The technologies that help us to harness the true potential of solar power are known as solar energy technologies. They enable commercial industries and households to make use of heat and light from the sun.
There are mainly two types of solar energy technologies, namely Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and Photovoltaic (PV). You may already be aware of PV, which is implemented using solar panels. On the other hand, CSP is used in power plants and is not suitable for personal use.
Comparison Between PV and CSP
Although both PV and CSP are important for harnessing solar power, there are pros and cons of both. Here are some of them:
Flexibility of Installation
While it’s possible to install a PV system in place of an existing CSP system, the reverse is not possible. Photovoltaic cells provide energy for both residential and industrial purposes, but CSP systems are viable only for large scale applications. Therefore, PV helps in the development of decentralized and well- distributed power.
In large power plants, supplying power during peak hours is a difficult task. To fulfill peak hour demands, CSP can store of heat energy during an intermediate step while still generating electricity.
PV systems, on the other hand, convert solar energy to electricity, which can then be stored on the power grid for future use.
Level of Complexity
This is one area where the PV system emerges as a winner. A CSP system is made up of several complex mechanical and chemical parts; this can make its installation a long and arduous task. The installation process of PV systems is simpler and takes much less time, as they consist mainly of solar cells.