Solar Thermal Energy

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Solar thermal energy is dead! A solar thermal heating system can cost upwards of $7,000 to install and it most likely won't even save you too much money. This is why many people debate over whether they should use a solar thermal water heating system, because they think they are saving money, or an inexpensive traditional water heating system. A traditional heating system is a system that is powered off of electricity, gas, oil or some other fuel. A solar thermal heating system uses the energy from the sun, hence “solar”, and it turns that energy into hot water to either heat a home or to provide domestic hot water. The energy from the sun is captured by energy collectors, also known as solar panels. The water is heated inside the panels and then distributed throughout the home for use or stored in a tank for later use. The ideas behind this sound great, but in reality that is not the case.Solar thermal energy is not the best choice for home heating a home or hot water heating.
Solar thermal energy is not the best way to heat your home and hot water because it is a very inefficient system. For example Martin Holladay from Green Building Advisor suggests that solar thermal energy is inconsistent. During the long days of summer more hot water is produced than what is needed. But during the dark, cold winter there is not enough hot water (parag. 6-9). This demonstrates that this method of heating is inconsistent and unreliable. During the winter when you need the heat the most, you will not have it. Plus in the summer, when hot water is not needed as much, hot water is produced in large amounts but there is no way to store it for a long time period which makes the system inefficient. As Michael Wolfe states “Devices cannot generat...

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