell Circuits       Solar Monitor Circuits

Solar Thermal Electricity

The intense energy of the sun has long been used to heat liquids. Among the first mechanical uses of the sun was a 20-square-meter, parabolic concentrating reflector that boiled water and produced steam. This steam was used in a steam-driven printing press at the 1878 World's Fair in Paris.

In the late 1800s, relying upon the sun to heat water was common practice in the southwestern United States. Photos can be found showing pioneer families proudly showing off new homes equipped with solar water heaters. At one point, almost a quarter of the residents of Los Angeles relied upon the sun to heat their water with rooftop solar thermal systems.

The sun's heat can be used in two ways with homes and businesses. The sun is used to heat water for domestic hot water systems, or the sun's light can be concentrated and water temperatures increased to make steam and electricity.

[Picture of LUZ SEGS Solar Powre Plant

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Solar Thermal Links

How Solar Thermal and Photovoltaics Work:  Have you ever felt warm water trickle out of a garden hose thatís been sitting in the sun? If so, then youíve witnessed solar water heating in action.
Solar Collector and Greenhouse:  Manual covers everything from exact material lists to avoiding common problems. 
Solar Lightguide:  Description of a cost-effective solar concentrating collector. [PDF] 
Solar Thermal Water Heater: Solar Panel and Exterior Pipe Installation:   
Solar Water Heater:  Build this one yourself as it is a bolt together design that can be built in the average home workshop with a limited amount of engineering skills and equipment 
Solarwall Article:  Environmental Building News reports on solar walls, preheating incoming air that doesn't require glazing or any other high-maintenance parts. 
Sterling Solar:  Producing power from thermal sources, including geothermal, waste steam, solar, and biofuels. 
Temperature Logger:  Contains a full description of how to build a temperature logger and solar heated water controller.

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