About Solar Power

It’s no secret that fossil fuels are running out and this is making energy derived from these sources increasingly expensive. As a global society, our energy requirements are growing at an unsustainable rate. Additionally, our continued reliance on fossil fuels is negatively impacting our planet. Renewable energies including solar power deliver a sustainable solution to all these problems. Installing solar panels is one way you can control your energy future.

Mark Ruffalo

How Can Solar Power Work For You?

In one hour, the sun generates more energy than the world’s requirements for a whole year! By using photovoltaic (PV) panels it is possible to harness some of that energy and use it to run appliances in your home.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

PV panels use lenses or mirrors to collect energy during daylight hours. The panels are made up from semiconducting material sandwiched between two electrical contacts. When the sun strikes the panels, subatomic particles called electrons are released. Electrons carry a negative electrical charge and are the primary carriers of electrical charge in any solid. The semiconductor is positively charged on one side and negatively charged on the other to encourage the electrons to travel in the same direction, setting up an electrical current. The electrical contacts capture this direct current (DC). Domestic (and business) appliances require alternating current (AC), so before the electrical current can be used it must be converted from DC to AC via an inverter. The AC current is then transferred to your fuse box and from there distributed to the appliances when you turn them on.

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How PV systems typically work

Will They Work in the UK? 

Yes! It doesn’t have to be sunny for solar panels to gather solar energy! In fact, solar panels actually perform best when the temperature is lower. Cold sunny days are ideal for PV panels – good news for us here in the UK!

Solar panels collect energy even on overcast days

Solar panels collect energy even on overcast days

Types of PV Panels:

There are two main types of PV panels commonly used in domestic solar panel systems:

Monocrystalline:

Made from the highest-grade silicon, monocrystalline panels are highly efficient panels, more so than polycrystalline. They have a longer functioning expectancy upwards of 25 years. They also tend to perform better in lower light levels and have a higher heat tolerance for when we do get those hot summer days.

Polycrystalline:

Made from lower purity silicon, polycrystalline panels are less efficient and have a lower heat tolerance. As a result, their life expectancy is shorter than that of monocrystalline panels. However, they are a cheaper option so the initial outlay is less.

Solar panels installed on a roof

Solar panels installed on a roof

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