- PV Solar is also referred to as PV power.
- Concentrating Solar Power is also referred to as CSP or solar thermal.
Want to know the difference between them? Our Vista Electrical Solutions solar experts explain below.
What’re Solar Power and its types?
Solar power means energy produced from the sun. In the present time, PV solar and concentrating solar power are the two most favored ways to achieve this. Despite that, such two kinds of solar power are in the same category of alternative energy, still, their energy generation processes are very distinct.
How Photovoltaic Power Works?
The photovoltaic process utilizes silicon a semiconducting material to absorb the sunlight and produce (direct current) DC electricity. This process takes place in a number of solar cells that make up a solar panel. But homes and energy grids need (Alternating Current) AC electricity. In this case, an energy-storing storage system transforms the DC to AC before it powers electric devices in households.
How CSP (Concentrating Solar Power) Works?
CSP uses a simpler method than photovoltaic solar i.e. they concentrate on the sun’s raw heat. A large array comprised of mirrors that follow sunlight also referred to as heliostats are set up in circles in order to reflect sunlight inside a tower present at the center. Through this tower, salt runs and when it gets heated gets converted into a molten form.
Image of How CSP works?
This salt in a fluid form is stored in a tank located at the bottom of the tower and whenever it’s needed, it transfers to the steam generator with water, creates huge pressure, and power the turbines- thus produces electricity. The steam generated is condensed to get recycled as water and the salt cools down in order to get heated again.
The Biggest Differences between them:
Concentrating Solar Power aka CSP is an advanced twist on traditional technology – Uses a normal steam turbine. Photovoltaic solar, on the contrary, get to evolve and modify the technology and materials that are being used to become more effective.
Following are the biggest differences between Photovoltaic solar and CSP:
Electricity Potential – The biggest Photovoltaic solar panel has a power capacity of 1,550 MW, whereas the largest CSP has a power capacity of 392 MW.
Difficulty – Rather than producing the PV effect it’s simple to use melting salt, but having said that placing thousands of heliostats is quite a difficult task.
Storage – Solar batteries can store solar energy, but the tanks used in CSP for storing molten salt can store heated fuel for hours and can provide energy 24/7.
As mentioned earlier, PV solar and CSP can be used for commercial purposes but only photovoltaic solar can be used for residential purposes. Because you can install solar power system almost anywhere, including on the rooftop of your home. If you’re planning to generate solar energy yourself, then get in touch with our best solar installers perth today! And we’ll provide the best solar deals to you.