Solar Thermal Energy at Appalachian State
Solar Thermal systems work on a very simple principle; if you lay something out in the sun, it gets hot. With that basic concept, you can then design and engineer elaborate systems that harvest the sun's heat and transfer it to an area of need. The most common use is heating water. The environmental benefit comes from reduced demands on fossil-fuel based hot water heaters. By preheating supply water with sunlight, there is less work to do by traditional, carbon based fuels (electric, natural gas or steam) to bring the water up to the desired temperature.
Appalachian State currently has eight Solar Thermal systems producing hot water on campus
(Click the photo below to find detailed information for each of our installations)