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Why Is Solar Thermal Better Than Solar PV

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  • 20-03-2023
Why Is Solar Thermal Better Than Solar PV

Have you ben asking: Why Is Solar Thermal Better Than Solar PV? Greenables Ltd offers professional heating and renewables services throughout Essex and Suffolk. Find out more about how solar thermal technology works and why it might be the right choice for your heating system.

Solar Panels vs Solar Thermal

It is crucial to understand that solar PV and solar thermal are two very different technologies. As the name suggests, solar thermal technology captures sunlight and transforms it into heat, which is then stored and transformed into power. On the other hand, solar panels utilise PV technology to capture sunlight and convert it instantly into power. Water heating often uses solar thermal energy.

The concept is straightforward: the solar panels on your roof capture sunlight, heating the liquid in the tubes before it is transferred into the cylinder and made ready for usage. Solar thermal systems use less area and are up to 70% more effective at capturing heat from the sun's rays than solar PV systems. Solar thermal technology is much simpler than solar PV technology. They are the ideal method for warming water and are also very beneficial to companies.

With the exception of thermodynamic panels, which systems are more adaptable than solar thermal ones and have a shorter lifespan than solar panels, solar thermal is less efficient during the winter when sunlight is not as intense. It can also take a lot of effort to find the proper provider. If you select this option, you will benefit from an energy solution that is superior to other green energy sources. Although water heating is solar thermal's best use, it is still thought of as a sole water heating solution.

Compared to thermal, solar PV panels are a relatively younger technology. They come in three different varieties: thin-film, monocrystalline, and polycrystalline. They use silicon-based technology to capture sunlight and convert it into power. They have a very long lifespan, can supply you with pure, green energy for around 30 years, can supply about 60% of the energy demands for your home, are extremely efficient in the summer, and won't freeze in the winter.

They also take care of the requirements for high-energy equipment like dryers, refrigerators, and so on. Nevertheless, they demand a bigger installation area than solar thermal and come with a significant upfront cost. Finding the correct provider might thus take a lot of effort. Yet, just as with solar thermal, choosing solar PV will provide you with an excellent green energy alternative.

Solar thermal and solar PV are excellent technologies that can supply you with clean, renewable energy - it might be challenging to pick just one, though. The newest technology, solar photovoltaics, is by far the most promising for the future; yet, it is important to know exactly what you want since solar thermal is the ideal choice for water heating.

Can You Install Solar Panels On Any House?

How Solar Thermal Works

Heat is produced by solar thermal panels using sunlight. The panel is made up of tubes that are usually filled with antifreeze and glycol. The liquid is heated by the sun before being transported to a copper coil to reheat your hot water tank. 

Additional components of the system include a pump to move the liquid through the cycle (which may be powered by PV) and a control mechanism to prevent freezing liquid from chilling your tank on colder days.

Although the basic principles of solar thermal technology are very straightforward, modern technology is required to construct a system that efficiently collects solar energy and converts it to hot water.

The installation of solar panels is the first step in this process, which transforms solar energy into a usable resource.

Using roof-mounted collectors, domestic solar thermal hot water systems gather solar energy. This energy is used to heat the fluid that travels via a sealed circuit, past the collectors, and into a coil within a specially constructed hot water cylinder. The hot water is then stored in the cylinder until it is needed.

Why Is Solar Thermal Better Than Solar PV? Essex and Suffolk Heating and Renewables

Benefits of Solar Thermal

Solar energy is infinitely renewable, as opposed to energy produced from fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil. This increases the technology's durability over time and relieves owners of the need to replace it. By lowering the amount of energy that is imported, the usage of solar energy can help countries become more energy independent.

Solar thermal energy nearly entirely avoids the production of pollutants like hazardous chemicals or greenhouse gases, with the exception of the pollution involved in the manufacturing of the solar thermal energy equipment itself. Solar thermal energy offers a secure substitute for conventional energy sources, the majority of which produce high levels of carbon emissions in light of growing concerns over the adverse consequences of climate change. The heat produced by solar thermal power doesn't emit any carbon dioxide, in contrast to the heat produced by burning natural gas.

Solar thermal energy requires little maintenance once it has been installed. Users may leave solar thermal energy devices alone for extended periods of time after installation, unlike equipment that generates electricity from coal or natural gas. Solar thermal arrays are operated by smaller workgroups than more complicated energy-producing plants. Several solar thermal devices use less complex technology than photovoltaic panels, notably those that heat water.

How Solar PV Works

Electricity is produced from sunlight using photovoltaic (PV) panels. To create an electric field, they are constructed from a semi-conducting material, such as silicon, in two layers. This field produces a little voltage when sunlight touches it.

The inverter converts the direct current (DC) from the panels into the alternating current (AC) used by the home's appliances. If necessary, electricity flows from the fuse box into these devices; otherwise, it exits onto the grid.

A solar PV panel is made up of several cells, which are composed of layers of silicon or another semiconducting material. This substance conducts electricity when exposed to light. The cells can function even on overcast days without the need for direct sunlight.

Yet, power production increases with solar intensity. Each solar panel in a solar PV system produces about 355W of electricity under conditions of intense sunshine.

A typical system produces direct current (DC) electricity and has around ten panels. An inverter is integrated with the system to convert DC power to AC since domestic equipment needs alternating current (AC). You may utilise this power within your house or export it to the grid.

Benefits of Solar Thermal Essex and Suffolk

Benefits of Solar PV

You will instantly see a drop in your electricity expenses since your home or place of business will use less energy from the National Grid as a consequence of the electricity you generate being used there initially. Any surplus power is transmitted back to the grid if you have a battery storage system or other self-consumption equipment on site.

Home settings can only utilise between 40% and 60% of the electricity generated on-site, however commercial structures can frequently use up to 100%. By maximising the PV system's generation to suit your consumption, you might drastically save your energy expenses over the course of more than 25 years.

You may immediately assist the environment by reducing your company' or home's carbon footprint by not utilising power produced from fossil fuels. Using renewable energy sources to power our daily activities reduces air pollution and helps us transition to a future with reduced carbon emissions. Installing a PV system is a fairly simple method to move towards this objective, while also saving your business money since many companies want to decarbonize or attain a "Net Zero Carbon" status. 

By purchasing a PV system, you may lessen your vulnerability to energy price increases, which are erratic and always on the rise. For more than 25 years, your PV system will continue to provide a consistent amount of power, which will result in long-term cost savings on your electricity bills.

Are you considering Solar Thermal Installation in Essex, Suffolk and the surrounding areas? We have years of experience in providing tailored energy-efficient and affordable home heating solutions. So if you need any further assistance  with solar panels, follow the link below.