When it comes to solar power in the home, the UK is probably the last place you would expect to see panels. After all, the UK hardly has the best reputation for sunshine. But you don’t need full sunshine all the day for solar panels to work. Did you know that solar PV panels also work in partial sunlight, even on cloudy days? And that you can generate a significant portion of your electricity by way of solar panels? Here are the three things you need to know about home solar.
1. Solar power is one of the greenest forms of energy you can get. If you are concerned about the environment and want to live in a more sustainable manner, take a look at your energy needs, use and habits. You can cut the amount of energy you use in the household, which will cut your overall CO2 emissions and reduce your carbon footprint. You can also look at ways to generate cleaner electricity, which includes solar. Because solar power comes from a renewable resource – the sun – you do not rely on fossil fuels, and the process of generating solar power is carried out without burning coal or oil.
2. Solar panels are ideal for home use. Photovoltaic cells form the base of the solar panel and when a system of panels is installed on your roof you can generate power from the sun. Home solar panels are adapted to the needs of the regular household and power is transferred through an inverter, which makes it safe for use in the house. When the panels are working and you are generating electricity, this is used in the home to power appliances and to give light. At night, you use power from the national grid via your regular energy company.
3. Solar panels work on cloudy days. You don’t need direct sunlight for panels to work, and you will see in the case of panels from solarquotecompare.co.uk and other manufacturers that significant power is generated even if there are clouds or the day is overcast. In order to maximise the amount of power you can generate from panels, locate them on a south-facing roof. The roof should be free from overhanging branches or trees that create shade, and most panels are slightly sloped. The roof does not have to be south-facing as other orientations also work, but this configuration gives the best results. When you generate more power, you save more money. It is a good idea to work out how big the system needs to be in order to know how much power you can generate and how expensive the system will be to install. Over the years, solar panels pay for themselves after the initial investment has been paid off.
Louise Carr writes for blogs and websites on renewable energy and home improvements, including for solarquotecompare.co.uk