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What is the difference between solar hot water systems and solar energy for electricity?

solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systemsSolar hot water systems use the heat from the sun wheras solar electricity uses sunlight. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) is a technology that uses sunlight to generate direct current (DC) electricity. Solar thermal systems, also known as solar hot water systems, create hot water and use a completely different technology. Solar hot water panels usually have copper pipes running through them filled with water. The water is simply heated by the sun, and the hot water flows into a storage tank. Sometimes. like in this photo the storage tank is on the roof, sometimes the tank is on the side of the house. In the case of a solar hot water system the sun's energy is used to heat the water. It works similar to the heating of water in a hose lying on the grass on a hot summer's day.

PV solar panels (in background of photo) generate a flow of electricity when hit by sunlight . This generated electrical energy, when harnessed and sent through an inverter, is converted into usable electricity for electrical appliances. LG manufactures solar panels (LG's automated solar factory) to generate electricity and does not manufacturer solar hot water systems, like the one in this photo.