Pretty sure it could be done, but I can't imagine that it would be practical at current PV solar panel prices. They say about 2000 euros in materials and 150 hours to make a 1 kW collector. Then you still need a turbine and a generator. Compare that to 1 kW of PV panels at about $1000. Plus fewer moving parts and less maintenance. Seems to me that practical applications for solar thermal are dwindling rapidly.
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
David Spohn wrote:Seems to me that practical applications for solar thermal are dwindling rapidly.
Seems to me that it's unlikely the primary practical applications for solar thermal [thermal... and ventilation] aren't going anywhere, but it does vary by climate. In my climate solar ventilation with earth tube intake is an excellent alternative to Air Conditioning, and if done right should be able to store heat under the house to reduce heating needs come winter.
Yeah, I guess 'solar thermal' is too broad a term for the point I was trying to make, as that could apply to something as simple as a window. I want to say something like "non-passive solar thermal," but perhaps the only applications for that are generating electricity and heating water.
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