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Solar Power - Facts in brief...

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Solar Photovoltaics

There are two distinct types of solar panels which are very different and are often confused with one another. One, the Thermal solar panel is designed to heat water; as the sun heats the roof panel they then heat the water being piped over it. The other, PV or photovoltaic solar panels, are made up of semi-conductors, which turn light into electricity. The only similarity is that both types of panel use the sun’s energy i.e. solar power.

Solar Photovoltaic Panels

The amount of electricity produced will depend on how much sunlight is received by the panels which does not need to be direct sunlight, so they will still produce power on a cloudy day. PV panels have improved dramatically over the last few years and are now more efficient and as prices drop they should be seriously considered by anyone looking for unobtrusive power generation on either a small or large scale.

The Panels should ideally be facing south, either ground mounted or on the roof. Shading from trees or other buildings should be avoided. Once the panels are installed they will produce FREE energy, forever. Performance guarantees from the manufacturers are currently around 30 years, but there is little reason why they should not last much longer.

The amount of energy generated will depend on the number panels installed. A standard system of 2 kW will produce 1500 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which will provide approximately 45% of the average 3 bedroom household’s needs. Smaller or larger systems can be fitted depending on both available space and budget.

Photovoltaic Panel Systems can;

  • Provide a clean, free and endless source of power.
    Help save on energy bills.
    Reduce your carbon footprint.
    Increase the value of your house.
    Help safeguard against future energy price increased costs.
    Allow you to sell any surplus electricity back to the national grid.
    Depending on system chosen, can be fitted for as little as 8000.
  • Some Grants are available.

Solar Thermal Panels

Use the power of the sun to heat water. There are various different types of system, some direct and some indirect. In a direct system, an automatic variable pump takes the water from your hot water cylinder, passes it through the tubes in the solar panel which then heats the water before it returns directly into the top of the hot water cylinder ready to be used. The water is continuously circulated through the panels whilst the panels are in sunlight. At night the pump stops and the tubes are emptied of water to avoid any risk of freezing problems.

The technology is simple and most houses will only need one panel. The system may not provide all of the hot water needed but it will make a significant difference to the amount of other fuels i.e. Oil or electricity that you use to heat your water.

Thermal Solar Panels can:
Reduce your carbon footprint
Increase the value of your house
Reduce your energy bills
Be fitted for as little as 4000

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