The difference between Photovoltaic panels vs. solar panels


Solar panels and photovoltaic panels are often used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same. Solar panels refer to the technology that converts sunlight into electricity, typically utilizing a variety of materials such as silicon. Photovoltaic (PV) panels, on the other hand, specifically refer to panels that use photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. In this sense, all photovoltaic panels are solar panels, but not all solar panels are necessarily photovoltaic panels. Stay with us since we are going to explain Photovoltaic panels vs. solar panels.

The definition of Photovoltaic panels vs. solar panels

Before comparing these two types of solar panels, we must first get introduced with them and how they work:

What are solar panels?

Solar panels are known as the devices that convert sunlight into electricity. They are made from many solar cells that are connected together to form a panel. These cells are usually made of silicon, which is a semiconductor material that can easily absorb sunlight and generate electricity. When sunlight hits the solar panels, the cells absorb the energy and release electrons, which create an electric current. This current is then sent to an inverter, which converts the direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used to power homes and buildings.

One of the main benefits of solar panels is that they provide a clean and renewable source of energy. Unlike fossil fuels, which produce harmful emissions and contribute to climate change, solar panels generate electricity without releasing any greenhouse gases. This makes them an environmentally friendly option for generating power. Additionally, solar panels can help reduce electricity bills by providing homeowners with a free source of electricity from the sun.

Solar panels can be installed on rooftops, in open fields, or on the sides of buildings. They come in various sizes and shapes, allowing them to be easily integrated into different types of structures. With the advancements in solar technology, solar panels have proven themselves as a more efficient and affordable, making them a popular choice for homeowners, businesses, and governments looking to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy costs.

What are Photovoltaic panels?

Photovoltaic panels, also known as solar panels, are a type of technology that converts the sunlight into electricity. These panels are made up of multiple solar cells that are connected together to form a larger unit. When light from the sun hits the solar cells, it creates an electric current that can be used to power various devices or be stored in batteries for later use. Photovoltaic panels are becoming increasingly popular as a renewable energy source due to their ability to generate electricity without producing any harmful emissions.

There are two main types of photovoltaic panels: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline panels are made from a single crystal structure, which allows them to be more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. Polycrystalline panels, on the other hand, are made from multiple crystal structures, which makes them less efficient but also more cost-effective. Both types of panels have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to consider your specific energy needs and budget when choosing which type to install.

Photovoltaic panels can be installed on a variety of surfaces, including rooftops, ground mounts, and even on portable devices. They can be used to power homes, businesses, and even entire cities, making them a versatile and sustainable energy solution. As the demand for renewable energy continues to grow, photovoltaic panels are expected to play a key role in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and combatting climate change. One of our popular product is Growatt off grid inverter. If you have any question about this, call us.

Difference between photovoltaic cell and solar cell 

Photovoltaic panels vs. solar panels

A photovoltaic cell is a type of solar cell, but the terms are often used interchangeably. The main difference is that a photovoltaic cell specifically refers to a semiconductor device that converts sunlight directly into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. Solar cells, on the other hand, can refer to any type of device that converts sunlight into electricity, including photovoltaic cells, solar thermal collectors, and other technologies. So, while all photovoltaic cells are solar cells, not all solar cells are necessarily photovoltaic cells.

Remember that when we are talking about Solar Panels vs Photovoltaic panels Technology its worth mentioning, solar panels encompass the entire system that captures and converts sunlight into electricity, while photovoltaic panels specifically refer to the solar cells within the panel that are responsible for the conversion process. To check growatt hybrid inverter price list, visit our official site.


Photovoltaic Cell        Solar Cell                
Type of device      Converts sunlight into electricity

Converts sunlight into electricity


Generally more efficient  Less efficient            
Energy conversion   Converts light energy    

Converts light energy      


directly into electricity into heat and then electricity through a thermoelectric process     
Cost  More expensive initially but cheaper in the long run  

Less expensive upfront but higher maintenance costs over time            


Widely used in residential and commercial settings        

Less commonly used for electricity generation    

Photovoltaic panels vs. solar panels Efficiency

Photovoltaic panels and solar panels are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two. Solar panels refer to any device that converts sunlight into electricity, while photovoltaic panels specifically refer to panels that use photovoltaic cells to do so. In general, photovoltaic panels are known to be more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity than traditional solar panels.

The efficiency of photovoltaic panels is typically around 15-22%, meaning they can convert 15-22% of the sunlight that hits them into electricity. This efficiency can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the panels, the angle at which they are installed, in addition to the amount of sunlight they receive.

On the other hand, traditional solar panels have an efficiency of around 10-15%. While this is lower than photovoltaic panels, traditional solar panels are typically more cost-effective and easier to install.

Overall, photovoltaic panels are more efficient at converting the sunlight into electricity, making them much popular choice for residential and commercial solar installations.

Which type should we choose?

Photovoltaic panels vs. solar panels dagram

  • You should choose Photovoltaic panels if:
  • your priority is heating domestic hot water
  • supporting the operation of the heating system
  • combining the solar system with a heat pump or condensation boiler
  • the investment in photovoltaic collectors is important
  • becoming independent of the grid electricity supply
  • lower electricity bills

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If we answer to this question, which type is better, we should say depends on the individual needs of each person. It’s important to consider the usage of these types. Regardless of your final choice, it should be carefully thought through. To get more details about growatt inverter price, call us.

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