Photovoltaic or thermal? Everything you need to know about the solutions available
Generated naturally using the sun’s energy as it reaches the Earth, solar power offers an inexhaustible, natural and 100% green source of energy. Discover the techniques available.
Solar is an impressive renewable source of energy
We have two techniques for making use of that energy:
- solar collectors - including solar panels – to generate heat using the sun’s radiation. This solar thermal heat is then distributed in a closed system that uses water or air as the heat carrier. At those times of the year when sunshine hours are few, demand can be topped up using a supplementary energy source, such as natural gas, mains electricity or wood
- photovoltaic cells contained in a solar panel convert solar energy into electrical power. That power is then used locally in the building that generated it, or is fed into the power distribution grid. This method is known as solar photovoltaic.
So what are the benefits of solar power? As an inexhaustible and clean source of power, solar energy helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Used in conjunction with a supplementary energy source, such as natural gas, it can provide optimum management of peaks in power consumption. Lastly, solar installations require little maintenance, and are therefore particularly economical in use.