When deciding to make the switch to solar, there are several different technologies to choose from. It isn’t so much a question of which is better, but more a question of which solar technology is better suited to meet your specific needs. In this blog, we explain the difference between photovoltaic and solar thermal energy technology.
Photovoltaic Solar Technology
Photovoltaic (PV) is the term used to describe taking sunlight and converting it directly into usable energy by using a process that occurs naturally. PV systems are composed of solar panels and a mounting system. The United States ranks as 4th in PV installations, following Germany, Japan, and Spain as the leaders in solar energy technology. Since its introduction to the solar market in the 1950s, PV solar technology has greatly evolved – the first PV solar cell unit operated at a 4% efficiency.
This type of energy is most commonly used to provide hot water for domestic uses and HVAC purposes. Recently, water heated by way of thermal energy is used in the government and military – According to the U.S. Department of Energy, federal regulations mandate that new federal buildings offset at least 30% of their thermal energy use with renewable forms of energy. Businesses that require a high volume of heated water to operate can see savings of up to 70% on utility bills when they switch to solar.
Advantages of Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Technology
Regardless of the solar technology system you choose, there a number of benefits that can be extremely advantageous to homeowners and business owners. Solar technology require little to no maintenance, are easy to install and offer reliable and renewable sources of energy – there is no shortage of supply in the sun’s thermal energy. With the inevitably rising costs of energy bills, making the switch to solar is a cost-effective way to sustainably power your home or business.
At SunPower by SouthCoast Solar, our team of installation specialists proudly guide homeowners and business owners through the process of making the switch to a more sustainable future. Our list of services include LED lighting solutions, solar thermal systems, battery backup systems and backup generators.
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