Solar air heating
Solar air heating is essentially very similar to solar thermal, except that the energy from the sun is captured and used to heat air and not a fluid - this air is then used directly.
In the UK, solar air heating is largely used in commercial or industrial applications to heat or condition air for buildings or process heat applications, where it is the most cost-effective out of all the solar technologies.
Solar air collectors can be divided into two types:
- Unglazed Air Collectors or Transpired Solar Collectors, used primarily to heat ambient air in commercial, industrial, agriculture and process applications;
- Glazed Solar Collectors, re-circulating types that are usually used for space heating, including domestically.
Solar air collectors can be very simple things to make, using a glazed box and a load of aluminium cans painted black for example, and a small collector can ably heat a well-insulated garage in the winter. If there’s any sun.