Do you wonder
what Solar Thermal Power is?
Here is everything you need to know about it and its applications.
Solar thermal power is one of the two forms, in which solar energy arrives at earth (electromagnetic radiation and thermal power). When sun's rays hit earth, they provide warmth to the planet.
Solar thermal power is considered to be green energy because it does not emit any harmful gases during its collection or use. Being a free green form of energy makes it extremely promising and popular around the world.
Since ancient times, humans achieved to harvest the solar thermal energy and use it in different ways. Today, when technology has become more sophisticated, it provides much more efficient solutions.
Some of the main applications currently available are:
Cooking - Melting
Solar cookers are divided in two categories. Solar ovens and solar concentrators.Drying - Evaporation
Solar ovens are actually boxes covered with a glass. Sunlight provides heat in the box and makes it work like an oven.
Focusing the sunlight into a specific point can provide extremely high temperatures. So, it is easy to use it to cook food or melt different kinds of materials.
Although there are lots of designs for these purposes, solar cooking can be ineffective during cloudy or windy weather. This was the motive of the hybrid solar cookers to evolve, which use a backup energy source, usually gas, to support them when sun is not that bright.
It is not a modern technique at all. I remember my grandmother to put fruit and vegetables in the sun to dry.
Also, evaporation ponds are used to extract salt from the sea water. If we use a solar concentration technique, we can achieve better and faster results.
Recently, Discovery channel presented a project where sun was used to evaporate sea water and fans blew it to produce artificial rain!
Moreover, we use sun's heat to dry other things, such as clothes for example.
Drinking Water Production
Water often contains unwanted chemical substances like germs and bacteria. These intruders can be removed or killed using solar power in two ways: Desalination / Distillation and Pasteurisation.
- Seawater Greenhouse
Solar Power is used to evaporate seawater and raise the humidity levels of the air inside the greenhouse. As a result, temperatures fall and provide better growing conditions for corps.
- Stirling Engine
An engine that converts solar thermal energy to kinetic energy.
More, extensive info about Solar Thermal Power Applications
Get some ideas how you can use solar energy at your house