There are two types of solar energy that everyone is aware of, passive and active. Passive solar is natural heating of an area or object, The two applications that comes to almost everyone's mind is a solar room or greenhouse. Active ( Sometimes referred to as "Thermal Solar") solar simply means that something is moving mechanically through an area to collect the energy. Sun Solar Products specializes in this type of solar energy.
The theory of heating with solar is very simple. Build a black surface and place it directly in the sun, In a short time, given insulation, it will heat to 200-250 degrees. 'Now pass fluid (air, water ... ) over this black surface and the energy(heat ) is "exchanged" from the black surface to the fluid, While this is a very simplistic explanation, it accurately describes how the process works. Take this fluid with the transferred energy and store it in some type of tank for when it is needed. This Could be described as putting money in a savings account for a rainy day, Of course we use well-built solar collectors (panels) and one of the many transfer fluids such as air, water, glycol, silicone, etc. (depending on the intended application.)
Here in the Northeast we have some of the most powerful sun (energy) in the world. Despite this, the Northeast uses more fossil fuels then the entire rest of the country. Since we also have lower incoming water temperatures and colder winter months, solar is almost required if you want to beat all cost efficient. There are three, applications that almost any home can profit from adding: domestic hot water/space beating, swimming pool heating mid of course solar electricity.
Almost all solar collectors double their energy output in the warmer weather. This is because the sun is at it's closest mid highest point in relation to the earth then. In the northern hemisphere any year round solar application should face south, or face the sun during the best possible "solar window". It was originally believed that solar collectors had to be racked ( stood up ) to the area latitude plus 15 degrees to be efficient in the winter sun, This resulted in some VERY ugly looking jobs with overlarge solar systems standing up and off a roof We have tracked many systems over our 25 years, mid have found that 25 degrees to 47 degrees has less then a 2% loss over a short period, We now can mount systems on the same angle as most roof lines. This allows the pariels to look like skylights. If the proper roof angle isn't available, or if your roof is more than 30 degrees off due south, we can add more collector area to increase efficiency. Since it is not unusual for a domestic solar system to provide 75% of load year round, this can equate to a 45 - 65% savings on your fossil fuel bills.
Sun Solar Products, Inc.
Solar Heating for Pools & Homes
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