Solar energy generation technologies that create thermal energy and solar power is more efficient than systems that “dump” the heat collected into the air.
These are solar hot water systems that also generate electricity. One company, called SolarTron Energy Systems, has developed a solar hot water system that has a photovoltaic module that can be added later to create up to 3.5kW of electricity.
Research and development of new technologies for energy is constantly developing, improving design and components to make alternative energy systems more efficient. In the case of solar energy we can see that there are two ways to tap this resource, transforming solar radiation into heat for hot water or by using the energy to create electricity from triple junction solar cells.
The solar heat is used to produce hot water for various uses, such as solar hot water heating, pool heating, industrial process heating water or other fluids as well as for cold production for air conditioning in combination with absorption chiller.
Using solar energy for electricity production
Virtually any application that requires electricity to operate can benefit from solar electric system. The only limitation is the cost of equipment and space required for installation of these types of systems. Many times if an application needed solar hot water and electricity, they would need to buy 2 separate systems.
However, the SolarBeam Concentrator can provide up to 190 F hot water and a photovoltaic system that will give up to 3.5kW/h of solar power. This is better than other hybrid systems that can only provide water temperatures at lower temperatures that are not useful for process heat applications. When it comes to choosing a hybrid system for your facility, it is important that the system can provide good electricity and water at a useable temperature.
In the field of solar concentration, SolarBeam is unique because it is a parabolic dish that uses solar radiation to generate solar hot water and solar power at the same time by concentrating all the sunlight into a focal point where the a heat exchanger heats the fluid inside and the solar cells create electricity. This system provides a an average of 10kW (BTU 34,350) and up to 3.5kW of electricity from a heat exchanger the size of 25 x 25 cm. Generating the two types of energies from a single system, makes it very cost effective and it has an excellent payback. The SolarBeam also has a solar tracking mechanism on two axis (horizontal and vertical), that allows it to do a 320 degree rotation. The SolarBeam uses a celestial algorithm with global positioning system (GPS) to track the sun regardless season.
The SolarBeam is sold through distributors that have knowledge of heating systems and have finished the 2 day training seminar to become certified SolarBeam installers.
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