How does Solar Hot Water Differ from PV or Solar Electricity?
PV, or Solar Electric, uses the energy trapped within sunlight to generate an electrical charge. This charge can then be stored and used to power any number of electronic and electric devices. Solar Hot Water, however, is also known as Solar Thermal, and used the tremendous energy trapped within sunlight to generate heat – this heat is then transferred by any number of mechanisms to water. We can use that water for nearly every hot water application – from domestic hot water use to radiant space heating to pool/spa heating. In, fact, Solar Thermal technology is much further advanced that PV technology today – a typical PV panel has an efficiency of 14 – 20% where a Solar Hot Water System has an efficiency of 80% or better – this makes Solar Hot Water Systems one of, if not, the most cost-effective and affordable uses of Solar Energy available today.