Solar Thermal 101
Solar-Thermal, the term solar-thermal is used to describe a group of technologies that capture the heat energy from the Sun and use it for various forms of heating and the production of electricity for heating.
Solar thermal systems are referred to as passive or active passive systems are more basic and have no moving parts. They simply rely on design features to enhance our ability to capture and use the sun’s rays like a greenhouse or a solar oven.
Active systems have mechanical components, like fans or pumps, to circulate heat carrying fluids. These systems can be used for residential or commercial heating for electricity production. High temperature, solar thermal systems called concentrated solar power or CSP use groups of mirrors to concentrate solar energy on a central collector.
This produces temperatures high enough to generate steam, which then turned a turbine driving a generator to produce electricity. Csps are primarily found in desert locations where space and sunlight are abundant.
One advantage of solar thermal energy production is that it is a clean and renewable energy source. It uses a free form of fuel the Sun, most solar thermal systems are also low maintenance because they use simple technologies and, in the case of passive systems of no moving parts.
However, the nature of sunlight can cause problems for the use of solar thermal systems. Sunshine is not a very concentrated energy source, so it can take a large area to make a reasonable amount of energy, the voguing efficiency and, in some cases, land-use concerns, sunshine is also intermittent and its availability is dependent on location and time.
Csp has additional advantages and disadvantages. The technologies ability to produce large-scale generation is an advantage for regions that utilize centralized electricity distribution systems in the past.
This was an advantage over solar PV systems. However, innovations in PV technology are challenging. This notion. A key disadvantage to CSP is that installations are normally located in remote desert areas, given that steam turbines are required to produce electricity, water access and evaporation are concerns for the viability of the technology.
In addition, transmission of electricity over long distances is expensive and can lead to distribution losses. Finally, practical challenges, such as upfront, capital costs and awareness, can also be barriers to implementation of all forms of solar thermal technologies that Solar Thermal