What are some uses of Solar energy other than solar panels?

I have a project which is due at January. But Christmas Eve is coming and I am finishing it NOW!
I research some of the examples of Solar energy but 80% of the results is solar panels(PV power). Can I get some examples? Oh yes! is heaters or clothes dried outside some examples? I have huge confusions. Please help!!!! 🙁
Thank you so much!

8 thoughts on “What are some uses of Solar energy other than solar panels?”

  1. roderick_young

    Cooking in some cases. see solarcooking.org
    Solar water pasteurization.
    Solar dehydration (like drying fruits, fish, or meat)

  2. Breath on the Wind

    Solar photovoltaic power panels are getting the most press. Solar thermal power is most used because it is a far more mature technology and is far more efficient.

    Solar thermal panels can be used for general heating, hot water, air conditioning, and some experiments have been done to try and make electricity from solar thermal panels. This will most likely be commercially available with a relatively new type of electronics rather than using the heat gathered from solar thermal panels to run a stirling engine. Solar thermal panels can be "flat panels" or vacuum tube collectors. ( A geothermal heating system has nothing to do with "solar" but it is also a "renewable" form of energy. )

    Commercially concentrated solar thermal energy is used to power the largest solar thermal power plants. There are quite a few ways this can be done including:

    power towers
    parabolic dish collectors
    parabolic trough collectors
    solar ponds
    Solar chimneys (can operate 24/7 and in cloudy weather due to built in solar storage)

    All these systems are "active" systems because they involve pumping fluids or tracking the sun. "Passive" systems depend upon collecting and storing the sun’s heat without pumps or fans. A greenhouse or sun room can be a passive solar collector. The heat is stored in a "thermal mass" or using "phase change materials." Let us know if you need more.

  3. I think that the topic area you are looking for falls under the term "passive solar energy". Try the two links below for some additional ideas and insight. The general concept is that every capture and use of sunlight and sun generated heat outside of the solar panel counts. Which yes, includes a clothes line, a skylight, or window panels under the eaves.

    A number of systems include the use of sunlight to heat bladders, bags, or vessels of water. Sometimes, the heated water is used to pre-warm the water before used in a hot water tank for direct use. Sometimes it is used to pre-warm water used in a water tube radiant system (ie tubes of hat/warm water under the floor) or even a water boiler system with old fashioned metal radiators.
    Sometimes filled bladders are used as insulation in the winter; if they are made of the correct materials and there is adequate room for expansion when they freeze. In the summer, these types of warming and heating systems are sometimes used to pump cool water instead of pre-warmed water to cool things down. Back in the day, these types of systems were called passive solar power systems. Sometimes, they are now refered to as geothermal power systems.

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