If we ask ourselves what a solar panel is, the answer is that solar panels are technological devices that can take advantage of solar energy, converting it into energy that can be used by humans to heat water or to produce electricity.
The term solar panel covers the different types of devices that, despite sharing the similarity and use of solar energy as a source of energy, are made with different technologies.
Types of Solar Panels
Photovoltaic solar panels, which are used for the production of electricity, are based on the scientific principle of photovoltaics and are made using raw materials such as silicon and semiconductors. To produce hot water by solar energy, solar thermal collectors or thermal panels are used.
What are photovoltaic solar panels?
They transform solar energy into electrical energy to be reused in real time to power electricity consumption of a house e.g. lights, refrigerator, television and any other normal electrical appliance
What are solar panels or thermal collectors?
Solar panels or thermal collectors are devices capable of capturing the ‘heat’ of solar energy to heat water at home. They do not produce electricity.
They can heat the water in a normal household tank e.g. shower, toilet, dishwashing, etc. Some collectors, more expensive and more powerful, can also help in the heating system of the house. The most sold solar panels are generally intended for heating sanitary water. In this way, it is possible to save on the energy bill as a typical installation provides a plenty of hot water for about half the year.
What are thermodynamic solar panels?
It is an interesting alternative to conventional solar panels, the big difference is that they not only capture energy from the sun, but also from outside energy, as long as the temperature does not fall below 0°, the heat of the sun, rain water and wind. In this way, they are able to produce energy even on a cloudy day.
Another way to produce electricity from solar energy is solar thermal technology. Most of them are medium-sized power plants where solar panels are mirrors that reflect and concentrate sunlight at a focal point.
Whatever your need is, the obvious thing is that the solar panels give a clean electric current without cables or heavy common infrastructures such as poles and power stations and of course solar panels save us the costs of conventional energy bills as well.