Questions tagged [solar-thermal]

The use of sunlight to generate heat, usually in water. Heated water can be used directly or it can drive a turbine to generate electricity. For questions on generating electricity using semiconductors see [photovoltaics].

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When/where is it feasible to use a solar cooker to boil water?

Can a parabolic reflector-type solar cooker of reliably boil water? If so, what major factors determine how much/how intense sunlight is required to do this how much water can be boiled how long the ...
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Partial Passive Solar Jury-Rigs?

I live in an apartment, with the authority to make minor modifications, and I am wondering whether there are any fairly low-effort passive solar design elements that I can incorporate. Any ideas? ...
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How do I create a cheap solar still?

I am trying to create a cheap and easy way to distill water. I learned through some research and talking with people that making a solar still is the best way. I really would like a cheap solution to ...
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Best solar cooker type for dim sunlight?

The commercially available solar cookers seem to use a variety of different technologies. I have seen ones that use mirrors, ones that use evacuate tubes, and other things, in different configurations....
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1answer
63 views

Solar air heater inside the window?

I have an older Solar Venti solar air heater that's supposed to be installed on the roof, or on a wall. For various reasons it has not been installed .. lack of a suitable location. As it just ...
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1answer
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Does a solar thermal hot water system make sense for my home?

Currently my house has a natural gas-burning hot water heater, with a 40 gallon (150 liter) tank. Given the vintage, the efficiency of this heater is likely around 80%. A new, drop-in replacement ...
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2answers
223 views

Are there any good diy examples of home level STES or BTES

I just came across the concept of STES - Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage and more specifically BTES - Borehole Thermal Energy Storage. (Example project) I wondered if anyone had built a small scale ...
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3answers
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Why is solar energy so expensive?

I was surprised to find out recently that solar power plants tend to be more expensive than traditional energy plants based on depletable resources like coal and oil. Why is that? It seems as though ...
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What advantages (any?) has water heating via photovoltaic system over solar thermal system?

Both solar thermal water heating systems and photovoltaic systems already have a good commercial background. Efficiency of energy gain of a solar thermal system is about 80%, while photovoltaics is up ...
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791 views

Failed “solar thermal” water heating system

I bought a house in Hawaii in 2014 which had 2 4'x8' solar thermal panels, a 120 gallon solar tank with 1 upper grid tied 4500W element. The previous owners had had multiple problems: leaks, replaced ...
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1answer
448 views

Can hot air move horizontally without a fan (vertical is easy)

Passive solar thermal, taking cool air at bottom and hot air out at top is easy. But can the same 'hot air rising' system be made to work horizontally. IE long black tube on a narrowboat Any ideas ...
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4answers
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How to measure the energy output of a thermal solar hot water system?

I have a (thermal) solar hot water system with electric heating, and I'd like to be able to measure the amount of energy provided by just the solar heating. The system is set up like this: Water ...
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1answer
293 views

Need critique of my idea for a passive heating and cooling system for a tent/waterbed

The Idea A small thin waterbed mattress inside a tent cot that is filled with water that's heated by the sun during the day and cooled at night. The Details Get this tent cot and water mattress (...
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1answer
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Reference request - Overview over established solar thermal desalination technologies

I'm looking for an overview of established solar thermal desalination technologies. The wiki page is remarkably poor on sources. "Established" means there is a large scale plant (>50 m³/d) or many ...
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How do I keep my solar panels clean?

What sort of cleaning regime should I have for a solar energy system, and do PV and solar-thermal panels need to be treated differently?
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1answer
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Is it cost effective to use a solar panel in an apartment if I have a low electricity bill?

I would like to be more sustainable and I am thinking of installing a solar panel on the roof of my apartment, my question is how cost effective I will be knowing that my current electricity bills are ...
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How do white roofs cause global warming?

Another user asked the question, and I think the question is important enough to deserve it's own post. I've heard that white roofs drive away clouds and cause global warming. How can this be?
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4answers
471 views

Pool, sauna and shower with electric heating and solar thermal vs gas heating?

I have four things that need to be heated on my house: Pool (28.000 liters solar thermal heated) Jacuzzi (I think that is like 400-600 liters is gas heated) Showers (actually they are all electric) ...
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1answer
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Are there solar concentrator builds that work without tracking?

In theory, you could take a box, coat the inside with a mirroring material and have a smallish black object inside. Then cut a hole in one wall. Theoretically, a big part of the light entering the box ...
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406 views

Solar Window Heater at Night

I have been thinking for a long time about building a Passive Solar Window Heater similar to this: I live in northern - North America which during the winter ranges from 30°F during the day to 0°F at ...
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1answer
183 views

How efficient is it to use an electric car as storage for the energetic overload generated during sun hours (peaks) by solar panels?

I guess that the question is quite self-explanatory. I am hoping to invest in a solar panel soon, but I am a little worried about it getting inefficient once government subsidies run out and the ...
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1answer
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Instructions for making, and comparisons of, *small* solar thermal collectors

The web has probably thousands of pages with instructions on how to build solar devices for heating air, water, and probably things I've never even thought of. Wikipedia describes different types of ...