Differences between photovoltaic and solar thermal

Differences between photovoltaic and solar thermal

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Differences between photovoltaic and solar thermal: better a photovoltaic panel or a solar thermal panel? Advantages, disadvantages and differences between the two technologies that exploit solar energy.

Thephotovoltaicdoesn't have much in common with thesolar thermal. The only point of union is that both technologies exploit solar radiation to produce energy, but both the form of energy produced and the methods are different.

Photovoltaic and solar thermal, differences in summary

Electricity is produced with a photovoltaic panel. The electricity produced by a photovoltaic system can:

  • be self-consumed with substantial savings on the bill
  • be placed on the network in the following ways:
    -direct transfer (sale)
    - exchange on the spot

With a solar thermal panel energy is produced in the form of heat. This heat can then be transformed into:

  • domestic hot water
  • heating for the house in winter
  • cooling for the house in summer

Unlike the energy produced with aphotovoltaic system, the thermal energy obtained from a solar thermal system it cannot be sold in any way. Other information: photovoltaic or solar thermal.

If you intend to install a photovoltaic or solar thermal system, know that you have the possibility to take advantage of ad hoc incentives. For solar thermal only, it is possible to take advantage of the 2016 Thermal Account, while for both technologies there are the tax deductions made available by the 2016 Stability Law with the restructuring bonus (50% deduction) and with the eco-bonus (tax relief at 65%).

Differences between photovoltaic and solar thermal

We will not dwell on the differences in operation but on the practical applications that can help you make a correct choice if you are undecided about an investment between the two technologies.

A solar thermal system can serve you to meet the following needs:

  • - in a family apartment, for the production of domestic hot water up to 70% of the needs of the entire family.
  • - For heating the water of an outdoor shower, away from the domestic electricity network.
  • - For heating the water of an indoor swimming pool.
  • - For domestic heating, to be integrated with the boiler, the pellet stove, the thermo stoves or hybrid systems of various kinds.
  • - For the cooling of domestic environments, in residential buildings, with solar cooling that produces cold air through the use of solar thermal panels.

If you want to orient yourself on the choice of a solar thermal system, you have to choose between four different types of circuits, two of which are called aNatural circulationand two others are aforced circulation. With the forced circulation system, the problem of limescale can be partially solved in areas where water hardness is high.

The choices offered by the market are numerous, especially when it is intended to integrate a solar collector to a pre-existing or ad hoc heating system. In the article dedicated to functioning of the puffer (a hot water storage tank, better defined as a thermal energy storage device) we have reported the example of a heating system given by a biomass stove connected to a system of thermal solar panels to maximize energy savings .

A photovoltaic system can serve you to meet the following needs:

  • - produce electricity to cover part of the domestic energy needs.
  • Producing electricity to power a small house not connected to the national electricity grid (an island system can be useful for powering mountain huts and country farms).
  • Selling electricity by transferring it to the grid.
  • To produce electricity on movable goods such as campers, sailboats, boats of various sizes.

The market offers a large number of choices. There are ultra-thin photovoltaic panels, able to integrate perfectly with the architecture of the building (integrated photovoltaic), in the form of glass bricks, capable of providing a roofing to the building, in the form of tiles .... The choice is very wide and according to the technology the yields also change. Do you want to install photovoltaics on the roof? Take a look at the articlehow much does a photovoltaic roof cost?

Video: Results of Solar Thermal vs. PV Experiment in Heating Water (August 2022).