Solar Energy: Your Questions and Answers

 

SolarUK: Glossary


Solar Thermal

The collection of the sun's energy as heat rather than converting it to electricity.

Solar thermal systems are usually seen as being solar panels or solar vacuum tubes. Both work in a very similar manner, each presenting a dark surface that collects the energy from the sun. The energy, in the form of heat is then carried using a circulating fluid to a heat store or some kind of heat exchanger.
Solar thermal could also be used to describe passive solar, perhaps a conservatory or greenhouse where the energy from the sun as heat is used directly.

More information can be found here: Domestic Solar Water heating



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Other Associated glossary terms : Commercial

Solar Thermal
The collection of the sun's energy as heat rather than converting it to electricity.

Vacuum Tube Solar Collector
This is a technology that uses a glass tube, think of a long thermos flask to insulate the solar collector and ensure that effectively all solar energy is retained.

Feed in Tariff
A method to reward the producer of renewable energy (electricity) by paying a fixed amount of money for each unit of electricity generated.

Recirculation - pumped secondary
Pipework carrying secondary hot water.

Sequential heating arrangement
The heating that occurs as the solar thermal system heats the water before the conventional heat source provides any necessary additional heating.

Heat store
Stores the suns energy as heat captured by the collector.

Stagnation
Refers to any period when the heat transfer fluid is not circulating, even though the solar panel is receiving the suns energy.

Primary and secondary systems
This refers to the water travelling round the boiler and the water in the cylinder which is heated by it.

Stratification / de-stratification
The layering of hot water on colder water.

Expansion vessel
A trapped volume of pressurised air or gas inside a steel vessel to allow for the expansion that accompanies temperature increases.

Buffer vessel
A tank storing heated water in anticipation of variable demand requirements.

Pre-feed cylinder
A cylinder placed between the cold water feed and the existing hot water cylinder.

Manifold
Any pipe with several outlets to or from other pipes, or a junction of pipes.

Calorifier
A water storage vessel, which has the capability to increase the temperature of the water contained within it.

Controller
The controller compares the different temperatures at specific locations in the solar systems circuit.

Circulation module / Pump module
Operates the heat transfer system.

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