Solar heating and cooling
Yellott, John I. Yellott Engineering Associates, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona.
Last reviewed:August 2017
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- Space heating
- Passive systems
- Active systems
- Water heating
- Active cooling systems
- Passive cooling systems
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The use of solar energy to produce heating or cooling. When the Sun's shortwave radiation (visible and near-visible) strikes a blackened surface, or collector panel (Fig. 1), much of the incoming radiant energy can be absorbed and converted into heat. The temperature that results is determined by the intensity of the solar irradiance, the ability of the surface to absorb the incident radiation, and the rate at which the resulting heat is removed. By covering the absorbing surface with a material such as glass, which is highly transparent to the Sun's short-wave radiation but is opaque to the long-wave radiation emitted by the Sun-warmed surface, the effectiveness of the collection process can be greatly enhanced. The energy which is collected can be put to use for space heating; water heating, or cooling. See also: Air cooling; Comfort heating; Hot-water heating system
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