Solar panels are one of the most common methods of renewable technology. This work by converting the sun’s energy into electricity. This can be done by using a technology called photovoltaic cells.
What Are Solar Panels
Solar panels also known as photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells do not need direct sunlight to work because they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.
The Benefits Of Solar Electricity
- Solar electricity assists in cutting electricity bills. Sunlight is free, so once you have paid for the initial installation, your electricity costs will be reduced.
- Get paid for the electricity you produce. The UK government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme pays anyone for the electricity they generate, even if you use it.
- You cut down carbon footprint. Solar electricity is green renewable energy and does not release any harmful carbon dioxide or pollute the environment.
- A typical home solar system could save around 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes of carbon per year. This depends on where you are living in the UK.
How Do Solar Panels (PV) Cells Work?
Photovoltaics cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When any light shines on the cells, it generates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity will be produced. During this period, groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can either be mounted on your roof or on the ground.
However, the power of your photovoltaics PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak. That is the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. Photovoltaics cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. As a result, some systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof and you can also fit solar tiles.
Will The Quality Of My Electricity Suffer?
The quality of your electricity will not suffer, and you will not notice any differences. Nevertheless, if the panels are not producing much electricity, you will be using your electricity instead. Solar panels do not substitute the energy you currently use, instead they simply supplement them with power from a greener source when possible. On the contrary, if you generate too much solar power you can sell the energy back to the National Grid at an agreed rate through the Feed-in Tariff scheme.
How Can I Make The Most From My Solar Panels?
To make sure you use as much of the free electricity from your solar panels as possible, you need to try and use more electricity during the day when your panels are producing electricity.
To Do This:
- Put the washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher on during the day.
- Charge your mobile phones, laptops as well as other gadgets during the day and use the battery power at night.
- Use an electric slow cooker to cook your food during the day.
You may also be able to store some of the energy produced by your panels with a little help from your installer. Having an immersion heater connected to your panels, is a good way to store your energy for when you need it.