Thermal solar collectors turn the sun’s radiation into heat and then transfer that heat to air or water. This process is facilitated by a hot water solar collector. There are multiple types of solar thermal collectors:
- Evacuated tube collectors are the most efficient but most costly type of hot water solar collectors. These collectors have glass or metal tubes with a vacuum, allowing them to operate well in colder climates. Learn more about evacuated tube collectors.
- Batch solar water heaters, also called integral collector-storage systems, have storage tanks or tubes inside an insulated box, the south side of which is glazed to capture the sun’s energy. Learn more about batch systems.
- A flat plate collector is a box covered by glass or plastic with a metal absorber plate on the bottom. The glazing, or coating, on the absorber plate helps to better absorb and retain heat. Learn more about flat plate collectors.
- Unglazed flat plate collectors, typically made from rubber, are primarily used for heating pools.
- Air collectors are used primarily for space heating in the home. Learn more about solar air collectors.