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The difference between Thermal Solar and PV Solar

Most people are aware that there are many alternative energy solutions on the market. But few know about the many solar energy technologies available. That’s why we at Panel Upgrade Experts decided to cover this topic in our blog. In this post, we will compare two solar technologies: thermal and photovoltaic solar.
Both types of solar panels, solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal, operate on the same principle: solar cells convert sunlight energy into usable energy. This is accomplished in solar PV systems by converting sunlight into electricity, whereas thermal systems are used straight for heating water or air.
This post will look at the advantages of each solar panel individually to see if we can discover which one is better. However, there is no need to choose between the two technologies since they may be used in tandem.

Functionality and seasonality

Solar photovoltaic (PV) power converts light into electricity by utilizing semiconductor materials. That energy can be used to run almost any device in the house, even powering your Netflix and keeping the lights on! As a result, PV solar energy is versatile and can meet all your power demands, even in the winter.
Solar thermal is divided into two categories: residential solar thermal and utility solar thermal. The primary goal of utility solar thermal is to transform the high-temperature liquid into electricity. However, residential solar thermal only generates heat energy and is restricted to only producing electricity during the summer and warm months.


Solar thermal is presently utilized by some large-scale organizations that require a lot of hot water. But these solar thermal water heating systems require a significant quantity of water, supplies, and equipment to install and operate.
Adding extra materials to your solar thermal system increases the initial installation cost, making solar thermal more costly than PV. Finally, even though thermal solar may help you save money on your heating expenses, the savings from PV solar far outweigh them.


Energy is usually required at all hours, not just during the day. This is why many solar PV owners choose to add a battery system to their panel installation. Keeping solar energy in a battery allows you to use it when the sun isn’t shining. You may utilize power regardless of whether the solar panels are generating electricity or not by storing it in a battery. During a grid outage, it helps you and your family stay with lights on and electronic devices working.
Solar thermal systems, on the other hand, can only store heat energy since they don’t generate electricity. So, while a PV system generates power, a thermal system only heats the collectors’ water.
There are available thermal batteries that can store heat. A substantial water tank, for example, maybe buried underground and heated by solar thermal panels.


Today, PV is far more cost-effective than ever before; even for just operating an electric heater, it’s now more affordable. Solar thermal systems, on the other hand, require regular maintenance and have a lifespan of three quarters less than PV solar panels. For most homeowners, choosing to go with PV solar is a no-brainer.
Panel Upgrade Experts provide a trustworthy and dependable service to Calgary homeowners looking to install solar panels on their homes. Our expert specialists fit high-quality solar systems installations to ensure you have access to clean energy for years. Are you interested in switching to solar energy? Please complete the form for a free solar quotation.

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