What kind of Solar Panels do you need?

If you are considering installing solar panels on your roof, you may have heard that there are two main types: thermal and photovoltaic.

There are two major differences between the two, and which one will benefit you the most entirely depends on your lifestyle and personal preference.

However, you could also argue that one particular style of solar panel has more incentives behind it, which could make it the more preferable option for you.


Solar Thermal

Thermal solar panels are used to heat up a water tank so that you can enjoy hot showers and plenty of warm water, straight from the sun’s rays.

This is a good option if you already happen to have an immersion tank, as it may be a convoluted investment to have to get rid of your combi-boiler and replace it with one that heats up a cylinder instead.

As with any type of solar panel, this method of heating your tank works better on bright sunny days. You may have to top up your hot water supply by running the boiler on days when it is overcast, or indeed, at night time.

However, it is important to know that you do not necessarily need brilliant hot sunshine for this type of system to work. You will still get hot water on bright winter days.

One of the main benefits of thermal is the amount of energy you will save on heating up the water in your home.

Depending on your location in the UK, and the weather outside, you could save up to 60% of the energy you use on heating water in your home for showers and the like.

This increase to your home efficiency will satisfy even the least eco-friendly minded homeowner which is something you should know before buying solar panels.


Solar Panels on a building roof

Photovoltaic solar panels, sometimes referred to as PV solar panels generate electricity for your home. They only work during daylight hours, so you cannot expect them to be powered during the night unless you invest in a battery to store electricity separately.

This type of solar panel is popular because of the various government incentive schemes that have existed over the years. The Feed-in-Tariff is no longer in existence, but the grid trade incentive enables homeowners to sell what they don’t use from their solar panels back to the grid – on the provision that they are with one of the ‘big six’ energy suppliers.

On top of this, PV solar panels have the potential to earn and save up to £38,000 over time which is why it’s essential to start installing your solar panels very soon to make use of the latest incentives.

PV solar panels are the perfect option for anyone who wants to save on their home’s utility bills, especially if they don’t already have an immersion tank to use for thermal solar panels.

The type of solar panels you need will usually depend on your wants and needs as a homeowner. Photovoltaic’s are by far the most popular, and that is likely because of the simplicity of the benefits: you just use the electricity you generate.

The best way to know which style you will most benefit from is to contact a supplier and get a quote and more information.