There are several ways that we can use the energy of the sun to provide power for the world. Solar photovoltaic ( pv ) technology transforms photons from the sun to electrons. Solar thermal uses the heat produced by the sun’s radiation to either use as heat itself or to be used in a heat engine that can drive a turbine and produce clean electicity.
As a student of solar energy it is important to understand the differences and when it comes to solar thermal, understand the factors that impact efficiency.
The heart of any solar thermal power system is the solar collector. A reflective surface that ” collects” the sun’s rays so that they are focused on a small area allows for very high temperatures to be achieved. This high temperature is what designers of solar collectors are trying to maximize.
Designing A Solar Thermal Collector.
In order to maximize the available energy of the sun, whether it be for solar pv or solar thermal systems it is often cost effective to track the sun itself. A fixed position solar system is at the mercy of the time of day and the season for source solar energy.
A single axis tracking system will automatically track the sun across the sky from sun-up to sun-down. Where as a 2 axis solar tracker also changes orientation with the seasons of the year.
In this video lecture you will learn how to design a solar collector in the most efficient way and when it makes sense to use tracking technology.
Enjoy the free lecture.
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