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Solar Thermal: Energy Technology Fact Sheet (2002)
This report was arranged by UNEP.
The document discusses the technology behind high and low temperature solar thermal systems. High temperature solar thermal systems use mirrors and other reflective surfaces to concentrate solar radiation. Low temperature solar thermal systems collect solar radiation to heat air and water for industrial applications including space heating for homes, offices and greenhouses, domestic and industrial hot water, pool heating, and desalination.
Both of these systems include both passive and active systems. Passive systems collect energy through a pump or motor. The active system uses pumps to circulate liquids that absorb heat through a solar collector.
These current technologies can be a reality. Costs are even cheaper than generating electricity from PV for large grid applications. The long term success of this technology relies on developing further research on the topic.