Schematic Diagram of Solar Water Heater

Solar Water Heater:

The roof is fitted with glass panels. Water is pumped through the pipes in the glass panels at the bottom. The pipes are painted black in color so that they can absorb more solar radiation. Convection in water will drive the hot water flow from the top. The water should be driven out of the panel to prevent the panels from freezing. Such heating saves electricity bills and is worthwhile in places with abundant sunshine like Arizona and California.

A more advanced type is the “Thermomax” panel which comprises a set of glass tubes. Each tube contains a metal plate coated blue which aids in absorbing infrared and UV radiation. The glass tubes should be vacuumed to minimize heat loss. The output is decent even in diffused sunlight.

Solar power-driven satellites orbiting the Earth, provide telephone, navigation facilities, satellite TV, weather forecasting, and the Internet. NASA Vanguard satellite comprising a monocrystalline backup array was launched into Earth’s orbit in 1958.

Solar thermal power generating plants served as the major source of electricity in 13 power plants in the USA in 2011. Of the 11 plants are in California, 1 is in Nevada, and 1 is in Arizona. Three solar power plants are located in the Mojave Desert of California comprising Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS). The two SEGS plants at Harper Lake were the world’s largest solar thermal power generating plants in 2011.