Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity and solar architecture, which can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent problems the world now faces.
Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air. Among all known energy sources, solar energy is the cleanest and most inexhaustible one. The sun can emit solar radiation, which contains the heat, light and other radiation. Solar radiation is in charge of almost all the natural processes on earth and it can produce huge amounts of energy.
The environmental issue of carbon emissions is of great concern nowadays for its contribution to global warming. However by using solar and other forms of renewable energy we can greatly reduce our dependency on fossil fuels for energy production and reduce carbon emissions. If an average household install solar collectors, they can reduce their potential carbon footprint by as much as 30% by installing an EGEC solar collector systems. The use of thermal solar collectors has been in use for several decades; however it is just be used in relatively small numbers, particularly in Western countries. Evacuated tubes have also been in use for more than 20 years, but it is only chosen for high temperature applications or by those with money, because flat plate is much cheaper than evacuated tube. However, the greatly lower manufacturing and material costs lead to the production volume breakthrough of evacuated tubes. So now evacuated tubes are as cheap as flat plate and are set to become choice for thermal solar applications worldwide for the advantage of insulation.
SOLAR THERMAL COLLECTORS REDUCES CARBON EMISSIONS
Fossil fuels, use of coal for electricity production and gas for water heating release large amount of CO2 into the atmosphere and this greatly contributes to the environmental pollution phenomenon.
By using renewable energy sources such as Solar Thermal, Solar PV, Wind, Hydro and Geothermal, humans' dependency on fossil fuels shall to be minimized, which then can actually reduce CO2 emissions. Note that when coal power station produces 1 kWh of energy, 1kg (2.2pound) of co2 is produced as well. And when we burn natural gas or diesel engines for 1kWh energy for electricity production or water heating, approximately 500grams (0.5Kg) of CO2 is produced.