What is Solar Heating?

Mon, 2012-07-09 15:18

When most people think about green jobs, they think about solar. If you had to picture a green job in your head, the image to surface the quickest is probably of an individual installing solar panels on a roof. With that visual representation of a “green job” in everyone’s heads, it’s no wonder that solar photovoltaics (PV) is so common in the news. Did you know that you could utilize solar energy in another way? It’s called solar heating, or sometimes solar thermal.

Solar heating refers to the process of heating water through solar energy. We get energy when the Sun’s rays heat water molecules. Solar energy is valuable for domestic purposes; we can use solar heating systems to heat our pools and water heaters. What most people don’t realize is that the quickest payback of all renewable energy technologies comes from solar heating systems, not solar panels. Solar heating systems are also more relevant to homeowners’ everyday lives.

Solar heating differs from solar photovoltaics because it does not involve the direct conversion of sunlight to electricity. Everblue’s Solar Heating Associate curriculum covers 12 major areas, including working safely with solar hot water and pool heating systems, identifying systems and their components, adapting a system design, installing solar collectors, performing a system checkout, and maintaining a solar thermal system.

Overall, individuals who enroll in Everblue’s Solar Heating Associate training will enter a business sector where minimal competition exists. They will fill a critical shortage for professional solar contracting and become leaders in the new and rapidly growing green economy.

By Lesley Cowie

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