What are solar thermal and solar pv and what are the benefits?

Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (pv)

There are two common methods of gaining useful energy from the sun, both generated by panels or cells:

  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. These units convert the sun's radiation into electricity for use in the home. A dedicated low-voltage inverter converts the direct current into 230 V alternating current.
  • Solar heating. This means the conversion of radiation energy into heat for heating and for hot water. This is commonly called solar thermal technology.

The benefits of solar energy

  • Solar energy is unlimited, inexhaustable and free of charge
  • Government funding is available to help you recover your investment on solar PV panels (see our funding page)
  • Solar systems are generally considered to lead to an increase in property value
  • Solar technologies offer relative independence from energy prices
  • Solar energy is environmentally friendly compared to fossil fuels