The Dynamic Guide to Solar Panels
With the energy crisis showing no sign of slowing, the pressure to move towards a self-sufficient power supply has never been greater. With Solar PV Panels, homes and businesses can benefit from an independent, renewable power source. Either mounted on a rooftop or ground mounted, Solar PV Panels convert sunlight into electricity. Solar energy emits no carbon emissions and harnesses the power of the sun directly.
Numerous panels can easily power a single household, with excess electric storage in batteries or sold back to the grid, making solar power both self-sufficient and potentially profitable. Once solar PV panels are installed, there are no more constraints on limiting your power usage out of fear of astronomical utility bills. Your renewable energy supply will be self-sufficient and the only pressure is making sure you’re not using more than you can produce.
Before you get started on deciding to move to solar energy, you’ll need to work out your household energy consumption so you know how many solar panels your home will feasibly need to cover your demands. As a rough ball-park figure, a house with an average 1000 kWh a month consumption will need at least 30 solar PV panels to generate enough electricity to power your home. All that power, however, won’t be coming out of your pocket, which is why so many houses are now choosing to independently source renewable energy.
What is the difference between Solar PV Panels and other Solar Panels?
There are two uses for solar panels and each converts sunlight into a different form of energy. One type of panel converts sunlight into thermal energy, the other, photovoltaic, PV, panels convert sunlight into an electrical charge which generates a flow of electricity.
Solar PV panels consist of solar cells, each cell generating a steady flow of electricity when there is sunlight to convert. Solar PV panels are commonly used to power individual properties, creating a direct source of electricity.
Solar-thermal energy is more common in large-scale energy farms where reflective panels concentrate light onto solar panels that convert radiant light into heat. This heat is then used to generate electricity in vast quantities with industrial sized turbines. Solar power on this scale contributes to 4% of the world’s electricity supply.
Solar panels that generate thermal energy are also used as an alternative to gas boilers and central heating. The panels heat up water directly which is stored inside the property to be used to heat the home or as a supply of hot water.
How does Solar PV work?
Solar PV Panels consist of individual solar cells. Unlike with a battery where each cell uses chemicals to generate electricity, the cells in a panel use sunlight.
Each solar cell contains a sandwich of silicon. One layer contains silicon ions that possess an extra electron. Visible light consists of particles of energy called photons. When photons strike a semi-conductive material like silicon, they cause the atoms to give up their electrons. The photons cause the top layer to give up their extra electron which is attracted to the next layer which has a positive charge. Just like with a battery, solar cells have a positive end and a negative. Electricity flows between the two. The electrons displaced by the photons flow to the next layer and and this movement is what creates an electric current. Electricity is, essentially, the flow of electrons.
How many Solar cells are in a panel?
It depends on the type of solar panel. Our most common Solar PV panel consists of 60 cells which are wired together in modules.
How long do Solar PV Panels last?
Solar PV Panels are pretty exposed to the elements and so go through a fair amount of wear-and-tear. On average, a solar panel can last around 25-30 years but it’s best to have a professional inspect your panels regularly to ensure you’re getting the most out of them.
Does the weather affect Solar PV?
Cloudy and overcast weather does affect solar PV panels’ performance. While they will still work, they will not be as efficient as they are during sunny weather. Clouds filter the sunlight and so there are fewer photons passing through the solar cells, therefore less electricity is being produced.
On a cloudy day, a solar panel’s performance will be reduced to about 10% of its efficiency. Heavy clouds that cast shadows on the solar panels will reduce their productivity even further.
The very best weather for peak performance is during a sunny and cold day. Hot weather actually has a negative effect on solar panels as thermal energy interferes with the electron transfer in the solar cells. Sunny winter days are the best for performance per hour, however as there are fewer hours of sunlight, on a whole spring and autumn climates bring about a happy medium. Electricity generated by your solar panels can also be stored so even if you aren’t at home, sunlight isn’t going to waste.
How to install Solar PV?
The most traditional installation involves making the most of roof space. If you wish to make the move to Solar PV, we highly recommend that you contact a professional contractor to quote the work and carry out the installation. Not only is it safer, but having a professional complete the installation will make sure that your panels are in the most efficient position and also fitted properly by a qualified contractor. Installation doesn’t just involve fixing the panels to your roof, but will also require an electrician to wire in your new power supply.
At Dynamic Solar, we offer end-to-end solar power installation. We can carry out a survey of your property, give you an accurate forecast of how many panels you will need to fit your energy consumption demands, quote for the panels and their installation and also provide options for energy storage.
Before you make the choice to move to Solar PV, we recommend you consider contacting your local council to check if you need planning permission before committing. We offer ground mounted solar panels for if there are problems with installing roof-mounted panels.
Have your house or business surveyed
Interested in seeing if Solar PV Panels are an option for you? Our qualified solar panel technicians are on call for a free quote. We also have a brochure to browse as our renewable energy options are just the top of what we can offer. Our range of solar PV panels, storage batteries and heat batteries can turn your home into a self-sufficient, eco-friendly smart home with a healthy low carbon output.