Solar panels: The sky’s the limit
Written by Luke Kyte | Published August 18, 2011 | Posted in: Solar Panels | Tags: FREE Quotes, Home Improvement, Photovoltaic, Renewable Energy, Renewable Heat Incentive, Solar, Solar Energy, Solar Panels, Solar Power
www.allrenewables.co.uk is the perfect place to find quotes for your area and request further information.
How does solar panelling work?
Solar panel systems capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic (PV) cells and convert the sunlight into electricity. This can be used for both household appliances and lighting.
Apart from the bonus of being environmentally friendly, solar panels do not need direct sunlight to work, and will even generate electricity in overcast conditions.
The PV cells come in all shapes and sizes, from grey ‘solar tiles’ that are commonly seen on roofs, to transparent panels that can be fitted onto conservatories and windows.
The cell is made from one or two semi-conducting materials (usually silicon), that absorb the sun’s rays and create an electrical field across the panelling.
What are the benefits of Solar Panels?
Reduces your carbon footprint: Like double glazing, installing solar panels also helps the environmental cause. This green, renewable solar energy does not release the harmful carbon dioxide emissions that pollute the atmosphere, but instead reduces CO2 by around one tonne a year.
Cuts electricity bills: Solar panels can save up to 100% of the average household’s electricity bills depending on the energy, consumption rate and size of system. More importantly, there is no charge for using sunlight as an energy source.
Sell electricity back to the National Grid: If your solar panels are generating more electricity than you need, you can quite simply sell it to the Grid and make yourself some extra cash. Anything you don’t use someone else will always have a need for.
Store electricity for a rainy day: If a bright summer’s day provides more than enough energy for your household, you can store the excess electricity on batteries and use it when the weather is not so friendly.
Solar panels are silent when active and normally don’t require planning permission to install.
Is solar electricity suitable for my home?
When looking for a new home, south facing gardens come near the top of people’s checklist and likewise, solar panelling needs to have access to the south side of your property.
The solar panels will have to be installed on a surface within 90 degrees of south, so it is in the optimal position to attract as much sunlight as possible. You will also need to make sure it wouldn’t be overshadowed by trees or building. Otherwise the solar energy available will be limited to certain times of the day.
A sturdy roof is also needed to install solar panelling, especially if it will be fitted on existing tiles. The panels are not light, so check with a construction expert or installer if in doubt.
For more information visit www.allrenewables.co.uk
Costs, savings and maintenance of solar panelling
A solar panel system costs in the region of £12,000, but with the government’s Feed-In Tariff scheme you could earn money for renewable energy production.
Of course as you’re producing your own energy, you’ll have reduced annual bills.
Generally, the more electricity a system is likely to produce the greater the initial cost, but the more it could potentially save you in the future.
Solar water heating systems
Around 70 % of your home’s energy goes into space and water heating, so wouldn’t it be great to use a natural energy source for those hot baths and showers.
Once again, solar panelling is fitted to the roof of your home, and the sun’s radiation can supply heat to the water system or central heating.
Solar water heating systems can provide 40-60% of your requirements every year and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 400kg per annum.
Swimming pools are ideal for a solar heating system as they are usually in use when the sun’s radiation is at its strongest.
Local and national grants are available to cover part of the initial £2,000 – £5,000 cost of installing a solar heating system. In London, the solar heating programme provides discounts of up to £1,500 on solar heating components.
For more information, or to request a quote from a reputable installation company, visit www.allrenewables.co.uk