Solar America Solutions has been an industry leader in solar thermal technology for years. Since our business was founded, we have been on the cutting edge of promoting solar thermal as the most cost-effective and energy-efficient way to produce space heat and hot water. To that end, we have developed our patented SunQuest 250® solar thermal collector panel, a highly efficient solar collector that requires just a small footprint yet delivers outstanding results.
Despite the great success we’ve had, we continue to face an uphill battle as we work with our partners within the industry to make solar thermal the dominant clean energy source for certain kinds of applications. The biggest challenge we face is not with the technology itself. It is convincing those who would benefit from solar thermal to make the move. It is with this understanding that we look at a recent milestone reached in the UK as proof of concept.
Solar Out Performs Coal
The kinds of projects we work on at Solar America Solutions involve individual solar thermal installations for commercial space heating and hot water. These projects are small compared to much larger projects designed to completely replace fossil fuels for electricity generation. In the UK, for example, they’ve been using solar thermal as a coal replacement for quite some time. That’s where the recent milestone comes in.
News reports say that solar collector panels in the UK produced more electricity than coal for an entire day. Solar has outpaced coal during peak sunlight hours in the past, but it has never produced more energy over the course of a full 24-hour period. On April 9 (2016) solar generated 4% of the total consumed thermal energy while coal accounted for 3%. An even better performance was recorded on May 8: solar produced 6% while coal remained at 3%.
Reaching this incredible milestone in the UK is proof of concept. In fact, it is better than proof of concept. Solar technology has come a long way over the decades to now be at a point where it is a viable replacement for all sorts of traditional options.
The Strength of Solar Thermal
Among all solar technologies, we believe the strongest contender in the marketplace is solar thermal. The strength of solar thermal is found in two of its main properties, beginning with the fact that solar thermal is based on heat energy rather than converting sunlight into electrical current. In a solar thermal installation, ultraviolet energy from the sun is converted to heat and then transferred to a heat exchanger via a highly efficient thermal liquid. That heat can be used to do nearly anything we currently use steam fossil fuels to do.
Second is the highly efficient nature of solar thermal. Take our patented SunQuest 250® solar collector panel as an example. Because it is based on the proven evacuated tube concept, there is very little energy loss involved. Nearly all of the energy collected is transferred as heat in a constantly circulating thermal liquid that makes it readily available very quickly. Furthermore, because solar thermal collector panels like our’s utilize ultraviolet energy, the technology works flawlessly even on cloudy and the coldest of days.
The success of solar thermal for large-scale electricity generation has already been proven. We now have to convince individual property owners that small-scale installations are equally beneficial. At Solar America Solutions, we know that to be the case. Every installation we have deployed for our customers has proven itself by delivering on its promises without fail. Solar thermal is, without a doubt, the best and most cost-efficient clean energy source in the market.
- Greentech Media – http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/for-the-first-time-ever-uk-solar-generated-more-electricity-than-coal