electric panels, solar heating panels do not
create electricity. Instead, they use sunlight
to heat air or liquid, to provide heating or hot
water. Solar heating panel systems used to heat
air are also known as solar hot air, solar hot
air collectors, and solar space heaters. These
systems can be active solar heaters (using a fan
or pump) or passive solar heaters (no fans or
In solar hot air heating, the solar heating panels consist of an enclosure with a glass front, insulation, and an absorber plate or tubes, known as the solar collector, to absorb the sun’s heat.
Air from the home passes through the solar heating panel, and flows back into the home 10-50 degrees warmer. The cool air is drawn into the solar heating panel by a fan or by convection. The fan or vent can be controlled by a thermostat.
For solar hot water, solar heating panels contain either flat plate collectors, tubes or a tank for absorbing the sun’s heat. In direct solar hot water systems, also called open loop systems, cold water is heated as it passes through the solar collector, and then flows or is pumped to the storage tank.
An indirect or closed loop solar hot water system heats a liquid contained in tubes or pipes in the solar collector. These tubes may contain anti-freeze, oil, refrigerant, or some other heat transfer liquid. The heated liquid is pumped or flows into a heat transfer coil within the hot water storage tank or heat exchanger, warming the water within.
Providence Trade and Development uses solar heating panels in our net zero energy homes, our solar powered multi-purpose utility structures, and other designs that take full advantage of solar energy.
Read more related article: Passive solar heating