Yielding and burning fossil fuels (such as fossil coal, brown coal, crude oil or natural gas) have negative effect on the environment, as harmful gases and dust are released to the atmosphere. Solar collectors give the opportunity to use one of the renewable sources of energy – solar energy, which makes producing and using the heat coming from it totally safe for the environment.
However, every device has its pros and cons. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest drawbacks of solar collectors are their prices. Those can oscillate around 75 000 – 85 000 PLN for a 100 m² house. On the other hand, such investment is about to be paid back in the next 3-5 years. When planning mounting solar collectors, we have to remember that the optimal solution is to purchase the collector that is half the size of the building it is to be mounted on.
Another important thing is choosing the right type of installation. In liquid-base solar collectors there is a risk of congelation of the water, which caused the tendency of using substances with low congealing point and corrosion inhibitors in its composition. When it comes to air heat solar collectors, their main disadvantage is the noise they make while ventilators are working. No matter which technology is applied, the amount of energy obtained depends on intensity of the solar radiation, which varies throughout the year. In the winter days are much shorter, which has its result in heating shortages that require using some other source of energy.
To sum up:
Advantages of solar collectors:
- environmental-friendly technology (reduction of greenhouse gases)
- waste-free technology
- low costs of 1 kWh
- low exploatation costs
- constant access to hot tap water (besides cold season)
Disadvantages of solar collectors:
- high costs of purchasing the device
- weather-dependent technology
- corrosion (liquid-based solar collectors)
- possibility of liquid congelation (liquid-based collectors)
- noise (air heat solar collectors)
- energy shortages during cold season