What’s the difference between PV and other solar energy technologies?

There are four major types of solar technology:

  1. Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sunlight directly into electricity using semiconductor materials made from PV cells.
  2. Concentrating solar power (CSP) systems that concentrate the energy of the sun use reflecting devices such as troughs or mirror panels to generate heat that is then used for electricity generation.
  3. Solar water heating systems, which contain a solar collector that’s facing the sun that either directly heats water, or heat a “working fluid,” which, in turn, is used for heating water.
  4. Solar collectors transpired, or “solar walls,” which use solar energy to preheat ventilation air for a building