Solar energy is an important alternative and accessible energy source. This energy coming to the earth surface is in the range of 1340-1390 W/m2. Solar collectors are just one of the methods how to get it.
Solar collectors can convert solar energy into thermal energy. Solar collectorswork on the principle of photothermal conversion, i.e. the conversion of solar radiation into thermal energy. The absorption surface transforms the incident solar radiation into heat and transfers it to a heat-conducting substance.
A well designed solar system can save a substantial part of the costs associated with the production of thermal energy. Cost savings associated with the production of hot domestic water for a household are 55-75% depending on the availability of sunlight. Cost savingsassociated with heating are 25-40%. During the transition periods solar energy is used for hot water preheating, in the summer solar energy can be fully used for domestic hot water production.
In the past, solar collectorswere only a marginal energy source that had to be supplemented by another source for the major part of the year. However, a continuous development has enabled the use of solar energy for most of the year, not only for hot water production but also for heating or pool heating.
Solar collectors are generally divided into two groups:
- flat solar collectors
- tubular solar collectors
While flat solar collectors are mostly used for seasonal water heating, tube solar collectors, capable of achieving higher performance, can be used in a long term as a source of low-temperature heating method. Both collectors can help achieve a significant energy saving.