Net Zero Power

Solar PV vs Solar Thermal – The Key Differences

When you are looking to improve your carbon footprint by producing clean energy for your home or business, the chances are that you have come across two main forms of solar panels: Solar PV and Solar Thermal.

One aspect that many people may need to consider is which of the two units is more beneficial. Both have their pros and cons and work in similar ways, so it is simply a choice between which you believe will benefit your situation the most.

Throughout this blog post, we are going to be discussing the differences between Solar PV and Solar Thermal and the factors that may sway your decision in one way or another.


How Do They Work?

Solar power generation is, of course, completely sustainable due to the ability of these power generators to harness the sun’s energy and transfer it into usable electricity.

Both Solar PV and Solar Thermal panels are designed to fulfil specific tasks but both use the energy from the sun to generate their outputs.

A Solar Thermal panel will absorb light from the incoming radiation from the sun in order to heat up liquid housed inside a series of tubes. This is then used for heating your home or to provide you with hot water.

Solar Photovoltaic panels (PV), on the other hand, work slightly differently and fulfil a slightly different purpose. These panels use direct light from the sun which causes a reaction with the silicon crystals on its surface, resulting in clean electricity being produced over time.


Advantages of Solar PV Panels For Businesses

There are a few key advantages that solar PV offers when compared to solar thermal technology in a business setting. One of the most significant of which being that solar PV panels can provide to a business is the potential for cost savings on electricity bills.

By generating their electricity from solar energy, businesses can reduce their reliance on grid power and, in some cases, even eliminate electricity expenses entirely. As electricity costs tend to rise over time, switching to solar can provide a stable and predictable energy cost for the long term.

Firstly, Solar PV provides greater flexibility as the power generated by solar PV panels can be utilised for various purposes. This can include any appliances and sockets throughout your office space.

Additionally, panels generally have a longer lifespan than solar thermal systems, with the ability to generate electricity for approximately 30 years. Many solar PV systems have even surpassed this timeframe, despite decreased efficiency over time.

This provides businesses with great longevity when it comes to their energy production as it could be the stepping stone to completely reducing their carbon footprint for good.


Advantages of Solar Thermal Panels

If solar thermal panels are utilised for water heating, their usual function, then a portion of the solar thermal system will occupy interior space within the building, in contrast to the roof-installed panels of a solar PV system that require very little interior space.

However, on rare occasions, solar thermal panels can also be used for home or office heating, which requires minimal interior space. This is a great advantage to be able to boast as it means that your business can save plenty of space in the office.

Compared to solar PV systems, solar thermal systems necessitate more frequent maintenance, have a shorter lifespan, and tend to be more complex.


Making Your Decision

When making your final decision, you may come to find that both of these are something that you need in your home or office space since they fulfil different purposes.

If you are looking to deliver clean electricity and heating/hot water to improve the emissions of your business then this is definitely the option for you. If you are, however, only interested in purchasing one set, your final decision is entirely based on what you feel you need more.

Solar PV panels are able to generate electricity for 30+ years which will dramatically decrease your energy bills throughout this time whereas thermal panels will be able to supply your home with hot water for many years to come.

Solar PV panels are much more beneficial for businesses as this can reduce the amount of money needed to be spent on electricity bills each month. While it may be a very large cost in the immediate future, this will be greatly beneficial for your business in the long term.

If you are in need of any more advice on this topic, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Net Zero Power and we will be more than happy to help with whatever queries you may have.