Buildings can use solar thermal collectors to convert the sun’s rays and heat air that comes into a building. Solar energy can heat air that is to be used in an industrial, institutional, commercial or residential application.
Collector panels are affixed to the south wall of a facility, such as a factory, warehouse or airport hanger. As air rises through the panels, it is heated by solar rays and the heated air is vented into the building when it reaches the top of the collectors. The technology is not designed to heat all the air required, but to serve as a pre-heat supplement. Smaller units are available for homes, and systems have been installed from the Canadian Arctic to the South Pole.
The amount of collector panels required for a site depends on a number of factors, such as how much air is needed to pre-heat, the amount of solar radiation at the site, etc. Collectors should be installed on a south wall, with unobstructed access to the sun’s path.