Friday, March 25, 2011

Alternative Heating Solutions: Solar Heat Panels

The sun is the primary provider of heat energy for our planet. Aside from controlling night and day, the sun is also the mediator of temperature. The heating and cooling processes associated with the sun controls the water cycle of the planet, making a big impact on ecology. The heat and light that reach the Earth from the Sun is an essential for the continued existence of life on this planet.

During the night and winter seasons (which obviously happen at different times and different places all over the Earth at the same time) the heat and light needed is insufficient. During these times, humans make use of alternative heat energy called fuels. The most common fuels we use are fossil fuels and wood. The abuse of these alternative heat sources contribute greatly to the increase in global temperature causing unwanted climate changes. The destruction caused by these alternative heating solutions prompted scientists to create a more ecological-friendly solution. One of the most promising of these ecological-friendly alternatives is solar heat panels. The panels work by harnessing the sun’s natural energy to provide heat and light for households during winter seasons, among other things.

The sun emits heat energy on a typical day. But the challenge now is to find the means to make this energy useful. The energy that can be harnessed from the sun can be stored and used when needed. The solar heat panels have two unique aspects, and these are: heat generation and storage.

The collecting panels are flat, thin box-like planes, that are transparent in color. They are usually placed on the rooftops of houses or buildings facing the sun. The sun’s heat energy is absorbed by the black metal plate that is inside the box. The plate then activates the sun’s radiation to heat the liquid tubing matrix in the collector. The usual liquids used are water, air, and antifreeze chemicals. These solar panels are able to heat up the fluids to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, close to boiling point of water.

The heat stored in the solar panels is beneficial in providing needed warmth and light, particularly during winter months when fossil fuel costs typically rise and sometimes become unaffordable for those who need it most. The daily use of these fuels on a massive scale has already had a damaging effect upon the Earth, an effect that will be felt for generations to come. Eco-friendly alternatives like the solar heat panels are the best solution to save the planet.

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