How does it work?

We have all seen Solar panels either on houses or buildings and understand that the sun rays produce energy but not many of us know how Solar actually works.

Solar systems use photo-voltaic (PV) cells to convert free energy from the sun into electricity.  Solar PV panels can be fitted to pitched or flat roofs, vertically onto external walls, located on the ground or integrated into glazing or cladding.  An inverter, which is usually installed in the loft, converts DC energy into normal AC current for use in the home.

Solar PV panels take their energy from daylight, not direct sunlight, so cloudy overcast days will still produce electricity.  During daylight hours, most, if not all of the electricity you use is provided free, allowing you to heat your hot water and power your appliances via solar energy.  When the sun sets and there is no sun to harness, your solar system will automatically switch back to taking electricity from the grid.

After the initial cost of installing Solar PV panels, electricity costs are greatly reduced.  Sunlight comes free, and a Solar PV system in a typical house can produce around 40% of electricity per year.    If your Solar Panel system is producing even more electricity than you can use, you have the option of selling back your electricity with Feed-in Tariffs.  The Energy Saving Trust website gives information on how this can be calculated.

Solar power is an important energy resource for the future.  Solar power doesn’t need fossil fuels, animal or plant matter to be harvested making solar power an environmentally friendly energy source.  By promoting green renewable energy, solar panels do not release harmful carbon dioxide or pollutants and an average PV system can save around 1 tonne of CO2 a year.  So if you are looking to cut your carbon footprint and reduce your energy bills, Solar Panels are the way forward to a greener future.