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Between the rapidly cooling weather and the increased cost of living, even more people are looking into alternative and sustainable energy solutions for their homes and businesses.

One of the many reasons Caldor advocates so enthusiastically for solar is that it can help ease those rising utility costs, all using environmentally-friendly renewable energy (just look at our testimonials.) But, if you’re at square one and investigating the options available to you, you’re likely to come across solar PV and Solar Thermal.  

What are the differences between solar PV and Solar Thermal?

Put simply, solar thermal and solar PV are two different methods of collecting and using solar energy. Each product comes with its own set of complexities and benefits, with a few drawbacks to consider.

Solar thermal captures the sun’s radiated energy in order to heat water and/or rooms within a home or business. Solar thermal can be more efficient in collecting energy in comparison to solar PV but the primary drawback is that it cannot be used to generate electricity in general, and with Solar PV, the return on investment is significantly better.

In contrast, solar PV generates a store of electricity which can then be used for any range of domestic or commercial needs, including heating and water. This means that PV systems are much more versatile. They also boast an impressive lifespan and effective coverage of even the most demanding appliances, such as washing machines and tumble dryers.

4 key advantages of solar thermal:

  • Solar thermal panels are extremely efficient in terms of their capacity to capture the sun’s energy.
  • They take up minimal physical space.
  • Thermal systems remain the ideal, most effective solar solution for heating water.

4 key advantages of solar PV:

  • Solar PV provides extremely versatile electricity generation for almost any appliance.
  • The technology can cover 60 percent of the average household’s total energy needs.
  • Solar PV has an outstanding lifespan, and buyers can look forward to 30-plus years of clean, green, and reliable power.
  • It is particularly efficient in the summer, and there is no risk of freezing over the winter period.


Slightly overcast sunshine reflects on the windows and solar PV panels of a two-storey house.

Solar Thermal & Solar PV: Concluding thoughts

Installing a PV system or a thermal system represents a unique opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint and potentially save on utility costs. One or the other may be more suited to your specific location but as PV installation experts, we find that solar PV systems offer a more versatile approach to a home’s energy efficiency.

Overall, solar is arguably the most abundant and cleanest source of renewable energy available to us at this point in time, and PV technology—the newer of the two varieties—is improving in efficiency and accessibility all the time.

In the UK alone, zero-carbon power has already grown from less than 20 percent of total generation in 2010 to almost 50 percent in 2021. And according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewables will account for up to 95 percent of total growth in global power generation by the end of 2026, around 50 percent of which will be solar.

Based on your reading of this article, we thought you might be interested in the following:

What Are the Three Main Styles of Solar Panel You Should Consider?

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Caldor are specialists in both residential and commercial solar panels.  Discover our green solutions to generate optimal returns.

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Image shows long rows of blue solar panels laid out on a stone floor.