Equipment and products that enable us to use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels and conventional electricity are highly beneficial. Examples include solar thermal systems, solar electric (photovoltaic) systems, and wind turbines. Other power generation equipment, such as fuel cells and some energy storage systems (like batteries) are included here because they help us accommodate varied energy sources so that we may eventually move beyond fossil-fuel dependence.
Fafco offers unglazed solar thermal collectors made from UV- and corrosion-resistant polymers. The company offers SRCC and FSEC-certified panels for commercial and residential applications. These low-temperature systems include solar collectors, pumps, valves, and control panels.
Swimming pools can't exactly be called environmentally friendly. A luxury for most people, they use a considerable amount of potable water, require chlorine and other chemicals for maintaining clean conditions, and consume energy with pumps and pool heaters.
GreenSpec lists solar thermal collectors that are appropriate for pool heating—reducing conventional pool heating in this way is a significant reduction in environmental impact. Because pools are not kept very warm, compared with domestic hot water, less efficient solar thermal collectors can be used to provide cost-effective heating.
Flat-plate solar collectors are available as glazed and unglazed units. Used for water and space heating, glazed units are insulated, sealed boxes that contain an absorber plate and glass or plastic cover. The dark-colored absorber captures solar energy and a heat-transfer fluid carries it to a storage tank.
Unglazed flat-plate collectors are made from dark-colored materials that have heat-transfer fluid running through them. Used primarily for heating pools, unglazed systems are usually less expensive and less efficient than glazed systems, and generate lower-temperature water.
GreenSpec lists innovative flat-plate collectors that are certified by Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) to its OG-100 standards.
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