The sun is an all-natural source of energy that helps to illuminate our world and allows us to harness its power. In recent years, the cost of solar energy has declined significantly, making it more accessible to home owners and businesses across the world. However, not all forms of solar energy are created equal, so understanding the differences between various technologies can help homeowners decide which is best suited for their needs.
Photovoltaic (PV) Technology
Photovoltaic (PV) technology converts solar energy into electricity using semiconductor junctions that generate electricity whenever light shines on them. This technology is commonly used to power homes and small businesses across the world due to its durability and affordability. (
- It operates without the need for further maintenance
- It is very reliable
- PV technology has a low initial cost
- PV panels have a long life
) With the help of solar power, homeowners can save a significant amount of money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. However, due to its physical construction, PV technology is not suitable for all applications; it is more effective in areas with mild weather and high sunlight exposure such as Florida.
Thermal energy is simply energy which is released by a substance as it changes form or state. The most common form of thermal energy is heat which is produced by the transfer of molecular kinetic energy (usually, but not always, following a collision). Thermal energy can be extremely useful, as it can be transferred to any useful application including space heating, water heating, and industrial processing. As a result, thermal energy is suitable for a variety of applications including homes, offices, and factories.
The three most common types of thermal energy are:
- Thermal energy (heat)
- Black body radiation
- Thermal insulation (R-value)
Thermal energy can be produced naturally by any object which is surrounded by or contains air, water, or other matter which is at a higher temperature than that of the object itself. In this manner, the sun continuously produces thermal energy which can be used to power our planet. The earth’s atmosphere and oceans also help to block the sun’s heat from being re-emitted, preventing it from causing global warming. The human body’s heat also makes it a naturally occurring source of thermal energy.
Although thermal energy is extremely useful and has countless applications in modern life, it is also the most polluting of the three forms of solar energy considered here. When used for space heating, thermal energy is rapidly absorbed by materials (frequently, though not necessarily, metals) which are then converted into heat energy, a process which usually involves further emission of carbon dioxide.
Catching The Sun’s Energy
Unlike the other forms of solar energy considered here, Catching the Sun’s Energy is a process whereby solar energy is stored and later released as desired. This technology allows households and businesses to store large amounts of energy for later use when needed, cutting their energy bills and carbon footprint in the process. This technology is typically used to power homes, offices, and small businesses (such as coffee makers, kettles, and hairdryers) as well as large appliances such as water heaters and air handlers.
Catching the Sun’s Energy does not require any particular expertise or special equipment and is thus suitable for a wide audience, including homeowners, small business owners, and even students.
Why Choose This Article?
This article will not advise you on which type of solar panel to purchase or which brand of incandescent light bulb to use. Instead, it will provide you with an overview of the various types of solar energy available and how to choose the one which is best suited for your needs.
Hopefully, this article will help you make the right decision regarding your solar energy and allow you to enjoy the benefits of this renewable and eco-friendly energy source.