For those who are looking to install solar panels, there is every chance that they might have carried out extensive research into the options that are available to them, not to mention understanding how the technology works. As they have carried out their research they might have come across two terms Solar Thermal and Solar Photovoltaic.
With this finding might have come much confusion but there is a difference between the two and so, it is important that people know what the difference is before they make a decision.
Solar thermal systems use the heat from the sun whereas solar electricity uses the sunlight. Solar Photovoltaic uses sunlight to create direct current electricity. In the case of solar thermal systems, they use a different technology that is also known as solar hot water systems and they work by creating hot water. Solar hot water panels will commonly have copper pipes within them that are filled with water and then when the sun shines, the pipes heat up, eventually heating the water within them. The water that is heated then moves through the system and flows into a storage tank which can be located on the roof or a side of the property. So, in the case of solar thermal systems, the system uses the energy of the sun to heat the water.
Solar Photovoltaic panels create a flow of electricity when sunlight makes contact with the system. The electricity that is generated is then harness and moved through a converter which then allows it to be used around the home for any of our electrical needs.
Both technologies have their uses but solar photovoltaic is the technology that is being implemented as it is the technology that creates electricity quickly and efficiently. This enables homeowners to use it and send it back to the grid where they can get paid for doing so.