For centuries flat solar panels were the simplest, and at the same time the most basic way that man used to collect solar radiation directly. It later asserted itself as an attractive source of energy as it was economical, non-pollutant, rational and available to everyone. The improvements to the collector which has occurred in recent decades, rather than sorting out the problem of its low performance, introduced more fragile components into the equipment:
- Protection glass;
- Absorption plates and/or transfer tubes in metals with a high risk of corrosion;
- Paints whose durability was questionable;
- Sealants sensitive to degradation by solar radiation;
- Unsafe or even dangerous defrost systems.
Owing to said fragilities and the condensation which occurs inside, as a general rule a panel installation does not have a working life of more than six years which is why it was almost totally abandoned in the 1980’s.
In the last two decades, with the constant increase in fuel prices and the appearance of a new environmental awareness, there has also been demand for new solar radiation direct collection processes.
The vacuum tubes and the concentrating collectors (CPC) were two examples of this drive. Both outperform those of the 1st generation but maintain, or even exacerbate, the factors which reduce their durability. With usage conditions which were the same as those of the 1st generation, as a rule these collectors have an even shorter working life, with the exception of the vacuum tubes which were the sole feature to evolve technologically.
No system from this generation can resolve – except with enormous collection areas – some of the following whims of nature:
- No sun at night;
- Average of 7-hour days in the winter;
Only 3 to 4 hours of Sun per day in the winter.
3rd Generation – ENERGIE Thermodynamic Solar Energy
Energie thermodynamic solar energy represents a great leap forward in the development of the collection of Energy from the Sun. With high reliability and efficiency rates, the Energie Solar System has overcome all the existing constraints of traditional systems. With simple, high-performance solar panels without glass, they work by means of an ecological fluid (refrigerant), immediately collecting the solar radiation, both direct and diffuse, as well as heat from the surrounding atmosphere by natural convection; also increasing the level of energy collected which allows the Energie solar systems to operate continually in:
- Cloudy sky
- At night
The high performance of the system also allows a reduction in the working area of the panels compared with traditional systems. The ENERGIE system affords the most economical solution for Domestic Hot Water, Central Heating, Swimming Pool Heating or Large Volume Water Heating, making this system the latest generation of solar energy.