Pop quiz, hotshot: What are the major types of renewable energy sources?
If you listed wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower, you get an almost perfect score. That’s because no discussion about renewable energy would be complete without solar.
Now, if you’re interested in building or transforming your house into a sustainable home, that’s fantastic. By doing so, you help reduce fossil fuel use and energy imports.
Of course, you also have energy savings to look forward to, but did you know there are different types of solar energy systems? Let’s talk about those in detail, so you understand the best option for your home.
Photovoltaic Solar Power
When people say “residential solar,” they’re referring to photovoltaics, which means solar panels.
Solar cells absorb energy from the sun to produce electricity. Keep in mind, though, that not all solar cells are efficient at absorbing solar energy. Some reflect energy, while others just allow sunlight to pass through them.
A collection of solar cells is called a panel or PV panel, and a group of panels is known as a solar array or a solar cell system. Tip: As a smart homeowner, you should only hire a reliable residential solar company if you want to ensure the proper installation of your solar energy system.
Concentrated Solar Energy
If PV is for residential installations, then CSP or concentrated solar power is ideal for large-scale projects.
CSP technologies include parabolic troughs and solar power towers. All these use mirrors and lenses to concentrate a significant area of solar energy onto a receiver.
Some countries that use CSP include Spain, South Africa, and the United States. As you can deduce from the examples given, CSP is best for areas that have high sunshine levels.
Other Solar Energy Systems
While some consider PV and CSP the main types of solar power systems, others include water heating solar energy, solar pool heating, and thermal solar energy.
Water heating solar energy can be as primitive as coating tanks with black paint. More advanced applications use a sun-facing collector that heats a fluid contained in pipes.
Meanwhile, solar pool heating is an alternative to traditional heating pool systems. The way it works is similar to water heating solar energy. However, solar pool heaters have extra components that allow water heating before it is pumped back into the pool.
Last would be thermal solar energy, which is a more compact form of solar PV. Countries that use this tech are Morocco, France, Spain, and the US.
Are You Ready to Go Solar?
Learning about different solar energy systems is an excellent first step towards greening your lifestyle.
If you’re ready to switch to solar, be sure to do your homework. Take your time to find a reliable solar company so you won’t have any regrets in the future.
For more information on solar energy, don’t forget to browse our other articles. We also have tons of posts on different topics such as beauty, fashion, and health that might be right up your alley, so do check them out.