Types of Solar Energy

If you truly want to go green, then it’s a good idea to take it upon yourself to learn the science behind it and the science in particular about alternative sources of energy. By bettering understanding how these work you can stay on top of new developments, and you can choose more carefully which technologies to employ yourself.

Solar energy is one of the top considerations for anyone going green and yet many of us know little about it. For instance, one thing that many people don’t know is that there is more than one type of solar energy, and that these work in very different ways. These are:

Solar Thermal: Solar thermal energy is the lesser known form of solar energy among those going green. Here it is the heat energy from the sun that is of interest which is used to heat water that can then be employed for various other applications. Solar thermal solar panels utilize panels covered in tiny tubes carrying water. These are then simply heated by the sun before being rerouted to work in heat pumps and other systems.

Photovoltaic: if you have been looking at going green by using solar panels, then it is likely photovoltaic solar energy that you will be particularly interested in. This has more applications for going green and can be used to run electrical appliances etc. It is a little more complicated to understand though.

Basically photovoltaic cells are made out of silicon and other materials which absorb sunlight. Here it is the actual light we are interested in rather than the heat (hence the name photovoltaic) and this is used to excite electrons that are packed into the solar cells. This causes them to behave as a direct current (DC). This in turn is run through a transformer to be converted into alternating current (AC) for home use and going green.


  1. I did not know there was more than one type of solar energy. I just assumed that there was only one type. That is interesting to know. I have a friend who has solar panels as his home so now I can understand this a bit more.

  2. Solar energy is a good thing to know about. And like you said, if you want going green it is important to know about every kind of energy, including solar energy. I agree also with the fact that people don’t know that there exists one more type of solar energy.
    Your article is very interesting. I hope people read this.

  3. Reading this article made me realize that I don’t know many things about our planet. I hadn’t even known that there exist 2 kinds of solar energy. About the solar thermal I heard before but about the photovoltaic solar energy I haven’t. It is a little hard for me even to pronounce it. :D. Anyway, it’s nice to learn things even if it’s about the solar energy.

  4. Before reading this article I hadn’t known how the solar panels work. I knew that the solar energy is doing something but I hadn’t known that the panels are covered in tiny tubes carrying water. Interesting fact to know about. The solar energy heats the water and that’s how they work. Maybe when I have money I will invest in some solar panels.

  5. I would really love a second article about the solar energy. Another more detailed if you can please. I would like to know more about the photovoltaic solar energy. You made me curious regarding it. Hmm…I could even say that you got me mystified when you said is complicated understanding this kind of solar energy.

  6. Solar energy is an interesting phenomenon. It is more interesting what people were able to do with it. There are so many things which are using solar energy. We all know about the solar panels. I think this is the greatest invention regarding the solar energy.

  7. I have only heard of solar energy. Never once have I heard of Photovoltaic. I always thought that solar panels used solar energy. It would make sense to me. But this was interesting to find out.

  8. Does anyone on here run Photovoltaic? I have never heard of it till just now. I am interested in learning as much as I can about it. It sounds like it would be very good for our planet.

  9. The sun rules! It gives us two types of solar energy. At the moment, I am only making use of the solar thermal energy. When I will have the money, I will go for the photovoltaic energy too. It’s too bad not to take advantage of both types of solar energy.

  10. There are so many people who don’t know many things about the solar energy. They only know it is provided by the sun. It is more important to know how solar energy is used in a green way. People should be informed and convinced to use items that use solar energy. For example green panels, USB chargers…

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