How Are Solar Panels Used
Solar energy is the most popular amongst renewable energy sources and is also regarded as being the most productive. Government schemes such as the feed-in tariff which allow solar panel owners to sell unused energy to the National Grid in return for cash payments have led to a rise in the number of homes and businesses installing solar panels. Despite growing numbers, solar panels are still a fairly unknown quantity and the benefits are not universally known. One common question surrounding the subject is “how are solar panels used?” Understanding exactly how they work and how they are used to benefit thousands homes and businesses will only lead to more people opting for solar panels in the future.
How do solar panels work?
The first part of answering “how are solar panels used?” is to understand how solar panels work. A solar panel is designed to take a fraction of the energy created by the sun, harness it and turn it into power in the form of electricity or hot water. Solar photovoltaic panels are installed to produce electricity, they are made up of a number of a number of individual solar cells and each cell is made up of two layers of a semiconducting material which create electricity from sunlight. The cells work on a constant basis and the more sunlight there is the better, this means more electricity. Power is created in DC form and is then converted into AC for powering lighting and appliances.
Solar thermal panels are designed to produce hot water; this can be done in two different ways. The first is two use flat plate panels which are integrated into the roof, the second and most efficient is to use evacuated tubes which are installed onto the roof tiles. With solar thermal systems water is pre-stored in a cylinder which can be heating further through the use of a boiler or immersion if required.
How are solar panels used to save money?
The biggest benefit of solar panels is their ability to save owners money on energy bills. With energy bills constantly on the rise, any way to reduce costs is considered and solar panels are the best of all the renewable sources for providing savings. By generating electricity, solar photovoltaic panels can provide between 40%-100% of all electricity needs, a standard system will save around £200 per year on bills.
A standard solar thermal system can easily provide one third of hot water needs in a three bedroom family home, this will equate to a saving of around £70-£90 per year.
How are solar panels used to help the environment?
Helping the environment is a big reason why the British government are promoting solar panels. The majority of the UK’s energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels and natural gases, both of which are harmful to the environment and earth’s atmosphere. Installing a solar panel system at home or work will save approximately one tonne of carbon emissions each year.