What Is an Active Solar Collector?



Active solar collector is a system which collects the sun's rays from an area in which sun hits and focuses the rays in one point. Solar collection systems falls into two major groups which involves flat plate collectors and concentrating collectors. The two major categories of solar collection systems apply to both planned or active solar collection.

With concentrating collectors parabolic mirrors are used in the place of a magnifying glass in order to collect solar, but the general effect of active solar collection is usually the same. However with the use of parabolic mirrors high temperatures are often produced which can be used to power electrical generators. This collector needs a clear tracking device that can keep track of the sun so that it can collect a good amount of solar.

The Concentrating collector

The collector will work effectively if the tracking device is well maintained. When it's properly constructed on the surface the collector will indeed collect a lot of solar rays during the day. With flat plate active solar collector, it operates independently without the need of a tracking device to follow the sun. The collector is able to collect and absorb solar energy direct from the sun.

The uniqueness of this particular solar collector is that it can be able to collect solar energy from the nearby buildings adjacent to your building because of diffuse radiation. This is an indirect form of solar collection, where diffuse radiation can also be reflected in the ground or clouds. However the temperatures that flat plate solar collector provide can go from 150 to 250 degrees. Remember the solar collector can be easily constructed therefore suitable for agricultural purposes.

Active Solar Collector

Why Flat plate solar collector is outstanding?

The collector comes in different designs and the basic characteristics that makes it outstanding, is the fact that it is able to absorb energy direct from the sun and the exceptional circulating medium which is able to collect heat from the flat plate and take it to the point of use or for storage purposes.

Active solar collector use two major modes to absorb and transfer the collected heat; they are water and air collectors. Air collectors are simple to design and are also of different types. A water collector on the other hand has an absorber plate and a transfer medium to collect and transfer heat. It has water tubes attached to the absorber plate which removes the collected heat from the water circulating in the tubes.

With an active solar collector the efficiency of the collector is presented as the ratio between the useful collected heat, and the overall amount of solar radiation that hits the collector surface at a particular period. The heating systems differ in efficiency with a flat plate collector being less efficient as compared to other active solar collectors. This is largely attributed to the amount of solar energy lost during the process of solar collection. It is easy to build an active solar collector and there are different designs in which you can build one. However it is the key to build an active air collector that is economical to use in production of heat.

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