Solar energy is now widely used around the world, especially in countries which get a lot of sunlight each day, like Australia. But in countries where sunlight is said to be ‘scarce’, like in the UK, solar energy is fast gaining ground as well. One reason for this is that more people are becoming aware that solar PVs don’t really need direct sunlight to work – they can still absorb energy from the sun even if the day is cloudy, which is often the case in many parts of the UK. Also, the government encourages the use of solar energy by providing solar PV owners with an excellent feed-in tariff scheme which pays solar PV owners for the energy their system generates. If you are in the UK and you are thinking about getting your own solar panel system, here’s your complete guide to solar energy in the UK: its benefits and how it works.
What they are
Solar panel systems are known as PVs or photovoltaic systems, and they essentially capture the energy released by the sun with the use of photovoltaic cells. The cells do not require direct sunlight so that they can work; they can still work if the day is cloudy. The cells convert sunlight into electricity, and this electricity is then used to run and operate various household gadgets and appliances as well as lighting.
If you have a solar panel system in your home in the UK, you can acquire plenty of benefits. One of the most obvious benefits, of course, is that you can reduce your expenses when it comes to your electric bills. Once you have invested in a solar panel system, you can start saving on your energy bills.
Another key benefit of a solar panel system is that you can receive payment for the electricity generated by your system. Fundamentally speaking, the government can pay you for the energy your system creates through its Feed-in Tariff programme or scheme. Alternatively, you can sell the electricity generated by your system back to the grid.
One more benefit you can get from a solar panel system is the reduction of your carbon footprint. As we all know, solar energy is renewable and sustainable, and when your system generates energy, it doesn’t release pollutants or carbon dioxide. In fact, a standard home system can help you save about 1.2 to as much as 1.7 carbon tonnes annually.
How they work
Photovoltaic cells have several layers of silicon, which is a material with high semi-conducting properties. When sunlight reaches a cell, this produces an electric field throughout the different layers. If the sunlight is strong, then more energy is produced by the cells. Groupings of PV cells are mounted in modules or panels, and you can, in turn, mount these modules or panels on the ground or your home’s roof. A PV cell’s power is categorised as kWpor kilowatts peak. This is the rate wherein the cell generates electricity at its highest performance (with full sunlight) during sunnier seasons such as the summer.
There are now a good number of solar panel system installers and providers across the UK, amongst whom are the experts in solar panels in Manchester, Atlantic Renewables. It’s essential for you to find a good supplier and installer so you can have the absolute guarantee that your solar panel system is worth the investment.