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Solar panels and heating systems: Combining energy efficient technologies

Fri, 07/27/2012 - 13:14

The combination of radiant heating systems and solar panels is not something that every American has used for their home, but this pairing is apt to produce a high level of cost savings and comfort for families across the country.
When a solar panel energy source is linked to a radiant heating system, the energy efficient nature of both products is maximized.
Radiant heating systems help to provide warmth to a home using as little energy as possible.
This means that the energy from the solar panels, which is then directed to warming the water going through the tubing of the radiant paneling, will be maximized over the course of the day. While other products need more energy to operate at a sufficient level, radiant technology helps to disperse the heat and can therefore cust total energy costs by a significant amount.
Phys.org reported that the efficiency associated with solar panels is also increasing, as the technology used to comprise these products is evolving and helping to maximize on how much energy is taken in by these fixtures.
According to the news source, good solar hot-water systems can harvest more energy than a solar-electric system at a substantially lower cost. These fixtures also take up less space, as they do not have to cover an entire roof.
Other panels are made with amorphous silicon, commonly known as thin-film silicon. Although they do not create as much flexibility, they are much lighter, flexible and cheaper. However, this technology is still in the works, according to Joshua Pearce, a professor at Michigan Tech.
"That means that their efficiency drops when you expose them to light—pretty much the worst possible effect for a solar cell," noted the expert. 

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