Solar thermal and solar PV: what’s the difference?

Solar thermal

Solar thermal and solar PV: what’s the difference?

Technology was always going to find ways of using the sun’s energy. After all, it delivers more energy to Earth in an hour than we use in a year from fossil, nuclear, and all renewable sources combined. It’s why the renewables energy has been such a hit, and why companies keep pushing for the most efficient and cost-effective ways of harnessing the sun’s constant power.

Both solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels have revolutionised the way we see energy. They’re a common sight in our own neighbourhoods and inspired people to create their own cleaner, greener and, in the long run, cheaper energy.

How do they work?

Both types of solar panel absorb raw energy from the sun and use it to create usable energy. Solar PV panels do this by absorbing sunlight and transforming it into electricity. Solar thermal, on the other hand, heats water. Simply explained, sunlight hits tubes that heat up water for a building to use.

Solar PV – the rundown

The ability to produce electricity makes solar PV a more versatile energy solution. These panels can power many appliances in a building, including electric boilers. They’re also a serious investment to consider thanks to decreasing solar PV costs, the rising cost of energy from the grid, and adding retail value to a building.

You can sell excess electricity back to the grid, meaning you could earn money. It’s worth thinking about whether the big upfront cost is worth the money it brings in over time.

Solar thermal – the rundown

If roof space is limited, then solar thermal might be the better option. They’re highly efficient at converting radiation from the sun into heat. However, they do have shorter lifespans than PV panels and are prone to a drop in effectiveness during winter.

When you combine these two solutions, they offer the best of both worlds – highly efficient hot water and electricity generation.

Weighing up which renewable energy solution is right for you is something you need to think about. But, all in all, both solar PV panels and solar thermal are great technologies that can provide you with clean green energy and offer cost-saving solutions to your energy problems.

If you want to get the most out of a renewable energy solution to your home or business, get in touch with GOS Heating today on 01772 734 966. We can help you plan, install, service and maintain a wide range of domestic and commercial renewable solutions.

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