Glass plays a crucial role in generating solar power, through two methods: solar thermal and photovoltaic.
Photovoltaic technology is used to convert solar energy directly into electricity, for use in the home. The most widely used photovoltaic technology is based on crystalline silicon solar cells. The glass works a protective outer layer, as the solar light is transmitted to the cells underneath.
On the other hand, in a solar thermal application, heat is collected and used to supply hot water for the home. Most solar thermal collectors need a flat glass cover, or glazing, which acts as a protective panel as it lets the sun in – and prevents exposure of cold air at the same time.