Electricity can be generated by the sun by using either of two currently existing technologies: (1) a  photovoltaic system using silicon cells to convert sunlight directly into electricity; or  (2) a solar thermal system which uses an array of reflective mirrors to focus and concentrate heat from the sun onto  contained water to create the steam required to drive a turbine generator.

Photovoltaic systems can be resized for single rooftops for thousands of individual end-users (distributed power model), whereas solar thermal systems are typically installed as a large central station facility, which distributes power by means of transmission lines to end users.

Photovoltaic System

photovolt

Solar Thermal System

solar therm