Thermal vs Solar Energy: Which is Better?
Would you believe that about 10 percent of the electricity used by the government is based on renewable energy technology? Think how much that could save you on your annual electricity bill. It’s exciting to know that’s just the beginning; you can save a small fortune using green energy sources.
It’s commendable you’re exploring renewable energy options as it can make a big difference to your carbon footprint. That said, it can be confusing as to which option is the best. In this article, you’ll read about thermal vs solar energy.
These two types of technology share the sun as their energy source. So it’s important to understand what makes them different and their best application in the home. Read on to find out.
Thermal Break Down
The key point to understand here is that thermal energy is about the transfer of heat. In this case, it is the transfer of heat from the sun to your water system. That can be achieved in several different ways, all of which impact the efficiency and functionality of the system.
The most basic system relies on physics to draw water through the system to be exposed to heat from the sun by traversing thermal panels. More sophisticated systems pump the water through the thermal heating system and/or use a heat exchange fluid rather than directly heating water. While you have to invest money to buy the system, whatever system you use will reduce your electricity consumption.
Solar Panels Demystified
Solar panels are different from thermal panels in the way they harness the power of the sun. Thermal is about the exchange of heat, whereas solar panels are about light.
Solar panels are designed so that particles of light (photons) interact with atoms and, in doing so, cause the release of electrons. It is the flow of electrons that basically creates your electricity. That electricity can then be stored for any electrical application.
Thermal vs Solar
Here are your key considerations. The first is that the application of thermal panels is limited to heat exchange to heat water. In contrast, solar panels can generate electricity for any use you need, giving you much more flexibility.
The second big consideration is cost. Thermal panels may be more limited in their use, but they are a fraction of the price of solar panels.
In fact, depending on the brand and scale of use, thermal panels can be 2 or 3 times cheaper than solar panels. You can check out some examples of prices at https://blueravensolar.com/blog/what-is-the-best-solar-panel-for-residential-solar/.
Make the Smart Choice
In this article, you’ve read about thermal vs solar energy and which is better. The answer to that question depends on the application you want and the budget you have to spend. The bottom line is that both types of technology are a smart choice because they will save you money and help protect the planet.
Before you buy, make sure you investigate any incentives that may be available in your State. You can check out other articles on our site that fit with your lifestyle and interests.