There are two types of solar energy, photovoltaic (PV) and thermal.

PV directly converts sunlight into electricity. Light hitting a photovoltaic cell is converted into electricity by a semi conductor. A photovoltaic panel is made up of several cells producing direct current, which is then converted into alternating current by an inverter.


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Thermal - Solar thermal collectors are used to absorb the sun's energy as thermal energy and transfer this to a fluid, which in turn transports it to other areas to be heated. These are commonly used for small scale water heating in residential or commercial buildings.  Solar thermal energy can also be used at a larger scale for commercial production of electricity.


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