Photovoltaic vs. Solar Thermal Energy
Kashong Energy Partners offers two solar energy products to our clients:
- Photovoltaic (PV) panels convert sunlight to electricity that can be used to supplement or replace the electricity supplied by the utility grid. PV panels are most commonly installed on rooftops, and are most effective with a southerly exposure that provides full sun. Other possible installations include a ground mount, a pole mount, and atop a porch, carport, or other shaded area. PV energy systems are eligible for federal tax credits and state incentives.
- Solar thermal energy, or solar hot water, uses flat collector
plates to harness the sunís energy to heat water for use in businesses,
homes, and pools. The installation and appearance are much like those
of the PV panel, and the collectors are best installed facing south,
under unobstructed sunlight. Unlike PV panels, solar thermal collectors
do not convert sunlight to electricity, but transfer the energy directly
to the water. Solar thermal systems displace the electricity or natural
gas that would otherwise be required to heat water. Federal tax credits
are available for most solar hot water systems, but cannot be used for
systems that heat swimming pools or hot tubs. State-funded solar thermal
incentives are not yet available outside of a pilot program in San Diego.