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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Heat (Solar Thermal)

What is the difference between solar thermal energy (solar heat) and photovoltaics (solar power)?

Solar thermal systems, commonly referred to as solar heat, convert solar energy to heat by means of solar collectors. Their functional principle is based upon the absorption of short wave radiation and its conversion to heat.
The heat generated usually is used entirely in your own house or business to produce hot water and/or to support the central heating system or for commercial applications.

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Photovoltaics, commonly referred to as solar power, directly converts solar radiation energy to electrical energy by means of solar cells. The function is based upon the photoelectric effect.
The generated electricity is either fed completely into the public power grid, and the solar power system’s owner receives remuneration within the respective Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) framework of the plant’s location, or a varying fraction of the electric energy is utilized in the own household or business. In the latter case only unused excess electricity is fed into the grid and sold. Thanks to modern storage technologies, the generated solar power can also be temporarily stored, allowing the use of scalable fractions of the solar power independent of the weather and time of day.

Your installer will be happy to advise you on which product is best suited to your application.