Types of Solar Energy

Whether you want to build your own solar panels or are interested in finding solar energy grants so you can finance a professional to do a full installation for you, the first step is to understand what the different types of solar energy are.

What are the different types of solar energy?

In this article, we'll explore the two most common ways solar energy is categorized.

The first way to look at solar energy is by how it is converted into useful energy. There are two types in this first group...

The second way look at solar energy is by the type of energy it is converted into. There are three types in this second group...

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Let's take a closer look at these five types of solar power...

Passive Solar Energy

Passive solar energy refers to the harnessing of the sun's energy without the use of mechanical devices. Using south-facing windows to provide natural lighting and heat for your home are examples of passive solar energy.

There are several solar applications a homeowner can use to take advantage of passive solar energy...

You can get more information by reading about The Solar House: Passive Heating and Cooling.

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Active Solar Energy

Active solar energy uses mechanical devices in the collection, storage, and distribution of solar energy for your home. For example, in active solar energy water heating systems, pumps are used to circulate water through the system.

There are several solar applications a homeowner can use to take advantage of active solar energy...

For more information check out Convert Your Home to Solar Energy

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Solar Thermal Energy

Solar thermal energy is the energy created by converting solar energy into heat.

There are several solar applications a homeowner can use to take advantage of solar thermal energy...

To learn more about solar thermal energy, take a look at Solar Energy: Principles of Thermal Collection and Storage

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Photovoltaic Solar Power

Photovoltaic solar power is the energy created by converting solar energy into electricity using photovoltaic solar cells.

There are several solar applications a homeowner can use to take advantage of photovoltaic solar power...

Read Photovoltaic Systems to learn how you can take advantage of solar electricity.

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Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)

Concentrating solar power is a type of solar thermal energy that is used to generate solar power electricity.

This technology is aimed at large-scale energy production. Because of this, as a homeowner, you won't use concentrated solar power directly, but could take advantage of it through a green-pricing service offered by your regulated utility or an alternative energy supplier.

For more information, take a look at Large-Scale Solar Thermal Power: Technologies, Costs and Development

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When considering solar energy for your home, look at the many different types of solar energy available to you.

You'll find that getting started with solar energy is easier than you think!


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