Solar Collector

Definition - What does Solar Collector mean?

A solar collector is an object that is used to collect energy from the sun, which it does by absorbing solar radiation and converting it into heat or electricity. The material type and coating on a solar collector are used to maximize solar energy absorption.

Corrosionpedia explains Solar Collector

There are several different types of solar collectors available for use. One common type of solar collector is the flat plate collector. This solar collector has an absorber plate that is placed in a box enclosure. The absorber plate is oftentimes coated to better absorb heat energy. The top of the box, facing the sun, has a transparent cover that allows solar energy to pass through it but limits the amount of heat energy lost.

Evacuated tube collectors are another popular type of solar collector. An evacuated tube collector has its solar collection material placed inside a glass tube that has little to virtually no air inside of it. There are liquid-filled pipes in the vacuum-sealed glass container that are heated by the solar collector; this allows the collector to delivery energy. There are several other types of solar collectors available as well.

Solar collectors usually transfer energy by heating a liquid, which can be used to accomplish several things. For a residential solar collector system, it can be used to heat water for bathing, cooking or cleaning. The heated water can be used in industrial applications as well. For energy companies, solar farms typically take the heated liquid and convert the heat energy of the liquid into electricity and distribute it to their customers.

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