What is a Solar PV System and how does it work?
PV, short for Photovoltaic, derives its name from the process of converting light (‘photo’) directly into electricity (‘voltaic’). Simply put, a Solar PV system is a power station that generates electricity from sunlight.
The main components of a Solar PV system are:
Solar Panels or Modules: Solar panels consist of a group of small cells made from semiconductor material. When the sun’s light falls on the modules, it excites the electrons, thereby creating a direct current (DC).
Solar Inverter: The DC electricity goes into an inverter that converts it into alternating current (AC). We use AC for running our household or office or factory equipment.
Storage Battery (optional): The best use of solar energy is to consume it while it is being generated. If the requirement is to store this power and consume it in the non-sunny hours, then solar energy can be stored in batteries for later consumption.
What is the difference between Solar PV and Solar Thermal?
The majority of solar energy, coming to our earth through the sun rays, is in the form of ‘light’ and ‘heat’. A Solar PV system uses the ‘light’ energy and converts it into electricity, which can then be used to run electrical equipment or charge batteries. A Solar Thermal system uses the ‘heat’ energy of the sun whereas a solar collector captures this heat or thermal energy and uses it to heat water or air.
Which technology is suitable for me?
Both Solar PV and Solar Thermal are suitable for you. If you need to run electrical and electronic equipment like lights, fans, TVs, computers, etc., Solar PV is the right solution for you. However, if you require a solution for water heating in your bathrooms or kitchens or swimming pools or for space heating, drying, cooling, etc., solar thermal is more suitable.